What is a UBC Modular Home?

A UBC modular home is built to the Uniform Building Code (UBC), The UBC code is the same building code that all site built homes are built to. A UBC modular home is built to the specific codes for each state and locality and is considered the same as a site built home by lenders, appraisers and insurance companies.

There is often confusion by consumers and others about the difference between a “Manufactured Home” also known as a “HUD” home (HUD refers to the federal building code developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development) A HUD manufactured home is also sometimes referred to as a “mobile home”. A HUD manufactured home is designed for mobile home parks and comes with a title like a vehicle, although it can be placed on land on a permanent foundation. Some home dealers refer to HUD homes as modular homes but this practice thankfully is slowly disappearing. When a HUD manufactured home is put on a permanent foundation it is still not considered the same as a site built home or a UBC modular home. Different loan guidelines and different appraisal rules apply to HUD homes unlike UBC code built homes like site built and modular homes. A UBC modular home is not a HUD manufactured home. When questioning a dealer about what type of homes they offer just use the term HUD or UBC not manufactured or modular and you will save a lot of confusion.

A UBC modular home is built like a site built home, with the same materials and to the same building code, except they are built in an enclosed facility in sections. When the sections needed for the home are completed they are transported to the home site and placed on the foundation by a crane.

A UBC modular home project takes less time than a site built home project and often cost less than site building. Site built homes are notorious for cost overruns, modular homes are not. To have a home site built in a rural area is typically even more expensive than site building in town because most site builders charge more to build a home in a rural area. The reason for this is it’s a long process to site build a home and it’s difficult to get all the different subcontractors to drive to a distant location without additional compensation.

Another advantage of a modular home is that they are built indoors and not rained on or snowed on during the exposed stages of early construction like site built homes are. Issues of mold caused by lumber being exposed to moisture or damage to floors or walls in site building homes is not an issue with a modular home because they are never exposed to the effects of weather during construction.

Modular homes are tighter and stronger than site built homes because they must be transported and therefore have to be built stronger and with special techniques to withstand transportation without significant damage. A site built home certainly would not bear up well if it were moved even a short distance. The energy efficiency of modular homes is already widely known because of the tightness they are built with and most are built with 2 x 6 exterior walls instead of 2 x 4s, which allows for thicker insulation.

Modular homes are available in many different styles and can be built to look indistinguishable from site built homes in both exterior and interior appearance. From the most basic to the most elaborate, modular is the future of building.