Manufactured Home Installation and Setup is Important

Manufactured home installation and setup is vitally important to your home’s lifespan and overall health. Simply put, there is nothing more important than having your manufactured home installed and setup correctly.

Don’t worry about the shingles, framing, or window header upgrades. Don’t worry about the roof pitch or the flooring material – If your manufactured home is not properly installed none of it will matter because you will experience leaks, warps, bowing and other unfortunate issues.

Improper installation will result in serious damage. The stress on one small part of the structure impacts the entire home. The home will age quicker and the stress causes warping and bowing. After a short time has passed, the homeowners will begin experiencing issues such as leaks and it just goes downhill from there. Unfortunately, by the time the minor issues pop up major damage has been done to the home and it can be expensive to repair or correct the problem.

Proper installation and setup is so important, in fact, I wholeheartedly believe that the majority of complaints and poor reviews by manufactured homeowners can be explained by one simple reason – improper installation.

Windows and roofs don’t normally start leaking after only 4 years so there has to be an underlying reason for the issue. A home that is un-level is usually going to be that reason. If a manufacturer built 500 homes in 2008 and all were made with the same materials,  in the same factory by the same employees, using the same building process – why would only 50 of those homes have serious issues? Using deduced reasoning we can easily find the the main difference between the homes – They were all installed by different contractors, in different locations, using different regulations.

So how do we ensure we get the best homes and the best installation possible? Education! If a homeowners knows a little about the installation process and are able to ask the right questions and know what they are inspecting, they can ensure it is done correctly! 


Buying Your Manufactured Home

Hopefully, home buyers have researched a good deal and learned how to get the best home at the best price. Here’s a few articles I hope every manufactured home buyer will read, regardless if they are buying a new or used home:

Once you know how to buy your home at a fair price you need to continue the research on installation and setup in order to protect the investment you just made.


The Installation and Setup

When it comes to installation and setup of a manufactured home, the builders instruction manual shall trump all others.

ThStacked Construction Blocksink of the national HUD standards as being the base regulations. Their standards are nationwide but each state has its own higher standards based on their average soil and climate environments. The manufacturers installation manual will meet all HUD standards but it is usually much more detailed and will have higher regulations so it should always be followed.


HUD Regulation for Manufactured Home Installation and Setup

In 2009 HUD finally realized that improper installation and setup was a serious issue and began regulation reform. Before 2009, there were little regulations or codes set on a national level to mandate or control installation and setup procedures for manufactured homes. Some states had some simple guidelines to go by but minimal standards varied and little to no checkpoints were in place. Thankfully, that’s changing a bit.

Home buyers are often put in an awkward situation when it comes to installation of their home. Typically, the dealership will either have their own installation department or have a huge impact on the choice of contractors that are used and that could be an issue. Either the dealer or manufacturer installs the homes or they hire an outside contractor to do it. Most home buyers aren’t going to have an installer on speed dial and it’s not a topic that is brought up often among manufactured homeowners so finding a knowledgeable and reliable installer is difficult. Buyers will probably just take the recommendation from the dealer and let them handle it all but that’s where they go wrong.

If builders and dealers truly understood the importance of manufactured home installation and setup they would put as much emphasis on it as they do on the building process. Why go through all the trouble of building a home for a customer when they don’t do everything in their power to ensure that home has been installed correctly? It’s like a car manufacturer building a fine sports car and putting wooden wheels on it!

I have a theory that if manufactured homes were installed correctly more often that consumer complaints would decrease and overall homeowner satisfaction would increase significantly. That’s just my theory though.


