Manufactured or Modular Home, What’s the Difference?

For most people, when they hear the terms manufactured and modular homes a “trailer park’ is what typically comes to mind.  Today’s prefabricated homes have come a long way from the typical stereotypes associated with them.  With the ability to cater to any lifestyle, knowing the difference between a manufactured home and modular home can make all the difference when entering this market and at Cove Communities, both prefabricated home styles are available!

Prefab Industry

To first understand the difference between a manufactured and modular home, we must understand the context that defines them.  Both manufactured homes and modular homes can be defined as “prefabricated homes”, which is an industry term most commonly known as “prefab” which Merriam-Webster defines as “produced by prefabrication” or “a prefabricated structure”.  As the term suggests, all prefab structures are designed and built in a facility and then transported and fully assembled at the final site.  It is from this point that the differences between manufactured homes and modular homes begin to appear.

Regulatory Differences

On the surface, it may appear that there is no difference between a manufactured and a modular home considering they are built in facilities and then shipped and assembled at their final locations, but through governmental regulation is where the differences appear.  According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Development (HUD), the difference between the two is that manufactured homes are built and held to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards while a modular home is constructed and held to the same state, local, and regional building standards as on site-built homes.  For example, in Florida a modular home must be installed on a permanent foundations so that it can meet the state regulations, whereas a manufactured home can be installed on a temporary foundation.  As you can see, modular homes will meet regulations that cater to the demands that each state requires while a manufactured home is upheld to national standards allowing certain models to be found in almost every state.

Modern Prefab Homes

With massive advancements in so many sectors of the industry over the last decade, it’s easy to not think of prefab home innovation but nonetheless they have!  With better materials and technological advancements, these homes have gone from small-boxed designs to be almost indistinguishable from traditional homes.  Today’s prefab homes can have taller ceilings reaching as high as 9 feet and can even be two stories!  All these advancements have allowed a more aesthetically pleasing and modern look to coat the interior design of these homes.  So, if you were thinking you were going to have to settle for a boring lifestyle when buying a prefab home, think again!


As you can see, the world of prefab homes has come a long way.  With the option to choose between HUD regulated and designed manufactured home or a more locally influenced modular home, you can be rest assured that there’s a prefab home that meets the needs you desire.  Plus, with several manufactured and modular home communities throughout Florida, California, and Canada, you can bet that Cove Communities can deliver you the very best the modern prefab lifestyle has to offer.  Start exploring our current home sales inventory today!