If you are planning on purchasing a modular home and you starting to think about your foundation, there are several things you should know. Wondering what to consider? Here are some tips to keep in mind as you make your plans:
1. Opt for a basement or crawl space if possible.
When putting a concrete foundation underneath a manufactured home, you have three options: a concrete slab, a crawlspace or a basement. A concrete slab is the cheapest and easiest option, but in the long term, it can be an instable choice, especially in areas where freeze-thaw cycles may warp the concrete and destabilize the house.
Crawl spaces give you room for plumbing and ductwork, and they keep your home off the ground, giving it a bit of extra insulation. Basements do all of that, but they also add extra living space to your home, making them an ideal option if you want the space and can work it into your budget.
2. Choose a location on your lot.
Whether you choose a crawlspace or a basement, you will need the same basic footprint. Identify a spot on your lot, and make sure that it is the right distance from property lines. Then, hire a crew to come remove big stones, tree stumps or other debris and level the land.
3. Opt for reinforced concrete footings.
Manufactured homes are just as sturdy as conventional homes, and in some cases, they even feel a bit sturdier because they are constructed to handle the wind loads they face on the trailer as they are delivered to their location. However, in spite of their sturdiness, they cannot withstand a shifting or uneven foundation. To give your manufactured home the stability it deserves, you should opt for one with reinforced concrete, masonry or steel footings.
4. Talk with your contractor about tie downs.
In addition to firm footings, you also want to ensure that your manufactured home won't be affected by the wind. To that end, you should opt for a concrete foundation that has anchors that help it resist the pressures of the wind. In particular, talk with your concrete contractor about horizontal, transverse and longitudinal wind loads.
5. Don't forget vents.
Finally, you don't want your foundation to be airtight. To ensure that it is ventilated, ask the contractor to design vents. The vents should allow air to get in underneath the house.