A mobile home without skirting just doesn’t look finished or high-end. So skirting for a mobile home is just as important as siding, or even more so considering the safety features of mobile home skirting.
Skirting is the panel or wall of material that touches the ground at the bottom of a home. Mobile homes always have skirting, unlike other homes. This is why there are so many great options for mobile home skirting.
What Is The Purpose Of Trailer Skirting?
The purpose of trailer skirting is defined as the purpose of “reducing aerodynamic drag caused by air turbulence.” To put that in layman’s terms, it reduces the amount of disturbance from the wind.
But that’s not the only purpose. There are two more primary purposes of trailer skirting. The first one is to reduce the amount of moisture that is allowed underneath the house and the other is to simply make the trailer look more finished.
Types Of Mobile Home Skirting
Like siding, there are many different types of mobile home skirting. Each type comes at a different price and with its own pros and cons. The more expensive types are usually sturdier while the flimsier types are cheaper.
They also each look quite different. You can completely change your exterior design style just by changing your mobile home skirting. Unlike solid homes, mobile homes always need skirting and not just siding and crawl space.
Vinyl Skirting For Mobile Homes
Vinyl skirting is the most popular type of mobile home skirting. As you can see, the price range is quite large because there are so many different types of vinyl skirting. There are different thicknesses and textures.
If you add insulating skirting for colder climates or winter months, you can expect to pay at least twice as much as you would for single-layer skirting. So, if you normally paid $1500, you’d then pay $3000 for insulated skirting.
Simulated “Rock” Skirting
We say “rock” skirting because it isn’t really rocks. It isn’t the same texture as rocks, but it does look like it was made to replicate rocks. They are purchased in panels and can be gotten in almost any neutral color.
The more popular colors are gray and brown. Despite the way they look, the simulated rock skirting is made from plastic, not stone. This is the cheapest way to get a more natural look instead of vinyl.
Faux Stone Skirting
Faux stone skirting is different than simulated rock skirting. Faux stone skirting also has a similar texture to real rock. The panels with faux stone skirting are made from polyurethane. This makes it quite durable.
But as you can see, it’s quite a bit more expensive than other options. But if you’re selling your home, it’s a wonderful choice because it raises the value of your home whereas vinyl can actually lower it.
This is one of the most durable skirting options for mobile homes. It is also one of the most permanent. It can really make a mobile home feel more permanent, which is almost always a good thing.
The downside is that concrete skirting, usually made with cinder blocks, is also almost always labor-intensive. It will take a long time to install and will need to be done by a professional whereas another skirting can be done DIY.
You can create brick skirting just like concrete skirting with blocks. But another option that is much cheaper is to get faux brick skirting which is more akin to faux stone skirting. It all depends on your priorities.
Brick is more expensive than cinder blocks but faux brick can actually be just as expensive as real bricks. The installation is different however with real brick skirting being much more difficult to install.
The thing about wood skirting is that you can completely customize it. Wood skirting isn’t generally something you buy as wood skirting. It’s usually something you customize and build to meet your own needs.
The price of this type of skirting is so hard to pin down because it largely depends on the type of wood that you use. Whether it’s oak or pine, OBS or plywood, covering the whole side or simply in a lattice. All of this matters.
Talk about unique! Depending on the type of metal you use, metal skirting can be quite cheap or quite expensive. You can get flat metal skirting or you can get imprinted metal skirting with amazing designs in it.
Most metal skirting comes in panels and installs just like vinyl skirting with predrilled holes in them. This makes it easy to install because the only difficult part is drilling the holes in metal materials.
Foam skirting is one of the most energy-efficient types of mobile home skirting. It may not look the best in everyone’s eyes, but it does work surprisingly well in insulating your home, or rather, under your home.
The reason that foam skirting is so expensive is that it comes in small panels and is made to be energy-efficient. Whereas other panels come in 4-5ft panels, foam skirting comes in 2ft panels most of the time.
Underpinning A Mobile Home
A lot of people assume that skirting is a type of underpinning, but in most cases, this simply isn’t true. Underpinning is meant to strengthen the foundation but skirting doesn’t do this in most cases.
However, if you choose something like cinder blocks for your skirting, it can be used as underpinning to make the mobile home sturdier than ever. In this case, it’s an extension of the original foundation.
Not too long ago, most mobile homes were actually mobile. But these days, with the threat of tornados and hurricanes looming above, we’ve learned to make mobile homes more durable. There was only one way to do this.
To nearly eliminate the “mobile” part of mobile homes. So now, most mobile homes aren’t really mobile at all. They are manufactured homes that were built away from the property that the foundation for the home is on.
Types Of Mobile Home Foundations
Again, before the realization that actual mobile homes are no good in terms of safety, they didn’t really have much of a solid foundation. But now, there are many ways to build a necessary foundation for mobile homes.