Manufacture Home Installation and Setup Terminology

Learning the lingo and terminology used during a manufactured home install is the first step in understanding the process and ensuring that you get your home properly setup. Here’s a few common terms you should know, courtesy of the Florida Manufactured Home Setup Manual:

  • Dealer Installer – any licensed manufactured home dealer who is authorized by the department to install mobile/manufactured homes. Dealer installers are part of the dealership where you buy the home. In the US, a manufactured home dealer cannot sell a home themselves, there has to be a middle man or dealer. Larger companies will usually have one large umbrella corporation and separate entities within the company to handle the building and selling independently. This allows them to have more control over the entire buying and installing process and, in my opinion, is a better situation than any other. If you can reduce the number of people or companies involved with your home purchase and installation the chances of them taking more responsibility for the process is greater. It minimizes them from being able to put blame on something or someone else.
  • Licensed Installer – any person that is not a direct employee of a licensed dealer or builder that engages in mobile home installation and is licensed to do so from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
  •  Manufacturer Installer – any licensed manufactured home manufacturer who is authorized by the department to install manufactured homes.
  • Stabilizing Devices – any part of the anchoring or support system, such as piers, footings, ties, anchoring equipment, anchoring assemblies, or any other equipment, materials, and methods of construction that support and secure the manufactured home to the ground.


Permanent Foundations

There are several types of foundations that a manufactured home can have. The permanency of the installation, chosen appearance, and the location of the home will determine which will be used. If a homeowner owns the land and has no intention of moving the home again, a permanent foundation is usually the best.

The three main categories of foundations are floating slab, roll-on, and pit-set. There’s also the basement and roll-on foundations.

A floating slab foundation is a poured concrete pad with re-bar or J-bolts installed into the concrete so that the tie-downs can be attached to them instead of Helix Anchors. The concrete slab is usually only 6 inches thick but due to the way the concrete is formed and shaped the home can move along with the slab when the ground freezes, avoiding the possibility of cracking the foundation or damaging the home. There is a variable to the single floating slab foundation. Two strips of concrete is used instead of one large slab.

  • Roll-on foundations are used when a homeowner wants the home to be even with the ground level. A deep foundation is dug out and reinforced walls are poured to so that the home looks as if it is sitting directly on the ground.
  • A pit-set foundation is similar to a floating slab except the slab is poured one or two feet below ground level and walls are poured around the perimeter of the foundation to be even or slightly higher than the ground level. This creates a completely enclosed foundation.
  • Basement foundations are self explanatory. A full or half basement is built under the home.


Non-Permanent Foundations

For non-permanent foundations there are two main choices, pads and footings. A surface set pad foundation uses cinder blocks on level ground.

A pier footing foundation system consists of several re-bar reinforced concrete columns that are poured to set directly under each pier or block set of the home. These columns may or may not meet the frost-line depth for that location.

The size of the foundation is determined by the soil bearing capacity and the size of the pad. Each state will have a minimum foundation pad size and will state what material the pad can be constructed with. For instance, Florida’s smallest pad size is 16”x16” and can be made of concrete or plastic, wood is not acceptable. The size of the foundation determines the pier spacing and the amount of weight that each pad can carry. The manufacturer’s installation manual will provide additional information for proper pad sizes.Below is a footing pad diagram from a Skyline Homes manual:

footing pads for manufactured homes

Support Piers

One of the main differences between a manufactured home and site built home is the position of the piers used. Site built homes have stem walls on the outside, directly under the exterior walls. Manufactured homes have piers positioned under the home, under the chassis.

There are three main support area on a manufactured home: the frame or I-beam, the center-line, and the outside perimeter. Piers are made from steel or concrete.

Perimeter piers are always specified by the manufacturer, as are the center-line piers. Piers must be centered under the I-beam and at the marriage line if the home is multi-section and the spacing of the piers must be carefully calculated by the installer. The block plan discussed earlier is used to determine this spacing.

There are various rules regarding the different piers. Clearance, pier height, single vs double stacked blocks, shims, and many more guidelines must be followed. The homeowner should research to know the specific rules for the home type and the location.

A blocking plan will be included with each home installation manual. It will be similar to the one below:


single wide mobile home blocking plan


The illustrations below portray the various types of piers and footings that a manufactured home can have.


manufactured home piers and footing installation

Note: If a double interlocked pier is filled with concrete it can usually be used up to 80 inches in height.

steel pier and frost line footings w text

Perimeter and Center Line Piers for Manufactured Homes



Stacked Construction BlocksAnchors and Tie-Downs

Anchors, or tie-downs, are used to secure the home and keeps it from shifting off its blocks. It essentially anchors the frame to the earth or the foundation if a permanent foundation is used.

