North Carolina has been a pioneer in the field of regulations to protect its citizens from unsafe buildings, with a statewide building code in force since 1936. This building code provided local inspectors with clear guidelines for insuring that buildings constructed in their jurisdictions were safe with regard to building, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. However, the building code was primarily directed to site built construction. The modern manufactured home is a factory built unit that is marketed as a finished product, making it difficult or impractical for a local building official to inspect the structure for code compliance.
In 1969, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted a law requiring all mobile homes that were manufactured, sold, or offered for sale in North Carolina after July 1, 1970 to be manufactured in accordance with a model code, Standard for Mobile Homes USAS A119.1. This 1969 legislation also preempted the local inspection of mobile homes provided that homes were evaluated, tested and inspected by Underwriters’ Laboratories or a similar agency approved by the North Carolina State Building Code Council. Many manufacturers chose the factory inspection method which utilized affixed labels as proof of compliance. However, some manufacturers chose to rely on the availability and willingness of local inspectors to accept unlabeled mobile homes. Others simply elected to take the chance that there would be no local inspection of these homes in many areas of North Carolina.
In 1971, the General Assembly revised the 1969 legislation. This revision made it mandatory that all mobile homes manufactured to be sold in North Carolina after September 1, 1971 have a Standard for Mobile Homes USAS A119.1 “Label of Compliance” affixed by an independent, competent, solvent and trustworthy organization approved and licensed by the North Carolina State Building Code Council. In 1974, the United States congress determined that, in order “to reduce the number of personal injuries and deaths and the amount of insurance cost and property damage resulting from manufactured/mobile home accidents, and to improve the quality and durability of manufactured/mobile homes”, it would be necessary to establish federal construction safety standards. These standards were implemented through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) effective June 15, 1976, and are entitled Part 3280, Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. These standards preempted state jurisdiction over the construction of all manufactured / mobile homes after June 15, 1976. The Commissioner of Insurance retained jurisdiction over the installation of homes throughout the State and has promulgated this edition of the State of North Carolina Regulations for Manufactured Homes (hereafter called “this code”) and previous editions.
Effective August 11, 1982, the HUD officially changed the name “mobile home” to “manufactured home”. The State of North Carolina also adopted this name change on June 27, 1985. It should be noted that the name change did not affect the federal construction standards in any way.
Prior to July 13, 1994, North Carolina was divided into two Wind Zones for the construction and installation of manufactured homes: Zone I (standard) and Zone II (hurricane resistive). Effective July 13, 1994, the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards required North Carolina to be divided into three Wind Zones: Zone I (standard), Zone II (100 mph), and Zone III (110 mph). All homes with a date of manufacture on or after July 13, 1994 are subject to the requirements for these new Wind Zones.
Effective January 1, 2009, HUD has established 3285 Manufactured Home Installation Standards as the model installation standards to provide uniform installations for NEW manufactured homes throughout the United States. These new installation standards only apply to NEW manufactured homes. Please note that USED manufactured homes do not fall under the new standards and may still be set up using the installation manual which originally came with the home or by using our generic installation standards in the NC Regulations for Manufactured Homes, 2004 Edition. All NEW manufactured homes come with installation manuals which meet the requirements of the new 3285 Installation Standards, and must be available to this department during the inspection process.
Some of the major changes in the 3285 Manufactured Home Installation Standards
• Final leveling of manufactured home – New leveling requirements require the home to be no more than ¼ inch difference between adjacent pier supports.
• Installation of manufactured homes in flood hazard areas – HUD has adopted minimum installation standards for homes located in Flood Hazard Areas.
• Site Drainage – Drainage slope around house must slope a minimum of ½ inch per foot away from the foundation for the first ten feet. If gutters are installed, the runoff must be directed away from the home.
• Ground moisture control – If the space under the home is to be enclosed with skirting or other materials, a 6 mil vapor retarder must be installed to cover the entire ground under the home.
