Differences Between Modular Homes and Mobile Homes


Unlike a traditionally built home, mobile homes and modular homes (both are called manufactured homes), are built or constructed in factories, under monitored and regulated conditions. The similarity between those types of homes basically ends there. If you are at a crossroad and in need of serious help to determine which type of home will be most appropriate for you, let us simplify things a bit. Here are the main differences between a mobile home and a modular home.

Modular homes Billings

Method of Transport

For the final assembly, a mobile home is delivered to the building site using its own wheels. On the other hand, a modular home is delivered through trucks in 2 or more modules (parts) to the site for installation.


A mobile home uses a metal or steel frame that is set on top of a temporary foundation such as cement blocks or concrete pads. A modular home uses a wooden floor system that is designed to be put on top of a permanent concrete foundation, typically a crawlspace or a basement.


A mobile home is federally certified. This means that it needs to comply with federal guidelines set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A modular home is state-certified as it must comply with the building codes and standards that are currently enforced in Montana. Essentially, modular homes are subject to the same code as built-on-site homes.

Construction Time

A mobile home can be completed in just a few weeks while a modular home can take between 1 and 3 months before they are completed.


Having its own wheels and no permanent foundation makes a mobile home transportable, even when it has already been completely installed. As a permanent structure, once built and installed, moving a modular home will no longer be possible (unless you want to spend a considerable amount).


Due to support structure, a mobile home can only have one level (floor). In contrast, the strong foundation of a modular home allows it to have more than just one level.

Size and Design

Mobile homes are generally smaller in size and have limited design choices. Similar to traditional homes, modular homes come in a variety of sizes, along with more flexible and customizable design options.

Extra Space

For a mobile home, space is limited. For a modular home, additional space is possible through expansion or simple renovation.

Cost and Value

Being less expensive than a modular home, the value of a mobile home tends to depreciate over time as it is generally not regarded as real property. Exactly its opposite, the value of a modular home tends to appreciate over time because it is considered as real property that follows market trends of site-built homes.

Mobile Homes vs. Manufactured Homes

Mobile homes and manufactured homes are often used interchangeably. It is important to note, however, that there is a specific distinction between the two. Technically speaking, mobile homes are those built before June 1976, while manufactured homes are those built after June 1976. So what’s with the date? It was in June 1976 when the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted the code that was to serve as the standard for all factory manufactured homes. With stricter regulations and higher standards to follow in terms of design, construction, durability and overall quality, manufactured homes can therefore be perceived as the improved version of mobile homes.

Mobile Home or Modular Home?

There is no right choice for everyone. A mobile home suits some who have particular needs, resources, and expectations, while a modular home will fit in well with a different clientele. No matter what choice you make, Big Sky Homes can provide you with the perfect affordable housing choice in Billings, MT. Come by our showroom to see what we have. Need more information on our mobile or modular homes? Call us today at 406-256-0240