Once known as “mobile homes”, manufactured homes are mobile no longer.
They are affixed permanently to a foundation, providing an affordable option for many home buyers. Manufactured homes were also once known – and derided – for shoddy construction. But that, too, has changed. They must now meet extensive state and federal requirements for structural soundness, safety, and construction quality. Primary among these:
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has established an array of technical and design standards for manufactured home foundations. A licensed professional engineer must certify that the foundation meets those requirements in order for a manufactured home to qualify for a federally insured (FHA) mortgage.
- Many states have established their own unique and varied requirements for the design and construction standards manufactured homes must meet.
Criterium-Henderson Engineers provides certification services by Professional Engineers in the Reno, Lake Tahoe areas and surrounding valleys.
A Manufactured Home is defined as a structure built on a permanent chassis, transportable in one or more sections that are no more than 8 feet wide and 40 feet long, or 320 square feet when erected on the site. It is designed to be used as a dwelling and contain plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems. The category does not include recreational vehicles (RVs), structures designed for temporary living, or modular homes.
Mortgages are available for the purchase of new or existing manufactured homes. Most mortgages written by a lender are almost certain to be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
As a condition of providing insurance, the FHA requires that the foundation for new homes be designed by, and the design sealed by a licensed Professional Engineer. The design must comply with FHA guidelines. For existing homes, a Professional Engineer is required to certify that the foundation meets the FHA requirements.
At Criterium-Henderson Engineers, we are building experts and we are experts in manufactured homes. That’s a claim few engineering firms can make, and it is the reason you should contact us if you are buying a manufactured home. We can provide the foundation analysis and documentation you need to qualify for a federally-insured mortgage. We can also provide the assurance you want that the home you are buying is structurally sound, durable, and safe.