An Overview Of Mobile Home Construction Standards
Thankfully, the mobile home construction process isn’t carelessly thrown together. In 1976, government regulations came into effect. And they have since gone through different revisions and additions. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development instituted these regulations to hold manufacturers to a set standard of safety and quality in their work. This standard is called the National Manufactured Home Construction Standards. More commonly, it’s referred to as the HUD code.
These mobile home construction standards protect buyers from shoddily built homes. Manufacturers must comply with these codes and provide quality home design. Since the code’s establishment in 1976, mobile homes are more durable, energy efficient and fire resistant. Consequently, performance standards in air conditioning and heating have increased dramatically over the years too.
The HUD code provides rules for mobile home installation. It also requires manufacturers to provide homeowners with a manual. This manual details proper care and general maintenance of each home model.
Mobile Home Construction Standards
Here’s a breakdown of some aspects of mobile home construction standards.
If you’re going with a permanent foundation, you must have specific foundation piers. Materials such as treated lumber, masonry, steel, or reinforced concrete are acceptable. A permanent skirting must wrap around the foundation. Not only does this insulate and beautify your home, skirting will keep out rodents and other animals or pests. Make sure there is an access opening so you can do maintenance underneath your home as needed. Sufficient tie downs must anchor to the footings. These tie downs will prevent overturning.
Additionally, the standards require that you have removed the tongue, axles, and wheels. Screened vents for air circulation in the crawl space is also a rule. You’ll need a vapor barrier and the permanent installation of your utilities.
The HUD code employs a set standard for roof load requirements. The load levels mandated in the HUD code are dependent on how much snow the roof should resist. However, certain states can require a higher standard than the HUD code.
Note that the state requirements have greater precedence over HUD minimum requirements. The manufacturer must comply with that. The number of trusses, size of lumber, and roof pitch and load may change to meet the particular standard of your locale.
Insulation will keep your home at a consistent temperature and lower heat transfer. Therefore, heat will have a harder time escaping during the cold winter season and entering during the summer months.
The thermal zone map determines what insulation and other standards go into your home. Because the code outlines fire safety requirements, this also affects the insulating material chosen for manufactured homes.
As far as electric goes, mobile homes cannot leave the factory without an electric distribution panel. This panel must meet HUD code standards for installation and wiring.
The distribution panelboard is to be located in an accessible location away from the bathroom or clothes closet. Mobile home construction standards give the quantities of outlets per circuit, required amps, and other features.
Furthermore, mobile home construction standards ensure proper plumbing, which helps homeowners in more than one way! For example, low water consumption toilets are a requirement. This cuts down on water use and lowers homeowner water bills. As with other factors in the HUD code, local requirements may demand more than the federal rules.
Air Conditioning and Heating
Next, we have heating and cooling standards. The mobile home construction standards dictate that every water heater must have a corrosion resistant water drip and collection pan underneath. The water heaters themselves must be certified for mobile home use.
Likewise, air conditioning equipment must be able to meet the needs of your mobile home’s heat gain. Flexible heating and air conditioning ducts should be installed according to the factory’s recommendation.
Thanks to the 1976 HUD code, these homes are built to withstand wind and storms better. They must withstand the zone they will be placed in. For example, a zone 3 mobile home can withstand winds up to 110-mph.
The manufactured home’s journey does not end in the factory. Their design is intended for damage-free transportation. As a result, the external and internal facets of your home should remain in good shape during transport.
And finally, fire resistance takes an important place in construction. Accordingly, manufacturers following the HUD code must use materials that are not quick to go up in flames. This ensures you and your family’s safety and peace of mind.
Your home is safer and more sustainable due to today’s mobile home construction standards
We won’t lie. The mobile home has come a long way from what it used to be pre-HUD code. Before 1976, mobile homes were more susceptible to fires, energy waste, and natural degradation. But owing to good mobile home construction standards, times have changed. The mobile home has evolved into something that’s more sustainable. It certainly holds its own as a fabulous housing option. Even the stars think mobile homes are fabulous!