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Modular Homes Vs. Mobile Homes

square modular home with pool

The difference between modular homes and mobile homes is quite simple. Modular homes are prefabricated houses assembled on-site over footers and a foundation. They are built to meet municipal, county, state and federal codes, and are shipped in sections from the fabrication site on a truck.

Mobile homes are prefabricated as well, but mobile homes do not sit on a traditional foundation. More akin to fifth wheels or tow-behind campers, mobile homes are often called single-wides, double-wides or triple-wides. A mobile home is transported on a frame similar to that of a vehicle, with axles and a hitch so that it can be pulled on roads and highways.

There are distinct advantages to both modular homes and mobile homes relating to space, mobility, land, cost and floor plans.

Mobile Homes Are More, Well, Mobile

Modular homes are trucked in, assembled over a footer and foundation, and remain permanently. Mobile homes, particularly one-piece mobile homes, can be moved from lot to lot with relative ease.

Modular Homes Have More Space

The only space limitation that will restrict the size of a modular home is the size of a lot. Modular homes can be trucked in piece by piece. You can have a double-wide modular home or even a quadruple-wide modular home. A mobile home is pulled behind a big rig. As such, the width of a mobile home — or half or third — must not exceed highway wide-load maximum widths.

Unlimited Design Options

The advantages modular homes have with respect to land are the virtually unlimited design and size options. A homeowner can build a large house on a large plot of land if the modular option is chosen. If you don’t already own land, the fact that mobile homes can be placed on rented land may be an advantage.

Modular Vs. Mobile Cost

Both modular homes and mobile homes are less expensive than homes built entirely on-site. But, per square foot, a mobile home is almost always less expensive than a modular. However, again, mobile homes are very limited with respect to design and size.

Two Story Mobile Homes?

Mobile homes are more versatile than in the past but are still limited to a single story and no more than three times the width of highway wide-load maximums. Modular homes are available as one-, two- or three-story homes; can, theoretically, have a floor plan unlimited in size; and can be shaped however a homeowner would like.

While there are financial advantages to buying a mobile home, choosing a modular home gives homeowners a considerably larger number of choices.

Interested in learning more about purchasing a modular home? Palm Harbor Homes offers modular and manufactured homes of practically any size. Contact us and we’ll help you find your perfect home.