December 11, 2023

Types of Manufactured Home Foundations Explained

manufactured home foundation being built by a team Modern Manufactured Home Interior

4 questions to consider before buying a home

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Simple steps to buy a home successfully

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Consider your finance options, and then choose the best one available

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Make an offer with some wiggle room for negotiation

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Which other tips do you recommend when buying a home?

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It's said that a home is as strong as its foundation — and when we're talking about manufactured homes, this statement couldn't be truer! Need the right foundation to bring your dream home into reality? In this article, you're about to embark on a deep dive into the make-or-break world of manufactured home foundations. 

The Basics of Manufactured Home Foundations

If you know about the construction process for manufactured homes, you might be wondering why manufactured home foundations are so critical. While it’s true that manufactured homes are not built onto their foundations in the same way as traditional house construction, manufactured home foundations ensure that your home remains stable, durable, and resistant to various environmental conditions. 

Likewise, just like with conventional homes, manufactured home foundations have a unique set of requirements and characteristics that make them stand apart. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of foundations used in manufactured homes to see which may be right for you. 

Pier and Beam Foundation: An Elevated Choice

Picture this: a home gently raised above the ground, allowing air to flow beneath it. This style doesn't merely give homes an elegant uplifted appearance. If you're mindful of your budget, pier and beam foundations are often quicker and more cost-effective compared to some other foundation types. Raising the home also allows air to freely circulate underneath, which can be a blessing during warmer months.

However, the same factors that make pier and beam foundations appealing for homeowners can make them attractive to uninvited guests. That cool, shaded space beneath the home can be a haven for critters.

Proper drainage is another consideration to bear in mind with this type of manufactured home foundation. The elevated design inherently allows for some moisture protection. But if it’s not adequately cared for or if there's inadequate drainage, the space beneath your home can become a hotspot for moisture-related issues. 

Slab Foundation: Solid and Stable

Imagine a thick concrete slab sitting firmly on the ground, supporting your home with might.

For these manufactured home foundations, durability is the name of the game. These weighty structures are built to endure. Their design minimizes the risk of damage from floods, which is a significant advantage in regions prone to heavy rainfall or waterlogging.

Another feather in its cap that many homeowners appreciate is maintenance — or rather, the lack of it. Thanks to their simplistic yet sturdy nature, slab foundations don't call for frequent check-ups, saving both time and money. 

Like any of the options on our list, however, there are some potential drawbacks to slab foundations. Due to their monolithic design, accessing or repairing utilities situated beneath these foundations can be challenging. It's not an everyday concern, but it's something to consider in the long run. Additionally, while they are robust and hardy, they are still made of concrete. Over the years, with natural settling and potential ground movement, there’s a risk of cracks emerging, requiring regular inspections to keep them in top shape. 

Full Basement Foundation: Maximizing Space

Ever dreamt of the extra space afforded by a basement? Perhaps you’re eager to use it as a man cave, a home theater, or just storage? There's certainly more to a full basement than just added square footage. Properly finished, it can serve as additional living space, which means more comfort and functionality. What's more, when it comes time to sell, a home with a well-maintained basement can have a leg up in the market, potentially fetching a higher price. 

On the other hand, there are some significant considerations to bear in mind. For starters, if the water table in your region is high or soil conditions are unfavorable, a full basement might not be a feasible option. Another thing to be mindful of is the financial commitment. Full basements come with a notably heftier price tag than other types of manufactured home foundations. Moreover, to make that underground space truly livable and free from potential hazards, meticulous waterproofing is non-negotiable. This is required to ensure that the basement remains dry and free from mold or mildew. 

Crawlspace Foundation: The Middle Ground

Nestled between the ground and the home, a crawl space can be a great middle-ground if a full basement isn’t for you. With a crawlspace, utilities like pipes and wires are just an arm's reach away, making installations and repairs considerably more straightforward. Similarly, a crawlspace can provide an added layer of insulation from the ground, ensuring your home remains cozy, especially during those chilly months. 

While crawlspaces bring numerous benefits, the space between your home and the ground can be a magnet for moisture if not adequately ventilated. Any buildup of dampness can lead to mold growth and wood rot, jeopardizing the structure's integrity and potentially affecting the indoor air quality, making proper ventilation and routine checks for any signs of moisture imperative. 

Groundset (or Pit-Set) Foundation: Close to the Earth

A pit-set foundation straddles the line between beam and crawlspace foundations. A shallow pit is dug beneath the site of your home, with a structural wall all around the inside edges to support your home while keeping dirt from migrating back into the pit.

The primary advantage here is the visual appeal. With your home settled closer to the earth, there's minimal skirting visible, granting it a cleaner, more streamlined look. This less-obtrusive profile evokes memories of traditional homes, seamlessly integrated into their surroundings. Thanks to the earth's insulating properties, a groundset foundation can also provide a cooler environment during sweltering summers and warmth during colder months. 

On the flip side, your home’s proximity to the ground necessitates a greater focus on drainage than other foundation types. Any lapses there, and you might find yourself grappling with water accumulation issues. Moreover, the earth isn't static. It moves, shifts, and settles, sometimes in ways we might not anticipate. Ground shifts, whether due to natural processes or external factors, can potentially affect the foundation's integrity. 

Set the Foundation of Your Next Home with MCM Communities

Ultimately, your home is an investment, and choosing the right foundation can make all the difference. It's not just about the cost, aesthetics, or durability; it's about building a safe, comfortable space for you and your loved ones. At MCM Communities, we’re here to guide you through the nuances of this unique, enriched lifestyle, helping you make informed and fulfilling choices. 

Thinking of setting up or replacing your manufactured home foundation? Always consult with the pros. Still have questions or want to check out available options in your area? Contact us today. We’d love to hear from you!