How to Put a Foundation Under an Existing Manufactured Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you have a manufactured home that’s sitting on blocks or jack stands, teetering in the wind? Have you been wondering about the best way to secure your home and add value to your property? Look no further than putting a foundation under your existing mobile home!

Not only will a solid foundation keep your home level and secure, it can also improve your resale value and make it easier to sell in the future. Installing a foundation under an existing manufactured home can seem overwhelming, but with the right tools and guidance, it can be accomplished with ease.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps and materials needed to properly put a foundation under your manufactured home. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY-er or just starting to learn about home improvement, we’ll give you the information you need to get started on this exciting and worthwhile project. Don’t let your home continue to sway in the breeze – let’s get started on installing a foundation today!

Basic Requirements for Foundation Installation

Installing a foundation under an existing manufactured home can provide various benefits such as improved stability, safety, and energy efficiency. However, before starting the foundation installation process, there are certain basic requirements that you need to take into account.

  • Permits: Before beginning the foundation installation, you will need to obtain the necessary permits from your local building department. Failure to obtain the required permits may result in fines and other legal complications.
  • Site Preparation: The site on which the foundation is to be installed should be level and free from any obstructions. You will also need to remove any shrubs, trees, or other vegetation in the area where the foundation will be installed.
  • Soil Condition: The soil condition of the site should be evaluated by a geotechnical engineer. He or she will assess the soil’s bearing capacity, which is the maximum weight the soil can support without compressing or settling excessively.

Based on the results of the soil analysis, the type of foundation required can be determined. Typically, the following types of foundations are used for manufactured homes:

Type of FoundationAdvantagesDisadvantages
Treated Wood FoundationLess expensive, easy to constructNot as durable, requires regular maintenance
Concrete Block FoundationDurable, long-lastingDifficult to construct, expensive
Poured Concrete FoundationVery durable, requires minimal maintenanceMore expensive, requires skilled labor

Once the foundation type has been determined, the next step is to design the foundation and have it inspected by a licensed engineer before installation.

Types of Mobile Home Foundation

When deciding to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home, one of the first things to consider is the type of foundation needed. Here are four common types of mobile home foundation:

  • Concrete Slab: This type of foundation is a popular choice because it is cost-effective and relatively easy to install. A concrete slab foundation involves pouring a thick layer of concrete over a prepared surface. The home is then placed on top of the slab, attached with anchor bolts.
  • Crawlspace: A crawlspace foundation involves building a raised foundation around the perimeter of the home. This type of foundation is useful in areas where flooding is common because it prevents water damage to the home. Additionally, crawlspace foundations provide access to the home’s plumbing and electrical systems for maintenance and repair.
  • Basement: A basement foundation is another option for those who want more storage or living space below their home. This type of foundation requires digging a hole, pouring concrete walls and floors, and installing drainage systems to prevent water damage.
  • Pier and Beam: This foundation involves installing a series of piers or columns beneath the home to support it. A beam is then placed on top of the piers, and the home is attached to the beam. Pier and beam foundations are commonly used in areas with uneven terrain or where the soil is weak or unstable.

Concrete Slab Foundations

A concrete slab foundation is a common choice for homeowners because it is affordable and relatively easy to construct. This foundation involves pouring a thick layer of concrete over a prepared surface, usually a compacted gravel base. Once the concrete has cured, the home is then attached to the slab using anchor bolts.

Concrete slab foundations are a great choice for areas with mild climates and low water tables. However, in areas where the soil is prone to shifting, such as near hills or mountains, concrete slabs may not be the best option.

ProsCons
Cost-effective to installMay not be suitable for areas with shifting soil
Minimal maintenance requiredNot ideal for areas prone to flooding
Provides a solid, stable foundation

Ultimately, the type of foundation you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including your climate, soil type, and budget. Consult with a qualified contractor to determine which foundation type is best suited for your needs.

Preparing the Site for Foundation

Before putting a foundation under an existing manufactured home, you must ensure that the site is ready for the construction process. This means clearing the area of any debris, trees, and other obstructions that can hinder the progress of the foundation work.

Here are some essential steps to follow in preparing the site:

  • 1. Obtain the necessary permits: You must acquire the required permits from your local building department before starting any work. The permits will vary depending on the location and extent of the foundation project.
  • 2. Define the boundaries: Clearly mark the boundaries of where the foundation will be placed to avoid encroaching into neighboring properties. You can use stakes, paint, or other markers to identify the property lines.
  • 3. Level the site: The site for the foundation must be leveled to make sure that the manufactured home is stable and does not tilt. Any uneven ground should be flattened, and any excess soil removed.
  • 4. Check the soil: Ensure that the soil can support the foundation’s weight. If the soil is loose or unstable, it may need to be replaced with compacted, engineered fill.

