How to Add a Screened Room to a Mobile Home

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Adding a screened porch to your mobile home is a good way to increase your living space through at least three seasons of the year. While it will take planning and special considerations to build this addition to your home, the rewards will be worth the effort. When adding any structure to the outside of a mobile home, there are many steps that must be followed to avoid the risk of damaging the integrity of your home.

Preparation

  • Contact your city clerk's office to get information on any building codes that need to be followed when building your addition. The clerk will be able to direct you to specific regulations including materials to be used and foundation requirements.

  • Register for a building permit. In most areas, you are required to have a building permit placed in a conspicuous location through the entire building process until the building inspector approves that all work has been completed according to regulations. If you do not obtain a permit, you may be cited and forced to stop work until you have the permits secured. It is a good idea to keep the work permit in case you want to sell the home in the future. This will show prospective buyers that you did the work properly.

  • Hire contractors to complete any work that cannot be done by an unlicensed person. With a screened porch, the main concern would be electricity service. Many states have laws regarding who is allowed to complete this work. If you do not have the work completed by a licensed contractor, your building inspector may not sign off on the completed project.

Foundation

  • Outline the area for your foundation and dig the footer trenches if you live in an area that requires footers to be placed below the frost line. In areas where the ground freezes, you need to make sure the footers are below the frost line to avoid damage from the footers shifting due to frozen ground.

  • Fill the footer trenches with concrete. Creating a solid base for the footers will help prevent the foundation from shifting and settling over time.

  • Build the foundation for your addition. Typically, foundations are built using concrete blocks and timber piers. There are footer blocks available that are designed specifically to accept and stabilize the foundation piers. If your building code allows solid foundations under mobile homes, you can also place a solid foundation under your addition. When you opt for a solid foundation under your screened room, you will need to place vent blocks every 10 feet in the middle course of the foundation to allow condensation to escape from beneath the foundation.

  • Construct the frame for your screened room. To do this, begin by building the deck for your screened room and build the screen frame over the deck. While you want the screened room to feel like part of the mobile home, you should not attach the frame of the screened room to the existing structure. Doing this increases the risk of damage to both the mobile home and the addition caused by shifting.

  • Build the roof of your screened room. To give your room a rustic look and create a more open feel, you can leave the roof trusses exposed. Apply shingles to the exterior of the roof to protect your structure from the elements and give the addition a finished appearance.

  • Apply screen material to the interior side of the screened room. This will be much easier to complete if you have at least one person helping you pull the screening tight as you staple it in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase extra screening material so you will have matching screen if you need to replace the material.

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