The industry has worked hard to build up a system of consumer protections to make our product the best they can be. Many people are already aware of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (SCLLR) that closely regulates the sale and production of factory-built homes.
Another lesser known protection system that exists to serve customers are the third-party inspectors that work in home factories to keep them up to code.
Because manufactured homes and modular homes are built to different codes, the process works a little differently depending on the type of factory.
“The HUD inspector works every day to make sure our homes are built to code.” Says Brian Rowland of Clayton Homes of Rockwell.
Clayton Rockwell is a plant specializing in manufactured homes. These plants require inspectors that work for the federal government to oversee operations.
“The inspector’s job is to make sure the homes are the best they can be for the customer.” Rowland explains. “He’s always submitting reports to our Quality Assurance department on what we can improve, but he has the power to shut down the line if he sees and code violation.”
“The inspector is very picky and that’s a good thing,” Rowland says. “We have to make sure all of the minor details are in shape before leaving – right down to the trimming in the home.”
Outside inspectors check that all homes are built to code before they leave the plant.
Things are slightly different in the modular industry. Modular homes are built to SC state building code, while manufactured homes are built to the federal HUD code.
“Our facility uses third-party inspectors licensed by the SCLLR.” Says Doug Terrel, VP of Manufacturing for Blue Ridge Log Cabins. “These inspectors are neither employees of ours nor employees of the state, but they are viewed as representing the state in the manufacturing process.”
Joey Hall, Engineer Manager for Crestline Custom Builders, works closely with these inspectors in his role.
“Building modular homes involves more steps than manufactured homes,” Hall said. “HUD Code manufactured homes are built to a single federal code which is applicable to any state in the nation. Modular homes are built to individual state codes. Many states follow the IRC for modular homes but virtually every state has made its own modifications to the code.”
“At the end of the day, the third-party inspectors are just a part of what we do to make sure we produce quality homes,” says Doug Terrell. “We inspect every home along the way to make sure they are the best they can be.”