Modular Building Program

General Information

The Modular Buildings Program was created to establish a process that would assure a minimum level of safe construction for all modular buildings destined for use in South Carolina. To serve that purpose, the legislature determined that modular buildings should provide the same degree of safety to their occupants as buildings constructed on site. The program thus incorporates all construction codes that are authorized and adopted for use for site built structures. The program requires all modular building manufacturers to be licensed and to employ independent (third party) inspection agencies to inspect and certify that their buildings meet or exceed the required building codes.

Initial Licensing
Manufacturer:

To become a modular manufacturer you must complete the Modular Building Manufacturer License Application. A modular building manufacturer must have a third party inspection agency and a modular building manufacturer's representative at all times. Representatives may only represent one manufacturer.

To find a South Carolina licensed third party inspection agency you may use the Licensee Lookup tool and search under the Building Codes Council using the BCT license classification.

  1. Download Forms and Instructions needed for electronic application here
  2. Click here to begin your electronic application
Representative:

The manufacturer's representative may be "any person employed by a modular building manufacturer who sells, or offers for sale, modular buildings or components," per state regulation Chapter 8, Article 8-602 (18). The representative must complete a separate application titled Modular Building Manufacturer's Representative License Application. It is encouraged that the manufacturer and representative familiarize themselves with the Statutes & Regulations governing the practice of modular building manufacturing.

Representatives may only represent one manufacturing plant.

To become a Modular Manufacturer's Representative, you must complete the following:

  1. Download Forms and Instructions needed for electronic application here
  2. Click here to begin your electronic application
Third Party Inspection Agency:

To become a licensed third party inspection agency, you must complete the Third Party Inspection Agency License Application.

  1. Download Forms and Instructions needed for electronic application here
  2. Click here to begin your electronic application

Paper Applications:

Plan Review and Label Requests

Modular Plans Review and Label Applications as well as fees may be submitted online or by mail. Plans which are applied and paid for online should be emailed to maggie.castles@llr.sc.gov.

Online Plan Review and Payment

Paper Plan Review Form

Online Label Application and Payment

Paper Label Request Application

For all residential label requests, one of the following forms must be completed by the licensed contractor or builder, and it must be submitted before the label application can be approved. If the residential modular unit will be displayed by a retailer, complete the Modular Unit Sale and Installation Form. If the residential modular unit will be displayed by the manufacturer on the manufacturing site, please complete the Manufacturer Display Information Form. The form should be emailed to maggie.castles@llr.sc.gov once the online label application is completed.

Supplementary Plan Revision Application

Supplementary applications do not require a fee and should be emailed to maggie.castles@llr.sc.gov.

At the end of each month, the Modular Building Manufacturer must submit a Label Disposition Report.

Consumer Alerts

The South Carolina Building Codes Council, a division of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR), has been made aware of several modular home sellers misleading the public. As a public service, LLR is providing consumer alerts regarding modular home insurance, financing, legal representation and sales.

Insurance

Several modular home sellers have falsely informed customers that mortgage, hazard or homeowners insurance for a new home must be purchased from agencies referred (or approved) by the seller.

The fact is, any insurance agency licensed in S.C. may provide mortgage, hazard and homeowner insurance. The seller must accept the insurance as long as the insurance amount purchased covers the amount of the loan.

Financing

Financing may be arranged with the lender of your choice. Modular home sellers may offer a customer "in-house" financing, however, the consumer makes the final choice.

Legal Representation

An attorney hired by the seller, represents the interests of the seller. Consumers should be cautious of any seller that discourages a potential buyer from obtaining legal advice of their own.

Before signing a contract to purchase a modular home, you are entitled to (and should have) an attorney representing your interest. An attorney should review every document requiring your signature. If you do not understand any part of the contract, do not sign it. Do not sign a contract that is incomplete or contains any blank lines or sections.

Sales

Do not purchase a residential or commercial modular building from a non-licensed salesperson. State law states that only licensed sales representatives of manufacturers, residential homebuilders, or commercial contractors with a builder classification may sell new modular buildings.