Improper anchoring or tying-down a home is the main reason we see so many homes on their sides on the weather channel. It is not the home itself but the lack of tie downs or anchoring system used on the home.

If a home is correctly tied down it can withstand the exact same wind speeds as a site-built home. You cannot compare a home that was simply sitting on blocks without any type of anchoring system to a site built home!

  • Ground Anchor – any device approved by the DMV that is used for the purpose of securing a manufactured home to the ground in order to resist wind forces. Ground anchors are rated by working load, which is the maximum load for design purposes. The ultimate load is the working or design load multiplied by the safety factor of 1.5.
  • Frame Tie or Tie Down – any device or method approved by the department and used for the purpose of securing the mobile/manufactured home or park trailer to ground anchors in order to resist lateral wind forces.
  • Vertical Tie – any device or method approved by the department and used for the purpose of securing the mobile/manufactured home or park trailer to ground anchors in order to resist vertical or uplift forces caused by the wind.
  • Over-Roof Tie – any device approved by the mobile/manufactured home manufacturer or listed by the DMV to be used for the purpose of securing the manufactured home to ground anchors in order to resist wind forces. Ties may be installed over metal roofs.


Installation Differences Regarding New Vs. Used Manufactured Homes

Manufactured home installation regulations can vary by state, wind or climate zone, and county. It also varies if the home is new or used. Used homes have lower standards than new homes. The reason for this is that used homes may not have been previously installed correctly which, as we learned above, can warp the structure. It may be impossible to get a used home installed correctly due to the damage so the rules are relaxed a bit.

How to Insure Your Home Is Installed Improperly

As much as I love manufactured homes because they are affordable and have so much potential – I’m not a big fan of the industry. That’s why I don’t accept advertising from any manufactured home company (builder or dealer) and remain as neutral as possible when it comes to speaking about the builders and dealers.

I’ve heard and seen so many situations that breaks my heart. Blame is always placed on someone else or something else. Rarely, if ever, does a company actually take responsibility for their own errors. My heart breaks for all the homeowners that have had their dream home turn into a nightmare and unfortunately, it happens way more than it should.

I’ve told the story before of how signing a final inspection ticket allowed one dealer to get out of fixing major issues with my fathers new 1986 double wide. The dealer had their own installation crew and after the home was setup an employee came out to do some finishing work. My father had only seen the home for a few minutes, the skirting wasn’t even installed nor was the carpet laid over the marriage line when a crew member asked him to sign a paper to ‘prove he had worked that day.’ There was some small print on the bottom and top of the paper but the handwriting only stated the guy’s name and how many hours he had been there that day along with some notes of what he did. My father signed it with no questions asked.

After 10 days of no visits from the dealer he started calling. The skirting and carpet was finally installed about 2 weeks later. The 2″ crack from the ceiling to the floor on the exterior corner in the master bedroom was never repaired nor was several other issues. The dealer refused to repair it because they had a paper with a signature on it stating the home was completely installed and the owner had signed off on it. Hiring an attorney would have been his only respite.

Had this not happened to my own father I would have a hard time believing that a company could be this way. After 4 years of phone calls and letters, nothing was ever done to correct the issues. He still has a large box in the closet with all the correspondence. I was only 9 when this happened but I remember the anger. I remember the worry and the feelings that this dream home, a home that he had worked for years in a underground coal mines to buy, wasn’t the home he hoped for. It was tainted and imperfect.

Pay a 3rd Party Licensed Manufactured Home Inspector to Inspect Your Home

The most important advice I can give you is to never sign anything until the home has been completely installed and inspected by a 3rd party that is not affiliated with the dealer.

After they install a home they will have the owner ‘inspect’ the home and sign off on it – by doing so you release the company(s) from all liability of an improper installation. Who would, in their right mind, have someone with absolutely no knowledge of a subject sign a legal contract stating that simply based on looks alone, and whatever paperwork that’s been provided, the home has been setup correctly? The manufactured housing industry would!

