The Language of Manufactured Homes

A manufactured home has been called many things over the years. The list includes mobile home, trailer, double wide, modular home, pre-manufactured home, pre-fab home, tiny houses, and even a park model. Did you know that none of the terms on this list are correct to use? It is important to call a manufactured home by what it is, manufactured housing. When using the other terms, you are misleading a consumer, perpetuating a myth or misunderstanding regarding the quality of the product, and adding confusion for building officials and licensing.

Acronyms of Manufactured Housing
There are two acronyms with manufactured housing that installers should know and use correctly when applied to the trade. These acronyms are DAPIA and IPIA. DAPIA stands for Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency. The DAPIA performs plan reviews of manufactured home construction & installation designs. Similarly to DAPIA, IPIA stands for an In-Plant Inspection Agency. IPIA performs inspections in the manufacturing plants and on certain homes at the site. Both DAPIA and IPIA perform the tasks of a building code official for homes in the manufactured housing field.

The Role of HUD
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the primary authority for manufactured housing. HUD establishes both the construction/safety standards and the procedural/enforcement regulations for manufactured homes. HUD also establishes the installation programs for manufactured housing in a variety of states. These include Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, (most recently) Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont & Wyoming. These are also the states where HUD has full oversight and provides licenses to installers. Another thing HUD does is assure that other states programs meet the requirements for installing manufactured housing.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is a large national agency that has a lot of roles to perform. To mitigate these responsibilities, HUD utilizes contractors. The two contractors that HUD uses in manufacturing homes to be familiar with are SEBA & Savan Group. SEBA (not an acronym) is who operates the installation program on behalf of the federal government. Savan Group is the contractor for the federal government that handles dispute resolution associated with manufactured homes. HUD also has established the roof snow load zones for manufactured housing for the entire nation. These are south, middle and north, each with lbs per square foot snow load requirements. This information and more is covered in Builder License Training Institute’s manufactured housing license & continuing education training for HUD professional installers.


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It was highly educational on safety on which will help me and my company save lives and keep safe on the job site in everyday life. – April 17, 2018
Charlie Tregale - Massachusetts
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