Mobile Home Must-Haves: Choosing The Right Steps, Skirting, Doors, etc.

Mobile Home Exterior

Decisions, decisions, decisions—if you’re partway through the process of buying and moving into your mobile home, you may already know that becoming a mobile home owner requires making decisions.

Mobile Home Exterior

For one thing, there’s the process of choosing what home to purchase (new or used). Then, there’s also selecting where to place the home (a rental lot or a piece of property). Plus, you may have to determine how much you’re willing to spend. Will you absolutely max out your budget, or will you leave yourself plenty of financial room to make improvements after purchase?

Every house is different

When moving into your mobile home, you may face these questions and more. Living in a culture where choices abound is a tremendous blessing. But it can also be a challenge, especially if you’re decision-averse. Don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, learn about your options, make a decision, then commit to enjoying what you have selected.  

Today, we’re going to outline some options you have for personalizing your mobile home. From what steps you use to reach your front door to the panels you put up to keep unwanted animal guests out, let’s explore some of the variety that’s available.

Selecting steps

Of course, everyone has to get into their house somehow, which is why doors are a ubiquitous feature in homes everywhere. Exactly how you reach the door can vary, though. If a home is quite close to the ground, one step might do it. However, in the case of a mobile home that sits up a few feet from the lawn, you know you’ll need more than one step.

And this is where mobile home steps arrive and solve the problem. But how many steps your mobile home needs will depend on your situation. Prefabricated steps come in different sizes, so check the specifications on the steps you’re considering. And compare them to your own mobile home measurements.

In addition to being available in different sizes, prefabricated steps can also be found in different materials. Options include prefabricated steps made of concrete and steps made of fiberglass.

Paying for your steps

When you check out your steps, keep in mind that the size you need may cause the price you pay to vary. More steps could earn you a higher price tag. For instance, these fiberglass steps generally climb in price as the number of steps increases. And stairs with the same number of steps might vary pricewise, too — those with the same number of steps but larger dimensions could be more expensive than their smaller-dimensioned counterparts. Another option, concrete, could be a bit lower in price than fiberglass if Complete Mobile Home Supply’s comparison table is any indication.

Another way to step

Yet a third option is to place wood steps in front of your mobile home. While you can buy premade wooden steps, you can also make them yourself. Take a look at How to Build Wooden Steps for Mobile Homes.

Deciding on your look

Moreover, deciding what material you want your steps made of is not the only thing you have to do. There’s also deciding what step design you want. Do you want steps with handrails? And should those handrails have spindles? Should the steps lead the way straight forward to the door or should they approach from the side of the door and stop at a landing outside your home’s entrance?

Concrete steps with potted plants

We suggest you do your best to match the type of steps you choose with your house’s style and other elements. Dark wood steps could be a good choice for a home with dark shutters. And if you have a house sided in light brown, you might like the look of light wood. If stability is not a concern, then you could opt out of handrails in a bid to embrace a minimalistic look. With a gray mobile home, you could also consider gray concrete steps with white handrails and spindles.

Taking on a new color

Whatever type of steps you choose, remember that you’re not necessarily locked into the color they come in. Painting your steps may also be on the table. Obviously, what color you select is dependent on your personal preferences (unless of course there are any park rules or other regulations that apply).

But, let’s be honest, not all colors will produce a classy effect. For instance, if you paint your steps turquoise that’s going to be…well…loud. And we suggest that you think very carefully before making a drastic style statement with the color of paint you select for your front steps. The line between whimsical fun and awkward cheesiness could be slim here.

Moving on to mobile home skirting

Another thing to do once you select your mobile home and set it up is to skirt it. This can help you keep out pests and provide some insulating power to your home. Plus, some places may require your mobile home to be skirted.

But, even if your reasons for skirting your mobile home are the same as your next door neighbor’s reasons for skirting theirs, the appearance of your skirting could be quite different. Here’s another case where you have options—you can personalize your home’s appearance by choosing the skirting you like best.

First off, there’s vinyl. You may be able to simply select vinyl panels that match the color of your mobile home’s siding. For instance, white siding—white panels. However, leave yourself adequate time in case your local home improvement store doesn’t have the color you want in stock and has to order it for you.

What have others said about installation?

Found a type of vinyl siding you like and now you’re ready to head home and install it yourself? First, take a moment to check reviews online. If others have found it a breeze to install, that’s a good sign. On the other hand, if you see a lot of not-so-good reviews, maybe that will help you eliminate a potential option and save yourself some time.

Second, when you need the simple look of vinyl but you actually don’t want the material to be vinyl, maybe aluminum skirting will do the trick. Plus, you can always elect to use metal skirting meant to look like stone.

Brick that isn’t brick

What if you want stone or brick at the base of your house? Are there options for you even if your home won’t be on a permanent foundation? For one thing, Faux Panels could have something to help you out, offering skirting designed to mimic the appearance of foundation elements like brick, stone, rock, and wood.  

