For all FHA/HUD mobile home foundations, the HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Homes must be followed. This is a design standards manual issued by HUD for the manufactured housing industry as it pertains to permanent foundations.
It can be confusing to tell the difference between a manufactured home, mobile home, and/or modular home. They can be very similar in appearance, and on top of that, many people use the terms interchangeably. So let's try to clear it all up and get a better definition.
What are Manufactured Homes?
A manufactured home is any factory-built home in the United States that is built conforming to HUD Title 6 construction standards (commonly known as "the HUD-code"). The HUD-code was implemented and took effect starting June 15, 1976. A HUD-coded home will display documentation called the HUD Certification Label and the Data Plate. The red HUD Certification Label (sometimes called the "HUD Label") can be located on the tail end of each transportable section of the home (as shown here to the right). The Data Plate will be located inside of the home. A manufactured home is also built on a permanent chassis to ensure transportability. However, typically a manufactured home is not moved from its initial installed site. The home can then be placed on HUD permanent foundation. This is what we (Foundation Certifications) inspects and certifies when we visit your home-site.
What are Mobile Homes?
A mobile home is similar to a manfuctured home, in that it is a factory-built home. However, it differs in that it is: 1) built before June 15, 1976, and 2) not built to any uniform construction code, including HUD, since the HUD code didn't come out until June 15, 1976.
What are Modular Homes?
A modular home is any factory-built home that is constructed to a local (City or County), or state building code. In most cases, a state will have adopted one of the uniform construction codes (i.e. UBC, IRC, etc.). Modular homes will not have the red HUD Certification Label, but will have a different label (ofted called a "UBC Label", or similar) attached to the home stating the code it complies with (as shown here to the right). A modular home can be built as an "on-frame" or "off-frame" modular. On-frame will be built on a permanent chassis, whereas, the off-frame modular will be built with removal of the chassis frame in mind. An off-frame modular will usually require additional cranes to assist with home placement. Modular homes are, usually, only attached to private land, and not typically installed in manfactured (mobile) home parks.
To be eligible for FHA insurance, your manufactured (mobile) home must be on an FHA-approved permanent foundation. We, the registered professional engineers must design the foundation plans with the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing.
Manufactured homes can be moved from one site to another. Just because a specific foundation works at one site, does not mean that the same foundation design will work at another site. Why? because of characteristics involving: snow, wind, soil, etc. Please note that if you are wanting an FHA loan on a mobile home that has been moved may be difficult. According to many lending institutions, the manufactured unit must not have been installed or occupied previously at any other site or location. Often times, the lender requires that the manufactured units may be moved only from the manufacturer's or dealer's lot to the site on which the unit will be insured. If a permanent foundation is to be constructed under an existing eligible unit, the unit may be jacked up in order to install a new foundation.
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