How Manufactured Homes Are Constructed

Understanding how manufactured homes are constructed can help you remodel or modify a home. This is especially true when you have to replace the flooring or move walls in a mobile home. Knowing the construction methods that are involved, and the order of construction, can help you plan your project better and save money.

This video is shot inside of a Cavco’s factory and shows the process of building a manufactured home from start to finish, in this case a single wide park model home.  Notice how the heating vent is one continuous vent running down the center of the chassis and how the floors are laid before any walls are attached to the structure.





Over the years, the manufactured home builders have tweaked their building processes down to a fine science and the quality of the homes has increased significantly. Building a home in a factory is a safer, more affordable method of home construction. From wearing hard hats for protection from injury to inventing specialized machinery  – factory building is the best all-around method for home construction.


10 Smart Upgrades to Get When Buying a New Manufactured Home

If you want to visualize a double wide’s building process, this image should help you. I found it at Frey’s Mobile and Manufactured Home Sales website.



how manufactured homes are constructed

1. 2×10 #2 SPF or better floor joists on 16″ centers.
2. Perimeter heat with wall mounted registers and boots.
3. Shaw Acclaim 16 ounce casual texture carpet with 5 pound rebond pad.
4. 2×6 Stud SPF or better placed on 16″ centers.
5.  2×10 headers above all windows and doors.
6. 7/16″ OSB exterior sheathing.
7.  R-19 Owens Corning Fiberglass wall batt insulation.
8. R-33 Cellulose Roof Insulation.
9. Optional 7/12 roof pitch with 50 or 70 pound snow load.
10. 2×6 Fascia plate.
11. 7/16″ OSB exterior roof sheathing.
12. Architectural Roof Shingles.
13. Full-finish drywall throughout the home.
14. Dual pane vinyl, single hing – single tilt windows.
15. 36×80 vinyl clad steel insulated 6 panel door with storm front and rear.


Learn about the 3 levels of quality and price here. 

Knowing how manufactured homes are constructed will not only help you remodel your older home, but it will also help you while buying a new home.

As always, thanks so much for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living! 

(MMHL does not endorse or recommend one manufacturer over another. Each manufacturer has their own strengths and weaknesses.)  

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  1. Eugene Dyer says

    I have a 1990 Skyline Birchfield 14 by 70 Mobile Home. We want to hand things on the walls like mirrors and photos. Do you know how far apart the studs are set?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Eugene,

      It depends but where the seams are for your wall panels is a good starting point. From there (4′ wide) you can start knocking on the walls you will hear the difference when you knock over a stud. It’s not as hollow sounding. There are stud finders at Lowe’s for about $20 too.

      Best of luck!

  2. Elise Lefort says

    There is a trailer which was for rent in a trailer park, it is a mess now & owner wants to get rid of it. I want to take it apart, move the parts to my property, & rebuild it… But better. I have worked in construction before, now doing research on my target to see how best to accomplish it.

    1. Crystal Adkins says


      I love the idea of giving new life to an old mobile home but I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t try to take apart an old mobile and rebuilt it. If it can’t be moved via chassis it will likely be more trouble than it’s worth. By the time you take it apart, haul it, and rebuild it you could buy a small single wide or park model home or even a kit home and put it together. If the home was a low-level model with small studs (2×3 on 24’s) and mdf or particle board the salvaged materials won’t be worth the effort, time, and cost involved.

      Of course, I haven’t seen it or know exactly what you have planned so my opinion is likely not worth much..Best of luck to you and if you do this PLEASE take lots of photos of the process. I’d love to be proven wrong!

  3. Anna says

    I just purchased a ’79 DW beach house! Super excited to turn it into my beach cottage!

    I’ve done a dozen remodels on regular homes so I’m familiar with structural needs, but when it comes to a DW ….I’m completely green!

    Can walls be moved or omitted to create a open liv/din/kitchen concept?

    The metal roof has a small leak, how can I get up there to seal the leak? Can metal roof be walked on??

    Thanks and I ABSOLUTELY love your site. ..I haven’t left in in 3 days! I’d love to submit my before/afters (once I’m done)!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Anna!

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m tickled that MHL has been useful for you!

      In very layman terms, a double wide is simply 2 single wides joined together. Single wides derive their structural integrity from the roof and down to the exterior walls so there’s rarely an interior walls that can’t be removed. The marriage line of a double wide is not removable without architectural support because it acts as an exterior wall to the 2 joined single wides. Read a lot more about it in this article:

      You can walk on your homes roof but you must stay on the support beams/joists/truces.

      Thanks so much for reading Mobile Home Living! I appreciate you!

  4. suzan says

    I am buying a 1983 Mobile Home 934sq ft. Needs work…. I enjoy redoing things in side but know EVERY LITTLE about sliding, a/c/heat, pipes…:( and I am 63 and this will be my final home. So I want to do it right but on a low budget. Any information you could send me I would appreciate it. I know the roof and the sliding needs to be worked on first.. The sliding in several places looks bad and falling off. I don’t want it to look like a Mobil Home. I like to think outside the box.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Suzan!

      Congratulations on your new home!

      I think you may get some good ideas by just looking through the Repair section of this site. There’s a few articles on siding and roofing, and even plumbing too!

      Definitely work on your roofing first – that will ensure the home will stay dry and properly ventilated. I always recommend metal roofs if it’s at the point of needing replaced. Metal roofs are more usually more affordable and lasts as long as shingled roofs do. You won’t have to remove the old shingles either. Here’s all our roofing articles:

      There’s all kinds of great siding to choose from! Here’s all our articles on siding:

      Plumbing is fairly easy in a mobile home. Here’s our plumbing articles:

      If you have any specific issues just let me know and I’ll do my best to help. My direct email is Thanks so much for reading MHL! Good luck!

  5. Suzanne says

    When we were thinking of buying a NEW manufactured home, we visited the Fleetwood plant in Oregon. They had half a dozen homes in various stages and it was a really interesting tour.

    A little off-topic for this thread but housing prices seem to be going up here in Western Washington. We bought this house in summer, 2012. The house behind us (also a manufactured home) was just listed by HUD for twice the amount of our house. The lot sizes are the same; our neighbor’s house is about 300sf larger than ours; it doesn’t have a garage and our garage is 3-car with a loft. We have a 10×28-ft front porch and a 400sf covered patio. Their house has neither.

    Good news for the economy but, if you’re thinking of buying, now is the time.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      That’s certainly good and bad news, Suzanne, and you’ve proven that manufactured homes do appreciate, which is something a lot of people don’t know. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

      I had a friend that worked in a manufactured home factory down in NC and they told me a lot about the process though I had never seen it in person until I got youtube and was able to watch videos. I’d love to go visit one someday though.

      Thanks so much, I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      1. Dominick M. Tofolo Jr. says

        I have a double wide marlett trailer. It needs a roof, the roof that is on it
        is original. I want to go over the existing roof with new shingles. Will it be ok to do so for snow load ( live load ) Please let me know Thank You Dominick Tofolo

      2. Crystal Adkins says

        Hi Dominick,

        That’s a question that needs to be answered by someone that has inspected the home. There are so many factors at play (framing or stud size/condition of the roof/pitch of the home/age, size and design of the home, etc.) Sorry, I can’t be any help. Usually a professional will come out and do free estimates and they will be able to tell you whether your home can handle a second set of shingles.

        best of luck!