Home Inspection
Information From
Alban Home
Inspection Service

April '03

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It May Be a Manufactured Home

Manufactured homes are gaining in popularity throughout the country!
They are not the mobile homes that you think they are either!

Approximately 19 million people live in over eight million manufactured homes in the United States. About 90% of these homes are placed on permanent foundations on privately owned land. A full one-third of all new single-family homes built today are manufactured homes. They cost approximately 25% to 30% less than conventional homes to build and come in many popular styles. The term "manufactured home" refers to dwellings that are built off-site in a factory and are transported to a building lot for installation or assembly. The National Manufactured Housing  



Construction and Safety Act, passed by Congress in June 1976, assures that all manufactured homes are built according to a strict national standard. This act, more commonly known as the HUD code, regulates the homeís design, construction, strength, durability, fire resistance, energy efficiency, and wind resistance. By 1980 Congress also approved changing the term "mobile home" to "manufactured home." The manufactured home is built on a permanent steel frame or chassis and is transported to its permanent location on its own wheels. Then it is placed on piers and anchored to the ground with metal straps, or it is placed upon a permanent foundation. A two-story home may be built single width, double width, or single-width over double-width. A similar approach is to manufacture and deliver single-story boxes to the site. These boxes are then stacked on the permanent lot. Many homes now include a 5:12 roof pitch, which is swung into place on site. Other types of dwellings are more closely related to site-built homes. Unlike manufactured homes, these dwellings do not require permanent chassis. These dwellings are built to state or local codes (as opposed to HUD code) and are placed on land owned by the purchaser (as opposed to "mobile home

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From the desk of . . .
     Arthur S. Lazero

An Alban Update

Keeping track of home product recalls is a difficult problem for home inspectors. Product recalls are posted to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissionís (CPSC) website almost daily. Visit CPSC at www.cpsc.gov and click onto "Recalls" to find thousands of recall announcements listed under hundreds of main headings. Thus, it is truly impossible to remain up to date on governmental recalls. Several recalls, however, have widespread impact: 
1. Microwave-Hoods.
Whirlpool manufactured about 1.8 million combination kitchen microwave/vent hoods, sold as Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Kenmore brands, which can overheat and catch fire. All have serial numbers be- ginning "XC". Whirlpool will repair.
2. General Electric Dishwashers.
GE dishwashers with a slide switch on the upper right corner of the door may present a fire hazard. Model Numbers GSD500D or G, GSD540, or HDA467, 477 or 487, with serial numbers having the second character A, M, R, S, T, V, OR Z have been recalled. GE will either rewire the slide switch or grant a cash rebate for purchase of a new dishwasher. See Geappliances.com
3. Water Heater Dip Tube Failure.
The water heaterís dip tube is a plastic tube that delivers cold water to the bottom of the tank. Defective dip tubes were supplied to most major water heater manufacturers between August 1993 and October 1996. If the tube disintegrates, plastic particles clog aerators and drains. Search the web under "water heater dip tubes" for more information, but this requires a plumber to repair. Marty Blackwood, living in Olney with his wife Cathy, is a licensed architect with twenty-five years experience in de- sign and construction management for real estate developers. He has already passed the national home inspection examinations and will soon qualify for his national ASHI accreditation. Marty adds to Alban another layer of technical competence and professional education, all of which will greatly benefit our clients and their Realtors.




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