With all the terminology surrounding the prefabricated homes industry it can get a bit confusing for the layman. Terms are often interchangeable and, to make matters worse, they can vary depending on the region and country.
The strict definition for manufactured home in the United States is a factory built home that is built to the HUD Title 6 construction standard or the “HUD Code”. The HUD Code was implemented on June 15, 1976. The US built HUD Code standard manufactured home will include a HUD Certification Label or HUD Label found at the tail end of each transportable section. The manufactured home will also have a Data Plate somewhere inside the unit. Previous to the HUD Code a manufactured home in the US was referred to as a mobile home or a trailer.
Manufactured homes are built on a permanent chassis to make them transportable. Transporting them is done differently than other prefab homes. Manufactured homes are delivered by towing them on their own axles like a trailer would be. The chassis is typically outfitted with five or more axles depending on the size of the section. Upon reaching their final location the axles and towing tongue are removed from the house before it is placed on its foundation.
Outside of the industry and strict definitions the term manufactured home can often be heard and used interchangeably with “factory built home”, “prebuilt home” and “prefabricated home” or “prefab home”. Yet again, depending on the location some of these terms can have different meanings. What may make it easier to remember is that in their strict definitions manufactured and modular home along with panelized and precut homes are all types of factory built homes. Or to play it safe call all of them factory built homes or prefab homes and you’ll have your bases covered.