Installing new mobile home siding instantly updates the look of your home, increases its value, and can increase your home’s energy efficiency. It’s a smart improvement project for older and newer manufactured homes.
In this article, we will cover the most popular mobile home siding materials, provide advantages and disadvantages of each material, and help you determine the best siding option for your home. We will also provide installation help and advice on hiring the best siding installers.
There are several mobile home siding options to choose from such as stone, wood, cedar, metal, and vinyl. Your choices are endless!
Benefits of New Mobile Home Siding
The main benefits of installing new siding to your manufactured home are increased energy efficiency, better curb-appeal, and protection against the elements as well as critters known and unknown.
New siding is a high ROI improvement so you can be sure that what you spend can be largely recouped when you sell.
New Mobile Home Siding Helps Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs
The most important benefit of new home siding is increased energy efficiency. By upgrading your old siding you can reduce energy costs.
Siding adds to the R-value of a home, meaning it helps hold the interior at a constant temperature for a longer time. This keeps your heating and cooling units from working overtime. By boxing the home in with additional insulation or foam board and then installing new siding you can substantially increase your home’s energy efficiency. You will need to account for added weight if you do this but it’s a great choice for mobile homes that are permanently installed and won’t be moved again (as is the case with 90% of manufactured homes).
Additional blocking of the foundation may be needed to account for the added weight if you go with fiber cement siding, brick, or real wood but it’s a smart choice and can save you lots of money on heating and cooling costs.
New Siding Creates a Barrier from Noise, Wind, and Animals
Another benefit of new siding is protection from noise. Noisy neighbors can be bothersome but new siding, when coupled with new insulation, can drastically reduce noise levels in your home.
An additional barrier from critters such as snakes, opossums, mice, and other small pests is another added benefit of new mobile home siding.
Cracks and holes will be repaired during the installation process and the added layer of material will make your home a harder target to penetrate. Better siding may also help prevent moisture growth of mold, dust mites, and bacteria when installing with proper ventilation.
Increased Curb Appeal
Last but not least is the increased curb appeal that new siding gives a home. There’s no other home improvement project that will so drastically change the look of a home. You can make your home look completely different with new siding and shed years of age off in one project.
New Siding has a High Return on Investment
New siding can give you a high return on investment. Siding replacement has landed in the top 10 investments for homeowners for several years in a row. Vinyl and foam-backed vinyl are the most popular siding materials and they see an average ROI of 72%.
New Siding, New Insulation
When you install new siding on your mobile home, regardless of your choice of material, you will need to take advantage of the situation and install new insulation. Keep that additional cost in mind.
Fortunately, it’s much easier to install insulation while the siding is off. The two most popular insulation choices are the fiberglass rolls or spraying foam between your studs like the image below.
Popular Mobile Home Siding Choices
Decide which siding material suits your budget and needs best will be a hard decision. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a new mobile home siding. Below is an exhaustive list of all the most popular mobile home siding materials and what you need to know about each: the pros and cons, price, installation tips, and weight.
Vinyl siding is the most popular choice for mobile homes and site-built homes for a reason: it’s longlasting, affordable and looks great on all homes.
Unfortunately, the vinyl siding on manufactured homes is often the cheapest and thinnest brands on the market. Even worse, some of the vinyl is recycled vinyl made with junk materials that warp and fades quickly.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding
There are pros and cons to vinyl siding as with any product. While it easy to install it isn’t watertight. Water has been known to seep into the cracks and destroy the wood and insulation underneath. To remedy this you should install a waterproof membrane under the siding. Vinyl siding can withstand winds of up to 110 mp when properly installed so it’s a sound choice for all wind zones.
Distortions, melting and warping can occur, especially in high heat. There’s not much to do for that, maybe adding awnings and reduce reflective rays from pools and windows may help.
Price of Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding: Try to fix the siding before replacing it if possible. Try to only fix the panels that are needed. However, if you have to replace some or all of the vinyl siding you will be looking at roughly $1.20 per sqft. Any price within 30 cents of this is fairly decent.
There are two main types of vinyl siding: insulated and non-insulated. Insulated costs more, of course.
Non-insulated vinyl siding usually comes in 12′ foot long panels that are 8-12″ high. Mobile Home Parts Store sells vinyl siding in cases with 22 pieces that are 9″ height x 12’1″ in length for $236.00. Each case covers 200 square feet. Keep in mind that buying bulky or extra long products like vinyl siding from an online source will have a steep shipping cost. Here are the specs from the listing:
- Resists dents, hail damage, scratches and fading
- Impervious to wood boring insects, fungus and mildew
- Never needs painting
- Deep embossed wood grain surface
- A secure positive locking system
The color combinations are vast and vinyl lasts for a very long time. It’s color retention and fading issues are getting better with new technology, Georgia Pacific vinyl has a 25-year excessive fade warranty and a 50-year product warranty.
