You’re dying to add a porch on to your home so you can soak up the rest of summer. Additionally, you want to be able to take advantage of all the cool breezes autumn has to offer. Plus, if you happen to live in the deep south, you can get some use of a porch come winter time. So, today we will help you by running through the anatomy of a mobile home porch, provide answers to the most important questions, and give you a quick look at what the actual process will look like.
We’re also going to have a look at five kinds of porch blueprints.
THE ANATOMY OF A MOBILE HOME PORCH
TO ROOF OR NOT TO ROOF
One of the first questions you should ask yourself when installing a porch is whether you should or not. Secondly, what kind of roof you want to install. These questions will have a considerable bearing on the whole project; from the time it takes to complete the structure of the railing to the weight it’s meant to support.
A roof on your porch can have a number of benefits. It shields the deck of the porch and the home from bad weather, and it creates a pleasant shaded area in which to relax. However, it will also come with extra responsibilities.
The HUD Code (more on this later) has very strict requirements on how to attach the roof of an addition to your mobile home. You might also require additional or more stringent permits.
DID SOMEONE SAY “SUNROOM”?
If you are planning on building a porch with a roof, you might consider going all the way and creating a sunroom or screen enclosure. Building these aren’t too difficult from building a porch and a roof as the walls are made using relatively lightweight glass panels.
In fact, you can buy whole sunroom or screen enclosure kits online that you can use to build one yourself. Sunrooms are great because you can have a birdseye view of the outdoors while running your AC on full blast or shielding yourself from the wind or rain.
If you go this route, you might want to install blinds or light curtains as well as it can get pretty hot inside when the sun is beating down.
Your porch needs to have a solid foundation to stand on, just like your home. In most cases, your foundation should consist of a solid concrete slab that’s at least 12 inches thick. Check your local building requirements as well as what will go best with your house.
The rails of a porch are not just there for your safety, they are also an important aesthetic element of your porch. You should treat them with the respect they deserves. If you build a roof, you should think of how the design of these two elements will combine with one another as well as how you will incorporate post beams if you want to support a roof. If you have little kids, you might want to think about solid knee walls.
It goes without saying that the deck of the porch is absolutely paramount in importance. You will probably spend a lot of time on this surface, and it needs to be able to withstand the daily strain. Additionally, it also needs to be able to stand up to the elements, mainly from moisture from rain snow, etc.
By far the most popular material to use for these kinds of decks is still wood. If you go with that, you will need to make sure that you properly waterproof them as soon as you finish building with a few coats of deck stain.
The deck will be supported by a framework of beams and joists that run perpendicular to each other underneath. The width of which should be determined by your foundation as well as how much you want your porch to be raised. Usually, this should be consistent with your home’s level.
In most cases, your porch will be raised to the same level as your mobile home. This means that you probably want one or two sets of stairs leading down from it, especially if the porch encloses a doorway.
Don’t worry! If you are brave enough to tackle an entire porch as a DIY project, then building a set of stairs isn’t that difficult. It’s commonly accepted that the ideal height for a single step is 11 inches. So, plan how many steps you need based on that and buy materials accordingly.
Generally, you would want to keep your skirting consistent with that of your actual home for a coherent look and feel. A skirting will also help to protect the foundation of your deck as well us its underside. Nowadays, you can get very attractive skirting kits that will raise the curb appeal of the addition and your entire home.
GET A LITTLE FANCY
- Think about lighting: This depends largely on how you will be using your porch. Lightning isn’t a requirement but is a good idea if you plan to use it as a reading room or will spend a lot of night time there.
- Furniture: Again, this isn’t so important, but if you plan to put heavier furniture like couches, lounge chairs, or entire dining sets on your porch you should make sure it’s strong enough to support it and provides sufficient coverage.
- Trim: The trim is the small ornamental decorations that run along the bottom of the edge of a roof. It’s fashionable to install these on porches for aesthetic reasons; they are also pretty affordable.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A MOBILE HOME PORCH?
AM I ALLOWED TO BUILD A FRONT PORCH?
Unfortunately, this is dependant on your local or state authorities. You should contact the city department for zoning and planning and approach them to ask for permission to make any additions to your home. Only proceed subsequently to their approval.
