What is the building code for manufactured/mobile homes in Florida?
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
The first step, construction of the home in a factory, is required to comply with standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is why mobile homes are often referred to as HUD-code homes. Although the HUD code is a nationwide standard, the code is adjusted for the thermal, roof load, and windstorm issues of different parts of the country, and each home must be manufactured for the zone where it will be installed. Most of Florida is in Zone 2, except that the bottom counties are Zone 3, and there is a special category “D-sticker” for homes sited near the coastline. No mobile homes rated for Zone 1 can be placed in Florida. See our blog post Where are Wind Zone 2 and Wind Zone 3 for mobile homes located? for a wind zone map.
Once it arrives at a homesite, a Florida-licensed mobile home installation contractor must install and tie-down the home. The contractor places an “Installation Certification Label” on the home when completed. See our blog post Can I install a mobile home myself? to find out more.
All manufactured/mobile homes are required to be secured according to the manufacturer’s installation specifications. In the case of a used mobile home, or where the manufacturer’s specifications are not available, the home must be tied-down in accordance with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles specifications. Each AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction), typically a county or city building department, is responsible for enforcing the regulations through permitting and on-site inspection. To learn more about the tie-down requirements, see our blog post What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?
For repairing or remodeling a mobile home, see Florida requirements at What is Florida code for mobile home repair or remodeling?
If you are moving a mobile home that is more than about 20 years old to a new homesite, many Florida counties require that it pass an inspection before being allowed to be moved to the new location. See our blog post Can you move an older mobile home in Florida? for more information.
Not all homesites are zoned for manufactured/mobile homes. Because of the bad name that mobile homes acquired in the past, many counties and cities have limited or no zoning designations where a mobile home can be sited. After checking to confirm that the county or city zoning allows a mobile home on the site that you want, the second hurdle is to get a copy of any deed restrictions if the land is part of a subdivision, which may include minimum standards for the age, size and construction of the home. To find out more, visit our blog post What are the limitations on homesites where a mobile/manufactured home can be located?
Connection of the local electric, water, sewer, and gas utilities must comply with the Florida Building Code (FBC) and be inspected by the local building department. The installation of a well and septic system is under the supervision of the Florida Department of Health and the local water management district. See our blog post Does a homeowner need a permit to drill a water well on their property in Florida? for more on this.
Although all of this may seem like “endless governmental red tape,” the process is simpler and faster than constructing a site-built home on the same property.
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