Mobile homes are increasingly popular due to their cost-saving benefits and flexibility. However, the cost of underpinning, which is important for insulation and protection, is often overlooked.
This blog post aims to guide homeowners in understanding the factors and materials that affect underpinning costs.
Let’s get started!
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Mobile Home Underpinning Cost
Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to understand what underpinning is and why it’s crucial for mobile homes. Underpinning is essentially a protective barrier.
It shields the underside of your home from weather elements, rodents, and even potential damage during transit. It also improves the overall aesthetic appeal of your mobile home by hiding the structural elements underneath.
The cost of underpinning a mobile home can range from $1,500 to $5,700, depending on the material used and the size of the home. For those who prefer DIY, you can save between $900 and $2,200 on installation costs. Drew’s Roofing & Home Repair says to –
Here are 10 bullet points summarizing the key information from the transcript on mobile home underpinning:
Drew’s Roofing & Home Repair
- Mark off the wall starting on the outside edge in 4 ft sections, marking back 3/4 in. so material is centered.
- Hook the outside edge to mark, then pull measurements every 2, 4, 6 ft.
- After last number pulled, just hook 2×4 and pull every 2 ft since first piece is already set back 3/4 in.
- Start on one end, run string line across to align and straighten the wall as much as possible.
- Use jacks underneath to gradually lift and support the worst sagging areas. Check straightness as you go.
- Add support blocks between jacks, working from ends toward middle to get wall as straight as possible.
- Run hardy board sheets all the way to the ground, paint all sides and edges to protect.
- Frame in openings for access doors wherever needed before installing hardy board.
- Traditional plastic underpinning uses bottom track spiked in ground, pieces screw in above.
- Prefer hardy board for durability – stays put in wind/rain, provides substantial underpinning.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Underpinning
The cost of underpinning can fluctuate based on several factors. Here are some key considerations:
- Materials: The type of material used for underpinning significantly impacts the overall cost. Options range from cheaper materials like vinyl to more expensive choices like genuine stone or brick veneer.
- Home size: Larger homes require more underpinning material, leading to higher costs.
- Installation: Professional installation services will increase the overall cost, but DIY can save you a substantial amount if you’re handy and willing to put in the time.
- Obstacles: If there are obstacles around your home that need to be worked around or removed, this can increase costs.
- Insulation: Insulated skirting provides better protection against weather elements but comes at a higher cost.
- Leveling: If your mobile home needs leveling before underpinning can be installed, expect to pay an average of $845 extra.
Average Cost Range for Mobile Home Underpinning
The average cost range for underpinning a standard 16 x 80-foot mobile home with vinyl skirting, the most economical material, is around $900.
On the other end of the spectrum, using high-end materials like genuine stone veneer or concrete panels can cost up to $10.25 per square foot or $12.75 per square foot, respectively.
Types of Underpinning Materials
There are several different materials you can choose from when underpinning your mobile home. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons, and cost factors:
Vinyl is a popular choice for skirting due to its affordability and ease of installation. It costs around $900 for a standard 16 x 80-foot skirting package.
However, while it’s budget-friendly and relatively easy to install, vinyl does have its drawbacks. It’s not as durable as other materials and may not hold up well against harsh weather or small animals.
Faux Stone Panels
Faux stone panels are a mid-range option that offers an aesthetically pleasing look without the high price tag of genuine stone. These panels can cost around $28 per panel, excluding labor costs.
They’re relatively easy to install, but keep in mind that some manufacturers only honor warranties if the panels are professionally installed.
DURASKIRT is a specialized product available in a slick concrete finish, providing an aesthetic advantage. The DURASKIRT DS-PRO-24 in the 24″h x 37″w x 3/4″ thickness costs $28 per linear foot, plus installation costs.
While it’s a more expensive option, it offers great durability and a high-quality finish.
DIY Underpinning vs Professional Underpinning Services
When it comes to installing underpinning, you have two main options: DIY or hiring a professional. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Pros and Cons of DIY Underpinning
DIY underpinning can be a cost-effective solution if you’re handy and willing to invest the time. You can save between $900 and $2,200 on installation costs.
However, it’s important to note that DIY isn’t for everyone. Installing underpinning requires certain skills and tools, and if done incorrectly, it could lead to damage that costs more to fix in the long run. Furthermore, some underpinning materials may have warranties that only apply if the product is professionally installed.
Hiring Professional Underpinning Contractors
Hiring a professional contractor for underpinning installation offers peace of mind knowing that the job will be done correctly and efficiently. Professionals have the necessary skills and experience to handle any challenges that may arise during the installation process.
Moreover, they can provide valuable advice on the best underpinning material for your specific situation and ensure that the installation complies with local building codes.
While professional services do come with higher upfront costs compared to DIY, the long-term benefits of a well-executed installation often outweigh these initial expenses. As an added advantage, some manufacturers only honor warranties if their products are professionally installed, providing further incentive to hire a contractor.
What is a cheap alternative to underpinning?
If you’re on a tight budget, fret not! There are affordable alternatives to traditional underpinning methods. One of the most cost-effective options is vinyl skirting. Costing around $900 for a standard 16 x 80-foot package, vinyl is the cheapest material for mobile home skirting.
Another relatively inexpensive option is wood lattice. This material provides a rustic, natural look for your mobile home at a cost of $0.65 to $1.00 per square foot. However, it is important to note that while wood lattice is budget-friendly, it offers poor durability and requires ongoing maintenance.
What can I use for underpinning a mobile home?
There’s a wide range of materials available for underpinning a mobile home, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some popular choices:
- Vinyl Skirting: An affordable and easy-to-install option, ideal for those on a budget. However, it is less durable than some other options.
- Faux Stone Panels: Offers the aesthetic appeal of stone without the high cost. These panels are relatively easy to install but may require professional installation for warranty purposes.
- DURASKIRT Skirting: A specialized product that offers great durability and a slick concrete finish, although it comes at a higher cost.
- Brick or Concrete Blocks: These materials offer high durability and require only a one-time installation, but they are more expensive initially.
- Genuine Brick Veneer or Stone Veneer: These are premium materials that provide a high-end finish and excellent durability. However, they come with higher costs and maintenance needs.
The choice of underpinning material will largely depend on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and the level of durability you need. It’s always best to weigh up the pros and cons of each material before making a decision.