Inspection of Manufactured Homes

I have my first Manufactured Home to inspect next week. Is this type of home inspected like a regular home?. What are the main points to take in account and are different from any other regular homes. What about price? Shall I use the same price scale actually being used? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Jorge, Try this site for information. I consider the Manufactured hom inspection to be quite a bit different than a normal home, Tiedowns, supports, skirting, PB Plumbing possibilities, different construction method.s, myself I charge abut $50 more.

Thanks Lewis. Awsome information to study during the weekend.

In the State of Florida the foundation; tie-downs, piers, LSD’s, etc. has to signed off by a licensed engineer. It’s the law! You need to inform your client of this. The home inspector can not do this unless he/she is an engineer. Florida has some very strict guidelines for MH foundations. We have to, things blow away here.

Does that need to be done with each sale or transfer of property, to ensure that things have not been “Modified” by the seller, or does just the “paperwork” need to be verified?

Just what you said. Sale or transfer, refinancing, etc. There is a very detailed set of instructions and guidelines. (HUD, FHA, VA and FLorida). “Modified” is a good word. That is a kind word for what some people do (or don’t do).

As has been stated the tie downs and foundation portion of an inspection of a mobile home in fla. is not something the home inspector can do. The client should be apprised in writing of this as a part of the report. Other than that it is like a normal inspection- find and list defects. Things like polybutylene piping and ductwork on the floor of the crawlspace getting wet and vapor barriers having penetrations and windows leaking causing the floor(particle board) to swell and loose it’s integrity-etc. are not normally found in normal everyday home inspections but are common in manufactured homes(trailers). If you should find a defect in strapping or tie downs or foundation piers refer it to an engineering or Installation firm. I work for one but this ain’t an ad for me.

Thought of a few more things you might want to take a close look at: Ventilation of approx. 1 sq. ft per 150 sq. ft. of floor area, Rodent proofing: no holes greater than 1Sq. in., No additions to be partially supported by mobile home framing after 2005. In older homes if gas or oil heat was discontinued, are there any buried tank installations? If the poly piping was removed and retrofitted, did they get it all? Did they properly reinstall the Vapor barrier? I said before it was like a home inspection and it is. It just isn’t the same kind of home.

Brian…could you explain further the 1/150 ventilation?

That’s what they want down here for crawlspace venting on a manufactured home a 20x 50 home (1000 sq feet) would require skirt vents to allow 6.67 square feet of opening. 1000 divided by 150. Either that or 200 sq. inches for every25 horizontal feet of skirting.

It’s OK… in Fla. to have an addition partially supported by MH framing on homes prior to 2005?

Hi Dan, no it is not. as manufactured homes are engineered structures no further loads can be put on the structure unless engineering approval is sought, personally I teach that any and all additions (porches, decks & Carports) should be free standing structures, and if they are not then to write them up as non conforming.

BTW, some manufacturers now include engineering drawing for things like deck and porches with the original plans and installation instructions, if a porch or similar is attached it should be done to the manufacturers specs.



Today, I had the opportunity to preview this manufactured home I’ll be inspecting and the crawl space is totally inaccesible. It is nailed with boards. Could not see anything under the MH. How shall I report this? An Doug, thank you for the information about ties downs and foundations needing to be signed off by an Engineer. I did not know that and I’ll apprise my client on the report.


The items to look for, and common defects identified by others, are just a tip of an iceburg of defects found under a MH.

You would be a fool to do the inspection, and disclaiming the crawl space.

You are more than welcome. If there is a Realtor involved they should know this about the requirement but I still run across one every once in a while that doesn’t. If it isn’t accessible you really need to take numerous photos showing this. It would do you little good to just spot check a MH foundation taking into consideration all the plastic piping inherent in them. They are very prone to leaks and you will want to know if any of the plumbing fixtures are leaking into the flooring. The flooring in most MH is particleboard and turns to mush in no time when it gets wet. Any bathtub enclosures I always open up to look inside. Find lots of leaks there. If you have any questions give me a call and I will be glad to help out in any way one on one.

Concerning the 1/150 venting…that’s what I thought you meant, Brian. I always recommend venting MH crawls, even thought it isn’t specifically required around here.

The MH manufactures installation specifications do not state/ identify, crawl space venting is required.:roll: :roll:

No but FHA, VA, State of Fla. install requirements do. Vent requirements are going to vary from area to area check with local enforcement for details

I also believe HUD does as well.
The point was, If the home is ground set, I do not believe there is any where that venting or proper access, is not required.

I’ve had 3 customer complaints out of over 2,000 inspections.
The last one was last week, inspected a 1980 MH a few months ago… All the belly board was removed a few years ago due to a skunk in the underbelly.
Little venting provided, Crawl was dry and no evidence of moisture at time of inspection…
The complaint… Big customer and handi capped, master bedroom floor particle wood ] is falling thru where he gets out of the bed evertime… Crawled underneath, still minimum venting, moisture in crawl from watering the summer grass, particle wood is turning to saw dust…probably been collecting moisture for years

There is a difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home, right? The one is a “trailer” and has/had wheels. The other is lifted on to the site from flatbed. The construction is very similar. Is this correct?

I know that the power for a Mobile comes from the pedestal. Is that true of the manufactured home as well?