CONSTRUCTION TERMS

Building Codes: Local And State
As opposed to the federally mandated HUD code, which is preemptive of local codes and creates uniformity of manufactured home construction across state lines. Manufactured homes installation and foundation systems are typically subject to state or local building codes.

Certificate Of Occupancy (CO)
This is a document issued by local or state building department inspector certifying that the manufactured home been installed and the home is certified for occupancy and conditions of permit application have been fulfilled. In some states the signed off permit is considered approval to occupy.

Consumer Complaints
HUD has entered into a cooperative agreements with 38 state governments to respond to consumer complaints about the performance of manufactured homes. These state governments each designate a State Administrative Agency (SAA). If you have any complaints that have not been resolved about the performance of your manufactured home that have not been resolved by the retailer or the manufacturer, you should first contact the SAA in the state where you live.

Crawl Space
This is the area between the floor of the manufactured home and the ground. This area is is enclosed by perimeter blocking or skirting. Foundation piers or blocks supporting the steel beams of the home frame are positioned per manufacturer’s instruction manual. The area is not habitable.

Delivery and Installation
They transport of the home from the retailer or manufacturer location to the site and Installed..See SET-UP

Customization
Customer requested changes to existing manufacturer approved floor plans.

Dapia (Design Approval Primary Inspection Agenc)
These are third-party independent agencies that approve manufactured home engineering and designs for compliance with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.

Engineer’s Certification
A letter issued by a structural engineer certifying the acceptability of a foundation system, generally to meet the requirements of the HUD publication, Permanent Foundation Guide For Manufactured Homes. In the case of FHA loans, an engineer is usually required to certify the foundation.

Expansive Soils
Soils that change volume significantly as their moisture content changes.

Factory
The manufacturer that constructs the home in accordance with HUD codes and under HUD inspections, in other words the builder.

Factory Built Home
A dwelling unit fabricated in a off-site manufacturing facility to be installed at a building site. A modular home is considered a factory built, but unlike a manufactured home it is not built to the national preemptive HUD CODE. Factory built homes are constructed to comply with the local prescribed building codes.

FHA
The Federal Housing Administration within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Floors
A term referring to the individual sections of a home. ( A double wide is two floors; a triple wide is three floors).

Foundation
The term “foundation” means all components of the support and anchoring system such as, piers, footings, slabs, walls, ties, anchoring equipment, or any other material that supports a home and secures it to the ground.The steel frame and chassis itself affords the manufactured home a solid foundation that supports the home during transport from factory to site. A permanent foundation is required by lenders and state building agencies to allow the manufactured home to be considered and taxed as real estate.

Foundation System
An engineered pre-fabricated assembly of materials designed to resist the effects of external forces once the manufactured home is installed upon it. Engineered foundation systems are required in California to resist the seismic effects of earthquakes.

Grade
The finished ground level adjoining the manufactured home at all exterior walls.

HUD
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency of the federal government responsible for national building code enforcement in manufactured housing.

HUD CODE
Manufactured homes are built to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act which was passed by the U.S. Congress and became law on June 15, 1976. The HUD Code is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD regulates the design and construction of manufactured homes, formerly known as mobile homes to a specific performance code. This is called a preemptive code because it preempts all local building codes for single family dwellings. The Federal program includes the monitoring of third parties involved in the design review and inspection process, but excludes the actual installation of the homes. Every HUD home has a special label affixed on the exterior of the home indicating that the home has been designed, constructed, tested and inspected to comply with the stringent federal standards set forth in the code. No manufactured home may be shipped from the factory unless it complies with the HUD Code and receives a certification label from an independent third party inspector.

HUD LABEL
This is a 2x4” aluminum insignia plate that is attached to the lower rear corner of each transportable home section. The first three alpha characters letters identify the third party independent inspection agency (IPIA) that inspected the home while it was under construction. A series of 6-7 numbers follow the IPIA. While the numbers are generally sequential on multi-section homes, this is not a requirement. The HUD label is essentially the Social Security Number of the manufactured home and will tell you the manufacturer, the date of manufacturer and where the home was shipped to. Most lenders will require proof of the HUD Label number.

I-Beam or C-Beam
A steel beam with short flanges and a cross section formed like the letter I or C that traverses the length of the manufactured home. The beams are an integral part of the manufactured home chassis and is location of where the pier or block support stanchions are placed at time of home installation.

Live Loads
These loads produced by the use and occupancy of the building or other structure and not including construction loads or environmental loads such as wind load, snow load, earthquake load, flood load, or deck load.

Manufactured Home
A home fabricated in a manufacturing facility for installation at the installation site, bearing a label certifying it is constructed in compliance with the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards making it a HUD home.

Marriage Line
The area where multi-sectioned homes are joined.

Mobile Home
Predecessor of today’s manufactured home. Officially the name changed following the implementation of the HUD Code requirements in the early 1980’s. Many still use the term even though the mobile home of yesteryear bears little resemblance of the manufactured home of today.

Modular Home
Also called prefabricated homes, factory built homes,or system built homes. Modular homes do not have axles or frames, means they are typically transported to their site on flatbed trucks,(off frame). Sometimes the modular home are transported to site on their own chassis, which is removed upon arrival at site. (on-frame). Modular homes are not subject to the HUD Code, instead are subject to local siting jurisdictions.

Manufacturer’s Statement Of Origin (MSO)
A document prepared by the factory that is used to create a chain of ownership which is used to legally create a static-h3 to home when first purchased by a customer.

Moisture Barrier
A technique for minimizing moisture accumulation under the home by placing a continuous polyethylene sheet of at least 6-mil thickness on the ground below the home. The barrier blocks moisture in the ground from entering the crawl space.

