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Modular home

Posted by jacqmar (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 12:59

I'm new to this forum and I need to know if the discussion here includes modular homes?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Modular home

Yes it does.


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RE: Modular home

A number of us have modulars.


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RE: Modular home

We recently bought a modular that has the style of a double-wide. I'm concerned about the heating system and what options do I have. The furnace (60,000btu) is at one end and very little heat in the rooms at the opposite end, overall, it doesn't heat well. The home sits on a full basement; seems to run all the time with a weak air flow through the registers. I won't go into detail about other flaws, it turns out to be a low end modular. It's still under the 1yr warranty from Fairmount Homes. Advice?


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RE: Modular home

Get warranty service done, and get it done now. You should not have this problem. I would suspect that your issue is improperly connected or not connected heating ducts leaking air into the basement. It happens. Is the basement warmer than the 55 degrees or so it ought to settle at year round?

We live in a doublewide, in a mobile home park so no permanent foundation. Our furnace supplies plenty of very warm air coming from the heat registers at the far end of the home from the furnace. Of course, our underside is protected with plenty of insulation below the ducts and plumbing, and you won't have that. But that doesn't explain the poor air flow.


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RE: Modular home

I have another question about my modular home. The heating issue hasn't been resolved as yet. My home has the return air register in the ceiling placed in the middle of the home (dining area). I now have cold air coming down out of that register. I haven't called the dealer as yet, wanted to check in here first. Also, as for the far end of the home not being heated sufficiently, could this be an insulation issue?


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RE: Modular home

Did the manufacturer do the furnace? Or did a sub do it? When we built our modular, all the plumbing, heating, electrical, etc were done by local subcontractors. The manufacturer just supplied the house. The GC took care of the full basement, driveway, septic, etc.


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RE: Modular home

The furnace was done by the factory, ductwork, etc was done by a subcontractor. Update: A subcontractor who does heating/cooling looked and found no leaks that would cause the cold air blow down from the ceiling cold air return. I had him check the ductwork in the basement. No surprise to me but he said the flexible ducts were done in a sloppy manner and should be redone. This could be the cause of the cold rooms (duh). Furnace is a high eff. Trane downflow. He also found other issues such as missing vents in the plumbing. Drain water from WM backs up to kitchen sink, waiting for 5 mos to have that fixed. I may have to hire a plumber to have it fixed.


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RE: Modular home

At least you are getting the issues addressed, Jacqmar! Missing vent pipes do odd things to a plumbing system, and backups are one example. Who hired the subcontractor, you or the dealer? If the dealer, he really needs to know about the sloppy work.

Also, find out if the missing vent pipes are a local building code violation; if they are the dealer will have to pay for installing them. Unlike manufactured homes, which are required to meet the HUD building code, modulars are required to meet all state and local building codes. So you've got that going for you. In fact, it might be a good idea to get the local building inspector in to do a code inspection, based on what I have heard about this home of yours so far.

But Jacqmar, you WILL end up with a home you feel confident about. The more you find wrong and get fixed, the more you will know about your home. The more you know, the better you will feel about it. Fearing but not knowing is the worst. It will all be fixed, and will be a lovely place to live.


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RE: Modular home

I like the idea of getting an independent inspection. Was a CO needed to move in?


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RE: Modular home

cathyyg, thank you for the good advice. Never thought about building codes and such. I'm seeing more and more things that don't look right. The dealer has never been back since our move in, they send workers to check and repair.

christopherh, what is a CO?


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RE: Modular home

A CO is a Certificate of Occupancy. It is required in most places for rental houses, and in some places for new houses or even newly purchased houses. Basically proof that a code inspection was performed and passed.


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RE: Modular home

A CO is a Certificate of Occupancy. It is required in most places for rental houses, and in some places for new houses or even newly purchased houses. Basically proof that a code inspection was performed and passed.


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RE: Modular home

I'm back again. We don't have building codes in my area. What I did find out was our state has a law that plumbing, heating and cooling contractors must be licensed with the state. That said, the plumbing and h&c contractor (same person in my case) was hired by the dealer I purchased my home from was unlicensed. His work was deplorable. No wonder my home didn't heat this winter. I kept getting the response that this is the way it is. I finally insisted a licensed heating/cooling company to inspect. Like I expected, they found deplorable work done. Now it's a waiting game. Here's a question: since we moved in we've had water from the washing machine back up into the kitchen sink. It took the same contractor 5 mos. to show up. His fix was to replace the mini vent under the sink. Washer filled with just water ran through with no backup. Problem solved? No. Later I ran a load of laundry, problem of backing up is still there. Roof is losing shingles with every high wind. Our state has a Consumer Protection Law, has anyone here have any experience similar to mine?


