House Underpinning Materials

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Underpinning keeps out pests, blocks drafts and gives your home a more finished appearance. Mobile, modular and stick-built homes on piers or block foundations need underpinning. Some neighborhoods require you to underpin your home. Even if it's not required, homeowners choose underpinning for the additional protection. There are different types of underlayment for different looks.

Matching Home Siding

  • Underpinning that matches your home's siding provides a seamless look from the roof line to the ground. Purchase this underpinning as metal or wood panels. You build a frame of wood or metal and the underpinning snaps into place. If for some reason you need to access the original siding, you simply unsnap one section of the underpinning. Companies that make siding or mobile home accessories sell this type of underpinning.

Masonry

  • Brick or stone underpinning provide the most substantial protection. Whether stack white limestone, concrete, red brick or a manufactured stone, masonry underpinning tends to be the most expensive choice, partly because you need a skilled mason to install it. The mason will build the underpinning just as he builds a rock or brick wall. If you opt for this choice, don't forget to add a wooden access door.

Lattice

  • Sometimes you want underpinning that will allow air to flow freely underneath your home. You can install vents every 16 feet or so along the length of your underpinning. Or, you can choose a lattice underpinning. You can install lattice yourself. Build a wooden frame and tack the lattice to it. Lattice is a suitable choice for sloping ground, since it's easy to cut to size.

Other Considerations

  • Consult your homeowner's association and county building office to determine their requirements for underpinning. They may dictate a certain style of underpinning. Research ventilation requirements and plan for vents in your underpinning. Air circulation helps prevent moisture and mold buildup under your home.

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References

  • Manufactured and Modular Housing; Marie S. Spodek
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