Do I Need a Mobile Office or Modular Building?

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 The Differences Between a Mobile Office Trailer and Modular Building


Over the past 20 years, the concept of ‘selling space’ has evolved into a full-blown industry. The two most common types of temporary space available for lease or purchase are the mobile office trailer and the modular building. Both are used by a broad range of industries that include, but are not limited to, education, government, healthcare, retail, and construction.

mobile vs modular

How Are They Different?

A mobile office differs from a modular building in the following ways:

Characteristics of a Mobile Office Trailer

  • Single, self-contained unit
  • Little assembly required (just basic securing of the structure to the ground)
  • Typically length of use is several weeks or months
  • Less expensive than modular
  • Life expectancy of 1-5 years, depending on care and conditions

mobile office with stairs



Modular Building in tall grass

Characteristics of a Modular Building:

(Prefabricated Buildings or Prefabs)

  • Multiple rooms, multiple side-by-side units, or multiple floors
  • Complex assembly (may require welders, electricians, architects, roofers, etc.)
  • More permanent-like building materials; can last as long as a permanent structure
  • Life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, depending on care and conditions

Both mobile office trailers and modular buildings are:

  • Temporary structures
  • Delivered on a flatbed truck and trailer
  • Built on-site in a short amount of time
  • Can be removed in a short amount of time
  • Can be modified to meet specific industry needs
  • Available for lease or purchase

In short, a modular building is similar to a mobile office in that it is a temporary structure, just on a larger scale. If your business needs multiple classrooms, floors, or buildings, modular could be the way to go. If your business is just looking for a temporary office or classroom to utilize until a permanent structure is built, the mobile office trailer may be more your style.

Learn More

For more detailed information, please read our Modular Building Buyer’s Guide and our Mobile Office Trailer Buyer’s Guide.

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