Glossary of Manufactured Home Terms

Factory Built Homes

Any home that is constructed inside a factory and then brought to the site in large pieces, usually sections or modules, and assembled on-site. Manufactured homes, mobile homes, and modular homes are examples of factory-built homes.



HCD is the California Department of Housing and Community Development, which establishes rules for and directly enforces laws related to mobilehome construction, occupancy, sales, and registration and titling. It also establishes rules for and directly or indirectly enforces laws related to the construction, maintenance and operation of mobilehome parks.


HUD-Code home

Same as a manufactured home.


HUD Code

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s code that regulates manufactured home’s design and construction, strength, durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency, quality control, and installation at the home site.

Manufactured homes are the only type of single-family home that is subject to a national building code. It preempts any state building code requirements. The energy efficiency and fire safety standards meet or exceed the requirements of site-built homes.

A modular home is not the same as a manufactured home as it is not subject to the requirements of the HUD code and is not fabricated, sold, or installed in the same manner as a manufactured home.


Manufactured Home

A manufactured home is a complete dwelling unit designed for year-around-living. It is substantially constructed in a factory in conformance with the national building code developed in 1976 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The home can consist of one or more transportable sections. Each complete section is then hitched to a tractor trailer and towed from the factory to a retail sales lot or to a home site. Once a home is placed on its site, usually on jack stands or blocks, the wheels and running gear are removed and recycled back to the factory. The home is then tied to the foundation and skirting is installed around the perimeter to enclose the space beneath the home.


Manufactured Home Communities

Private land developed as home sites for manufactured homes. The lots in the community can be either leased to the homeowner or can be purchased by the homeowner. Land-lease communities often restrict occupancy as to age or family status of residents. Also referred to as: “manufactured home parks,” “mobile home parks,” “mobile home estates,” “own-your-own parks,” and “manufactured home developments.”



Any manufactured home built prior to June, 1976. It may be registered with either HCD or the Department of Motor Vehicles.


Mobilehome Park

A mobilehome park Is an area of land where two or more mobilehome sites are rented or held out for rent, for mobilehomes.


Multi-Section Home

A manufactured home delivered to a home site in two or more sections. The average square footage is 1,715 square feet but can be as large as 2,500 plus square feet. The most common multi-section manufactured homes consists of two sections, however, three-section homes are gaining in popularity. Manufacturers are capable and have built homes with four sections.

Common descriptions for multi-section homes: a two-section home is a “double” or a “double-wide,” a three-section home is a “triple-wide,” and a four-section home is a “quad.” A multi-section home in which one of the sections is shorter than the other sections is called a “tag.”  The “tag,” is built on its own frame and chassis and is used to expand the floor space in a portion of the home.


Off Site Built Home

Another term for factory built.



Ombudsman is the HCD resource established pursuant to the California Health and Safety Code designed to provide assistance to residents and owners of manufactured homes and mobilehomes.


Site-built Homes

Housing constructed at the home site, exposed to the elements, may consist of modules of pre-assembled parts such as trusses, doors, windows, and pre-cast wall panels.

Also referred to as: stick-built, traditional, or a conventional home.


Single-Section Home

A manufactured home delivered to the home site in one intact section. The width of sections can be 10 feet, 12 feet, 14 feet, or 16 feet. The length of sections can be from 30 feet to 80 feet. The average square footage of a single section home is 1,120 square feet. Also referred to as: “single wide”.


Stick-built Homes

Same as a site-built home, although the term is not accurate. Factory built homes are also stick-built; the “sticks” (lumber) are simply assembled inside a factory.


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