Do you know what exactly those high-rise buildings touching the skies rely on and need to keep standing? They’re built on powerful foundations. The strength of any construction lies in its foundation. That’s exactly why the term ‘foundation’ is used as a metaphor for stability in many different scenarios. Relationships need a solid foundation of trust; the early years in education are regarded as the foundation years for children; and so on.

Similarly, the underlying purpose of a manufactured home foundation is to hold the structure together and keep it upright. Because of its importance, FHA, VA, and HUD have stringent criteria for manufactured home foundations to assure the foundation installed will resist violent weather as well as the factory-built manufactured home.

Therefore, the quality of the foundation is as important as any other aspect of a manufactured home, whether it is single wide, double wide, or triple wide. In this guide, we’ll examine the importance of ensuring a robust foundation for your manufactured home. To explain this, we’ll discuss what role a strong foundation plays in a home structure and why you need it.

What Role Does a Foundation Certificate Issued by an Alabama State Registered Professional Engineer Play?

Your manufactured home has been carefully designed and constructed at the factory not only to provide for the best comfort and ambience of living space, but also to provide protection from the elements in serious storms. At the factory the home undergoes numerous inspections utilizing HUD specifications and practices. The quality control and construction procedures are graded and either passed or rejected by HUD. Once all of the inspections have been successfully completed, a metal plate is attached to each section of a mobile home. As an example, a double wide mobile home would have two sections. Each section would have its own HUD plate certifying that it has met all of HUD requirements at the factory.

FHA, VA, and HUD are assured that their loan investment to the buyer is secure with one exception. What happens when the home is delivered to the site for installation? How do those lending agencies know that the manufactured or mobile home has been installed to the required specifications? This is where the professional engineer comes in. He or she has the technical training and experience to assure the agencies and homeowners alike that the foundation will perform according to the requirements required by the lending agencies. The professional engineer, being licensed by the state, then becomes liable for construction that is not in accordance with the current standards. It is this assurance that FHA, VA, and HUD get when a signed and sealed certification by the Alabama professional engineer has presented. In addition, HUD requires that a final compliance inspection also be performed by a professional engineer to assure that construction is complete and that the home and grounds are ready for the buyers to move in. This is a broad-brush final look at the completed installation and will be discussed in greater detail in further blogs.

Let’s now dig deeper into the importance of a manufactured home foundation.

Why You Need a Strong Home Foundation

Placing a manufactured home directly on the ground is doomed for failure — and not even legal in most places. Contrary to our experiences, the ground is not totally solid or still. Unprepared earth cannot bear the weight of even the smallest of buildings weighing a few tons. The property will more easily be damaged or cracked by natural forces.

gray manufactured home with stone foundation

Here are some more reasons to ensure a robust manufactured home foundation:

Preventing Storm Damage

Apart from firmly holding your manufactured home, the foundation serves as a stabilizer to prevent lateral movement or movement from one side to another. This may not just be caused by subsidence and slippage. Severe weather conditions such as storms, strong winds, rains, and other inclement weather can easily push the home from one side to another.

You might think that your strong home structure is safe during such events. However, it’s the certification by the state of Alabama Professional Engineers Inspector that ensures proper foundation installation in accordance with FHA, VA, and HUD rules has been completed.

A strong home foundation should keep your manufactured home intact even through devastating storms. By definition, a foundation is built to transfer forces from the wind into the ground, thus anchoring the structure equal to or better than a site-built residential structure.

Since home foundations are constructed of specifically designed materials, they’re excellent at resisting shaking and the house superstructure movement. As a result, a manufactured home that’s anchored properly to its foundation tends to provide shelter from exterior rough weather conditions and in accordance with the state of Alabama FHA, VA, and HUD requirements.

In old American homes, the posts and plates were rested on top of the foundation wall, while the weight of the building was expected to keep them in place. Seismic retrofitting should be a good investment for such properties, especially for those located in areas prone to frequent seismic activity, floods, or strong winds. It helps bolt the structural members to the foundation. Your Alabama Manufactured Home Professional Engineer can provide the design needed in special situations such as flood or severe conditions.

While frost heave is a less alarming problem, it can still cause the structure of a manufactured home to warp over time. As opposed to the materials of the structure itself, foundation materials are less impacted by freezing and thus preserve the integrity of the foundation of the house.

pretty country mobile home in Alabama

Impacts the Appearance of the Home

A mistake by the installer of a manufactured home foundation tends to impact the entire property, and proceeding with a foundation not certified by an Alabama Professional Engineer is a recipe for disaster. The compounding defects ultimately distort the look of your manufactured home and could cause an unsafe situation.

Banks and mortgage brokers are more often requiring that FHA, VA, and HUD specifications be met for the same reasons the government agencies require them. It’s for protecting the asset they are involved with, loaning money for, and ensuring. They want assurance from the professional engineer that the foundation has been installed to the stringent specifications that avoid property loss and damage.

ADP and Associates have found that the conventional financial professionals more and more frequently require the engineer inspection and certification to assure their investments will be protected.

Closing Thoughts

Most homeowners believe that the roof is the most important component of a home. While the roof provides you with shelter and protects you and your property from the elements, a robust manufactured home foundation is even more important. It bears the weight and supports your manufactured home. Let’s briefly summarize the critical importance of a home foundation, as we have discussed above.

Without an Alabama professional engineers inspection and certification, your manufactured or mobile home could be susceptible to damage, especially during natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. Furthermore, a strong home foundation ensures high-quality insulation, prevents groundwater from entering and damaging the property, and beautifies the overall appearance of the manufactured home.

As a result, the home foundation is one of those components that must be done right the first time. Your Alabama Professional Engineer adhering strictly to FHA, VA, and HUD guidelines assures proper construction, the first time.

If you are planning on purchasing a new or pre-owned manufactured home in Alabama, utilizing an FHA-insured loan, you will be required to have a professional engineer inspect and certify the foundation. You must get the foundation of your new manufactured home inspected by a licensed professional engineer in the state of Alabama. When you explore your financing options, your lender or bank will require a foundation inspection report for certification meeting FHA, VA, and HUD guidelines.

If you’re looking to buy a manufactured home in Alabama or Louisiana through an FHA/USDA/VA loan or a conventional loan, ADP & Associates, Inc. is here to serve and guide you through the foundation inspection process. We also offer mobile home foundation inspections in many other states including Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

We specialize in modular or manufactured home inspections and have been serving clients for almost three decades. We can complete the inspection and furnish a report within two to three days. If your case is urgent, we may even be able to deliver a next or same day inspection and certification.

To schedule your manufactured home foundation inspection, contact us today.