Pricewise – mobile home skirting

Obviously, how much it costs to skirt your mobile home will vary. And doing the installation yourself is not a given, though hiring someone to do it necessitates paying them, of course. Take it from Thumbtack: “Specialists or handymen can take care of the installation of new skirting as well as help with upgrading existing mobile home skirting and removing old or damaged skirting.” They also offer this assessment of skirting costs: “The average cost of mobile home skirting installation ranges from $400 to $4000 or more depending on the skirting material used, ground conditions and the size of the mobile home.”

Check on it first

Don’t forget that while you do have options when it comes to mobile home skirting, that doesn’t necessarily mean that mobile home skirting is optional. Remember to determine what the requirements are in your area, perhaps by checking with your local authorities. Skirting your mobile home may be a must—but exactly how you do it, that can leave some room for your likes and dislikes.  

What look do you want for your mobile home skirting?

As you select your mobile home skirting, try to keep the look cohesive. In other words, let the skirting blend seamlessly with the home itself. Don’t let it distract because it sticks out in some way.

White could be a good option paired with light-colored mobile home siding and white fascia around the edge of the roof. Or perhaps you’ll opt for the look of stone if your mobile home is already stone-colored. Whatever you do, consider keeping your skirting understated—let the home itself be the focal point.

Don’t forget your mobile home doors

Every home needs a port of entry and exit. So, clearly, a mobile home is no different. What kind of door should you select for your mobile home? Great question. It could hinge (pun intended) on the overall appearance of your home.

Maybe if your mobile home is brown, you would enjoy the look of a stained wood door. Or if your mobile home is white with black shutters, a black door could also be an option. However, if you’re looking for your door to provide a pop of color for your mobile home check out The DIY Network’s 42 Inviting Colors to Paint a Front Door.

At the same time, keep in mind that just as we mentioned with painting your steps, you to want to be tasteful in the color you choose. While a door in your favorite jewel tone may seem like a good idea in theory, take a moment to think about whether it will create a pleasing appearance overall.

Accessibility and your mobile home choices

Do you or a family member have any special needs when it comes to making your mobile home accessible? Definitely, take time to think about those ahead of time. Will your front door frequently need to be accessed by someone who uses a wheelchair? If so, you may want to select a front entrance ramp instead of front steps.

Once you know you’ll need a ramp, there are several ways you could go. First, you could elect to put in steps and simply have a portable ramp available when necessary. However, if you want to make the ramp a more permanent part of your mobile home entrance, you could hire a handyman to build one (if you’re not inclined to take on building projects). Alternatively, those of you who love a good DIY challenge can head over to How to Build Mobile Home Ramps.  

How to outfit your mobile home without breaking the bank

Yes, knowing what you need to do to get your mobile home ready is helpful. But, once you know what to do, another consideration is how to do it in a financially feasible way. Without a doubt, if you’re independently wealthy, you won’t have much trouble here. In fact, you could simply choose what you want, purchase it, then get to work installing it (or hire a professional to do it).

But if you’re not independently wealthy, it’s time to brainstorm ways to keep both your mobile home and your wallet on the right track. To begin with, purchasing items second-hand is an option. In fact, even your door could be purchased second hand at a place like Habitat for Humanity. Online websites selling used goods could also be a place to hunt for bargains.

Just remember that patience may work in your favor as you search for used items. If you begin looking ahead of time, it might save you from frantically selecting a less-than-ideal item simply because you were “down to the wire.”

How to outfit your mobile home and stay happy & sane

In addition to shopping for deals, you may find that getting your mobile home ready is less stressful if you budget. That way, you can let your budget help you make decisions about what products you will and won’t be using.

If you know ahead of time how much you can afford to spend on a mobile home door, for instance, you won’t even have to waste time wondering if the extremely expensive door you just saw would complement your mobile home’s exterior. It could reduce your available options, easing the decision-making process somewhat.

When to do things

Open doors in empty space

Keep in mind that not everything needs to be done at once as you finalize your mobile home. Just like moving out of your old house was a process, moving into your new one is, too. Thus, it might take more than a day before your house is “up and running” in the shape you want it to be. Of course, you do need to make sure you comply with any applicable rules for when things need to be done by.

Other extras

And keep in mind that you can make other changes to your mobile home too. How it looks when you buy it doesn’t have to be its look forever. Here are some possible changes:

Move in and enjoy

With plenty of ways to go to make your mobile home “home,” don’t stress out over the options. Instead, make decisions and commit to enjoying them and being thankful for the outcome once you’ve reached the point of no return. Need to make some changes to the inside of that mobile home, too? Then, head to How To Make A Small Bathroom Feel Bigger & Look Amazing. Or check out 9 Furniture Pieces That Will Make Your Mobile Home Feel Glamorous.

About Dan Leighton

Dan Leighton has been working in the mobile home industry for over a decade. His focus has been on sales and customer relations - making sure each person in the transaction is comfortable and fully transparent. He has a wife and one son. Dan continues to look for innovative ways to help both sellers and parks get the most bang for their buck.

Written by Dan Leighton

Dan Leighton has been working in the mobile home industry for over a decade. His focus has been on sales and customer relations - making sure each person in the transaction is comfortable and fully transparent. He has a wife and one son. Dan continues to look for innovative ways to help both sellers and parks get the most bang for their buck.

April 19, 2019