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In case you haven’t heard, Rochester Homes, Inc. has our own podcast, which you can listen to anytime, anywhere. The goal of this podcast is to keep you informed on home building and trends we’re seeing in the home building industry. While we’re obviously biased to modular home building, we’ll be sharing our knowledge on the industry as a whole, as well as modular innovations and techniques.

In case you can’t listen now, we created this blog post to give you an in-depth recap of what was discussed. In the first episode of “On the House,” Alex and Tyler talk through some of the different ways a home can be built, along with some of the issues that come up depending on the method. 


What is HUD Code?

What exactly is HUD code? HUD code is a federal code that covers basically all methods of building across the country. Enacted in 1976, HUD code is a national standard that overrides even local building codes. These codes were designed to help create affordable housing especially in the form of “mobile” homes.

When most people think of mobile homes, they typically think of RVs or campers, but the reality is that mobile homes are often fully functional homes that can be moved. HUD codes ensure that they are safe and functional.


Mobile and Manufactured Homes

These HUD codes, as well as IRC codes (international residential codes), were developed as a way to make housing more affordable in the 1970’s. Today, many people want affordable housing, plus the energy efficiency, safety, and new bare minimum codes, all of which drive up the price.

HUD codes, mobile homes, and manufactured homes are all the same thing: properties that come with a title and they typically decline in value faster than any other type of home. A key distinction between manufactured or mobile homes and modular homes is that mobile homes are designed and manufactured to move, while modular homes are built at a manufacturing site and moved to a permanent location. Mobile homes are the only homes on this list that are financed as chattel property.


Site-Built Homes

A fully site-built home means that every single element of the home is built and worked on at the site. This also means that every worker who works on the home drives there independently each day, no matter their situation. Employee drive time and gas cost can be reduced significantly by using modular building. 

These site-built homes work great if you are able to find crews who are experts at the various aspects of building a home, and if you are in an area where you don’t have to worry about weather slowing down production time. Labor timelines can be much higher on site-built homes, as workers need to set up and break down their equipment every day.

There are three main types of site-built homes—there are slab homes, where a slab of concrete is poured beneath the house, then crawl space homes, which leaves room underneath the house, and homes with basement space, which means your home will have a fully functional basement. These go up in price, respectively. A fully site-built home has only gotten more expensive over the years, as you have to purchase land and materials, plus hire an architect and other designers to make sure your home is up to code.


Tract-Built Homes

The majority of American homes are presently tract-built homes. Even if you’re not familiar with tract building or housing, you’ve likely seen it before. 

Tract building is a method wherein a company or entity will purchase a large piece of land and build multiple homes or offer to build homes from a set of floor plans in that area. If you’ve ever lived in a suburban area or subdivision and noticed that the houses mostly looked similar or within the same style and size, it’s likely these were tract-built homes.

When people are saying they can offer you a custom home, tract builders will often give you a series of designs and floor plans that you can customize, but within certain limitations.


Panelized Homes

Panelized homes are the bridge between site-built homes and modular homes, as they offer some of the techniques and benefits of each. There are three main parts of any home: engineered floor system, walls, and roof trusses. Site-built homes construct all of these at the location of the home, while modular homes are built almost entirely at a manufacturing facility. Panelized homes are a hybrid, as those three components are built off-site, then transported to the home and constructed.


Volumetric Modular Homes

While modular homes also do not offer full-scale custom homes, they are far more customizable than most tract-built homes. A volumetric modular home is a home almost built entirely at a manufacturing facility. Building in a facility means that the building process is completely protected from the weather.

With a modular home, your home is almost completed upon its arrival, and simply requires additional assembly and maintenance once it’s there. Your drywall is 90% done, your shingling is done, your flooring can be installed, and your electrical is already done before the home even gets to the site, reducing costs and confusion when it comes to the timeline.


50 Years of Building High-Quality, Affordable Modular Homes 

If you’re interested in learning more about a modular home or purchasing one for yourself and your family, we’re ready to talk with you. Fill out a contact form and start the conversation today. We’re excited to hear from you.