What Are The Common Styles of Manufactured and Modular Homes?

A Look at the Most Popular Prefab Home Styles

Just like traditional stick-built homes, modular and manufactured homes come in a huge array of sizes, layouts, types, and styles. Arguably, due to the nature of modular construction, a modern modular home will allow for the greatest range of possibilities when it comes to design. Although the sky’s the limit when it comes to designing your new prefab home, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the most popular existing home styles available from manufacturers today. 

Ranch Homes

Exterior photo of a ranch style homeRanch Homes are one story homes that are rectangular in shape and typically wider than they are deep.  The exterior is modest with minimal ornamentation and fuses Modernist and American Western period styles. This is the most common style for modular homes and represents over 60% of all modular homes produced and over 90% of manufactured homes built in 2015.

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Cape Cod Homes

Exterior photo of a cape cod style manufactured homeA Cape Cod is a design style originating from 17th century New England. It has a low, broad frame with a moderately steep pitched roof, end gables, and oversized chimneys.  They are generally a story and a half high and have minimal exterior ornamentation.  Cape Cod homes are available from selected modular home manufacturers and found predominantly in the Northeastern Unites States. Nationally, Cape Cod Homes represent less than 15% of the modular home and manufactured home industry.

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Colonial Homes

Exterior photo of a colonial style modular homeThe colonial building style is based off the common architecture of the American Colonial period between the 16th and 19th centuries.  This style typically includes steep roofs , rich exterior ornamentations, central chimneys, and double hipped roofs.  Colonial Homes are available from a limited number of modular home and manufactured home builders and found predominantly in the American Southeast.  Colonial Homes represent less than 10% of the modular home and manufactured home industry.

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Contemporary Homes

Exterior photo of a contemporary style modular homeThe Contemporary style represents what is literally being created right now, so technically, the Contemporary style is always changing.  Because of the rapid change in this type of style, the results can be an eclectic range of designs.  However, for the purpose of modular and manufactured homes, we’ll define it as the latest in modern architecture.  Contemporary styled homes result in less than 12% off all homes produced; however, they are the largest growing style segment in the prefabricated housing sector.

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2 Story Homes

Exterior photo of a two story modular homeThe two-story style represents a modular home or manufactured home that is constructed with two or more stories or levels (basements not included).  Two Story homes can cross over into to several style segments but is most often associated with a traditional construction style.

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Chalet Homes

Interior photo of a chalet style modular homeA Chalet is a design style based off the common construction style in the Alpine region in Europe.  Typically, these homes are made of wood with a heavy gentle sloping roof and wide sell supported eaves that set a right angle to the front of the house. It is often a term associated with vacation properties near mountains or beaches.  The Chalet style represents less than 3% of all modular or manufactured home construction in North America.

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Modular Home Mansions

Exterior photo of a modular home mansion

A Mansion is a large, impressive home that has many rooms to accommodate multiple leisure activities.  In traditional stick built construction, it designates a home that is usually larger than 7,000 square feet. However, in modular and manufactured home construction, it represents a dwelling larger than 5,000 square feet.  This segment represents less than 3% of all modular or manufactured homes constructed in the Unites States and Canada.

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Green Homes

Exterior photo of a green modular home

Green construction refers to a home built with sustainable construction methods and with a strong emphasis on a resource-efficient lifestyle.  All modular homes and manufactured homes adhere to a “green” building process and construction materials.  Within the industry, this term is used to describe a home that exceeds the current green standard by building codes.  Due to  of the energy efficiency of all prefabricated homes, over 99% off all factory-built homes in North America meet environmentally friendly standards.  Due to the Green classification exceeding common green practices, there is no data available to definitively define a percentage.

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Tiny Homes & Park Models

Interior photo of a tiny modular home

A Tiny Home and Park Model are both considered recreational vehicles that are able to be regularly transported, but designed for a more long term placement. Park models must remain under 400 square feet to be considered a recreational vehicle, otherwise they would be classified as a manufactured home.  Park Models are most often built by the same manufacturing companies and even in the same facilities as manufactured homes and modular homes. This allows for Park Models to have a much more residential look and feel than a conventional recreational vehicle specifically a travel trailer or “5th wheel.” On the other hand, due to being classified as an RV, some units can have slide-outs that retract for travel. For the purposes of classification on ModularHomes.com, a Tiny Home is a residential  structure under 500 square feet.  The Tiny Homes Movement typically expands this definition to any residential structure under 1,000 square feet. Tiny Homes and Park Models represent less than 1% of all prefabricated home construction.

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Log Cabin Homes

Exterior photo of a modular log cabin home

Log Homes and Cabins are defined as a home that is designed with the intent to provide a rustic or natural look and feel.  Artificial and natural log siding can be added to most modular and manufactured homes to provide consumers a more rustic charm if they prefer.  Unfortunately, there is no data for a prefabricated log, log sided, or cabin homes.

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Duplex/Multi-Family Homes

Photo of a modular apartment building being assembled

A Duplex is a home divided into two living spaces with separate entrances and no common indoor space.  Multi-Family housing is defined as any residential structure that provides housing to more than one family. Often, multi-family manufacturers specialize in this segment; however, some manufacturers build both single family residences as well as multi-family units.  This would include apartments, man camps, oilfield housing, lodges, townhomes, and hotels.  Less than 3% of all modular and manufactured structures built are Multi-Family units.

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