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  1. #1
    Don Burbach's Avatar
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    Default Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    I did an inspection last week of a 1985 house that looks like it is site-built. The appraiser feels that it may be a Manufactured or Modular home.

    There are no serial number plates viewable, no tongue/wheels, there is no conspicuous cover-board that would indicate two joined units(the shape/size of the home is a box about 24X50' + a garage with a gable roof), and the floor joists sit on top of the two main 4X8 girders/beams. Wouldn't a manufactured home have 3 or 4 girders/beams too support both halves?

    Have I overlooked anything that would point to it not being a site-built house? My pictures of the attic and crawlspace aren't clear enough to show the end walls. Is there anything else I should be looking at?

    Is there another class of home that is a hybrid(mid-way between modular and site-built?

    Thanks for any helpful comments,
    ~Don

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    Last edited by Don Burbach; 03-24-2010 at 08:45 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    Look at the trusses. You generally will see fold-able trusses or sectional trusses that join in the center of the home.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    New Mexico
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    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    Higher end modulars can be pretty hard to tell from site built after the fact. I wouldn't worry about it. Put it back onto the appraiser for evidence of why he thinks it is not site built. How old is it? The original owners would certainly know.

    It appears that it is obviously not a mobile home, so does it make any difference in your area?

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  4. #4
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    There is a big difference between a manufactured home (mobile home) and a modular home. There is little difference between a modular and site built home, I personally feel site built homes are better but that is just my opinion.

    Modular homes are put together in sections but not necessarily in halves like a mobile home. There are junction boxes where the wiring for the sections are connected together, but the easiest way is to look up the permit.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Burbach View Post
    I did an inspection last week of a house that looks like it is site-built. The appraiser feels that it may be a Manufactured or Modular home.

    There are no serial number plates viewable, no tongue/wheels, there is no conspicuous cover-board that would indicate two joined units(the shape/size of the home is a box about 24X50' + a garage with a gable roof), and the floor joists sit on top of the two main 4X8 girders/beams. Wouldn't a manufactured home have 3 or 4 girders/beams too support both halves?

    Have I overlooked anything that would point to it not being a site-built house? My pictures of the attic and crawlspace aren't clear enough to show the end walls. Is there anything else I should be looking at?

    Is there another class of home that is a hybrid(mid-way between modular and site-built?

    Thanks for any helpful comments,
    ~Don
    By chance did you ask the appraiser why he/she felt that about the home?

    A modular home and a manufactured home are two totally different animals that look nothing alike.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    The manufactured homes I've seen sit on a steel frame instead of wood framed floor and rim joists.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    By chance did you ask the appraiser why he/she felt that about the home?
    Probably an FHA appraiser. Last I heard FHA wouldn't do loans on manufactured homes.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Probably an FHA appraiser. Last I heard FHA wouldn't do loans on manufactured homes.
    Sure they do, the home just has to meet their special guidelines. I did one a few weeks ago that was for an FHA loan.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  9. #9
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    Whoops, home was built in 1985. I didn't deal with the appraiser directly. I agree with all that a modular home is close to a site-built, but the buyer(the daughter of the real estate agent) is concerned about resale value.

    I just reviewed the 6-7 photos I took in the attic space and there is nothing unusual. One of the photos was of the center end-wall and it didn't have anything to indicate that it was brought to the site in two pieces, nor did pictures of the trusses.

    I'm satisfied that it was built on site for now, but will ask that the appraiser call me if he thinks it wasn't.

    Thanks all, for your help!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Manufactured vs. Modular vs. Site Built

    I did a modular this winter that was more or less square in layout, with a pyramid-style hip roof and a wing added to one side for a garage.
    The only real evidence was in the crawlspace, they used trusses instead of I-beams or joists, and the trusses were doubled up down the centerline. I think there was a set of doubled trusses in the attic as well.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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