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Frequently Asked Questions:

This page is updated frequently so check back often!

Q: Everywhere I go, I get a different name thrown at me to describe different types of homes. What do they mean?

Q: How far away from Shipshewana are you capable of delivering and setting up homes?

Q: Is Shipshewana Homes a general contractor?

Q: Does Shipshewana Homes have land/building lots available for their clients?

Q: Do factory built homes appreciate in value?

Q: What kinds of construction materials are used in the outside walls of your homes?

Q: How long can I expect the building process to take from start to finish?

Q: What type of homes does Shipshewana Homes sell?

Q: Aren't all factory built homes the same?

Q: I like a home I've just seen, but the manufacturer refuses to build that floorplan with 8' flat ceilings, even when the same manufacturer has built the home right next door that way!! Why??

Q: What should I look for when choosing a contractor/dealer for my new home?

Q: What should I look for when choosing a manufacturer for my new home?

Q: Everywhere I go, I get a different name thrown at me to describe different types of homes. What do they mean?

A: The following collection of terminology contains the best descriptions we can use after consulting housing industry experts. We’ve queried countless manufacturers, experts, associations, and publications to come up with the following simplified answers. These are not necessarily legal definitions, but believed to be accurate.

Manufactured Home:

A home designed and constructed in an off site fabrication facility (a factory), inspected and certified under the National Manufactured Housing & Construction Standards Act of 1974, commonly known as the ‘HUD Code’, which became law in mid 1976. Also called a HUD home.

HUD Home:
This term is often used to describe the manufactured home as defined herein. HUD, when used in conjunction with manufactured housing, has nothing to do with any government subsidized housing or other programs. It is simply the building code rule book used to define minimum required building standards.

Modular Home:
A primarily factory built home designed, constructed, inspected and certified by a state for use in that state. States generally govern stick or site built housing within their boundaries utilizing the same building code. These homes may be several sections assembled to produce a home at the building site.

Systems Built Home:
Perhaps the newest term on our list, it is being used today by many modular manufacturers to describe their home.

Sectional Home:
Homes that come in sections, generally manufactured in a factory, built to any of the applicable building code standards. May include homes of 2 or more sections.

Doublewide Home:
Started off possibly in the 1950’s as two house trailer units designed to be joined together to produce a larger home. Evolved to include the joining of two mobile homes designed to fit together. The doublewide continues to this day as a conversational term among the general public and is used to describe many types of factory produced homes. Although the term may include any product that is in two sections, it is primarily used today to describe a manufactured home.

Mobile Home:
Officially a HUD Code home produced prior to 1983. Unofficially it was the preferred term for what were house trailers, into the early 1960’s or before.

House Trailer:
Remember the movie where Lucy and Desi hauled one behind a yellow convertible back in the fifties? Today there are probably recreational vehicles larger than that one was. Was the movie called “The Long, Long Trailer”?

Factory Built Home:
A home built primarily in a factory.

Off Site Built Home:
Describes any home built anywhere else except on its site.

Panelized Home:
Often package homes available through larger chain type builder stores, including pre-manufactured panel construction, and alternative systems such as lightweight concrete, foam filled panels, and foam blocks. May include pre-cut homes.

Pre-cut Home:
These are generally pre-cut kits purchased from various sources that you assemble yourself to come up with a home frame

Stick Built Home:
A home built on a site, ‘board by board’ or ‘stick by stick’.

Site Built Home:
Synonymous with stick built. Just another often used term.

Building Code:
A book of construction rules or standards governing the construction of homes as required by law. The HUD (Housing and Urban Development) or BOCA (Building Officials Code Administration) or CABO (Council of American Building Officials) One and Two Family Dwelling Codes are examples of building code rulebooks that may govern the construction of a home. Please note that all construction code rules are minimum requirements, and may be exceeded if the builder so chooses. This is an important consideration when choosing a home.

Q: How far away from Shipshewana are you capable of delivering and setting up homes?   

A: Our standard home pricing includes your home’s installation onto your foundation done to our specs without additional charges within the following area:
Two section ranch homes: 300 miles.

Two story and cape cod homes: 100 miles.

Single section homes: 300 miles.

Some financial or material consideration is always available to our clients that are closer to us than these free delivery limits. Deliveries to sites outside these areas are available and require specific quotes. We have delivered homes to 13 states over the years, so distance is not a problem!

Shipments outside the USA may be available, please e-mail us with questions.

Q: Is Shipshewana Homes a general contractor?
A: Yes! With our “we work for you” approach, we can do as much or as little of your new home project site work as you would like us to within 100 miles of Shipshewana. When you purchase a home from us, we may include a specific site plan based on your lot survey drawing and generated with our computer drafting equipment if needed. We may even help design your custom foundation, at no charge! We utilize experienced local subcontractors that we have known and dealt with for years and years. No one touches any part of your project without current insurance and workman’s comp certificates in our files.

