Modular VS Double Wide

Roberta_z5December 20, 2005

If this forum is to go anywhere, the difference has to be made clear in what in a Modular Home and what is a Trailer/manufactured home. One depreciates like a car and one increases in value like a stick built home. Huge difference.

Our home just was set today and it is definitely not a trailer. We bought it from Design Homes in Wisconsin. On their website they can tell you what the difference is.

Unfortunately, there are mobile home companies that sell modular/mobile homes right on their lots and that makes it confusing for everyone. That is not where you want to go for a modular home. See below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Design Homes

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have not pulled up the link, so this may be redundant, but here in AZ there are two types of modulars as well. In AZ they only do "on frame" modulars that do not fare as well in an appraisal as an "off frame". Off frame the frame of the home actually has it's weight sitting on the stem wall so to speak whereas the "on frame" is actually built to modular code like above, but basically has brick skirting w/tie downs. You spend a lot of money in the later for basically an upgraded manuf home. MOney NOT well spent. A real modular is OFF FRAME. So be careful. Manuf Home is separate from both.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Roberta: Keep us posted on how you like Design Homes, I've been to there Praire DC office and walked through the models. They seem very nice. We have a cabin near by and are going to retire there in the near future and need a 4 seasons home. There prices are very reasonable and we plan on taking the tour of the factory in Spring.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Roberta_z5 and lynxville,
I just bought from Design Homes for my weekend lakehouse and it was set in late September. I am putting together a video of the house set - will link it later. It is in Northern Illinois.

I went with the Loft Home 28'x42'. (I wanted the laundry closet on the main floor.) I am doing some of the work myself so it is not finished yet. Just spent several hours there today with 2 of my brothers and my father installing some final electric.

This was the first time my brothers and father were there since before it was set. They all thought it was great, and built very well. My dad (retired electrical teacher) though the wiring was top notch. I have propane heat and water heater - both are hooked up and since it is a weekend place I have the thermostat set to the lowest temp - about 53 degrees. The house is so well insulated that the heat was not even running when we arrived today and it was about 36 degrees outside!

I have had a very good experience with Design Homes so far. I bought one of their "Stock" homes. They keep their workers busy through the winter by building extra homes and then sell them through the year. They offer a slight discount on them and you still get to pick the siding, carpets/flooring (for some rooms). I also had them do central air.

I love the fact they own all their sales locations and there is no commission. The sales people are all helpful and there is no markup on the trades. A similar house from Wisconsin Homes had to be purchased through a "dealer" who then acted as contractor for the foundation, septic, final plumbing, etc. The Wisconsin Home was about $10K more and did not include the cost of the crane and house set.

No hidden costs with Design Homes. What I agreed to pay on the contract was all it cost and that included the house set and closing up the home, installation of the furnace and ductwork, Central A/C, and they delivered the Hot water heater, but I had the local plumber do the installation.

I acted as general contractor for the foundation (plans included all details the concrete guys needed), final plumbing connections for water lines, drain lines, and gas lines, lot clearing, stairs to basement built, ceiling insualtion and pine ceiling installation (on the Loft and Cape Cod models only do you have to contract ceiling work - all single story and full 2 - story homes have all ceiling work complete in factory) and I contracted extra electrical and stair rail to loft. Also arranged hookup to water line, electric connection, propane installation and septic. All simple to get quotes.

I also arranged for a dumpster for all the scrap that is created when the house is set and closed up. I actually had the dumpster delivered right after the house was set and buttoned up since I had no room for the dumpster and the crane and house halves all at the same time. I spent a good long day picking up the debris the workers had kindly piled near the road - and throwing it all in the dumpster. The crew would have done that if I had been able to have the dumpster on-site.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 7:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our Design Home is 44 X 28 with a 14 X 14 sunroom. We have the prow front facing south with all windows and designed it to be very open. For just the two of us we didn't need a large home, but wanted a large open area for entertaining our many kids and their families.

It is now set (with a minor delay because of extreme wind, then way too much snow). The sunroom was set off by an inch and the finishing crew had to come back and move it into place with jacks. Even so, from being set to being finished took just over a week.

