The Ohio Department of Commerce regulates installations of manufactured homes in Ohio. All manufactured homes installed in Ohio must have an installation permit prior to installation. A manufactured home may not be legally occupied until it has passed all three inspections (footing/foundation, electrical service, and final) and had an inspection seal placed in the home.
Step 1: Determine if Installation Location is in a 100-Year Flood Plain/Special Flood Hazard Area
If a manufactured home is installed in a 100-year flood plain/special flood hazard area, that installation will be subject to heightened requirements due to the increased risk of flooding. To determine if a manufactured home is going to be installed at a location in a 100-year flood plain/special flood hazard area, go to FEMA's Flood Map Service Center and enter the installation address. Most of the time, FEMA's Flood Map Service Center will have information as to whether the location is in a 100-year flood plain/special flood hazard area, and you can download the Dynamic Map/FIRMette with the relevant information for the installation site. If FEMA's Flood Map Service Center does not have information about the installation location, contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Floodplain Management Program for assistance.
If the manufactured home is going to be installed in a 100-year flood plain/special flood hazard area, a floodplain permit will need to be obtained from the applicable floodplain administrator prior to installation. The applicable floodplain administrator will be:
- For installations on private property: the local floodplain administrator where the home is being installed. Go to ODNR's Floodplain Management Program's website to find the most current list of local floodplain administrators.
- For installations in a manufactured home park: the floodplain administrator is the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Industrial Compliance. Contact Bryant Hillman (Bryant.Hillman@com.ohio.gov) for information about applying for a flood plain permit.
Step 2: Find a Licensed Installer
Outside of one limited exception, only manufactured home installers licensed by the Ohio Department of Commerce may install manufactured homes in Ohio. The limited exception applies to private homeowner installations and to be eligible for this exception, the installation must meet all of the following conditions:
- The person installing the home owns both the home and the property on which the home is being installed;
- The homeowner is going to occupy the home after installation; and
- The home is not going to be located in a manufactured home park.
Unless the private homeowner installation exception applies, a licensed manufactured home installer must perform the installation of a manufactured home. To find manufactured home installers with active licenses, go to the License Look-Up webpage. Under the "License Type" dropdown menu, select "Installer." Then you can search for installers by county of residence, license status, and other terms.
The installer must provide a homeowner/installer agreement form to the homeowner prior to commencement of work to ensure the parties are clear about the terms and conditions of the project.
Step 3: Check Local Requirements
If the home is being installed on private land, verify with the local building and zoning department if any other permits for that area are required. If other activities or equipment will be constructed as part of the manufactured home installation (e.g., septic tank, basement), you will need to check with the local authorities to see if additional requirements apply.
Step 4: Choose a Certified Inspection Agency
An installation permit must be obtained and issued by a certified inspection agency prior to the home arriving on site. Go to the MH Inspection Agency Coverage List and find out which certified inspection agencies will issue permits and perform inspections in the county where the home is to be installed. Installation permit applicants should reach out to each inspection agency directly to learn about the agency’s fees, processes, and forms, as they may differ from agency to agency.
Step 5: Apply for and Obtain an Installation Permit
Once an installation permit applicant has chosen a certified inspection agency through which they will apply for an installation permit, the homeowner and licensed installer will need to submit all plans, forms, and fees required for an installation permit to be issued. When the inspection agency issues an installation, you will need to conspicuously display the installation permit on the front window of the manufactured home so it can be seen clearly from the street. The permit, plans, installation manuals, specifications, and other documents relevant to the installation must also be kept on site for the inspector's review.
Step 6: Prepare the Site and Have the Foundation/Footing Inspected
Prepare the site and have the foundation/footing inspected by the certified inspection agency prior to the home being set on the site. The foundation/footing must pass inspection prior to installing the home.
Step 7: Begin Installation of the Home
All homes must be installed according to the Ohio Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards and the manufacturer's installation instructions.
Step 8: Pass the Electrical Inspection
Once the electrical work is complete, request an electrical inspection from the certified inspection agency. The inspection agency will provide an electrical safety inspector (ESI) to perform the inspection, and if the installation passes the electrical service inspection, the inspection agency will notify the power company that power may now be connected to the home. The local power company will not energize the home without an inspection from an ESI.
Step 9: Pass the Final Inspection
Once all of the installation work on the home is complete, request a final inspection from the certified inspection agency. If the installation passes the final inspection, an inspection seal will be placed in the home near the electrical panel box cover, and the home may now be legally occupied. Until an inspection seal is placed in the home, it is unlawful to occupy it.
Step 10: Notify the County Auditor and Treasurer
Within 14 days from the date of installation, the installer of a manufactured home must provide written notice of the installation to both the auditor and treasurer of the county in which the home was installed. Go to the Notice of Installation page to learn more about the requirements for the notice and to download the Department's Notice of Installation form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I own the home and I’m going to live in it, and the home will be in a manufactured home park. Can I install the home myself?
A: No. If the home is located in a manufactured home park, it must be installed by a licensed installer.
Q: I own the home and the land where the home will be installed. Once installation is complete, I’m going to rent the home. Can I install the home myself?
A: No. To be eligible to install the home yourself, you must own the home, own the land, and be the person who occupies the home after installation.
Q: How long is a permit valid once it is issued?
A: The permit is valid for 180 days from the date of issuance. If you are not able to complete installation of the home within that time, you may apply for an extension in writing to the certified inspection agency. To find out your permit's expiration date, go to the MHP Seal Report.