What’s the Difference Between a Prefab House and a Manufactured Home?

Posted: October 01, 2022 by Jacobsen Homes

When you begin looking into manufactured housing options, you are likely to run into terminology and definitions that seem almost identical or interchangeable. One of these often misused terms is “prefab.” You may see this term and assume that it means the same thing as a manufactured home, or see it used interchangeably with modular home, as well. However, there are some key differences you need to understand in order to confidently make your home purchasing decision. Read on to learn what a prefab house really is, the difference between prefab and manufactured housing, and how to decide which is best for you


What is a “Prefab” Home? 

Though they are not identical in nature, prefab houses do share some similarities with manufactured housing. So what, exactly, is a prefab home? Prefab, or prefabricated, is a house where individual components are constructed within a factory setting and brought to the final site for assembly. 

Manufactured Home vs. Prefab House

If you read the definition above and found yourself thinking it feels pretty similar to manufactured homes, you’re not wrong. Both constructions occur within a factory environment and are then shipped to their final destination for installation. However, a manufactured home is completely constructed within the factory environment whereas a prefab house is constructed in parts within the factory. Prefab houses require some on-site construction whereas manufactured homes do not. 

A prefab house might be the right choice for you if: 

  • You want very specific customization options 
  • You prefer some on-site construction
  • You are looking for panelized home construction 

On the other hand, manufactured homes may be more your style if: 

  • You want the benefit of a fully factory-built home
  • You are looking for quality construction with fewer timeline hiccups
  • Modular homes are of interest to you

When researching prefab houses, you may find that some companies try to avoid using the term manufactured home. This stems from an old misconception that manufactured or mobile homes are constructed to a lower quality standard and therefore are not as reliable. At Jacobsen Homes, we follow state and Department of Housing and Urban Development standards (HUD) as well as going above and beyond to ensure the construction of our homes will withstand even the worst Florida weather has to offer. 

Does On-Site Construction Matter? 

Now that you understand the differences between a manufactured home and a prefab house, you might be wondering if one offers more advantages than the other. At the end of the day, deciding on the best construction for your home will depend on a number of personal needs and desires. However, if you’re wondering whether or not the on-site construction component of a prefab house makes it an automatically better choice, the answer is no. 

Just like stick-built homes, the portion of construction on prefab homes that occurs on-site is open to the follies of inclement weather, lengthened timelines, and material degradation that can sometimes occur when working within the elements. Manufactured homes are constructed and assembled entirely within the confines of a climate-controlled factory to exacting standards that ensure high performance and a long life. 

Start Your Manufactured Home Journey with Jacobsen Homes

As with most major purchasing decisions, your ultimate satisfaction depends on who you choose to work with. At Jacobsen Homes, we are dedicated to creating exceptional quality manufactured homes that bring your wildest homeownership dreams to life. We offer a wide variety of floor plan options, upgraded finishes and features, and bring you into the process to ensure we are building your dream home every step of the way. Ready to see what the Jacobsen Homes difference can do for you? Request more information today.