Types of Manufactured Home Foundations

Man uses excavator to work on the foundation of a manufactured home

Learn more about the different foundation options for manufactured homes. From pier and beam to a slab, basement or crawl space, we’ll go over the different features to help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.

A home’s foundation is key to keeping it strong, sturdy and secure. In addition to supporting and distributing the home’s weight, the foundation also keeps out moisture, pests and the elements.

When you purchase a new manufactured home, there are several types of foundations to choose from. Each have different features, as well as potential pros and cons. Your local home center consultant can help you evaluate which one is the right fit for you depending on factors like the layout of your land, climate, local building codes and your budget or financing.

Common manufactured home foundations include:

  • Pier and beam foundation
  • Crawl space
  • Slab foundation
  • Basement foundation

Some types of foundations are considered permanent, like you’d find with a traditional site-built home. Others are non-permanent, which can affect potential appreciation or resale value but means you may be able to move the home in the future.

Now, let’s take a closer look.


Pier and Beam Foundation

The pier and beam foundation system is widely used. These systems utilize one or more metal platforms placed under foundation piers. Steel bracing secures the platforms to the I-beams under the home.

Pier and beam foundations:

  • Are one of the most affordable types
  • Typically take less time to build than other systems
  • Can be used in areas that see seismic activity, floods or heavy frost
  • Are not typically a permanent foundation
  • Mean your home will be raised off the ground and have skirting, which can affect its curb appeal

Slab Foundation

A slab foundation sits on top of the ground with ground anchors embedded in the concrete. It’s insulated around its perimeter, which helps keep the ground beneath warmer and your home more comfortable.

Slab foundations:

  • Are also an affordable, time-efficient option
  • Can be used in areas that see seismic activity or floods
  • Can potentially be used in specific wind zones or areas that see heavy frost, depending on the requirements for your location
  • May not work for a sloping lot
  • Come in several different types and are not always considered a permanent foundation, depending on how your home is anchored

Basement Foundation

Not only does a basement provide a strong support system, but it also adds extra living or storage space to your home.

Basement foundations:

  • Are the most expensive foundation option
  • Take longer to build and install due to their materials, as well as their structural design
  • Can be used on a sloping lot
  • Can be used in areas with seismic activity or frost
  • Are not recommended in flood hazard areas
  • Are a permanent foundation

Crawl Spaces

A crawl space foundation, sometimes called a pit foundation, is similar to a basement. It has an excavated floor and is usually built using poured concrete footers that go into the soil and anchor the home down. The home then rests on a perimeter wall and is supported by piers strategically placed for support points, which are customized to each home.

Crawl space foundations:

  • Fall into the middle price range
  • Are typically completed by the time the home arrives to the site
  • Can work well if you have a sloping lot because the space can be adjusted to it
  • Offer good frost and seismic resistance
  • May not be ideal for hurricane- or flood-prone areas
  • Are a permanent foundation

With this info, you’ll be better prepared to decide which type of foundation fits your needs and wants. All offer great support for your new manufactured home, and your home center will work with you on the specific details for the option you choose.

Want to learn more about how manufactured homes are built? From energy efficiency and construction codes to Clayton’s brand partners and more, we’re breaking down the details on the Home Building category of our Studio blog. Check it out today!

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