Second DwellingsSimple Solutions to Second Home Needs
Manufactured homes are a great solution for adding a second home to your property, either for providing an own living space for the elders or other family members, or as a caretaker home, a vacation home or hobby facility.
We have built many second dwellings and are experts not only in the construction itself but also provide all preparation and design to comply with the specifics for second dwellings as set by the local governments.
Second dwellings are mostly built as double wide or single wide structures. The latter is usually preferred because of its overall cost savings due to less transportation and installation costs.
While every county or city has their own regulations and zoning codes for second dwellings, most jurisdictions follow similar rules as outlined below. Typically we can differentiate between two structures:
- Permanent second dwelling,
- Temporary second dwelling.
Permanent Second Dwellings
These homes are built on a permanent foundation system and become part of your real estate. They require their own utility service and connections, such as power or septic tank. A connection to the existing well is possible if it provides sufficient supply.
Most counties limit the size of the second home to usually 1,200 sft. or below and require a special permit process, such as the issuance of a Use-Permit prior to the actual plan check. Permit costs are calculated similar to first dwellings including all fees (school tax, fire tax, traffic mitigation etc.).
Temporary Second Dwellings
Most counties and cities also provide options for temporary dwellings to provide accommodation for family members who need to be taken care of, but still like to live independently in their own little home. Often other options are also considered, such as temporary dwellings for caretakers or farm workers.
Temporary dwellings remain personal property. They cannot be permanently connected to the ground and need to be removed after the individually approved use situation changes. In some cases those homes might be connected to existing utility systems, given that there is sufficient service.
Because of the usually less elaborate foundation system (soft-set) and reduced permit fees the initial project costs are considerably less than a permanent second dwelling. Some counties even allow the installation of park homes (please refer to our Q&A section) as a temporary dwelling solution.
Many customers decide later to convert a temporary manufactured home to a permanent second dwelling. This is usually possible with minor modifications to the foundation system and payment of the full permit fees. However, those transitions should only be considered if the temporary home has already their own utility connections.