Clayton Blog

Clayton Built® - Making Housing More Affordable

In its 2017 The State of the Nation’s Housing report, Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies points out that the housing market is slowly regaining its strength nearly a decade after the Recession of 2008. However, not all markets and households are flourishing, and affordability issues still remain near record levels.


So, what can be done about the affordable housing crisis? The effort starts with home builders like Clayton. Featured on the cover of  the Professional Builder® 2018 Housing Giants issue, Clayton’s efforts to help alleviate the lack of affordable housing have been recognized, naming us the Featured Builder of the Year for Professional Builder® and the Manufactured Housing Institute® 2018 Manufacturer of the Year.


What does Clayton do?

manufactured home roof construction

Clayton is no rookie when it comes to housing – we’re a seasoned veteran. We began providing homes in 1956 and have been providing quality built, affordable homes to families across America ever since. Our mission is to open doors to a better life and to make it affordable for everyone to Have it made®.


Originally making a name for ourselves by building manufactured and modular homes, we have been dedicated to making prefabricated housing the smart housing solution for all. Each home is engineered to last a lifetime, with beautiful interior and exterior design, strong foundations and energy efficient features to help homeowner’s  save on utility bills for years to come.

However, Clayton continues to innovate the housing industry beyond mobile homes.  We’re dedicated to providing smart housing solutions for all including:


  • Prefabricated homes – both manufactured and modular
  • Site Built Homes
  • “Tiny” homes
  • College dormitories
  • Military barracks
  • Apartment complexes


We could not accomplish our home building efforts without our trained builders – who treat each and every home they build as if it were their own. Our builders are dedicated to ensuring that every square inch of our homes are beautiful, strong and durable.



How Clayton Makes Housing More Affordable

millennial home buyers

There are several ways Clayton is striving to make housing more affordable. Using trusted, quality brands, our prefabricated homes are built indoors away from the outside elements. This cuts down on weather delays that can occur from building outdoors.


Why Prefabricated Housing is on The Rise as a Smart Housing Option

Our streamlined process makes it possible to build each prefabricated home efficiently – saving time and money. Those savings are then passed on the home buyer. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute®, in 2016, the average price of a new manufactured home without land was $70,600, that’s $216,214 less than the national average of a new site built home without land which is $286,814. 1

Clayton Built prefabricated homes are a smarter option than other housing options for several reasons including:


  • Materials bought in bulk – with savings passed on to the home buyer
  • Less waste – in 2017, 17,000 tons of waste were diverted from landfills by Clayton home building facilities
  • Savings on labor costs 2
  • Energy saving options – available upgraded Low-E windows allows homeowners to save money on utility bills.

In 2017, manufactured housing builders played an important role in getting 22 million people in a new home they could afford and own. Prefabricated housing is on the rise as an affordable housing solution. In 2017, Clayton alone was able to build 40,000 homes for families across the country.


How Clayton Supply Helps Make Our Homes More Affordable

As Clayton continues to find ways to bring new innovations to the industry, one of our biggest wins has been introducing Clayton Supply – our internal supply chain management system. Having our own supply company means we can source many of our materials internally, which eliminates the need for us to buy from other companies. We save money on the materials we need and then pass those savings on to our customers.

Clayton Supply manufactures several materials and home components including:

  • Vinyl Insulated windows
  • Gypsum wallboard
  • Roof trusses
  • Cabinets
  • Moldings and more!

In 2017, we internally sourced 432,862 Low-E windows and 3,988,686 wallboard panels for our building facilities.


Homes for Every Home Buyer Across America

home sweet home outdoor mat

At Clayton, we recognize that every home buyer has a different budget, different desires and different needs. Although our beginnings were founded on prefabricated building, we get that not everyone’s dream home is the same. That’s why we have worked hard to diversify what we offer so that we have a home that fits most everyone’s dream of homeownership.


