Frequently Asked Questions
Are you looking for answers about manufactured homes or modular homes in California? The professionals of Village Concepts, LLC. are here to help. Some of the more common questions are answered below, but if your specific question isn’t there feel free to call or email us. You will receive a personalized answer from one of our professional staff.
What is a manufactured home?
Manufactured homes are single-family dwellings constructed in a factory environment to HUD federal construction standards. Manufacturers usually have a wide assortment of preapproved plans available which give the customer an advantage of great savings.
The wooden floor joists are built on a strong I-beam steel frame as an integrated structural component that remains part of the building.
Available designs range from low priced single section homes to upscale homes manufactured in several sections, and also multi-story homes. Each home component is constructed in large “sections”, usually 10 to 16 feet wide and up to 76 feet long. Each of these sections is transported to the building site and final assembly is completed.
Manufactured homes can either be assembled on steel piers or on concrete foundations which not only provide the same life expectancy but also the architectural appearance of site built homes.
What is a modular home?
Modular Homes are single or multi-family dwellings built in a factory usually to Uniform Building Code (UBC) or International Building Code (IBC) standards. These homes are constructed either in large sections, smaller room components or panelized wall, floor and ceiling components and assembled on site. These homes are usually subject to local building codes and inspections.
The main difference compared to manufactured homes is that the steel frame below the home is only temporarily used for transportation and will be removed before placing the sections on the foundation. Therefore a heavy mobile crane is usually necessary for site assembly.
Because of the greater complexity of individual plan documents and permit processes as well as installation on site modular home projects are usually more expensive than manufactured homes.
What is a mobile home?
In 1982 the term “mobile home” changed to “manufactured home”. As the needs of the industry grew (homes were becoming more and more permanently installed) and as the building codes changed this term was introduced. The old mobile homes were built under DMV jurisdiction and carried standard license plates.
Manufactured homes however are built to federal construction codes with similar standards and materials as applied to site built homes. The governing jurisdiction is the State’s Housing and Community Development Department.
What is a park home?
Park Models, although considered recreational vehicles, are transportable and primarily designed for long-term or permanent placement at a destination where an RV or manufactured home is allowed. While still administered by the DMV, park homes are structurally built with materials as used in conventional construction. However, they must remain under 400 square feet to qualify as a recreational vehicle under federal and state laws.
When set up, park models are connected to the utilities necessary to operate home style fixtures and appliances. Park models are popular with people for use as a cottage, vacation or retirement home.
What is the Difference between a Permanent Foundation and a Soft-Set?
A permanent foundation not only adds durability to your home structure but is also often required by zoning regulations. The most common permanent foundation system is a concrete stem wall foundation; designed, built and permitted the same way as for site built homes.
For cost savings, most states also approved alternative engineered steel foundation systems.
As soon as a home has been built on a permanent foundation system the structure is considered non-removable and permanently connected with the ground. It becomes real estate property.
A soft-set is the installation of a manufactured home on steel piers, not permanently connected to the ground. Since this is considered a removable structure, the manufactured home remains personal property. Soft-sets are commonly used in mobilehome parks or for temporary homes, i.e. for elderly care or farm worker accommodations.
May I make changes to a floor plan when ordering my home?
It is very common to add or move windows and doors when designing your new home. Building code and engineering permitting, you may even add rooms, relocate walls, increase the length of the floor plan, and add porches just to name a few. It is not generally cost effective to custom design your home from the ground up, rather it is preferred to select a floor plan that best fits your needs and make your desired modifications.
What are the Costs for a Manufactured Home?
Since factories built the homes based on pre-approved floor plans on environment protected assembly lines, cost savings are directly projected towards the customer. A modern designed manufactured home will all equipment and amenities usually costs between $50 and $60 per sft., depending on built in options chosen by the customer. That includes sales tax.
However, there are additional costs to be considered for transportation, permits, site development, foundation and installation. Depending on location and condition of the property additional costs can vary between $15,000 and $100,000 if the property is not developed and costly grading and utility work is involved.
For your convenience, you may download your Estimated Cost Worksheet where you can complete a simple calculation of the overall project costs you might expect: