The type of home that you own or are looking to own is of great importance. It is essential to understand what type of home you have so that you know how much your home is worth, how to best take care of your home, and how your home is structured.
There are many different ways to determine whether your home is a modular home or not, but some are easier than others. Here are some of the top ways to tell if a home is a modular home or a different type of home.
How to Tell If a Home Is a Modular Home
A modular home is a home that is built in a factory and is transported to a final location in sections. While they look very similar to site built homes, they are very different.
It can be difficult to see the small differences in site built homes and modular homes, so you need to rely on in depth research and understanding of the construction of homes to see the difference.
Check Under the Kitchen Sink
While most people think that under the kitchen sink is just a place to store cleaning supplies and random kitchen supplies, it is much more important than that.
Under your kitchen sink is a place that likely contains the easiest and best way to determine the overall type of home that you have.
All modular homes are required to meet the universal building codes set by the federal government. These codes ensure that the home is safe and secure during all parts of construction, transportation and final assembly.
Since factory built homes, or modular homes, are built in a factory, they must be designed and constructed with high quality materials to meet these standards. These standards ensure that the home is safe to withstand all pressures of transport and environmental pressures of the final destination.
All modular homes will be inspected to ensure that they meet these building codes. Once inspected they will be given a UBC code, which is almost always placed under the kitchen sink. You should thoroughly inspect under the kitchen sink to determine if your home has this sticker and can be classified as a modular home.
If your home or potential new home has had a recent kitchen remodel, it may be incredibly difficult to locate this UBC sticker. If this is the case, you will need to rely on these other methods to help determine if your home is a modular home or not.
Check the Home’s Foundation
A home’s foundation is not only crucial to determine the structural capabilities of the home, but it can also help you learn about the type of home that you have. To inspect the foundation of a home, you will likely need to either crawl into the crawl space under the home or into the basement of the house.
A home’s foundation can be supported in a variety of different ways. For instance, mobile homes use a metal I beam to hold the entire structure of the home. This beam allows the home to be transported from one location to another as many times as needed.
Unlike mobile homes, a modular home is often transported to the final location from the factory using an I beam. This beam holds the sections of the house together while the home is being moved. Once it arrives at the final location, this beam is typically removed.
A modular home arrives at the final destination and is anchored onto a new foundation. The foundation is often made of cement and concrete and uses footers to support the load of the house.
The foundation of a modular homes is supported by the perimeter of the house. Therefore, if you are unsure of whether your home is a modular home or a different type of home, you can crawl to the basement or into the crawl space to inspect the foundation of the home.
For most ordinary homeowners, this task may seem a bit overwhelming. If you are not sure what you are looking at or do not want to crawl into a dirty and often insect infested crawl space, you may want to hire a professional contractor or even a building inspector to help you determine how the foundation of your home is laid out.
Find Old Blueprints
If you are the initial buyer of a home, you will likely already know what type of home you have. The ability to tell if a home is modular or not is often called into question when the home is handed down through generations or bought and sold by different owners.
A great way to help you determine the type of home you have is to look for any old blueprints of the home. All modular homes are made using blueprints and you can often find these from your local city inspectors. Many times blueprints are given to the city for approval. Check with the city to see if they have any known records of your home.
Oftentimes, homeowners will hand down the blueprints and pictures of the home to new homeowners. If you are looking to buy a home, ask the sellers if they have any of this information. They may surprise you. And, if not, the worst thing they can say is no.
Frequently Asked Questions about How To Identify A Modular Home
Trying to tell is a home is a modular home or not is a difficult thing to determine. Here are some frequently asked questions that homeowners and potential new homeowners often have when looking to classify the type of home they have or want to have.
What Happens If I Can’t Find a UBC Sticker?
If you are trying to tell if your home is a modular home, but are unable to locate a UBC sticker, you simply need to do more research.
The UBC sticker found in the majority of modular homes is just one of the easiest ways to know for sure that the home is a modular home. If you cannot find the sticker, but your home is supported by the perimeter of the house and you have blueprints that help show that your home was likely made off site, you can predict that it is a modular home.
Do I Need to Save the UBC Sticker If I’m Doing a Kitchen Remodel?
Kitchen remodels are growing in popularity as more and more people want to create a one of a kind and unique living space. If you have a modular home, you may notice during a renovation that there is a UBC sticker under the kitchen sink.
If you notice this sticker, it is not required that you save it, however, you should at least take a picture of the sticker in case you need to reference it in the future. You never know if you will need to have it for home appraisals or when you go to sell your home, so just to be safe, you should save a picture of the sticker.
Why Do You Need To Tell If a Home is a Modular Home
Most people who own a home or are looking to own a home in the future will never even consider what type of home they have. Since modular homes are very similar to site built homes, most people will never try to investigate to see the difference.
There are a few times in life, when the type of home you have is of crucial importance. It may be important to tell if your home is a modular home when you go to buy or sell your house, are looking to change home insurance companies, or when you are looking to do a major home renovation.
Real estate agents and home appraisers will absolutely need to know if your home is a modular home or not so that they can give you accurate and the most up to date COMPs of your home. Comparing modular homes to other modular homes in the area is the best way to get an accurate value of your home.
Insurance companies will often want to know if your home is a modular home or not so that they know how much it would cost to repair or replace your home in the case of an emergency or natural disaster. Being able to classify your home correctly will help get you the most accurate insurance quotes possible.
If you are looking to do a major home renovation, you may also want to know if your home is a modular home or not so that you under the foundation and structural supports of your home. While a contractor will be able to help you determine this, you may want to know ahead of time so that you can accurately budget for the renovation.
While many people may not think about the importance of knowing what type of home they have, however, being able to tell if your home is a modular home is of key importance.
It can help you and your family plan for the future and help during any major renovations you plan to take on. In addition, it is crucial for buying and selling your home.
A modular home is hard to classify without doing some thorough inspections. Remember to check under the kitchen sink, inspect the foundation, and look for blueprints of the home to help.