10 Important Questions About Mobile Home Skirting
Buying and installing mobile home skirting is an absolute necessity for a manufactured home. However, there is so much to know about buying mobile home skirting. How much skirting do I need? What kind of skirting is best for my home? Isn’t vinyl skirting always the best choice? Why should I consider faux rock skirting? To make an informed decision, we’ve put together ten important questions about mobile home skirting.
10 Important Questions About Mobile Home Skirting Answered
What Are The Benefits of Mobile Home Skirting?
Besides making your home look complete, skirting offers protection for the plumbing to keep the pipes from freezing. It prevents unwanted animals from making the space underneath their home and can even give you a place for storage under porches and decks. In short, you need skirting for your manufactured or mobile home.
How Much Skirting Do I Need?
First, you need to calculate the linear footage of the mobile home. It may sound complicated, but it isn’t. Calculating the linear footage simply means adding together the length and width of all the sides of your mobile home. This will include all additions, decks, and porches on the mobile home (that skirting is to be installed on).
The total amount you get after adding all the sides together will be the amount of boarding, channeling, and footing for the skirting to attach to or if it’s vinyl siding, the back, top and ground tracks. For decks and porches, just count the sides since the end is already accounted for in the home’s measurement.
Next, you’ll need to calculate the average height between your home and the ground so you’ll know how much skirting it will take height-wise. This isn’t too complicated though there are a few numbers involved.
First, you’ll measure the height of the four corners of your home. Start at the ground and go up to about 2″ from the bottom of your home’s siding (or where the channel will be attached to the home to hold the skirting).
Next, go to the middle of the length of the home (the long sides) and measure that height. You’ll do this on both the front and back side of the home.
Finally, you will add all those 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. With these two measurements, you now know the amount of skirting you will need to buy.
What Types Of Skirting Should I Use on my Mobile Home?
There are many types of mobile home skirting! Some of the most popular are:
- Vinyl skirting
- Faux rock panel skirting
- Concrete, brick or cinder block
- Metal or tin skirting
- Foam skirting(sometimes referred to as insulated vinyl skirting)
- Plywood, OSB or t-111 skirting
There is a lot to be said for vinyl skirting. The cost is very affordable, it is easy to install, and it makes an attractive looking home. However, there are also some reasons that vinyl skirting may not be the best choice. It is not as sturdy as some other choices when it comes to high winds and storms. Also, if you weed eat around the home, it is difficult to keep the string from damaging the skirting.
Faux Rock or Reil Rock
There are several different types and brands of skirting that looks like rock. Some look more real than others. Besides vinyl, the reil rock panels are very popular here in the South. It’s thicker which means it can withstand elements and weed eaters better.
If you want the true rock look under your home you will pay a bit more. The look and perhaps even the insulating value of faux rock skirting made of polyurethane may be the right choice for you. It’s lightweight and looks just like real rock. You can also get the brick look on this type of skirting
Reil rock skirting can offer excellent protection from the weather and it’s available in a variety of looks which makes it easier to match your home’s colors. They are a bit more expensive than regular vinyl skirting but cheaper than real stone or faux rock panels.
Metal or Tin Skirting
Metal is one of my favorite mobile home skirting materials. In fact, I use it on my own mobile home.
Metal is a great choice because it’s cheap, easy to install, and is strong. There are different profiles and metals you can use for skirting. One of the most popular is a ribbed metal panel that is used as roofing for barns and sheds. The ribbed panels are can be placed vertically or horizontally like the image below. The panels are 4′ x 8′ so you can cover 8 feet at a time. You can also paint the metal.
Corrugated metal panels are the shiny panels with waves. They became very trendy a few years ago and people are using them to replace their mobile home ceilings and as showers.
How Much Does it Cost to Skirt a Mobile Home?
There are different ‘kinds’ of vinyl that is used to make skirting. A lot of the cheaper mobile home skirting kits are made with recycled vinyl which is thinner and cheaper.
Vinyl $500-900 for Single Wides and $800-1800 for Double Wides
On average, you can expect to spend $500 – $900 to skirt an average sized single wide and $900 – $1800 on a double wide. This includes the additional $100-150 to the estimated price to account for the vents, access doors, and framing that will be needed.
You can find complete vinyl kits for single wide for around $600. This includes the channeling and finish pieces.
Faux Rock and Brick (Polyurethane)
Faux panels are expensive but they are absolutely beautiful. One panel runs about $100 and covers 7.50 sq. ft. You may need to buy skirting mates or create your own framing to install the panels so that’s going to cost more. Some faux rock brands require plywood backing and caulking, some do not. The more you pay the sturdier you get.
48 ¾” Wide × 24 ⅝” High × approx. 1 ¼” Thick goes for $114.26. To save money most homeowners just use these as accents or just on the front of the home. By my calculations, a standard single wide would cost $3600 just for the panels. You’d need the framing, plywood, etc.
Granite Reil Rock Skirting Panel
A granite Reil Rock brand skirting panel that is 32″ x 60″ goes for $23.95 at MHPS. You do need a backing to these panels, only a frame.
Novik Red Used Blend Simulated Brick Skirting Panel
A single Novik Red Used Blend Simulated Brick Skirting Panel that is 48″ x 18 1/2″ goes for $21.98 at MHPS.
