If you are a mobile home owner, you must be looking for ways to add safety to your home. Mobile home skirting is an effective way to do this. It is something that a lot of people tend to ignore because they are unaware of its importance.
You can easily install mobile home skirting without breaking the bank. If you are one of those DIYers who love to do home renovation projects by themselves, you should learn how to install mobile home skirting. Even if you prefer to hire someone for installing mobile home skirting, it is wise to know the steps involved in the entire process.
Why Does Your Mobile Home Need Skirting?
Mobile home skirting is not something you can skip. The skirting panels help maintain mobile homes. These panels serve as a barrier that prevents heat or cold from directly affecting the temperature of the mobile home indoors. It keeps rain, snow, water, and animals from getting under your mobile home. Besides, skirting offers structural support too.
If your mobile home is missing skirting, you can learn how to eradicate that problem for good.
How to Install Mobile Home Skirting
If you have ever done a DIY roof coating installation, then installing the skirting will be a piece of cake for you. The process is far less complicated. With the help of complete skirting kits available at every home supply store, you can start right away.
Many components go into the process. If you have them all figured out, the job becomes easier and has a higher chance of success. Get ready to learn all you need to know about mobile home skirting by reading till the end of this post.
Best Skirting Materials
Choosing the right skirting material is the most important step of the entire process. While vinyl skirting is the most popular option, you still have plenty of other materials to consider. Depending on how much you want to elevate your mobile home living, you can find skirting options on any budget.
Vinyl is the most popular choice. It is a lightweight material that makes installing vinyl skirting an easy task. It is also a versatile option due to the numerous design options. If you prefer the look of brick skirting, faux panels are your best bet. You can find your favorite designs, such as wood, stone, and so much more, in a vinyl material. You will get the benefits, durability, and affordability of vinyl while enjoying the look of any material you think suits your mobile home’s aesthetic.
Plywood skirting has a good reputation because of its looks. However, it is the quickest to bear damage during varying weather conditions. It cannot survive against water or humidity in the long run.
Some people like to go for cinder block home skirting. While there is no doubt about the durability of this material, it is not a preferable option. Cinder blocks are extremely cheap, too. Yet, mobile home owners tend to steer clear of this heavy material.
Metal skirting is another affordable and durable option. If you are okay with the shiny look, it is an easy-to-install material. Metal does have a risk of rusting over the years. You also need to consider that one of the biggest chunks of your mobile home expenses goes toward utility bills. There are a lot of ways you can cut this cost down, one of which is opting for insulated skirting. This is where metal fails. Vinyl and wood are the top options if you aim to regulate indoor temperatures.
How to Install Mobile Home Skirting Yourself
The average cost of a mobile home is upwards of $100,000. There is a high chance that your dream mobile home hits the $200,000 mark. So, if you are searching for mobile homes for sale on a budget, among the many tips to find a good manufactured home is to go for an incomplete one. The final touches, such as the installation of home skirting, can be done yourself at a minimal cost.
You can add to your mobile home’s curb appeal without spending a fortune. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through this process!
Step 1: Measure the Perimeter
The first part of taking measurements is to ensure that your mobile home is on level ground. A slight angle can cause variations, which will end up messing up your entire skirting. To make sure that you are starting on a flat surface, use a plumb bob.
Next, using a measuring tape, measure the length of each side of your mobile home. Also, mark measurements with a chalk line so you know exactly where you plan on fixing the panels. Keep in mind that you have to add the lengths of all sides of the mobile home to get the perimeter.
Use Average Calculations
An easier way to do this is to use average calculations. For example, if you own a 16-foot wide mobile home that is 70 feet long, use these measurements. However, taking manual measurements is obviously going to be more accurate.
Step 2: Calculate the Average Height
Although you probably did not move your mobile home after the previous step, to be on the safer side, use the plumb bob once again before measuring the required height for the skirting.