Hiring an independent inspector will cost you a few hundred dollars but it is money well spent.

When you refuse to sign anything at the home site, the installer or dealer will complain. They will tell you that the bank will not release the check until you sign off on everything. Don’t worry about that – your main priority after the home has been installed is to get a 3rd party inspection done. A couple of days isn’t going to kill anyone but it can protect you.

Only after they have inspected everything should you sign anything.

What to Do if Your Home Was Installed Improperly

(I’ve added this section after I published this article – it is based on a reader’s question and I figured it would be helpful to include it)

There’s only 3 real ways to get some kind of help for an improperly installed manufactured home, and none are very good.

Pay for the Repairs Yourself

The first is to pay for it yourself. You will need to get the home re-leveled to stop the damage from getting any worse. It will cost but it won’t cost as much now as it will in 5 more years.

HUD State Agency

The second is the HUD state agency funds. Each state has a fund setup for manufactured homeowners to get help for faulty manufacturing or installation but it takes years of frustration and paperwork to get anywhere. Contact them and start the process to file the claim immediately. If possible, get an attorney.

HUD State Agency Departments

Every home that is sold has a percentage of the price go to this fund but there is rampant fraud and misuse going on with these funds in a lot of states (WV being one of the worse) so the chances of actually getting any help from these funds are slim to none.


The third remedy would be taking it to court. The paperwork is probably against you if you signed it but you may have a leg to stand on if you are willing to pay an attorney up front.


The installer or dealer may tell you that your insurance will help you repair this but if you turn this kind of thing into your insurance the chances of staying insured is slim – you may be cut from your current insurance and if that happens you will have a hard time finding another insurer that you can afford.

I should add that in some instances a home must be re-leveled at regular intervals. Homes with complicated foundations or if they are high off the ground, should be checked annually for the first few years to ensure that settling or shifting hasn’t occurred. 

I hope this helps!

I’ll be adding more PDF’s from various resources now that I know how! As always, thank you so much for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living! If there’s anything in particular that you want information on just let me know in the comments. Thanks!

25 Responses

  1. Jessica

    My single wide mobile home was knocked off of its foundation due to semi-strong winds on April 3, 2017; causing damage to my home. I have had two licensed contractors to come out and assess the home in which they have both informed me that the unit was not tied down properly. I purchased the home in November of 2014 so it has only been 2 1/2 years. I am dealing with my insurance company who has claimed that the damage to my home is only minor and have agreed to only provide me with 1/4 of what it will take to repair. So far I’ve collected a few written quotes to prove that the home was not tied-down properly (per the manufacturers own installation set up guide). Any suggestions on what I should do? I am beginning to become a bit discouraged. I have looked for an attorney and its hard to find someone to take this case.

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Jessica,

      I’m so sorry you are going through this. It’s maddening and disheartening. You are experiencing one of the most common issues in the manufactured housing world – issues due to improper installation and a lack of tie-downs.

      The home SHOULD have been properly installed to the manufacturer’s specifications. The dealer SHOULD have educated you about the different installation ‘packages’ and then ensured that the home was in fact installed to the manufacturer’s standards but none of that happened. Unfortunately, installers have several ‘outs’ when it comes to this kind of thing. If you only paid for the standard installation service (without understanding there were any other options) and if you signed the final paperwork stating you had inspected the home and were satisfied with it, you will have a fight on your hands. This isn’t fair and it is a serious issue that needs to be corrected. Unfortunately, we little people have no power so the regulations we need to protect homeowners will likely never be implemented.

      In a perfect world, I would tell you to fight till you couldn’t fight anymore but this isn’t a perfect world. Sometimes it’s quicker and easier to take what you can get and be done with it because fighting these types of battles is long and frustrating and that’s done purposely – the longer they make you wait the more likely you will be to drop the claim.

      Since the home has suffered a shock, it may be more susceptible issues so be very diligent and inspect every inch every month or two and watch for leaks.
      I wish you the best and I hope you can get the result you want. Please let me know how it goes.

