Factory-built Housing Industry
The Factory-built Housing "FBH" Industry has been growing over the last 10 years and is now entering an impressive growth phase, with the advancement of technology; more innovative designs can happen on the factory floor, prices vs. conventional housing are more affordable, and construction can happen much faster. The latter though can be difficult depending on your state's regulations, as FBH is regulated on a state by state basis and the regulations vary greatly.
- Factory-built housing "FBH" is defined and approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development "HCD" of the State of CA and follows the CA code of regulations, title 24.
- The FBH law establishes methods of quality control at the state manufacturing level and requires an HCD "Insignia of Approval" on each unit or component.
- The design approval is at the state level and the local authorities have 2 roles: 1. Design approval that was not approved by state 2. Permit issuance and inspection of the FBH unit at the building site.
- Whatever is approved on the front end by the State may not be reviewed or charged extra plan check fees by the local municipalities. Therefore, the State set up a building permit reduction plan to reduce permitting fees by the city.
- The state does not require licensing for the manufacturing or sale of FBH but does require the contractor to have a state license to install FBH's.
- CA would be considered FBH friendly.
- FBB's are regulated by the State of Arizona in a very similar way to California. The design, manufacturing, foundation and installations plans are all approved by the state. Local authorities have jurisdiction of zoning, site grading, driveway, accessibility, and flood plain requirements.
- Any alteration or reconstruction of an FBB is under local authority.
- All FBB's must have an Arizona state-approved insignia affixed.
- FBB's installation requires an online permit and a dealer license is required to sell FBB's if the entity sells 3 or more units in a 12 months. Plus, the retailer has preliminary and continuing education requirements.
- AZ would be considered FBB friendly.
- FBH's in the state are regulated similarly to California and Arizona where the state has jurisdiction over all the manufacturing and planning.
- CO does allow out-of-state manufacturing but must use an approved 3rd party inspection agency to verify construction meets the current housing codes.
- And any reconstruction or alternative construction is regulated by the local jurisdictions.
- CO would be considered FBH friendly.
- The state of New Mexico is a very different animal when it comes to modular housing. The state allows this to be regulated by RLD and manufacturers have to get a license, post a $50,000 bond and renew their license every year.
- NM has required a very time-consuming permitting process that must be paid for upfront.
- There seems to be a "feel" in the state that they are not big proponents of manufactured hosing, as the state has set up an "investigations enforcement division" for individuals to file complaints against any part of the manufactured housing process from, construction, sales, permitting, transportation, paint, etc.
- The state of New Mexico is not friendly to FBH's and has made it very hard for a business to be profitable via regulations and strict, long-drawn-out permitting.
- NM would not be considered FBH friendly.
- From a manufacturing standpoint, the state is similar to New Mexico and slightly less strict.
- They require an application process, fee and $50,000 bond, but a 2-year renewal cycle.
- From a construction standpoint, they must be licensed as R-200 Factory Built Housing contractors to carry out construction through hooking up the FBH to utilities.
- It appears that the manufacturing of the homes is strict and as long as they are licensed and bonded they can sell FBH's anywhere in the state.
- The buyers of the FBH's then must comply with zoning laws within the specific county or city and if that county/city allows for FBH's.
- The permitting process is handled at the city level and depending on the city the time frame to get approvals will vary greatly and the time frame to build can take 1-2 years, maybe longer.
- Utah is friendly to the idea of FBH's and allows counties and cities to determine the level of acceptance through zoning.