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RE: MFR home foundations

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There is a need for someone to do this type of work.  The mortgage companies
have required the foundations be inspected by a structural engineer.  A few
years ago I was probably doing three or four a month.  We became extremely
busy and decided the interruption, risk, and not getting paid was not worth
it.  It seems to be picking up again.  Last week we were called to inspect a
foundation in a county that would require traveling 3 hours one way.  When we
told them how much it was going to cost, they said they would try to find
someone else.  Also, I think the requirements require the PE to perform the
inspection (we could not send an EIT).
In our letters we state that it was only a visual inspection.  We check for
signs of distress or movement and record the size, spacing, and height of
piers, grouted or dry laid (dry laid is not acceptable), construction of
perimeter wall (wood is not acceptable), spacing of tie downs, and
approximate size of foundations (probing or excavation of one or two - not
all of the footings).  We note any cracking of the piers, out of plumb, or
settlement.  We do not check the capacity of the tie-downs or soil bearing
capacity.  If there was a problem with the soil it should have shown up.
Get your money up front.  
Gary Loomis, PE
Master Engineers and Designers, Inc.  
Does anyone know what it takes to "certify" mfr home foundations and their
anchorages to the foundations? Basically a short and sweet, I have no snow or
seismic loads, just lots of wind obviously.
I have downloaded and am reviewing HUD's manual and it seems quite involved,
as I sort of figured it may. I am not sure I want the hassle or liability and
I imagine they will not like my hourly rate. However, I repeatedly am being
asked if I provide this service and have up until now just said no without
considering it. Maybe it is not as involved or a big of a pain as I am
Thanks in advance,
Andrew Kester, PE
Principal/Project Manager
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
1510 E. Colonial Drive, Suite 301