Manufactured Home


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?

  2. How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed?

  3. How hurricane-resistant is my mobile home?

  4. Does it make sense to remodel an older mobile home?

  5. How much does it cost to move a mobile home?

  6. What can I do to prevent moisture problems in my mobile home?

  7. How much does a mobile home inspection cost?

  8. What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home?

  9. Where are Wind Zone 2 and Wind Zone 3 for mobile homes located?

  10. What year were mobile homes required to become more storm resistant?

  11. How much venting is required for mobile home skirting?

  12. What is the best air conditioner for a mobile home?

  13. What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

  14. What is a D-sticker mobile home?

  15. What is the life expectancy of a modular home?

  16. How energy efficient is a mobile home?

  17. Can I tell the year of a manufactured/mobile home from the HUD tag (red tag)?

  18. Can a mobile/manufactured home have a high radon problem?

  19. What are the HUD requirements for selling a remodeled or renovated mobile home?

  20. Can a mobile/manufactured home get termites?

  21. What are the limitations on homesites where a mobile/manufactured home can be located?

  22. What does a home inspector look for when examining a mobile home crawl space?

  23. What is the difference between the electric service to a mobile home and a site built home?

  24. How can I make my mobile home more energy efficient?

  25. How much is a used mobile home worth?

  26. What would cause half of a double-wide mobile home to lose electric power?

  27. What are the common problems to look for when buying a mobile home that is older than 40 years?

  28. How many manufactured/mobile homes are there in the United States?

  29. Can I convert a shipping container into a HUD-Code manufactured/mobile home?

How to Look

at a House


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We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

FOUNDATION

• The manufactured home sits on a foundation of rows of stacked concrete blocks over plastic pads, with tie-down straps every four to eight feet along both the long sides, connecting the steel frame to deep-set stakes in the ground. The home is rolled into place and the foundation is then built
under it. Occasionally we see a manufactured home with an upgraded, “permanent” foundation of concrete piers set on concrete footings—but not very often.

-versus-

• The modules of a modular home are lifted by crane into place onto the same kind of concrete foundation under a site-built home.

OWNERSHIP STATUS

  1. A manufactured home is considered a vehicle, and is licensed as such by the State of Florida. Financing is similar to buying a boat or a car in most markets.

-versus-

  1. A modular home is considered to be real estate, and can be mortgaged the same as a site-built home.

BUILDING CODE
• Manufactured homes are built to a national building code established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1976 and regularly upgraded.

-versus-

• A modular home is built to the building code of the location where it will be placed. In Florida, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) regulates the construction of modular homes.
VISUAL CLUES

• A manufactured home  has a long rectangular footprint, and a low-sloped gable roof. The interior usually has cathedral ceilings (no attic), and there is a double-beam at the ridge of the ceiling (the upper part of the what is called the “marriage line”) where the two parts of a double-wide meet. Once in a while, we come across a triple-wide manufactured home, with the third section being perpendicular to the first two, to create a “T” or “L” shaped layout.

   There will also be a small metal identification tag, about 2” x 3”, mounted near a corner on one of the exterior walls. It will identify the HUD standards that the home was built to meet. Ventilated skirting is required between the bottom of the manufactured home and the ground, although sometimes a homeowner will replace it with a brick/masonry wall that comes up to the bottom of the mobile home but is not load-bearing.

   Also, manufactured homes are typically elevated several feet off the ground. But, occasionally you will see one that is “pit set,” meaning that
it has been placed in a shallow pit so that the floor level is just slightly above ground, comparable to a site-built home. Unfortunately, pit set homes are prone to moisture accumulation in the pit. During a wet season, it is not unusual when we pull the skirting to find the pit filled with standing water.

   There is always a manufacturer’s info sticker, called a “data plate,” typically placed on the wall of the master bedroom closet or on the inside of one of the cabinet doors in the kitchen, that identifies the manufacturer, date and place of manufacture, listing of appliances, and the wind load and roof load standards that it was designed to meet. It may be removed or painted-over in an older manufactured home. For more information about data plates, click on the link below:

---DATA PLATES---

-versus-

  1. Some modular homes look exactly like a regular site-built home at a glance, while others appear similar to a premium-grade manufactured home. The best way to verify that it is modular is to look under the home for marriage lines of beams that have been bolted together. Where a site-built home would have double sill beams throughout, the marriage line of two modules will have two double-beams bolted together. Also, the steel I-beams that are characteristic of a manufactured/mobile home would not be under the home. Also, in Florida the home will have a sticker somewhat similar to the data plate of a manufactured home, usually located in the master bedroom closet, along with a second, smaller sticker that has the Florida DCA logo and a serial number, like the one shown below.


COST

• One of the big advantages that manufactured homes have in the residential marketplace is low cost.

-versus-

• A modular home costs significantly more than a manufactured home, and sometimes even a little more than a comparable site-built home. What they offer a homebuyer is the superior quality-control standards of a modern factory when compared to a site-built home.

THE BETTER CHOICE

  1. It would be unfair to claim that either a modular or manufactured home is a better choice, because they each have their pros and cons. It depends on what you’re looking for in a home, and what you are willing to pay. For more information about both manufactured and modular homes, we suggest a visit to Florida Manufactured Housing Association website at http://www.fmha.org/. Also, the Manufactured Housing Institute offers a free guide for construction planning for a new manufactured home, which outlines the manufacturing and site installation process, with checklists and timeline guides. Click below to download it.

   Construction Planning Guide 3-12-09.pdf


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.