In Ohio a “Mobile Home” is a home is fabricated in an off-site facility, is more than thirty-five body feet in length or, when erected on site, is three hundred twenty or more square feet, is built on a permanent chassis, is transportable in one or more sections, and was built before June of 1976.
Under Ohio law, a “manufactured home” is a home that is fabricated in an off-site facility and constructed in conformance with the federal construction and safety standards established by the Secretary of Housing and Urban development pursuant to the “Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, and that has a permanent label or tag affixed to it, certifying compliance with all applicable federal construction and safety standards.
A “Modular Home” is not specifically defined under Ohio law, but generally means a factory-built structure or components which are intended for use as a dwelling. Factory-built homes that begin as components and are designed, engineered and assembled in a controlled, factory environment. These components come together at the building site and the home is completed by a licensed builder under standards enforced by state and local agencies. Modular homes may be one- or two-story dwellings and are placed only on private property. The big difference is that a Modular Home is generally built in compliance with the site-built home standards for the regional, state, or local building code used by the government unit in which the house is to be located. Commonly, this is the IRC code.
The only definitive way to tell the difference between a HUD code or a modular is the labeling. Someone may tell you that there are tricks to the trade, such as if there is a chassis then it is a HUD code home. This is not necessarily true. Some modulars are built on a metal frame and some HUD code homes built in the 1980s do not have a metal frame. So be sure to check the labels, because looks can be deceiving.