Also, if you live in a park, you should probably ask the management, regardless of what your lease agreement says. It’s only good manners to warn there might be some noise and disruptions. Some parks will ban this kind of construction altogether.
WHAT THE HUD CODE SAYS
When it comes to your manufactured home, the HUD Code is the ultimate authority on what to do and what not to do. It’s short for the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act that was brought into effect in 1976. You can read more about it here. Not only does it lay out which standards manufactured homes should be built to, but it also says in which instances a home is no longer HUD compliant.
Your addition could break your home’s HUD compliance. The most common way is if you build it in such a way that the addition bears its weight on the home. However, it goes into more details such as how to fasten/blot the addition to the home, how to attach the roof, the foundation of the addition, etc. A certified manufactured home contractor will know how to stick to the HUD guidelines.
WILL IT INCREASE MY HOME’S VALUE?
Yes! We come across this question a lot. Despite mobile homes coming a long way throughout the last few decades and gaining more and more credibility as a stable and permanent place of residence, people are still skeptical over the possibility to increase their value. If you build a good quality porch that’s attractive, it will undoubtedly raise the curb appeal and the value of your home.
However, there is a caveat. If you build the porch in a way that nullifies your home’s HUD adherence, it will have the opposite effect. People want a house that’s certified to be safe, and that stands up to the relevant standards. They also want a home they can finance. So, if you’re going to increase your home’s value, make sure you stay within the guidelines.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
A good question indeed. We would be lying if we told you exactly what your mobile home porch would cost to build. It depends mostly on the size of the porch, at what prices you can get the materials, and how much of the labor you will be taking on yourself. Another significant factor is whether you will buy a prefabricated kit or build it from the ground up yourself.
Your porch will consist mostly of wood which is readily available and not too expensive. You should be able to get a close enough quote if you go to your local hardware store with the dimensions of your porch. A kit should cost you between $15-$30 per square foot while hiring a contractor could run up to $10,000. Just buying the materials and doing it yourself should cost around $2,000-$5,000 depending on what kind of porch you build.
Diving into porch blueprints
Let’s talk about what’s got us here today. Porch blueprints. And since that’s today’s topic, what better place to begin than Decks.com?
In their own words, “Decks.com offers a variety of deck designs and plans for every type of housing configuration. Many of the deck plans include features to make your deck unique including arbors, pergolas, built-in benches and planter boxes.” The best part? You can’t beat free!
If you’re looking for a porch that’ll keep off the rain, snow, sleet, and some of the sun’s rays, then opt for a covered porch. Now, you may not get tanned sitting out here. However, if you sit out to sip lemonade on a hot summer day, at least you’ll have some protection.
Here’s an option for you if you’re thinking of a porch with a single angle roof. Its roof is a plane that slants down from your house. Additionally, its small size will be perfect for you if you’re working with limited lawn space. Stand a small plant or tree up in one corner or stick in a single rocking chair. On top of that, you might even add a few railing boxes and plan some red geraniums to add a homey look.
Maybe you’re not feeling drawn to the single angle idea. No problem! Here’s an option for a roof that does come to a peak. Plus, it gives you 256 square feet. So, it’s a little more space than the single angle option.
In this case, consider adding some hanging plant baskets from the front edge of the porch roof. Since you’ve got a roof, make the best of it! Ferns are a great option. Alternatively, you could choose hanging baskets of petunias or another flower in a color that you love.
Though it’s usually classified as a deck, you may prefer to add on something that isn’t covered. That’s okay, too. Because Decks.com still has porch blueprints for you. Below are two types of uncovered porches or decks.
A place for plants
If you’ve got a green thumb, then you want to check out our next option. Here’s a fun option with built-in space for you (or rather your plants) to grow away! And don’t just stick to the built-in spaces for your plants. Fill up the area. Since you love growing things, make this porch a jungle haven for you and your family.
And a railing
If you’re dying for a porch with a railing, check out this beautiful option. Plus, it’s got some nice steps. One advantage to a railing is the ability to dress it up with colored lights. When it gets to be the Fourth of July, string up some red, white, and blue lights and enjoy them on a cool summer night. Additionally, throw on an autumn garland once summer is past.