Outside our normal work area, you may want to act as your own general contractor. That’s great!! We will interact with your contractors, and if necessary, meet them onsite and explain to them exactly what is needed in order to properly position your foundation and grade to accommodate your home delivery and set-up. We will supply your contractors with all necessary factory blueprints and specification sheets providing information they need to complete your project quickly and accurately within manufacturer’s specifications.

Q: Does Shipshewana Homes have land/building lots available for their clients?
A: We try to keep a few building sites available exclusively for our clients. These sites are not listed for sale anywhere and will be sold only to our clientele. In addition, we try to keep abreast of available sites from other sources in our area.
Please E-mail us , or give us a call for more information on building lots that could be available to you.

Q: Do factory built homes appreciate in value?
A: Yes! When placed on a permanent crawl space foundation or a basement foundation on private property, a factory built sectional home will appreciate just like any other home given comparable neighborhoods and care. In fact, because of the lower initial investment, and the quality of our products, we have had clients close the original construction loan on their project, and obtain an instant appraisal ten to twenty percent higher than their expenditure. This may translate into instant equity for you, and has prompted investors to utilize this type housing in subdivisions all over the country.

Q: What kinds of construction materials are used in the outside walls of your homes?
A: At Shipshewana Homes, all of our product lines (except one single section home line) in every price range are framed with real 2 X 6 wall studs spaced 16” on center. The 2 x 6 adds obvious structural advantages, allows for R-19 insulation in the sidewalls of your new home, and gives you the seldom mentioned advantage of a level of quiet inside your home unobtainable with conventional 2 X 4 construction. Depending on which product line you choose, a 7/16” OSB (Oriented Strand Board) exterior wrap may be standard on your home, or you may choose to option in an OSB wrap when it is not a standard feature.

Q: How long can I expect the building process to take from start to finish?
A: Most homes we build today are on private property and involve complete construction from possible demolition of an existing building to breaking ground to moving in. Once financing and permits are in place, our ‘normal’ on site time is in the 4 to 8 week range. Some factors that effect ‘normal’ are:
- Building inspector schedules.
- Utility company schedules.
- Mother nature effects deliveries, utilities, septic installations and more.
- The type of home you have chosen. Complexity effects site time.
- The amount of work you chose do do yourself.
- Financial institution approval/inspection/payment/closing schedules.
- Current manufacturer building backlog.

Q:What type of homes does Shipshewana Homes sell?

A: Our concentration is primarily on factory built housing, modular and manufactured (HUD) homes, with additional site built modifications when needed. We have chosen factory built homes for many reasons…


If you put a nice straight board in the yard through a couple of rainstorms, you know what will happen to it. Do you know that HUD approved home manufacturers are required to measure the moisture content of their lumber before it can be used? Have you noticed how long it takes for a site builder to get the structure of your expensive new home ‘in out of the weather’? How much material lays out in the yard night after night subject to weather and thievery?

Factory inspections by HUD field people are required and unannounced, these inspectors are rotated and have the authority to close an entire factory & send everyone home if a recurring problem exists. How’s that for authority?

Compare the purchasing power of a factory vs. that of a site built contractor. As an example, many factories buy appliances in quantities that allow them to pay less than most appliance stores, carpet for less than carpet stores and the like. When you spread that savings over the incredible list of materials that go into a home, the money saved is substantial.

Consider the ability of a factory to work every day through all types of weather without builders slipping and sliding through mud and ice, assembling clean dry materials during the heaviest downpours, and the resultant effect of these efficiencies on your pocketbook.

While a home is under construction, you are paying interest on your construction loan while living elsewhere. A factory built home significantly reduces your expenses during construction and gets you into your new home sooner.

Sections of every home built in a factory travel down the highway. Imagine the engineering standards and overall strengths involved to accomplish such a feat! Imagine what would happen to most conventional homes under the same circumstances.

We offer both modular and manufactured homes in order to provide a wider variety of price ranges, appealing to discriminating as well as budget minded clients.

We have found that by offering you a wider range of choices, you can make an intelligent decision that brings together your dreams and your pocketbook.

All manufacturer’s homes that we offer are built within 20 miles of our sales center. We consider immediate access to decision makers at the manufacturing level critical to our success, and to your satisfaction.

Our Modular Homes:

After years of searching we have found a very flexible modular manufacturer. Many manufacturers limit what they will build for you in order to maintain higher production levels. The result may be a nice home, but a ‘cookie cutter’ attitude limits your choices to what is offered, with few modifications available. When we order a Hi-Tech Housing home for you we are limited only by architectural and shipping size considerations for each section. We have even been able to quote for production roughly 75% of all of the custom site built designed plans we have been given.

