Manufactured & Modular Homes Blog

What Goes Into Buying a Manufactured Home?

So, your thinking about buying a manufactured home. Now what?

The manufactured home planning process is vastly different from the installation of a modular home. Your general contractor and manufactured home seller will be there to walk you through the process so you can move into your home as quickly as possible.

Once you submit your deposit on the home, factory construction of your manufactured home begins. This can take two or more weeks to complete in factory, and an additional 30 to 90 days to install on-site depending upon weather and other possible setbacks.  While your home is being built, you will need to complete the bulk of your responsibility preparing the site where your home will be set.

Preparation period

Just as you would if you purchased a modular home, you will need to consider your wants and needs in a location to set your new manufactured home. Before settling on a site, ask yourself if this location satisfies all of yours and your family’s needs before continuing with the other location requirements.

Building Codes & Building Permits

Unlike modular homes, manufactured homes do not require you to conform to building codes in your area. Instead, manufactured home construction and placement in Pennsylvania is governed by the Housing Standards Division of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This division is under the authority of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and must follow the agency’s building codes and be labeled as certified.

Furthermore, the HUD code requires homes to be set to the manufacturer’s specifications that the DCED monitors the construction and setting of the home throughout the process to make sure all codes are followed. The DCED is there to make sure that homeowners get a well-built, weather-tight home that is properly set and declared safe to live in.

Any building code that is not addressed in the HUD code must be followed. This pertains mostly to construction outside of the HUD code:

  • Basements
  • Garages
  • Decks

The home will then need to be inspected and the installer will complete a Certificate of Compliance after installation is completed. After the certificate is completed and approved, the new homeowners will receive a certificate of occupancy which allows them to officially move into their new home.


Site Preparation

The preparation of the site for a new manufactured home must be completed according to the manufacturer’s specifications by a competent contractor.

When you choose the location, a building permit must be obtained before any site work can begin. Subsequent inspections will make certain that the site is properly graded and that there are no areas where water can collect and be prevented from being properly diverted. Once the site is properly graded, the ground will need to be checked for support.

Soil conditions and the bearing capacity of the ground are critical to the proper installation of the foundation system. A site that does not have proper ground support can lead to many construction defects in the future, such as:

  • Bowed floors & walls
  • Cracked walls & ceilings
  • Defective doors & windows

Check with your local code official and ask about the frost depth in your area. The frost depth is important to the support of your home because the installer must place pier footings or a crawlspace/full foundation to support your home. To protect the pier or foundation footings from frost, they must be installed below the maximum frost penetration level.

Once grading is inspected and the foundation system is placed, it’s time for your home to be delivered to the property.

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