How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Can I attach a mobile/manufactured home to my house as an addition?
Thursday, June 14, 2018
While it is theoretically possible to use a mobile home as an addition to a site-built home, there are several BIG hurdles you need to jump over to get there:
- Two Living Units - A mobile home is a complete living unit that includes a kitchen, not just a bedroom addition, so the mobile home addition would be equivalent to creating a duplex on your property. The local jurisdiction may not allow two living units on the property.
- Zoning - Mobile homes are excluded by zoning restriction from many areas.
- Exits - A site-built residence only requires a single exit, but HUD standards state that a mobile home must have two exits directly to the outdoors. Also, each bedroom must have a window to the outside for emergency egress. Installation of the home cannot block the exit doors or bedroom egress windows.
- Must Be Freestanding - Although a mobile home roof can be connected to an adjacent structure, it is not designed to support any additional loads and no other structure can bear on its walls unless it was specially designed for the additional load.
- Different floor levels - Most site-built homes are slab-on-grade construction, with the floor level about 6 inches to a foot above the ground. The average mobile home floor is at least 2 feet higher, so a stair between the two levels is necessary. A pit-set home brings the mobile floor down much lower, but at great additional expense.
One rural Florida county we know of has a “mother-in-law” exception to their zoning code that allows a homeowner to put a mobile home on their property to accommodate an elderly family member. It is temporary exemption and the mobile must be removed upon their death. But we have never seen one attached directly to the house, which is probably not ideal with a mother-in-law anyway.
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