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mobile home q&a


How much steel is in your steel doors?

The single outswing doors have .010" thick steel on each side of the door with a .013" vinyl embossing. The combo doors are .014" thick steel on each side with .009" vinyl skin.

I am in a fire prone are and need to know if there is a coating on the market that can give me a little fire resistance?

There is not a coating that we know of to fireproof your mobile home. Most skirting is vinyl nowadays, but metal skiritng would be best for you, as it is not flammable. Other than that, think about the foliage around your home. Make sure trees are clear from overhanging your home, as falling flaming limb would set any house on fire. Consider a rock garden around the perimeter of your mobile to make an unburnable barrier between foliage and home.

Would like to know the cost of 3 step wooden portable steps. What are the dimensions and shipping costs to Austin, TX?

We do not have the wooden steps available for checkout because they cost too much to ship. The steps are $75. But freight to Austin is another $175. So we can send them if you would like, but mostly the wooden steps are purchased here in the store by people that are looking for a good value, and the freight cost kind of wrecks that. These metal kit steps cost about the same in the end, and are much more durable.

I am looking for dark brown skirting. Do you have this color?

Unfortunately not. Clay is the darkest color, and it's still pretty light. We work with several manufacturers and none of them make a dark vinyl skirting. We get requests just like yours occasionally, but I think there just not enough demand for the manufacturers to make a dark color at present.

Why does my doublewide keep having these cracking noises?

Most likely it is due to weather and temperature variations. When it's extremely hot, the metal in the roof may be expanding and contracting at certain times of the day. Or if it's been raining a lot where you are, the house could be settling slightly in the ground.
While we considered other possibilities (e.g. you told it a joke, it thinks it's a whip, etc.), and obviously we can't be sure without inspecting it, temperature variation is the most likely culprit.

How many concrete blocks do I need to put under my mobile home?

It totally depends on several factors. Really need someone qualified to set a home - first and foremost considering local code. The Fire Marshall in many places is the authority governing requirements for setting mobile homes.  Generally setters put a pier pad every 8 to 10 feet. Very broadly, this requires 90 to 210 "eights". An "eight" is an 8" x 8" x 16" concrete block. Factors that affect the result include:
  • Dimensions of your home
  • Grade of ground from end-to-end
  • Thickness and type of pad
  • Local codes

How to price installation of 80/30 trailer skirting?

The market rate for quality contract labor in your area is the main factor. Installing skirting is the kind of thing some people do on the side... so you can decide if you want a licensed contractor, or a friend of a friend that simply can get it done. A 30x80 on a level surface (so all the cuts are the same), could be in the $300-$500 range. If your house is on a slope, so the cuts are varied and slanted, you can expect $600+. You can use our Skirting Calculator for determining the price of materials, but for installation it really depends on what how busy your local contractors are, and how much they'll do it for. 

What about sheet metal flashing and then, kool seal? Just got my MH sided & the contractor says both need to be done. How is the sheet metal to be attached? Is this correct? Thanks.

Yes it is correct if you have a metal roof. Do you have a double-wide? The sheet metal flashing (or a ridge cap) is used to cover the seam down the middle between the two sides. Kool Seal is used to cover metal roofs. (Shingled roofs do not need kool seal.) Tar-based kinds are dark, while a white elastomeric kind absorbs less heat. We have Kool Seal in the store, but do not offer it online due to its shipping classification.

It just rained and the manufactured home I may purchase has water going in between the brick skirt and under the home. Is this normal or should there have been a seal between the brick and the home?

Faux brick skirting our actual brick?  Real brick has a brick ledge or footing all the way around the house and should be secured by mortar to the footing. However just like a stick-built home it should have "weep holes" that allow water to flow somewhat. Still you will need air vents, as water inevitably runs in (or simply rises through the ground), and you don't want it evaporating up through the floorboards of your home. (There are county building codes to address this exact phenomenon.)

With faux brick skirting made of plastic, it completely depends on the installation method. However no matter what you will get some water underneath, as the joints of each panel of skirting will not be water-tight, plus you always have the air vents which water could rain through. A manufactured home needs a domed mound to send water run-off toward the outside so it does not pool under your home. With older homes, a mound may never have been required, or it may have settled over time.

So yes, it is normal for some water to go between the skirt and the ground.  Just make sure it's not excessive.

Where do you place the vents on rock skirting?

