Manufactured homes have wheels, however have the option of removing them completely, which is needed if one is converting it into a real estate property. Being descended from the mobile home (pre 1976 in the U.S.), they are built lightweight with wheels, with the intention that one is able to transport their home whole if they please.
The Build of Manufactured Homes
Manufactured homes are essentially built onto a steel chassis, where one can pull the home from. Here you’ll also find its axles and wheels.
Although manufactured homes have wheels, they are often just used to help move them onto their permanent site. It is not as common for them to be moving around like mobile homes, but the homeowners still have the option should they need to relocate. (1)
The main difference between manufactured homes and their ancestors are being built to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code, design and standard set in June 1976. The HUD regulates these homes must be a minimum of 8 feet wide and 40 feet long, with a minimum seven foot high ceiling. They also regulate and approve of each home built in the factory before its transported out. (1,2)
The HUD standards also dictate the homes be made of durable materials, quality utilities and energy efficient. They also specify safety standards like the home being insulated, have good wind resistance, fire-retardant and equipped with fire alarms in certain rooms. (1,2)
Why Do They Have Wheels?
“Mobile homes” or those built before 1976, were introduced in the 1900’s as a solution to the working population that needed to relocate often to where there were many jobs.
This led to the camper, trailer, full on wheels in your face homes, with the main intention of them being movable. The structure was mainly of steel I-beams running across the home, propped up on blocks (often concrete). (3)
In World War II, these mobile homes were utilized as temporary housing to reduce the long travels for workers. After the war, these same homes addressed the housing shortage, making them the go-to for affordable homes in the U.S. However as the demand and population grew in the 1960s, these once trailer like homes must now conform to the public’s needs of having more space and features that a stick-built home would. (3)
In all homes made in the factory (or prefabricated), manufactured homes are sort of the “in-between” of trailers and modular homes. Despite manufactured homes expanding to 2 stories, 5 bedrooms, with all the bells and whistles, their main difference from stick built homes and modular homes is still their permanence.
Essentially, manufactured homes are pulled to the homesite on its wheels, then rolled onto its resting place. (2)
Must it Always Have the Wheels On?
The steel chassis is the main structural frame for manufactured homes. It is also here that the wheels are attached, where you can move or tow the home. More often, the wheels are removed and covered up with skirting to make it look like a site-built home. However, you can reattach the wheels and possibly relocate in the future, or one can even attach these homes onto a permanent foundation.(4)
To do this, the home is jacked up and the axles and wheels are removed. Afterwards, the home is attached to their pier or slab foundations. (2)
- Sterkenburg, M. (n.d.). What Is the Difference Between Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes and Modular Homes. Orchardsmhc.com. Retrieved June 2022, from https://www.orchardsmhc.com/what-is-the-difference-between-mobile-homes-manufactured-homes-and-modular-homes/
- O’Dell, C., & O’Dell, S. (2019, January 26). What is the difference between a manufactured and a modular home? Mobile Home Friend. Retrieved June 2022, from https://mobilehomefriend.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-manufactured-and-a-modular-home/
- C, M. (2021, April 9). What’s the difference? mobile vs. manufactured vs. Modular Homes. Mobile vs. Manufactured vs. Modular Homes | Clayton Studio. Retrieved June 2022, from https://www.claytonhomes.com/studio/defined-mobile-manufactured-and-modular-homes/
- Modular Homes Section. Modular Homes vs. Manufactured Homes. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2022, from https://www.modulartoday.com/modularhomesvsmanufacturedhomes.html