What is a Data Plate in a Manufactured Home?

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When you step into a manufactured home, you may need to be aware of the small but essential information tucked away inside a cabinet, an electrical panel, or a bedroom closet. This unassuming paper label, known as the Data Plate, holds a wealth of information that can be vital to homeowners and inspectors alike. Imagine it as the home’s DNA, encapsulating crucial details about its construction, safety standards, and much more.

The Data Plate, typically the size of a standard sheet of paper, serves as a comprehensive record of the manufactured home’s origins and specifications. First and foremost, it bears the name and address of the manufacturing plant where the home was produced, providing valuable traceability. The serial number and model designation of the unit, along with its manufacturing date, offer further insights into the home’s unique identity.

One of the critical pieces of information on the Data Plate is the statement confirming compliance with Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. This ensures the home was built according to the regulations at its manufacture. For certain homes, there is an additional statement indicating that the home has been substantially completed in line with an approved design and has undergone inspection, aligning with the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in effect during its production.

Considering the home’s structural integrity, the Data Plate provides details about its ability to accommodate additional loads imposed by attached accessory buildings or structures. This information is crucial in determining the feasibility of future add-ons or modifications to the home’s design.

Major factory-installed equipment is listed on the Data Plate, including appliances’ details, such as the manufacturer’s name and model designation. This makes it convenient for homeowners to identify and maintain their appliances efficiently.

It is essential to refer to the roof and wind load zones for which the home is designed. The Data Plate contains maps that clearly indicate the home’s capacity to withstand varying wind pressures and anchoring requirements. There are specific guidelines regarding the home’s distance from the coastline and anchoring provisions for coastal areas.

Safety measures are also addressed, with information on the availability of storm shutters or protective coverings for windows and exterior door openings. Homeowners are encouraged to equip their homes with such devices, especially those in Wind Zones II and III, to safeguard against severe weather conditions.

Finally, the Data Plate carries statements certifying design approval and compliance with Title VI, Toxic Substances Control Act, ensuring the home adheres to environmental regulations.

Understanding the significance of the Data Plate empowers homeowners to make informed decisions about their homes and provides valuable guidance for inspectors during assessments. This seemingly unremarkable paper label is, in fact, a treasure trove of knowledge, shaping the foundation of the manufactured home and contributing to the peace of mind of those who call it their own. If you ever come across the unassuming Data Plate within your home, know that it holds the key to unlocking a world of insights about the place you cherish and call home.

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