The Mobile Home Skirting Guide

Mobile home skirting is absolutely necessary. It hides the structural elements, adds a barrier to keep pipes from freezing, protects the home from wild animals, helps retain heat in the winter, and gives the mobile home a finished look.

Mobile home skirting can help maintain an average temperature beneath the home, too. Preventing cold winds, hot summer sun, and extreme temperatures from building under the mobile home can reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Mobile Home Skirting creates great storage space for seasonal goods such as holiday decor, mowers, and weed-eaters. Every mobile home should have skirting and in most parts of the country it is the law. 

There are several different kinds of materials you can use to skirt your home. Brick, stucco, tin (metal), cinder block, T1011, plywood, hardy board, faux rock, and vinyl are just a few.

Here’s a complete guide to help you choose the best option for your mobile home skirting:

Calculating How Much Skirting You Need

Regardless of what type of skirting you chose, you will need to figure out how much you need. Here’s how:

First, calculate the linear footage of your home.

Add together the length and width of all 4 sides of your home. In my case, it would be 58+58+12+12 since my home is 58′ long by 12′ wide.

If you have porches or additions, make sure to add that amount onto your final figure. Only include the 3 visible sides since the side attached to the home has already been included.

Here’s an example:

parameter-for-skirting-calculation - mobile home skirting formula

That end amount will be how much, in feet, you will need to purchase of the boarding, channeling, and footing for the skirting to attach to or if it’s vinyl siding, the back, top and ground tracks.

Next, figure the average height between the ground and the bottom of your home.

This will help you calculate how much material you will need to cover from the ground to the home.

Go to each corner of the home and measure from the ground to approximately 2″ above the bottom of the siding. Some companies say to just measure where you want your skirting to start at the bottom of the home. Adding extra to the calculation is a smart idea.

Once the 4 corners have been measured, go to the middle of the length of the home (the long sides) and measure. You’ll do this on both the front and backside of the home. Add all the measurements together and then divide by 6, the number of times you took the measurements. That’s going to be your average height in inches.

Now that you know the linear footage and average height of your home, you can figure out what type of siding you want and get a good estimate of the total cost.

The supplier will help you determine how much you need to order as different materials come in different sizes. Here’s a little break down of the types you can chose from:

Mobile Home Skirting Options

outdoor lighting concept on a mobile home

Vinyl Skirting

Vinyl skirting is the most popular for a few reasons: it is easy to install, not hard on the wallet and very attractive. Most kits run about $600 and up for a basic sized single wide and will include all the pieces you need to completely skirt the entire home. There’s 4 basic pieces needed for vinyl skirting:

  • The panel itself which is sold in 12 foot lengths. This is to make it easy for homes that are sitting on an incline, you simply cut the panels at the right dimension you need for the area. You can start at 2′ on one side and end up with 12″ on the other. You’ll need to use the average height method to order the correct amount of skirting.
  • The ground track which is what is bolted into the ground with long rods. It is U-shaped channel and the panel will fit down into it and keep is secured.
  • The top back is what goes on the bottom of the home before the panels are set into place. It has a top J channel that the top front piece will fit into.
  • The top front piece is the horizontal strip in front of the panel. It gives the entire system a more polished appearance and allows the skirting more security. It’s the last part you add.

Vinyl usually comes in 11’8″ panels, although they call them 12′ panels. You should buy all you need in one lot plus an extra panel or two. The dying process is not 100% accurate so there could be mismatching of the color even though you are ordering the same color.

Vinyl siding and skirting is very environmentally friendly, unfortunately it is misunderstood by a lot of people. Most think vinyl comes from oil and the refining process, but that is incorrect. All vinyl productions start with two simple and abundant building blocks –chlorine from common salt and ethylene from natural gas. According to Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) software, vinyl siding out performs brick, stucco and wood on how it affects the environment based on a combination of environmental criteria.

The disadvantages of vinyl is that it does not do well with weed eaters. There are guards you can add to remedy that though. Storms and high winds can also be an issue.