My husband now is hooking up the propane and plumbing. We did the walkout basement ourselves (ICF forms) with radiant heat in the floor, and are using a tankless water heater to heat our water and the radiant tubes. Eventually, he will put the heat tubes under the main floor also and we won't need the furnace at all.

I'm glad to hear you are satisfied. Our only problem right now is that our house is completely surrounded by mud and It will be impossible to move our stuff in until the ground freezes again. The side where the sunroom is has two entry doors that we won't be able to use until it is backfilled in the spring. (That is where the crane sat.)

Fortunately, we have a place on the farm to live. My husband spent several years (on weekends) building a garage with a coach house on top. That was before we retired and were still living in the city running a business. It was so stressful that we decided to go with the modular home for the main house. I am so glad we did! The garage with the coach house (from a Lindal Cedar Home kit) ended up costing more than the Design Home in both stress and money and is half the size!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 9:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For those who feel there is no difference between modular and manufactured, just ask the mortgage lenders and insurance agents. A real modular (not pretend ones that are sold on mobile home lots) is equalivant to stick built with the exception that it is mostly assembled in a factory. The walls are panelized, etc. The materials used are up to code with stick built.

Check out the Design Homes link for more information about the assembly. I just feel there needs to be a noted difference on a forum that is including both in one catagory. A modular home rises in value in comparison to stick built.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes and well, they are almost as expensive when stick built too.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The ONLY savings when going modular is TIME. The cost is always on par with a site built home.
The actual home is really only about half the total cost of the project.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 6:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Roberta said:
"If this forum is to go anywhere, the difference has to be made clear in what in a Modular Home and what is a Trailer/manufactured home. One depreciates like a car and one increases in value like a stick built home. Huge difference.".

First let me say I really like some of the specs on your new house, it looks great. Now here's the new's flash, there is NOT a huge difference in the construction of your house and some of the quality manufactured homes out there. While you may want to sell that idea it just ain't so. The photos of your factory are the most telling aspect. The way they are constructed is the SAME as what I saw in the Nashua & Guerdon factories I visited. re: depreciation, once set on a foundation and converted to real property, Manuf/Homes will appreciate EXACTLY like your modular, and qualify for 30 yr mortgages, etc. In fact here the title disappears and they simply assess based on the same formulas they use for other types of construction (stick/modular, etc), and why would they not? The quality manufactured homes of today are tight, well built homes that are hard to match for value. The so called "trailers" of days gone by are nothing like todays homes which are anything but mobile. Someone else mentioned that they use non-standard items and this is NO LONGER true. The lumber and materials we saw at the factory , were great. I will grant that while we were able to customize our home (add 4ft of length and move walls/doors etc), modulars tend to be more customizable, with more options. We are thrilled with our home and hope you can enjoy your home without the need to put down those who choose the quality and economy of a manufactured home. Please don't paint the manufactured homes of today with a 30 yr old brush, it's unfair and untrue.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 3:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I completely agree with nvoneacre. I own a Champion Manufactured Double Wide in the Mid Hudson Valley in NY. Champion also builds modulars in the same plant. It was built in 2002 and I have not have one single issue with my home. As a matter of fact, we have visited a modular company where we live and we could honestly say that the construction of our home is up to par if not better than the model homes from this company. They use the same materials, showers, fixures, cabinets etc. We added all the upgrades that Champion offered. The home is on 2 country acres and it has been appraised equally to ranch style homes in our area. It sits on a slab foundation. Please do not pass judgement on Manufactured homes of today without getting your facts straight. Manfacutred homes are still a great choice for people who can not afford stick built or modular. Roberta, good luck and enjoy your home.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I own a 2000 champion doublewide its set on piers with cinderblock foundation around the outside. I live in a rural area in oklahoma where these types of homes are prevelant. In fact a few houses down they build a covered front porch onto theirs and bricked it about halfway up. Guess what, it appraised higher that some of the site builts around here from what i understand. So the manufactured homes of the last few years are nothing like 30 yrs ago. And let me tell you the oklahoma winds and storms get prettynasty and my manufactured has weathered them better than my neighbors big site build home!!


    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Back to the initial posters assertion.

