Whether you are a full time mobile home investor, mobile home owner or general mobile home aficionado, you will need to know what manufactured home skirting is and your options when replacing it. This article is primarily intended for mobile home investors; however, the tips and instructions certainly apply to any mobile home.
Please know that if you are a mobile home owner who wishes to upgrade or update your current skirting, then you may be less worried about recouping your investment back when you resell the home versus the aesthetics and curb appeal you receive from one type of skirting over another. Therefore, you may choose to spend extra to purchase and install mobile home skirting you truly love to come home to daily.
What is Mobile Home Skirting?
Mobile home skirting is the material that acts as a barrier between the outside world and the underneath of your mobile home. Many mobile homes sit 36 inches off the ground or more; mobile home skirting covers this open space for more than just aesthetic reasons.
What are the Benefits of Mobile Home Skirting?
- Adds curb appeal and value to a mobile home
- Acts as a deterrent for many pets, critters and vermin that may damage air conditioning vents, ducts, wires and even insulation underneath your property
- Helps keep snow and water out from under the mobile home
- Camouflages the foundation
- Should allow some air to pass underneath the home to help avoid mold growth
- Hides cinderblocks, piers, tie-downs and anything else underneath your property
- Helps insulate the home and protect exterior water pipes from freezing
How Much Material Will I Need?
The amount of material you will need can be determined by the professional who is taking your purchase order over the phone or in person. The two measurement numbers you should know before going shopping are:
- The total perimeter of the home: To get this number, simply add up the sides of the mobile home. Remember to take into account any add-on, porches, decks or sunrooms in your calculations. See picture below.
- The average height of property off the ground: Go to the 4 corners of your mobile home and measure the height starting 2 inches above the physical bottom of the mobile home.
Where Can I Buy It?
There are quality nationwide distributors of mobile home skirting materials that can be found online. Look for honest reviews about quality and accurate delivery. If possible, find a local mobile home parts store by asking local mobile home park managers where to shop and/or searching Google for a store near you. Here are some places you might look:
- Google (search for “mobile home skirting stores in my city“)
Depending where you purchase your skirting, the pieces may come in all different shapes, colors, textures and sizes. The professionals at your local hardware store or nationwide chain will be able to answer your questions about costs and current specials. Material types may vary wildly. Vinyl skirting has been the industry norm for decades; however, newer and stronger materials are starting to take on more and more popularity.
Investor Tip: Vinyl skirting may be a wise choice due to its abundance of colors, affordability, ease of installation, ease of cutting and durability. The durability could be better; however, for the price and look, vinyl siding is a good, economic choice to consider.
How Much Will It Cost?
Skirting will set you back a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for the material alone. The real answer is it depends. The total cost will depend on the type of material you use, the size of your home, the height off the ground your mobile home sits, who will be doing the work and where you buy the materials.
How Long Will It Take to Install?
An experienced handyman will take 1-2 days (4-20 hours) for most single-wides or double-wides once materials has arrived and work has started. Times can vary wildly depending on the material being used.
If you’re installing it yourself for the first time, it could take 2-4 days (8-30 hours) for most single-wides or double-wides once materials has arrived and work has started. Again, times can vary wildly depending on material being used.
Investor Tip: As investors we make our money orchestrating most aspects of the real estate deal, from marketing, to making offers, negotiations, follow-up, selling, buying, paperwork and repairs. With that said, it may be prudent and effective to hire an experienced handyman to install your new skirting and/or siding. Unless you really wish to learn how to install mobile home skirting, it will probably make sense for you to pay a local handyman, perhaps one referred to you through a local park manager or the mobile home parts store where you purchased the skirting and material.
What Types of Skirting Should I Consider?
These days there are dozens of materials and textures for a mobile home owner to choose from. In addition to material, there are thousands of colors to select. Materials include vinyl, concrete, wood, stone, brick, faux stone, aluminum, lattice and almost any other material your mind can imagine.
Homeowner Tip: Search Instagram for tips and tricks with different varieties of mobile home skirting material.
Are There Rules Governing Your Skirting?
- Is your mobile home inside a mobile home park? Ask the park manager what types of skirting are allowed in this park.
- Is your mobile home on private land you own? Ask your local city or county zoning department what is allowed.
- Is your mobile home on private land you own inside a co-op community? Ask both the park manager what is allowed in this park and also ask your local city or county zoning department.
Do I Really Need New Skirting or Can I Clean Up What I Have?
Perhaps the biggest question is should you even upgrade the current mobile home skirting as a mobile home investor? Does your buyer really need to see brand new skirting? In most situations the answer will be not likely. If you plan to resell this property to a payment-type buyer or renter, this is especially true. The reason for this is to keep repair costs down to then pass along this savings to your resident or end-buyer.
If you plan to resell the mobile home to an all-cash buyer, then you may want to install new skirting if the current skirting is more than 50% damaged or missing. Use your own judgment, ask the park manager (if applicable) and listen for feedback from potential buyers who have seen the home.
Mobile Home Skirting Tips
- If only a few pieces of skirting are missing in the front of the home, then replace with pieces from the back side of the home. This will help add curb appeal for free until new panels can be purchased.
- Consider pressure washing the skirting to clean it up versus installing new skirting.
- Dents, dings and small holes are common and can be left as-is in most cases.
In conclusion there are a number of things to consider when choosing the right skirting for your home. Your decision may be based on financial reasons, ease of installation, durability, insulation rating, and/or what is available to you. Once you’ve made your decision, compare prices at three or more different skirting supply companies before making a decision to buy.
Mobile investors: What questions do you have about this important material?
Be sure to leave your comments below!