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RE: Modular home

You might consider asking the dealer to pay for the cost of having licensed professionals remedy the work done by the unlicensed guy. If he does not do it willingly (and I doubt he will) you may want to sue him for the cost of getting your home fixed. That Consumer Protection Law might be helpful, but it depends a lot on what it covers and what it mandates.

No building codes? Are we talking about Tennessee? That is the only place I know of in the US with no building codes. You need a good licensed plumber to inspect. Also a roofing and siding and foundation contractor. There is no logical reason why a washing machine would back up to the sink in a home with a basement unless the drain lines are run improperly and the lines are not sloping properly to the main drain point. Or if the drain line is too small, or located not deep enough, or if something is blocking the line preventing it from draining freely, like a missing septic tank or cesspool.


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RE: Modular home

When I lived in PA there were no codes either. I went to a modular home dealer and the homes had 2x4 exterior walls 24" on center.

I left in 1989, so things may have changed since then.


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RE: Modular home

Yes, things have changed since 1989. Around that same time they were building stick-built houses that way, too. I bought one in 1987 in Florida. After too many builders made building only to the minimum their practice the codes were made stricter.

We all know modulars have to meet the local building codes, while manufactured homes only have to meet the federal HUD standard. In most situations the local codes are more strict, so the modular will be "better" construction. In Jacqmar's situation I think he might have been better off getting a manufactured home. I really sympathize with him.


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RE: Modular home

Update: I live in a rural area in a small town in the Midwest. We have no codes. Our Attorney General's State Consumer Protection Law will not/cannot help us. I contacted the dealer and asked her if she would send out a licensed/certified HVAC to inspect our heating system. They said the installation of the ductwork was deplorable and the heat runs were too small for this size home. No response from dealer. We had more shingles blown off, another leak in the ceiling. Dealer wants me to file claim with State Farm. Agent told me it would be a frivolous claim stating it's apparent the roof needs to be re-shingled. Small staples were used. Do you know how deflating it is to have a new home with mix matched shingles and vinyl siding slats? And to think I have many more issues on this home that needs to be corrected. We are 70 and wanted a nicer home to live out our lives in. No wonder there are so many shysters out there, people like us have no protection. What good is a warranty?


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RE: Modular home

Maybe it's time for small claims court. Sue him/her to make it right.


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RE: Modular home

I agree with Christoph, but small claims has a limit of about $5000. He needs to file a civil suit against the dealer to recover the expenses of fixing his house, and he will need good estimates of how much it will cost for court. Maybe one repair bill at a time in Small Claims?

I have said once before that choosing the right dealer is more important than choosing the right manufacturer. This case really highlights it. And for those being frightened away, let me say that my experience has been the complete opposite of Jacqmar's experience. We too bought our manufactured home for retirement, and we couldn't be happier.


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RE: Modular home

I agree. We purchased our modular in 2002 and have been very happy. And I agree it was the dealer who did it right.

She acted as the general contractor since we were in another state, and had all local subs. The plumbing was all done by a company that is literally a mile away, all the electrical work was done by a well respected local journeyman, and the lot clearing, septic system and driveway was done by a local excavator.
She even found the well driller who did all the wells in our community, so he knew exactly how far to drill.

We found this extraordinary since the house is in Vermont and the dealer is an hour away in New York State. She said it was no problem since she set a lot of homes in Vermont and was well acquainted with everybody.

The factory reps set the house on the cellar, buttoned it up, and did the finish carpentry. After that, we had no reason to call them again. It wasn't their job to do the electrical or plumbing, etc.

I had a small plumbing issue about 6 months after we moved in, and I called the local sub, not the dealer, who came out and made the adjustment at no charge. I remember him saying "It's my mistake, it's my repair".