Soil Testing and Preparation

Soil testing is essential in every foundation project to know the type of soils in your region. The importance of the type of soils present is to know if they can withstand the support of the foundation, especially because manufactured homes need a level surface to ensure stability.

There are generally four types of soils; sand, silt, clay, and rock. For a manufactured home foundation, you need to test the soil to determine its bearing capacity, the load it can comfortably support without subsiding or sinking. Additionally, you may need to have considerable ground stabilization.

Data CollectionTest MethodWhat is Tested
Physical characteristicsSamplingDensity, bearing capacity, specific gravity, particle size, and other characteristics
Chemical characteristicsLaboratory testspH, salt content, and organic content
Moisture contentVarious methodsDifferent ways of determining the amount of water molecules in the soil

After testing, the soil may need some preparation to make it suitable for the foundation. If the soil lacks moisture, you have to add water or leave the site unperturbed to absorb moisture. In addition, soils with high water content could result in erosion, leading to foundation collapse. Therefore, it would help if you sought ways to control or guide groundwater away from the foundation by installing proper drainage systems.

Installing Footings

Before installing footings for your manufactured home foundation, it is important to obtain any necessary permits and ensure that your soil is suitable for the structure. A soil test can determine the soil’s bearing capacity and the required depth for the footings. Once you have this information, follow these steps:

  • Mark the location of the footings on the ground using paint or stakes.
  • Excavate holes for the footings using a backhoe or hand tools. The holes should be at least twice the width of the footings and deep enough to reach below the frost line in your region.
  • Install a base of compacted gravel or crushed stone in each hole to provide drainage and stability.

Types of Footings

The type of footing you choose will depend on your soil type, climate, and local building codes. Here are a few common types:

  • Poured Concrete Footings: These footings are formed and poured in place and are ideal for stable, level soils that can support their weight.
  • Pre-Cast Concrete Footings: These footings are made off-site and delivered to your location, making installation faster and easier. They are ideal for wet or loose soils, as they can be driven into the ground.
  • Cinder Block Footings: These footings are made of cinder blocks stacked together and then filled with concrete. They are commonly used in regions with high wind or seismic activity.

Footings for Multi-Section Homes

Multi-section manufactured homes require additional footings to provide support for the marriage line, where the two sections meet. These footings are typically placed beneath the frame rails, which run perpendicular to the marriage line. Here are some general guidelines:

The number and spacing of the footings will depend on the length and weight of the home. A typical 28′ x 60′ double-wide home will require at least 12 footings. Consult the manufacturer’s installation instructions for specific requirements.

Section LengthFootings Required
Up to 52′4
52′ to 62′6
62′ to 76′8

The footings should be placed in a straight line, with the center of each footing located on the same plane as the others. The footings should also be level with each other and with the other footings supporting the home.

Installing Concrete Piers

One of the most popular methods of creating a sturdy foundation for your manufactured home is by installing concrete piers. This involves pouring concrete into a hole in the ground and allowing it to dry before attaching a pier block or post base connector.

  • Start by excavating a hole that is at least four feet deep.
  • Place a pier form tube, usually made of cardboard, into the hole.
  • Pour concrete around the tube until it is level with the ground.
  • Allow the concrete to dry for at least 24 hours before removing the tube.
  • Attach a pier block or post base connector to the top of the concrete pier.

It’s essential to make sure the concrete piers are placed correctly and are level before proceeding with the foundation installation. Moreover, carrying out this process requires a certain amount of expertise and can be time-consuming. If you are unsure about installing the concrete piers yourself, you should consider hiring a professional who has experience with manufactured home foundation installation.

Overall, if you are looking to create a foundation that is strong, durable, and reliable, then installing concrete piers is an excellent option to consider. It can provide added stability and support to your manufactured home, making you feel confident about its longevity and safety.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Cost-effective compared to other foundation methodsRequires experience and expertise to install properly
Provides excellent support and stability for the homeConcrete can be affected by soil conditions such as frost heave
Can be completed quickly with proper planning and organizationRequires regular inspections and maintenance to ensure long-term durability

Overall, installing concrete piers is an excellent way to create a sturdy foundation for your manufactured home while keeping costs under control. However, it’s essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of this method and work with a qualified professional to ensure the best possible outcome for your home.

Building Block Piers

If you have an existing manufactured home and want to create a foundation underneath it, building block piers are one option to consider. Block piers are a cost-effective and relatively simple way to support your manufactured home. Here are some things to keep in mind when using block piers:

  • You’ll need to check with your local building code requirements to ensure that the spacing and depth of your block piers meet regulations. Generally, block piers are spaced about 8 to 10 feet apart across the length of the home.
  • The blocks are typically made of poured concrete or cinder blocks. Concrete blocks provide a more stable foundation, while cinder blocks can be more cost-effective. Both types of blocks should be placed on a bed of gravel to prevent settling.
  • The size of the block should match the size and weight of your manufactured home. For example, a single-wide home may use 8-inch blocks while a double-wide home may require 10-inch blocks.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to building block piers:

1. Assess the site

Before building your piers, you’ll need to ensure the site is level and clear of any debris. You may also want to consider placing a vapor barrier over the site to prevent moisture from seeping up into the home.