 

 

faux rock vinyl skirting

 

Reil Rock Panels

The second most popular skirting option is the Reil Rock panels. They are made of study plastic, have the look of stone and come in 3 colors. They come in 5 foot sections with 3 height options: 2’6″, 3′ and 4′. They are very easy to install because you simply use a U channel or J channel on the ground and screw the panel into a board attached to the home (some just attach directly to the home and some don’t even use the ground channel). There is a track you can put over top of the panel, but it’s not needed either. If your panel is just shy a couple of inches you can use the top track to cover the issue.

A 5 foot section costs about $30. While it’s more expensive than vinyl it’s sturdier and can handle a bit more.

To calculate for Reil Rock, simply convert your linear foot to inches by dividing by 12. Then use your average height calculation to get the correct panel height to buy. There is a lip on these panels that are about 2-3″ so keep that in mind.

 

mobile home skirting - rouck foundation

 

Faux Rock or Brick Panels

Most faux panels are made from a polyurethane and comes in 46 ¼” wide × 24″ high × 1 ¼” thick panels. They look remarkably like real stone. You can frame the area to be skirted with 2×2 or 2×4′s and then screw the panels into the frame. You can also completely frame the area with plywood and screw onto that for a sturdier installation. They are light but sturdy, and they can withstand temperature fluctuations very well.

They are a bit expensive but cheaper than real stone and much easier to install. One panel runs around $100 (give or take depending on style).

 

double wide remodel - exterior

 

Concrete, Brick, and Cinder Block

If you want absolute permanence concrete, brick, or cinder block is probably your best choice.

Adding brick or cinder block to a home is a labor intensive ordeal, but the advantages are worth it. Being practically indestructible is it’s best advantage.

Concrete panels are easier to install but has similar indestructibility and longevity as brick and cinder block. There are companies that specialize in concrete skirting but you can purchase precasted concrete panels, too.

There’s a little misunderstanding surrounding cinder block and brick skirting and ‘permanent foundations’ for mobile and manufactured homes. FHA loans requires that all manufactured homes be permanently installed but that has little to do with the skirting material. A manufactured home can be permanently installed and have vinyl skirting. Permanent installation is about the ties, not the skirting.

 

complete double wide remodel in Arkansas - exterior after

 

Brick and cinder block are a bit expensive, the price will depend on the type you choose.

 

 

mobile home skirting - metal skirting on a mobile home

Metal Skirting

Metal can be steel or tin. Both are great products that are affordable. Simple installation is an added advantage. A simple 2″x4″ frame with the panels attached by screws or nails (rust free only). You can also attach the top of the panel to your home via attached board (or straight to the frame) and then dig a channel in the ground and back fill the ditch. It’s quick and easy and the dirt can’t hurt it at all.

These days the designs for metal mobile home skirting are getting more attractive, too. The old cinder block or large brick stamped pattern has been the most popular design but with a little research you can find new patterns.

Metal mobile home skirting can be easily painted. Metal can withstand a weed eater which is always a plus.

The price for metal skirting is around $10-15 per 5 foot panel.

 

Foam Skirting

Foam skirting is sometimes called “Insulated Vinyl Skirting” or “Rigid Foam”. The claim is that they will reduce underside energy loss by up to 22%. You can get them in different colors and textures, like fine pebble or brick. This skirting can be used alone with a kit or frame or as added insulation in front or behind other skirting solutions.

You can get complete framing solutions that act like frames, but have channels to put the foams into. Most suppliers recommend this. The price on the panels is approximately $10-15 per foot. The installation kits depend on the linear foot needed. One company has an entire kit for about $650 (just for the installation kit, the panels are bought separately).

 

1976 bendix mobile home

 

 

Plywood, OSB and T-111 Skirting

Wood has always been a well known construction material. Using wood for skirting isn’t the best option unless it’s treated. It’s susceptible to rot and insects otherwise. Hardiboard and OSB  are very sturdy. OSB is cut with the trees grain and the engineered together to make a very strong product.

Wood products that are not waterproof are going to get swelling from moisture. Price depends on what you chose and installation can be simple or complicated. Some people suggest that you use a sealer and caulk the ends of the boards before putting them up just as an added precaution against moisture. You can use planks and get the look of siding, too. Lots of potential with wood!

