What to Know About Manufactured Home Foundation Types

Workers installing the foundation of a CrossMod home.

Learn about the different types of manufactured home foundations, all of which help keep your home strong and durable.

They say a good foundation is the most important part of anything. And a strong foundation is the key to keeping your home secure and durable so you can make lifelong memories in it with your family.


The foundation of your Clayton Built® home begins with solid steel I-beams. These I-beams are part of an engineered foundation system that supports the structure of your home. This system helps reduce the effects of natural wear and tear on the foundation. In addition, it prepares the home to be set on its foundation with precisely sized support beams and posts.

There are many kinds of foundations for manufactured homes and each has its own unique benefits and structure.

Manufactured home foundation types include:

  • Pier and Beam Foundation
  • Crawl Spaces
  • Slab Foundation
  • Basement Foundation

Check out these quick explanations about the types of manufactured home foundations.

Pier and Beam Foundation

The pier and beam system is the most popular foundation system for manufactured homes.

With the pier and beam foundation system, anchors are driven into the ground to hold your home down and protect it from wind forces. The anchors go into the ground first and then steel straps are attached. The straps connect the anchors to a main I-beam on your home’s steel frame. Those I-beams are connected using cross-members, which add stability to the foundation. After that, outriggers are welded to the steel I-beams for additional strength and support.

Here are some details about the pier and beam system:

  • Affordability – one of the most affordable foundations
  • Installation time – typically, the pier and beam system takes less time compared to other systems
  • Can be used in seismic areas
  • Can be used in areas of flood hazard
  • Can be used in areas subject to heavy frost
  • Wind zone resistance – Effective wind zone resistance

Crawl Spaces

A crawl space foundation designed for a manufactured home is made of an excavated floor and is typically built using poured concrete footers that go into the soil and anchor the home down. The manufactured home frame rests on a perimeter wall and is supported by piers strategically placed for support points, which are customized to each home.

Here are some details about crawl space foundations:

  • Affordability – crawl space foundations fall into the middle price range compared to other systems
  • Installation time – this system falls in the middle range for installation time, but is typically completed by the time the home arrives to the site
  • Wind resistance – not ideal for hurricane-prone areas but still effective in areas with higher winds
  • Stability – seismic resistance
  • Flood resistance – not intended for flood-prone areas
  • Frost – can be used in almost any climate

Slab Foundation

A slab foundation under a manufactured home acts as a platform for support rather than the floor of the home. The slab typically sits on top of the ground with ground anchors embedded in the concrete. It is insulated around its perimeter, which keeps the ground beneath warmer.

Here are some details about slab foundations:

  • Cost – one of the most affordable systems
  • Time – the time needed for this foundation is minimal
  • Seismic compatibility – can be used in seismic areas
  • Flood resistance – can be used in flood hazard areas
  • Land recommendation – not ideal for sloping lots
  • Wind resistance – if you verify the wind zone requirements for your site, a slab foundation may be used
  • Frost – if it is an insulated slab foundation, it may be used in areas with heavy frost

Basement Foundation

Not only do basements provide a structural support system, but they also add an extra living and/or storage space to your home! This foundation is practical, and even has various perks.

Here are some details about basement foundations:

  • Cost – basements rank higher in costs due to their construction time and materials
  • Longer Installation time – basements take longer to build and install due to their materials as well as their structural design
  • Seismic compatibility – can be used in seismic areas
  • Flood resistance – cannot be used in flood hazard areas
  • Frost – can be used in areas of frost
  • Provide extra living space – have extra room to grow in your home
  • Effectively resist wind loads – this foundation even gives you a place to take cover in high winds

You can use all this information to compare the different types of foundations to determine which best suits your needs for your new manufactured home. Now, see how the foundation supports your home with Clayton Unbuilt®!

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