Can a Mobile Home Be an ADU? (The Answer is Yes!)

ADUs, mobile homes, manufactured homes — oh my! What do all these different terms mean? You may have heard some or all of them before, but wondered what the distinctions are between them. Let’s explore what each type of building is and how it can be used to understand whether mobile homes can be ADUs.

What Is an ADU?

Accessory Dwelling Units are basically a smaller building built on the same property as a larger home. You may have heard a lot of terms like:

  • Granny flats
  • Backyard homes
  • Mother-in-law apartments
  • Secondary unit

And so on. Basically, any type of smaller secondary residence on your property can be considered an ADU.  People commonly use them to provide housing for family members. For example, elderly parents who still want independence but need you near so you can help them when necessary, or college students who want a place of their own but can’t afford it.

If you’re thinking about building an ADU on your property, you’ll need information on how to pick the right builder. Check it out here.

What Is a Mobile Home?

A mobile home is built off-site and then trailered to the location. It can be set up on a foundation on the property or even just concrete or wood blocks. In other words, it’s basically a fancy RV. A mobile home effectively remains mobile. You can technically pick it up and trailer it off again to another site if you wanted to.

Mobile homes can be a stand-alone residence on their own piece of property. However, they can also be a supplemental residence on the same property as another residence, which means that a mobile home can be an ADU in certain cases.

Mobile homes were cheap and not necessarily built to high standards, which is what gave rise to the manufactured home.

What Is a Manufactured Home?

A manufactured home is basically the same thing as a mobile home. Manufactured homes are also built off-site and then trailered to the location and assembled.

However, there is a distinct difference. In 1974, the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Act was passed, followed up shortly thereafter in 1976 with the HUD Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. These proceedings sought to ensure the homes were built to certain standards of fire safety, thermal protection, plumbing and electrical, energy efficiency, and so on. Thus, this type of home built before 1976 is a mobile home and one built to the higher standards after 1976 is called a manufactured home.

Building ADUs

ADUs are popular among families looking to provide a home for another family member or friend. However, ADUs have also been seen as a possible solution to housing shortages, though this concept has faced significant challenges. ADUs can be relatively inexpensive depending on the materials used, but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily cheap.

To learn more interesting tidbits about all things home improvement, don’t hesitate to check out more articles on our blog!

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