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Re: MFR home foundations

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I've done maybe a dozen of these over the past couple of years.  I've learned to turn down anything that is not on a full foundation, i.e. it must have a full basement or at least an open crawl space that is partially below ground.  Units on piers are never done per the manual - at least not here in northeast PA.  The full basement foundations aren't either, but at least I am guaranteed that they have frost footings and that they have enough mass to resist overturning.  Piers are almost always a blob of concrete in a 6" deep hole.
For the full foundations, I typically see 4-5 steel cross beams spanning the short distance of the foundation.  They support the steel rails of the units.  All I usually need to do is ask for them to be welded together and make sure that the beams have welded steel angle "straps" that bolt down to the footing or to the side wall.
Keep in mind one of HUD/FHA's requirements for permanence is that someone can't easily put the wheels back on and drive away with the house.  Sounds funny, but they need to know they are no longer titled and are now deeded as part of the property they sit on.  As for a literal interpretation of the HUD's guide, that's just not going to happen around here.  I've inquired with their local reps and they say as long as the structure meets the intent and is structurally sound, its okay.  Do I have that in writing?  Of course not.  Just a risk of doing business on the edge, I guess.
And as Jordan suggested, be sure you get paid your worth and risk.  Most engineers don't seem to want to touch these.  I advise the clients of all the risks and potential costs before doing a site visit.  I don't usually get paid up front, but I have yet to be stiffed.  I usually have email confirmations from real estate agents or lenders stating the agreed amount.
Stroudsburg, PA

"Andrew Kester, P.E." <akester(--nospam--at)> wrote:
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 thinking...
Thanks in advance,
Andrew Kester, PE
Principal/Project Manager
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
1510 E. Colonial Drive, Suite 301