Difference Between a Modular & Double Wide Home

Modular homes and double-wide mobile homes are both manufactured houses that are built in sections inside a factory, where weather changes do not effect the speed or quality of production. Some models look very similar, but there are major differences between the two types.

Double Wide Construction

Double-wide mobile homes are built in one-story sections on steel chassis that have their own set of axles and wheels for mobility. When completed, they are pulled by large tractor type trucks to their destination. The chassis is a sufficient foundation for the home and does not need to be placed on a full foundation, although many double-wides are. These homes often are set on concrete piers, and tie downs are used to anchor them securely to the ground. Mobile homes can be placed on dealer sales lots and shown as models, or on a land the buyer rents or owns.

Double Wide Regulations

Double Wide mobile homes are built under the standards set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. This agency controls all phases of construction, electrical, heating, cooling and plumbing systems. HUD also controls the use of materials regarding resistance to fire, energy efficiency and ease of transport. This control supersedes local building codes.

Developments with covenants and restrictions generally do not accept this type of housing, since it does not appreciate in value in the way a site-built home would. Financing is somewhat restricted on mobile homes.

Modular Homes

Modular houses are constructed, but not completed, in the factory. Then the pieces are hauled on flatbed trucks to the building site, where they are placed on a permanent foundation and completed on-site by local builders. You can choose from a range of styles and sizes, including two-story models.

Modular Home Regulations

Modular homes must meet local and state building regulations. They also must be inspected prior to occupancy by county or other local agencies, just as any site-built home would be.

Modular homes are treated like site-built housing when it comes to financing. Because the styles are comparable to regular site-built houses, modular homes typically appreciate in value and usually can be constructed in a development with covenants and restrictions.

Manufactured Housing Benefits

Manufactured homes, both modular and mobile, offer benefits to buyers. Factory construction speeds up production. The assembly line generates less waste, keeping costs down. Manufacturing technology has improved over time, reducing mistakes and boosting quality. Spot inspections for quality control at the factory also help contribute to smoother production.

The lower cost per square foot, wide variety of floor plans and choices of exterior styling and sidings offer special appeal to budget-conscious buyers.