  2. Chris Winters

    I can see why modular installation would depend on the average soil and climate conditions. My wife and I have been planning on building a new house. I definitely think that I should consider finding a professional for the modular installation portion.

  3. Edith

    I love your site: mobile home living , I started searching google and I found you , since then got hook! Lots of good info , thank you soo much .
    We are buying a brand new doble-wide manufacture home in north Ca.
    It is normal procedure for a manifacture to ask to be paid in full even before they start with the foundation where the house is going to be placed?
    We got a letter from the escrow company saying the dealer requested the all founds to be release at once , since then dealer and we agreed on 4 steps on how the funds are going to be release. But again we got release forms from escrow saying other than what dealer and we agreed on, when the escrow agent was also notified of the new terms .
    Now , we don’t know what to think , seems like they are trying to get paid the full amount even before the whole project is finish .
    What do you recommend ?
    The dealer only gave us 2 reference wich I contact only one and he spoke only beauty about them .
    Thank you again!

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Edith,

      Under no circumstances should you release funds until the home is absolutely to your liking and passes inspection. Withholding funds is one of the only powers you have to ensure the work is done properly.

  4. kate

    I love our 2011 mfged home. Hubby and I are seniors so we live alone and opted for many upgrades but the one upgrade not offered was for better quality carpeting. I knew from day one it wouldn’t hold up well, and it hasn’t. The guy who came to finish laying carpet in the hall after the home was installed/set up said the vinyl flooring (laundry room, bathrooms & foyer) should last 20 yrs but the carpet and under padding is crap. My question is this: Our home is on a pier foundation, and the crappy carpet it buckling in EVERY room. Is that just because it’s cheap, crappy carpet, perhaps in combination with poor installation, or does it have anything to do with the fact that there are big temperature fluctuations in the floors with the pier foundation & crawl space. (We’re in MN….think -20 [sometimes worse] in winter, 90+ in summer.) We want to replace the carpet this summer, and because the floors are cold in the winter, we want to get carpet again (better quality!) but want to make sure that the buckling is due to the poor quality of the existing carpet and not the temperature fluctuations below the floors, and, therefore, will keep happening again and again no matter how much we spend on carpet and installation. Any insight or advice will be very much appreciated.

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Kate,

      I’m afraid your question is out of my league. I’m not very knowledgeable about carpeting and the effects of freezing weather on a home. I would guess that as long as you have no other signs of stress on the home (doors and windows not shutting easily), then it is just the cheaper carpet material interacting with the expansion and contraction of the home (which is natural to a degree).

      Sorry, I can’t be more helpful, but I’m very interested to see what you find out. Could you keep me informed once you get it figured out? I’d love to see the new carpet once installed, too! Thanks!

  5. Mary Lentz

    Thank you for all the information on your site. We are looking to buy a home this summer and measuring the pros/cons of manufactured homes. Frankly, it seems overwhelming. I can’t seem to find a lot of positive reviews on homes and dealerships available in my area. (Arkansas)

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Mary,

      There are only a couple of websites that collect reviews on manufactured home dealers and builders. I wish there was more though. Google ‘Manufactured home complaints’ and you’ll see the sites (I can’t for the life of me recall their names and I’m not able to search Google easily right now).

      Ask around the parks, and check your state’s BBB. You are definitely doing the right thing by researching and buyers that research well are usually the most satisfied. Best of luck!

  6. Suzanne J.

    We have a 2600 sf manufactured home (2005) and are just in the process of having a stem wall installed as the original installation was just rebar and plywood – then backfilled and a skirting put around the part that was still above ground. Everything has been dug out, the footer has been laid and the block steam wall is complete. We live in Arizona and there seems to be some disagreement between us and our contractor on whether the block wall needs to be sealed from the outside before we start the process of re-landscaping. While it is dry most of the time, during monsoon we get extremely heavy rains and I am not sure we want all that water seeping under the house. It is on piers and pads. What would you recommend?

  7. Steven

    I’m sorry. One more question…
    The double wide we just bought (which is 20 years old) has a problem with the heating system.