Once again, bring out your handy measuring tape. Note down the length of the distance between the bottom edge of your mobile home and the ground. Measure this height around all four corners, as well as the center of the front and back edges. Add up all these six lengths, divide them by six, and you have the average height required for the skirting.
Step 3: Install the Bottom Rail
The bottom rail is what will serve as the foundation of your entire skirting, which is why this is the part where you need to be the most vigilant. The chalk line you marked earlier will help you a lot during this step.
Start with the corner pieces on the bottom rail. Align them perfectly with the chalk line before you nail them in place with the help of ground spikes.
Once you have installed all the corner pieces of the bottom rail, the next steps should become easier. All you have to do is adjust the remaining bottom rail panels in between, secure them in the ground with strong ground spikes, and your bottom rail is pretty much done.
Step 4: Fix the Top Rail
Although this is an easier part in terms of installation, this rail section must be secured properly to prevent any future risks of panels coming apart. While fixing the top rail, you need to bear in mind that some skirting materials expand and contract due to weather changes. You have to leave enough margin to allow these adjustments.
For this purpose, leave around half an inch of space from each corner. Also, don’t nail the top rail pieces too tightly since you may have to adjust them later.
Step 5: Time to Fix the Side Panels
It is now time to move on to the main part of the mobile home skirting. If you did not get pre-cut skirting panels, this is when you will have to cut them yourself. Make sure the length of each panel is the same. As for the height, it should match the measurement you calculated in Step 2. After this, you just have to slide the panels inside the rails.
An extra step you can take here is to create tabs on the edges of the skirting panels with the help of a snap lock punch tool. This will allow you to fix all skirting panels with one another. This is just an additional tip that helps secure the panels horizontally while the ground spikes offer vertical support.
Step 6: Adjust the Corner Pieces
Lastly, you have to finish off the skirting with the corner panels. Measure the distance between the edges of the side panels where you need a corner piece. Prepare your panel by cutting it exactly at this length. Bend the piece from the middle securely, making sure not to snap it in half. Slide it between the rails and you’re done!
Step 7: Final Touches
Now that you are done with the installation of the skirting, take a good look all around to double-check that every piece sits in place. It should look even and balanced. If any pieces are overlapping, use tin snips to trim the edges. If some pieces have extra space, you might have to reinstall a couple of panels. Other than that, you are basically finished with the job.
When You Should Hire Help to Install Mobile Home Skirting
As easy as it is to install mobile home skirting yourself, there is a slim chance that you are not a suitable candidate to do the job either well enough or safely. It is highly important to be able to figure out whether you need professional installation.
First of all, if you are not in a healthy state, physically or mentally, you should get help. Professional help is not important in this case. In fact, you can ask a friend or family member to come by to assist you.
Professional installation is mandatory if you have previously failed at doing a similar task. Let’s say you installed the skirting yourself a few months back, but it seems to be coming apart by now. That means you couldn’t do a great job. Instead of wasting money and time, you should hire trained people to fix the mess for you.
There is also a possibility that while you have the skills required to finish a basic skirting job successfully, your mobile home’s condition does not allow you to. It may not be a smooth surface, so it will need a lot more prep work before the installation. Your choice of skirting material may not be ideal for a beginner to install safely.
Though we highly recommend you save money wherever possible, hiring professional help to install the skirting correctly is something you should splurge on if required. It is one way to increase the value of your mobile home in the longer run. So, don’t risk messing up the job if you are not sure you can ace it.
The exact process and materials required for installing mobile home skirting will vary depending on your final choice of skirting material. You will need tin snips for metallic skirting, so keep this in mind before you start the process. It is best to have all materials and tools at hand for a smooth installation process.
Ultimately, you need to finalize the mobile home skirting based on your preferences. Remember that skirting is more than just the bottom edge of your mobile home’s exterior. This bottom edge will protect your mobile home from external damage, help cut down utility bills, and also add to the value of your mobile home.