Other Skirting Options

  • Metal roofing is a good choice. It’s relatively affordable for the size and it’s water, rot and insect proof. if it can handle being on a roof, it can handle being used as skirting!
  • Old barn tin has already stood the test of time and it’s gorgeous. One of our featured homes has antique barn tin as a skirting, and it is gorgeous! I guess this should qualify under the metal options, but hey, it’s antique!
  • Railroad ties work, I’ve seen it and it was a very nice look. I bet the installation was labor intense but the insulation qualities have to be great.
  • Hey, have you ever seen hay used? I have, it was in a campground with small trailers so it maybe would work well for a full sized mobile home. I’m sure there’s some moisture issues as well as rot and insect but perhaps you could spray it with something? I’d research that very well before deciding.
  • Soffet is cheap and can work well with the proper framing. It comes in different colors and is remarkably similar to vinyl.
  • Corrugated fiberglass has been used for mobile home skirting for years. There’s a nice white you can buy and with the proper framing it would last for years. Not sure about the insulation value.

Regardless of what option you chose, you need to have access panels and vents in the skirting so keep that in mind.

That should get you started on mobile home skirting. Basically, if it’s used in construction you can probably use it as mobile home skirting but you need to keep insulation qualities and installation ease in mind. Skies the limit

It’s always good to try to reuse a material that’s bound for the landfill and it’s great for the budget. Look around and ask around, you never know what someone may have laying around that would work as great skirting for your mobile home.

Thanks so much for reading Mobile Home Living’s Ultimate Guide to Mobile Home Skirting!

Photo Sources
Faux Panels
Insulated Panels
Reil Rock

You might also like
21 Comments
  1. Henry says

    I’ve been advised to consider replacing a few panels of our vinyl skirting with translucent panels to make the crawlspace less attractive to dark-loving pests like packrats and squirrels. I’ve been unable to locate a source. Do you know of one?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Henry,

      I do not but that sounds like a decent idea. I’d be worried about the R-Value in areas with rough winters – the sunshine would help a lot but the thermal loss would likely neutralize it. I know you can go to Lowe’s and have the clear acrylic sheets cut to any size. You can use a sander to make it less translucent.

      Best of luck! let me know how it goes!

  2. Alana says

    We are refinancing our home with a FHA loan. We are going to replace our vinyl skirting with hardie board. Do you know how we should install it to meet FHA guidelines?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Alana,

      I found this: If the perimeter enclosure is non-load-bearing skirting comprised of lightweight material, the entire surface area of the skirting must be permanently attached to backing made of concrete, masonry, treated wood or a product with similar strength and durability.

      The link below will take you to the HUD’s Housing Handbooks page. You’ll want to download the 4000.1 books for FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook (there are two). https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/handbooks/hsgh

      Best of luck!

  3. dee says

    I was on a site recently and forgot to save it. It was a company that sold complete skirting kits for mobile homes. It included everything. Would you know of this site. I have searched and searched and cannot find it.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi, Dee!

      Try Mobile Home Part’s Store at http://mobilehomepartsstore.com/category/SKP.html

      And here’s a 10% off coupon code I received in my email the other day: Coupon Code: MHM2310
      (Disclosure: I am an affiliate for them but I don’t know how to create a link so this is not an affiliate link).

      They have a lot of good information on skirting but I haven’t had a chance to compare prices recently. They usually have the best prices but the shipping can get expensive on some items.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Tim Redmond says

    Hi. I live in a cold weather state and have problems with ground freeze that pushes up my skirting so much that it bends or pops out. Is there a different Front Cap Trim for Skirting wider than 4 inches that would allow the skirting to rise and fall. I have trimmed the panels as short that I can but they still bow very badly in extreme cold. I plan on replacing all my skirting this summer and would like to eliminate this problem every winter. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
    Tim

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Tim,

      This is typical for areas with freezing weather, that’s why we only fasten the skirting panels to the tracking on the ground and not to the top trim. The panels are to stay loose on the top so it can move when the ground freezes and thaws. That trim piece on the top of the skirting (bottom of the home) is supposed to hold the panels in securely while still allowing the contraction in the cold and each panel should overlap the next by 2″ . The following PDF is the most informative skirting information I have came across online: http://www.jfw-melas.net/downloads/skirt-20.pdf

      Hope that helps! Best of luck!

