Modular Home Structure question

I looked at a modular home yesterday, that in all honesty, I don’t see a lot of. This home was anchored to pier type structures, by use of straps tied to what looked like diagonal metal plates attached to the main beam. Around the perimeter of the home, there was a block wall that to me, really looked like it was playing the part of a skirt. However, there were areas of cracked, jagged cinder block in this wall; there was some loose block, several loose vent covers, and around the top of the wall where the sill plate would normally sit, there was brick. And in one area, the brick was also loose. The understructure of this building was covered with a tarp type cover, so it was not possible to evaluate this part of the structure. I did call this out for further evaluation, because although I do believe that the wall was playing the part of a skirt, I was also thinking that it was possible that these areas of concern could still be being caused by movement of the foundation; and with the tarp type cover, further evaluation by me, was limited. I do have some pictures of my concerns, but I’m not sure how to attach them to this posting. I guess my question is, did I call this right in everyones opinion, and where can I learn more about this subject?

First, how did you determine it to be a “modular” building? It sounds as if it was manufactured to HUD standards. From your description, it does not appear to be a modular building.

In all honesty, it was listed that way.

Every double-wide trailer home in Southwest Missouri is listed as “modular”. There is a world of difference.

So where are we going with this?

Before you can report on the condition of the structure, you need to know what you are describing.

Modular buildings have certain standards…manufactured (mobile home) buildings have totally different standards.

In neither case is the condition of the skirting a structural issue, but both need to be permanently attached to a foundation in order to be financed by most lenders and the inspector must report, definitively, which kind of structure he inspected and which set of rules apply. This must be done prior to reporting anything else, for the remainder of the report will hinge upon this.

In other words…you need to know what you inspected before you know what to say about it.

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Thanks Christopher!

I can’t tell you what the requirements in VA are on modular and/or manufactured homes but in FL the only people who can determine if the foundations along with all the components that go into making the unit acceptable (wind ready) is an Engineer. Here there is a strict set of requirements that meet all the standards for HUD, DOT, FHA, VA, and the State. IF it is a manufactured home there will HUD plates on each section (two for a double wide, three for triple, etc).

Yes, I can understand that. We have them here, but I really don’t see them a lot. To be honest, most counties around here don’t allow them because of value concerns in the different communities. Guess I have some homework to do…

Modular homes and mobile homes are both “manufactured homes” in that they are made off site and transported to where they will be installed.

The major difference is that modular homes are manufactured to meet the codes that exist at the place where they are to be installed. Mobile homes are built to HUD standards.

Modular homes will have identifying stickers usually located in a master bedroom closet, the electrical service panel, or inside a kitchen cabinet that describes the codes that were applied, the name and address of the manufacturer and the manufacturing date.

The lack of a HUD tag is NOT an indicator of a modular home in that they are sometimes removed. While only an engineer can issue a certificate verifying the permanent status of the foundation, a home inspector can remark on the manner in which the structure is attached to the foundation (if, indeed, it is) and the condition of the materials used (loose straps, lack of pured footings, etc).

I appreciate that information, James! It is in fact very helpful. Thank you!