Vinyl siding manufacturers offer up to 350 different colors so you can certainly find the color you want.
Tips for Installing Vinyl Siding
Make sure there are small holes on the bottom of each edge on the siding to drain water (I’ve never seen any vinyl siding that didn’t have those, but just make sure to be safe).
Weight of Vinyl
The weight of a new siding material is an issue for some older and smaller mobile homes but vinyl is lightweight. Non-insulated vinyl siding weighs about 60 to 70 pounds per 100 feet.
Wood for Mobile Home Siding
Wood and natural cedar can be a good choice for manufactured home siding as long as you understand the problems homeowners face with all wood products: rot, water damage, and high maintenance. wood is beautiful but it requires a lot of attention.
T1-11 is available in two grades – OSB which is the cheaper grade is made from many smaller pieces of wood glued and formed into the grooved sheets. OSB T1-11 is rough and not easily stained or painted.
Plywood is a more expensive grade wood sheeting made from larger wood pieces that are glued and formed into the grooved sheets. It is smoother and the preferred choice for mobile home siding because it is easier to sand and seal with paint or stain.
T1-11 panels are versatile and can be used vertically or horizontally but vertical installation is the smartest choice to minimize water damage.
Pros and Cons of T1-11 Siding
T1-11 is not as popular as it once was since better waterproof material can be found around the same price.
Disadvantages of T1-11 are the same as with any wood: rot, water damage, insects, and high maintenance. Fortunately, you can seal the wood with a quality paint or stain to reduce water damage and insect infestation.
Price of T1-11
T1-11 comes in 4′ × 8′ foot sheets of plywood siding. You can get it from Lowe’s or Home Depot for around $30- $40 per sheet.
Tips for Installing T1-11 on a Mobile Home
As stated above, you should install T1-11 on the vertical to allow water to slide off it.
We’ve shared a few mobile and manufactured homes with cedar siding. It’s a great way to add texture and uniqueness to a manufactured home.
Cedar siding is available in shake (small wedge planks), log cabin cut, lap, bevel, tongue and groove, and regular board and batten as well as a few specialty shapes. Wood siding is the same, minus the plank. Cedar is known for its natural insect repulsion as well as its decay and moisture resistance.
Cedar is known for its natural insect repulsion as well as its decay and moisture resistance.
Pros and Cons of Cedar Siding
Cedar offers a timeless complement to any architectural style from traditional to contemporary. Eastern and Western Red Cedar are used for siding, but there’s also Yellow cedar which is used for poles and posts mostly.
There’s a choice of a kiln, or oven dried, or air dried. Oven dried costs more because it removes the most moisture which in turn allows for less shrinking and shifting.
You can also choose a factory finished or non-finished. Non-finished wood has to be protected or painted every 10-15 years. Most wouldn’t dare paint cedar, though, because it’s naturally beautiful!
Oil-based water sealant is the preferred method of protection. Wood should be painted regularly.
The Weight of Cedar Siding
The weight of kiln dried cedar is a bit lower than fiber siding at an average of 292 pounds per 100 feet. This could cause an issue if the home needs to be relocated. Vapor barriers are necessary so factor that into your cost, too. The cellular structure of cedar is great for heat retention and cold resistance.
Installation Tips for Cedar Siding
Installation depends on the type of cut. Cedar planks are very labor intensive whereas plain wooden levels aren’t as difficult. You cannot use common nails or screws. Only galvanized, stainless steel or aluminum can be used to keep rust stains from appearing on the wood.
We’ve featured a single wide with cedar plank siding and it is gorgeous, you won’t want to miss it!
Faux Stone Siding
Stone siding is beautiful and has some nice benefits. Stone adds dimension and gives a home the look of permanency even if it isn’t. It resists rot, insect, fire, and water.
Faux stone siding can be a bit expensive so most homeowners use stone as an accent. Adding stone to the foundation like the home below or accenting entryways and windows are great ways to use stone.
Manufactured stone or cultured stone veneers are sometimes called an architectural stone, too. They are made out of Portland cement and oxide coloring then formed within a mold in a factory. Since they are mass produced they cost less than real stone and come in various shapes, sizes, corner pieces, and trim pieces.
