A trailer or manufactured home is no match in value in the long run for CBS
(concrete block/stucco) houses. Unfortunately there are people who will try
to put it on par with CBS homes.
If you can't afford CBS, likely now with current housing costs, I would go
for it, a manufactured home is something that you can adapt to, but they are
sometimes difficult to sell and you definitely won't see much of an
appreciation of value outside of actual land appraisal itself. Assume that
you'll lose money in the manufactured home in the long run, but the property
might end up being worth substantially more than the house.
A home is going up across the street from me now. It has poured
basement walls, and they brough in the main home parts in pieces. The
home body in 2 parts, and then a 2 part roof, and 1 2nd floor extended
window. They build the garage on the spot. And not they are bricking
the thing up.
I was disappointed to see this thing going up when they started because
I though it was going to be some rinky dink elcheapo job. I'm pretty
impressed at this point and wonder if my own home was build in this
fashion, though I doubt it due to its construction.
Is this a manufactured home I was looking at?
I had shopped for existing homes, both stick built and manufactured,
and all realtors I spoke with said manufactured homes on permanent
foundations, in this area, appreciate comparably to stick built. We
happened across five very private acres and couldn't resist. Last
year I put a new Silvercrest on five acres outside of Yelm, WA. I put
it on a stem wall foundation; the personal property title was
eliminated after the final inspection. My research found that
Silvercrest was one of the best in this part of the country. I'd do
it again in a heartbeat.
I upgraded to a 6:12 roof, Hardie lap siding all the way around,
Hardie shakes on the gables, and I built a gable roof attached deck on
the front. From the outside, nobody knows it's a manufactured home.
The wood stove installer, the satellite tv installer, and furniture
and appliance delivery people have all been inside and didn't know it
was manufactured till I told them.
There are some telltale signs if you know what to look for. For
instance, the interior marriage walls are six inches. This may or may
not be obvious, depending on your floor plan. All the sinks plumbing
comes up through the floor at the back of the cabinets, rather than
out of the wall. There won't be an attic access hole unless the
previous owner put one in-they're not required by HUD. That was one
detail I missed during the purchase process. Kinda silly, I think.
While they were setting up my house, four different contractors needed
access to the attic. The first contractor cut the hole at a location
of my approval, and I went ahead and trimmed it out.
If you're a hard core DIYer, there are a few idiosyncracies to be
aware of. Manufactured homes are inspected by L&I at the factory
during the construction process, and L&I inspects all remodeling,
changes, and additions to the home, rather than the local building
department. If you live in Pierce or King county, this can be quite
an advantage as you won't have to deal with those county building
departments. When you go to the L&I office to pull a permit, the
first thing they will ask for are the D.A.P.I.A. drawings. D.A.P.I.A.
drawings (I don't remember what words DAPIA represents) are the
manufacturer's engineered drawings for your home. Drawings are for
new construction at the factory and for most repairs and remodels once
the house is installed. The factory field rep told me if they didn't
have them available in house, they could have them in 24 hours from an
engineering firm out of Chicago. L&I has a pamphlet available that
tells all about their responsibilities and a list of repairs, fixes,
and remodels that need a permit.
My house had a couple rafters that twisted and bowed. The factory
sent out an independent contractor to do the repair. He had to have
the drawings in hand to do the work. I changed out a bathroom window
I didn't like (I put in a larger one); I had no problem getting the
D.A.P.I.A. drawing from the factory. The deck I built was a peculiar
process. Basically, I built a dormer on the house for which I
obtained a drawing and had inspected by L&I. The rest of the deck was
freestanding and was inspected by Thurston County building department.
There is a correct method for tying together the dormer roof and deck
gable roof for a seamless looking roof line.
All wall studs are 16 in. O.C. except for the 6 inch marriage line
wall I mentioned earlier. You'll find that wall has extra studs and
One thing I don't like but have to live with is that the floor
insulation is blown in. Manufactured homes have a fabric belly pan,
and that holds in the insulation. So, to get to in-floor plumbing or
wiring, or whatever, I have to slice the fabric, salvage the
insulation, do my work, put the insulation back in, and seal up the
slice with a special belly pan tape. There are a few tricks to make
the process easier, but it's just a bit more hassle than removing and
Manufacturers do use some proprietary materials. My common living
areas have 9 1/2 foot ceilings with 7 1/2 inch crown moulding.
Imagine my surprise to find out the crown was made of styrofoam. Once
installed and painted, you'd never know. I was able to scrounge a
couple sticks from the factory service team. I've never seen the
stuff retail. The exterior trim around doors, windows, and corners,
and the fascia, are 5/4 O.S.B. with a wood grain face. White wood is
a good substitute as long as it's not too close to the O.S.B. so that
the differences would be glaringly obvious.
Hope you enjoy your new home,
Yes, things definitely have changed -- better manufactured homes
built within the last 10 years or so are built to some fairly tough
standards, better than stick-built building codes in some parts of
the country. If you can avoid the really obvious mobile-home
appearance (low roof, cheap skirting, etc.), they can appreciate like
A professional building materials supplier will be able to get foam
moldings and trim. It's actually a relatively established product, a
lot of stick-built homes use foam moldings inside and out, even some
fairly high-dollar homes. I've seen it in homes over $300/square
foot construction cost.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
This was true of older mobile homes, back when they really were
considered mobile. But it is now quite common to eliminate the title
on a permanently-installed manufactured home, so it becomes just like
any other improvement on the property.
Washington State has even made it illegal to discriminate against
approved manufactured homes in zoning -- cities have to zone them
essentially the same as any other single-family residence.
email@example.com is Joshua Putnam
That was the point I was trying to make. Several years ago I was talking to
some contractors that were getting into the modular homes. From what they
said from a visit to a manufactor there were two production lines , one for
mobile homes and one for modular homes. They were made almost the same.
One had a title and it was called a mobile home and the other line did not
have a title to it and was called a mudular home. The town and county I
live in will not allow mobile homes in some areas. They will allow the
modular homes. I can not tell the differance just by looking at them. Some
of the modular homes still look like the mobile homes to me. I hate to
bring it up but it is like Bill Clinton's sex. It may not be sex as he
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