Modular Homes vs. Mobile vs. Site Built

A Comparison of Mobile, Modular, and Traditional Homes

When you are buying a home, you might hear the terms “modular homes,” “manufactured homes,” and “site-built homes.” It’s important to understand how they all differ, no matter whether you are purchasing an existing house or plan to build on land that is subject to restrictions. The differences can affect a home’s price and its resale value, and even dictate whether or not it can be built on your land.

Mobile Homes Modular Homes Traditional Homes
Building Codes Homes built in a factory following the Federal Government HUD Codes not the local building codes. The HUD Code requires that all mobile homes be manufactured on a non-removable steel chassis (steel building platform). Mobile homes are subject to local zoning regulations. Modular homes are treated as traditional homes and must follow the local building codes and regulations. Also it must follow local zoning regulations. Traditional homes are subject to the local buildings codes and to the local zoning regulations.
Floor Plans / Design There is very limited customization. Normally you purchase a mobile after it has been built. The number of manufacturers allowing you to design and customize your mobile home is increasing. Mobile homes are almost always single floor homes since they must be built on a non-removable steel chassis. No construction occurs until the homeowners picks the design. Most builders provide sample plans to help guide you in your customization. Modular homes are normally highly customized in their interior and exterior appearances. In some cases it is even possible to have your personal architect design a home and then forward the plans to you modular building center. Can be customized to the owners preferences. Sometime developers will buy large plots of land, divide it into smaller plots and build identical homes next to each other. You can also hire an architect to design your home according to your preference or purchase home plans online and then hire a contractor to follow those plans.
Maintenance Cost These homes follow the HUD Codes designed in the 1970s so they are generally not as energy efficient as other homes. These homes are built in a climate controlled factory using high quality materials and more precise building techniques that are capable inside a factory. Modular homes are intentional designed with additional insulation and other energy savings to reduce your maintenance costs. Since they are built on-site in all types of weather the quality of the product varies greatly. Research has shown that traditional homes are more likely to require repairs and higher maintenance costs.
Resell Value Generally mobile homes depreciate in value since it is very hard to improve or expand an existing mobile home. Modular homes increase in value over time. Once they are completed it is near impossible to tell the difference between traditionally built homes and modular homes. These homes can also be improved or expanded. Traditional homes will increase in value over time. They can be improved and expanded to accommodate new owners preferences.
Timeframe Typically there is no waiting time. You can have a mobile home delivered almost the same day since they are normally already built and awaiting for someone to buy them. This normal timeframe is 8-14 weeks. There are some time savings since construction can begin in the factory at the same time your foundation is being created on your site. Also weather has almost no impact on the schedule. The normal timeframe is several months. Since all construction occurs on site, work projects can not start until the previous project is completed. The work schedule is dependent on the weather conditions.
Appearance They can be in any color but typically all look similar since they are almost always one story buildings. They can be single, double or triple wide. Appearance can be the same as any traditional site-built home. You can add any style of window, door, wall or architectural feature you prefer. Once completed you can not tell the difference between modular and traditional homes. The appearance can be customized to the home owners preference. Traditional homes can accommodate any architectural preference.
Building Process The process gains from assembly-line manufacturing. This saves time and money which results in much lower prices to the consumer. Labor costs are also greatly reduced since the same craftsmen work on each home and master their section of work. It enjoys the benefits of assembly-line building. In a manufacturing factory. The removes delays cause by the weather and vandalism damages. This more efficient process reduces the cost when compared to traditional homes. The most costly building process which requires almost the entire house to be custom constructed. It will require more people which will take more time since they do not work on the same type of house everyday. It is also vulnerable to weather delays and vandalism costs. This process is the most likely to result in damaged building products like warped wood from rain exposure.

What People Are Saying About Their Experience with Yates Homes

Testimonial Image from: Tom & Jo Amato

Five Star rating across the board!

We have had a wonderful experience (start to finish) with everyone at Yates. I sent an e-mail earlier in the week letting all know how much we really appreciated everyone. I think we met or spoke with most of you staff and everyone was more than helpful with any questions we had.

Your folks definitely make this painless (for us anyways) as possible and we are truly grateful.

