Frequently Asked Questions

Have some questions regarding our mobile home services? Here are a few.

Have some questions on how to secure a structural engineer certification letter? See how House Smart can help you!

Retrofitting refers to the process of modernizing or expanding a structure by incorporating new or modified parts, devices, systems, or equipment.

A retrofit is necessary to enhance the existing foundation system, ensuring its ability to withstand wind speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour. Additionally, it helps identify and address any safety, structural, or drainage issues.

No, we only raise the specific areas that require work, and the elevation is limited to loosening the wedges for pier removal.

The retrofit work itself can be completed within a single day. However, the engineer’s inspection and report, which may be required by the lender, typically take up to 3 business days. In most cases, the report is available the following morning.

Once we receive the order and a signed contract, we usually initiate the work within 1-2 business days.

The majority of manufactured homes currently in the market were initially placed on relatively level lots, directly on the ground, with minimal anchoring and straps. These installations lacked oversight regarding their quality. To prevent potential issues in the event of foreclosure, both FHA and VA have established guidelines that they and lenders aim to adhere to. Therefore, a retrofit may be necessary if you intend to sell or refinance your loan using an FHA program, unless the house had a prior FHA/VA loan.

The need for a retrofit depends on whether your house previously had an FHA/VA loan. If there was no such loan, and you plan to sell or refinance with an FHA loan, then a retrofit is definitely required. However, if an FHA/VA loan was previously associated with the house, the retrofit may not be necessary.

No, leveling is not considered a part of the retrofit process according to regulatory agencies. It is considered a maintenance item rather than a structural or foundation issue covered by the published guidelines for permanent foundations of manufactured homes.

Yes, most lenders typically require an updated certification letter. They are primarily concerned about two issues:

  • Whether the skirting has suffered significant damage since the initial report was issued.
  • Whether any additions have been made adjacent to the house that could potentially affect the structural integrity of the home.
  • To determine if a manufactured home has been moved more than once, you can visit the Texas TDHCA website and enter the HUD Label Number. The website will provide information on whether the home has been set up in a single location or multiple locations.

If the outside labels are missing, you can visit the Texas TDHCA website and enter the street number in the address block, along with the zip code in the designated box. The website should display the information if the home was registered at the time of installation. In the case of older homes that were often not registered, you can visit the IBTS website to obtain the information.

The main difference lies in the foundation guidelines. FHA, VA, and USDA loans adhere to HUD Permanent Foundation guidelines, which include comprehensive requirements for the skirting. On the other hand, Texas TDHCA guidelines for existing homes do not have any skirting requirements.

Absolutely, we offer foundation certification services for manufactured homes that adhere to the standards set by FHA/HUD and VA loans, as well as any additional requirements stipulated by lenders and mortgage companies.

Certainly, we possess the expertise to develop engineered foundation plans tailored to manufactured homes, ensuring their compliance with FHA, VA, or USDA loan specifications. Our services also encompass aligning these plans with local building codes. For further details, you can visit our website at

In most cases, determining the compliance of a foundation with FHA, VA, or USDA standards necessitates an on-site inspection. Such certifications typically require a thorough evaluation to establish compliance. Often, an initial inspection becomes necessary to assess whether the foundation meets the criteria for FHA, VA, or USDA approval, or if any retrofits are essential. Given the diverse geographical factors and potential variations in local codes, each foundation’s situation can be unique, and sometimes local regulations might impose more rigorous standards than the national ones.

Should our inspector identify non-compliance with FHA, VA, or USDA standards during an inspection, the following general procedure will be followed:

  • Issuance of Non-Compliance Letter: A letter will be provided outlining the specific issues that require resolution. It will also suggest whether a minor retrofit or a complete redesign of the foundation is necessary.
  • Rectification Efforts: We will undertake the installation of all essential components required to bring the foundation into compliance.
  • Post-Retrofit Review: A post-retrofit assessment will be conducted to evaluate the installed components. This may involve an additional on-site re-inspection by one of our local inspectors or engineers.
  • Certification Issuance: Upon confirming that all recommended components have been properly installed, a structural engineer certification letter will be granted. This certification affirms that the foundation now adheres to FHA, VA, or USDA standards.

This comprehensive process ensures that the foundation achieves the required compliance, meeting the standards specified by FHA, VA, or USDA guidelines.

  • Lack of anchors or tie-downs
  • Dilapidated skirting
  • Insufficient clearance
  • Uneven settling or foundations

The structural engineer certification letter is sent directly to you via email in PDF format. This is the standard method of delivery unless a physical hard copy is specifically requested. If a hard copy is preferred, please note that additional time will be needed for delivery.

To place an order, you can contact us at Our team is available and ready to assist you with any questions you may have about the ordering process, pricing details, or any specific requirements you need to get your structural engineer certification letter.

retrofit mobile home-final
steps porch-home

Need a Structural Engineer Certification Letter to Secure a Loan in Texas?

Give House Smart A Call Today!