Hi-Tech is a privately held local builder that exists primarily to supply their own large metropolitan development with custom built homes. They live with their own products on a long term basis, and actually purchased their own factory after being unable to find anyone to build homes that combined their standards of quality and flexibility. Their controlled production levels produce an incredible product and we are privileged to have been chosen to be one of their first ‘street dealers’.

Imagine a manufacturer that uses primarily # 1 grade lumber for structure, rarely using # 2 in less critical areas, when their modular design certifications only require # 3 grade! Imagine a manufacturer that uses a moisture meter on their drywall sheathing to monitor consistency. We’ve got it in Hi-Tech Housing --- and it can be yours. Features and options are almost unlimited! We think you’ll be surprised at the affordability.

If you are looking for a meticulously crafted modular home, we will help you choose and modify an existing plan, or we will help you design what you want with our own in house computer drawing, or build from your plans - even if your plans are a sketch on a napkin!

Our Manufactured Homes:

Our criteria are simple: we want to offer you the best built, best backed home available for your hard earned dollar. Manufactured homes are generally lower priced than modular homes, often built on higher speed production lines, with even more purchasing power. We try our best to present you with products that offer you more. It’s serious business when we talk about spending your money for the next 30 years, or what you’ve earned in the past 30 years. Our products won’t be the lowest priced out there, but they will provide the most value!

We are proud to offer you homes from Four Seasons Housing and some lines from Patriot Homes. Sectional homes from 20’ to 32’ wide and in lengths up to 80’. Sidewall heights from 7’ to 8’, cathedral or flat ceilings. Roof pitches from 3/12 up to 7/12. Wall coverings from panelized sheet rock to finished drywall throughout. Living rooms, family rooms, computer rooms, 2 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms, 4 bedrooms, 5 bedrooms, office rooms, nurseries, kitchens and baths from the efficient to the incredible. Single section homes from 14’ x 40’ up to 16’ x 80’ are available. Every one of them built within 20 miles from our offices!

The evolutionary state of today’s manufactured homes will astound you if you haven’t seen them recently. These homes are specifically designed for permanent crawl space and basement installations, and some can still be installed in communities if you prefer. We cordially invite you to visit us and our homes (and our cool little town). Our displays aren’t the largest available, but we try to keep a cross section of various products and options that our manufacturers offer.

Click here to visit our online showcase.

Q: Aren't all factory built homes the same? 

A: Emphatically no!! Even given a thorough understanding of modular vs. manufactured differences, most people we talk to are surprised to learn that homes on the market today can be very different. Our favorite comparison of overall quality and price considerations is today's automotive industry. We are all quite knowledgeable about various vehicles available in countless combinations of quality, size, amenities, and prices. From the infamous Yugo to the handmade Rolls Royce we have a pretty good idea of where a specific model belongs in the overall scheme of things. A comparable scheme of things exists in factory built homes. Your contractor/dealer should be instrumental in helping you establish which homes will meet your expectations while staying within your budget.

Q: I like a home I've just seen, but the manufacturer refuses to build that floorplan with 8' flat ceilings, even when the same manufacturer has built the home right next door that way!! Why?

A: Some manufacturers build several different price/quality range homes in different division facilities, limiting the number of floor plans and options available from each facility to reach a targeted price range niche. Other manufacturers offer every option they build in every floor plan they build to provide wider price range and significantly more floor plan choices. We prefer this latter more flexible approach because we can offer you more options, like 8' flat ceilings, in a wider variety of price ranges.

Q: What should I look for when choosing a contractor/dealer for my new home?

A: Credibility, experience, stability, longevity, reputation, service, attitude, ability, dedication, knowledge, consideration, honesty, integrity, helpfulness, attention to detail, a toll free phone number, flexibility, and a willingness to listen to you are all critical areas worthy of your scrutiny.

Q: What should I look for when choosing a manufacturer for my new home?

A: Since you probably won't spend years learning the ins and outs of our industry, we think it might be advantageous for you to know what we consider when choosing a manufacturer. We look very carefully before offering you a product line because our future reputation depends heavily on homes we sell and how they perform. Some of the criteria we've developed over the years include:

  • Quality, consistency, flexibility, and pricing of homes
  • Homes built to live in not just sell
  • Stability and reputation in the marketplace
  • Speed of production lines
  • Attitude toward service and service compensation after the sale
  • Measure of commitment to our dealership and our mutual clientele
  • Accessibility of decision making management
  • Manufacturing facilities and management within 1/2 hour of our sales center



More Questions and answers are coming soon, please check back often!!

For more information regarding Shipshewana Homes, give us a call, write, fax, e-mail, or browse thru our Stock Homes section of the site.

Nobody builds like Shipshewana Homes!

Shipshewana Homes
P.O. Box 516
725S Van Buren Street
Shipshewana, IN 46565

1-800-788-HOUSE (Toll Free)
1-260-768-4040 (Local)
1-260-768-7062 (24hr Fax)