How Far Apart are Studs in Manufactured Homes?

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As per the HUD Code in 1976, all manufactured homes must be built with their exterior wall studs spaced at 16 inches on center. Interior walls that are non-load bearing can be spaced at either 16 or 24 inches on center. This is in order to reduce the amount of lumber used and therefore total building cost.

Image from How Long to Build a Manufactured Home | Clayton Studio (claytonhomes.com)

Today’s manufactured homes are built to national building code standards along with added codes of their own. Ever since the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revised their code for mobile homes in 1976, much of the construction of manufactured homes are comparable to, if not surpass the quality of site built homes. They are all built to have wind resistance according to their location, have higher insulation requirements and therefore render better energy efficiency than site built homes.

Like stick-built (or site built) homes, manufactured homes use 2 x 4 inches lumber studs for their walls and roof. (1)

Following the HUD Code, interior wall studs are measured at 2” x 3” or 2” x 4” inches spaced at either 16” or 24” inches on center. Meanwhile exterior wall studs at 2” x 4” or 2” x 6” inches must absolutely be spaced no more than 16” inches on center. (2)

Interior walls that carry no structural weight are allowed a farther spacing up to 24” inches, in order to reduce the amount of lumber and materials needed, also reducing the building cost. This applies to all non-load bearing, non structural walls such as dividers and partitions that merely segregate the interior space. Load bearing structures like our outer walls need to have full structural support and therefore be more stringent in build. (1)

Truss roof systems use either 2” x 4” or 2” x 6” studs, depending on the builder. (1)

Site built homes are built according to the building codes per locality or state.

This can be the same as the HUD Code stipulates or less stringent.

Taking American states North Carolina and Oregon, they require the same dimension of studs but only require a spacing of 24 inches or less. This makes our HUD Code for all manufactured homes regardless of locality more stringent and therefore more structurally safe. (2)

“Better studs mean doors and windows that operate and latch smoothly, walls that are straight and a home that looks great.”  (How Thick are Manufactured Home Walls? l Clayton Studio (claytonhomes.com)

Comparing the stud spacing of manufactured homes to other prefabricated homes: (3)

Mobile Home: spaced at 12 inches on center.

Single Wide Trailer: spaced at 16 inches on center

Modular Home: spaced at 16” or 24 inches on center.

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References:

  1. O’Dell, C. (2020, February 26). What size are studs in a mobile home? Mobile Home Friend. Retrieved July 2022, from https://mobilehomefriend.com/what-size-are-studs-in-a-mobile-home/
  2. Y, K. (2017, November 20). How thick are manufactured home walls? l Clayton Studio. Retrieved July 2022, from https://www.claytonhomes.com/studio/manufactured-home-exterior-interior-wall-materials/
  3. Nicholls, R. (2021, December 10). How far apart are studs in a mobile home & single wide trailer? Mobile Abode. Retrieved July 2022, from https://mobileabode.net/how-far-apart-are-studs-in-mobile-home/