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Question DetailsAsked on 9/1/2017

Can you add a basement under a 1500 sq foot manufactured home that has a concrete slab underneath?

It is a New Castle manufactured home with 3 beds, 2 bath, and we would like to add a full basement underneath with the best/most cost effective option.

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2 Answers


Yes - but because the slab would not have been designed to span over a basement, while it is possible to support the manufactured home and dig a basement under it, I would very strongly espect it to be significantly cheaper to have a housemoving contractor (no Angies List Search the List category for that, sorry) build a new basement right next to your house, put steel beams under your unit, then slide it sideways onto the new foundation.

If your topography and drainage situations allow it, allowing them to set the elevation of the basement walls will also help - being able to slide the steel beams in underneath the home and sitting in formed slots in the foundation wall, sliding the house across, then slip the beams out from under is easier and less likelyy to cause significant cracking or roof leakage in your home than if it has to be jacked up or down in the process. (Some times the portion of the beam spannin gthe new foundation will be left in as permanent supports, removing only the portion sticking out to the side where the home originally sat - I have even seen cases where that portion was left in place and formed the foundation for a full-length deck on that side, or for an addition. For instance, I have been involved in one 90' triple-wide where the owners had really wanted a full size house but bought during a housing shortage so went with the manufactured home. During the basement construction the unit was slid on steel beams toward the entrance side of the house onto the new basement foundation, then the steel beams sticking out about 30 feet to where it originally sat became the foundation, (with concrete piers added during the move preparation) for a very large Florida/sun room.

One MAJOR thing to consider in such a remodel is the amount of time you will need to be out of the house, and the amount of time you will be without utilities. Done right, using temporary power connection and temporary flexible water and sewer hookups, it can be limited to a day or two during the move prep, then again a day or two for the actual move and utility reconnection. I have seen it limited (with contract penalties for longer outages) to not more than a day at eash end without it scaring the contractor off. Make sure the contract makes it clear that normal occupancy is necessary during the times you want, including full utilities and temporary steps (or ramp if needed for handicapped access) and such as necessary for normal use. Course, if you are happy with moving out for a week or so during the move that will reduce the temporary utility service costs, which can run many hundreds to even a thousand or two depending on local utility connect/disconnect charges, so in many cases a limited (by contract) number of days in a motel can be more economic.

In most cases, while a bit of reinforcing of the home is likely to be needed (especially to reinforce the attachment between any connected modules in an double-wide or triple-wide or extended length unit), commonly at least for double wide up to about 60 feet long this can be done without removing anything but the most breakable items and without disassembling the modules from each other.

And of course you have to pay attention to existing property lines, easements, utilities, well, septic, etc so everything stays within prescribed legal distance and clearances.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Another previous question with answer about this FYI: Also - talk to architect or General Contractor also - because it is commonly cheaper to build a new addition next door than to add a basement for equivalent space and that space is going to have more real estate value come resale time too. You might even get a basement with Florida room or deck or such for the cost of building a new basement and moving the house onto it, and very commonly get a one-room addition with basement cheaper than digging a new basement UNDER an existing house. It is also possible that a "utility shell" add-on manufactured home module would be cheapest - on slab-on-grade or on strip footings. These are modular homes minimally finished out and with typically pretty minimal electric and commonly zero piping, open or fairly open floorplan (usually custom specified) which people then fit out themselves as rec rooms, workshop, etc. Run about 2/3-3/4 the cost of an equivalent fully finished manufactured home module, and are fully finished on the outside and roofed - generally can pretty well match or at least complement your existing unit. Ability to put one of these on depends on Planning and Zoning codes, of course.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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