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RE: Modular home

I have a post under 'Basements', I would like someone who has a home similar to mine: 28x60 to see what they think. I wish I could post pics. Thanks


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RE: Modular home--Update

As you all know, I've been having issues with my new modular home. The dealer had someone come in and re-do the runs for the furnace/ac, so I have heat/cooling now reaching all rooms. The plumbing vent issue I have had since moving in is top of my list now. There is no vertical vent from the washing machine, it backs up to the vent pipe underneath the kitchen sink making that horrible gurgling sound. Dealer called to say they have no idea what to do about it. They had the plumber who installed the plumbing come out twice, he installed an 'air-release' valve on the vent pipe under the sink which does nothing. I posted in the 'Plumbing' forum and was told my home needs a vertical vent to the outside. So I'm back to where I was months ago. It took months to get the dealer himself to look in the basement to see the heat runs, that day I showed him the vent problem. Now they tell me they don't have answer to the problem. This has all been so frustrating and stressful.


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RE: Modular home

Jacqmar, I am so happy to see you posting! I was worried about you and your house. At least you will have heat this winter, and that is progress.

I think your builder simply does not want to fix the issue with the washer and sink because it is not a cheap fix. Tearing open the wall, ceiling and roof, running the vent pipe, then installing flashing and sealing the hole in the roof and re-roofing, followed by fixing and painting the ceiling and wall. Not a small job at all.


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RE: Modular home

As a postscript to this thread, ALL states in the US have building codes. All states now use the IRC for residential (except Wisconsin which wrote its own Dwelling code) and the IBC for commercial. (Different editions are adopted by different states).
As for your plumbing, the gurgling you described is related to a lack of a vent to relieve the pressure on the washer trap. Under no circumstances however would I expect to see it back up into the kit sink. It indicates that the pressure is not being relieved and has no where else to go but through the trap in the kit sink. Installing an Air Admittance Valve (AAD) will not fix the problem as its positive pressure you are dealing with. (An AAD can only relieve negative pressure). You will need to install a vent through the roof, somewhere downstream, to revive the positive pressure.
I doubt this problem was created by the manufacture of the home. More likely, the person pretending to be a plumber, (the one who installed the under-floor piping).
Anyway, your dealer remains responsible as he was acting as a general contractor and has the final responsibility to make things right. No mater who he hired to final the plumbing, he still is responsible to you, (and the plumber is responsible to him).
I would send him a registered letter demanding a correction. Better yet, have a lawyer send a letter asking for a correction. Copy to your county building department, and your lending organization.
(Remember, it's the squeakiest wheel that gets the grease).
BTW, what state you are located in?
And if possible, post the name of the modular manufacturer if you would. I'm curious.


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RE: Modular home

My home has the metal stamp of approval from the State stating the home has been approved for building codes, etc. There is no local code. Apparently, having an open vent pipe under the sink was sufficient, but it is not. I called a local plumber who told me the air release vent installed on the top of the vent pipe under the sink should be sufficient. Back to my heating issues, it took me months to convince the dealer the heat runs were installed haphazardly, once he came personally to see did he have them re-done. My only recourse at the time was to file a complaint with the Small Claims Court which I did not want to have to go through. My hope now is maybe trying different valve/vents under the sink will work. The thought of having a vertical vent installed scares me. The work done so far by the dealer's crew is not the best. Let me say this home has been a mistake, but we are stuck with it. We bought it as it being our last home.


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RE: Modular home

You say the house has a metal stamp on it. Just what does it say? Just what codes does the house meet?

I really curious because my modular has no such stamp.


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RE: Modular home

Hi christopherh, it is a metal seal showing the State Symbol which says ; Certification seal for factory built structure (serial #) MOD. ....meets the minimum requirements of the State building code and is approved by the Building Codes Commissioner for installation in (State). OK, here is something I found on another paper glued......All fuel, electrical, plumbing connections should be made by professional people in the various trades.

The key word there is SHOULD, that explains a lot.


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RE: Modular home

Christopherh, that metal plate is absolutely required on all manufactured homes. It suggests that jacqmar has a manufactured home set on a foundation rather than a modular. I could tell by looking at how it is set onto the basement, but Jacqmar may not be able to tell.


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RE: Modular home

Jacqmar, is your home made by Fairmount or Fairmont? I am not finding anything for Fairmount as far as being a modular home builder. Fairmont's video of the construction process give absolutely no interior construction information. I am linking a video that shows construction of a modular - I didn't make an effort to determine the manufacturer. While your home may be what you consider a 'low end modular' shoddy workmanship and/or materials is unacceptable, at least in my book.

