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Mobile home foundations typically consist of footers or runners that serve as a base for poured concrete or block, though mobile homes can also be placed over a basement foundation. Some localities may have building codes that regulate the types of mobile home foundations allowed in their area. In addition, lenders such as banks and mortgage companies may have requirements regarding foundations in order for the property to qualify for a loan. Both houses and mobile homes need strong foundations to distribute the weight of the dwelling and to help prevent sagging.
Some experts claim that the most preferable type of foundation for any type of dwelling is the basement. Not only do they provide excellent support, basements also have the added bonus of possibly expanding the total square footage of the home. Many mobile home owners refinish their basements for use as living areas such as dens, recreation rooms or extra bedrooms. Even if the basement is unfinished, it can provide shelter during tornadoes and other storms, which may be particularly important for mobile home owners, as mobile homes are generally considered less safe during storms with high winds. From a financial point of view, using a basement as the mobile home foundation may add value to the property.
Installing a mobile home on top of a basement foundation usually requires a crane. Hiring a crane and crane operator can sometimes significantly increase the costs associated with mobile home foundations. In addition, the basement will generally need to be inspected by local building authorities to be sure the construction is sound. Basement foundations are usually used for double wide or triple wide mobile homes, because with single wide mobile homes, sometimes the cost of the basement is more than that of the home itself.
Footers are often used in creating mobile home foundations. Establishing a footer is one of the first steps in completing slab or block foundations. A footer is a pre-foundation, a shallow ditch that follows the perimeter of the home. The ditch is filled with poured concrete and serves as a reinforcing pad for the blocks or slabs that will make up the rest of the foundation.
Runners typically serve the same purpose as footers, but rather than forming a perimeter along the edges of the dwelling, they typically consist of vertical or horizontal trenches underneath the mobile home. The trenches are meant to hold a wooden frame that is sunk, covered, and then leveled with concrete. According to experts, this type of foundation is sometimes more expensive, and typically takes much longer to complete.