How to Prepare Your Land for Your New Home

A number of options exist for placing your new modular or manufactured home. An existing parcel or lot or selecting and purchasing a new property. This article discusses important things to consider about how to prepare land for your new home.

Good Drainage Is Essential

The property must have good drainage to prevent problems with the foundation or the ground that the home is set on. It may be necessary to have a soil test done to ascertain the drainage capacity of your chosen lot or land. Good drainage is also an important factor for installing septic drainage field. The drainage should prevent water build-up under the home as well as moving and settling of the foundation. Good drainage helps prevent damage to the home and can prevent issues such as buckling of the floors and wall surface

Selecting the Right Location

A slightly elevated location is best because water that cannot soak into the soil will drain away. If your home will be set directly on the ground (such as on a cement pad) proper drainage can keep your safe and dry. In all cases, we recommend following the manufacturers recommend installation guidelines for your new home.

Although standards differ, essentially, these standards recommend the following:

  • The ground should be compacted to a specified bearing capacity before the foundation is laid or before the home is installed. The soil capacity can often be determined by local soil records or by tests. If your site’s soil appears to be made up of natural clays, peat or uncompacted filler material and/or if your lot has any unusual conditions, then a registered professional geologist or registered civil engineer should be consulted.
  • A vapor retarder should be installed under your house if it is to be enclosed with skirting or blocks. The vapor barrier keeps ground moisture away from the home. Although good drainage is critical it is vital to also prevent ground moisture from getting into your new home.
  • The ground beneath your home should be graded to create a crown and prevent a depression. This will help ensure that water will travel away from the home.
  • Some Caution about Using a Cement Slab for the Installation
    The ground surrounding the slab should be sloped away from the foundation to provide a way for water to drain away. Otherwise, water will travel under the cement slab and cause the soil to shift when the soil expands and contracts. This will likely lead to the slab cracking and could cause your home to become unstable or even settle into the ground. Additionally, it is also important to check the frost line in your area as your local municipal building code may require footings to be installed.

Think about clearances and overhead wires to make sure the land can be accessed by the equipment needed to set your new home. The land must be accessible by the transport trucks, dozers, and possibly cranes that may be needed to properly set your new home on its new foundation.

Check with your homes manufacturer or with Michigan Mobile Home Connection for full instructions on how to prepare for and install your new home.