Kit home—Kit homes, which include log homes, domes, and timber-frame homes, are typically assembled at the home site, either by an experienced owner–builder or a contractor. They usually include only the exterior shell of the house, and require further construction and carpentry for completion.
Panelized home —Wall, roof, and floor sections/panels are manufactured in a factory, which offers the advantages of better oversight over material quality and waste reduction, and more control over costs. Structural insulated panels (SIPs), which can be fabricated and customized at the factory, then assembled at the building site, are one example of panelized construction.
Manufactured home—Built on a trailer chassis and manufactured off-site using lightweight metal framing, these homes are considered portable and temporary structures. Little to no on-site labor is required. In 1994, the U.S. government revised the Housing and Urban Development building code to include higher standards for manufactured homes’ mechanical systems, structural design, fire safety, and energy efficiency. Prior to 1976, these structures were known as “mobile homes.”
Stick-built home—A home built using conventional framing methods entirely on-site.
Modular/Prefabricated home—Skilled factory workers assemble complete building “modules” off-site. Once complete, they are transported by truck, ferry, or train to the building site, where the modules are set onto a site-built foundation. Most modular homes require some finish work, such as tying the individual modules together and connecting wiring and plumbing. Modular homes have similar characteristics to site-built homes and must pass the same code requirements.