Five star rating across the board!

Tom & Jo Amato North Carolina

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Testimonial Image from: Gloria Gibson

"I love my new home!"

I love my new home! I have received so many compliments. One couple in particular wanted to come by and see how we customized the outside. They also wanted a 2 story house and couldn’t visualize how it would look. They asked us about our experience with the home process. This couple is now purchasing a new home from Yates!

My home is “comfortable” and I got the kitchen I was dreaming of! Thank all of you at Yates Home Sales!

Gloria Gibson

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Testimonial Image from: Jason and Keturah Yancey

"...expertise and professionalism..."

We would like to thank Yates Home Sales for their expertise and professionalism with our new home. Our sales representative was very knowledgeable of her job and she knew what we wanted for our first home. We had toured many modular dealers but, my heart kept leading me back to Yates. The staff that built our home and the workers that put it together was on point with everything. We were never left with unanswered questions. Their tour homes is well kept and beautifully decorated inside so you as a customer can actually see yourself living in one of the modulars. That’s when my husband and I decided that Yates Homes was the place to go to have our home built.

So thanks to the staff at Yates for a job well done and a special thanks to our sales representative Lydia Gibson.

Jason and Keturah Yancey

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Testimonial Image from: Tim and Renee Hearp

"We are very pleased..."

We are very pleased with our beautiful Yates home. The staff was very helpful and patient as we planned our custom built modular home. Since we had recently lost our first home to a fire we needed to move quickly to rebuild and move back on our land. Yates worked very hard to have our family in our new home as quickly as possible.

Tim and Renee Hearp

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Testimonial Image from: Burt and Andra-Scearce

"I proudly tell them Yates..."

I wanted to take this opportunity to write a thank you letter. My family really enjoys our beautiful home. I want to especially thank CR Yates for working with us to resolve any issues or concerns. When someone ask who built my home, I proudly tell them Yates Home Sales. If I build another house in the future, Yates Home Sales will be my first Choice.

Burt and Andra-Scearce

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Testimonial Image from: Tim and Teresa-Boelte

"...we highly recommend them..."

My wife is a nurse and I handle warranty claims for one of the largest companies in Southside Virginia. We both work in fields where we know how important customer service is and should be. We don’t mind one bit telling anyone about our experience with Yates Home Sales. In fact, we highly recommend them to anyone that asks about our home. If you are in the market for a new home, go by and meet Lydia, Scott, C.R. and everyone else at Yates Home Sales. Then go look around at other places. If a top notch home, honesty and customer service are what you are looking for, I’m willing to bet that you end up right back where you started.

Tim and Teresa-Boelte Virginia

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Testimonial Image from: Mike and Janet Wanless

"...professional and efficient..."

We enjoyed working with the friendly sales staff at Yates Home Sales during our home purchase. They listened to our questions and helped us choose a home that fits our lifestyle. The Yates employees were professional and efficient, and maintained a low-key sales approach. At no time were we pressured or rushed to make decisions about our new home. Thanks to Yates Home Sales, we are living in our dream home.

Mike and Janet Wanless

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Testimonial Image from: Jonathan Manley

"My family and I are so pleased..."

My family and I are so pleased with our new home from Yates, I cannot say enough about the quick and courteous service we have received! The entire process of buying our home was made easy by the excellent staff at Yates and the service after the purchase has been great! We had one small problem with our plumbing after we moved in and the service staff from Yates was on it and had it repaired very quickly with absolutely NO FUSS. In times when good products and service seem to be getting hard to find, Yates Homes stands out as a great local company! I would recommend Yates Homes to anyone who is in the market for a well-built modular home – sold by people who care about the customers they serve!

Jonathan Manley

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North Carolina

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  • Roxboro, NC  27574
  • Phone: (336) 597-4663
  • Fax: 336-597-4669


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  • Blairs, VA  24527
  • Phone: (434) 836-4215
  • Fax: 434-836-8116

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Yates Homes is one of the leading builders of premium modular homes in North Carolina and Virginia, offering top-quality modular home building services with a special emphasis on providing personal customer service and unmatched satisfaction.