Can You Put a Foundation under an Existing Mobile Home?


Levelling newly poured foundation

Mobile homes are a popular type of homes for anyone looking to live simple and affordable. However, mobile homes are known to be vulnerable to natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances. Thus, many mobile home owners would opt to build a sturdy foundation under their homes before moving in.

But what if you are buying or already own an existing mobile home and wish to add a foundation under it? Can it be done?  Surprisingly, yes, it can. While adding a foundation under an existing mobile home may cost you some money and take a little time and effort, it is entirely possible to execute.

In this article, we’ll share with you some tips on how to add a sturdy foundation under an existing mobile home and why you should or shouldn’t take on this mobile home improvement project.

How to Put a Foundation under an Existing Mobile Home

Placing a foundation under an existing mobile home is a great way for many mobile home owners to make their homes sturdier and less vulnerable to being uprooted by natural disasters. While this wasn’t a home improvement project that was popular in the past, many new mobile home owners are now considering it a necessity for long-term durability.

To place a foundation under an existing mobile home, you will first need to lift the mobile home off the ground. This is also called jacking the home up. Do note that you will require a permit from the council to do this, as there may be concerns on how the plumbing and electricity lines will be affected during this process.

Once the structure has been lifted, the material used for the foundation can be brought in. Mobile home owners may choose between a pier foundation, a concrete slab foundation, or to have an added basement as a foundation. Some mobile homes may also feature crawl spaces, especially if there is an existing site-built foundation.

After the foundation has been set in place, the mobile home will be carefully placed on top of the newly built structure, and your home improvement project will be completed. It’s important to be aware that the structure may need to be approved, and you may want to approach your local council for further advice.

This is a project that will require assistance from multiple parties, including a contractor who can ensure the sturdiness of your foundation, an electrician, a plumber, and possibly architects and engineers to draft your mobile home blueprint.

Different Types of Mobile Home Foundations

Before deciding if you should proceed to build a foundation for your existing mobile home, let’s have a look at the different types of foundations you can choose from.

Basement Foundation 

As the name suggests, a basement foundation adds a basement space to your mobile home. This will allow you to have extra storage space or an additional room if needed. A basement foundation may be the sturdiest addition to your existing mobile home but may be costly to build and requires more time to complete.

Concrete Slab Foundation

A concrete slab foundation is a great pick if you’re looking for a semi-permanent foundation for your existing mobile home. This is created by pouring concrete on the mobile home site, making it a cost-effective and quick way to add a foundation to the existing mobile home site.

Pier Foundation

The pier foundation is a cheap way to set up a foundation under your existing mobile home. To do this, steel piers are usually placed under the home’s beam, holding the mobile home in place. This is a great way to help secure your home against strong winds but may run the risk of having the piers move out of the way, resulting in an unleveled home.

Pros and Cons of Building a Foundation under an Existing Mobile Home

Given that the project may take time and can be a hassle to complete, many may wonder why you should build a foundation under an existing mobile home? After all, if the mobile home has been doing well thus far without one, perhaps it could still be bearable moving forward.

So, why should you consider building a foundation under an existing mobile home? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if adding a foundation is a good idea for you.

Pros

  • A foundation will make your mobile home sturdier, ensuring that it isn’t too vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes or floods.
  • A foundation helps increase your mobile home’s value, thus making your home more valuable for future re-selling.
  • If you’re adding a basement foundation, you’ll have extra space in the basement for storage or as an additional room.

Cons

  • Building a foundation can be costly, depending on the type of foundation you choose to add to your existing mobile home.
  • The construction process may take longer, and you will have to find a temporary space to live in.
  • In case of a badly installed foundation like with beam foundations, the foundation may move individually, resulting in a non-leveled mobile home.

Despite the costs and time required, the pros of an added foundation under an existing mobile home are significant. Although it isn’t usually a necessary improvement project, you may consider it a valuable addition to your mobile home.

What You Need to Build a Foundation under an Existing Mobile Home

If you’re keen to proceed with building a foundation under an existing mobile home, here are some things you’ll have to prepare beforehand.

Obtaining the Right Permits

Before you can lift your mobile home and put in a foundation on your site, you will first have to obtain the right permits from your local council. The paperwork should include written permissions to jack up your home and put in a permanent structure to the intended land.

Having these permits will also save you the headache of being told to change or even remove the structure later if it’s been found that your home improvement project was done illegally.

Source for the Right Contractors, Electricians, and Plumbers

In some cases, you may opt to build the foundation for your existing mobile home by yourself. This, however, requires a lot of skills and knowledge in building and architecture. As such, it’s recommended that you look for a professional team of contractors who can assist you instead.

Subsequently, you’ll also have to engage with any licensed electricians and plumbers to ensure that your project won’t affect the electricity lines and plumbing. Do note that separate permits may be required in case you need to redo these amenities for your mobile home, so you’ll have to prepare for those beforehand as well.

Prepare for the Cost of Your Home Improvement Project

Finally, you’ll also have to prepare enough money to execute your overall home improvement project. Besides paying the contractors, electricians, and plumber, you’ll also have to factor in the fees for permits and other legal work required from the council.

Expect to pay between $2,500 to $8,000 for a mobile home foundation. The cost will vary depending on the type of foundation you’re looking to build and the size of your mobile home.

Do bear in mind that this does not include paying for permits from your local authorities or the contractors and other labor required to complete the project.

Rasmus

Hi, my name is Rasmus. I'm a huge fan of alternative living arrangements and the many ways people are escaping the 9 to 5 grind. Whether it's van dwelling or homesteading, if it allows for more freedom in your life then I'm all ears! I've been exploring different aspects of this lifestyle for over three years now and have learned so much. From solar power to worm farming, if there's something out there that helps us live differently - I want to know about it!

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