  5. Dimple says

    Is it illegal for a mobil home park to force a tenant to take out the skirting if the mobil home belongs to the tenant and the tenant want to sell?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Dimple,

      Laws regarding parks completely depend on the state, county, and contract signed by the tenant. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  6. Karen says

    How would you protect or anchor down your decorative skirting during a hurricane? We live on the coast and hurricanes are not unusual. I just wanted to see if anyone knows of how it could be done. Also does anyone know of plans for shutters that can be closed during a storm?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Karen,

      Typically, you would use a frame built from 2×2’s or 2×4’s (or even metal) to attach skirting to the home. Wood is usually cheaper and easier to work with. Creating a frame for your skirting is the same concept as building a wall, you create a frame to attach the Sheetrock and create structural strength. Some skirting, like vinyl, is bought as a complete system with their own framing but it doesn’t hurt to reinforce it, especially in high wind areas. Here’s a few images that may help: http://www.dmaskirting.com/index_files/metalmobilehomeskirtinginstallationinstructions.htm

      Unfortunately, even the best frame wouldn’t be able to withstand a strong hurricane.

      There are a couple of different options available for hurricane window protection. There’s rolling shutters, colonial, panels, accordion, sliding, and the propped up Bahama shutters. There’s even a new fabric. Google hurricane shutters or storm shutters and you’ll find all the options. Here’s an article I found that may help: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/sfl-hc-shutterguide-htmlstory.html

      Here’s our mobile home skirting guide: http://mobilehomeliving.org/mobile-home-skirting/

      Best of luck!

  7. BEN POLK says

    HELLO MY NAME IS BEN AND I WOOD LIKE TO FIND OUT
    WHO SALES THE STAMPED METAL SHEETS THAT LOOK LIKE
    ROCK OR CINDER BLOCKS, I NEED SOME THING LESS
    EXSPENSIVE I HAVE FIVE OF THESE 16 BY 80 I NEED TO SKIRT

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Ben!

      We skirted our home in tin that we bought from Lowe’s. They had the sheets stamped like brick but we went with the flat design. You may be able to get a better deal at a locally-owned mobile home supplier. Try Google searching your town with the words ‘buy tin sheets’ (or sheet metal if that’s what you prefer – tin should be a lot cheaper though).

      Thanks so much!

  8. Jim says

    Very nice site. I have a couple rentals looking at hardy Plank for skirting been told can”t go on ground — any ideas for barrier between ground and bottom of plank. I was thinking some plastic on the ground and landscape timbers on the plastic. Figure worse case the timbers can be replaced fairly cheaply if need be. Any thoughts from you or your readers,

  9. Akili Harris says

    Please let me know where I can find the rigid foam skirting. I live in Lugoff, S.C. and have contacted several local businesses with no luck.

    Thanks so much.

    Akili

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Akili!

      Here’s a couple of websites that ships anywhere in the US though I haven’t compared prices.

      http://mobilehomeadvantage.com/sku.cfm/sub_cat_id/704/ID/183/

      http://allhomesupply.com/rigid-foam-insulated-skirting

      Here’s a site with more information about the rigid foam boards: http://styro.net/FoundationInsulationPanel.htm

      Good luck!

  10. Sharon says

    Do you have any photos of the rail ties skirting? I’m assuming that the tie would be sliced into 2-3 length pieces. How do the corners work?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Sharon! I don’t have any photos of ties being used specifically for skirting but here are a few links that show them used in building. It would be a very labor intensive project but if you had the manpower to move them easily it would look great!

      Here’s railroad ties being used as a wall structure: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/building-with-railroad-ties-zmaz71mazsea.aspx
      A home built of railroad ties: http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3A1V7_av-historical-poi-railroad-tie-house
      The cutest cabin ever with railroad ties path: http://customslipcoversbyshelley.blogspot.com/p/our-cabin.html

      Good luck!

  11. Crystal Adkins says

    Hi Alicia!

    I’ll look into brick skirting and get an article written on it as quickly as possible. I’ve never dealt with brick so I’ll need to ask around for some good tips. I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible. Thanks!

  12. Alicia Hogan says

    I am looking into remodeling my mobile home. I want to add on to the front and give it a house look. I also want to include brick columns on the porch. Want information on how to do brick skirting also. I want a total remodel basically.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.