I ran across this last week and it’s creating quite a stir. While evaluating the home erected in 1994 I determined it was a modular home and photographed the manufacturer’s data plate located under the kitchen sink.
Then looking at the structure, I noted in the report that there were no visible attachment points of the dwelling to the foundation at the sill (Defect) and the columns were not attached to prevent lateral movement. (Defect). The client is going for a VA loan. The foundation was a full basement with poured foundation walls and floor.
These were my comments:
*1. Foundation: Poured concrete–>HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing (4930.3G). This is being provided as a guide for clients purchasing a manufactured home using government insured loans (VA, FHA, etc.) Many times, these homes require a certification by a licensed professional engineer to ensure there is a permanent foundation including appropriate restraining devices. This type of inspection exceeds the scope of a home inspection. However, there is evidence this home may not comply with these standards as lateral attachment points were not readily visible. If a certification exists, it was not made available to the inspector on the day of inspection.
For your reference:
Definition of Permanent Foundation for Manufactured homes:. Permanent foundations must be constructed of durable materials; i.e. concrete, mortared masonry, or treated wood - and be site-built. It shall have
attachment points to anchor and stabilize the manufactured home to transfer all loads, herein defined, to the underlying soil or rock. The permanent foundations shall be structurally developed in accordance with this document or be structurally designed by a licensed professional engineer for the following:
a. Rated anchorage capacity to prevent uplift and overturning due to wind or seismic forces, whichever
controls. Screw-in soil anchors are not considered a permanent anchorage.
b. Footing size to prevent over-loading the soil-bearing capacity and avoids soil settlement. Footing shall be
reinforced concrete to be considered permanent.
c. Base of footing below maximum frost-penetration depth.
d. Encloses a basement of crawl space with a continuous wall (whether bearing or non-bearing) that
separates the basement of crawl space from the backfill, and keeps out vermin and water.
2. Lateral stability. Rated anchorage capacity to prevent sliding due to wind or seismic forces, whichever
controls, in the transverse and longitudinal directions.
More information can be found at this website:
http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/guidebooks/4930.3G/index.cfm**2. Piers/Pilasters/Posts: Steel posts 3"–> Permanent columns must be restrained at the top and bottom to resist displacement and those posts that use a height adjustment should have the screw embedded in concrete or permanently disabled after installation.
The lender evidently is not making any stink about not having to meet the HUD guidelines. I asked the Realtor if the lender is aware the home is a modular home and she didn’t know.
The seller is saying the home should be "grandfathered in " since the home was erected prior to the standards coming into effect in Wisconsin. The home inspector that inspected the home prior to them purchasing this home about 4 years ago never mentioned a foundation issue including the steel posts.
What would you do?