Do Manufactured Homes Have Studs?

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Yes manufactured homes have studs and mainly utilizes stud construction for its walls. This helps keep the home assembly quick, lightweight and affordable. Meanwhile its wall cavities allow passage of utilities and infil of insulation.

Image from How Far Apart Are Studs And Other Important DIY Questions (homedit.com)

What to Know on Studs

Studs are planks of wood, usually measuring 2” x 4” and attached to one another with nails or screws. Prefabricated homes make use of studs as vertical and horizontal planks to create a wall system that connects the floor to ceiling plane. Think of this as more economical versus having a solid wood slab running across your home. Wall panels like plywood sheets or drywall then cover and are nailed onto the studs. (1)

The horizontal members act as stabilizers, located 12” on center, staggering one another and measuring 2” x4”, 2” x 6” or even 2” x 8”. Crossmembers can also be placed in between frames to attach two frames together and help stabilize the structure while in transit on the truck. Crossmembers are also made of wood measuring 2” x 4”. (1)

The HUD Code (made by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1976) dictates the building quality and of all manufactured homes. Aside from being a building code applied across the United States, it is also classified as a “performance-based code.” (2)

“Most building codes are largely prescriptive, meaning that they specify exactly the materials and methods of construction that must be used. A performance-based code instead sets the performance standards for things like wind resistance, structural loading, weatherproofing, and insulation. This gives manufacturers some latitude in how they meet the standard. “ (2)

Why is this relevant?

Even details like the wall studs of your manufactured home are chosen based on your home location’s wind zone and thermal zone. This means if your site is in a hurricane prone area, more stringent requirements with regards to your studs will be given.

High wind zone areas need stronger homes. This could be prescribing studs spaced closer together to give more structural strength. Meanwhile homes in cooler thermal zones require more wall volume for insulation to keep warm. This might mean their stud measurement will be 2” x 6” than the typical 4” wide to provide a deeper cavity space for more insulation.

The HUD Code even considers the price point of the home! (2)

Image from A Look At How Manufactured Homes Are Constructed | Mobile Home Living

Benefits of Stud Construction

Insulation

Studs are cheaper, faster and easier to build. This is what keeps manufactured homes speedy and affordable. However, studs are also what helps them attain better energy efficiency.

Not being a solid wall, the spaces in between the planks can be filled with insulation material. This can help reduce noise, as well as regulate the temperatures indoors to a more comfortable state — all without the use of any electricity! The deeper your wall studs are, the more insulation or thicker insulation material it can hold. (3)

Structural Strength

These wood-framed wall systems abide by that HUD Code, which will also require the construction of studs to be done well enough to withstand shear forces (strong winds and earthquakes that push sideways) and compression forces (heavy loads downwards from the roof like heavy rain or snow). (3)

For more on studs and their construction details, spacing and dimensions, check out our article, “How Far Apart are Studs in Manufactured Homes?”

Image from Manufactured and Modular Home Exterior Wall l Clayton Studio (claytonhomes.com)

How Knowing Studs Helps Your Home Improvement

Thinking of putting up that artwork or mirror?

Make sure you’re nailing it onto a stud. Whether your wall is load bearing or not, the weight is safely transmitted vertically through your studs down to your floors and foundation. You’ll need to bear in mind though if you’re hanging your piece onto an interior wall or exterior wall as the stud sizes and spacing will be different. (3)

Need to hang something up your walls? It may be tricky to locate your studs as they’re covered up by your wall panels. Check ehow’s write up on How Do I Find Studs on Exterior Double-Wide Trailer Wall? | eHow

References

  1. Fleming, W. (2022, February 10). Does a mobile home have studs in the walls? BindleyHardware & Co. Retrieved July 2022, from https://bindleyhardwareco.com/does-a-mobile-home-have-studs-in-the-walls#toc-heading-2
  2. McGarry, R., & Madsen, G. (2018, June 14). What size wood wall studs are used for a manufactured/mobile home? How To Look At A House. Retrieved July 2022, from https://www.howtolookatahouse.com/Blog/Entries/2018/6/what-size-wood-wall-studs-are-used-for-a-manufacturedmobile-home.html
  3. 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/