Mobile home pier (C) Daniel FriedmanMobile Home or Doublewide Piers, Stabilizers, Tie-downs, Multi-wide connections

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Mobile home piers & stabilizers:

How to install, inspect, repair manufactured or mobile home piers, stabilizers, tiedowns. Common mobile home structural defects: Piers, stabilizers and tie-down for mobile homes, trailers, double-wides, multi-wide connections. Safety and building codes for mobile homes, double-wides, and trailers, also some campers.

Special attention should be given to mobile home, double-wide or trailer to tie-downs, hurricane and storm damage prevention, and special connections are required between sections of double-wide and multi-wide mobile homes.

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Mobile Home Pier Foundations

Abandoned mobile home (C) Daniel Friedman

Inspection Points for a manufactured home or mobile home pier foundation

Mobile home piers and shims (C) Daniel Friedman

Our photo above shows sloppy pier and shim installation, set on soft soil, tipping. It is important to take a look under a mobile home or trailer you're thinking of buying. Those hard-to-get-in spots often contain costly surprises.

Mobile home pier foundation height & clearance requirements

Maxmum pier height 36" for single block stacks (C) from Texas Code

2017/06/07 Ashley said:

What is the maximum height a mobile home can be from the ground?

This question was originally posted at MOBILE HOME CODES & STANDARDS

[Click to enlarge any image]


48" maximum mobile pier height for 2block x 2block  pier, (C) TX CodeAshley,

In general the maximum height from the surface of the pier to the top of the last concrete block which would be placed under a beam or girder supporting the manufactured or mobile home floor is 36 inches for a stack of single open-celled 8" concrete blocks [Pier A], or 48" for an interlocked concrete block pier - essentially a 2-block square as we illustrate here [Pier B].

Greater pier and thus foundation heights for mobile homes or manufactured homes may be permitted by codes and standards but will likely require an engineer's sign-off and of course local code-official approval.

Manufactured home floor structure height above ground level

Pier A: Single stack of solid or open cell, 8x8x16 concrete blocks. Maximum height is 36 inches as measured from the top of the footer to the top of the last concrete block for single-stacks of open-cell 8x8x16" concrete blocks.

Concrete blocks are installed with their lengths perpendicular to the main IBeam. Open cells must be vertical and in alignment. - Texas (2014)

Pier B: Interlocked double stack of solid or open cell 8x8x16 concrete blocks. The maximum height is 48 inches as measured from the top of the footer to the top of the last concrete block.

Piers of greater heights are allowed if they are within limits established in adopted federal standards. The pier is capped with a minimum 16x16x4 concrete cap. Open cells must be vertical and in alignment. Each course of open cell blocks must be perpendicular to the previous course. - Texas (2014)

HUD/FHA Manufactured Home foundation requirements

HUD/FHA Manufactured Home foundation requirements add specifications that may be beyond the minimum stdandards specifide by manufactured home producers, including the following:

Clearance between manufactured home floor structure & ground:

The minimum ground clearance allowed from the bottom of the floor joists to the ground surface is 18 inches. Here is an example citation for U.S. manufactured homes excerpted from the Texas code:

If the manufactured home is installed according to the state's generic standards, a minimum clearance of 18 inches between the ground and the bottom of the floor joists must be maintained.

In addition, the installer shall be responsible for installing the home with sufficient clearance between the I-Beams and the ground so that after the crossover duct prescribed by the manufacturer is properly installed it will not be in contact with the ground.

Refer to ยง80.25 of this chapter (relating to Generic Standards for Multi-Section Connections Standards) for additional requirements for utility connections. The Installer must remove all debris, sod, tree stumps and other organic materials from all areas where footings are to be located. - Texas (2014)

Depending on where you live there may be local regulations that differ.

Also keep in mind that the tie-down or stabilization system required for mobile homes, particularly in high-wind areas, will set practical limits on mobile home heights from the ground in that the tiedown systems have their own particular dimensions, anchor point requirements, and installation specifications.

STABILIZING SYSTEMS - Tie Downs for Mobile Homes


MULTI-WIDE CONNECTIONS - Multi-Wide Mobile Home unit connections:

This discussion has been moved to a new article found at MOBILE HOME CONNECTIONS, MULTI-WIDE.

Common Questions about Mobile Home Support, Piers, Structure

Question: (Jan 10, 2013) summer said: trailer is falling apart, is it fixable?

Hi me and my mom and my siblings and my two young kids live in a 3 bedroom trailer and its falling apart I need to see if its fixable or not

Reply: set repair priorities for a mobile home

Summer, if you are not able to do the work yourselves, which sounds like th case, I think you need to start with asking for an inspection and a repair cost estimate from a local contractor who repairs mobile homes.

Be sure to focus on and plan the financing of repairs in this order:

1. Fix things that are dangerous, that could kill or hurt someone, including not just slip and fall hazards but electrical or heating hazards or fire hazards including missing safe exit doors or stairs and inadequate structural support and tie downs (if you are in a high wind zone)

2. Fix things that flat don't work and that you need, like flushing toilets or running water

3. Fix things that are causing rapid costly damage to the home such as serious roof leaks or leaks in walls that are rotting the structure, inviting in termites or carpenter ants, or are damaging the heating or electrical or other systems.

Those three things are the top repair priorities.

Question: failing masonry block piers below a mobile home

4/24/14 Anonymous said:

Hi, me my husband live in a 3 bedroom mobile home and it is on a hillside and it has been here now for 18 years and is starting to come off the blocks and we do have tie downs on it.

My question is if we get more tie downs will it hold in place for awhile until we can find someone to come and reblock it.

Reply: having an idea how much pier movement has occurred, how rapid, over what period of time, & what's its cause can help determine the level of risk and the priority of repair

I really can't guess without having a better idea what is the cause, what is the rate of movement, and what site conditions might lead you to expect that the movement will continue slowly versus reach a point of sudden dangerous collapse that could lead to serious injury or worse.

You need to have some idea of why the mobile home is moving and what risks are involved.

And you want to have some idea of how much movement has already occurred. If the building is basically level and the total movement you see is trivial then you might have time to wait for repairs.

Even small movements can be dangerous if they rupture a gas line or an electrical connection, and movements that break the waste piping can create a health hazard.

If you can find an engineer who has experience with foundations, piers, and who knows the geology and soil conditions where your home is located, that'd be the best person to ask to take a look at the situation.

If you can't find or can't afford such an expert, a local foundation contractor or excavator who is experienced and knows the area might be able to give at least a simple initial opinion even if it's one that is less qualfied or less expert.

Finally, if there is no movement of the soil or hillside and if the problem is entirely one of poorly built or deteriorated supporting block piers, that should be less worrisome and easier to fix even if one simply added additional temporary support as blocking or a similar system. For that task ask a local mobile home installer for assistance.

Red flag when inspecting the piers below a manufactured or mobile home

Mobile Home Foundation Codes & References

Ver.3.5 - 04/25/07, updated through 2017 - Steve Vermilye, New Paltz NY and Daniel Friedman, Poughkeepsie NY, Hudson Valley ASHI Chapter Seminar, Newburgh NY, January 4, 2000, NY Metro ASHI Fall 99 Seminar, Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, White Plains NY, October 2, 1999.


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