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What Is Mobile Home Underpinning?

Underpinning serves as a foundation to support the weight of a mobile home.
A strong mobile home underpinning can help keep out rats and other pests.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 27 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Mobile home underpinning is the foundation of a mobile home, providing support when the home is set up in a stationary position. It is usually subject to a regional building code for safety and it is important to make sure it is installed in a way congruent with the building code to avoid fines and other issues. A number of companies manufacture prefabricated mobile home underpinning supplies, and it is also possible to work with a contractor on site.

Installation of mobile home underpinning starts with grading the home site to make it even and level. A concrete footer is poured, and topped with several courses of cinderblocks. The mobile home can be positioned on top of this underpinning. It is common for a decorative skirting to be attached around the outside of the mobile home to conceal the underside. This may also be required by the building code if there are concerns about animals and children crawling under the home and being injured.

Construction of mobile home underpinning does not require extensive contracting skills, but people do need to be familiar with the process of setting up perimeter foundations, and they need to be aware of any special restrictions or clauses in the building code. A government office can provide access to the code, and often a code advisor is available to answer questions. People can also ask a licensed contractor for advice about building to code and obtaining the appropriate permits.

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Once positioned on a mobile home underpinning, a home can also be attached with tiedowns to fix it in place. It should remain stable, barring extreme weather conditions, and people can add attachments like decks and other features if desired. It is advisable to periodically inspect the underpinning, just like any other foundation, for signs of crumbling, rot, water intrusion, and pests such as rats and mice. In regions where it freezes in the winter, it is important to check after the spring thaw for signs of frost damage.

In some regions, other types of foundations than the basic perimeter described here may be legal for mobile homes. People can consult the building code for more information and consider their specific needs to decide on the best mobile home underpinning. Safety is the primary concern with building regulations, as government agencies concerned with housing want to avoid situations where injuries, damages, or deaths occur as a result of unsafe living conditions or poor construction.

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