"The Pros and Cons of Manufactured Home Floor Plans"

When the words manufactured home floor plans are spoken, what comes to your mind? Do you think of the long narrow mobile homes that were popular back in the 1970s? Does it bring back images of visiting a relative that lived in one, and perhaps almost froze in the wintertime and melted in the summer? Or maybe it was the crank out awning windows that were the only style used in the entire home?

Either way, manufactured homes and the manufactured homes floor plans have come a long way since the 1970s.

The Old Style
A step back in time… During a transition phase in my life quite some time ago, I lived in one of those 1970s mobile homes for about one year. It had thin walls, a thin metal roof with minimal insulation, and a floor system that shook if somebody walked across it fast enough. In the area where I lived at the time, that winter was the coldest on record. We had two propane heaters blazing in the open kitchen and living room area and you could still able to scrape a little ice off the inside of the windows!

Now, let's hit the fast-forward button on life and see what has developed in the manufactured home industry since then... 

The New and Improved Style
There are still plenty of narrow, long modular homes available. In fact, they are still being manufactured today but with much tighter standards. All of the IRC codes, International Residential Codes, need to be met no matter what type of construction is being used. Specific codes will vary by region, but you can rest assured your manufactored house floor plan will be surrounded by construction techniques that meet or exceed all IRC codes.

Most manufactured homes floor plans are still commonly in the category of what I would call ranch homes. Although some expanded, two-story styles are starting to come out. Since better and wider varieties of styles for windows are being used, it has given the traditional mobile home look a much-needed facelift.

Manufacturers are even utilizing different roof designs to break up the long single slope of a roof. In some cases, where the manufactured home was put on a private lot, homeowners even attach two-car garages. That little design feature alone helps to break up the long ranch home look.

Flexibility vs. Limitations
No matter what you are looking for in a manufactured home floor plan, the possibilities are good that you can find one out there that is at least reasonably close to what you are looking for. In general, there is really no set style for floor plans in the manufactured housing system.

However, with that said, one difficulty is taking just any floor plan off of this or any website and get a manufacturer to make it for you. The reason is that they have their own in-house floor plans they work off of and will modify them to meet your needs. Your options will be limited to what they allow to be changed – unless up charges are acceptable to you.

Cost and Quality Evaluations
Are totally manufactured homes less expensive than going with stick-built or frame homes? This is a fair question and must be considered honestly. The main reason manufactured home floor plans are usually quoted at a lower price than your typical built-on-site home is due to purchase volume for the manufacturer. These companies buy products in bulk, or promise to buy certain volumes of products from their suppliers over a given period of time, which reduces the price of the finished home.

But be careful. Not to disparage anyone, but there is always a tension between quality and profits when lower prices are being named. Areas to be on the lookout for while shopping for a manufacturer are: structural materials being used; windows and doors; interior and exterior finishing materials; and shipping and final construction arrangements.

Determine what your quality requirements are - as well as evaluate the differences between the companies in both prices and quality - and stick to your standards. Looking past the initial sales presentations and asking good questions will always pay off for you.

An Alternative to Consider
Let's take a quick look at another style of manufactured housing. It is called the structural insulated panel house. These panels are constructed of plywood or OSB board on each side with a polyurethane foam core. They are manufactured in a controlled environment facility to your exact floor plan specifications.

Simply, this combines some of the benefits of manufactured home floor plans with the flexibility of fully custom options. You will never be asked to stay within the guidelines of a manufactured home company's profit-focused options. In other words, your dream home does not need to be channeled according to somebody else's specifications.

Plus, there are some long-term considerations not always calculated into upfront, attractive prices. Weighing everything in the balance, you may find it prudent to check out the vast benefits of structural insulated panels and what they can do for you in your search for manufactured home floor plans. You can find out more here about whether they are a good fit for you.

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