>Unfortunately, there are mobile home companies that sell modular/mobile homes right on their lots and that makes it confusing for everyone. That is not where you want to go for a modular home.

That's an unfounded, blanket statement in my opinion. It is not "unfortunate" that there are builders that deal with both on the same lot. It may well be the best place in town to view the widest range of factory-built housing and to make an informed decision concerning a major investment. The most important part of the home search, for homes built by any method, is in locating a builder that you can trust to offer you a fair deal and stand behind their product. The original poster's overly simplistic and uninformed statement might guide you away from just that builder.

There are also auto dealers that sell cars and trucks on the same lot. If anyone is confused, they have some serious problems that isn't the fault of the dealer.

Likewise, if anyone is considering making probably the biggest major purchase of their lifetime and can not differentiate between a manufactured home and a modular home, it is not the fault of the dealer that sells both on the same lot but is the fault of the buyers who have not done even the most minimal research.

As I said elsewhere, far from it being "confusing for everyone," in 20 years in the modular industry, I haven't come across a single person who can't tell the difference after gathering the most basic of information. I suspect this "confusion" is nothing more than a myth.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We purchased our modular from a "lot" too. And the saleswoman was right there to discuss the differences between manufactured and modular construction. We toured both kinds of homes and saw the differences. She also told us of the differences we couldn't see.
She made sure every question my wife or I had were answered honestly and completely.
We ended up ordering the home through the dealer instead of getting one of the models. And the process was smooth as glass.

I really believe it would be advantageous to tour both types of construction when deciding on a new home.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 6:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is really more to contrast then to compare between modular and manufactured homes. A modular home is a permanent structure coded under the same sets of codes and standards as any home built with standard construction practices. They are versatile and once built are virtually indistinguishable from a stick built home.

A manufactured home has a metal chassis and is coded to the standards originally developed for trailers. The quality and design tends to be mediocre and non original. They tend to be long and skinny and their floorplan is limited by the large size of the components (usually only one or two for the entire house, that have to be transported.)

If you would like to see fore yourself the diversity in some modular home floor plans check out

Here is a link that might be useful: San Diego Modular Homes

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to say that I've seen of modern doublewides and triplewides isn't any different than the "modular" homes. At least with the trailers they sit on large steel beams that can be used to level the house. The clay soils here in Texas can shift 12" or more in a year - in any of the 3 directions. I stepped in a crack in the yard last summer and went in up to my knee as an example. That kind of motion absolutely shreds a slab foundation. I don't know why they even bother building them here. You're almost completely guaranteed to have foundation problems. Whereas if you have a house that is sitting on piers, you get someone to come and level it fairly inexpensively and all is well. There is no jackhammering of the slab, no "mud jacking" which means pumping concrete and slurry into excavated holes under the house, or digging up the yard to set jacks and install piers to hold the foundation up.

From what I've seen of them, that's the ONE thing that they got right. It's everything else above that which seems to be the problem :/

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 11:12AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Super scared! Modular vs manufactured? Bad reviews?
We are searching for land in Ruidoso, city lot, small...
Moving an old Windsor (70's) single wide SAFE?
A friend of mine has a 1970 ish Windsor 14X 70 or 12...
looking for company that builds modern mobile home for 100$ per sq/ft
would like to build a modern mobile home, around 1300...
Looking for advice, might be buying manufactured/modular
Hi! My husband and I will be looking at this house...
Do You Love Your Mobile Home?
Hi there. I have read the posts on this forum with...
Sponsored Products
Zula White Shade 22" Wide Crystal Chandelier
Lamps Plus
Belmont Toilet Tissue Holder
$129.00 | FRONTGATE
Wire Corner Double Shower Basket
Olivia 2 Piece Platform Bed Collection - Black - MOD-5103-BLK-SET
$578.99 | Hayneedle
Leaf Bronze Nine-Light Chandelier with Italian Ice Glass
$715.00 | Bellacor
Glass Twin Drink dispenser
Classic Hostess
Hudson Reed Quest Thermostatic Shower System with 12 Head & Handshower
Hudson Reed
SW 3528 LED Strip Light 60/m 8mm wide 5m Reel
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™