Providing Affordable Site Built Homes

In addition to our 40 prefabricated home building facilities, we have also entered the site built home market to diversify our products. In 2015, Clayton Properties Group® acquired Chafin Communities – an Atlanta based site builder. And we didn’t stop there. We continued to expand our portfolio of housing options for home buyers by acquiring 5 more site builders:


  • Chafin Communities
  • Summit Homes
  • Goodall Homes
  • Oakwood Homes
  • Harris Doyle Homes
  • Brohn Homes


By teaming up with site built companies, we are creating an even stronger presence in the home building industry, and each builder is dedicated to making the American Dream of homeownership available to more and more people across the nation. We are currently on track to build 3,196 site built homes and 52,540 off-site, or prefabricated, homes in 2018. That means in 2018, we will bring an estimated 55,736 affordable homes to families across America.


Sometimes, Less Really is More

As the tiny home movement began to boom, many home buyers began to crave a simpler life, desiring a more minimalistic lifestyle. In 2015, we partnered with Jeffrey Dungan, a renowned architect, to bring the Designer Series tiny homes to life. The design of this series was inspired by nature to match the style of the home buyers that wanted this type of home.

Jeffrey Dungan challenged himself to think by the square inch instead of the square foot to optimize the tiny spaces of these homes for efficiency and design – thus The Low Country and The Saltbox tiny modular homes were born. The Low Country design was inspired by the marshlands and coastal regions of Savannah and Charleston to create a calming, nature inspired environment – all in 464 sq. ft. At 452 sq.ft., the Saltbox offers a sophisticated yet cozy space to call home.


Not Your Grandma’s Trailer


Prefabricated housing has changed in several ways over the past few decades, both in building code and style. When you think of prefabricated housing, you probably first think of mobile homes or trailers. However, both mobile homes and trailers are homes of the past. Manufactured and mobile homes were set apart in 1976 by the National Mobile Home Constructions and Safety Act. Also known as HUD Code, these standards improved manufactured home building requirements for:


  • Design and construction
  • Body and frame requirements
  • Thermal protection
  • Plumbing and electrical
  • Fire safety
  • Energy efficiency and more


Because of HUD Code, mobile homes of the past were replaced with modern prefabricated housing. Today’s new Clayton Built® prefabricated homes are either manufactured or modular homes depending on the building code they are built to.  


Clayton didn’t just stop at making sure our homes follow all building requirements. We wanted to bring prefabricated home buyers both affordable and beautiful homes that incorporate quality interior and exterior design and modern features that home buyers want most.


Clayton Built® manufactured and modular home no longer look like the trailers of the past. We offer prefabricated homes that look just like a site built home with exteriors that match popular home styles across the country.


Our builders and designers are also dedicated to bringing affordable, quality interior and exterior design to our homes. That’s why our builders won several design awards in 2017!


Overall Design Awards Received by Clayton in 2017

  • New Single-Section Manufactured Home Design - Cedar Ridge by Clayton Sacramento
  • New Manufactured Home Design, Over 1800 Square Feet: Diamond Springs by Clayton Sacramento
  • New Modular Home Design, Over 1800 Square Feet: The Creekside Farmhouse by Clayton Sacramento

Interior Design Awards Received by Clayton in 2017

  • Outstanding Interior Design: The Victory, Clayton Homes of Desoto, Texas


From Start to Finish – We Stick with Our Home Buyers Every Step of the Way

Clayton home center home touch

We pride ourselves in helping our customers during every step of the process to achieving homeownership, from home selection and delivery, to setup and installation.  Our home center consultants work hard to walk our customers through the process and to help home buyers find their dream home that also fits their budget.


Since we opened our doors, we have been committed to bringing affordable homes to families across the country. Sharing the same values as our customers, we know that a home is more than just a roof over your head – it’s a place for your family to gather and make memories for years to come. And we believe you should be able to have your own slice of the American Dream and know that you made a smart, affordable decision for your family.
Learn more about affordable homes

12017 Manufactured Housing Facts. PDF. Manufactured Housing Institute, March 2018.

2 Williams, Laura. "Building a Prefab Home - Types, Cost, Pros & Cons." Money Crashers. Accessed November 16, 2016.

Topics Manufactured Housing, Financial