Project Panel Corrugated 3 ft. 30-Gauge Galvanized Steel Roof Panel is $37.63/carton. There are 3 panels per box for a total of 9 linear ft. per carton. Each panel is 36 in. x 26.5 in. x 0.5 in. These panels have precut holes which can be helpful. 30 gauge is around $15 for a 26″x8′ panel
Corrugated Galvanized Steel Utility-Gauge Metal
8 ft. Corrugated Galvanized Steel Utility-Gauge Roof Panel is 31-Gauge and runs $14.36 at Home Depot. It’s not as shiny. You can also get a 24-inch x 12 foot long brushed galvanized panel for $21.55.
12 ft. long by 36″ wide Classic Rib Steel Roof Panel in Burnished Slate is available in various colors for $40.
You can get ribbed metal in a variety of colors and lengths. Some brands like the MS Colorfast45 at Home Dept offers a 40-year warranty against color fade. If you want a sturdier metal you can go down to 29 gauge (the lower the number the thicker). You can have Lowe’s or Home Depot cut the metal for you for easier hauling and installation.
What about Ventilation and Access Doors?
Skirting ventilation is vital to a healthy mobile home. Unfortunately, many homeowners aren’t aware of this and their home suffers the consequences. You need 1 square foot of ventilation for every 150 square foot of living space. In addition, vents need to be placed within 3 foot of the corners so that there are no dead air pockets. You can buy thermostatically controlled vents that automatically close when the temperature gets below 40 degrees and opens at 70 degrees for less than $17 here.
Access doors should be placed close to your water lines and your dryer vent. You can buy a 25 1/2″ x 20″ premade door for $68 at Mobile Home Parts Store.
Will Skirting Classify my Mobile Home as a Permanently Installed Home?
It’s a common misconception that the type of mobile home skirting you use around your home determines whether it is permanently installed on your property or not. The truth is that the way it is anchored or tied down and if the axles of the home are removed is what determines if it is there to stay or not.
Are There More Unconventional Skirting Materials Available?
There are some other options available to use as mobile home skirting different then what we have already discussed. You can use metal roofing, corrugated fiberglass, even railroad ties as a type of mobile home skirting. The primary objective of any mobile home skirting is to make sure that it creates a barrier from weather, animals and is secure around the whole exterior of the home.
Barn wood installed on the vertical is a good skirting choice as long as you protect the wood from moisture. Sealing the edges and laying a waterproof material under the wood are both smart.
Which Skirting Material is Best for My Mobile Home?
One of the most significant factors when determining the best skirting material for your mobile home is cost. Of course, the skirting needs to be within your budget. However, spending more money may increase both your curb appeal (which can help the home appreciate) and may reduce your energy bills.
Climate and location are also important factors when deciding on the right skirting. If you have super cold winters, you will want something that offers better insulation. If you are in a warmer climate a simple vinyl or metal skirting will work. In areas that freeze it is recommended that you not allow skirting to touch the ground. This is because the ground swells or heaves with extreme temperature changes. This slight movement can damage rigid material.
If you own the land and have no intention of moving your home in the future there are more skirting options available. Brick or cinder block skirting are popular. If possible, you could invest money to have your home permanently installed (meaning the tie-downs and/or piers meet your state or local code to be classified as a permanent dwelling). This will usually help your home appreciate in value too.
Where can I Buy Skirting? Do I Order Online?
Once you have decided on the type of mobile home skirting you want it’s time to start shopping. You have two choices here, local and online. The price of the skirting is not really the most important factor when buying. You’ll want to consider the shipping costs and the return policy for both local and online stores. It may be cheaper to buy a skirting kit online but if you have to pay to ship or you can’t return the kit due to damage or just not liking it, you’ll end up spending more.
I do not recommend shopping for skirting online for a couple of reasons. First, shipping is expensive and even if the online store offers free shipping to your home you will likely have to pay return shipping if there are any issues. Second, shipping can damage the skirting. I’ve seen it happen time and again. It’s a lot of hassle to package a damaged section of skirting and pay to return it.
Still, some online stores offer decent deals and may work with you on return shipping should there be an issue. Read more about buying mobile home parts and supplies and how to protect yourself here. Specialty stores such as Mobile Home Parts Store (affiliate link) may offer a better discount then a larger chain home improvement store.
Local mobile home parts stores are probably your best bet on skirting and other large items like doors. You can buy skirting at home improvements chain stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot but you’ll probably need to special order it which complicates your ability to return the skirting should it be damaged.
Is Skirting Installation a DIY Project or Do I Need Professional Installation?
This could be a DIY project if you are up to the task. Making sure you have the proper tools for the job and having a helper that can help you place the panels is very important. Keep in mind that if you are working with brick, concrete or cinder block, you may want to consult a professional to be sure that everything goes seamlessly. Also, keep in mind that you will need mobile home vents in the skirting as well as an access panel to be able to access the home if you need to.
We hope that answering these questions about mobile home skirting will help you to make an informed decision regarding which mobile home skirting is right for your home. Have more questions? Comment below, and we will try and get answers for you.
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