MHISC is the source for the latest information for the Manufactured Home industry
MHISC’s staff and website are authoritative sources of information about the manufactured and modular home industries in South Carolina. The staff is always accessible to provide background information or address current concerns and victories on behalf of the industry.
Virtually all manufactured homes placed in South Carolina are manufactured and sold by MHISC members. The organization also represents the land-lease communities, the lenders, insurers, HVAC, transport and other service and supply companies that serve the industry in SC.
- These homes are built entirely in the factory, transported to the site and installed under a federal building code administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- The Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (commonly known as the HUD Code) went into effect June 15, 1976. The federal standards regulate manufactured housing design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency and quality. The HUD Code also sets performance standards for the heating, plumbing, air conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. It is the only federally-regulated national building code.
- On-site additions, such as garages, decks, and porches, often add to the attractiveness of manufactured homes and must be built to local, state, or regional building codes.
- Modular homes are factory-built homes built to the state, local or regional code where the home will be located. In South Carolina, modular homes are built to the International Residential Code.
- The modules are transported to the home site and installed.
Source: Understanding Today’s Manufactured Housing, Manufactured Housing Institute
HELPFUL LINKS ABOUT MANUFACTURED HOMES
Today’s product is different from the homes built 20 or 30 years ago.
- Modern-day manufactured homes are built to have all of the features of a site-built home. Many manufactured homes are indistinguishable from site-built homes.
- Once new homes are placed on customer’s land, all towing devices including wheels, axles and hitches are removed.
- Many homes are being built with 5-12 roof pitches.
- “Skirting” is available in a variety of different materials such as brick, masonry and vinyl. Government should not discriminate against home owners that may not be able to afford a specific type of “skirting” just because of how it looks.
- Brick skirting is used for aesthetics of the home. The foundation strength of manufactured homes comes from the steel I-beams and pier and anchor systems, not from the brick skirt.
Repeated studies show that manufactured homes appreciate under the same circumstances as site-built homes when:
- They are in a good location.
- They are properly maintained
Study by Michigan University
- Manufactured homes, like site-built homes, can be viewed as an investment.
- Manufactured homeowners can build equity just like owners of site-built homes
Study by East Carolina University
- Manufactured homes appreciate at comparable rates as site-built homes when taxed as real property.
With proper upkeep, maintenance and pride in ownership, manufactured homes can appreciate just as much if not more than site-built homes.
- Modern-day manufactured homes have an excellent fire safety record.
- The outdated reputation for manufactured homes goes back before 1976, before there was a national building code for manufactured homes. Since 1976, manufactured homes have been built to a federal construction code established by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Federal building standards mean higher quality, safe homes.
- Some fire resistance features of the HUD Code include strict standards for flame spread and smoke generation in materials, egress windows in bedrooms, smoke detectors and at least two exterior doors, which must be remote from each other and reachable without passage through other doors that are lockable
- Modern-day manufactured homes properly installed and anchored by state-licensed installers can withstand hurricane-force winds.
- Tough new wind safety standards went into effect in the early 1990’s. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a revision to the wind safety provision of the HUD Code. Areas prone to hurricane-force winds are labeled Wind Zone II and Wind Zone III.
- Nine South Carolina coastal counties are in Wind Zone II: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper and Williamsburg.
*This section is designed to serve as an advisory to people who live in manufactured homes*
Know the age of your home. Know what wind level the home is designed to withstand.
Most of the wind damage viewers see on television involves older homes. Prior to 1976 the homes were built to a patchwork of state, local and voluntary codes. Some were well built; others were not.
Wind resistance levels are printed in the homeowner’s manual as well as on the “data plate” located in each home. Data plates are typically found in the home’s utility room, inside a kitchen cabinet, or similar location.
Verify that your home was installed properly.
The most common reason for wind damage in manufactured homes is improper installation, rather than the structure of the home itself. A manufactured home will perform properly in high winds only if it is properly installed. Determine if a home was installed by a contractor licensed by the SC Manufactured Housing Board (SCMHB.) These installers must undergo training, testing, and be licensed and bonded.
If the home wasn’t installed by a company licensed by the SCMHB, the homeowner should have a licensed installer inspect the set-up of the home. To check the licensing status of an individual or company, call the Manufactured Housing Board at (803) 896-4682.
Do your own inspection.
Manufactured homes are anchored by a series of 10 to 20 large steel anchors, depending on the size of the home. The anchors are connected by metal anchor straps to the heavy steel frame that the house rests on.
Inspect each anchor strap beneath your home to be certain that there is no slack or play in the strap. Check also for rusted straps and have these replaced. Also, check for signs of movement in the anchors themselves. These inspections are particularly important the first six months after the home is installed (due to settling) and after a storm.
Anchor straps can be tightened with a socket, ratchet and an adjustable wrench, but most consumers will want to leave the replacement of straps and resetting of anchors to a professional.
Finally, remember that of course even the best-prepared homeowners should evacuate their homes when local authorities recommend evacuation — regardless of whether their house is site-built or factory-built. Ignoring warnings and evacuation notices puts homeowners at needless risk.
Manufactured Housing Industry’s Take on Zoning
In recent years, South Carolina began reversing a 30-year trend of zoning out manufactured homes. More areas of South Carolina are now including manufactured homes by using design and compatibly standards.
Manufactured Housing: A product of the American competitive market system
- The efficiency of factory production is our economic system’s response to the critical need for affordable housing.
- Consumers determine the type of housing which represents the best value for their housing dollars. Home ownership is good for everybody. It gives families ties to the community, kids do better in school and home owners take pride in where they live.
- Dramatic changes in modern-day manufactured homes make it much easier to treat home buyers fairly in the zoning process. Manufactured homes can be built to be compatible with any other type of home.
Many South Carolina counties routinely appreciate manufactured homes on their tax rolls. It’s just a matter of using modern-day assessment methods. The Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina can help show officials how to get maximum value from manufactured homes.
- Depending on the region of the country, construction costs per square foot for a new manufactured home averages 10 to 35 percent less than costs for a comparable site-built home.
- Independent appraisal studies confirm that manufactured homes appreciate in value under the same circumstances as other forms of housing.
Built for Quality
- All aspects of the construction process are controlled.
- The weather does not interfere with construction and cause delays.
- All technicians, craftsmen and assemblers work as a team and are professionally supervised.
- Inventory is better controlled and materials are protected from theft and weather- related damages.
- All construction materials, as well as appliances, are purchased in volume for additional savings.
- Cost of interim construction financing is significantly reduced or eliminated.
- All aspects of construction are continually inspected by a federally-approved trained third-party inspector.
- Floor plans are available that range from basic to elaborate. These include vaulted or tray ceilings, fully-equipped kitchens, walk-in closets and bathrooms with recessed tubs and whirlpools.
- Homes have pitched roofs with shingles and gabled ends.
- Design features such as bay windows and dormers are available.
- Site-built garages and permanent foundations are often available as upgrades.
- The home can be customized to meet the needs of the consumer.
- The building materials in today’s manufactured homes are the same as those used in site-built homes.
- The homes are engineered for wind safety and energy efficiency based on the geographic region in which they are sold.
MHISC staff can provide additional background information, photos and “b-roll” and can also comment on specific current issues such as legislation, local zoning, safety (wind and fire), etc.