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Mobile Home Plans
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions for our FHA, HUD, and VA mobile home foundation plans. If you can not find you answer here, please also go to our Glossary of Terms and Definitions page.







A. Lender, Retailers, and Real Estate Agent FAQs:

  1. Do you design FHA/HUD and VA foundation plans for manufactured homes? 
  2. Do you inspect and certify of compliance on foundations for FHA/HUD and VA loans? 
  3. What are some of the requirements for a FHA/HUD manufactured home foundation plans? 
  4. What all is involved designing mobile home foundation plans? 
  5. What states do you cover? 
  6. Modular vs Manufactured Homes; what is the difference between a modular home and a manufactured home, or mobile home? 
  7. How long does it take to create foundation plans? 
  8. How much do a mobile home foundation plans cost? 
  9. What about FHA Insurance Eligibility - who is eligible? 
  10. Can manufactured homes be moved or relocated from a previous home site? 
  11. We are a mortgage company and need foundation plans and certifications completed quite often; how do I become an on-going customer? 
  12. How do I place an order for a manufactured home foundation plans? 



  1. Do you design FHA/HUD and VA foundation plans for manufactured homes?
  2. Yes, we design foundations for manufactured homes for FHA/HUD, and VA loans, including on-site inspection requirements of lenders and mortgage companies.      ^ top
  3. Do you inspect and certify of compliance on foundations for FHA/HUD and VA loans?
  4. Yes, we do. Please see our foundation certifications website.      ^ top
  5. What are some of the requirements for a FHA/HUD manufactured home foundation plans?
  6. For all FHA/HUD mobile home foundations, the HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Homes must be followed. This is a design standards manual issued by HUD for the manufactured housing industry as it pertains to permanent foundations.      ^ top
  7. What all is involved designing mobile home foundation plans?
  8. Engineered Foundation Plans involve several actions on our part. Please see Things We Consider for more information.      ^ top
  9. What states do you cover?
  10. We have a nationwide coverage, however, some states are excluded.      ^ top
  11. Modular vs Manufactured Homes; what is the difference between a modular home and a manufactured home, or mobile home?
  12. It can be confusing to tell the difference between a manufactured home, mobile home, and/or modular home. They can be very similar in appearance, and on top of that, many people use the terms interchangeably. So let's try to clear it all up and get a better definition.

    What are Manufactured Homes?
    A manufactured home is any factory-built home in the United States that is built conforming to HUD Title 6 construction standards (commonly known as "the HUD-code"). The HUD-code was implemented and took effect starting June 15, 1976. A HUD-coded home will display documentation called the HUD Certification Label and the Data Plate. The red HUD Certification Label (sometimes called the "HUD Label") can be located on the tail end of each transportable section of the home (as shown here to the right). The Data Plate will be located inside of the home. A manufactured home is also built on a permanent chassis to ensure transportability. However, typically a manufactured home is not moved from its initial installed site. The home can then be placed on HUD permanent foundation. This is what we (Foundation Certifications) inspects and certifies when we visit your home-site.

    What are Mobile Homes?
    A mobile home is similar to a manfuctured home, in that it is a factory-built home. However, it differs in that it is: 1) built before June 15, 1976, and 2) not built to any uniform construction code, including HUD, since the HUD code didn't come out until June 15, 1976.

