What is the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home? What can I place on my residential lot?

Modular Homes

Modular Homes are built off-site in pieces and are designed to meet the North Carolina State Building Code when assembled on a development site. Modular homes are subject to the same zoning standards as any other site-built home, and are allowed anywhere a single family home would otherwise be permitted in Lenoir. Modular homes must get building permits and be inspected by the Caldwell County Building Inspections Department. 

With advancements in modular home technology, modular homes often are often transported to the building site in only one or two pieces and may appear similar to a manufactured home prior to installation on a permanent foundation. The City of Lenoir does not have any design standards that apply to single family construction, and therefore cannot regulate the appearance of modular homes. The determination on whether or not a building is a modular home is based solely on the construction standards that the structure must meet under state and federal laws.

Manufactured Homes

Also called "mobile homes" or "trailers," manufactured homes are commonly referred to as either a "single wide" or a "double wide." Manufactured Homes are constructed to meet the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) building standards, built on permanent steel chassis, and are transported to the development site on their own wheels. Manufactured homes do not necessarily have permanent foundations. Manufactured homes have special setback and design standards under Lenoir's zoning code and require approval of a zoning permit prior to receiving building permits from Caldwell County Building Inspections. Caldwell County will inspect the placement of a manufactured home for all local work performed (electrical hook-ups, skirting, porches, plumbing hook-ups, etc.) but do not inspect the structure itself.

The City of Lenoir permits "double-wide" manufactured homes constructed after July 1, 1976 on individual residential lots in the R-6, R-9, and R-R zoning districts. "Single wide" manufactured homes constructed after July 1, 1976 are permitted within existing manufactured home parks only. No new manufactured home parks are allowed within the City.

Appearance Standards for All Manufactured Homes

  • All towing apparatus, wheels, axles, and transporting lights must be removed.
  • The home must be permanently placed on a masonry foundation with a finished exterior of brick, stone, stucco, or split-faced concrete masonry units.
  • The pitch of the roof must be at least 3 to 12 and be finished with a type of shingle that is commonly used in standard residential construction.
  • A covered porch that is permanently mounted to the ground at the front door, a minimum of 36 square feet, with a front-gabled roof oriented towards the street and constructed in compliance with the North Carolina Building Code is required.
  • Stairs to all exterior doors of the home are required and must be permanently mounted to the ground and constructed in compliance with the North Carolina Building Code.
  • Exterior facades must be vinyl or wood siding, stone, brick, or other non-metallic material;

Manufactured Homes constructed prior to July 1, 1976 are not permitted in Lenoir.

Show All Answers

1. Who do I call for code enforcement?
2. Do I need a permit for an Accessory Structure (Garages, Pools, Storage buildings, etc.)?
3. Can I make improvements to my property if it's located in a Flood Zone?
4. Do I Need a Zoning Permit for Single-Family Residential Construction?
5. What is the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home? What can I place on my residential lot?
6. Does Lenoir allow multifamily developments?
7. What is a privilege license and when do I need one?
8. What is the process to open a billiard / pool hall?
9. Does the city allow alcohol sales and how do I get my Alcoholic Beverage Control permit?
10. Do I have to undergo a background check to practice massage therapy?
11. What is conditional zoning?
12. What is a conditional use permit?
13. How do I apply for a zoning variance?
14. How can I verify the address of my property or get assigned a new address?
15. What is the difference between a minor, family or exempt subdivision, and how can I get one recorded?
16. When is a subdivision considered "major" and what is the approval process?
17. Can I appeal a decision of the Planning Department?