Right in the middle of a panel. You cut a hole out of one of the panels and insert your vent. Our K-Rok rock skirting is made out of ABS plastic, which you can cut with a pair of tin snips (or a power saw). Generally you need 1 vent per 150 square feet of floorspace.

If I wanted to use the fiberglass stairs on a regular house, can they be attached somehow? Will water collect between home and stairs?

Actually you would not want to attach the stairs directly to the house. Ground swelling caused by rain and heat and the changing of the seasons makes houses, decks, stairs and other structures move. Attaching them directly would eventually cause a split of some sort. And just like a deck, water would go down between the steps and the house, but does not collect or pool. The fiberglass stairs are built around a wooden framework, and are open on the bottom.

What size pex fitting do I use for 5/8" tubing?(will 3/8"work?)

Are you measuring the OD  (outside diameter) ?     If so, 1/2" fittings might work.   PEX fittings are measured on the ID  (inside diameter).    If you have 5/8" ID, in that case these fittings would not work for you, because it would very likely leak. If you have 5/8" OD, however, then measure the ID, which would likely be 1/2".

My upstate, NY double leaf home was purchased in 1986. It has always been closed between late to early November and reopened in late May every year since. Heat thermostat is left at 45 and I have had no problem. Propane gas has always been used to heat the home. My floor registers are the old ones, they remain open. I am wondering if It is safe to place something over them when the home is winterized in order to reduce my heating bill?

Sure you can cover your floor registers, just not all of them. Keeping your mobile home at 45 degrees even when you're away for months can help prevent freezing and pipe disruption. Covering the floor vents in some rooms should keep your heating bill down - but if you cover them all then no heat gets into the house, and heat will seap out to the underbelly of your home. Keeping the vents open in your kitchen and bathrooms is a good idea. Officially we suggest something non-flammable to cover your vents, although we've known people who have used books or towels. However might I recommend new floor registers that close? We have 4" x 8" and 4" x 10".

How do you determine right or left door?

Stand outside the house. All references to left or right are based on the point of view of outside, like you're standing on your front stoop. If the hinges are on the left, it's called a "left hand". If the hinges are on the right, it's called "right hand". So on a "left hand" door, the door knob is on the right when the door is closed, and when you open it the door winds up on the left (as viewed from outside).

Are your outswing doors pre-hung?

They sure are. The out-swing doors are already mounted in a metal frame. You take out the frame of your old door and install the new one by putting in screws in the 12 holes in the flange on each side of the frame.

What tool do you use to cut skirting panels with?

We use a Skil saw with the blade turned around backward. A pair of tin ships works well too, especially for a small project. If you're cutting lots of panels, a saw definitely makes quicker work of it. Turning the blade around backward means that instead of ripping / biting, the saw is rubbing against the skirting panel. Whether it's vinyl skirting or the thick plastic of faux rock and brick skirting, the velocity of the power tool allows it to zip easily through the panel.

Do you have any interior locksets for doors that are 1 1/8 " thick?

We sure do, that is exactly what makes our locksets work on mobile home doors, while ones at other hardware stores don't work because they don't go down to 1 1/8". Check out our mobile home door locksets. For an interior door, you may want a "passage" set that is just handles and does not lock.  We also have "privacy" sets good for bathrooms and bedrooms, as well as "entry" sets for exterior doors.

Why are there vents above interior doors, and why is there such a gap on bottom of mobile home doors?

For air circulation. Hot air rises (because it is less dense than cold air, having fewer molecules per square inch), so for the most part warmer air goes through the vents above interior doors while colder air moves from room to room through the gap at the bottom of an interior door. Mobile home interior doors (most, anyway) are 79" tall, leaving one inch from the bottom of the door to the floor. You can special order an 80" door, but really you want this air circulation - just walk into a room with stale air once and you'll know why. Vents and gaps are for freshness in the air, and also for air movement when you have the A/C or heat blowing.

Do I allow for frost heave in winter for measuring skirting?

Yes frost heave affects your skirting. However if you expect 3.5" or less of variation, you should be okay with one of our skirting kits. There are four components involved : the panels, ground track, top back, and top front. The ground track gets staked to the ground. The top back gets screwed to the base of your home, and the top front interlocks with the top back. The panels sit in the ground track, and are trapped between the top back and top front. As the ground heaves during cold weather, the top of the panel can slide up the gap between the top front and top back. If you install the skirting panels to just barely reach the bottom of the top back and top front, you will have 3.5" of space they can slide up. If you are installing during the winter at the height of the frost heave, put the panels to the very top of the space between top front and top back. Then when the ground lowers, your panel can slide down, still between the top front and back, and the appearance of your mobile home vinyl skirting from outside will remain the same.

