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FAQ - Manufactured Home Foundations

Do you perform FHA/HUD and VA foundation certifications on manufactured homes?
Yes, we certify foundations for manufactured homes for FHA/HUD, and VA loans. Also, for individual owners who want to ensure that the foundation of their home is in proper condition and up to code.

What are some of the requirements for a FHA/HUD manufactured home foundation certification?
For all FHA/HUD certifications, the HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Homes (PFGMH), dated 1996, must be followed. This is a design standards manual issued by HUD for the manufactured housing industry as it pertains to permanent foundations.

My home was constructed according to Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (CFR 3280). Does this mean that the foundation is also certified?
Although your home was constructed to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (CFR 3280), that does not necessarily mean that it was installed on a permanent foundation. The Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards pertain to the home itself (the walls, windows, heating, air conditioning, electrical, roof, etc.) and how it was constructed at the factory, but it does not pertain to the foundation. Manufactured homes can be placed on permanent or non-permanent foundations. What determines if it is permanent or not is the HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Homes (PFGMH), dated 1996 (HUD Publication 7584, PFGMH).

What states is Cole Engineering Solutions licensed in?
We are fully licensed in the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Iowa, Texas, Colorado, and Washington.

How can Cole Engineering Solutions help with getting my foundation certified?
A Foundation Certification involves several actions on our part:
  • We perform an on-site inspection of the foundation where the home is located. We observe features and components of the foundation as it pertains to the permanent foundation standards of HUD.
  • We review and verify compliance as it pertains to the HUD guidelines.
  • We provide a detailed written report, as well as verbal feedback at the time of our visit, stating if the foundation is in compliance to HUD standards or not. If the foundation is non-compliant to HUD standards, we state that in our findings along with recommendations on how to bring the foundation into HUD compliance.
  • Optionally, in addition to our baseline investigation, we can design and draw engineered foundation plans to bring the foundation into HUD compliance. These can be given to a qualified contractor to complete the work. We can also return for a final inspection of the work performed.

Can you determine if the foundation is HUD compliant without visiting the home site?
Without a proper assessment, we cannot tell you if the foundation is HUD compliant. All certifications require an on-site inspection to determine compliance. Each foundation is unique due to geography, soil conditions, materials used, and quality of the work.

If the foundation needs upgrades or a retrofit, who performs the work?
Depending on what is required, a local contractor (licensed in your state) should install the components for an upgrade. We can also provide drawings for an additional charge if needed.

After the retrofit and/or upgrades are performed on the foundation, what is the next step?
We will need to do a post-retrofit review of the work done to ensure everything is in compliance. A small fee will be charged for this work.

Who is required to have a HUD manufactured home foundation certification?
Anyone applying for an FHA secured loan or FHA insurance. According to HUD-FHA Single Family Housing, Home Ownership Center Reference Guide, Revised October 31, 2005, "All foundation systems, new and existing, must meet the guidelines published in the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing, (HUD-7584), dated September 1996." A certification attesting to compliance with this handbook must be obtained from a licensed professional engineer.

Why is a professional licensed engineer required for a foundation certification?
Foundation systems for any home involve a complex engineering design process. In order to safeguard life, health, and property, to promote the public welfare, and to establish and maintain a high standard of integrity and practice, a professional licensed engineer is required. Cole Engineering Solutions has that expertise.

If my foundation was installed according to my local building codes, doesn't that mean that it meets HUD standards as a permanent foundation?
Possibly. We have to follow the more stringent of the local code or the national HUD standard. Sometimes local code is more stringent, but more times than not, the national HUD standard is the more stringent code to follow. Your home may have been installed to local codes, but may not have been installed to the requirements outlined in the HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Homes. If this is the case, a retrofit may be needed to bring it up to the HUD national standards. We will determine this during our engineering visit.

Does it really matter if my foundation is HUD/FHA compliant?
It matters to lenders, and to HUD. The lending company wants to ensure that the foundation can properly support the home and that it will not falter. Different lending companies have different regulations. Older homes may have been put on grade with blocks or some other way that is not up to current standards. Current standards are designed to safeguard your home in case of an extreme wind storm. It is the government (HUD) that has set the national standards and codes for manufactured homes.

My manufactured home qualified for an FHA loan in the past. Will it qualify now?
It may or may not. It depends on what type of foundation you have. National standards evolve over time and change periodically. Whether you are in compliance or not can only be determined by an on-site inspection and review by a professionally licensed engineer. One thing to remember is that manufactured home foundations are not adopted automatically into the current standards. Each foundation must meet the current standards in order to qualify for most loans.

Can Cole Engineering Solutions recommend a contractor to do the foundation work?
We have a list of contractors that we can recommend, but you are under no obligation to use one. It is in your best interest to use a qualified contractor.

How do I contact Cole Engineering Solutions?
Contact Us. We look forward to serving you!