Multi-Section
A manufactured home built in individual sections with own frame and chassis that are joined together at delivery and installation site. Also known as a “double wide” (two sections), “triple wide” (three sections), “quad” (four sections).etc. A third section where one section is considerably shorter in length is often referred to as a “double-wide with a “tag”.

Options
Features and amenities offered by manufacturer, at the buyer’s discretion, for comfort, convenience or ambiance.

Outrigger
An integral part of the chassis support system, the outrigger projects laterally from longitudinal steel frame members. Typically the outriggers are about 8” on centers and give strength to support the weight of the perimeter walls.

Pads
This is the footer on the ground upon which a pier sets atop that is designed to spread the load bearing of that pier over a larger area thereby providing a more stable base. The square pads/footers may be either poured or precast concrete, preservative wood, or other materials approved by the local building authority. The spacing of the piers are typically spaced 5 to 10 ft apart depending on home design, local soil characteristic, and roof snow load. The spacing and load requirements are outlined in the manufacturers installation instructions shipped with each new manufactured home.

Park Model
A park model is 14’ or narrower and 40’ or shorter and less than 400 square feet. Park models are not manufactured homes, not modular homes-----and they are not trailers. They are a breed of their own.

Penetrometer
An instrument for measuring firmness or consistency of soil. The allowable bearing capacity of the soil is a measure of its strength and ability to carry the weight of the pier without settling or compressing. On new manufactured home installations, pads for piers should be set on compacted or undisturbed soil. Organic or loose matter, such as weeds, trash, and other objects, must be cleared away, and then the area for the pad scraped until solid, undisturbed soil is exposed. If this is not done , uneven settlement can occur.

Percolate
A measure of the ability of the land to absorb water in determining provisions for a sanitation system and drainfield.

Permanently Affixed
With respect to real property, this term is understood to refer to a manufactured home that has been legally attached to the land, thus becoming a fixture.

Permits
City or county authorization to install homes, sewage disposal systems. electrical connections, outbuildings, etc.

Personal Property
A manufactured home is considered personal property unless the owner eliminates the home’s static-h3 and permanently affixes it to land owned by the owner of the manufactured home. at that point it becomes real property.

Piers
Stanchions of masonry or steel that provide support between the footing pad and the main steel beams of the manufactured home. Manufacturer’s installation manual stipulates the number and placement locations depending on size and weight bearing capacity.

Plot Plan
Detailed scale drawing of home site showing location of home, outbuildings, septic systems, as well as set-backs and dimensions. Usually required to obtain home placement permits.

Pit Set, Low Profile, Subterranean Set
Excavating a manufactured home site to allow the home to have a residential low profile look where the appearance of home is that it is sitting on a concrete foundation. This type of installation is more common in areas of the country that do not experience significant rain or snow, such as Southern California. A full perimeter foundation and moisture prevention measure are recommend for this type of installation.

PSF
Pounds per square foot.

PSI
Pounds per square inch.

Real Property
A term usually applied to real estate and homes and other structures permanently attached to land.

Relevel
Homes installed using piers and pads sometimes will sometimes “settle” and become unlevel after initial leveling at installation and weight of furniture and personal items are moved into home. Often the retailer will return to relevel the home after a sufficient time is allowed for settling to occur. Homes installed on a foundation system and stable soil will not require re-leveling.

Retailer or Dealer
Considered one and the same. A company licensed and bonded with the appropriate local and state authorities, holding an agreement with manufacturer(s) to sell manufactured homes.

Residential Set
Sometimes referred to as pit set or low profile. Requires excavation of site prior to construction of foundation.

Rim Joist
The outermost joist around the perimeter of the floor framing.

Septic Design
A plan drawn by a licensed septic contractor and approved by the local health department that shows the type and location of a septic tank and drainfield on a piece of property.

SET-Backs
Distances buildings must be located from property lines, as required by code or zoning regulations.

Set-Up
Also called home installation. Final stages of the construction of the home which must be completed on site, i.e., join sections together, complete roofing, finish tape and textured surfaces, paint exterior trim and install carpeting, leveling floor and frame, connect utilities.

Shear Wall
A general term for walls that are designed and constructed to resist racking from seismic and wind forces with masonry,concrete, cold formed steel or wood framing.

Single Section
Also known as a “single wide”.Built, delivered and installed as one complete unit. Depending on individual state requirements they can be in widths of 14, 16, or 18 feet. Available in multiple lengths with maximums also subject to highway permit restrictions.

Site
Property location or address where manufactured home is to be installed.

Site Preparations/Improvements
Construction necessary to prepare site for the home and to complete it after home is set-up, such as excavation, foundation, garage, well, septic tank, driveways, sidewalks, electrical poles, etc. Clearly each situation will vary.

Skirting
Materials used to enclose the foundation and crawl space beneath a home. This parameter may be concrete block, pressure treated wood, matching wood siding or other building products depending on the application needs and zoning codes.

Snow Load Roofs
Manufacturers usually offer a 30# load bearing roof as a standard specification, but upgrades are usually available in 60#, 90#, or more per square foot, depending upon climate area requirements.

Tape and Texture
The closing of seams on the interior walls of a manufactured home that has been sheetrocked, and applying material applied to the sheetrock to give a traditional surface suitable for painting.

Tag Section
see Multi-Section

Wind Zone Map
In 1994 HUD wind and storm regulations were amended requiring manufactured home builders to comply with standards in pre-designated storm susceptible regions of the country based upon severity of expected winds. The more strict requirements are for homes built to be placed in Wind Zone 3 which includes the Gulf and Atlantic coast area of the country.