Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Orange bar
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Basements and guard rails

Manufactured Structures Bulletin 28


Manufacturers, Manufactured Home Dealers, and Installers


Elroy Berdahl
Supervisor, Manufactured Structures


December 1, 1998


Basements and guard rails


A growing number of the manufactured homes being sited in Minnesota are being placed on basements. We are also noting that a number of manufacturers drawings are not indicating a method of connecting the manufactured home to the foundation that will provide a lateral restraint to the top of the basement wall. Both the Uniform Building Code and One and Two Family Dwelling Codes require that each joist be nailed to the sill plate with three (3) 8d nails. The nailing, along with the 1/2" anchor bolts 6' oc. grouted in the masonry or concrete wall allows the soil pressures applied against the basement wall to be resisted by the floor diaphragm. All manufacturers are to submit to our office their method of providing this lateral restraint to the foundation wall. If the installation method does not allow the nailing or the use of mechanical fasteners in attaching the floor joists directly to the sill of the basement wall at a maximum of 24" oc an engineers design must be submitted. Dealers and installers if you are selling or installing a home on a basement or crawl space and you are not attaching the home to the foundation to provide the lateral restraint to the top of the wall and providing resistance for wind movement you are in violation of the Minnesota State Building Code. The HUD Standards do not address basement construction. If the manufacturer chooses not to provide this information the only other recourse in placing their home on a basement is to have a Minnesota Licensed Engineer design a foundation as a retaining wall so all the soil pressures are resisted by the basement wall and footing. A number of dealers are using wood foundation systems as a basement. The nailing and/or the use of mechanical fasteners in attaching floor joists to the top plate of the wood foundation wall is very critical, make sure that the system is adhered to in its entirety.

Guard railing
Manufacturers are offering models with deck and entry areas incorporated into the transported portion of the home. These areas many times have guard railings enclosing them. The HUD Standards do not address guard railings and therefore are not protected by the preemption clause of the standards. As a note to the manufacturers the Minnesota State Building Code requirements for guard railings are:


Minimum heights of 36 inches.


The railing pattern cannot allow a 4" sphere to pass through openings.
The specific requirements are found in the 2012 International Residential Code section R312.

The local building official can require the railing to be constructed to comply with the Minnesota State Building Code. If the guard railings need to be reconstructed on site the work would be done after building permits are obtained from local municipality.

DLI home page | Directions and maps | News and media | Website disclaimer