Mobile Homes… What to Look for

Mobile Homes... What to Look for
Mobile homes are usually mounted on grade-level wooden or concrete blocks, with the trailer wheels removed. They are typically skirted with vinyl or aluminum siding, or painted plywood sheathing. Mobile homes are usally installed on concrete block foundations, and it will also be difficult to determine whether the foundations are mounted below the frost level, since the move slowly spaces are usually back-filled to grade level. We've seen the odd smartphone installed on an whole-depth, done basement. From an occupancy point point of view, there is just about little to separate such installations from many other manufactured homes.

Mortgage lenders and insurance companies generally request storm tie-downs for mobiles homes in most areas, until they are bolted to foundations at least 5 feet deep.

Experienced home inspectors ask the same commission for smartphone home inspections as for traditional homes. Although mobiles tend to be smaller than the typical residence, they do take as lots, and infrequently more time to inspect. The same is true for most cottages. We usally hear "It's only a small cottage", or "It's only a smartphone, why should it cost as lots as a residence?"

We do an enlargement of smartphone home inspections each year, however they account for less than 2% of our total volume. The following are some of the aspects that we pay particular attention to, some of which are specific to cold-weather climates. There are certainly more items than listed here, to determine for – however these are some of the more necessary items that come to mind, which are specific to smartphone homes.

1. Check move slowly space venting, and look for evidence of mildew, rot, rust and so forth. under the unit – especially exposed, retrofitted plumbing, electrical and duct work.

2. Are the provision and waste piping adequately insulated, and/or heated for winter conditions?

three. Is there adequate combustion air for a typical gas or oil furnace? Most of the furnaces we observe are primary gas or oil, forced-air, down-flow vogue. The make-up (combustion) air source is usally from under the trailer, excepting newer installations of direct-vent furnaces.

Is there adequate ductwork? In some smartphone smartphone homehomes the original configuration supplied for supply and return air only at the furnace closet door. Much of the retrofit ducting is flex-duct, and  be damaged or deteriorated under the unit. Everything under the unit is also vulnerable to rodents.

* Speaking of rodents, do not be too quick to stick your head into darkish spaces – you'll perchance meet any quantity of cats, rats, coons and other critters – they will also be vicious even as they're cornered!

4. In cold-weather regions, uninsulated oil tanks (outdoors) are subject to condensation and rust, especially at their bottoms.

5. Depending on the soils under the trailer, the unit  heave and shift under heavy frost conditions, until the pilings are mounted below frost level.

6. Many items are insulated with Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI). This would possibly, or would possibly not be a consideration – depending upon historical prior and attitudes in your local place. Polyurethane foam and other insulations are usally mistakenly identified as UFFI.

7. Mobiles are generally instead air-tight and (in cold-weather regions) retained moisture will cause over the tip condensation on windows, especially metal-framed and/or single-pane items. Many smartphone home in colder areas are re-fitted with wooden or vinyl, double-pane windows.

eight. Older mobiles had 50 or 60 amp electric capability, and newer models most usally have one hundred amps. However, depending on the smartphone home park, they  be attached to a pole-mounted shut-off, of less than one hundred amps.

nine. In many smartphone home parks, water and sewage are non-public or communal – not municipal. It is noticeable to know how your sewage is managed, who is responsible and who pays for maintenance and repairs to non-public or communal systems.

10. Beware of owner-installed porches and additions. These demand diligent inspection. There is usally wood-earth touch, and poor ventilation beneath – and usally unorthodox framing methods. The porch roof-to-wall flashings are usally substandard and problematic.

In our search for standards info…

* Building Code Officials inspect only 'built-on-site' structures.
* The smartphone home sales and service outlets suggested we touch the manufacturers for standards info.
* One manufacturer directed us to CSA (corresponding to UL… they test everything from bread makers to woodstoves.)
* CSA directed us to the Building Code Officials for post-installation problems… it appears that smartphone homes, at this time in our local place, are in an administrative "grey" place.

More notes regarding the installation of smartphone homes…

* In regions not thought of "over the tip-wind" zones, over-the-higher tie-downs have not historically been used for single-vast manufactured homes.
* Piers or pilings comprised concrete and/or wooden blocks, placed on-grade at intervals beneath the trailer frame, have historically been accepted as the norm in most elements of Canada.
* Tie-downs consisting of spun steel cable, wrapped around the trailer frame and mounted to pushed or screw anchors are typical in most locales, although not necessarily consistent amongst all manufactured homes.
* The mounting and tie-down methods typically employed , or  not comply with the manufacturer's recommendations.
* Although mention is usally made of manufacturer's installation manuals, these documents are rarely, if ever available.
* See also: CBD-188. Wind Forces on Mobile Homes by National Research Council Canada, 1977

Notes on Moving Mobile Homes…

* Under some circumstances (leased land, as an example) a lender or insurer  want some assurance that a smartphone home is still transportable.
* Older smartphone homes  or  not be transportable, depending upon whether moving service personnel may perchance possibly mount axle assemblies, and whether the unit is roadworthy.
* The true process of moving a smartphone home as a car or truck is some degree of interest which a residence inspector can not address or ascertain, and involves problems which only the selected mover may perchance evaluate. It is however reasonable to believe that if axles may perchance not be installed for any reason, or if the unit is found out to be not roadworthy as a car or truck in its original configuration, it may perchance possibly be moved by other means, lots the same as any small residence.
* We recommend that estimates be were given from reputable smartphone home or residence movers regarding any expenses, or possible impediments to moving a smartphone home. Evaluation of this class of activity is outside the scope of a traditional home inspection.

The Bottom Line:

Properly installed and maintained, smartphone homes can provide very snug housing. They are relatively low-maintenance dwellings, and are considerably less expensive than traditional homes of similar floor place.

Improperly installed and poorly maintained, smartphone homes will also be uncomfortable, difficult to repair and usally unsafe to reside in.

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