In the 1950s, after the second World War, the demand for manufactured housing skyrocketed since it was seen as the form of housing that most could afford.
This resulted in the manufacturing industry building low-priced manufactured homes throughout the country, even in states where the regulations governing manufactured home construction and safety standards were virtually non-existent.
Even though manufactured homes are so popular in the United States, most do not know that the building standards are vastly different from that of traditional homes.
HUD Code for Mobile Homes
The growth of manufactured homes as a primary form of housing resulted in the U.S. Congress passing legislation in 1976 to establish the construction standards for manufactured housing in order to guide home construction and safety standards.
Mobile homes are built in a factory and placed on a trailer chassis to allow them to be moved. Before that, however, a manufacturer has to be compliant with the HUD building standard for manufactured housing.
What is the HUD Code?
It’s just a building standard, that’s all. It overrides all local construction standards, therefore, all states and counties have to accept HUD standards, even if HUD’s codes conflict with local building codes.
Here is what you need to know about the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards.
Regulation and Federal Inspection Assures Quality and Safety
Before the building standard came into effect in 1976, the quality of manufactured housing was a big concern. With that said, today’s manufactured homes are the most quality consistent in the United States.
In fact, they are the only form of construction that is subject to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standard.
With the federal enforcement, the mandatory inspection, and the use of advanced technology in building manufactured homes, homeowners enjoy manufactured homes that are equal to or better built than comparable site-built homes.
During each phase of construction, inspections take place, which are carried out by few people for consistency purposes. Since all construction happens in a factory, this allows for thorough inspections to ensure quality standards are adhered to.
It’s mandatory for inspection to start before production. Federal government enforcement begins through the watchful eye of a third party agency, the Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency (DAPIA).
Certification Assures the Home Buyer
The building standard label fixed on the exterior of the manufactured home assures the homeowner the house has been constructed in accordance with the standards set forth by the federal government.
It’s a must for the construction of each manufactured home to be compliant to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and affixed with a label on it, before leaving the factory.
If all inspection parties are satisfied that the house complies with the standard, the house will then be affixed with the building standard label.
Homes Built to HUD Standards are Faster and Less Expensive
One of the biggest advantages of homes built to HUD standards is that they will get approved faster than IRC code homes.
As a reminder, just because HUD code homes get approved and built faster doesn’t mean they are of low quality. In fact, they are strict with their inspection and quality standards during production in the factory.
Here is the federal manufactured home construction and safety standards:
The building standard requires that manufactured homes be equipped with energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems. With such standards in place, homeowners save money on utilities.
A manufactured home is built to a standard exceeding the flame spread retardation that is recommended for traditional homes.
Manufactured Housing Design and Construction
All manufactured homes must be pre-approved before construction begins. The Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency (DAPIA) must approve the design and engineering of each manufactured home.
Despite the fact that the only time a manufactured home is transported is from the factory to the home site or the mobile home park, the manufactured home is built on a steel frame that assures the structural integrity of the house on-site, as well as during transport.
Home Buyers Benefit from Federal Regulations
Mobile homes, as it was called prior to the legislation coming into effect in 1976, are in no way similar to today’s manufactured homes.
Homes constructed before the building standards legislation were full of inconsistencies since there was no federal oversight of the construction and, in particular, the health and safety aspects of a growing market.
All the measures affected to date have resulted in the quality of manufactured housing that many house buyers enjoy today.
Even though manufactured housing strictly adheres to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards, it is important to understand that the house will also still need to follow the regulation of the areas that it is set to be installed.
It is wise to extensively engage the mobile home dealer to learn the way forward on the regulations on housing construction and safety within your location.