2. Dig holes for your piers

Using a post hole digger or an auger, dig holes where your piers will go. These holes should be deep enough to reach below the frost line (usually around 3 feet deep) and wide enough to fit your concrete blocks.

3. Place a level base

Place a bed of gravel at the bottom of each hole to provide a level base for your block pier. Use a level to ensure the gravel bed is even and stable.

4. Add your blocks

Place your concrete or cinder blocks on top of the gravel bed. Again, use a level to ensure they’re even and level with the ground. If necessary, add or remove gravel to create a stable base.

5. Repeat for each pier

Continue digging holes and placing blocks until you have one pier for every 8 to 10 feet of home length. Ensure each pier is level and stable before moving on to the next one.

Block SizeWeight Capacity per Block
8-inchUp to 1,500 lbs
10-inchUp to 2,500 lbs

Once your block piers are in place, you can then place additional supports such as steel beams or wood crossbeams across them to further stabilize your manufactured home. Block piers can be a cost-effective and efficient way to create a foundation for your existing manufactured home, so long as they’re properly installed and meet local building code requirements.

Installing Steel H-Beams

When it comes to putting a foundation under an existing manufactured home, installing steel H-beams is a popular and effective method. Steel H-beams are strong and durable, providing the needed support for the home.

  • The first step in installing steel H-beams is to evaluate the existing foundation. If the foundation is in poor condition, it may need to be stabilized or replaced before the H-beams can be installed.
  • Next, the area where the H-beams will be installed should be excavated to the required depth and width. The depth and width will depend on the size and weight of the home.
  • Once the excavation is complete, a solid concrete footing should be poured. The footing should be at least as wide as the H-beams and deep enough to fully support the weight of the home.
  • The H-beams should be carefully positioned on the concrete footing, ensuring that they are level and properly spaced to evenly distribute the weight of the home.
  • The H-beams should be securely bolted to the home’s frame, ensuring that they are properly aligned and level.
  • After the H-beams are installed, a concrete block or concrete piers should be placed between the H-beams to provide additional support and stability.
  • Finally, a new floor can be installed over the top of the H-beams and concrete blocks or piers.

Overall, installing steel H-beams is an effective solution for putting a foundation under an existing manufactured home. While it does require some excavation and concrete work, the end result is a strong and stable foundation that will last for years to come.

For further assistance with the process, it’s suggested to consult with a licensed professional.

Conclusion

Installing steel H-beams is a viable option for putting a foundation under an existing manufactured home. It’s important to evaluate the existing foundation, properly position and align the H-beams, and use concrete blocks or piers for additional support. By following these steps, building a strong foundation for your home can be achieved.

ProsCons
Fairly simple to installMay require excavation and extensive concrete work
Durable and strong supportProfessional assistance may be required
Provides even weight distribution

Overall, the benefits of installing steel H-beams outweigh the cons, making it a great option for those needing a foundation for their manufactured home.

Anchoring the Home to the Foundation

One of the critical steps in putting a foundation under an existing manufactured home is anchoring the home to the foundation. Anchoring helps to ensure that the home stays in place and does not shift from its original position due to natural disasters like high winds or earthquakes. Additionally, anchoring helps to prevent the home from sliding off the foundation in case of soil erosion or other similar scenarios.

  • The first step in anchoring the home involves selecting the right type of anchor to use. The most common types of anchors used in manufactured homes include concrete, steel, and helical anchors. Concrete anchors are ideal for homes built on a slab foundation, while steel anchors work best for homes built over basements or crawl spaces. On the other hand, helical anchors are ideal for homes built in areas prone to high winds.
  • The second step is determining the number of anchors to use per section of the home. The number of anchors varies depending on factors such as the size of the home, the type of foundation, and the local building codes.
  • The third step involves installing the anchors around the perimeter of the home, making sure they are correctly spaced and tightened to the required torque.

It is essential to ensure that the anchor system used complies with the HUD standards given in 24CFR Part 3285. The HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) requires all anchors be inspected and certified by a licensed engineer.

Manufactured homes must be anchored to resist wind loads of 15 pounds per square foot (PSF) in areas with wind speeds of up to 100 mph and 20 PSF in areas with wind speeds of up to 110 mph. The table below demonstrates the recommended number of anchors that can be used per section of the home based on the home’s size and the wind zone in which it is located.

