For most individuals out there, buying a home is a major decision in life. However, selecting the right type of home is crucial than making your home ownership dream come true. It is because the type of home you choose to buy and live in will dictate a wide range of factors -including your financing options, the neighborhood in which you will live, the payment you are expected to make every month during the loan’s life, and so more.

One of the major determining factors to decide the type of home you wish to purchase is understand the difference between manufactured homes and site-built homes. While a site-built home is a popular option conventionally, a mobile home is gaining immense impetus in the modern era. Let us understand them in detail.

What is a Site-built Home?

Site-building can be regarded as the conventional way of building a typical home. If you wish to design a home on your own while customizing its different features, you can choose a site-built home to ensure ample flexibility.

A site-built home is right to its name -a home that is built from scratch on a particular site or a property. Site-built homes are constructed completely on the desired piece of land -board by board. During the construction of a site-built home, a foundation is initially laid on the respective plot of land. Then, your dream home is constructed from scratch, outside-in, atop the foundation.

The construction of site-built homes is one of the most common building techniques that you might know about. It is a tried and tested method of constructing any house from scratch on a piece of land -utilized for the construction of traditional homes for several years.

Manufactured Homes Vs. Site-built Homes

As a potential homebuyer, when you enter the real estate market, you are overwhelmed with the wide array of options and information. For working families looking forward to becoming homeowners instead of squandering resources on rent, investing in manufactured homes appears to be an affordable option rather than leveraging time on site-built homes.
However, before you understand what could be the major single investment of a lifetime, it is important to conduct in-depth due diligence. Some of the major points of differences between manufactured homes and site-built homes are:


One of the major differences between the two variants of single-family homes is wherein they are constructed. Usually, manufactured or mobile homes are constructed by a specialized crew in a controlled environment. Ultimately, upon successful construction, the completed home is delivered to your desired destination.

On the other hand, site-built structures encompass several sub-contractors completing parts of the construction process. Some of the common construction phases involved in the setting up of a site-built home are base construction, flooring, framing, and inclusion of basic amenities and luxury features.

#Difference in Locations

Conventionally-constructed homes feature a permanent foundation. Dedicated crew will show up to erect the entire structure in place. This implies that the entire house remains fixed. On the other hand, manufactured homes are delivered to the desired destination.

Nowadays, owners of manufactured homes have access to multiple locations, including:

  • Leased land
  • Private land
  • Home associations

#Difference in Building Standards

In 1976, the HUD or Department of Housing and Urban Development of the United States of America put forth guidelines that required manufactured homes to be at par with the construction of site-built homes. Site-built homes are typically subject to state and local building codes. These are usually approved by building, plumbing, and electrical inspectors before they receive an occupancy permit.

#Floor Plans

Site-built home purchases are usually driven by the existing floor plan or planning a new construction. On the other hand, manufactured homes are usually one-level structures -quite contrary to site-built home construction. This implies that the floor plan of manufactured homes is mostly horizontal and for site-built homes, the floor plan is vertical.


As per recent data analysis, it is observed that a typical double-wide manufactured home of 1,700 square foot dimensions will cost around $89,500*. On the other hand, site-built homes have a minimum starting cost of around $108,000*.

The overall costs of new construction can be around $100* to $150* per square foot. The costs will ultimately depend on labor costs, materials, and the region. This implies that the construction of a 1,000 square-foot site-built home will cost around $100,000* to $150,000* on an average.


Are mobile homes cheaper than a site-built home?

One of the major benefits of investing in a feature-rich mobile home is that you get access to low-cost home ownership when compared with constructing a site-built home from scratch. As mobile homes are known to cost less per square foot, you get access to more space for the amount invested.

Are site-built homes anchored?

For a site-built home, the footings of the foundation are around 12 inches in width while being 18 inches in depth. The depth will ultimately depend on the soil of the site of construction. For basements of such houses, cast-in concrete walls or cinder block walls are utilized. Whatever might be the type used, it is important to ensure water-proofing to prevent problems related to water infiltration.

Are tiny homes site-built?

A tiny home is the one that usually ranges in dimensions between 100-400 square feet. People can think of either renting a tiny home or it could be set on a foundation or a house on wheels. Therefore, it is not necessary for a tiny home to be site-built or a manufactured home. Tiny homes usually feature more flexible designs.

Do site-built homes have to be concrete?

Traditional site-build homes are usually constructed on permanent foundations -usually made out of concrete for improved durability and strength throughout. When compared with the durability of site-built homes, manufactured homes can be placed on non-permanent or permanent foundations.


While site-built homes offer a wide range of benefits, if you are constrained by budget and look for ample flexibility, you can invest in a premium-grade manufactured home or mobile homes as your real estate investment.