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Manufactured Home Tie-Downs

Question: 
We are being asked if our rural Phoenix area mobile/manufactured home is tied-down. How can we tell?

Answer:
Mobile/manufactured home tie-downs are installed to resist wind loads that can topple or rack (deform) the building. Sometimes the home has a tie-down system put in place when the mobile/manufactured home was set at the property, or the structure might have been placed with no tie-downs installed. It is always best to have a professional verify your existing home for the presence of a tie-down system. There has historically been very low levels of consistency and enforcement for tie-down placement in Arizona. This is likely because of a lower risk (Wind Zone I) HUD rating for the area. HUD stands for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Wind Zone I only equates to a top wind speed of 70 mph, however, it is very possible for wind to exceed this speed in Arizona.

The thing to remember is that some homeowner insurance policies require tie-down placement, regardless of the wind zone or when the home was placed on the property. Be sure to check your policy to lessen the risk of a coverage denial due to failure to comply with the insurance company mandates.

So that you have an example to look at, for your own knowledge, see the photo. Here is a retrofit method of tie-down installed near a corner in the crawl space under the home. The reddish colored support has two-directional diagonal braces (see arrows) installed to resist overturning forces by transferring load to a metal pad at the ground. The upper end of the diagonal braces attach to the steel floor beams. The installed cost for this system on a 2,370 sq.ft. irregularly shaped manufactured home in the photo was about $2,350 Including engineering costs. Having engineering design documented and sealed by a Structural Engineer is important, you will need it along with the installation receipts, when you go to sell the property. There are other tie-down systems available which can affect price and the home size/configuration can also cause the price to fluctuate up or down from the example shown.

Now you know!

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