I need to stabilize my mobile home. What do I need?

The best way to stabilize your home is to hire a professional mobile home mover that has experience putting homes in place in a safe and up-to-code manner. Houses are stabilized by pier pads, concrete blocks, wooden blocks, wedges, and several mechanical stabilizing systems such a Xi2 or Pan Systems. It depends on the type of ground in your location. There are wind zone ratings in some locaitons, and you could wet set in conrete or dry set under blocks. Outrigger systems stabilizes a part of your home - for instance if you have sagging in the floor you can use an outrigger to stabilze that isolated area. You must know and follow local code. We have some setup materials, but in general suggest finding a local mobile home mover who has experience with your local laws and conditions to properly set a home.

Is it too cold to apply white kool seal to my roof?

We recommend applying elastomeric kool seal when you have 12-24 hours of temperate above 60 degrees.

Why does my toilet and or sink gurgle and bubble when another sink or washing machine drains?

Somehow air is coming back up. Your inline plumbing vents could be faulty, the spring could be broken or just not working right. Most likely though your trunk line could be out of level, forcing air back into the P-trap. Often when you are running other appliances, the changes in flow will cause some air to be in the line. Air rises to the top, and if your trunk line is out of level then that air comes back out through the toilet or sink. Newer washing machines force so much pressure at once that this possibility is increased. Especially on energy-saving models, rather than run longer, they will push that same volume of water faster, therefore at a higher pressure, which pushes air back.

Does the skirting have to be ventilated?

Yes, ventilation prevents water vapor from building up beneath your house and warping the floor boards.  Here is a brief history of mobile home skirting:  Thirty years ago vinyl skirting did not exist, people used strips of tin or aluminum to create a base beneath their mobile home.  In the late 1980s the first vinyl skirting panels were made.  Within a couple years, however, it became apparent that trapping air beneath a home led to vapor collecting during humid periods, then as that vapor rose it carried moisture into the floor boards, gradually warping the wood.  Vented panels were introduced, and you would install a vented panel after several regular panels to allow air flow.  The concept was further developed to have ventilation in every panel, such as our vinyl skirting panels which each have three solid segments and one perforated / vented segment. 

Gray K-Rok for a 16'x80', what do I need, how much is the cost, are air vents included or are they built-in?

K-Rok packages include everything you need to skirt your house with quality simulated rock skirting.  We ship two different rock skirting packages corresponding to the requests we have received from homeowners and installers - basic and total.  Basic includes just the panels and air vents, the real essentials.  Basic is for people who like the look of the K-Rok skirting without trim, and who will access the underneath of their home by taking off one panel.  Total includes the trim (top trim, bottom track, corner pieces, and a tongue cover), plus an access door panel to easily crawl under the house.  In order to get a price you need also to choose a height - in the instance of 32"H panels, the basic package costs $1269 plus freight for a 16'x80' mobile home.  

Can I purchase two lock sets that would be keyed alike?

Yes, just request matching sets in your order. Perhaps you want your front and back doors to work with the same key. Simply make this request in the Order Comments section during your online checkout, and we will pull from our selection of identically-keyed lock sets when filling your order.

Do you have skirting packages for models, 12x40?

Sure, in fact we can create a package for any set of dimensions.  We have put 12 common sizes online for quick checkout - there are literally hundreds of length and width combinations, but we try to keep your view of the category manageable.  Any size you need, we can send the right amount of skirting to you.
We created a special link for skirting a 12x40 mobile home model, with options based on the height of the mobile home.  The height from the ground to the base of the home determines how many panels you will need. \

How to install skirting?

Read our full skirting buying guide page with installation instructions.  But the basics are this:  1) Screw top back to base of home.  2) Lay ground track directly below the top back.  3) Cut skirting panels to size.  4) Place skirting panel in ground track, leaning top of panel against top back trim.  5) Slide top front trim into top back, pinching the skirting panel securely in place. 

What is the cylinder in a deadbolt?  Which is better between single and double?

