How to Identify a Modular Home

Identifying a modular home can be a difficult task for any homeowner or potential homeowner because they are very similar to site built homes.

Modular homes are incredibly customizable and it is nearly impossible to identify a modular home from a site built home simply by looking at it. Here are some ways to help ordinary people identify a modular home and know for certain that the home is a modular home.

How to Identify a Modular Home

There are many different ways that you can look at the exterior and interior of a home to try and determine whether or not it is a modular home.

Some methods may help you decide, however, there are only a few ways to know for sure if your home or your potential new home is a modular home. Here are some sure-fire ways to determine whether your home is a modular home.

Look for the UBC Sticker

One of the most evident ways to determine whether your home is modular or not is to look for a UBC sticker.

The UBC sticker indicates that the home was built to meet and exceed all standards of the Universal Building Code. All modular homes that are assembled away from the final foundation of the home are required to have a UBC sticker. If your home has a UBC sticker, you know that it is a modular home.

The most common place for a UBC sticker to be located is under the kitchen sink. All homes built after 1971 are required to have this factory built unit certification attached. To help reduce confusion, this sticker is almost always placed under the kitchen sink.

Inspect Foundation

Another main way to determine whether or not your home is a modular home is to look at the overall foundation of the home. This will require you to crawl under the home and inspect the overall foundation on which the house is laid upon.

Modular homes are transported to a final destination in sections and pieces and are not required to use an I beam, or a large metal beam, to hold the home together. Most mobile homes use an I beam as their main foundation. Modular homes, however, use the exterior of the home as their foundation.

All the weight of a modular home is placed on the perimeter of the home. This means that modular homes do not have a large I beam in the middle of the home, but instead, use poured concrete on the perimeter of the home as their foundation.

If you crawl under a modular home to inspect the foundation, you will often notice four by four footers of poured concrete that are used to support the overall foundation of the home.

It can be very difficult to determine how a foundation is laid and may require a building inspector or general contractor to help. You can find a local professional to help you determine if your home is a modular home.

Look at Blueprints of Home

If you are not the first owner of the home, it can be incredibly difficult to determine whether or not your home is a manufactured home, modular home, or site built home.

Some prior homeowners may have been kind enough and organized enough to hold onto the blueprints of your home. The blueprints may contain essential pieces of information to help you determine whether or not your home is a modular home.

Some key things to look for in the blueprints are the manufacturers name, date of construction, sections of the home and marriage walls. If you analyze these prints, you will know for certain whether or not your home is a modular one.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Identify A Modular Home

Purchasing a new home is one of the biggest financial decisions that a person will make in their lives. It is crucial that you know and understand everything about your home so that you know what to look out for in the future. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that homeowners and potential homeowners have about identifying a modular home.

What is the Difference Between A Modular Home and a Manufactured Home?

There are many differences between a modular home and a manufactured home. A modular home is a home that is built in a factory and transported to a location in sections. A manufactured home is often also referred to as a mobile home. A manufactured home can be transported from one location to another, however, it is rarely taken apart.

The main difference that exists between a manufactured home and a modular home is in the foundation of the home. A modular home uses the perimeter as the main support system for the home, while a manufactured home uses an I beam. In addition, modular homes are required to have a UBC sticker and manufactured homes use a HUD sticker.

What Makes A Modular Home Hard to Distinguish?

Modular homes are very difficult to distinguish from site built homes and sometimes manufactured homes, because they are extremely customizable. A factory that builds modular homes can almost always design the home to meet a family’s needs.

This means that they can consist of different floor plans, overall dimensions, and more. There is no way to tell from the exterior of a home if it is definitely a modular home. The ability to customize a modular home and the requirement for them to meet all universal building code standards make them very difficult to distinguish from other types of homes.

Why is it Important to Identify a Modular Home?

Identifying the type of home you have is incredibly important when you go to sell your home or when you are looking to buy a home. While it may not matter in day to day life, it is essential during the home buying and selling process.

Real estate agents and appraisal companies rely on the correct classification of a home to determine the correct selling price of the home. They will look at other modular homes in the area that have sold to determine the correct value of the home.

An appraiser will only be able to give you a good estimate and fair value for your home if they are able to assess and identify it correctly. Understanding the type of home you have will allow them to compare it correctly to other homes in the area and offer you the highest appraisal value possible.

What Happens If I Cannot Find a UBC Sticker?

While the UBC sticker is the easiest and most convenient way to identify a modular home, there are always other ways to identify the type of home you have. You can look at the foundation or find the old blueprints of the home to tell whether or not you have a modular home.

Another common way that people can determine whether or not their home is a modular home is to rule out that it is a manufactured homes. Manufactured homes have a HUD sticker that is typically found on the exterior back side of a home. You may need to remove some siding to see the sticker. If you find a HUD sticker, you know for certainty that the home is a manufactured home and not a modular home.

Final Thoughts

A modular home is built off site in a factory and is transported to the final location in sections. Since the home is not built on site, they are subject to more stringent building codes. All modular homes are required to build homes to meet and exceed universal building codes.

This means that every modular home will have a UBC sticker. This sticker will help you determine without a doubt whether the home is modular or not. If you cannot find this sticker there are other ways to determine whether your home is modular or not, but this may require added research and help from a professional.