    What are Modular Homes?
    A modular home is any factory-built home that is constructed to a local (City or County), or state building code. In most cases, a state will have adopted one of the uniform construction codes (i.e. UBC, IRC, etc.). Modular homes will not have the red HUD Certification Label, but will have a different label (ofted called a "UBC Label", or similar) attached to the home stating the code it complies with (as shown here to the right). A modular home can be built as an "on-frame" or "off-frame" modular. On-frame will be built on a permanent chassis, whereas, the off-frame modular will be built with removal of the chassis frame in mind. An off-frame modular will usually require additional cranes to assist with home placement. Modular homes are, usually, only attached to private land, and not typically installed in manfactured (mobile) home parks.      ^ top
  13. How long does it take to create foundation plans?
  14. Most engineered foundation plans can be drawn within 5 to 10 days - sometimes even faster..      ^ top
  15. How much do a mobile home foundation plans cost?
  16. Standard fees vary based on geographical location; in many areas across the country our fee can be as low as $500 for plans. Please contact us for a price quote for your local area.      ^ top
  17. What about FHA Insurance Eligibility - who is eligible?
  18. To be eligible for FHA insurance, your manufactured (mobile) home must be on an FHA-approved permanent foundation. We, the registered professional engineers must design the foundation plans with the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing.      ^ top
  19. Can manufactured homes be moved or relocated from a previous home site?
  20. Manufactured homes can be moved from one site to another. Just because a specific foundation works at one site, does not mean that the same foundation design will work at another site. Why? because of characteristics involving: snow, wind, soil, etc. Please note that if you are wanting an FHA loan on a mobile home that has been moved may be difficult. According to many lending institutions, the manufactured unit must not have been installed or occupied previously at any other site or location. Often times, the lender requires that the manufactured units may be moved only from the manufacturer's or dealer's lot to the site on which the unit will be insured. If a permanent foundation is to be constructed under an existing eligible unit, the unit may be jacked up in order to install a new foundation.      ^ top
  21. We are a mortgage company and need foundation plans and certifications completed quite often; how do I become an on-going customer?
  22. To become an on-going customer is very simple. Simple contact us via our online form, or call us at and we can get you setup in our database so that you can place orders on an on-going basis.      ^ top
  23. How do I place an order for a manufactured home foundation plans?
  24. Orders are placed on our secure website. Our online order process was created to save you time. There are no paper forms to fill out, and no faxes to send. If you have an Internet connection, you can place an order - it's that simple.      ^ top



B. Home Owner FAQs:

  1. What is a HUD/FHA compliant manufactured home foundation? 
  2. Do you inspect foundations for FHA/HUD and VA compliance? 
  3. Can my manufactured home be moved or relocated from a previous home site? 
  4. What all is involved in engineering mobile home foundation plans? 
  5. Who is required to have a HUD compliant manufactured home foundation? 
  6. What about FHA Insurance Eligibility? 
  7. Why is a professional licensed engineer required for a mobile home foundation plans? 
  8. What will happen if my manufactured home does not have a HUD compliant foundation? 
  9. Who really cares if my foundation is HUD/FHA compliant? 
  10. If my foundation is HUD compliant, will it meet other loan standards? 
  11. Does a HUD compliant foundation cost more than other types of foundations? 
  12. Is a contractor required to install a HUD compliant foundation or its components? 
  13. How do I place an order for a manufactured home foundation plans? 



  1. What is a HUD/FHA compliant manufactured home foundation?
  2. A HUD compliant foundation is a foundation that has been certified by a professional licensed engineer that it complies to the HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Homes. This is what we do for our customers.      ^ top
  3. Do you inspect foundations for FHA/HUD and VA compliance?
  4. Yes, we do. Please see our foundation certifications website.      ^ top
  5. Can my manufactured home be moved or relocated from a previous home site?
  6. Manufactured homes can be moved from one site to another. Just because a specific foundation works at one site, does not mean that the same foundation design will work at another site. Why? because of characteristics involving: snow, wind, soil, etc. Please note that if you are wanting an FHA loan on a mobile home that has been moved may be difficult. According to many lending institutions, the manufactured unit must not have been installed or occupied previously at any other site or location. Often times, the lender requires that the manufactured units may be moved only from the manufacturer's or dealer's lot to the site on which the unit will be insured. If a permanent foundation is to be constructed under an existing eligible unit, the unit may be jacked up in order to install a new foundation.      ^ top
  7. What all is involved in engineering mobile home foundation plans?
  8. Designing Foundation Plans involves several actions on our part. Please see Things We Consider for more information.      ^ top
  9. Who is required to have a HUD compliant manufactured home foundation?
  10. Anyone applying for an FHA secured loans. According to HUD-FHA Single Family Housing, Homeownership Center Reference Guide Revised October 31, 2005, "All foundation systems, new and existing, must meet the guidelines published in the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing, (HUD-7584), dated September 1996. Plans attesting to compliance with this handbook must be obtained from a licensed professional engineer and included in the insuring file." Our engineers can provide those plans.      ^ top
  11. What about FHA Insurance Eligibility?
  12. To be eligible for FHA insurance, your manufactured (mobile) home must be on an FHA-approved permanent foundation. A registered professional engineer must create plans that comply with the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing.      ^ top
  13. Why is a professional licensed engineer required for a mobile home foundation plans?
  14. Foundation systems for any home is a complex engineering design process. In order to safeguard, life, health and property, to promote the public welfare, and to establish and maintain a high standard of integrity and practice, a professional licensed engineer is required for mobile home foundation plans.      ^ top
  15. What will happen if my manufactured home does not have a HUD compliant foundation?
  16. HUD compliant manufactured home foundations have some of the highest standards in the industry. If you do not have a HUD compliant foundation, you will most likely be denied a loan that is secured by the Federal governement including HUD, FHA, VA and possibly others. If you live in a home that is non-compliant to HUD standards, and if you decide to sell, you may be required to fulfill this standard. Also, if you decide to refinance with a Federally guaranteed loan, you will most likely be denied.

