The way a manufactured home is built is totally different compared to a standard stick-built home. It is these inherent construction differences that are mainly responsible for the savings when buying a manufactured home. Manufactured homes build to the HUD code, which allows the manufacturers to use less lumber and less expensive materials.
Manufacturers Order in Bulk
For one thing, all of the materials are ordered in bulk, which is used in building a manufactured home verses having to ship all the materials to a job site. This saves valuable time but more importantly it saves thousands of dollars in material costs. Also, factories often purchase their building materials by the train car load, which accounts for a substantial savings. In addition to this they used quality trained labor that is much more efficient compared to paying a sub-contractor $45 per hours that sits around and drinks coffee all day long. With bulk orders, controlled environment and highly skilled labors it’s no wonder why you can buy a manufactured home for only $35 per square foot compared to a stick-built home for $75.
It All Starts with the Floor System
The first stage of building a manufactured home is the construction of the main steel frame that will support the floor system. This is a critical step and if done in error could lead to a warped floor which will cause many problems once delivered. After the floor joists have been installed the floor will be sheeted with plywood or a special particleboard and screwed down. Many factories will also glue the floor down to eliminate any squeaks in the future.
Next Comes the Walls
Once the floor is in place the workers will snap some caulk lines down where the walls will eventually go. Most factories will pre-build the walls in another area of the manufacturing facility. These walls are stood up and attached in place to the floor. The next stage will be the wiring, ducting and plumbing and the attachment of the roof framing system. Most factories have 18 to 20 stations all building one component of the home. Each station has highly skilled workers that only work on this particular product. They are very detailed in their work and knowledgeable about how the system works in conjunction with the overall design.
Adding the Roof
Once the walls are in place next comes the roof. The roof trusses are added and then plywood sheathing, tar paper and finally the shingles. Installation is typically blown in the attic and the home exterior is completed.
Sheetrock, Wiring and Electrical
After the home exterior is completed the sheetrock is the next step. But before sheetrock can go up the electrical and plumbing must be roughed in. Once this is completed the sheetrock is than added. The kitchen cabinets are then installed and along with the plumbing and electrical fixtures. Next are the windows and siding and finely the flooring.
The Final Phase is Completed
Once all components have been installed final inspection is conducted by the plant manager or special inspectors. They walk through the home and mark off a check list. If they find any damage or any improper installation they mark it with red tape. Any problems are fixed and the walk-through takes place again until all is in order. All in all a very efficient way to building a home.