Tuesday, December 28, 2010


It only takes a minute of research by so-called reporters to get the story right but they just assume that they are not really hurting anyone when they misidentify manufactured housing as modular housing.  I guess it's not really their fault they don't know the difference. 

The modular industry and especially the local builders where these stories are being reported in don't send comments to the TV or newspapers explaining the differences. 

So how will Mr and Mrs New Home Buyer know that the story they just read about mold in a modular home was really about water damage in a double wide mobile home?  

CLICK HERE and then ask yourself if the next potential customer you talk with knows that this home is not what you offer? 


Heywood said...

The modular home industry is its' own worst enemy when it comes to confusing modular and mobile homes.
Every modular home is required to have a note on the data plate that states "this is not a manufactured home" (see 24.cfr 3282.12). Too bad very few manufacturers actaully provide this note.

Anonymous said...

Heywood, I completely agree with you. As a mod builder my factory hides the label where only a chipmunk could find it. It's almost as if they are ashamed they build modular homes. Even my sales rep is always apologizing for selling modular homes. What is that all about?

Anonymous said...

You know your sales rep apologizes for selling modular homes and yet he still works for you? Just asking, and not trying to bust your chops.

3282.12 is a part of the HUD regulations and is for "mobile" home manufacturers that want to certify that their home in question is certified NOT to be a "mobile" home. A modular home has a completely different data plate that what is in a manufactured HUD-code "mobile" home. This is rarely, rarely done by the HUD-code home manufacturer. If he builds a modular home, his third-party and the State of Destination will require an additional data plate.

The easiest way to tell the data plates apart is to look for the numerous Codes that the structure was built to; if it lists codes with a State in it (such as MN Energy Code, NC Building Code, IA State Building Code, etc) or lists the specific year of the National Electrical Code, chances are you are in a modular structure. The HUD Code home is based on the "3280s", full name "PART 3280—MANUFACTURED HOME CONSTRUCTION AND SAFETY STANDARDS". Link: http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title24/24-

The State of Wisconsin used to have 2 designations, manufactured home and manufactured dwelling. But because the local AHJ and realtors didn't know the difference, the discrimination continued. Wisconsin changed the "manufactured dwelling" to "modular home", but it didn't matter. The local AHJs want to tear apart walls in the modular structure and realtors continue to present the HUD-code home as a modular home.

Really frustrating at times, especially for the homeowner who thinks his modular home was stick-built or thinks his HUD-code home is real property. I can't tell you how many times I have heard "That's what the realtor said!"

The Septic Tank Blog said...

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Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6;23'
I disagree. The HUD regulation is federal law, that is clarified in the HUD regulation. The title of the section is Excluded Structures-Modular Homes.
Bottom line, every home is 'Born' in a factory as a mobile home unless the manufacturer excludes it from the HUD program, as discribed in 3282.12.

Anonymous said...

The modular industry understands a lot more about more about building process than it does about marketing. There are two ways to sell a "modular" home. One, as a modular home. Primary focus is on construction process. Roughly 5-10% of the buying market places significant value on this. The other is as a home. Focus is on the value of the relationship with the builder, being treated well as a customer, creating value on all levels (including quality construction).

There is a reason to deemphasize the term modular. It is not an insult to anyone. It is just a marketing decision to appeal to the biggest section of the market...and get away from mobile home confusion.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. The HUD regulation is federal law, that is clarified in the HUD regulation. The title of the section is Excluded Structures-Modular Homes. Bottom line, every home is 'Born' in a factory as a mobile home unless the manufacturer excludes it from the HUD program, as discribed in 3282.12.

Oh, I so very much disagree with both your statements.

1. The Federal government controls the construction of the MOBILE home through the Federal STANDARDS. If my memeory serves me correctly, the FEDERAL STANDARDS were adopted in 1976 and have been amended/updated just 3 times in 34 years.

2. The individual STATES control the construction of the MODULAR HOME through the adoption, and sometimes amendments, of MODEL BUILDING CODES. Most of the Model Building Codes change every 3 years, with some states adopting the new Code relatively soon after the ink is dry on the law. See www.iccsafe.org for the Code adoptions and websites for the States.

3. I challenge you to find a Modular Home Manufacturer that will agree with you that his MODULAR HOME started out as a MOBILE HOME. I think you will find it a daunting task.

4. Contact Housing and Building Technologies in Herndon, Virginia, and ask if they ever, in their monitoring and evaluations of HUD-Code home manufacturers and third-party inspection agencies, seen the date plate note as described in 3282.12. Better yet, ask them for their interpretation of 3282.12. I would scan and paste the 2 very different plates for all to see, but it cannot be done without Coach's approval.

I'm not trying to be a pain here, but in my 25+ years of participation in the MOBILE/MODULAR industry, at both the construction and regulatory levels, have I ever heard anything close to your statements.

Yes, you are correct in saying the MODULAR manufacturer is his own worst enemy, but I feel it's because he does not educate himself about the differences between his MODULAR home and a MOBILE home. And the general public does not get to hear the difference from the MODULAR manufacturer. Some areas get it, some don't. The MODULAR MANUFACTURER that gets it will survive.

MODULAR MANUFACTURERS do not like the MOBILE HOME stigma, but that stigma will not go away without education. I like to ask this question: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A MODULAR HOME AND A MANUFACTURED (MOBILE) HOME?

Heywood said...

Wow...lots of lively comments! Not to kick a dead horse but if the federal law titled "Excluded Structures-Modular Homes", does not apply to modular homes, then what does it apply to?
Finally, Housing and Building Technologies in Herndon, Virginia is a contractor, not an authority.
Finally, no matter if we agree or not, this is healthy discussion.
Happy 2011!

Heywood said...

Here is the 5 things that are required to be stated per 3282.12:
1.The manufacturer certifies this structure is not a manufactured home.
2. it is only designed for erection or installation on a permanent foundation
3. design to comply with (state code)
4. to the manufacturers knowledge is not intended to be used other than on a site built permanent foundation.