If a consumer elects to purchase a building from an unlicensed seller, he/she will not be protected in contractual disputes or from damage, such as building damage from improper transportation or installation.

South Carolina is unique in its requirements for the sale of modular buildings. Out of state dealers or third parties are not licensed to sell modular buildings to be placed in South Carolina. By contrast, surrounding states may allow modular buildings to be sold by manufactured housing dealers or other third parties.

Consumer Tips

As a public service, the South Carolina Building Codes Council, a division of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR), offers consumers of modular homes the following purchasing and financing tips:

Buying Directly from a Manufacturer

Consumers may buy directly from a modular building manufacturer. If requested by a consumer, S.C. law requires the company to sell its product directly to a consumer. This eliminates any third-party seller.

If the sales representative refuses this request, you may lodge a complaint against the manufacturer and its representative.

Financing "Out of Pocket" Items

At the time of closing, avoid financing incidental items that can be paid for out of pocket. These items include insurance, porches and steps. By adding these items to the loan amount, monthly payments are increased.

Why should a consumer avoid this practice? Over the length of the financing period, a consumer will pay two to three times more than the initial cost or value of the items.

Contract of Sale

A seller requires a contract of sale. This contract is a legal document binding the consumer and the seller to the terms of the sales agreement. Consumers should consult an attorney before signing any documents.

Once signed, the seller is obligated to provide the specific building and any other goods, equipment or services stated on the contract. Additionally, if the seller satisfies its obligation, the consumer is obligated to accept and pay for the building.

Most sellers have preprinted contract forms. A consumer may add language or conditions to the contract and has the right to state a delivery and installation date.

Keep the contract and all related paperwork in a safe place.

Upon delivery, thoroughly inspect the building. Make sure it is the exact building (year, make, model, color) that the seller agreed to provide by contract. If it is not the exact building, do not accept it unless satisfied that it is as much as, or more of a value than the original building. If it is of less value, a consumer has the right to rescind the deal or renegotiate the price. Consumers do not have to accept a damaged building. The manufacturer or seller must repair a new modular building to meet the original design requirements of the manufacturer.

Label Location

All modular buildings must have a label issued by the S.C. Building Codes Council, attached to the electrical panel cover door. This label determines if a building is classified as modular by state law.

The label is white with black lettering. It bears the state seal at the top center. A red control number is on the left side under the state seal.

Placement of Labels

Labels issued for modular buildings are only valid for the first placement of the structure. Once the building is installed, the label has served its purpose and thus rendered invalid. Unless the building is re-certified and relabeled in accordance with state law, any movement or subsequent placement will fall under the jurisdiction of the local building inspection department. It will be subject to inspections the building official deems necessary.

Used Buildings

In reference to a display or model unit, the initial installation of a modular building utilized for display purposes or as a model unit, is considered its first placement. Subsequently, the building is considered "used." If the building is sold and moved from its display location and not re-certified and relabeled, it will fall under the jurisdiction of the local building inspection department and may be subject to a variety of inspections.

Additions and Renovations

Modifications, additions or renovations made to any modular building must be in compliance with the current edition of the International Building Code series and the National Electrical Code. In addition, the building inspection department for the jurisdiction in which the building is located may require one or more permits and inspections.

Before any work is performed on or in a modular building, it is strongly suggested that the consumer contact a local building inspection department for guidance.

Deed to Property

Without the advice of an attorney, a consumer should not assign a "Quit Claim" or any other deed to real estate to a modular seller. The owner could lose the property.

Wind and Seismic Requirements

Modular buildings are designed and built to withstand certain wind speeds and certain earthquake loads. It is illegal to place a modular building in any area that has a higher wind or seismic classification than the building was designed and built to withstand.

Before a consumer starts serious negotiation, he/she should determine the wind and seismic classifications for the property on which the building will be placed. The building official having responsibility for the area where the building will be located can provide wind and seismic classifications.

Statutes & Regulations

Statute

NOTE: The applicable regulations begin at Article 6, Section 8-600:

Regulations