With more than 21 million people in the United States living in manufactured or mobiles homes, it is important that these homes are safe. To ensure that these homes are livable and that they are not in the need to major repair, you may elect to have a professional complete an inspection of the home.
A home inspection may be a complete inspection from the roof to the ground, or of more specific areas of the home that need to be inspected, such as roofs, plumbing, flooring, etc… One of the most common inspections of manufactured homes is a foundation inspection. You will need a licensed inspector or structural engineer that understands the unique issues that may arise with the foundation in manufactured homes, or Factory Built Homes (FBH). Their knowledge will be able to point out certain features of the home that may lower the value, be deemed unsafe, or even be too expensive to repair. More importantly they will be able to provide a written response to a lender, home buyer, or home owner whether the foundation is up to the most recent requirements.
Why would you need one?
There are many reasons why you may need a home or foundation inspection. From bank or lender requested certification when purchasing or selling a home, to just simple peace of mind. It may always be a great idea to have a professional inspect your current or future home.
- Buying a home
When buying a home you should always get an inspection of the home you intend to purchase, this will protect you and your future investment. Your bank or lender may require you to have an inspection of the foundation with a written report stating it is up to correct requirements.
- Selling a home
Hiring a structural engineer or inspector to look over your home before you sell it could help you find repairs that could be made to your home. These repairs could raise the overall value of the home, or give you an idea of a good listing price for your home based upon the current market.
- New home Installation
A lender must obtain a certification by a licensed engineer or architect in that state where the home is located, stating that the home is in compliance with the manufactured home foundation requirements. These same rules may apply to the above bullet points.
Same as above, a lender will most likely need or require certification from licensed engineer or inspector stating that the home is in compliance with the correct requirements.
What is normally checked during the inspection?
It is very important to remember that manufactured homes are built in a factory and are much different than a typical home. Starting with the all-important foundation, you will find that the home is built up on piers. These piers are holding up the home by being attached to large I-beams, these I-beams are the home’s main support system. This is just one of the main inspection points in a Manufactured Home Inspection. Keep in mind the list below is part of what will be checked in a complete manufactured home inspection and may not be needed for the certification of the foundation. The list is also a partial list and your professional may need to check other areas of the home to complete their inspection.
- Manufacturers Info Sticker
- Missing or loose trim, skirting or siding panels
- Evaluation of site-built add-ons
- I-Beams (not bent or rusted)
- Foundation Piers
- Vapor Barrier
- Perimeter Blocking
- Anchor Straps
- Floor Framing
- Masonry Pier Caps
- Soil Anchors
Your professional may also check some of the site characteristics of where the home is located, this will ensure that the nearby surroundings are safe.
- Overhanging trees
- Power lines
- Gas tanks
- Car ports
- Older manufactured homes
How do you go about getting one?
- Site Visit
You may choose to go about getting the inspection completed and/or obtain a certification from the inspection in a variety of ways. Some of the most popular ways would be to contact a local inspector, engineer, or architect that is licensed in the state in which the home is located. Schedule a site visit with one of them, they will come out to your home, complete the inspection checklist and write a report on their findings.
- Remote Inspections Nationwide
Here at PSE Consulting Engineers, Inc., we have provided a large amount of home inspections all over the country. We can even complete an inspection without even scheduling a site visit. To do this, you will need to submit a variety of photos that will allow us to complete our inspection thoroughly. We will provide you with a detailed outline of the specific items that we will need photos of, this process will be much quicker and have a lower overall cost. Keep in mind that it is a much better option to hire a local engineer if you are needing a foundation inspection, as this will require many more photos and will be much tougher to do remotely.