The back side of your mobile home faces directly into the backside of another mobile home, but you have a pleasant view out front. However, you have nowhere to sit and watch the scene, besides those not so big pre-fab steps.
Have you ever had friends over for a barbeque, only to find you were a little ambitious with your guest list in contrast with space you have to offer? Your mobile home is so crowded it turned your social event into canning factory.
Do any of these things sound familiar? As a mobile home owner, at one point or another, you will most likely run into a situation where you wish you had more space, or at least a space to do something different than usual. An excellent remedy is to add a mobile home front porch!
Before you go out and build a porch, there are a few things to consider.
Asking this question sets you off on the right foot, or the left, your choice.
If you and your mobile home are in a mobile home park, then you will need to go to the management office and ask whether or not you can build a front porch. Some parks will not allow any renovations that alter the property the home sits on, or they require you to seek permission from them first. If you don’t know, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
“My mobile home is on private property that I own, so I can just go ahead and build it.” How I wish that were always the case, but sadly that is not necessarily true. You will need to visit your local township hall, or research online, and see whether or not you need a permit. Some municipalities zoning laws will not even allow add-ons like a porch (even if it’s on your property).
Take the time. Ask questions. Then get started. No reason to build something if you will have to tear it down and pay a fine.
How should I install my mobile home front porch?
When it comes to decks, porches, patios, or anything else along that vein, you have to think about how you want to install it. You can choose to connect a front porch directly to your mobile home, or you can leave it unattached. We recommend leaving it unattached because it can lead to damage if you decide to move the home or remove the porch. Additionally, trying to attach it will require extra steps so that the attachment does not shift during the different seasons. We discuss this in an earlier blog post on mobile home additions.
To summarise, not attaching a front porch directly to your mobile home is safer, easier, and potentially cheaper as it prevents future damage.
How much will a porch cost?
Okay, you’re allowed to build a porch, and you know whether to attach it or not. It seems that the next thing to plan for is the cost. To figure this out, you would need to decide two things:
– How large do I want my front porch to be?
– What material do I want it to be made of?
If you are a handy person, and only want a small porch for your mobile home, the price can range from $50-$2000. Large porches that are going to require foundation work, and possibly a contractor to make it, can go as high as $15,000! You can see more price breakdowns here.
Why is there such a large price range?
Good question, let’s break it down a bit.
First, the material is a significant factor when figuring out the cost. Do you want a wood, tile, brick, a plastic-based option, etc.? Each one of those options has various sub-categories to pick from, so depending on what you want the porch to be made of, your price will either be lower or higher.
Second, how big do you want it? If the materials are a factor in pricing, then so is how much of that material you will need. Smaller porches will be cheaper than larger ones.
Third, if your porch is going to need a foundation laid, or at least need some extra foundation work done, then it will be more expensive than other porch styles.
Fourth, what extras are you wanting? Do you want to screen in the whole porch? Fancy railings? Built-in planters along the railings? An awning or a roof, with pillars to hold it up? If you say yes to any of these items, or have thought of some customizations yourself, then the price will be higher than if you chose the bare-bones route.
As we mentioned above, rules and regulations differ from county to county (or township). Some local laws may require licensing, documents, and fees. So, this aspect may also increase the price of building/installing of a new mobile home front porch.
Mobile home front porch ideas
The door creates a bottle neck when entering your mobile home, and so can small steps and platforms! It’s difficult to unlock the door when your hands are full of groceries, you have a kid pulling on your leg, and you’re tightly squeezed from the lack of space. Expanding the space in front of your mobile home by adding a porch will make it easier to move, set things down, and get in and out.
Another way to make your mobile home more accessible is to have to points of entry for your porch. Build a set of stairs on each side of your mobile home front porch, make one entrance a ramp, or build a porch with no railings and simply have steps going around the perimeter.
To Level-up Your Storage
One benefit of a mobile home front porch is the extra storage it can create. You can store seasonal items that are not used under the porch. You can utilize porch space for even more storage.
As an example, you add a built-in shed on one corner of the front porch. If you would rather not have it permanently affixed to the porch itself, you could always buy an easy to assemble plastic shed. Use the shed to hold outdoor party supplies, lawn toys, gardening tools, etc.
For another example, instead of buying separate bins and chairs for seating on the porch, create built-in benches that double as storage bins. Not only would you have extra room to entertain guests, but you can also de-clutter your porch and keep things like cushions dry!
To Shoot the Breeze
In case you don’t know what my header is referring to, you can make your front porch a “kick-back-and-relax” kind of place. Here are a few ways to do that.
First, add a swing! Watch the sunset with a warm cup of tea or a cold beer, whatever suits your fancy, and sway with the breeze.
Second, screen in your porch! Having your porch screened will allow for evening or late night chillin’ outside without the annoyance of flies, mosquitoes, and other creepy-crawlies.
For Party Time
Your mobile home front porch can become party central, even though it’s out-of-doors. Consider some of these ways to make your porch entertaining for your guests:
- Make a built-in holder for a metal firepit.
- Setup torch holders keep your party lit up.
- Get a barrel and fill it with ice for all those BYOB beverages.
- String up white Christmas lights or party streamers (depending on the theme or motif you are shooting for).
- Add built-in cup-holders to the railing and built-in benches (mentioned above).
Adding on a mobile home front porch has many benefits. Once you’ve completed yours, consider customizing it for any occasion. The list provided is just the start!