Hybrid – mostly not covered
How about what we’re calling a hybrid? No, this deck doesn’t have a roof. But that doesn’t mean it’s open to the sky. It’s got a pergola.
Here, perhaps you could experiment trying to grow creeping plants. Train them to climb up the sides and along the top of the pergola. Also, place an outdoor dining table underneath for hours of fun cookouts with family and friends.
Make sure that the deck blueprint you choose can work with the height of your mobile home. Also, ensure that all the work you or others do on your home is in accord with your local building code. Plus make sure you’ve got the required permits. Assume nothing. You may need to get the input of a qualified professional here.
Do you think you’ll still need more help to make this whole deck idea happen? Check out Lowe’s Design and Build a Deck info here.
STEP BY STEP HOW TO BUILD A MOBILE HOME PORCH
GET A PLAN FOR YOUR MOBILE HOME PORCH
If you fail to plan, you are preparing to fail! With a project of this magnitude, you can take that to the bank. We can break this step down into three or four sub-steps to make things even easier:
- Get inspiration: As with any home improvement project, you should get as much exposure to other people’s ideas as possible. Search for other projects online and go on Pinterest to get thousands of ideas. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on anything and open you up to new possibilities.
- Prioritize: Next up, prioritize what you need vs. what you want. For example, if safety is a big concern, go for knee walls for now. You can always update the look later on. If you’re on a tight budget, stick to the bare essentials and make a mental note to update the look later on.
- Design your porch: You don’t need to be a trained artist or architect to make a rough sketch of your home and porch. Just use exact measurements, stick to scale as much a possible, and you’re good to go. This will help you to visualize your porch and get the right amount of materials.
- Come up with a budget: You might need to shop around before you set a budget. As we said, prices for porches can vary. So, you might only know how much yours cost once you start getting material prices. Remember to set some money aside as a “disaster fund” should something go wrong.
GET THE NECESSARY PERMITS AND PERMISSIONS
Before you buy anything, make sure that you get the necessary permits. No use in buying a bunch of decking boards, joists, and beams if they aren’t going to be put to use. Usually, you go to your local city planning department or municipality to get a permit. They will require a copy of your plans as well as a permit fee. Don’t forget to clear things with your mobile home park management as well!
CREATE A SCHEDULE
Once you have a plan for your porch and any permits, you should come up with a work schedule. Unless you have no other obligations, it may help to try and plan out how long it will take, when you have the free time to work on it, and set deadlines to keep yourself on track.
If you go with a contractor, communicate with them so that you can make sure someone is always at the home when needed and so that you know how long they estimate they will take to finish.
GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
Next up, it’s time to get your materials together. What you need will depend on your porch plan. However, here are some common materials:
- Porch decking
- Joists and beams
- Waterproof deck stain
- Rails/knee walls
- Wood saw/sliding saw
- Measuring tape
- Safety equipment
- Galvanized screws and/or wood nails
- Skirting/siding planks (if you want to cover the base)
- Cement piers
BUILD YOUR PORCH
We won’t go through the in-depth steps of building a porch. However, we would like just to give you the basics of the process so that you can form an idea of what to expect. Here you can find a thorough guide to building a porch with steps and pictures.
- You should start by demarcating the area of your porch. Use the tape measure and plant sticks or droppers with the rope tied between them.
- Fix the ledger board to your home.
- Plant the posts and lay the foundation of your porch.
- Next, create the framework by laying the beams in between the posts at the top and bottom.
- Install the joists and beams underneath the deck.
- Lay the deck on top of the perimeter and the frame.
- Install your rails.
- Install the roof.
- Waterproof everything made of wood using a waterproof stain.
More porch & deck ideas
We hope our discussion of porch blueprints got your wheels spinning. You might be feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of adding a porch to your mobile home. It’s not the first time we’ve weighed in on this topic. Accordingly, take a peek at what we’ve already shared. Before you get started, check out thoughts on wrap-arounds, front porches for double wides, and our 11 front deck ideas.