    It has forced hot air heat provided by a natural gas furnace. The problem is that heat only comes out of the registers on one side of the home. Nothing comes through the registers on the opposite side. We’re hoping this will be a simple fix but are concerned. The duct that connects the two sides of the home appears to be connected. We really don’t know if this has always been a problem from the beginning or not. Not likely, I would think, because the home was originally set up as a park model. At some point this home had sat vacant for a number of years and was sold at auction due to property taxes not being paid. Is it possible an animal built a nest in the ductwork? Or what else could cause this? There was also a freeze-up during that time and all the water supply lines were replaced.

    Can anyone familiar with plumbing and heating resolve this problem or should we try to find someone who specializes in mobilehome setup and repairs?

  8. Steven

    We just bought a 1996 double wide manufactures home (mobilehome).
    It is on piers. A few questions:
    1. What is involved in removing the wheels and axles. Does the home have to be raised up to get them off?
    2. We have cathedral ceilings but one spot in the living room is damaged. Is it simple to remove & replace just the damaged area and still have everything blend in with the rest of the ceiling when done?
    3. We are also interested in having the home checked as a maintenance procedure to make sure it hasn’t settledone over the years. The closest door in the M Bedroom will not close. It appears to be out of square, which I take as a sign of settling.

    Local banks will not mortgage a mobilehome with wheels and axles still attached. We don’t need a mortgage but when it comes time to sell it, a sale will be easier if the home qualifies for a mortgage.

  9. Steve

    I am not experienced in any form of modular/manufactured home living, but I am considering the possibility. If I were to purchase a modular/manufactured home on some land and it does not have a stem wall, is it possible to have one installed after the fact? If so, would it be expensive?

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Steve,

      There is a big difference in modular and manufactured. Modular homes have to meet your local building codes and are not built on a chassis (just sections). A manufactured home is built on a chassis and complete directly from the factory. Manufactured homes only have to meet national HUD building regulations. The price difference is quite a bit, as is the insurance, taxes, and appraisal methods.

  10. Cheryl

    Thanks for the advice. We have been in our double wide 10 years and everyday we see that our two halves don’t match. Not even the paint on the ceiling, and the floor doesn’t match. The patio door leaks and has since it was brand new. The cabinet doors and drawer fronts look like greese was poured down them. The newewt trick is to make you attach your land to the home
    so that if you default on it they take your land too.
    By the way we found a note saying Bubba tiled our floors over screws nails and everything.
    Beware they are still crooks.

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Cheryl,

      Sorry you’ve dealt with shady companies. There are some good ones out there! Please have your home leveled as soon as possible. It doesn’t cost as much as you think and it can be done in a day. This will keep the home from aging and deteriorating quickly. If it goes too long the doors and windows won’t open, and the stress on the joints of the home can create havoc.

      Best of luck!

  11. Chris

    Hi I am very upset I live in a moble home park and do a lot of repairs the biggest problem and i just cant be leave these set up crews would do this is the gutters around the carport patio theres no way to clean them without taking every thing apart some you can get your finger down inside but most you cant get even a knife blade this has damaged alot of porch decks ect because the water gets backed up from the mud witch you cant get out

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Chris,

      I saw a water hose gutter cleaning extension that may help. It had a long handle with a bend on the end and different sprays – might help get the small stuff down to an area that you can reach easier. There are also kits you can buy that click into the tops of gutters that keep debris out.

      Best of luck to you!

  12. Alma

    Hi! Thank you for this information. I’ve been approved for a double wide mobile home mortgage. I was told I need to get the land ready by getting a basepad on the land to set the mobile home on. What are the different options for base pads? What is the best to use?

    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Alma!
      Installation details will completely depend on your location. Your dealer will need to furnish you with the manufacturer’s guidelines and they should be able to tell you exactly what your local regulations are as well.


