What are the benefits of having skirting for my manufactured home?
Attaching and maintaining the underpinning around your manufactured home has several important benefits:
- It helps properly ventilate your home. Skirting is required to have ventilation openings on all sides of your home to allow for proper air flow. This air flow helps reduce moisture underneath your home and prevent damage like rusting or mildew.
- It prevents small animals from getting underneath your home. An animal under your home can become hurt or trapped, and any scratching or chewing could damage the wiring or insulation. Skirting can also keep young children from trying to explore underneath your home and being possibly injured in the process.
- It helps insulate your home. Skirting can help with energy efficiency by preventing excessive heat loss and protecting your pipes in the cold months.
- It gives your home more curb appeal. Skirting enhances the look of your home and allows you to personalize your home’s appearance. From adding a rustic feel with stone skirting or creating a streamlined, clean look by matching the skirting with your siding, you have options to make your home your own.
We do not recommend storing items underneath your manufactured home for several reasons, like possible moisture exposure to your belongings, potential pipe damage, damage from insects and pests, inconvenient access and being a fire hazard.
Do I need a certain kind of foundation to use skirting?
All of the skirting options we list out below, even real brick and concrete block skirting systems, can be used with manufactured home foundations, including pier and beam foundations.
Your skirting does not determine the type of foundation your home needs to have, because the HUD code all manufactured homes are built to requires the entire perimeter of your home to be enclosed by a suitable skirting material, regardless of the foundation type.
Underpinning Options for Your House
When it comes to underpinning for your manufactured home, you have a variety of skirting material and style options, including:
- Vinyl skirting
- Concrete or stucco skirting
- Brick and cinder block skirting
- Fiber cement skirting
- Lattice skirting
When you’re at your local home center browsing home models or finalizing your home purchase, a home center consultant will show you different skirting options they have available. They’re happy to help you find the perfect skirting to complement your personal style and complete your home’s exterior.
You’ll also want to check with your local building officials to find out which types of skirting materials are allowed in your area. Depending on where your home will be located, your local or state officials could require a specific type.
About Vinyl Skirting
Vinyl is the most popular material for single-section and multi-section homes and is:
- Easy to install
- Attractive and flexible in style options
- Resistant to mildew and rot
A common style of vinyl underpinning for manufactured homes is made of panels with vertical lines. These can come in an array of colors to complement your home’s exterior. Vinyl skirting can also be made to look like stone, brick and other textures in a wide range of colors and tones.
About Concrete or Stucco Skirting
Concrete skirting panels, often called stucco skirting, are a sturdy option that resist rot and pest invasion.
Some concrete skirting panel brands include hidden ventilation panels so you have a seamless look but still get the proper ventilation you need to reduce gas and moisture buildup under your manufactured home. Concrete skirting is heavy and considered more difficult to install than other types of skirting but can be a smart option because of its durability.
About Brick and Cinder Block Skirting
There are vinyl and resin skirting systems that can be made to look like brick or blocks, but you can also skirt your home with actual bricks or cinder blocks to enhance the style of your exterior and make it look more like your manufactured home has a permanent foundation.
Using bricks or blocks to skirt your home will cost much more than vinyl, but the weight and durability of brick skirting means you likely won’t need to replace it for many years.
About Faux Brick and Stone Skirtings
Faux brick and stone skirting materials are made from sturdy plastic and look very realistic. They are slightly more rigid than vinyl panels, help insulate the area under your home and hold up well in inclement weather.
This type of underpinning is fairly easy to install and comes in a variety of patterns. Because of the manufacturing process, it’s slightly more expensive than vinyl options.
About Fiber Cement Skirting
Some people may prefer to use exterior siding material, such as lap vinyl skirting or fiber cement siding, to skirt their manufactured homes. If you choose to use fiber cement siding as skirting, it can match or complement your siding.
About Lattice Skirting
Lattice skirting for manufactured homes can be made of either vinyl or wood. With any type of lattice skirting, ventilation is usually not an issue because the spaces in the lattice pattern naturally allow for air flow.
Wood lattice skirting is fairly inexpensive and easy to work with but can be susceptible to rot and mildew if it is not treated. Wood lattice does not take wear and tear as well as other materials.
Vinyl lattice skirting is available in many colors and can have unique lattice patterns like stars and flowers, so it makes for an affordable, customizable option.
Can you install underpinning yourself?
Some skirting vendors offer manufactured home underpinning kits. While these kits allow you to put skirting on your home yourself, they can require a lot of work and expertise.
If you choose to use an underpinning kit, you’ll need to check local requirements regarding any permits and inspections. Improper skirting installation could void your home warranty, or if skirting is installed without proper permits, it could void an insurance claim. You’ll also want to choose a skirting type and material that is suited for your region’s climate.
Additionally, you’ll have to make sure that your home has proper ventilation underneath, that you have the right amount of skirting panels for your home and that you accommodate for possible height variations around the perimeter of your home. In this case, vinyl skirting is usually the easiest to install because it is lightweight and affordable.
We recommend carefully considering the type of skirting you want before purchasing your home and letting the professional construction team setting up your home on your home site install the underpinning you choose.