A manufactured home is a home built in a factory that complies with the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974. In this act, HUD began requiring stringent construction and safety standards for all HUD-certified manufactured homes. Manufactured homes come in one, two, or three sections, and are secured to a steel chassis for transportation. And home on a steel chassis built prior to 1974 is not considered a manufactured home – they are a mobile home.
Like a manufactured home, a modular home is also built in a factory. These homes, however, do not have a federal code for their construction. Modular homes rely on state codes to determine how they’re built. This means that the builders have a lot more options in terms of design and transportation. A modular home will come in one to five or more sections, and is assembled on site with a crane. Some modular homes are even three stories! Because of the larger variety and more complex construction, modular homes typically come in at higher price per square foot than a manufactured home.