Size of Home (in feet)Wind Zone IWind Zone IIWind Zone III
Less than 6081012
60-79101214
80-89121416
90-99141618
100 and above16 or more18 or more20 or more

Regular inspection of the anchors and the anchor system is critical in maintaining the home’s safety and stability. If you notice any loose or damaged anchors, it is recommended that you get them replaced or tightened as soon as possible.

Inspections and Permits

When it comes to installing a foundation under an existing manufactured home, there are a number of inspections and permits that you will need to consider. Here are some of the key things that you need to know:

  • Permits: Before you can begin any work on your manufactured home, you will first need to obtain the necessary permits from your local building department. Depending on where you live, these may include a foundation permit, electrical permit, plumbing permit, and more. Make sure that you have all of the required permits in place before you start any work, as failure to do so could result in costly fines or even legal action.
  • Inspections: Once you have obtained your permits and installed the foundation, you will need to schedule a series of inspections to ensure that everything is up to code. Depending on the scope of your project, you may need to have inspections for the foundation, electrical work, plumbing, and more. Be sure to schedule these inspections in advance and make sure that your work is up to code before the inspectors arrive. If you fail an inspection, you will need to make the necessary corrections before moving forward.

Keep in mind that the specific requirements for inspections and permits will vary depending on where you live and the scope of your project. Be sure to check with your local building department to find out exactly what is required in your area.

Finally, it’s important to note that installing a foundation under an existing manufactured home can be a complex process that involves a lot of moving parts. Be sure to work with a licensed and experienced contractor to make sure that everything is done correctly and up to code. With the right professional help and attention to detail, you can have a strong and stable foundation that will support your home for years to come.

Cost of Mobile Home Foundation Installation

If you’re considering putting a foundation under your existing manufactured home, one of the main factors to consider is the cost. Foundation installation costs can vary widely based on a number of different factors. Here are some things to keep in mind when budgeting for your mobile home foundation installation:

  • The size of your home: Larger homes will require more materials and labor to properly support
  • The type of foundation:
    • A traditional block or concrete foundation will generally be more expensive than a pier and beam foundation
    • If you need to add a basement or crawlspace, that will also add to the cost
  • The site conditions:
    • If your home is on sloped or uneven terrain, that will require additional labor and materials to properly level and stabilize the land
    • If your site has poor soil quality or drainage issues, that could also add to the cost
  • The local building code requirements: Different states, counties, and cities may have different requirements for manufactured home foundations. Ensuring that your foundation meets all local codes can also increase the cost.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a mobile home foundation installation can range from $1,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on these various factors. However, keep in mind that every project is unique, so it’s always best to get a quote from a qualified contractor for your specific situation.

If cost is a major concern, you may be able to save some money by doing some of the work yourself. However, keep in mind that this is a complex project that requires a lot of skill and experience. Improper foundation installation can lead to serious safety issues down the line, so it’s always best to work with a professional if you’re not experienced in this area.

Type of FoundationCost Range
Pier and Beam$1,000 – $3,500
Block or Concrete$5,000 – $15,000 or more

Ultimately, the cost of your mobile home foundation installation will depend on your specific situation. However, by keeping these factors in mind and working with a qualified contractor, you can ensure that you get a stable, safe foundation at a reasonable cost.

FAQs About How to Put a Foundation Under an Existing Manufactured Home

1. Is it possible to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home?
Yes, it is possible to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home. In fact, it is highly recommended as it provides better stability and support to your home.

2. What are the types of foundation that can be used for a manufactured home?
There are two types of foundation that can be used for a manufactured home – permanent and temporary. Permanent foundation involves pouring a concrete slab or building a crawl space foundation. Temporary foundation is done by placing concrete blocks or piers under the home.

3. Can I do the foundation work myself?
It is not recommended to do the foundation work yourself unless you have the proper knowledge and experience in construction. It is best to hire a licensed contractor to ensure the safety and quality of the work.

4. How much does it cost to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home?
The cost of putting a foundation under an existing manufactured home varies depending on the foundation type, size of the home, and location. It is best to get a quote from a licensed contractor for an accurate estimate.

5. How long does it take to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home?
The time it takes to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home also varies depending on the foundation type and size of the home. On average, it takes about a week to 10 days for the foundation work to be completed.

6. What are the benefits of putting a foundation under an existing manufactured home?
Putting a foundation under an existing manufactured home provides better stability and support to your home, improves the overall safety of your home, increases the resale value, and can help lower your insurance premiums.

7. Do I need a permit to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home?
Yes, you will need a permit from your local building department to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home. Make sure to obtain the necessary permit before starting the work to avoid any legal issues.

Closing Thoughts

We hope that these FAQs have provided you with some helpful insight on how to put a foundation under an existing manufactured home. Remember, it is always best to hire a licensed contractor and obtain the necessary permit before starting the work. Thank you for reading and be sure to visit us again for more helpful tips and advice on home improvement!