Back in the 1920s, with the development of the auto industry, America became a country on the move. To allow families to travel the open roads that were also being developed at the time, the “trailer coach” came into being. The “trailer coach” provided for a sleeping room at campsites as families got to know the country. These were “dependent units” lacking bathroom facilities.
After the Second World War, the United States was growing at a rapid pace. Larger “coaches” were developed to allow for more permanent and comfortable conditions as construction workers used the homes to travel from job to job setting the home up, although not permanently, but for longer periods of time. The homes developed into what became known as “mobile homes” providing for a more permanent complete home that still could be moved from place to place when conditions warranted.
Better quality parks began to develop reflecting the more permanent placement the mobile homes were demanding. As mobile homes became more popular as an affordable permanent home, regulations were developed to control the industry. In 1974, the National Mobile Home Safety and Construction Act was passed and became effective in June of 1976. The new law provided for federal preemption over local building codes when it came to dealing with mobile homes. The homes were now subjected to high standards in materials used, production standards and inspection before the homes leave the factory.
Production levels reached record highs in the ’70s for these “manufactured’ homes”. Manufacturers began to construct and produce modular homes in their factories. Modular homes are constructed to state building code requirements. It took a little time for modular homes to become popular, as it is more costly to modify home plans for many different states, unlike the manufactured home that has a national building code accepted in all states.
Modular homes are now the fastest growing segment of the new housing market. State building codes have become increasingly similar and consumers understand the value that factory-built construction offers. New York State is second in the nation for modular home placement.
Today manufacturers have stretched the boundaries that go beyond the standard ranch-style home. Now two-story and Cape Cod homes are common, and still offering the highest quality and affordable price. Some producers can build you a custom home constructed of any number of units, providing huge square footage and beautiful amenities.
What was once a temporary camp home or portable home is now a permanent part of the housing landscape offering multiple styles that will fit into today’s existing neighborhoods – homes that bring value and the American Dream of home ownership to thousands of families across our country.