Mobile Home Value and Quality


  • Today’s manufactured homes offer the same construction and materials as many site-built homes, but at a more affordable price. According to 2002 data reported by the MHI, manufactured housing represents a 10% to 35% savings for comparable entry-level site-built housing.


  • The building materials in today’s manufactured home are the same as those used in a site-built home.
  • The homes are engineered for wind safety and energy efficiency based on the geographic region where they are sold.
  • Manufactured homes may be one of the safest housing choices available today because of federal laws requiring smoke detectors, escape windows, and limited combustible materials around furnaces, water heaters and kitchen ranges.
  • Properly installed homes can withstand 120-130 mph 3-second wind gusts in areas prone to hurricanes.


  • Floor plans are available that range from basic to elaborate, with vaulted or tray ceilings, fully-equipped kitchens, walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed tubs and whirlpools.
  • A variety of exterior siding is available including metallic, vinyl, wood or hardboard. In some cases, home buyers can also opt for stucco exteriors.
  • Most homes have pitched roofs with shingles and gabled ends. Design features such as bay windows are also available. Awning, skirting (enclosures around the crawl space), patio covers, decks, site-built garages and permanent foundations are available upgrades. In many cases, the home can be customized to meet the needs of the customer.

Built for Quality

  • All aspects of the construction process are controlled.
  • The weather doesn’t interfere with construction and cause delays.
  • All technicians, craftsman and assemblers work as a team and are professionally supervised.
  • Inventory is better controlled and materials are protected from theft and weather-related damage.
  • All construction materials, as well as interior finishes and appliances, are purchased in volume for additional savings.
  • All aspects of construction are continually inspected.
  • All homes meet stringent Federal HUD quality standards.

Cost Effective

  • Depending on the region of the country, construction cost per square foot for a new manufactured home averages 10 to 35 percent less than a comparable site-built home. For more information, please see Value for Residents (Make Link)

Importance of Manufactured Housing

  • Manufactured housing plays a significant role in the U.S. housing market.
  • There are more than 22 million people living in approximately 10 million manufactured homes in the United States.

Home Quality/Comparability to Site-built Homes

  • The quality and amenities of modern manufactured homes has dramatically increased. Modern manufactured homes have many of the same features as site-built homes.
  • A manufactured home is a single-family house constructed entirely in a factory rather than at a homesite, with generally the same materials found in site-built homes.
  • Homes range from 500 square feet to 2,000 square feet or larger and can be both single-section or multi-section.
  • Manufactured homes are available in a variety of architectural styles and floor plans, offering a variety of amenities and custom options including:
  • Spacious floor plans
  • Vaulted ceilings
  • Drywall throughout
  • Walk-in closets
  • Fireplaces
  • Brand name appliances
  • Customization packages
  • Jacuzzi tubs
  • Shingled roof
  • Vinyl, hardboard, stucco or wood siding

Homeowner Satsifaction

  • Studies have shown that homeowners are happy with manufactured housing.
  • According to a 1999 study by Foremost Insurance Company, 88% of manufactured homeowners report satisfaction with their housing choice.
  • The 1999 Owens Corning study, conducted by National Family Opinion, found that 93% of manufactured homeowners are satisfied with their housing choice.

Quality Construction Show

Manufactured homes are built to a quality-assurance standards administered by HUD.

Industry quality-assurance standards for your protection.
The HUD Code regulates the home’s design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency, and quality control. It also sets stringent performance standards for the heating, plumbing, air conditioning, thermal, and electrical systems.

The Inspection System For Manufactured Homes

What Is It? A National Preemptive Code Designed for Factory Building Achieving Parity: Financing and Land Use

Just as site built homes are constructed according to a specific building code to insure proper design and safety, today’s manufactured homes are constructed in accordance with the HUD building code. The United States Congress laid the foundation for the HUD Code in the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 by directing the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish appropriate manufactured home construction and safety standards that “…meet the highest standards of protection, taking into account existing State and local laws relating to manufactured home safety and construction.” Every HUD Code manufactured home is built in a factory, under controlled conditions, and has a special label affixed on the exterior of the home indicating that the home has been designed, constructed, tested and inspected to comply with the stringent federal standards set forth in the code. No manufactured home may be shipped from the factory unless it complies with the HUD Code and receives a certification label from an independent third party inspector.

One common question is, “How does the HUD Code differ from recognized building codes for site built homes?”

A National Preemptive Code

The HUD Code is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, using independent third party inspection agencies for enforcement, and it is the federal counterpart to nationally recognized private sector model building codes. These model codes include the Uniform Building Code of the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), the National Builing Code of the Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA), the Standard Building Code of the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) and the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) One-and-Two Family Dwelling Code. Individual states throughout the country have adopted one or more of the model codes to apply to site-built homes within the state. But the HUD Code is the only code that is mandated to be nationally recognized, and as such it has preemptive status with respect to manufactured homes. This national preemptive status is one very important reason why manufactured homes are so affordable.

