Posted by: Luca Brammer | Posted on: April 1st, 2011 | 1 Comments
In general, most buyers of manufactured homes either set up their homes on private land or in a planned community. If you are planning on building on private land that you own, the process can be a bit overwhelming. The purpose of this article is to help people understand the process of setting up their home with necessary utilities.
Here is a simple list of the things you will need to get your project off the ground on private land:
A thorough understanding of the requirements to get water, utilities and sewerage connected to your home in your area
A soils report
Knowledge of and permits for, if applicable, local planning department guidelines
Home building permit
Permits for electrical, mechanical, plumbing and structural work.
Lots without existing water supply will require a well or a hookup to a local water district. If you are interested in and if the area allows for a well, the process of drilling a well can be complicated and, in most areas throughout the United States, a licensed contractor is required.
Prior to the construction of a well, permits are typically required in all areas. Once a permit is submitted and approved the construction process can begin. When finished, a completion certificate must be obtained, filled out and submitted in most areas throughout the U.S. within a certain time frame.
Should your land have public water and a meter on site, connecting water to the home is much easier. This is done through the installation process and the required permits will be obtained through the assistance of your retailer. If there is no public water meter at the site and you want public water then you will need to consult with your local water district, city or county planning departments. If water is not available in your immediate area and you wish to install a meter, this can be very expensive. Factoring the cost of a water meter in to your plans is critical.
As it pertains to sewage, in most areas the same agency that handles water handles sewage, that is, if you want to hook up to city or county services. If your lot has sewer access nearby then, like water, your installer and/or retailer will help you with the process of hookup and permits if applicable. If your lot does not have access to local sewer hookups then you have two options, generally speaking: (1) paying for a local agency to bring sewer hookups to your site or installing a septic tank.
If you research and find that city or county sewer services are available to be brought to your lot, you will need to contact your local department that handles this process and determine (a) cost and (b) permit requirements. If access is far away from your location, the cost of bringing the service to your site can be very expensive. Again, in many areas, the agency that handles water service also handles sewer so contacting the local agency is key.
If you want a septic tank instead, there are a number of different requirements you will need to fulfill. First, a septic tank requires a percolation test and a permit to install. A percolation test determines how well the soil on your lot can absorb wastewater. Percolation tests are conducted by contractors and are overseen by a local inspector in most cases. To install a septic tank, your lot will have to pass a percolation test and you will have to get a permit to install the septic system. Your city or county will want to inspect the septic tank prior to completion to determine whether or not your new tank meets local guidelines. Once the tank has been inspected and approved, your contractor can finish the burial of the tank and you will be able to obtain a certificate of completion.
In today’s world of modern manufactured housing construction, builders can add solar panels to power the entire home or add enough solar to supply some of the electrical needs. However, many people will buy a new home with the intention of hooking the home up to the local electrical and gas grid supplied by the power company in the area. Find out from your retailer or installer who the local power company is. Call them to determine an approximate cost to bring gas and power to your home. Note, however, if they need to bring gas and power to your home from a distance, they typically will only bring the power and gas lines to your property line. As such, you will need to factor in the cost of bringing the gas and power from your property line to your home (typically accomplished through trenching).
Installation requirements and codes vary from city to city and from county to county. Moreover, you will need to follow the precise guidelines of the agency responsible for providing the permits for installing the following: electrical meter, electrical panel, air conditioning unit, gas lines, water heater, furnace and, depending on your area, other additions like built-in appliances and even ceiling fans in some locales.
Setting up utilities for a new manufactured home may be an involved process. However, understanding the steps involved will make the process much easier.