The cylinder is the part the key actually goes in.  So a single-cylinder deadbolt has just one side requiring a key.  The outside is keyed, the inside is a latching throw.  A double-cylinder deadbolt requires a key on both sides.  We never recommend using a double-cylinder deadbolt, and here's why:  Many people leave a key in the inside lock, effectively making it function like a single-cylinder.  But most importantly, in the event of an emergency, people could actually be locked inside the home.  There was an unhappy story of a woman leaving the house for just a moment, and when a fire broke out the children were trapped inside.  Since that news report, we have recommended a single-cylinder deadbolt every time.  You can certainly get a double-cylinder if you have reasons for preferring it that way, but both for convenience and safety we always always point our customers toward the deadbolt that locks outsiders out securely while leaving a simple throw for anyone inside to exit as they please.

Are parts for my mobile home specialized or can I buy them anywhere?

A large percentage of parts in manufactured housing are designed with measurements unique to mobile homes.  Sheet rock, for example, is standard at 3/8" instead of the 1/2" used in site-built housing.  Sink sizes have a 19" lavatory standard in manufactured housing - a 19" x 33" double sink dimension fits into your kitchen but would be sold in different sizes for site-built homes.  Another example is door locks, which are made for the specific width of your mobile home door.  Additionally, a door lock at the big name retailers will have a mortise-plate instead of the locks sets for mobile homes which are not mortised. 

Will my ABS plumbing work with PVC pipes?

Yes, PVC will work in conjuction with ABS.  Most mobile home plumbing is manufactured and installed with ABS pipe.  Flair-It and SeaTech both make reliable, simple-to-use connections that allow you to complete the job and not worry about it anymore.   Simply square cut your pipe, pop in the fitting, and you're done. 

Why does my home have smaller air vent floor registers?

Typically 4"x8" floor air vents are seen in older mobile homes, while 4"x10" is the most common size in homes today.  The reason is the floor vents formula, or the principle of air pressure depending on the size of an opening.  The HVAC units put into older homes were not as powerful, so a smaller vent opening causes the air to come out in greater pressure.  Think of it this way - you could have a 24"x24" opening for your A/C, but if it was that big then the an equal amount of air coming out would not really feel like it was blowing.  The surface area of the opening helps determine the pressure, and modern air conditioners are made to pump out air at the new standard of 4" by 10". 

What's the difference between all those kinds of lock sets?

For a door to the outside, an Entrance lock set is a keyed lock for an entryway with either a 2 3/8" or a 2 3/4" backset.  The width of the exterior door on a mobile home is different than on a stick built home, and also different than the interior doors in your mobile home.  So for doors to outside, get an exterior Entrance Lock Set.

For an interior door, you can choose Keyed, Privacy, or Passage :
Passage - Door knobs for both sides.  Even though it's called a lock set, there's no actual lock. 
Privacy - For extra privacy, this lock set lets you turn a knob on the inside to prevent others from walking in like they could with a Passage lock.  If you accidentally close the door with the lock turned, don't worry, a Privacy lock can be opened with a pin key (or coat hanger would work). 
Keyed - Lockable with a turning switch from the inside, and with a key on the outside.  A normal key, not like the simple pin like on a Privacy Lock.  We have seen many people use a Keyed interior lock for a home office, or parents who to lock kids out of the bedroom.

Screen door, storm door, entrance door, front door, back door, what's the deal?

There are three main options for exterior doors on a mobile home.
- Single entrance door that opens to outside.
- Combo unit that has storm door and entrance door. 
- Storm door on its own.  In its frame. 

On a combo unit, the storm door opens to the outside and the entrance door to the inside.  You cannot get the inside-opening entrance door on its own, manufacturers just do not offer it that way.   Regarding front and back, there is no different front door or back door - they are just entrance doors.  Of great importance when buying a new door is to get the right size.  Is your exterior door a 32"x72", 32"x76, 34"x76", 36"x80", or another size?   Measure first then have the new door made specifically for your mobile home shipped to you ready for installation.

What's the difference between a single element and a double element water heater?

The heating element is the rod that heats your water.  Older mobile homes will probably have a single element water heater, while manufactured housing constructed more recently likely contains a double element heater.  The advantage to a double element water heater is that the element near the bottom heats the water as it is coming in, while the element near the top can keep the water hot.  So with a single element you are more likely to run out of hot water, since once the tank is empty, it needs time to heat the water that is refilled.  In most cases you will want a double element 30 or 40 gallon water heater.  The cases where we see single elements used is on all 19 gallon heaters, in a small space where you do not have room for the height of a double element unit, and when someone really wants the exact same type of unit to replace a busted water heater in older manufactured housing.