  13. Kristina

    So what do you do when you have a manufactured home that was installed incorrectly? Our was installed in 2005 by the local dealer’s contractor. Ours is on a post & beam raised foundation. It looks like it sits at ground level in the front but it’s about 10 feet or so off the ground in the back. We’ve lived in this home since September 2007. It is developing stress fractures along the middle where the 2 halves come together and along the seams of the drywall in the ceiling. We also have a large stress fracture in the drywall in one of the corners (that was patched over by previous owner). There are also several spots on the back half (the raised half) that have squeaks in the sub-floor due to loosening of the plywood and the kitchen floor is not level. We were told by the local dealer that this damage was caused as a result of the unit having a front loader washer which is not recommended for our type of foundation.

    • Crystal Adkins

      That sounds like the silliest excuse for poor installation I have ever heard. They are so good at making up excuses!

      Here’s where it gets tricky though – after they install a home they will have the owner ‘inspect’ the home and sign off on it – by doing so you release the company(s) from all liability of an improper installation. Who would, in their right mind, have someone with absolutely no knowledge of a subject sign a legal contract stating that simply based on looks alone and whatever paperwork that’s been provided the home has been setup correctly? The manufactured housing industry would!

      The cards are stacked against manufactured homeowners from the get-go – the industry is as sleazy and dirty as it gets and though it has gotten better since the 1990’s it hasn’t gotten that much better.

      There’s only 3 real ways to get some kind of help and none are very good. The first is to pay for it yourself. You do need to get better support under there and the home re-leveled to stop the damage from getting any worse. It will cost but it won’t cost as much now as it will in 5 more years.

      The second is the state agency funds. Each state has a fund setup for manufactured homeowners to get the repairs needed due to faulty manufacturing or installation but it takes years of frustration and paperwork to get anywhere. Here’s a list for each state, contact them and start the process to file the claim. If possible, get an attorney.

      HUD State Agency Departments:

      Every home that is sold has a percentage of the price go to this fund but there is rampant fraud and misuse going on with these funds in a lot of states (WV being one of the worse) so the chances of actually getting any help from these funds are slim to none.

      The third remedy would be taking it to court. The paperwork is probably against you if you signed it but you may have a leg to stand on if you are willing to pay an attorney up front.

      The companies will also tell you that your insurance will help you repair this but if you turn this kind of thing into your insurance the chances of staying insured is slim – you will be cut and you will have a hard time finding another insurer that you can afford.

      I should add that in some instances a home must be re-leveled at regular intervals. Homes with complicated foundations (like yours, where the home is high off the ground) should be checked annually for the first few years to ensure that settling or shifting hasn’t occurred. They probably failed to tell you that though.

      I’m terribly sorry you are experiencing this. I can only imagine the anger and disappointment you feel. I wish you the best. If there is anything I can do please let me know.

      • Tim

        There is not enough information to assume the setup was faulty based on the info provided.

        On a set like was described, post and beam set 10 feet off the ground, my first thought is how often was it releveled?

        Home owner maintenance is a very critical in any home and more so in a manufactured home.

        Some manufacturers will say at least every other year and a possibly every year on a standard set. With a set like the one described, I would say every year.

        Also, cracks are very common in manufactured home with tape and texture walls. Typically exterior walls to interior wall corners, wall to ceiling and marriage line are very common.

        I would be interested as to what constitutes a ” poor installation”.

        All manufactured homes installed in the U.S. other than a Reservation are inspected by a person with credentials to represent HUD whether directly through a state agency or by Agreement.

        Dirt can and will settle even after being ” compacted” Which is a large portion of what would be described as settling. The relevel will allow for that assuming typical circumstances and no frost heaves, expansive soil or other ground issues.

        Drainage can play a large part in the amount of settling that can occur and something that should be addressed as part of the install and maintance. Sprinkler systems and landscape can play a large roll in settling and drainage issues, just to name a few of the things that get done after the install that can adversely affect the integrity of the home.

        FYI, I have been in the manufactured home business for going on 32 years, I spent 8 years in the factory building them, park models, manufactured homes, modular homes and factory built buildings.

        The next 10 years doing factory warranty service for most every manufacture in the south west.

        The last 13 or 14 years doing insurance claims on manufactured homes.

        While I don’t proclaim to know it all, I have seen quite a bit of settling and set up issues over the years, I just wouldn’t say the described situation is a poor setup with out a significant amount more information.


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