These are the top four most common types of foundations for mobile homes for you to attach your mobile home skirting to. All are viable are nearly equal in terms of stability, so the choice is all yours.
Most people know that a slab is a flat surface that is all in one piece. But a slab in terms of foundations is usually a flat concrete surface that is all in one piece. It usually starts with gravel for traction, leveling, and stability.
Then, a layer of concrete about 5-inches thick is poured to create the solid slab. The problem is that the wiring and plumbing will either have to be inside the house or set in the concrete before it is solidified.
A pier is a cement cylinder set into the ground multiple feet deep. They usually go 42 inches deep and are 18 inches in diameter. Piers are less expensive than slabs on most occasions and are usually paired with beams.
This is definitely a safe, solid, and cost-efficient way to build a foundation for a mobile home. It’s not as popular as slabs in most cases, but it is a great option that should always be considered for any home.
Basements work a lot like slabs. They are poured before the home is placed to offer a solid place for the house to set. It also offers a great storm shelter, which is something that most mobile homes historically lack.
If you want a cheaper version of a basement, then consider a crawlspace. A crawlspace is like a mini-basement in terms of how it is poured. You can leave just enough room to crawl through and make repairs and check for termites.
Most crawlspaces are actually larger than what you would assume a “crawl” space to be. Most of them are four feet deep, leaving plenty of room to crto8uch down without being cramped while checking wiring and plumbing.
How Can I Make My Mobile Home Look Nice?
There are many ways to make a mobile home look nice. Skirting is definitely one of them but it serves practical purposes more than it serves aesthetic purposes. Trailer skirting is great, but let’s look at some other options.
- Replace Doors And Windows – this is the first thing you can do to make your mobile home look a lot nicer. All you have to do is upgrade all of your windows and doors with nicer ones to make a huge difference.
- Upgrade Your Roof – this is a little more difficult and requires a little more effort. You will have to hire someone to install a new roof or at least upgrade the old one by lifting it and replacing the insulation.
- Install Different Trim – most mobile homes trim built-in but it is usually basic trim that can easily be replaced with nice trim and crown molding. You can do this for a cheap way to remodel your mobile home.
- Put In Hardwood – despite popular belief, if your mobile home is installed properly, you definitely can install hardwood floors. Just make sure that someone checks the foundation to see if it is stable.
- Place It Over A Basement – if you want to add space and make your mobile home seem much higher-end, then add a basement underneath. This needs to be done before you place the home and by a team of professionals.
- Add On – finally, adding onto your mobile home is a great option. If you want something flashy, add a family room with high ceilings. If you want something easy, then add on a porch or a garage.
Mobile Home Skirting FAQs
If you still haven’t found out everything you need to know about mobile home skirtings, then take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about them. These should answer some of your questions.
Does Mobile Home Skirting Need To be Vented?
In short, yes it does. Because adding the skirting to reduce moisture is counterproductive if it adds more moisture by not being vented. So make sure that the moisture can escape and that the air can circulate underneath the home.
You can add vents to the mobile home skirting yourself but most of the time, if you hire someone, they will vent it for you at no extra cost. Vents are cheap and can be placed periodically over skirting.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Skirt A Mobile Home?
That depends on whether you want to hire someone or not. If you hire someone, then you can ask them to choose the cheapest options. But if you don’t then mobile home skirting kits are the cheapest.
Mobile home skirting kits are designed so that anyone can use them. They often come with vents, hardware, and anything else you need to install them. Just make sure they are compatible with your mobile home.
Do You Need A Vapor Barrier Under A Mobile Home?
While adding ventilation can do most of the work for keeping away moisture, a vapor barrier or moisture barrier can help too. Most manufacturers require new homes to have a vapor barrier if they add skirting.
Vapor barriers are usually added to the ground to prevent moisture from the earth and vice versa. But there are many other ways vapor barriers work, including being attached to the inside of the skirting.
How Do You Measure For Mobile Home Skirting?
The first thing you do is measure the length and width of your home and round the total up. This is how much skirting you need. Because most skirting comes in set heights, this is the most important number.
Measuring height is primarily important if you have different heights along with your mobile home. For example, mobile homes built on a hill are much more difficult to measure but it can be done by measuring slants.
Mobile Home Skirting Conclusion
Keep in mind that if you purchase an older mobile home or property with a mobile home on it, that it may not be up to date. In some cases, it doesn’t matter if the house you own is new or old. But sometimes, it matters a lot.
You also need to check with local codes because different states and different districts have different laws about mobile homes. Sometimes, they aren’t even considered a real home, other times, there are restrictions on types of skirting.
Mobile homes have come a long way. Older mobile homes have shabby foundations and even shabbier skirting. The most important thing to consider is safety. Keeping your family safe and happy is what your focus should be.
After that’s taken care of, it’s all about self-expression and staying within your budget. If you can do that, you’ve got it made! So make everyone forget that you have a mobile home. Make them want what you have too!