What is Mobile Home Skirting & How will it Protect My New Mobile Home?
Have you come across the term “skirting” and wondered, Hmmm… what on earth does a skirt have to do with a home?
Well, we’d like to clear that up for you today as we discuss skirting and what its purpose is on a mobile home!
So… What is skirting for a mobile home?
Well, to easily explain, visually think of it like a bed skirt, right – but functionally think of your skin that protects your insides from outside elements. Now put this weird skin bed skirt combo together and you basically have the skirt to your house!
Skirting provides a beautiful finish to the base of the home while also serving as a barrier between the world and the inner workings of the structure of the home.
But what’s underneath a mobile home that needs protecting? Oh, I’m glad you asked!
Mobile homes, once set-up, tend to sit between 2’ and 4’ off the ground depending on the set height required for the home site while also providing space to set up important systems. Not only are there pier and beam foundation, your plumbing and the AC ducts are routed beneath the home where they can be easily accessed for future maintenance.
If you’re anything like me, you do not want to leave those things unprotected from things like the weather and rodents. Ew – the thought of a rat or raccoon just sent shivers up my spine!
Okay, but what’s it going to cost me? Yeah, I knew you would most likely ask that, too.
As with most things, the cost of skirting will range with the size of your home, height of the set-up, and material you choose. $500 is a good starting point with a standard single-wide if installing a standard vinyl while other options range well into the thousands.
Skirting requirements also vary with the type of loan used to finance your home, such as FHA or VA, the community where your home will be installed, and general zoning laws in your city or county.
These requirements NEED to be taken into consideration as you read through this article, so you know which type of skirting is required, if at all. If you have questions about requirements, ask your home consultant or give us a call at (210) 874-5527.
Remember, with skirting – the possibilities are endless, but let’s run through some of the favorites!
Vinyl skirting is probably the most iconic and easily recognized of any skirting option.
The reason for this is because it’s the least expensive and easiest to install yourself. This would totally suit me if I were making this decision at the moment. I’m a very budget conscious and DIY kind of person!
And I am not alone in that aspect… In fact, many people choose the vinyl option because they want to cut costs either out of necessity or frugality.
However, because of its cost effectiveness, the vinyl skirting is not necessarily the most efficient option when it comes to durability and lifespan. Vinyl skirting is easily punctured by weed eaters, becomes brittle/warps in harsh sunlight, and isn’t much of a match for an animal determined to find shelter out of the heat.
Our recommendation would be for a homeowner to weigh the cost and benefits of saving on their skirting up front and the cost of maintenance and repairs in the future.
If you have chosen vinyl skirting or are planning to, remember to have it installed properly and routinely inspect the perimeter making any necessary repairs to keep it functioning in its role as a protective barrier.
Hardie Board Skirting
Hardie board skirting is probably the second most utilized option for mobile homeowners. The material costs more up front but has a much longer lifespan and less general maintenance requirements than vinyl skirting.
In general, hardie board is seen as a more aesthetically pleasing material once installed as it can be painted to match the paint color of the home. It is a lightweight concrete material so, like vinyl, water and termite damage are a non-issue. However, unlike vinyl, it offers more insulation and sturdier/non-warping protection against outside elements and those pesky vermin – yuck!
This is a less common option than hardie board since hardie board skirting has gained in popularity, but it is more durable than vinyl, and you can still stamp it to make it look like stone or brick or paint it to match the color of your home.
This could be a great option for a homebuyer wanting to save on some costs but wanting something stronger than vinyl. In fact, the more I talk about it, the more I’m beginning to change my mind! This type of skirting might just be the pick for me!
Faux & Natural Rock Skirting
There are two ways to achieve the growing trend of rock skirting.
Yep, that’s right – yet another trend! Let’s see if I can hold out on changing my own mind this time around!
Okay, the first way to achieve this trend is to have a structural layer (think block wall under the house) installed with thinly sliced rock mortared on. And the second way is a prefabricated vinyl material textured and colored to appear like stone.
This vinyl is thicker and sturdier than the vinyl mentioned previously.
With this option, the benefits seem to be the same structurally as the previous two options, but really take your home to the next level cosmetically.
Unfortunately, however, this means they require more investment. And depending upon your manufactured home community or HOA, it may actually be a requirement. So that’s something to look into before making this type of decision.
Also, be sure to take this cost into consideration when searching for a location to place your home because materials and labor on rock skirting can be 5 to upwards of 10 times more expensive than that of the cheaper options!
Prefabricated materials produced specifically for the purpose of skirting a mobile home are not the only options to achieve your desired finish.
In fact, many creative “DIY’ers” out there have utilized non-traditional materials to protect and insulate their homes. Whether they had extra material on hand, access to it at a discounted rate, or just didn’t want to play by the rules, it seems skirting options have become nearly limitless with options like tin metal, barnwood, bricks, cinderblocks, and even stucco.
If you decide you want to make this a DIY project, just remember the lender, HOA, and zoning requirements will always need to be taken into consideration before getting too creative.
Another tip for the “DIY’ers” out there, proper ventilation will also need be factored in to allow the home to “breathe” in humid conditions. Too little ventilation can lead to moisture damage, mold, mildew, or other property damage.
Nobody wants that!
Moisture damage can be very costly to repair, and a risk to your health if left untreated for too long, so proper ventilation is KEY!
Installing skirting on your mobile home is probably one of the most satisfying steps of the buying process. It is one of the last steps of completing your home, so consider all your options and don’t let the excitement of your newly installed home cloud your thinking. Skirting is an important part of your comfort as well as your home’s longevity.
Remember, failing to choose a good skirting option for your home can decrease trade-in value (if you don’t keep up maintenance) and can welcome uninvited guests underneath your home – nobody wants that, so choose an option that you can realistically maintain!
So that’s it: What is Mobile Home Skirting & How will it Protect My New Mobile Home? This blog has been revised to keep information and images previously shared, current. Follow the links in this page to read more information on each topic. We would love to chat with you or hear about your experience on our Facebook page or through our Contact Form.