Factory built (manufactured homes) vs Site built FAQ’s


What’s the difference between a factory built home and a “mobile home”?

The simplest answer to this question may seem astonishing but it’s true. Mobile homes have not been built since 1976! That’s right– the mobile home hasn’t been produced in over 40 years but the term still lingers– along with it’s infamous reputation. Modern homes built offsite and transported to the final installation site on their own chassis and wheels are called factory-built or manufactured homes. Factory built homes conform to rigid building codes established by the Federal government and are constructed of materials similar to site-built homes. The difference is where and how manufactured homes are constructed.

Are manufactured homes inferior to site built homes?

Quite the opposite, actually. You’ve probably seen a home being built on site in your community. The wood framing is put up over an extended period of time, constantly exposed to harsh sun rays, overnight moisture and even rain. You probably also know that exposure to moisture and water tends to damage wood very quickly. Imagine what is happening to the walls and corners of that structure as it is rained on, and dried out by the sun, constantly getting damp or drenched and drying out, over and over again until, at last, the roof and siding are attached. Because manufactured homes are built indoors with kiln dried wood on industrial forms without weather exposure, joints are built perfectly flat and square and stay that way. A factory built home stays indoors until it is weathertight so walls, floors, ceilings, doors, corners, cabinets and countertops are, well– about as perfect as they can get.

Aren’t manufactured homes “flimsier” than site built homes?

The easiest way to answer this question is to ask yourself, could a site-built home withstand an 8.0 earthquake for three hours non-stop? Manufactured homes experience the jolting forces like those of an earthquake the entire trip from the factory to the installation site and they remain so solid and square that two halves of a dual-wide unit mate perfectly. A stress crack or two may appear in the drywall but are cosmetic in nature and easily repaired. The main weight bearing beams under the home are made of steel I-beams for incredible strength and resiliency. These homes are solid, well built and made of better quality materials than most site-built housing. The manufacturer’s warranty reflects the construction quality and is one of the best in the industry. Try to get a warranty with a site-built ADU!

Can manufactured homes be moved again after they are installed?

In short, no.  Cashflow Bungalow homes are affixed to permanent concrete foundations just like site built homes. The wheels and chassis are removed and the home becomes permanently affixed to the foundation. Post and piers support the steel beams across their entire length. This makes the home genuine real estate and is treated thus by property laws. 

Aren’t manufactured homes hot in the summer and cold in the winter?

Modern factory-built homes are fully insulated and very energy efficient. The exterior walls are 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 frame construction with fully insulated walls, ceilings and floors. Forced air heating and air conditioning from energy-star rated systems provide year-round comfort within your home. Additional energy conserving features included with the home are energy-star appliances, compact fluorescent and LED lighting, dual-pane windows, water conserving plumbing fixtures and pre-wiring for ceiling fans in convenient locations.

Can a manufactured home ever look like a real house?

A manufactured home IS a real house! And it shows it both outside and inside. Exterior elevations can be easily matched to your existing home. (In fact, sometimes this is a requirement from your local building department). Brick facing, stucco or wood siding and stone accents are just some of the options available to dress your home from simple to elegant. On the interior, some models have vaulted or coffered ceilings. Crown molding, stone countertops, stainless steel appliances, furniture grade cabinetry and wood, tile and/or carpeted flooring are all available to the buyer of a factory built home. In short, you can have a custom home that is just as beautiful and probably better built for less money and in less time than a comparable site-built home.

What we do


We empower home owners.

At Cashflow Bungalows, our mission is to help alleviate California's housing crisis and provide a potential income stream to existing homeowners through creative solutions utilizing unused space found on many existing residential home lots.  We recommend to homeowners  a manufactured home dealer to select the model, floor plan and finishes they desire.  We connect homeowners with reliable and affordable transportation experts and installation contractors to deliver and install their new ADU.  We assist the homeowner with navigating  the seemingly overwhelming task of obtaining the necessary approvals and permits from municipalities and utility companies.  

What do our services cost?

Cashflow Bungalows provides these services on a complementary basis to customers who purchase a new manufactured home from the ADU Store (CalHCD #DL 1501467). 

A few words about project cost

No serious person would start a project without having some idea of the total cost to complete it unless they had inexhaustable resources.  (Know anyone like that? We don't either!)  However, the scope of an ADU project has so many variables that posting a price- even a "ballpark" price- is not practical.  

Construction Quality

All Moderne and Classique series homes are built to the highest available standards in the industry.  All framing is kiln dried lumber with 2x6 exterior walls and 2 x4 interior walls. 9 foot ceilings are standard with optional coffered ceilings.  These homes will be attached to permanent foundations with the option for a lower profile for easier access and entry.