How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What is the difference between an on-frame and off-frame modular home?
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Most modular homes are trucked to the homesite and hoisted by a crane in sections onto a standard stem-wall or pier foundation that was built before arrival of the home. They do not have a steel I-beam frame underneath, and are called “off-frame” modulars.
Some manufacturers also produce “on-frame" modular homes that are built on a steel I-beam undercarriage like a manufactured/mobile home, and trucked to homesite on removeable wheels attached to the undercarriage. They are essentially a premium mobile home, because—above the undercarriage—on-frames are built to local building code standards for site-built homes instead of the mobile home HUD-code. Some jurisdictions allow them to be installed on a stacked blocks on a pad type foundation, with tie-downs, similar to a mobile home. Depending on the guidelines used by the particular appraiser and lender, an on-frame may be treated as either a mobile or modular for appraisal and lending purposes.
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