Inside a manufactured home

There are two ways to build a home.

inside1Outdoors in the elements … where materials, workers and the entire homebuilding process are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Workers are limited to the use of only basic tools. It’s also a place where construction can come to a halt for long periods of time because of the shortage of workers, or weather conditions.

Or, you can choose to have your home built in a controlled, modern factory … where skilled workers use weather-protected materials. Giant high-tech fixtures and jigs guarantee perfect corners, true walls, and tolerances that are by the book. Walls, roofs and floors are brought together with large, overhead cranes. It’s a place where teams of skilled workers efficiently combine their energies to build a quality home in a timely fashion.

It’s easy to see which is best for the home and its owner.

The materials used, after all, are the same in the two structures. The difference is that those used to craft your manufactured home are stored indoors and then assembled in a controlled climate, making the most of both materials and worker talents.

When a manufactured home begins to take shape, all the materials needed to create it are at hand—wood and wiring, windows and floor coverings, plumbing and electrical fixtures. There’s no waiting for supplies, or weather damaged materials.

Once the construction of your home begins, it isn’t abandoned while crews move to a different job site.

It is your home, too. More than half of the homes built in factories are built to the individual order of the new homeowner—built to custom specifications, but within the controlled setting of the factory. In other cases, manufacturers have carefully studied the preferences of homebuyers and offer fine packages that produce further cost savings.

Packaged or custom-ordered, manufactured homes have many features that create a better home and happier owner. Typically, floors are built upon a steel I-beam frame, with 2-inch by 6-inch joists and 16-inch centers. Most sidewalls are 2-inch by 6-inch construction. High-quality sidewall insulation keeps manufactured homes comfortably cool in the summer and snugly warm in winter.

Flooring is glued and nailed to joists, and electrical wiring and plumbing service is brought up neatly through the floor. Walls are built on jigs—perfectly square walls matched to perfectly square floors, attributes rarely found in homes built on site. Name-brand windows and doors are added and completely sealed. Cutting-edge technology is seen in such features as thermal pane windows, including some with E-glass and argon filled.

Atop the walls are trusses, the roofing and shingles, assembled indoors into complete roofs ready to beat any weather condition. Manufacturers offer roof pitches of about 3/12; new and increasingly popular technologies build that to 5/12, using roofs hinged so the homes can be transported to the home site, then the roof is swung into position and secured.

The people working in a manufactured home factory are specialists—framers, cabinet-makers, roofers, siders and more. Each knows his or her job. Inspections are frequent—by both government-certified line inspectors and the company’s own quality-control department. Flaws are quickly fixed.

That’s all standard. But factory construction doesn’t mean that all manufactured homes are alike. Your dream house takes shape here, with up to four bedrooms, multiple baths, cathedral ceilings, sky lights, porches, pitched roofs and sidings of vinyl, wood or aluminum. Some manufacturers use sidings from national suppliers, so you can add a garage or other buildings to match. The kitchen layout meets your needs, the wall treatment matches your tastes and the appliances and floor coverings are your choice.

Your home may include designer baths, luxurious kitchens and bay windows. Many manufactured homes have multiple sections. That multiplies your choices. You have the option of placing your home in a manufactured home community or on your own private property. You can even have it placed on a full basement if you like. With each passing year, it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish a manufactured home from its site-built neighbor.

For more information about manufactured homes, visit our web site at or contact the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association, 201 Bradenton Avenue, Suite 100, Dublin, Ohio, 43017-3540; 614.799.2340.

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