Manufactured Home Facts Everyone Should Know

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  1. Re:

    §3282.12 Excluded structures—modular homes.
    (a) The purpose of this section is to provide the certification
    procedure authorized by section 604(h) of the National Manufactured
    Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act under which modular
    homes may be excluded from coverage of the Act if the manufacturer of
    the structure elects to have them excluded. If a manufacturer wishes
    to construct a structure that is both a manufactured home and a
    modular home, the manufacturer need not make the certification
    provided for by this section and may meet both the Federal
    manufactured home requirements and any modular housing requirements.
    When the certification is not made, all provisions of the Federal
    requirements shall be met.
    (b) Any structure that meets the definition of manufactured home at 24
    CFR 3282.7(u) is excluded from the coverage of the National
    Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act, 42 U.S.C.
    5401 et seq., if the manufacturer certifies as prescribed in paragraph
    (c) of this section that:
    (1) The structure is designed only for erection or installation on a
    site-built permanent foundation;
    (i) A structure meets this criterion if all written materials and
    communications relating to installation of the structure, including
    but not limited to designs, drawings, and installation or erection
    instructions, indicate that the structure is to be installed on a
    permanent foundation.
    (ii) A site-built permanent foundation is a system of supports,
    including piers, either partially or entirely below grade which is:
    (A) Capable of transferring all design loads imposed by or upon the
    structure into soil or bedrock without failure,
    (B) Placed at an adequate depth below grade to prevent frost damage, and
    (C) Constructed of concrete, metal, treated lumber or wood, or grouted
    masonry; and
    (2) The structure is not designed to be moved once erected or installed
    on a site-built permanent foundation;
    (i) A structure meets this criterion if all written materials and
    communications relating to erection or installation of the structure,
    including but not limited to designs, drawings, calculations, and
    installation or erection instructions, indicate that the structure is
    not intended to be moved after it is erected or installed and if the
    towing hitch or running gear, which includes axles, brakes, wheels and
    other parts of the chassis that operate only during transportation,
    are removable and designed to be removed prior to erection or
    installation on a site-built permanent foundation; and
    (3) The structure is designed and manufactured to comply with the
    currently effective version of one of the following:
    (i) One of the following nationally recognized building codes:
    (A) That published by Building Officials and Code Administrators
    (BOCA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and made up
    of the following:
    (1) BOCA Basic Building Code,
    (2) BOCA Basic Industrialized Dwelling Code,
    (3) BOCA Basic Plumbing Code,
    (4) BOCA Basic Mechanical Code, and
    (5) National Electrical Code, or
    (B) That published by the Southern Building Code Congress (SBCC) and
    the NFPA and made up of the following:
    (1) Standard Building Code,
    (2) Standard Gas Code,
    (3) Standard Mechanical Code,
    (4) Standard Plumbing Code, and
    (5) National Electrical Code, or
    (C) That published by the International Conference of Building
    Officials (ICBO), the International Association of Plumbing and
    Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and the NFPA and made up of the
    (1) Uniform Building Code,
    (2) Uniform Mechanical Code,
    (3) Uniform Plumbing Code, and
    (4) National Electrical Code

    On 2020-05-01 12:15, wrote:

  2. Hi,
    We are buying a 1976 doublewide home on the lake. The only problem I have are the low ceilings. Is there anyway to raise a ceiling in a mobile home?

    1. Hi Michele,

      Single wides have what I’ve heard called as “top-down” structural integrity, meaning all the integrity of the home is being supported or helpd together by the ceiling trusses. If you modify those you would need to give the walls new support and foundation. That means you’d basically be building a site-built home around the mobile home while it remains classified as a mobile home (in most instances). You may get lucky and have space to push the ceiling panels up closer to the trusses. I’ve also seen single wides have all the ceiling panels removed and the trusses stay but that would require a new insulated roof.

      In short, yes, it’s possible but it would be a ton of work and money. This article may help you though: 5 Ways to Make Low Ceilings Appear Higher in Mobile Homes

      Congratulations on your new home!

  3. hello. we just bought a 14×70 mobile home, a year ago, in a court for over 50. it seems nice. we do not know much about this home,how it was built, its a 1986 Victorian, the roof and siding look good, furnace , plumbing , look good, but we don’t know any more. my husband crawled under, and he says all looks good. we rented apt’s for years, and its not nice, I don’t like all the crap you encounter. this seems a lot better. I guess if you are going to retire, this is ok, if you don’t have money, to do anything else. im disabled and I wish it had more safety features in the bathroom, but you deal with what you have. anyway, good reading, thanks


  4. Thank you so much for your website. It is very informative & encouraging. Like you say, there is almost no information on the internet about mobile home living. My husband & I bought our ’91 14X70 Atlantic home in 2015. It had been in very poor condition, but the previous owner did alot of work on it; & we had more work done. This is our retirement home; we moved from a cottage style home in town to this beautiful location on a wooded hill in the country. Our neighborhood in town had deteriated greatly through our 35 years of living there & was no longer safe. Basically, this is all we could afford, but is paid for & that means alot. we have 12 acres & it’s very beautiful & peaceful & we love it. True friends like us no matter where we live; & our kids have to accept it.