• Piers – Acceptable piers/materials specification – Pressure-treated wood piers, treated with a water borne preservative, in accordance with AWPA Standard U1-04 for Use Category 4B ground contact applications are now acceptable. End cuts of pressure treated lumber must be field treated in accordance with AWPA M4-02 standards.
• Pier configuration – Caps – Minimum thickness of solid concrete pier cap blocks has been increased to 4” for all piers.
• Design procedures for concrete block piers – Maximum pier heights have been reduced: single stacked: max 36”(was max 40”); double stacked: 36” -max 67” (was 40”-max 80”); all piers over 67” high (was over 80”) must be engineered; single stacked mate-line and perimeter piers: max 54”(was 56”)
• Footings – Minimum thickness of poured-in place concrete footings has been increased to 6” thick of 3000 psi concrete. (was min 4”, 2500 psi concrete)
• Severe Wind Zones – All homes in wind zones II and III within 1500 feet of the coastline must be designed by engineer
• Water Supply – A pressure-reducing valve must be installed when the local water supply pressure exceeds 80 psi.
• Water Supply testing procedures – The water system must be inspected and tested for leaks after completion at the site in accordance with the requirements indicated in 3280.612. All water piping in the water distribution system shall be subjected to a pressure test. The test shall be made by subjecting the system to air or water at 100 psi for 15 minutes without loss of pressure.
• Drainage system testing procedures – The drainage system must be inspected and tested for leaks after completion at the site. The installation instructions must provide testing requirements that are consistent with 3280.612. New allowable on-site testing procedures have been established and mandated by HUD. Drainage and vent system and plumbing fixtures – the waste and vent system shall be tested by one of the three following alternate methods for evidence or indication of leakage. Water test – Before plumbing fixtures are connected, all of the openings into the piping shall be plugged and the entire piping system subjected to a static water test for 15 minutes by filling it with water to the top of the highest vent opening. There shall be no evidence of leakage. Air test – After all fixtures have been installed, the traps filled with water, and the remaining openings securely plugged, the entire system shall be subjected to a 2-inch (manometer) water column air pressure test. If the system loses pressure, leaks may be located with smoke pumped into the system, or with soap suds spread on the exterior of the piping (bubble test). Flood level test – The manufactured home shall be in a level position, all fixtures shall be connected, and the entire system shall be filled with water to the rim of the water closet bowl. Tub and shower drains shall be plugged. After all trapped air has been released, the test shall be sustained for not less than 15 minute without evidence of leaks. Then the system shall be unplugged and emptied. The wasted piping above the level of the water closet bowl shall then be tested and show no indication of leakage when the high fixtures are filled with water and emptied simultaneously to obtain the maximum possible flow in the drain piping.
• Ductwork connections – Minimum width of strapping for flexible duct work must be at least ½” wider than the spacing of the metal spirals encasing the duct.
INFORMATION REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR A MANUFACTURED HOME SET-UP PERMIT
1. Copy of written approval by the Cherokee County Department of Environmental Health for a septic & well system, and/or copy of written approval from the appropriate town or service district to connect to water and sewer
2. If it applies, copy of written zoning approval from the required department/official
3. In order to determine current owner of the manufactured home, copy of title, bill of sale, or sales agreement, and if it is a new home, copy of floor plan layout
If the property is located near any rivers, lakes, streams, or creeks, contact this department prior to making application for a permit, as possible floodplain ordinance and/or watershed ordinance regulations may apply to the project
If decks and/or porches will be built to access this project, another permit may be required for such construction. Please have the necessary information available when making application.
Permit applications must be signed by all appropriate contractors before work is to begin. Failure to do so will cause a delay in the inspection process.
A Manufactured Home Checklist will be provided to all permit applicants.
See the permit fee schedule for a list of the most common permit fees. Please call the Building Code Enforcement office for the most up-to-date fees.
Manufactured Home Inspection List