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!
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
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
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.
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
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. Lazerow
An Alban Update
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.