    You benefit by ensuring your home is installed on a HUD compliant permanent foundation from the beginning. We can design a HUD compliant foundation for you if you are having a new home installed. We can also recommend a retrofit to make your manufactured home HUD compliant if it was not originally installed on a permanent foundation. The process is fast and affordable. Just go here to place your order for a foundation certification.      ^ top
  17. Who really cares if my foundation is HUD/FHA compliant?
  18. Well, a lot of people care; and especially lending companies. The lending company wants to ensure that the foundation can properly support the home and that it will not faulter. Different lending companies have different regulations. Older homes may have been put on grade with blocks or some other home-made device. However, current standards are more stringent and require a safer design. These designs are to safegaurd the home in the event of an earthquake or extreme wind storm (such as a hurricane.) It is the government (HUD) that has set the national standards and codes for manufactured homes.      ^ top
  19. If my foundation is HUD compliant, will it meet other loan standards?
  20. The short answer is, most likely. We have never seen a current HUD compliant foundation not meet all other existing loan requirments from other agencies. If it is HUD compliant, it has one of the highest ranking foundation standards in the industry.      ^ top
  21. Does a HUD compliant foundation cost more than other types of foundations?
  22. First of all, a HUD compliant foundation is not a type of a foundation, but a standard by which the foundation is built. HUD has some of the highest standards concerning permanent foundations for manufactured homes.

    Some standards that are allowed by other regulatory agencies (including your local government agencies) might not require the same level of detail and design considerations as a HUD compliant foundation. Some local agencies may. With that said, due to the higher standards, it may cost more money up-front to build a HUD compliant foundation than to build to the minimum standard the industry allows.

    However, it costs less to put in a HUD compliant foundation at the beginning, than to find out you need one later, and need to retrofit it. Then you're paying twice. Also, you may find yourself wanting to eventually sell the home but can't find a buyer because the bank won't loan money on it due to it not being HUD compliant. Something to think about.      ^ top
  23. Is a contractor required to install a HUD compliant foundation or its components?
  24. You will want to check with local regulatory agencies, but generally, any licensed contractor that knows something about foundations, concrete work, and/or manufactured homes can most likely perform the work. Depending on your local and state regulations, a certified mobile home installer will be required to perform any installation work.

    It is very important to involve us from the beginning in order to ensure that all standards are met.      ^ top
  25. How do I place an order for a manufactured home foundation plans?
  26. You may place your order here.      ^ top



C. California Specifics; Including 433a and HSD §18551 FAQs:

  1. In California, what are the different classifications of foundations? 
  2. What is California Form 433a? 
  3. What does a recorded 433a document in California accomplish? 
  4. What is the process for filing and recording a 433a in California? 
  5. Who completes California Form 433a? 
  6. When is California Form 433a to be submitted for processing? 
  7. What happens after California Form 433a is recorded? 
  8. What is a California Certificate of Occupancy (HCD Form 513c)? 
  9. What is a California Statement of Mobilehome Installation Acceptance? 
  10. Who issues the California Installation Acceptance or Certificate of Occupancy? 
  11. When is the California Installation Acceptance or Certificate of Occupancy issued? 
  12. What is California HCD Form 413? 
  13. What is California HCD Form 433c? 



