How are Manufactured Homes Attached to Foundations?

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After site preparation and constructing the foundation, insulation and vapor barriers are applied to the underbelly of the manufactured home before final attachment. The home will be placed onto the foundation with a jack with rollers or placed via crane. When properly positioned for final placement, the house is then anchored with tie-downs.

In attaching to your foundation, this assumes all the land preparation of leveling, compacting and utility connections have been done. Proper drainage is needed as part of preparation so that no water accumulation happens at your site. Building out the septic tank if needed is also completed. The frost line has been considered and foundation ground anchors are secured. (1)

Check our piece on Land Preparations for Manufactured Homes if you need some help there.

“When your home is delivered to site, the crew will crane the home onto the foundation or place it with a jack and rolling system. The construction crew will check whether the weight is evenly distributed throughout your foundation and only afterwards anchor it with tie downs.” (1)

The installation can be done by your manufactured home company or a separate “set-up” company recommended by your dealer. If they are not the same crew as your site preparation, make sure a good coordination and turnover of site information was done between the two. All procedures and materials used for installation must be accredited and adhere to building regulations.

To get an idea of the installation process, here’s a detailed overview by Manufactured Homes (2):

  1. The home is unloaded from the vehicle and stripped of plastic protective sheathing
  2. Setting of tie down anchors may be done before setting the home
  3. The vapor barrier is installed over the ground,on your footers for pest protection. This is typically a black polyethylene membrane sheet
  4. The home is placed onto the foundation with either jacks, rollers or cranes.
  5. The home is temporarily raised and blocked to remove its tires (the axles and hitch are recycled)
  6. For the typical pier and beam foundation system:

“The Home is set using triangular steel piers or concrete blocks that are approved for the load bearing requirements of the home. Stanchions (upright bars/posts providing support) are designed with screw jacks and clamps that attach to the steel I-beams and cross members of the home’s frame. The weight of the home is equally disbursed by the stanchions located under all floor and weight load areas of the home.” (2)

  1. Join the floor and ceiling components with lags and bolts, as per the installation manual.
  2. Level the floor with a water level and screwing jacks connected to the piers/blocks
  3. Connect the utility lines and ducts across the home’s sections via crossover connectors from the manufacturer
  4. Attach the roof (seal and cap with roofing shingles)
  5. Seal and bolt the center end sections with the exterior siding.
  6. Fasten the tie down straps to the foundation’s ground anchors and I-beams of the home’s structural frame.
  7. Repair any cracks or defects made during transport by suppliers/contractor
  8. Install any upholstery like carpentry and padding
  9. Connect utility lines to main sources and test all systems after inspection
  10. Clean the home, remove all trash and debris
  11. Have the home ready for inspection.
Image from Manufactured Home Certification (residentialinspectionfla.com)

Manufactured homes are typically placed on cement pads or piers, then stabilized by anchoring the home down according to foundation system and HUD Code guidelines.

Do not opt for any cutting corners or “saving money” tactics for attaching foundations, as these need to be strictly followed to building code.(3)

After final assembly and placement of the home, the installers typically go down a list to check if all systems and set-up was accomplished to HUD and local codes. These are checked in order to process the building permit.

Finally, an inspection by building officers is done to issue you a Certificate of Occupancy. They check if everything was built to code, all utilities connected properly as well as any other accessories such as decks, porches, etc. The home must be well anchored down to the site’s foundation. This certificate enables the utility companies to power your home. (3)

If there are still some corrections needed, a Correction Notice will list what needs to be fixed before reinspection.(2)

Once you get your certificate and pass inspection…

Move in!

References:

  1. Y, K. (2019, April 22). Manufactured home delivery. Clayton Studio. Retrieved May 2022, from https://www.claytonhomes.com/studio/manufactured-home-delivery-and-site-preparation/
  2. Nelms, B. (2013, April 30). Delivery and installation – what you need to know. Manufactured Homes. Retrieved May 2022, from https://www.manufacturedhomes.com/blog/delivery-and-installation/
  3. Black’s Home Sales. (2018, April 18). Manufactured Home Delivery and assembly –. Blacks Home Sales. Retrieved May 2022, from https://www.blackshomesales.com/blog/manufactured-home-delivery-and-assembly/