From their travel trailer beginnings, mobile homes have evolved into finely tuned—and in some cases rather luxurious—permanent, full-time abodes.
Though the metal trailers of yesterday bear little resemblance to the energy-efficient open-floor-plan manufactured homes of today, outdated attitudes and judgments remain. Industry executives, passionate architects and designers, the Manufactured Housing Industry (MHI) and state-level trade organizations are all on a collaborative mission to inform the public about the past, present, and future value of manufactured housing.
The enhanced aesthetics make these homes easy to place in traditional communities, both suburban and urban. One example of mobile home design ingenuity: Hinged roofs enable homes to be elevated at installation while still managing to meet transport requirements. Siding options, once aluminum and vinyl only, now include stucco, hardy board, brick, and rock.
Inside of a manufactured home, the greatest stride has been the transition to sheetrock, mainstream fixtures, fittings, and decorative options now available. Concrete countertops, granite, tiled backsplashes, and large kitchen islands are increasingly common. The industry is incorporating trends that we see everywhere, the interior and framework of these beautiful homes, do not compare to the older versions of the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s.
In June 1976, the term “mobile” was officially set aside and replaced with “manufactured”, as The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) set national standards to improve the quality and safety of these homes. The HUD code has evolved, and the guidelines are fairly strict, but how they are achieved is up to the manufacturer. A certification tag attached to each transportable section verifies inspection to this standard. Since 1976, the HUD Code has been updated several times.
If you think about it building homes in a factory makes sense, it is efficient and consistent. They are built in a controlled environment, homes are built by the same skilled workers every day, no matter the weather; materials are purchased in large quantities and delivered hassle-free; and precise measurements translate into reduced waste and a tight build.
If you haven’t been in a recent manufactured or modular home, you are in for a treat.