  1. In California, what are the different classifications of foundations?
  2. In California, the installation of a manufactured (mobile) home on a foundation is classified as one of the following:

    (A) Foundation installation - a fixture or improvement to real property, recorded with the county recorder's office, once recorded it is no longer personal property, and which complies with the requirements of Health and Safety Code section 18551(a); or
    (B) Chattel installation - neither a fixture nor an improvement to real property, not recorded with the county recorder's office, remains personal property, and which complies with the requirements of Health and Safety Code section 18551(b).      ^ top
  3. What is California Form 433a?
  4. In California, to convert the manufactured home to real property, Form 433a must be recorded. Generally speaking, the recorded 433A is required by the mortgage lender and/or the Title Company. Form 433A is a California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Form. It is also known as "Installation of a Manufactured Home on a Foundation System".

    The form can be downloaded from http://www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/mhp/433A.pdf

    The California Department of Housing and Community Development requires manufactured housing owners who affix their units to foundation systems to record a form known as Form 433A with HCD. The form is to be completed at the time a building permit is issued. After installation has been approved and on the sameday the certificate of occupancy has been issued, HCD shall record Form 433A with the county recorder's office. Thus, a preliminary title report should reveal whether a Form 433A was recorded.      ^ top
  5. What does a recorded 433a document in California accomplish?
  6. When completed by the governing building division and recorded by the City/County Recorder, the form certifies that the manufactured home was installed on a California-approved permanent foundation or foundation system and acts as an investment instrument (security) to the mortgage lender, the Title Company and even the homeowner. Once recorded it ensures that:

    • the manufactured home has been placed on an appropriate foundation. After this, it is no longer personal property, but real property subject to real property taxes.
    • a professional engineer, licensed in the State of California, has certified that the foundation has been installed according to the appropriate standards.
         ^ top
  7. What is the process for filing and recording a 433a in California?
  8. In general terms, the process is as follows:

    1. Our inspector will perform an on-site inspection of your mobile home foundation.

    2. The Engineer will write a report certifying that your mobile home is on a permanent foundation system. If your home is certified by the engineer, then proceed to Step 3, below.

      If your home is not on a permanent foundation as determined by the engineer, then you may be required to install a retrofit to bring it up to standards. To be on a permanent foundation system, you must proceed with one of the two approaches below; the engineer may recommend which approach will be more economical:

      • The Pre-Approved Foundation System (Proprietary) Approach.

        In this approach, the mobile home foundation must be installed with a state pre-approved permanent foundation system with proprietary components. The State of California updates their list of pre-approved permanent foundation systems every two years. The manufacturers of different permanent foundation systems must apply to the State of California to have their foundation systems included in the state's pre-approved list. Their application package must include an Engineer's Stamped set of Plans, drawings, and test data of their proposed permanent foundation system. If the manufacturer's application is accepted by the state, then they are included in the pre-approved foundation system list.

        This approach includes...

        • Hiring a contractor
        • The contractor applying for an installation permit for a permanent foundation system.
        • Installing a pre-approved foundation system; this is also called a retrofit.


      • The Site-Specific Engineered System Approach.

        In this approach, the engineer provides a set of site specific engineer foundation plans for the home. The engineer does not necessarily have to use any items from the pre-approved list available from the state. Many times the engineer can provide a more economical approach rather than having a contractor install a pre-approved foundation system.

        This approach includes...

        • Creating engineered foundation drawings. If it is a new manufactured home on a new foundation, then we will provide the new plans and specifications needed for the contractor. If it is an older manufactured home on an existing foundation, then an our engineer will need to create a set of "Record Drawings" (also called "As-Built Drawings") to be turned into the building department at the time of the application for the 433a,
        • If required, a list of items that may need to be installed as a retrofit.
        • Installing any retrofit items as required by the engineer.


