It could be useful to learn how to build a mobile home support pier in order to re-level your home, straighten out a pier or even put extra support under a bay window, a pool table, or a large bathtub. In any of these cases you will need to know how to properly build a support pier to take the weight and spread the load.
It is important to build these support piers correctly so that the load is transferred to the ground. To this end the piers need to be constructed of the right materials. The support needs to be square to the beam, the components stacked firmly and the pad should be flat on the ground.
What tools do you need?
- Small torpedo level.
- Square Shovel
- Tape Measure
What materials do you need?
- Pads either 4″x 16″x 16″ or ABS equivalent.
- One pressure treated piece of wood 1″ x 8″ x 16″
- Pressure-treated piece of wood 2″ x 8″ x 16″
- Wedges 4″ x 8″ approx.
- 8″ x 8″ x 16″ concrete blocks
- 4″ x 8″ x 16″ concrete blocks
The Correct Ground Preparation is Essential.
Roughly mark off an area under the beam where your new pier will sit on the ground. This area should be at least 6″ wider than the base pads being used to allow for leveling.
Using the shovel or the claw of the hammer, remove the grass, all vegetation, and any roots from that same area. Make sure that there are no stones or concrete debris within the cleared space and then smooth out the soil roughly level with your hand or tools.
You should now have a clean cleared area slightly bigger than your base pad.
How to level the Base Pads.
When you are using concrete base pads be very careful when placing the pad into the previously cleared area. If the pad, which weighs around 80 pounds, is dropped casually into the hole the block will compress some areas of soil more than others.
So gently lay the pad onto the smooth soil. Move the pad in a side to side sliding motion until it looks fairly level with your eyes. Check for plumb both ways with the torpedo level. It doesn’t have to be perfect but the bubble should be in the center in both directions.
Carefully Stacking Concrete Cell Blocks.
Place the first block gently onto the concrete base pad and slide it around until it lays flat and in the center. Some new blocks have rough edges and machine marks from the makers concrete press.
Stack the cell blocks one on top of the next, open-cell side up, until no more 8″ blocks will fit into the gap between the last block and the “I” beam.
Fill the remaining gap on top of the blocks with either a 4″ solid block or a 2″ pressure treated piece of wood to “cap” the block and spread the load. Secure the top of the cap with wedges. Use a hammer to drive them in tightly from both sides.
Make Sure to Center the Pier.
The center of the pier needs to be under the center of the I beam. Tip: drop a small pebble from the center of the beam to the pad and make adjustments.
Conclusions: what you have learned.
Use your eyes and your common sense when you look at the repaired support foundation, if it looks off-center and leaning to one side then your eyes are probably right.
If it looks bad and you are not happy with it, then take it down and follow the procedure again. It takes some practice so take your time and be safe. You should now have learned how to build a mobile home support pier.