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Key Differences between Prefab and Manufactured Homes

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Prefab and manufactured homes are the different options that exist in the housing industry. Prefabricated housing is built in the controlled environment of a factory and then assembled on site. The term prefab includes the different types of building such as modular and panel-built even though they differ in minor aspects.

Manufactured homes are also constructed in the controlled environment of a factory. However, they are built over a steel frame, which is then transported and placed in the intended location site. Below are some of the major differences between prefab and manufactured homes.

Looks and Design

Prefab homes mostly employ wooden frames in their construction. This is seen particularly in older manufactured home for sale across the country. However, the adoption of modern building techniques has led to the use of steel panels and other sustainable materials in the construction. Besides, the quality offered the usage of such building materials have made prefab homes more flexibility in design and styling.

Manufactured homes, on the other hand, use the same building materials that are used previously. This has led to manufactured homes look outdated when compared to the prefab homes for sale. However, some manufactured homes also include modern features in their construction that have altered its appearance. The capability for any exterior alterations or additions is still limited in manufactured homes.

Limitations in Building

Previously, prefab homes tend to be highly limited in their designs and offered only basic living options. However, prefab housing employs many innovative building techniques nowadays, such as insulated panels, small prefab homes, different flooring options, etc. This has significantly increased their customization options than traditional site-built homes.

Manufactured homes are, however, limited in their building concepts and designs. They follow certain pre-built designs and are therefore difficult to customize as that allowed in prefab homes.

Building Codes

Prefab homes adhere to certain state and federal building codes. Just as a conventional site built home, all the prefab homes for sale also go through the various inspections for ensuring their safety and durability for living. However, manufactured homes follow the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) standards and do not require adhering to any other building codes and regulations.


The biggest difference between prefab and manufactured home is the quality. Prefab homes employ innovative methods in their construction that uses 25 percent more material than manufactured homes. This enables them to have greater quality thereby making them suitable for withstanding any extreme weather conditions.