The Impact of the HUD Code on Today’s Manufactured Homes
Today’s modern manufactured homes are an engineering marvel. They’re high-quality, offer incredible features and amenities, and are in some ways indistinguishable from site-built homes. And, you can often find manufactured homes at prices that are much more affordable than site-built homes on the market today.
But how did we get here? How did manufactured homes become the best answer for affordable housing across the country?
The answer won’t be found in this century. Rather, it’ll be found in the last century – in 1976, to be exact.
In this blog post, we’ll go over the history of manufactured homes in the late 20th century, and how one key event in 1976 changed manufactured homes forever.
What is the HUD Code?
In 1976, the Department of Housing and Urban Development passed what is now known as the “HUD Code.” This was a set of guidelines that ensured mobile homes, as they were known back then, met strict safety and quality guidelines.
Here are just a few of the guidelines that became mandated under the HUD Code:
- Manufactured homes are more energy-efficient. Manufactured homes that are built under the HUD code use less energy to produce and operate, thanks to efficiencies in the construction process and the increasing use of energy-saving materials – particularly over the past ten years.
- Manufactured homes are fire-resistant. Today’s manufactured homes are built with flame-resistant materials to better protect against fire conditions.
- Manufactured homes are wind-resistant. Manufactured homes offer increased wind resistance in areas where high winds are common (more on this below).
- Manufactured homes go through additional approvals. Before building a manufactured home and having it sited, they must go through additional approvals during the construction process.
- Manufactured homes are more structurally sound. Under the HUD code, manufactured homes are built on a steel frame that keeps the home structurally sound while it is being transported and while it’s sitting on its home site.
Under the HUD code, manufactured homes are now set on a permanent foundation once they’re set onto the home site. This means that there’s significantly more room for higher quality when you consider that the home won’t move nearly as often, if ever, once it’s been sited.
But, perhaps the biggest change that manufactured homes ushered in were to how we classify them. Any home built after June 15, 1976 is called a “manufactured home” under the HUD code, and not a mobile home. The term “mobile home” is used only for those homes built before the HUD code became law. However, the two terms are used interchangeably to this day.
What Were Mobile Homes Like Pre-HUD Code?
Just because the HUD code introduced tighter safety standards does not mean that mobile homes were automatically of lesser quality.
The HUD code introduced the above safety requirements as a federal standard. So, every manufactured home built and sold in the United States MUST adhere to those guidelines.
Many mobile homes built prior to the HUD code already implemented these standards. What the HUD code did was standardize them to usher in a new era of high quality for the entire industry.
How Did Mobile Homes Change?
Because a standard was set in place for quality and safety with post-HUD code manufactured homes, new features slowly became commonplace.
For example, it’s now common to find manufactured homes with premium quality roofs made of asphalt shingles, TPO, rubber, or metal. And, having modern manufactured homes built to HUD code means it’s easier to find high-quality siding and skirting materials.
Not only did manufactured homes change, but the process by which they’re made was streamlined too. The factory-build construction process could now be streamlined now that all manufactured homes were made to the same standards.
So, this has helped keep manufactured home costs low over the decades, and to this day they’re one of the most affordable sources of housing out there.
With all of these changes in mind, you can see how manufactured homes have started to look more and more like modern site-built homes.
Are There Still Any Regional Considerations?
The HUD code mandates safety and quality requirements for manufactured homes across the United States. However, there are some additional requirements for certain parts of the country.
Many areas of the country are categorized into thermal zones and wind zones. So, if you live in a wind zone that experiences higher wind speeds, your manufactured home was built with additional protection against wind damage thanks to the HUD code. The same goes for areas with increased risk of fire damage and the need for additional heat resistance.
Where Can I Find An Affordable Manufactured Home Near Me?
If you’re ready to look for an affordable manufactured home, look no further than MHVillage.
MHVillage is the leading platform for buying, selling, and renting manufactured homes. With over 80,000 homes sold last year, it’s impossible to find a platform that sells manufactured homes better than MHVillage.
You can visit us to browse for mobile homes near you and find the home of your dreams today!