Inspecting Tie Downs for a mobile home

I have been asked many times if I inspect tie downs on mobile homes. I hate turning away business but I honestly don’t have experience with them and I want them to have the best experience possible. I was wondering if there is good source material I can read in order to learn what I am looking for here in Florida when it comes to inspecting tie downs or just general advice.

Don’t know about Florida, but in Oklahoma I am pretty sure tie down certification has to be done by an engineer.

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I’m FOLLOWING this. Just turned one down last week and haven’t had time to figure out the requirements.

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That is probably what it is here in Florida as we have very rough weather. Even if it is a engineer requirement I want some basic knowledge on the subject just in the case that I could see something wrong and suggest a engineer to evaluate.

Thank you sir! I’ll review and learn.

Found this after Mr. Cyr posted. Not sure what my county requirements are but more to research now. Thanks

Same as MI :smile:

In Florida, a tie-down certificate can only be signed by an licensed engineer or licensed mobile/manufactured home installer.


There will be a difference in what they are asking for when it comes to “Inspecting” of the Tie-Downs. Just a visual inspection (which is what we as a Home Inspector do). You will be reporting the general condition of the tie-downs (deficiencies) you see like are they rusted out or just reporting if you observe any at all. You may not even want to report on the number of them or be specific as to if they are in concrete or just augered into the ground… Since that may indicate you are saying that what you Observed is sufficient unless you say otherwise or disclaim that this is not a Foundation Certification.

If they are needing a Foundation Certification that is going to be the job of an engineer (although you may be doing the field work to collect the info the engineer needs) the requirements will depend on the model of the home, the skirting type, foundation type, etc… and mainly going to depend on where (location) the home is and what environmental forces the home is expected to be subjected to. And then there will be a difference depending on mainely what their loan is demanding. May fall under State standards for conventional loans or under Federal if FHA, VA or HUD loan.

Here in Tennessee only a structural engineer is allowed to do those inspections. Its like $450 for 20 minutes of work and a one-page report with their structural engineer stamp. Corum Engineering does them in Knoxville (where you and I live).

First saw this in 2007. See link below. Did 1000 inspections of manf. homes for the state 2007-09. Some electric only, some foundations, some issuing seals and some all three inspections.

While inspecting manufactured homes is not included under our new home inspector licensing, I’m not sure if it requires a PE or not. The OMHC does not exist any longer. MH are under the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing as are home inspectors now.

This still amazes me:

Joshua, I passed one up myself and I’ve been researching a bit more and need clarification. Are you asking about Mobile Home “INSTALLATION” inspections for placement of the home or is someone calling for a ‘tie-down’ inspection for insurance? The call I got was from an insurance agent/Realtor I know asking if I did these inspections. Based on my research now the state only dictates who can do the “INSTALLATION” but no later requirements. My interpretation now is, if it’s needed by an insurance company it we can inspect it. We just need to understand the placement requirements of tie-downs for that specific type of mobile home and it’s location.

Unless there’s a specific statute or county requirement about ‘Tie-Down Inspections’ after initial placement or after a relocation of the home, I’m not seeing any requirements for who can inspect tie downs.

Thoughts or links?

I do a ton of inspections on mobile homes, and I disclaim that is not an engineering foundation inspection or certification. I look at the tie-downs and the number of them, how they are installed and if they meet the current requirements. Manufactured homes in FL fall under Highway Safety, and are titled as a vehicle, regardless if they are permanently installed. Also, for FHA or VA mortgages, they will have to have an engineer’s foundation certification. While under the crawl, I am also looking for all the things I would look for in a crawlspace of a site-built home.

State statutes only address the installation of a home. In some counties, building dept’s even refuse to issue permits for work done on them, like plumbing, roofing, etc, as they are not “buildings”, but “vehicles”. WHere in FL are you located?

Andrew, I’m in Tampa and haven’t done any mobile homes yet. Got a sample of your disclaimer for tie downs in your report?

If your inspecting tie down for Insurance Company or Finance Company
Then it have to be done by Foundation engineer,
I have run into this situation also.
I also hate to pass up work but sometime we have to because we are not engineers.

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Call Hayman or Harrison engineering and get on their list. Their Foundation engineers. They pay on time.

Thank you for the referral

I have done many tie-down inspections for insurance companies. If the client says the insurance requires it, I always have them check 1st if they require an engineer,or if a Home Inspector is acceptable. Almost always, insurance says they will accept the HI signature on a form or letter. All lenders I’ve talked to DO require the engineer’s report. I contract with Harrison Engineering, and they have been great to work with.

I just write it into the narrative, This is not an engineering report or certification. And I discuss that with the client. I contract with Harrison Engineering out of Dallas, TX area, they do engineering certifications, and if I refer a client, I get paid pretty well.