5 FRONT PUCH DESIGNS FOR DOUBLE WIDE MOBILE HOMES
Summer is almost upon us and with it, the urge to spend more time outside. The thought keeps occurring to you that you might make it outside more if you had a more comfortable place to sit. Perhaps somewhere to relax while sipping lemonade or iced coffee; somewhere to chat and enjoy a warm breeze with your friend who just dropped in; or maybe somewhere to sit down while your kids run around the lawn, burning off their boundless summer energy.
A front porch is a natural thought, but you’re feeling uninspired. Well, you can start feeling inspired now. Enter our five front porch designs for double wide mobile homes.
THE “CLASSIC LITTLE PORCH”
Small enough not to take up your entire front yard, yet large enough to hold two rocking chairs for a friendly chat, the “Classic Little Porch” is just the place for relaxing in the evenings or catching up over a cup of your favorite drink. With a small peaked roof and two columns supporting it, it’s cozy and classic.
You might choose to center it in the middle of your house, but if your front door isn’t in the center, no problem! You could stick this beautiful, little porch anywhere. Vinyl or wood railings, paired with spindles of the same material will keep you and your company safe and add even more coziness.
Maybe you had in mind a more rustic-looking landing place. Some exposed boards, nothing finished quite to perfection. If you’ve been dreaming of a place that inspires the rugged and outdoorsy side of you, maybe it’s time to consider a pergola-inspired porch. Go for a flat roof, or nearly flat roof, with an overhang.
Be sure to leave the rafters exposed–no soffit or fascia here, please! Keep it paint-free to let the natural look of the wood take center stage.
THE “SUMMER SOLACE”
If your dream porch is one that stretches the entire length of your house, reminding you of a mansion from an old black and white movie, consider the “Summer Solace”. It’s third in our front porch designs for double wide mobile homes, but that doesn’t mean it’s smaller than the other two. In fact, it’s the largest.
Augmented with pillars running the entire length and painted in white, it just might become your favorite place to spend a long summer afternoon. Consider white railings for safety and style. Hang green ferns from the porch roof and set out wooden rocking chairs of your favorite color. Add a few stone pots of red geraniums for instant appeal. Additionally, if you feel like you need more privacy, The Family Handyman’s got you covered. As a suggestion, add a porch trellis.
THE “CORNER STAIR GLORY”
If you’re not exactly sure how to handle the fact that your mobile home’s front door isn’t at the center of your home but rather placed asymmetrically, don’t despair. You still have front porch options. In fact, it might be a perfect chance to put on a porch with corner stairs. Now you don’t just have a run-of-the-mill front porch, you’ve got a porch with unique, creative front steps. Plus, if you’re a seasoned DIY-er, you can do it yourself with this tutorial.
Make it big enough, and this becomes the perfect place for a couple of wicker chairs and your grill. Throw in an outdoor table, and you can practically live out here all season long. It’s like having a second kitchen and dining room. Gather your family and friends for great memories of cookouts and chats.
THE “HYBRID” IN FRONT PORCH DESIGNS FOR DOUBLE WIDE MOBILE HOMES
If none of these designs are quite your style, maybe it’s time for what we call the “Hybrid”. Pull your very favorite elements from the above designs and combine them for a completely distinct approach. For instance, if you like the idea of keeping the natural wood look (i.e. no paint) but you don’t want a flat roof, you can combine the paint-free look with the size of the “Classic Little Porch”.
Better yet, mix things up by putting corner stairs on the “Summer Solace”. Combine the different design elements until you create your own dream look. For even more ideas, check out our “Perfect Mobile Home Porch” article here.
TAKE TIME TO CHOOSE YOUR DESIGN AND MAKE IT HAPPEN
Whether you want a rough, outdoorsy look or a classy, long front porch that hearkens back to earlier days and mansion homes, we’ve got front porch designs for double wide mobile homes for you. Your delightful, relaxing new summer living space is just around the corner. Pick out your favorite design and make it happen. The grab a glass of lemonade and take a breather.
ENJOY YOUR NEW MOBILE HOME PORCH!
For more valuable additions you can make to your manufactured home, refer to our article 3 Single-Wide Mobile Home Additions That Will Blow Your Mind.
We hope that you now have all the information you need to consider building your own manufactured home porch seriously. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, and once you have completed it, you will have a fantastic extra bit of living space as well having improved your home’s curb appeal and value.