Manufactured vs Modular (Industrialized) Housing

Manufactured & Modular (Industrialized) Housing are under the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania's Department of Community & Economic Development.  

There are specific requirements for the 2 types of pre-manufactured (factory built) housing.

Manufactured Houses (i.e.: "Mobile Homes") installed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania MUST be installed by certified manufactured housing installers for both, (new) initial installations & (pre-owned) relocated homes.

Manufactured Housing Data Plate image

The person applying for the building permit to relocate a pre-owned manufactured home should first determine if the manufactured home still meets the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. The Habitability Guidelines for Relocated Manufactured Homes will help provide a reasonable level of assurance that the home will be free from possible health and safety hazards. The checklist provided in the guideline must be completed and provided to municipal code official as a part of the building permit process.

There are three (3) installation options for relocating pre-owned Manufactured Housing:

1.  Install the home in accordance to the original installation manual provided with the home.

2.  The Pennsylvania Installation Guide for Relocated Manufactured Homes

3.  The PHRC Pennsylvania Field Guide Foundation Systems for Relocated Manufactured Housing

      NOTE: Option C (Reinforced slab on grade) is acceptable ONLY in leased land situations.

After finishing the installation, the installer must provide a completed Certificate of Compliance to the local building code official, the purchaser and (for new homes) to the Pennsylvania's Department of Community & Economic Development.

Modular Houses (i.e.: "Pre-fabricated") primarily designed for residential use, are wholly or mostly made, constructed, fabricated or assembled in manufacturing facilities. These structures are then shipped to the home site for assembly and installation. The modular home does not include a structure or building classified as an institutional building or manufactured home.  

A modular home is different from a manufactured house as it is designed only for installation on a site built permanent foundation and not to be moved after the installation. Generally, modular homes comply with the same building code as conventional, site constructed homes.

Every modular home and component constructed for placement in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must be certified and bear the Pennsylvania Insignia of Certification, as well as the insignia of the inspection agency that evaluates and approves the designs, facilities, construction techniques, materials and quality assurance program used in each facility.

DCED Modular Housing Compliance Insignia image

Although modular homes are built to comply with the model building codes and are exempt from the PA UCC, building officials make important contributions to the effective administration of the program. In addition to their oversight in terms of site preparation, foundation construction and utility connections, building code officials shall assist the Department by conducting site inspections of modular housing and components prior to installation for apparent damage occurring during transportation and other apparent non-conformity.