Monday, July 19, 2010

A taste test -- foundation treatments

Which foundation treatment looks best on this 100-year old home in New South Wales:

The Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

(Click on any photo to enlarge, and hit back button to come back to blog text.)

The Marigold

(No need planting flowers with this one.)

The Stay Classy San Diego

Good on you if you picked number three. It took some work with Gimp to get it this classy. The actual photo is the first one, and I lied. This home is not 100 years old nor is it in New South Wales.

It is a modern single-wide home, The gHouse, by Giles Industries in Tennessee. (After clicking on link, for more photos of the gHouse click on SINGLE SECTION INTERACTIVE BROCHURES button in lower left, and wait for it to load. Then use arrow key buttons at top to look at the gHouse.)

Giles is yet another manufactured home company gobbled up by Clayton Homes. The Giles gHouse is available in several states in the mid to southeast, and also in Ohio and a few other places.

Thanks to a reader for emailing me and pointing out the gHouse, knowing my fondness for a shed roof on a single-wide. I came across the gHouse before in my web travels. It won a BEST DESIGN award from the Manufactured Housing Institute.

I ignored it partly because their website mentions limited customization and the standard insulation is R19 in the ceiling which isn’t good. Get R30 in the ceiling, at least, and preferably R40 or R50, if possible. So, if you like the shed roof too, talk with them about upgrades to 2 x 6” walls and better insulation before even bothering to go see it.

Inside, the gHouse is modern, and resembles the 2009 Clayton “Evolution” home and Clayton’s newest, the ehome. They all have vaulted shed ceilings inside, and transom windows. Only the Giles gHouse has a shed roof though.

Back to foundations. On most manufactured homes, depending on local codes or just how much you want to pay, people use either skirting (the cheap option and often included with the home) or block foundation.

First, about skirting. Skirting can be made out of vinyl, galvanized metal or cement board. It can be plain, or with horizontal lines in it, or with a faux rock design. If you like the faux rock, go for a rectangular pattern rather than a round stone pattern. Don't use the patterns with dark or multi-colored rocks, unless it goes with your collection of 57 lawn gnomes. Patterns made to look like smaller bricks look fake.

With cinder block for a foundation, leaving the gray might look best. It says: “This is a real house. It has a foundation!” Or, you can paint it.

There are blocks with a rough stone texture on one side, for which you can pay extra. They look nice.

Better than skirting that looks like rocks, a faux rock pattern can be applied to block, with a half inch of cement. Some masons can do this very well. Again, I’d go for the stacked rock look rather than round stones, and keep the color basically the same, a gray or light brown.

Don’t despair if you opted for the “fruit loops” rock skirting and are embarrassed. You can always just paint out the dark brown stones with a lighter color and it'll look fine.

1 comment:

  1. Since Clayton owns Giles, you'd think they would have a better website. I've been to most of the g home listed dealers in my area, but, no g home is available, and the website does not allow you to find a particular home on a Dealer's lot. This is the first even "real" picture I've seen of it. I might want to take a gander before making my decision on a home. But as many times that I have asked about it, and been to the dealerships, sometimes you get tired of asking, figuring they just might want to SELL you something. How does this compare to the e home? Who knows? Anyone out there every looked at one?