The Evolution of Manufactured Home Building

If you’re thinking about moving into a manufactured home, you may be curious to hear about where it all began.

The basic history of manufactured housing goes back several decades. At first, it may seem like they haven’t changed much in that time. The reality is that manufactured housing has a long, storied history. In fact, one year in particular was a vital one for manufactured homes as we know them today.

The Beginnings

The first “mobile homes” in the 19th century were horse-drawn wagons that families lived in on the road. From there, mobile homes as we know them gained popularity during the first half of the 20th century. They evolved from “travel trailers” that boomed in the 1930s. These gave families the freedom to travel while relaxing in their own trailer. Travel trailers are similar to what we would call an RV in the present day. Eventually, this turned into families living in these travel trailers full time.

Over the next several decades, these trailers evolved even further. They grew into late-20th century mobile homes, with full-fledged kitchens and bedrooms.

The evolution of mobile homes continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s. They offered more features and quality-of-life as they became a popular way to own a home.

1976: The Turning Point

1976 turned out to be a landmark year for mobile homes that has shaped how they’re built half a century later. In 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. This is more commonly known as the “HUD code.”

The HUD code defines all mobile homes built after June 15, 1976 as the manufactured homes we know today. It also brought in sweeping changes that greatly increased their safety.

For example, the HUD code now says that each manufactured home must be sited according to regional wind safety standards. Manufactured homes must also come with a red “HUD tag” that certifies the home as being HUD code compliant.

One of the biggest differences between manufactured homes and mobiles homes is the steel chassis under the manufactured home. All manufactured homes, under HUD code, must sit on a chassis. This chassis ensures smooth transportation from the factory to the home site.

Many still refer to manufactured homes built after 1976 as “mobile homes.” However, this term is technically incorrect based on the HUD code’s definition. While today’s manufactured homes are still considered “mobile,” they’re rarely moved compared to pre-HUD code mobile homes. 

Modern Manufactured Homes

In the 21st century, manufactured homes have become incredibly safe and cost-efficient. Not only that, but it’s a stylish one, too!

Tight quality requirements

Safety regulations are often updated for manufactured homes. These are done to ensure that they’re as compliant as possible to keep up with modern advances in home building.

Modular homes, while similar to manufactured homes, are built in sections and assembled on site. A modular home is also subject to local and state guidelines for safety and quality, known as the IRC code. This is compared to the federal HUD code that oversees manufactured homes.

Another difference between modular and manufactured homes is how they are sited. Modular homes are more often found on private land. However, manufactured homes can be placed either on private land or in a manufactured home community.

Luxury manufactured homes

Today’s manufactured homes offer homeowners more luxury options than ever.

Many manufactured home models now come with new luxury features. These can include whirlpool-style tubs, walk-in closets, open-concept kitchens, and the latest appliances.

Manufactured homes are also keeping up to date with the latest design trends. It’s not hard to find a manufactured home with an extra room that could serve as an office or playroom.

Customizable manufactured homes

Customized manufactured homes are a great way to personalize your lifestyle.

Need a manufactured home with a custom home office, or a floor plan that’s suited exactly to your family’s needs? A customized manufactured home has you covered now more than ever.

The history of manufactured housing has led up to this. Now, there are more options, styles, and affordability for manufactured homeowners. The future has never looked brighter as manufactured housing keeps innovating and growing.
If you’re ready to find a manufactured home of your own, head over to MHVillage to find the right home for you.

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