How can I tell if a mobile/manufactured home will pass a foundation certification inspection?
Monday, March 1, 2021
The HUD-code, to which mobile/manufactured home installations must conform, is unusual in two aspects: 1) it is the only nationwide building code in the U.S. and, 2) it is a “performance” based code. Most building codes are “prescriptive,” which means they lay out specifically what materials and methods are acceptable and what’s not. Performance codes set a functional standard that can be met by manufacturers and installers with their own innovative and different materials and methods—once they are reviewed and approved by HUD. So, to use a corny old saying, there’s more than one way to skin a cat when installing a mobile home.
This means you would have to be familiar with the multiple alternative types of piers, tie-downs, straps, and proprietary anchoring systems to evaluate a foundation system accurately. So we can’t compile a list of things to look for that will guarantee that you pass the inspection.
But there are several places you can check for items that would definitely make you fail:
•• Hitch and/or axles must be removed.
•• Tie-downs running down the long side of the home should be be around 6-feet apart. Older mobile homes had the tie downs at 8-feet apart or more, and that won’t be acceptable.
•• At least one tie-down at the end of each section along the short side.
•• Anchor straps must be galvanized, tight, and not deeply corroded. Loose or corroded straps won’t do.
•• Piers must not be damaged or leaning out of plumb, and should be in contact with the undercarriage.
•• No washouts or rivulets indicating water runs under the home.
•• Home has not been moved from the site where it was originally installed.
Also, if your home was installed after 2000, it is more likely to pass the inspection.
Check out our blog posts What is the definition of a "permanent foundation" for a mobile/manufactured home? and What are the HUD minimum requirements for foundation footings and piers under a mobile/manufactured home? and What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home? and What are the most common defects in mobile/manufactured home foundation piers? and Why does Florida have mobile/manufactured home installation standards that exceed HUD requirements?
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