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What is the difference between mobile homes and manufactured homes?

In America today, there are many different monikers for the type of housing that is built in a factory, Mobile homes, manufactured homes, factory built homes, coaches, trailers and trailer-homes are just a few examples of how these houses are referred to across the country. Local custom and tradition often dictates what name an individual is most familiar with, however few people realize how manufactured homes have evolved over time; giving rise to new ways to describe them.

In the early 1900’s, American vacationers constructed small homes on a frame with axles that could be pulled behind their car while camping or travelling across the country. These ‘trailers’ became a popular option andgrew in size to accommodate more features and comfort. As they continued to get bigger, they outgrew the term trailer and began to be referred to as mobile homes.

Eventually mobile homes grew to a size where traveling with them was not an easy task. They were typically not permanently attached to the ground and sometimes still donned the wheels that carried them to the home site, the hitch that tied them to the tractor trailer truck, or both. Being built in a factory anddelivered by truck, the term ‘mobile home’ was not exactly inaccurate but did not represent the fact that few of these larger homes actually moved after being placed.

The agency of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) implemented regulations on the construction of mobile homes on June 15, 1976. This was done to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of factory built housing. Homes built after that date, which are constructed to HUD code specifications, receive a HUD plate with unique number certifying compliance with the building standards and are technically considered ‘manufactured homes’.

Manufactured homes have come a long way from the mobile homes and trailers of yesteryear. Hot tubs, flat screen TVs, masonry fireplaces and granite countertops are just some of the options available to home buyers today. Offset construction, ‘L’ or ‘T’ shape floor plans, and even two story homes are examples of how manufactured homes are often indistinguishable from conventional site built homes.