    1. Hi, Donna!
      Thanks you so much for the kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, too! Your home sounds gorgeous! 12 acres is a good size of property. A 14×70 is a great size for two retirees.

      I hope to hear from you again! You should sign up for our newsletter using the form at the bottom of the article. Thank you!!

  5. I was surfing the net and came across your site. Very interesting reading. I read your comments under the heading entitled “Zoning issues have come up in local government meetings. Does the HUD code prevent zoning restrictions of manufactured housing?” and immediately thought about the “Statement of Policy” HUD published in the Federal Register on May 5th, 1997, regarding clarification that a HUD-coded home cannot be treated any differently than a structure built to a State or Local Code (Modular Homes). You may find additional guidance and support from a State’s SAA should you run across any local jurisdiction which is attempting to exclude or restrict the installation of Manufactured Housing in their community. (If your unable to find a copy, email me).

  6. Hi Crystal, I am buying a brand new Imperial 2017 Manufactured Home in Broward County, Fl. It is new and never lived in but I cannot find a manufacture home Inspector in the area. Do you have any references? I am too old to crawl under the home to see if it has the required Tie Downs and I do not understand as to why there is no A/C unit inside along with the water heater. I was told the water heater was in the Masterbedroom closet and not visible and covered with a temporary wall with wing nuts. Is this normal. There is a A/C fan system outside in the rear of the home. Thanks

    1. Hi James,

      Contact McGarry and Madsen Home Inspection at this website (link). They will either be able to do it themselves or they can give you a qualified recommendation.

      It is absolutely normal for a water heater to be behind a wall in a central location for all plumbing fixtures. Cooling units are placed outside due to the condensation – you would have water everywhere if they put a large air conditioner unit in the home.

      Best of luck and congratulations on your new home!

  7. Hi there; I just came across your website as I have been researching places to live after I sell my home, and frankly, I’m scared stiff. I have 3 cats and so townhome living sounds like my only option at this point. I really don’t want to give them away. I also know nothing about the whole process of purchasing a home and so I don’t trust myself to know a good deal from a bad one. I do have a good reference or two as far as a realtor goes. I have heard horror stories about manufactured homes. this site eases my mind somewhat; Utah has nasty east winds and the occasional funnel cloud, and yes, we are on a fault line. – – LeeAnn

    1. Hi LeeAnn,

      You’ll find something! You’ll want to take your time and not settle whether it’s a condo or a mobile home. The structure is what matters most on mobile homes – the flooring, roofing, walls, windows, etc. Cosmetic issues are fixable. Hire a trustworthy realtor that is knowledgeable about mobile homes (and isn’t biased against them) and an inspector that is trustworthy. They will both be worth every dime you pay.

      Best of luck!

  8. I want to reside my double wide mobile home. I have found that there are horizontal ‘furring’ strips on the outside of the wall studs that the metal siding is attached to. I don’t have a clue how to deal with that. Any suggestions?

  9. Hi Crystal,

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I found it very informative and encouraging!
    I agree- there is not enough inspiration for manufactured home owners, and the stereotypes surrounding manufactured homes needs to be combated. Thanks to your article, I have recently decided to pursue the financing of a manufactured home:)


  10. Hi Crystal, I am a frequent reader of your site. I just wanted to add a couple of comments. I am also a follower of the tiny house movement. In your intro to this particular column, you noted that many of the people who are fans of mobiles don’t really know anything about them. It is also true of the tiny house movement. I have spent a number or years in ‘trailer houses’- a 1943 Zimmer and a 1947 8’X40′ (actually only 37 1/2 because the hitch is included in the length) that is an almost perfect double for the ‘long long trailer’. I spent another 10 years in a 10 wide with a fold out living/dining room. Those trailers were amazingly well planned and well built and I loved every minute in them. We pulled the 40 foot trailer over the Sierra Nevada’s with a Uhaul truck. I think that the tiny houses, although really attractive on the outside, rarely manage to add the livability of those old trailers. I wish more people would take another look at the old 8 and 10 wides. Many people who could benefit from living in these kinds of structures are prevented from considering it by the prejudices instigated by those who know nothing of the benefits that can be derived from one of these homes; a smaller carbon footprint, vastly reduced utility costs and a simplified life due to the fact that you must choose only the things you absolutely need for your tiny space. Who among us doesn’t own too much stuff? Even the most modest trailer park will allow a storage building, so you can keep seasonal clothes, outdoor equipment and change of season decorating items on hand. Now that we are in our 70’s, my husband and I intend to return to that life style. It only takes one outgoing person to pull a whole park together in friendship. Everyone may not want to join the weekly barbeque, but almost everyone is willing to exchange a friendly smile and keep an eye on each other. More ‘trailer parks’ is exactly what this country needs.

    1. Hi Jeani!

      It’s great to hear from you! I agree 100% – we do need more good parks available with an emphasis on community. Personally, I can’t wait to be able to move into a great park after I turn 55. I’m counting the days down – it just seems like my kind of paradise!

      Thank you so much for reading MHL and for taking the time to comment!