Can Modular Homes Have Basements? A Comprehensive Guide

This guide details types of foundations available, methods for adding a basement to both prefab and existing homes, pricing considerations, and more.


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If you’re wondering, “Can modular homes have basements?” The short answer is yes. However, the foundation must be prepared on-site before the delivery and assembly of modular home sections. The type of foundation can be a full basement, a crawl space, or a slab, depending on the homeowner's preference and the requirements of the home's design. Therefore, this guide will detail the types of foundations available, methods for adding a basement to both prefab and existing homes, pricing considerations, and more. So keep reading!

What Type Of Foundations Can Be Used For Modular Construction?

For modular homes, the foundation is not just the literal base of the home; it's a crucial component that affects everything from stability to energy efficiency. Therefore, understanding the types of foundations is key to guaranteeing your modular home is as secure and comfortable as possible. The following are the three main types of foundations for modular construction:

1. Full Basement Foundation:

The full basement foundation stands out among modular home foundations for its versatility. Made of poured concrete or concrete blocks, it offers a solid foundation and additional living or storage space.

Moreover, it's particularly effective in cold climates due to its excellent insulation and suits homes on uneven or sloping land. However, it requires significant waterproofing in wet areas, can be expensive and time-consuming to build, and needs precise construction to avoid water leakage.

2. Crawl Space Foundation:

The crawl space foundation is a practical choice in areas prone to dampness or flooding. Elevated above ground, it provides essential protection against moisture and flood damage. This cost-effective foundation type offers easy access to plumbing and electrical system maintenance.

However, it's more suitable for milder climates where heavy insulation is not a priority, as it doesn't provide additional living space. In contrast to a full basement, its insulation capabilities are limited, making it less effective in colder, icy climates.

3. Slab-on-Grade Foundation:

The slab-on-grade foundation, known for its cost-effectiveness and quick installation, is a simple concrete pad poured directly on the ground. This foundation type is best for warmer climates where insulation against cold is less of a concern.

Its affordability and minimal maintenance requirements make it a preferred choice for modular home builders, especially for homes on flat terrains. However, it's less suitable for cold climates due to inadequate insulation and not ideal for sloping sites.

Can You Put A Basement Under An Existing House?

Yes, you can put a basement under an existing house, but it is a complex and often expensive process. This project, known as "underpinning" or "basement lowering," involves excavating the ground beneath the existing structure and constructing a new basement space. 

Its process involves excavating the area under the house. After that, a new foundation and basement structure were constructed carefully while adhering to building codes to ensure safety and stability. Once the basement is built, the house is lowered onto the new foundation. 

Modular Homes with Basement Floor Plans

Modular homes with basements are available in various styles to suit various needs. Commonly, these homes include basement floor plans. Some of its types are:

1. Ranch-Style Modular Homes

Characterized by their single-story layout, ranch-style homes are ideal for integrating full basements. The basement can mirror the footprint of the main floor, offering ample additional living space.

2. Two-Story Modular Homes

These homes offer distinct separation between living and sleeping areas. A basement in these homes can serve as an additional living room, home theatre, or storage space.

3. Cape Cod Modular Homes

Known for their steep rooflines and attic space, Cape Cods can include basements for extra bedrooms, recreational rooms, or utility and storage areas.

4. Contemporary Modular Homes

With modern design elements, these homes can feature basements designed as entertainment areas, home gyms, or guest suites.

5. Colonial Modular Homes

These traditionally styled two-story homes can incorporate basements for extra family rooms, home offices, or workshops.

6. Custom Modular Homes

Many builders can design a custom modular home with a basement tailored to the homeowner's specific needs, such as a home cinema, gym, or additional apartments for rental income. Each of these modular home styles depends on the homeowner's requirements and the suitability of the building site. 

When exploring modular homes with basement floor plans, it's essential to consider how the space will be used, the local climate, and any additional costs associated with basement construction and finishing.

How Much Does A Modular Home Cost?

According to, the base price of a modular home typically ranges from $40 to $80 per square foot. However, this cost only covers the base model and does not include customization, delivery, or installation. If you plan to customize your home, add an extra $10 to $40 per square foot.

Additionally, a 1,800-square-foot modular home's materials cost between $72,000 and $144,000. However, this price is for the base model and does not include customization or additional upgrades such as flooring or siding.

Modular Homes With Basement Prices 

According to, a modular home with a basement typically costs an extra $18,000 to $30,000. Foundation costs for modular homes vary widely, ranging from $5 to $37 per square foot. On average, homeowners spend about $9,193, fluctuating between $4,038 and $14,445.

However, the additional expense accounts for various factors influencing the overall cost.

We at PrefabList provide a comprehensive resource for those exploring prefab and modular homes. Our platform showcases a wide range of manufacturers, offering an array of homes, tiny homes, studios, and guesthouses. We make it easy for you to compare options and help in your home-buying decision-making process.

So, find your dream prefab home – explore today.

How Much Does It Cost To Put A Basement Under A Manufactured Home?

HomeAdvisor says installing a basement under a manufactured home typically costs between $12,000 and $25,000. The average cost to build a basement under a modular home is around $33 per square foot. A standard basement construction with appropriate drainage and moisture barriers costs between $26,000 and $80,000.

Which Is Cheaper: Modular Homes or Manufactured Homes?

Manufactured homes are cheaper than modular homes because manufactured or mobile homes are constructed in a factory and transported to the home site. Though many are designed for long-term residence, they are often seen as more temporary structures. They also typically incur lower labor costs.

On the other hand, modular homes are built in sections and then assembled on-site on a permanent foundation. They must conform to the same local building codes as traditional, site-built homes and often use the same high-quality materials. Therefore, they’re more expensive than manufactured homes. 

Finding Modular Homes Near You

If you’re looking for modular homes near you, PrefabList is a great resource to explore. We offer an extensive directory of modular home providers, making locating and comparing options in your area easier.

Moreover, beyond listings, PrefabList offers valuable resources on modular home construction to help you make informed decisions.


Can modular homes have basements? Yes, they can. You can choose from full basements, crawl spaces, or slabs based on your preferences and design requirements. 

Our guide covers basement types, adding basements to prefab or existing homes, modular homes with basement floor plans, pricing, and adding basements to existing houses. 

You can find modular homes near you on PrefabList. We offer an extensive directory of manufacturers and builders, making finding the perfect modular home easier. Find your ideal modular home – start your search now at PrefabList.

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