What type of mobile home foundation is better?

What type of mobile home foundation is better?

Types of mobile home foundation

Manufactured or mobile home designs have come a long way over the past few decades. They are configured to be used as full time living accommodations and include plumbing, heating, electrical, and air-conditioning systems. With modern interiors and appealing exteriors more and more people are opting for manufactured homes.

You’ve sacrificed and saved to buy your beautiful dream home,  visited showrooms and open houses and made design decisions and selected upgrades. Each step along the way has been filled with excitement and anticipation. You’re almost there! Soon, you’ll be in your beautiful new dream home! But have you given any thought to the mobile home foundation and asked a question which one is the best foundation for manufactured homes?

The foundation is one of the most important parts. Without a good foundation, your home’s frame is under a lot of stress. The type and quality of the foundation can even determine whether financing will be approved. 

It doesn’t matter what kind of home you’re purchasing – whether traditional, stick-built, modular, manufactured, or mobile home, a firm foundation is crucial to its stability. Understanding the different types of bases used in the building process will help any home buyer make a better, more educated decision.

The four most common mobile home foundation types used are slabs, piers, crawlspaces, and basements. Each of these has its unique benefits that appeal to both home builders and buyers alike.

mobile home foundation requirements
mobile home foundation requirements

Affordable and simple – Slabs on grade foundations

When moving into a manufactured home community, slab foundations are usually provided and are cost-efficient. The concrete base is as large as the home and there is a small crawl space beneath. Homes are anchored to the concrete and provide structural support, but the slab is not the floor of the home.

A flat, concrete surface, 4 to 6 inches deep, slab foundations usually have another 4 to 6-inch layer of gravel beneath them. Homes with slab foundations require that all plumbing and wiring for utilities be contained within the walls and flooring of the actual house. This is common in mobile and manufactured homes. In areas like West Michigan, where the ground freezes, slabs are often poured over piers to add stability when the ground freezes and thaws. A slab foundation without piers is called a floating slab.

best foundation for manufactured homes
best foundation for manufactured homes

Most popular – Pier and ground anchor support

One of the most common types of foundation for a manufactured home is a pier and ground anchor system. These work in a variety of soil types and can be put into place quickly.

A pier is a cement cylinder set into the ground well below the frost line. They go 42 inches deep and are 18 inches in diameter. Piers are typically spaced every 8 feet and can be combined with beams (no slab) for a less expensive prefab-home foundation.

concrete foundation cost
concrete foundation cost

More living space – a Basement foundation

Many homeowners enjoy the convenience of extra living space and a manufactured home can be set up on a basement foundation.

An area that can be a finished living space, basements are partially or entirely below the ground floor of the home and contain concrete walls and floors. The walls of the basement are of sufficient thickness to ultimately support the weight of the house above it. While more expensive than a slab foundation, a finished basement can double the square footage of the home thus increasing its value. Daylight or egress windows are required for bedrooms to be located in a basement.

Concrete foundation cost ranges from $5,000 – $18,000

buying a manufactured home
buying a manufactured home

Easy access and extra storage – Crawl space systems

Creating a crawl space foundation is similar to the pier and anchor except the crawl space includes excavated footings to not only give more space but a stronger structure.

A popular option in areas of high humidity and regions prone to termite infestation, crawlspaces are similar in construction to basements with a poured floor and walls. Typically excavated to 48 inches deep, they provide support for the weight of the house while keeping it off the ground. Sometimes a pea-stone gravel floor above a moisture/vapor barrier is used in a crawlspace.

When purchasing older models of modular, manufactured, and mobile homes, you may encounter older mobile home foundation types such as a Cookie or a Ribbon/Runner foundation. Less stable than the other techniques listed here, most townships and municipalities no longer allow these foundation types.

Remember, mobile home foundation decisions for a new home or placing a used mobile or manufactured home on your property, it is essential to consult local area zoning laws and building codes and to apply for proper building permits.

For more information on the types of foundations available along with affordable dream-home options, contact Preferred Homes, West Michigan’s quality, affordable homes expert since 1977.

 FHA Manufactured Home Foundation Requirements

Manufactured homes foundations can have the structural design corresponding to any code. However, if you want to obtain a loan insured either by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), by the Veteran Affairs Department (VA), or with a traditional loan then your manufactured home foundation system must meet the following criteria:

  • All foundation systems must conform to the guidelines issued in the HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing (PFGMH).
  • Foundation certification by a professionally licensed engineer that the foundation system meets the HUD/FHA/VA standards.
  • FHA and VA loans require the manufactured home to be on a permanent foundation in compliance with the regulations presented within the (PFGMH).

If your manufactured home foundation meets the FHA/HUD & VA standards, you will be awarded an Engineer’s Foundation Certification to guarantee that loan guidelines are met. Engineer’s foundation certification is also required to conclude the buying, selling, or refinancing of your home. Worthy Inspection Services offer a range of inspection services including manufactured home foundation inspections in association with Foundation Certifications.

Lenders and agencies require that a structural engineer perform a foundation certification.

manufactured homes foundations
manufactured homes foundations

Manufactured Home Foundation Basics

Sufficient concrete footers

Mortar joints in the piers (or surface like “surewall”)

6 mil vapor barrier on the ground in the crawl space

Wheels, tongue, and axles must be removed

Continuous skirting covering complete perimeter of home

It’s exciting to buy a home and create a fun space for family and friends to gather. When buying a manufactured home take some time to research your foundation options and find the type that best fits your budget and needs and the regulations of your state and community.



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