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What are the regulations for the installation and anchoring of manufactured homes sited/installed in Minnesota?

Minnesota State Building Code (MSBC) 1350.2600 requires each manufactured home to have its stabilizing system installed according to the installation instructions of the home manufacturer (this would apply to HUD labeled homes constructed after June 14, 1976). The manufacturer's instructions are to be left with the home. If the instructions are no longer available from the manufacturer or if the home was constructed prior to the June 14, 1976 date the generic installation instructions in MSBC Chapter 1350 should be used.

Do the manufacturer's installation instructions apply to homes sited/installed in parks/communities and on private property?

Yes. However private property may be subject to zoning and land use regulations from ordinances by a municipality. These ordinances may regulate building width, type of foundation, size of buildings and other structures, and the percentage of lot, which may be occupied. The lending institution or loan underwriter may also have required guidelines for approval of consumers loan. The manufacturers instructions for anchoring of the home must also be followed.

If the manufacturer's typical approved installation instructions require frost-depth footings, are other methods for foundations allowed for park/community installation?

If a new manufactured home manufactured after Jan. 1, 2009, is installed in Minnesota it must have either frost-depth footings or an approved alternate (such as an engineered slab design) no matter where it is located. If it is a used manufactured home more than two years old a homeowner may sign a release as exactly stated in Minnesota Statute 327.32 and waive frost-depth footing designs, however all other requirements of the manufacturer's instruction must be followed for support and anchoring requirements.

Do options exist to allow a used manufactured home to be installed, if the manufacturer requires support footings that extend below the local established frost depth?

An option would be allowed if the manufacturer provides documentation indicating the pre-owned/used home may be installed in a manor different than indicated in the DAPIA approved installation manual. Verification of consumer notification of this option is required. Another acceptable option is to have other methods designed by a Minnesota-licensed engineer.

What attempt to obtain an installation manual for a used manufactured home is required for installer or homeowner prior to defaulting to installing the home to the generic standards in Minnesota State Building Code (MSBC) Chapter 1350?

MSBC Chapter 1350 generic installation standards are intended for use with installation of manufactured homes constructed prior to June 15, 1976, (pre-code and state code homes). The installer or homeowner needs to contact the manufacturer of the HUD labeled home (constructed after June 14, 1976). Check the data plate located in the home and it will indicate the company name and address of the manufacturer (also the date of manufacture) that may be contacted to obtain a manual for installation. However, if a manufacturer is no longer in business, or if under new ownership and will not send a manual from the previous company, then Chapter 1350 generic standards may be used.

What is acceptable for homes that need to be moved into a community/park during winter months and cannot meet the frost-free foundation installation requirement until climatic conditions allow?

With equipment that is available in today's construction industry, this is often not an issue. However, the installer would need to include in the installation contract the specifications that the home may be required to be removed from the lot and frost footings or another acceptable foundation system installed when climatic conditions allow. The contract must also specify a date for completion of the installation. Note: the local authority having jurisdiction may require the installation be complete prior to occupancy of the home. If the manufacturer allows an option/addendum or if the manufacturer does not require frost depth footings for park/community installations, MSBC 1350.0400 subpart 4, allows for incomplete installations when climatic conditions prevent the final completed installation.

Can a home manufacturer issue a letter of exemption for used and re-installed manufactured homes when the installation manual for the home at the date of manufacture (see data plate for date of manufacture) indicated that frost depth frost footings were required for the home?

Yes, if the home is a used manufactured home more than two years old the consumer may sign a wavier as required by Minnesota Statute 327.32.

What alternative installation systems are acceptable for installing a home in Minnesota?

On private property, zoning requirements may require a foundation built to the Minnesota State Building Code, as well as loan underwriting criteria, however the building official or authority having jurisdiction may accept alternates if proper documentation and designs are submitted for review. In parks/communities, alternates with DAPIA approvals from the manufacture or alternate designs from a licensed Minnesota engineer are acceptable. However, if the home alternate design is by an engineer rather than the manufacturers DAPIA approval, the engineer needs to check with the manufacturer to assure the manufacturer's design will work with the alternate. Proposed alternates other than the manufacturer's DAPIA approved methods could invalidate the warranty of the home.

Is it acceptable for a community/park to obtain an engineer's soil test and allow application throughout the community/park based on one system design rather than testing for each lot separately?

Yes, if the Minnesota-licensed engineer's report indicated that the designs and engineering in their report was for soil conditions on all lots in the community/park it would be acceptable.

If a manufactured home is installed according to an option/addendum letter, what type of support system is required for steps, decks or other additions?

The steps, decks, or other additions must be independently supported with the foundation system supported below the frost depth. If the same conditions existed for the appurtenances as exists for the manufactured home in a park/community, the authority having jurisdiction may allow support of the appurtenances above the frost depth.