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Editorial: Clayton Home’s New Website is Pretty Cool (Until it’s Not)

I’ve been especially tough on Clayton Homes over the last 9 years. In this article, I actually say some very nice things about Clayton Home’s new website and then I follow it up with a complaint because I can’t let them get a big head on us, now can I?

I’ve complained about Clayton’s advertising campaigns, how manufactured homes are financed, how they charge installation separately, and how they insist on changing the names of the homes while continuing to sell them like a car. I’ve also talked a little trash about how poorly builders and dealers are at honoring warranties and their financing and installation. Did I mention those already?

One of my most common complaints has been about the industry’s terrible online resources.

I mean, come on, when someone from a hollow in southern WV that didn’t even know what a link was 9 years ago (and still doesn’t know what a preposition is) can manage to put together a more helpful website than a multibillion-dollar company there’s something wrong. (You noticed the b, right?)

Huh? Good point! I never thought about it like that.

It’s not like these companies are selling waiting room furniture. They are selling HOMES.

With the total lack of any helpful information, a person could have easily assumed the manufactured home industry wanted their buyers to remain clueless about the homes, the financing options available, installation, prices, and especially warranties.

Today, I’m happy to report that the biggest manufactured home builder in the country may have just stepped up and lead the way for the rest of the industry. To sum it up, Clayton Home’s new website is pretty cool. Until it isn’t.

Unfortunately, I’m not being paid to write any of this. Though, I really wish I were since my daughter was just accepted to a private college and those ain’t cheap. Notice how I snuck that in? I’m so dang proud I can barely stand it! Heck, I almost put a banner across the top of the entire blog but she wouldn’t let me.

Clayton Home’s New Website is Pretty Cool

I gotta hand it to Clayton Homes for stepping up and offering us better information online via their new website.

Clayton Home’s new website is nothing short of impressive except for the one part but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Nevertheless, the images are beautiful, the articles are easy to understand, and the videos are entertaining.

The transparency that the manufactured home industry has been promising for decades may finally be here. Probably not, but it sounded good in my head.

Site Construction Manuals

Our previous article, Mobile Home Manuals, talks about how manufactured home manuals aren’t really created for each particular model but only for the type or width of home (a single wide, double wide, or triple wide).

Clayton Homes website - site construction manuals

In order to save valuable resources like time and server space, the BILLION dollar company takes it one step further and offers one site construction manual for all home types built in a particular factory (You read the billion part, right?).

I appreciate that these manuals are a thousand times easier to find on Clayton Home’s new website than the previous manuals on the old site. I’m pretty sure I had to go somewhere else to get the manuals before 2017 but I may be misremembering.

I also appreciate the higher-quality photos and videos (and especially the puppy).

It’s almost as if Clayton paid professionals to take photos for their website.

Yeah! You tell’em, Clayton!

I Don’t Appreciate the Stereotypes

Now, for the part of Clayton Home’s new website that I don’t appreciate. Admittedly, I’ve been emotional so maybe I’m just overreacting (did I mention that my only child was leaving for college in less than a year?)

Wait. What?

People who wear hemp shoes and shop at stores where they have bicycle wheel chandeliers and furniture made out of old railroad ties like to call not wasting things ‘sustainability.” Normal people call it life.

Clayton, Clayton, Clayton…Why do you always insist on division and labels and stereotypes?

It’s as if someone that sits in a corner office making 8 figures a year to golf all day with a wife that is so bored and unhappy at home she messes around with the gardener had to create a persona of someone living in a manufactured home…See how silly these stereotypes are?


Why do you feel the need to put consumers in a box? And why is your box always just one type of person that looks like Dale Earnhardt, Jr?

What did my hemp shoes do to you, Clayton?

I’ve never set foot in a Whole Foods but you’re telling me I can see cool chandeliers and buy good broccoli in one place? I’m listening……

Quit it! Enough is enough, already.

People from all walks of life and all income brackets and professions, and all locations and educations live in your homes. We aren’t all driving big ole’ jacked-up trucks (well, I am but I’m also wearing hemp shoes – it’s all about balance …)

Anyway, here’s your well-earned pat on the back, Clayton. I’m taking donations, by the way. Between my daughter’s trip to college and my next vacation to Whole Foods, we’ve got some expensive traveling to do.

As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living®!

All images, videos, and graphics are property of Clayton Homes.

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  1. Interesting and fun article. Congrats on the college! As for their website, it falls into the same category as so many websites created by web designers who let AI out of their crate but forgot to feed them. They’re running all over the place eating the furniture, scraping at the door cause they’ve got all this energy, and they’re hungry, and they want to go outside and chase squirrels. Meanwhile the consumer wants to follow up on a link a relative sent them, and AI is like, jumping, jumping, we see you want to look at the Bluebonnet, or whatever, but what’s your zipcode? Oh wait, squirrel, no sorry, we have no homes available in your area. And the consumer is like, what? Ok, expand search area, and AI is like, nope, nothing on the greater Eastern Seaboard. And the consumer, being from New England is now, ok, F you…private browsing mode. And AI is like, sorry, we see you haven’t entered a zip code, empty search result. The consumer is now begging for screenshots from their relative, and wondering how these people have cornered the market with a website that would rather run around and chew on the door than provide a search result. Having resolved that it is still more marginally difficult to hire a logger with a portable saw mill, and build the damn house themselves, the consumer now loads their car for a two day journey (ish) so that they can show up at the headquarters and politely inquire about the homes in person. This, by the way, is happening all across the webosphere, web sites that have suddenly become unmanageable because designers have no idea how powerful is their AI, and the failed to put out tasty snacks because they let it out to play.

  2. They are going from photos to digital art, not good and they don’t show real exterior images. Their search mode is hard to use as they don’t make clear what homes each location has in inventory. They can’t include the “Turn key” price but I think an estimate should be included. The retailers often sell homes in a most undignified way. Are they selling BAD used cars? Usually the independent retailers are the guilty ones. The maddening thing to me is the ads focus on what the buyer can do for the retailer and not the other way around. I love real estate videos where they do a video tour or collage with soft music with contact information displayed at the end. That would be a HUGE improvement over the “It’s all about ME” promotions we see.

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Crystal Adkins

Crystal Adkins

Crystal Adkins created Mobile Home Living in 2011 after buying a 1978 single wide and searching online for mobile home remodeling ideas but finding very little. Today, it's the most popular resource in America for mobile home information and inspiration and has been visited over 40 million times.