Going Mobile

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Trailer-able manufactured homes took a publicity beating on television and in newspapers, even though those built since 1994 code upgrades weathered the storm as well, structurally, as site-built homes.

October 01, 2004

 

Trailer-able manufactured homes took a publicity beating on television and in newspapers, even though those built since 1994 code upgrades weathered the storm as well, structurally, as site-built homes. Manufactured homes aren't subject to the Florida Building Code, but to Federal HUD code - roughly equivalent in safety performance, according to Mike Draper, president of Palm Harbor Homes' Southwest Division in Plant City, Fla.

"We've been trying to get the message of improved safety out, and it's been a struggle," says Draper. Instead, televised reports broadcast nationwide images of flattened pre-code specimens from the days before nailing sequences were shored-up and sheathing was required.

Mike Wnek, Palm Harbor senior vice president/sales and marketing, says 11,200 regional homes fall into the "factory built" category, 550 to 600 built since 1994. "Not one was damaged to the point of being totaled by an insurance company. The majority suffered modest damage due to improper attachments of aluminum appurtenances."

Palm Harbor builds beyond HUD code and matches even the toughest coastal wind zones for stick-built houses. Examples:

  • ring-shank nails;
  • more and thicker lumber (2 x 8-inch floor joists, 2 x 6-inch studs and no OSB);
  • more blocking at foundation piers;
  • swiveling tie-down connectors to eliminate stress failures from movement.

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