Mobile homes, also known as manufactured homes, are prefabricated homes that arrive at the home site already constructed. While these homes are manufactured in a factory, there still must be a foundation laid at the home site to provide stability for the structure. There are several types of foundation available for mobile homes, so home owners can choose the type that best fits their budget and needs. Many jurisdictions have regulations regarding foundations for mobile homes, so check local building codes to determine which foundation types are permitted in your area.
Pier and Ground Anchor Support System
The most common foundation type for mobile homes is the pier and ground anchor foundation system. It works well in various local ground and soil conditions and can be constructed quickly. To lay the foundation, piers are placed under the main beams of each section of the home, as well as other spots recommended by the manufacturer. Some piers may also be placed along the perimeter of the home's support system. Many piers used in this type of foundation are constructed of steel jack stands, while others are formed by hollow concrete masonry blocks that are placed on top of one another to meet the necessary height requirement. The anchors are used to hold the home in place and help it resist strong winds. They are usually secured to the home's frame by steel straps, which may require periodic tightening during the life of the house. The anchor heads are kept in place by stabilizer plates, which cut down on movement and keep the home stable.
Slab foundations are usually the most cost-efficient type of foundation for mobile homes. The slab is essentially a large sheet of concrete that provides a structural base for the mobile home. In most cases, the home is raised above the slab so there is a small crawl space beneath the house. With mobile homes, the slab does not serve as the home's floor and is instead used as a platform for the house. Depending on conditions at the construction site, the slab may be either insulated or uninsulated. Slab foundations offer easy installation because the mobile home can simply be driven over the slab and installers can easily complete the connection between the slab and the home. Mobile homes must be permanently anchored to slab foundations, which is usually done by setting anchors into the concrete. The home is then bolted or welded to the anchors. Slab foundations work especially well in locations with soil that is prone to freezing or expansion.
Basement foundations not only provide structural support to mobile homes, but offer owners additional living space. A basement may support the entire perimeter wall of the mobile home, and may be built partially or entirely above ground so mobile home owners can create two-story homes if desired. To begin, a space for the basement must be excavated at the construction site. The basement must match the dimensions of the mobile home's floor, and is reinforced with concrete or concrete blocks. The mobile home is usually anchored to the basement with foundation straps. The installation of the mobile home on the basement can be difficult, and the two most common methods are using a crane to place the home on the basement walls or a roller system that essentially pushes the home sideways over the basement walls.
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.