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Manufactured Home Foundation Inspections

All foundation systems, new and existing, must meet the guidelines published in the Permanent Foundation Guide for Manufactured Housing (HUD-7584), dated September 1996.  A certification attesting to compliance with this handbook must be obtained from a licensed professional engineer.

It means that the foundation must meet the criteria as set forth in HUD manual Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing, September 1996. This manual requires a site specific design for every manufactured home. Dead loads, snow loads, wind loads and seismic loads must all be taken into account. There must be a perimeter, frost line protected strip foundation as well as frost line protected piers under the chassis.

hud foundations

HUD Requirement

The stacked blocks that the unit actually sits on must not only be mortared, they must be attached with rebar to the footing and bolted and/or welded to the chassis frame, unless there is an alternate, site specific engineered design. The design must include protection against horizontal shearing forces and uplifting forces. This can require additional strapping between the stacked blocks. Finally, it means that this design must be stamped by a licensed professional engineer verifying that HUD requirements are met.

Inspection Information

Aardvark Home Inspectors provides these inspections and reports meeting the FHA and HUD requirements.  Reports are ready in 3-5 days after inspection. Some of the items that are inspected and verified are:

  • Site layout, drainage and flood-prone area identification.

  • Name, address and phone of home manufacturer.

  • Date of manufacture.

  • Date of foundation construction and type of foundation.

  • Building permit and inspection record.

  • Foundation size and tie down placement.

  • Applicable loads on the foundations.

A Title I loan for a manufactured home requires one of the following:

  • A certificate label attached to the home, or

  • A label verification letter. Obtain a label verification letter by visiting the website of the HUD approved contractor, the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS)

A Title II loan requires all of the following:

  • A certificate label or label verification letter.

  • The placement of the home on a permanent foundation that complies with the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing (PFGMH).

  • A certification from a licensed professional engineer verifying compliance with the PFGMH.

The most common permanent foundation errors delaying the approval of an FHA-insured loan for a manufactured home are:

  • The foundation footings are not set below the frost line

  • The use of dry-stacked piers are used instead of the required piers with mortared head and bed joints

  • Ground anchors are used, because FHA does not accept these as a permanent attachment

  • Any permanent foundation lacking an engineer’s certification, even if it complies with all other elements

  • Vinyl skirting used as an enclosure, that doesn’t meet ALL of the following FHA requirements:

  1. Properly enclosed crawl space with a continuous permanent foundation-type construction (similar to a conventionally built foundation, i.e., concrete, masonry or treated wood)

  2. Designed to resist all forces without transmitting the building superstructure to movements or effects caused by frost heave, soil settlement, or the shrinking or swelling of expansive soils

  3. Adequately secured to the perimeter of the unit to exclude entry of vermin and water

  4. Allowance for proper ventilation of the crawl space

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