Factory-Built Housing Facts

What is Factory-Built Housing?

As the name implies, factory-built housing refers to homes that are built in a factory, or manufacturing facility. There are a number of building systems that result in varying degrees of completion in the factory before delivery to the building site. Factory-built homes are available in many sizes, designs, and layouts, with a wide selection of standard and customized features.

Manufactured homes:

Manufactured homes are typically built in one section but most manufacturers offer these homes in two sections as well. Manufactured homes are virtually complete when they leave the factory—often ready for move-in the same day or a few days after arriving on the site. Due to their unique structural design, these homes can be installed on surface-mount foundations, such as piers. They can also be relocated, although most are never moved from their original site.

In BC, manufactured homes are built to the BC building code under the CSA Z240 standard. This standard includes all the information required to direct how the home is to be built. Further, it requires that the home is to be built on a steel frame to accommodate efficient transportation. The frame remains with the home permanently.

Modular-built homes:

Modular-built homes are produced in a factory as three-dimensional modules that may be combined on-site to make one-, two- or three-storey homes. Typically, a bungalow will consist of one or two modules, while a two-storey home will use four or five, or more modules. The homes are typically set on full-perimeter foundations—a crawl space or full basement—but may also be placed on surface-mount foundations. Insulation, air/vapour barrier, plumbing, wiring, exterior siding and other construction details are largely completed in the factory. Interior work is usually well advanced, including drywall, trim, flooring, cabinets and bathroom fixtures. Finishing the home on-site generally takes a couple of weeks, sometimes more, depending on the size, style and features of the home. Some features are best done on-site, such as brick siding and some types of flooring.

In BC, modular-built homes are built to the BC building code under the CSA A277 standard. This standard requires the manufacturing plant to be certified by a third party inspection agency to ensure that the plant has the knowledge and experience to build homes to the respective provincial and local building codes.


Manufactured and Modular Home Facts:

  1. Modular-built homes appraise the same as their on-site built counterparts do. They do not depreciate in value.
  2. Manufactured homes are of high quality and are built to last for the same time period as any other form of housing.
  3. Manufactured and modular-built homes can be customized.
  4. Manufactured and modular-built home designs vary in style and size.
  5. Manufactured and modular-built home construction can also be used for commercial applications including office buildings.
  6. Manufactured and modular-built homes can be permanent structures and real property.
  7. Manufactured and modular-built homes can be built on crawl spaces and basements.
  8. Manufactured and modular-built homes are considered a form of Green Building.
  9. Manufactured and modular-built homes are faster to build than a 100% site-built home.
  10. Home loans for modular-built homes are the same as if buying a 100% site-built home. Because manufactured homes are considered chattel, a different form of financing is available with insurance available through insuring agencies such as the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  11. Insurance underwrite for modular-built homes is the same as a 100% site-built home.
  12. Taxes on modular-built homes are the same as 100% site-built home.
  13. Modular-built homes can be built to withstand 175 mph winds.
  14. Manufactured and modular homes can be reconfigured for future convenience.

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