      Prior to the installation of any retrofit on the manufactured home whether it be a Pre-Approved System or a Site-Specific Engineered System, the owner or a licensed contractor shall obtain a building permit from the appropriate enforcement agency (city, county, etc.). To obtain a permit, the owner or contractor shall first provide the following:

      • Written evidence that owner owns, holds title to, or is purchasing the real property where the mobilehome is to be installed on a foundation system.
      • Written evidence acceptable to the enforcement agency that the registered owner owns the manufactured home.
      • Applicable permitting fees.


    3. Complete the 433a form. To see who fills this out, see the FAQ below on "Who completes California Form 433a?"

    4. Inspection by the governing building department. This is the 513C process (see FAQ below). This is after the Engineer certifies the foundation, and the 433a is applied for. Sometimes, the local building department will require Site-Specific Engineered Drawings if a Pre-Approved system is not installed on the home.

    5. Finally, the 433a document is recorded at the County Recorder's Office.

           ^ top
  9. Who completes California Form 433a?
  10. Generally speaking, the owner (or their representatives; which can be us) completes the Owner Information Section and the Unit Description section, and the Building Division generally completes the remaining sections. The manufacturer's name, date of manufacture, model name/number, and serial number can be found on the Manufacturer Data Plate usually located on the base cabinet under the kitchen sink. The insignia (State of California) numbers can be located on each unit section, usually at the back end of each unit section (Two insignia numbers are required for a double-wide and three insignia numbers for a triple-wide).      ^ top
  11. When is California Form 433a to be submitted for processing?
  12. Generally, the form can be submitted for processing after all the required building foundation and home attachment inspections have been completed and approved by the governing building division.      ^ top
  13. What happens after California Form 433a is recorded?
  14. A recorded copy is sent to the California Housing and Community Development and to the property owner in conjunction with a final Certificate of Occupancy.      ^ top
  15. What is a California Certificate of Occupancy (HCD Form 513c)?
  16. The certificate of occupancy shall be provided for a manufactured (mobile) home installed on foundation system pursuant to section 18551(a) of the Health and Safety Code. California State Health and Safety Code §18551 requires that a Certificate of Occupancy be issued for the occupancy of a manufactured home as a fixture on real property. Form 513c is used for recording. Once recorded, the dwelling becomes taxable as real property by the County and is removed from the State personal property tax roll. To complete this process, the State documents must be completed including form 433a. After form 513c is issued (in the field), the building department is required to record HCD Form 433a immeidiately thereafter.      ^ top
  17. What is a California Statement of Mobilehome Installation Acceptance?
  18. The manufactured (mobile) home unit installation acceptance shall be provided for mobile homes installed pursuant to section 18551(b) or 18613 of the Health and Safety Code.      ^ top
  19. Who issues the California Installation Acceptance or Certificate of Occupancy?
  20. The enforcement agency (county, city, building official, etc.) provides copies of the statement of manufactured home installation acceptance or certificate of occupancy for the manufactred home to the installer or other person holding the permit to install and the buyer or registered owner or their representative.      ^ top
  21. When is the California Installation Acceptance or Certificate of Occupancy issued?
  22. A "Mobilehome Installation Acceptance" or "Certificate of Occupancy" shall not be issued until it is determined that the manufactured (mobile) home unit installation complies with the provisions of chapter 1366 of Title 25 of the California Mobilehome Parks and Installations Regulations.      ^ top
  23. What is California HCD Form 413?
  24. The California HCD Form 413 was replaced by HCD Form 433a in 1986.      ^ top
  25. What is California HCD Form 433c?
  26. The California HCD Form 433c can only be recorded by an escrow agent. It gives public notice that the "Registered Owner" elects to convert their home from personal property to a fixture on the land (real property).

    Also, it is the only exception in California when a manufactured home can be converted to a fixture without being on a "Foundation System" as outlined in California Code 18551. The requirements for this are:
    1. The manufactured (mobile) home must be on land in a manufactured home park.
    2. The manufactured (mobile) home land (park) was (or will) be converted to a resident-owned subdivision, cooperateiv, condominium, or nonprofit coporation pursant to California Code 11010.8.
    3. The "Registered Owner" is a participant in the resident ownership of the park.
         ^ top














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