How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes

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. 

    These standards apply to Florida, that has only wind zones 2 and 3. Manufactured homes in other states that are in the wind zone 1 are required to meet somewhat lesser standards.

    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? 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Want to learn more about inspecting
manufactured/mobile homes? 
Get our Handbook for 
Manufactured Home Inspectors 
at for $19.95

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES:

Where can I file a complaint if I have problems with my new or used manufactured/mobile home in Florida?

What is a "second set" mobile/manufactured home? 

• What is a "Florida override" of HUD mobile/manufactured home installation standards?

How do I determine the age of a very old mobile home?

What is a "HUD label verification letter" for a mobile/manufactured home?  

When did a ground cover vapor barrier (plastic sheet) become required under a mobile/manufactured home? 

Is it safe to go under a mobile home? 

Are older mobile homes unsafe? 

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosed mobile home? 

Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it? 

Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home? 

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

What is the right price for a used mobile home?

How energy efficient is a mobile home?

Can I put a mobile home in my backyard in Florida?

How do I upgrade my old (pre-1976) mobile home to meet HUD standards?

What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home? 

Can you move an older mobile home in Florida? 

What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home? 

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

How can I tell the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home?

       Visit our MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES  page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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