Gone with the Wind? Not Today’s Manufactured Homes!

It’s one of the oldest, most persistent, and most frustrating accusations against manufactured homes – the perception that they are not as safe or durable as dwellings built the traditional way.

Unfortunately, this stigma has been spread by media reports, which often single out manufactured homes for coverage when they are damaged by tornadoes or other natural disasters. Even the sturdiest site-built brick homes are no match for such fury, but those stories don’t make the local news.

We address these concerns at Ma Williams every day. And when we tell potential buyers that this should not have a negative impact on their decision to purchase a manufactured home, we are not just expressing an opinion. We have the data to back it up.

According to the most exhaustive study of this issue to date, manufactured homes built after 1994 conform to enhanced construction requirements adopted by HUD.

This was borne out through reviews of more than 29,000 manufactured homes that had been exposed to hurricane force winds from four storms – Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. There were 3,500 homes destroyed – all built before 1994. Those built to the new HUD standard were not only still standing, they did not suffer serious damage.

But wait, what about all those helicopter shots of manufactured homes with the roofs torn off? Some of them look like they had to be built after 1994!

Yes, that’s true. But in these cases the damage was a result of add-ons such as carports and verandas that were attached to the home, but were not subject to the same construction standard. When those were damaged, it did impact the main structure.

You can also review damage statistics of conventional housing and commercial construction, and you’ll find just as many, if not more instances of destruction – enough, in fact, to cost insurance companies more than $41 billion for these four storms alone.

So once again we’re happy to write here what we tell our customers – manufactured homes are beautiful, spacious, more affordable, and, yes, as safe a site-built home.