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Country Talk Discussion Board

Re: Modular Homes and Wood Basements?

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Posted by Hal/WA on June 17, 2002 at 20:40:05 from (

In Reply to: Modular Homes and Wood Basements? posted by Justin - Pa on June 17, 2002 at 07:21:15:

About 15 years ago a new neighbor put up a modular home with a wood foundation. We got to be friends and talked about the modular home and foundation. Their modular home was very fancy and I think made from 4 sections. The foundation was made with a lot of treated dimension lumber and plywood on a gravel base. They had done this because the time of year that they had chosen to put the home in place was the early Spring, and the first concrete truck they brought in got stuck real bad and had to dump its load and be pulled out with a huge wrecker. Big bucks... Because they were under pressure to get the house in place and livable (from various sources) they decided to use the code approved all wood foundation. It was kind of a stopgap measure and my neighbor claimed that it actually cost somewhat less than the full concrete foundation or possibly basement they were going to have. He said the foundation was gauranteed for 20 years.

My neighbors never had any trouble with the foundation, but did end up getting divorced and both moving away. The place sold, but was on the market for over a year. I have no information as to whether the wood foundation detracted from the salability of the house or not, or if it cost them money when they went to sell. I have not met the people who bought it.

When I was going to build my home, I wanted a full cast in place concrete basement with lots of rebar. Almost all the concrete basements I have ever known about lasted much more than 20 years, although, in my experience most crack somewhere. I built my basement at the proper time of the year and did not have much trouble. Do a concrete foundation reasonably correctly and it will last much longer than I will.

Maybe I am wrong, but it would be hard to convince me to buy a home with a wood foundation, unless I got an incredible buy on it. It may pass code, but not my own biases. I would always wonder when I would be needing to do the foundation over because it degraded over time from contact with the dampness in the soil.

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