A single set of model building codes for the entire United States is under development by the International Code Council (ICC). The ICC consists of the three model building code organizations, BOCA, ICBO, and SBCCI, as well as CABO. The ICC came to being back in the 1995 _ 1996 time frame. The ICC’s mission is to develop a single set of International Codes that the entire country can enforce rather than jurisdictions choosing between the three regional organizations’ codes in use today. The use of a single set of codes to cover structural design of site-built homes, fire safety, mechanical requirements, sewerage disposal, plumbing criteria would be similar to the present system of the single HUD Code for all manufactured housing. By the year 2000, the ICC will have published the International Building Code, the International Fire Code and the International Residential Code to complete the single set of model codes.

Designed for Factory Building

The HUD Code is unique since it is specifically designed for compatibility with the factory production process. Performance standards for heating, plumbing, air conditioning, thermal and electrical systems are set in the code. In addition, performance requirements are established for structural design, construction, fire safety, energy efficiency, and transportation from the factory to the customer’s home site. Manufactured homes are constructed with virtually the same materials used in site-built homes. However, in contrast to traditional site-building techniques, manufactured homes have the advantage of using engineered design applications and the most cost-efficient assembly line techniques to produce a quality home at a much lower cost/per square foot. To ensure quality, the design and construction of the home is monitored by both HUD and its monitoring contractor, the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards (NCSBCS). The familiar red seal (the certification label) attached to the exterior of a manufactured home indicated that it has undergone perhaps the most thorough inspection process in the homebuilding industry – and passes.

Achieving Parity: Financing and Land Use

Increasingly, acceptance of the quality construction standards of the manufactured housing industry is demonstrated by the availability of mortgage financing through traditional lenders, as well as the Veteran’s Administration, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), which now finance manufactured homes along the same guidelines as site-built homes. Also, an increasing number of states have amended their land use enabling legislation to prohibit local governments from excluding HUD Code homes in many single family neighborhoods.

The HUD Code: Built Better By Design

It can generally be acknowledged that a building code is only as good as the enforcement system that accompanies it. The manufactured home enforcement program required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a thorough and efficient system designed specifically for the factory production environment. Because the factory pace differs from that of the construction site, the manufactured home enforcement system is necessarily different, too. The goal in both cases, however, is the same — to insure the highest degree of safety in the design and construction of the home. Ideally, a building code should be backed up by uniform and consistent enforcement. The HUD enforcement system relies on a cooperative federal/state program to ensure compliance with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (the HUD Code). The Department of Housing and Urban Development enforces the HUD Code through its monitoring contractor, the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards (NCSBCS). Uniformity and consistency can be maintained better in the HUD enforcement system because of two key factors. First, the inspections take place in the factory, during each phase of construction, and follow behind the manufacturer’s own in-plant inspection and quality assurance teams. This allows for more thoroughness, since time is spent inspecting homes rather than traveling to inspection sites. Efficiency is increased because travel time is limited and necessary paperwork is minimized. Second, consistency is maintained because fewer people inspect more homes. The enforcement procedure is much less susceptible to individual interpretations, as would be the case with on-site inspections in every jurisdiction across the country.

Inspection Starts Before Production Starts Certification Assures the Homebuyer

The HUD enforcement system begins with oversight by the Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency (DAPIA). The DAPIA (a third party inspection agency) must: approve the engineering design of the home; approve the manufacturer’s quality assurance manual for its plant; and coordinate with the other third-party inspection agency, known as the IPIA. The Production Inspection Primary Inspection Agency (IPIA) has the responsibility to make sure the production facility programs and procedures are in accordance with the DAPIA approved quality assurance manual; and, it conducts inspections of homes produced in the factory to assure conformance with the approved design. Three interesting notes: 1) every home is inspected during at least one stage of production, 2) in the course of each plant visit, the IPIA shall make a complete inspection of every phase of production and every visible part of each home in production, and 3) when a new plant is opened by the manufacturer, the first home built according to approved plans is inspected 100% – every step in the building process undergoes close scrutiny by the inspection agency. Along with this, NCSBCS inspection teams conduct representative inspections as a check on the performance of the third party inspection agents and the manufacturer.

Keep in mind that all this is in addition to the inspections carried out by the manufacturer’s own foremen and its quality assurance inspectors.

Certification Assures the Homebuyer

Before leaving the factory, each home must have a numbered certification label affixed to the exterior of each section of the home. This label certifies to the homebuyer that the home has been inspected in accordance with the HUD enforcement procedures and that it complies with the HUD building code. Only when all inspection parties are satisfied that the home complies with the code will the certification label be affixed to the home. A consumer seeing the home for the first time will have the assurance that the home has been thoroughly tested and inspected from the design stage through final construction and found to be built according to the approved design.

Reference: 2004 by Manufactured Housing Institute.