How Manufactured Home Buyers Benefit from Federal Construction Regulations
The enforcement and scrutiny of the manufactured home construction process are, by far, the most thorough regulations of any other form of home building construction in the nation.
The “mobile home” (as it was called prior to being legally and officially changed by Congressional legislation in 1976) was not even similar to the manufactured home of today. Shoddy, inconsistent building techniques that existed 46 years ago were a result of the lack of state and federal oversight of the construction, and in particular, the health and safety aspects of a booming mobile home market.
In fairness to the states, they didn’t know how to regulate the mobile home phenomenon. Most of these states classified the mobile home as being an adjunct to the automobile business, with motor vehicle regulations being applied to mobile homes. After all, the word “mobile” was used to describe the product.
In 1976 Congress passed historic legislation that changed the manufactured housing industry forever – in a good way. This legislation – the Federal Home Construction and Safety Standards. effective in 1977. The federal code is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development (commonly known as the HUD Code).
Hud regulates every aspect of the building and installation process through state agencies contracted to HUD. The in-plant inspection process actually begins before the home construction process commences. Every floor plan and design is required to be engineered in compliance with HUD Code regulations and approved by a third-party design agency approved by HUD.
So you might ask, “How do these government regulations and enforcements affect me and my choice of housing?” Excellent question! All the things a homeowner would find important in a home are a result of these construction standards and the technological advancements and expertise of the manufacturers/retailers of today’s quality-built modern manufactured homes.
HUD Code benefits in the following areas:
- Manufactured housing design and construction – All homes must be pre-approved and certified to meet stringent federal guidelines before construction commences.
- Strength and durability – Each home must be manufactured with quality materials and applications to ensure that the home will stand the test of time.
- Transportability – Yes, this is strictly enforced even though the only time a manufactured home is usually transported is the original delivery to the home site. A manufactured home is built on a steel frame that assures the structural integrity of the home on-site as well as during transport.
- Fire resistance – A Manufactured home is built to a standard exceeding the flame spread retardation recommended for site-built homes.
- Energy efficiency – The air-tight construction aspect of the manufacturing process, along with insulation completely wrapping around the perimeter of the home, results in lower utility costs than other types of single-family housing.
- Storm Safety – The HUd Code was amended in 1994 with requirements that manufactured homes meet building and installation standards to provide safety safeguards in pre-designed storm regions of the country. Manufactured homes produced since 1994 have been proven to be equal and in many respects, safer than site-built homes in the event of tornadoes and hurricanes.
- Home warranty – Manufactured homes are the only form of housing that is accompanied by an unprecedented federally mandated one-year warranty.
It is safe to say that you cannot purchase a poorly constructed manufactured home. Yes, there are manufactured homes that are more expensive than other manufactured homes. However, the differences are in things you can see, such as amenities, equipment, decor, appliances, drywall, vaulted ceilings, etc. Regardless of which home you purchase, you can be secure in the knowledge that your new manufactured home is built to the comprehensive and stringent requirements of the HUD Code, the only federally mandated construction code for single-family homes in the nation.