Double Wide on Basement-Foundation Support Question

12 Replies

Hello Everyone, I am looking at buying a Double Wide on a basement.  I am wondering how it is supposed to be supported correctly.  The outside edge I think sits on the basement wall.  I think the 2 inside frames are supported by those metal house supports.  Does anyone know they should be supported or have a diagram of some sort.

Not sure. Perhaps @John Fedro  can chime in. Although you can certainly check out this site I found on mobile home installation and setup.

Hi guys,

Very cool Mark! I have only seen this one other time and the home was rigged six ways to Sunday, meaning it was very shaky looking and I quickly passed on the deal. 

Unless someone else here has some concrete guidance for you and knows your local area I would imagine that this situation varies from county to city to state code department. Without a doubt if you get a purchase contract signed on the place make sure to have a qualified contractor or county/city inspector walk through the place to verify this construction. I say this only because it is fairly rare in my dealings, and even others I've helped in your area. Are you finding many of these MHs with basements in SD?

Thanks for the shout out Steven. Happy to help when I can, however I'm afraid a local inspector is much much more suited at giving a specific and applicable answer here based on the unique situation. 

Additionally Mark, any chance adding a picture of this basement/home for the rest of us to learn what these look like?

All the best,
John Fedro

@Steven J.  

Thanks for the comments. I will that link out Steven. John, it was put on the basement from the get go. It is a 1999 and in 1999 it was put on the basement so it was planned that way. Not saying it is correct just saying. It also passed VA loan inspection at one point if they inspect anything. I have another post about purchasing it as well. If I do buy it for sure I will try to remember to take some pictures of the support structure.

And no I don't see much for double wides on basements either.  Very few.  

Mark, if your interested, put it under contract and I'd be glad to go take a look at it with you. I am a Civil Engineer out here at Ellsworth.

So all mobile homes- well- in the last 25 years come with engineering instructions for setting up the home. If the instructions are not available, there are state standards that will spell out where supports need to be, what they are based in, drainage etc. That said- if the home was set prior to the latest revisions, you will have to go back into the state archives to see if it was set up correctly. All homes should have a 'CO'- certificate of occupancy of some sort. Every state seems to call it something different but your state will have a final inspection, and in many cases the state should place a seal on the home stating it was inspected. That seal should have a number you can trace as well. Many citys / states will keep the install records, so you should be able to go to the records department of the city, county or state and see who set it up and to what plan (manufacture, new engineering or state mandated) they followed. 

@Collin Goodwin  I actually closed on it today so it is mine now.  I have my hands full at the moment and will be busy for the next month or so at least with other things.  I am not sure how things are going to go quite yet.  I need to gut the basement anyway on it but once done I will then be able to see what supports are where.  Maybe have you come take a look then.  We should meet for lunch sometime as well as I am by Ellsworth as well.  Keep in touch.

You may want to check with the local building jurisdiction. In most states an installation permit is required which means it would have to have an installation permit on file  and that the installation would have to follow some sort of set up and installation protocol. 

Depending on the age of the home and when it was installed I would think that it's been done properly but not knowing the building codes in that area I would stronly suggest you start there.

I plan to check with the city to see if they have anything on file. But sometimes they are as much help as a box of rocks.  So we will see.  The home is a 99 and was put on the basement I assume right way when it was new.  Looking at it, I think it needs more support but plan to get some opinions.

This link has been SO helpful for me in understanding mobile home Foundation Systems. 

It spells out what foundations meet the HUD systems and why.

As a structural engineer, part of my job is designing and inspecting foundations for mobile and manufactured homes. Most often, the inspections are for HUD and VA loans. I must admit, though, that I have not yet encountered one on a basement foundation. I currently work in Billings, Montana, but I have also worked in Idaho, Alaska, and Colorado.

Typically, a double-wide requires support not only continuously around the exterior perimeter, but at individual points in the interior as well.  The interior supports are usually on concrete block or metal jack piers with concrete footings under them.  For a basement I would expect to find steel beams under those points running transverse to the home and bearing on the exterior foundation walls.  There may also be posts under the beams in the basement.

If it passed a VA inspection, it's probably constructed properly. If you're not sure, it's a good move on your part to enlist the help of a civil or structural engineer. I'm sure @Collin Goodwin  will know just what he's looking at.  You can also inquire whether there is a foundation inspection report on file somewhere, probably with the prior prospective VA lender.

@Brian Rossiter  I am in the process of stripping the interior of the basement now.  It needs to be redone.  Then I will be able to see what there is.  None of the actual interior walls will be taken out because I believe a lot of them are structure walls.  There are no Beams under the existing frame which would have been the ideal way to do it with pockets in the exterior wall for the beams.  They have metal jacks and walls holding up the 2 inner frames.  The outer plate sits on the concrete wall but outer frame (which is 3 ft from the outside wall) is only supported by interior walls running perpendicular and even at that they are not build the way I would build them to hold weight.  Once all the drywall is out of the basement and I can see what there is I plan to get in touch with @Collin Goodwin  . 

The previous owners had a VA loan because the VA is who owned it when I bought it as a foreclosure. You would have thought that is would of passed some sort of VA inspection but you never really know for sure. I also checked with the city and they don't have any records on fine back in 99 when it was put on the basement.

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