Installation of Faux Stone Siding
Installation is easy due to the decreased weight and panel system used. They come in various shapes and sizes as well as trim and corner pieces. Manufactured stone has a great energy efficiency factor. They do have warranties that can be as high as 50 years.
Manufactured stone has a great energy efficiency factor. They do have warranties that can be as high as 50 years.
Faux Stone Panels
Faux stone is made of polyurethane or a polymer and combined with chemicals like fire retardants and UV inhibitors.
Higher cost faux panels even use real stone that has been smashed into very small pieces to give the appearance a more natural look. It’s very light at about 100 pounds per 100 feet.
Energy efficiency is not as good as real stone but still decent compared to other siding options. They should have at least a 25-year warranty.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding comes in various sized boards and thickness and is available in numerous styles. It can even mimic the look of just about any other siding on the market like vinyl and cedar shake. It’s rot and insect resistant and can even withstand ocean side conditions.
Although higher in cost than vinyl, fiber cement is still an economical alternative to wood siding. It is made of silica, cement, wood fiber, water, and other ingredients giving it outstanding durability. Since it is close to 90% silica (sand) it is fire resistant and can withstand very, very high heat.
Usually, fiber cement siding has a 50-year warranty with the ‘baked on’ finish warranty having a 10-15 year warranty against fade and color reduction.
One of the major cons for manufactured homeowners is the weight. Fiber cement board weighs close to 300 pounds per 100 square feet so that may be an issue if you ever need to move the home.
The two most common types of fiber cement siding are Hardiplank, made by James Hardie Corporation and Weatherboards, made by CertainTeed Corporation.
Installation is more expensive than vinyl, and you will have to paint it eventually (remember, the finish is usually only warranted for 10-15 years). You could go with horizontal or vertical installation or you could go with both to add some extra visual appeal.
Aluminum siding has been used for decades in mobile and manufactured homes.
It’s lightweight and practically indestructible because it’s fire-proof and insect-proof. It can’t melt but it can dent and scratch.
The energy efficiency and installation are comparable to vinyl siding. If this is what your home already has and you’re wanting to update it, painting it may be an option for you.
Price of Aluminum Siding
The cheapest aluminum siding is 44-gauge and around 0.4”thick but you can go thicker for a more durable siding at 53-gauge or with 0.53” thick. naturally, thicker aluminum is more expensive but it has better insulating factors and noise reduction.
3×8 sheet of aluminum siding from Home Depot will cost about $80.
Updating Your Mobile Home’s Siding
New siding is the best way to give a mobile home a complete facelift. It can improve the insulation abilities of a home and increase the value significantly.
Mobile Home Siding Tips for Flat Roofs
Installing new mobile home siding can be a bit more complicated if you live in a mobile home that has a flat roof. If that is the case, you will probably have to extend your roof line or devise a way to prevent water from getting behind the new siding.
There are a few different options you can consider to get your new siding to play well with a flat roof. The first is a gutter system that would wrap around your home and divert the water away from your home.
The second option is to build out a soffit and flashing that maneuvers the water away from the siding. Both could be used to keep water away from the new siding but you have to be careful that you do not compromise the roof’s integrity. Read more about installing soffits here.
Hiring Mobile Home Siding Installers
If you are hiring contractors to install your mobile home siding it is best to get a minimum of 3 estimates and make sure everything is written out.
Always have a written agreement, not just a verbal one. Material lists should be detailed and accurate.
Don’t be scared to call past customers to check references! A true professional will actually encourage it. Request their license number and insurance information – if you’re going to pay for a professional you should get a professional.
Consider the Weight of New Siding
Weight is an important consideration for manufactured homes simply due to the way they are built. It doesn’t mean your home is inferior or poorly constructed – it simply means that it was designed so precisely that it can travel down a highway at 55 mph and still be as structurally sound as any site-built home.
If there is a chance that your home will be moved after the new siding has been installed the weight of the material will need to be considered carefully and additional reinforcement may be needed. Even if your home will never be moved again it is still important to understand that the home was built in such a way that additional weight could cause structural issues down the road so keeping the weight of the materials in mind is smart.
Replacing your mobile home’s siding is a great home improvement project. New siding instantly updates the look of the home as well as increasing your home’s energy efficiency.
Mobile homes have near unlimited choices for new siding and new materials are being introduced into the market all the time.
Cost is a huge factor in deciding which material is right for you but you also need to consider lifespan, weight, and installation methods. While one material may cost less it may take longer to install or need a special installation method thus costing more in the long run.
If you have any questions about mobile home siding please feel free to ask them in the comments below. We’ll do our best to get you pointed in the right direction.
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