Manufactured Home Delivery and Installation – What You Need to Know
If you are like most new manufactured home purchasers, you are unlikely familiar with details and procedures in the delivery and installation of your new home. Why is this important? Understanding the processes involved can help eliminate delays and extra expenses that sometimes occur in the “set-up” of your new home.
The following is a generalized outline of those processes whereas the home is placed upon property utilizing piers/blocks and pads and is considered and titled as personal property. Note: About two-thirds of manufactured home purchasers site their home on private property with homes titled as personal property, as opposed to homes installed on a foundation and categorized as real estate.
Delivery from factory to site:
Most manufactured home retailers include “normal” delivery and installation (set-up) in total sales price. However, some retailers sell manufactured homes without including delivery and installation in the total selling price, leaving these important functions for the customer to arrange. This is referred to as fob (freight on-board) pricing and is not recommended, for obvious reasons.
It is strongly recommended that the purchaser or representative place corner stakes so that the delivery and installation company will know where to “spot” the home upon arrival at the site. If the home placement is not indicated, the purchaser runs the risk of having to hire a local trucker to locate the home on-site at their own expense.
The customer and/or retailer representative should be present when each section arrives to inspect the home for any damage incurred in transit and conduct an inventory of “shipped loose” parts needed for installation. Missing parts or materials should be reported to the factory as soon as possible and noted on the transporter’s receipt, or Bill of Lading, that the driver will ask you or the retailer to sign.
The various sections of a multi-section manufactured home are transported by individual trucks and may not arrive at the site concurrently. However, the driver of the first section delivery will know the approximate time(s) for additional section(s). The same inspection procedures will be necessary for each arriving unit.
Once the sections of the home have been delivered, the delivery and installation company should park them close together to prevent theft or vandalism. This prevents perpetrators from entering the home through the plastic covering on the side of the units where they are to be mated together.
The installation process:
The installers of manufactured homes on site are called “set-up” companies. They are either employees of, or contracted by the retailer. A set-up company may also be a site preparation contractor, which is preferred as one company performing both functions can result in a more seamless coordinated effort, rather than two separate entities completing the project.
A properly prepared site is essential to the installation quality and appearance of the home. For example, a leveled lot will allow the use of shorter piers or blocks to support the home, resulting in a lower profile appearance, requiring fewer steps at the entry and exit with less skirting height around the bottom perimeter of the home. The lower set-up also provides for a sturdier foundation. The installer will not necessarily set the home as the grade will allow, so it’s important that you have an agreement with the retailer that your home is to be installed as low to the ground as is legally permissible.
Set-up instructions for manufactured housing are provided to the installer by the manufacturer and are approved by federal statutes. The guidelines must also adhere to published requirements of state and local jurisdictions. All materials used to install the home must conform to their listing by the manufacturer and approved by state housing agencies.
The installation procedure is a continuation of the manufacturing process. The following is a generalized version of the process without addressing the many regulatory and technical aspects of the installation.
- Upon arrival, the home is separated from the transport vehicle to allow room to remove plastic sheeting that was to protect the open sides during transport.
- The setting of tie-down anchors may be placed before setting the home.
- Black polyethylene membrane sheeting is installed over the ground as a vapor barrier.
- The assembled home is then positioned into its final location on-site using jacks or rollers.
- The home is temporarily raised and blocked followed by removal of the tires, axles, and hitch, which are subsequently recycled.
- The home is set using triangular steel piers or concrete blocks that are approved for the load-bearing requirements of the home, Stanchions (upright bars/posts providing support) are designed with screw jacks and clamps that attach to the steel i-beams and cross members of the home’s frame. The weight of the home is equally disbursed by the stanchions located under all floor and weight load areas of the home.
- Lags and bolts are used to mate the floor and ceiling sections, as prescribed by the installation manual.
- The floor is leveled using a water level, adjusted by screwing jacks attached to the piers or blocks.
- Utility lines and heat ducts are connected from section to section of the home using crossover connectors provided by the manufacturer.
- Roof sections are attached, sealed, and capped with matching roofing shingles that were shipped with the home.
- Center end sections are sealed and bolted together with matching exterior siding materials.
- Tie-down straps are fastened to ground anchors and attached to the main I-beams that run lengthwise to the floors.
- Utility lines are connected to the supplier source at the site. Power cannot be activated until the home has been inspected, tested and certified for occupancy.
- If the home is so equipped, drywall is taped, textured, and finished by a separate contractor. The contracted drywaller will also repair any cracks in the drywall that were incurred during transport.
- Carpeting and padding are installed in designated areas. ( The carpet and padding are shipped inside the home in roll form).
- All systems, such as water, sewer, gas, and electricity are checked and tested for efficiency and continuity.
- All trash and debris are removed from the home, followed by a thorough cleaning.
- The home is ready for inspection by the agency representing the local building authority. If the inspection is passed, a certificate of Occupancy will be issued, which is required in order for the utility company to activate power. If the inspection fails, the inspector will issue a Correction Notice detailing the items that will be required to be rectified before calling for a re-inspection.
Once the home is certified for occupancy, the retail representative will conduct a walk-through inspection with you, the new homeowner, and present keys to your new manufactured home!
Welcome home and enjoy your new life!!