Choosing Your New Mobile Home Foundation

January 17, 2018

You’ve sacrificed and saved to buy your beautiful dream home,  visited showrooms and open houses and made design decisions and selected upgrades. Each step along the way has been filled with excitement and anticipation. You’re almost there! Soon, you’ll be in your beautiful new dream home! But have you given any thought to the mobile home foundation?

American songwriter and country music singer David Allen Coe is purported to have said, “It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.”

It doesn’t matter what kind of home you’re purchasing – whether traditional, stick-built, modular, manufactured, or mobile home, a firm foundation is crucial to its stability. Understanding the different types of bases used in the building process will help any home buyer make a better, more educated decision.

The four most common mobile home foundation systems used are slabs, piers, crawlspaces, and basements. Each of these has its unique benefits that appeal to both home builders and buyers alike.


A flat, concrete surface, 4 to 6 inches deep, slab foundations usually have another 4 to 6-inch layer of gravel beneath them. Homes with slab foundations require that all plumbing and wiring for utilities be contained within the walls and flooring of the actual house. This is common in mobile and manufactured homes. In areas like West Michigan, where the ground freezes, slabs are often poured over piers to add stability when the ground freezes and thaws. A slab foundation without piers is called a floating slab.


A pier is a cement cylinder set into the ground well below the frost line. They go 42 inches deep and are 18 inches in diameter. Piers are typically spaced every 8 feet and can be combined with beams (no slab) for a less expensive prefab-home foundation.


An area that can be a finished living space, basements are partially or entirely below the ground floor of the home and contain concrete walls and floors. The walls of the basement are of sufficient thickness to ultimately support the weight of the house above it. While more expensive than a slab foundation, a finished basement can double the square footage of the home thus increasing its value. Daylight or egress windows are required for bedrooms to be located in a basement.


A popular option in areas of high humidity and regions prone to termite infestation, crawlspaces are similar in construction to basements with a poured floor and walls. Typically excavated to 48 inches deep, they provide support for the weight of the house while keeping it off the ground. Sometimes a pea-stone gravel floor above a moisture/vapor barrier is used in a crawlspace.

When purchasing older models of modular, manufactured, and mobile homes, you may encounter older mobile home foundation styles such as a Cookie or a Ribbon/Runner foundation. Less stable than the other techniques listed here, most townships and municipalities no longer allow these foundation types.

Remember, mobile home foundation decisions for a new home or placing a used mobile or manufactured home on your property, it is essential to consult local area zoning laws and building codes and to apply for proper building permits.

For more information on the types of foundations available along with affordable dream-home options, contact Preferred Homes, West Michigan’s quality, affordable homes expert since 1977.

"As we have been searching for a home for many months, it has been difficult fighting discouragement. I have been telling my family that the right house and the right people would happen in Gods time. We are truly blessed. Our prayers were answered! Thank you for everything, Wendy. We are very, very, very happy!"

Dan, Michael, and Chris

My wife and I purchased a home from Preferred to place on land. The experience was fantastic and the home is beautiful. Everyone from the Sales person to the other office girls, Mary & Sherri, through the Set-up, Service, Drywall crews and the owner went above and beyond in every area! I would HIGHLY recommend Preferred to everyone I know and if we ever planned to move again we would order from Preferred and do it over again.


Matt and the staff at Preferred Mobile Homes do an excellent job getting back to me when I contact them about our mutual clients. Their service is always top notch and professional. I would recommend Preferred Mobile Homes to everyone I know. Great job team!


We are currently in the process of having our new home finished with Preferred Homes. It has been delivered and the outside has been put together and finished. We are still in the process of having the inside done. So far we are really happy with Preferred and all the crews that they have had do work for us. We would recommend purchasing from them. The sales staff was very helpful in dealing with the factory and us. We did a custom floor plan and they were very accommodating with the living arrangement we were looking for.


Totally amazing staff!!!! Homes were staged JUST LIKE HOME!!! Never seen anything other mobile home store like it!!!! Amazing place. Would definitely recommend. Thank you for your knowledgeable help!!!!!


We absolutely love our home. We had a thunderstorm a couple of weeks ago and our dog is big time afraid and shakes, well we couldn't even hear the thunder in our house!!!!! I could not believe it. Built very solid.


I have personally know the founder, Kim Arnold, since the late 70's. You are not going to find a more honest person to deal with or to buy a home from. My family has been in the manufactured home business since 1961. We have always referred people to Preferred if and when they need something we can't help them with. They have hauled dozens of homes for us over the last 40 years. Always with a handshake and a smile. If your looking for a new manufactured home, go see the fine people at Preferred. Tell them Bill sent you.


We currently are going thru the process with them and it has been awesome. Really good customer service...right before we closed on the house I ended up going into labor and had a baby. They sent flowers and a teddy bear to the house we are currently living in. Extremely thoughtful!!!! Has gone above and beyond would extremely recommend them. Even some bumps in the road we have hit they always make it right...awesome people!


We just toured homes and signed papers for purchase of one yesterday! Tim was so helpful, and didn’t try to push us to purchase. He was very knowledgeable about the homes we viewed, and I’m looking forward to working with the rest of their staff in completing our journey in purchasing our new home!


The staff at Preferred were all so amazing! Thanks for getting us into our dream home!

A Satisfied Customer

Your office staff was very helpful. The set-up crew was very careful and conscientious to detail. Thank you for helping us get a beautiful home! It was a pleasure working with you all!


The office personnel was very helpful and friendly. Thank you for the courteous service.