I believe that all plumbing vents on manufactured homes (if in fact that is what this one is) are to be installed during the construction of the home at the factory. I have never encountered any done otherwise. As to modular homes, what I have seen of the videos of the construction of them also has the vents, etc. completed before shipment. If that was not the case with this house, then the manufacturer has messed up.

We do, upon occasion, hook up manufactured homes to utilities, and all plumbing vents are in place, extended through the roof and roof jacks are installed prior to our being called by the owner. One of the things we do is to make sure that the roof jack has been properly installed. We do that due to having found one that was not and had 'somehow come loose'. That was on a low end brand, but still is no excuse for it being that way.

Have you tried to directly contact the manufacturer and let them know what is going on? I believe it would be worth your time and effort to do so. If they know how the dealer is performing (not) they might can light a fire under her - and they possibly would pull their product from her dealership permanently. My opinion is that she knows whatever repairs have to be made - and absolutely should be made - will come out of her pocket if her contractors did shoddy and/or faulty work.

Please, contact the manufacture and see if you can't get some help. Even better, get in touch with AARP. Those folks can swing some power. They surprise me as to the situations they step up to the bat for senior citizens over and win!

Best of luck and keep us informed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Video link


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RE: Modular home

Cathyg,

OK, I don't have that metal plate as my modular is not classified as a 'manufactured' home.

Two separate classifications. Two sets of standards. HUD minimum and FHA minimum.


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RE: Modular home

Perhaps attaching a State Seal of Approval depends on each state? I figure the MOD following the serial # meant modular. I do agree that my home looks more like a manufactured home than the higher grade modular. Bill of Sale states it is a modular. Will someone tell me what to look for in the basement to determine if it is a modular or manufactured home? I have a question; I found by losing quite a few shingles that they were held down with short staples. Thoughts? The manufacturer sent me an approval post card, I marked it appropriately. Will see if I get a response, highly unlikely. :>( I don't understand the statements about a Fairmont/Fairmount home. I never mentioned this being one of those. I will keep in mind the help AARP might do for us. Thanks.


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RE: Modular home

I don't understand the statements about a Fairmont/Fairmount home. I never mentioned this being one of those.

jacamar your above post dated Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 10:15
stated It's still under the 1yr warranty from Fairmount Homes.

Since Fairmont Homes come with a one year warranty (see http://fairmonthomes.com/shared/global/warranty.pdf), that is probably why gmatx asked the question.


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RE: Modular home

You are correct and my apologies to everyone.


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RE: Modular home

Manufactured home: Steel frame underneath.
Modular home: no steel frame underneath.

A modular home is the exact same thing as a site built home. No bill of sale, no serial number, etc.


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RE: Modular home

I have a question about these homes. Do they remove the steel frame if the home is to be placed on a basement? I don't have that steel frame. My home was purchased off the lot. I'm thinking this may be the cause of most of my problems.


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RE: Modular home

Only on modulars do they take the home off the "frame" as that's only a trailer to transport the home.

You have a modular home. It never was meant to have a metal frame.

I guess your state requires the metal tag you mentioned earlier.

May I suggest you get to the bottom of all your issues with the house at one time. Call in an inspector. One like they use for real estate transactions. Let him/her do a thorough inspection and solutions list. If something is not to code, you have a legitimate (legal) argument with the dealer or sub who did the work.


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RE: Modular home

I wish I could find an inspector come in and take a look see, but I can't find one that will come here. I must really be in the boonies. Anyway, Fairmont Homes doesn''t have any phone #'s accessible. Their website says to contact them by certified mail. I wrote it all down and mailed it today. Oh, by the way, I hadn't really looked at our HomeOwners Manual til yesterday. It's for a manufactured home, everything refers to HUD. My thoughts on the certified letter suggests they get too many complaints.


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RE: Modular home

Manufactured homes are built to HUD minimum standards. However 90% of them are well above that minimum as each state also has minimums.

Modulars are built to FHA minimum standards. And again, 90% of them are well above the minimum as each state has their own standards.

As an example, the standard minimum roof pitch is 3/12. But Vermont's minimum is 5/12 with 2x6 rafters because of snow loads etc.


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