The Caswell County (North Carolina) Commissioners (NC) split evenly on a vote to consider using cement fiberboard as an alternative to brick for skirting on manufactured homes (MH), and asked Building Inspector Ray Pulliam to further investigate if it is suitable, as caswellmessenger informs MHProNews. Several said using brick is more aesthetically pleasing and lasts longer, while others said it should be up to the homeowner to decide what material they want to use.
County Planner Catesby Denison said, “The Planning Board recommends to the Caswell County Board of Commissioners to make the presented changes to add concrete or cement fiberboard as an alternative approved option for the underpinning of individually placed manufactured homes.”
While Pulliam said the cement fiberboard deteriorates very quickly, Roger McCarter, general manager of Clayton Homes in Roxboro, NC, said the fiberboard has been used for seven or eight years, and it has been approved for MH. He added that homes are made ready to accommodate the fiberboard skirting.
After Commissioner Kenneth Travis said the current ordinance requires a masonry foundation, McCarter said the fiberboard is a masonry product and it is used in surrounding counties.
A manufactured home resident, Amanda Lester approached the podium and said she lives on a fixed income and cannot afford a brick skirting, but cannot get into her new home until she can afford the underpinning. Her house burned, she said, and she had a brick underpinning. “It had a concrete slab under it. It had brick under it but it didn’t save it from burning. It still burned,” she said.
Lee Whitley from Blevins, Inc., a distributor of the cement fiberboard, said the product has been around for years and is also used as siding on stick-built homes. He estimated on a 14 X 80 foot manufactured home it would cost $5,500 to $6,500 for a brick foundation, and another $2,500 to $3,500 to tear it down.
By comparison, the cement fiberboard would cost $1,800 to $2,500, and you can take it with you.
Chairman of the Planning Board Thomas Johnston said, “We felt like the concrete fiberboard option was a good alternative to the brick. It lets the individual homeowner decide what kind of underpinning they want to have. It is going to save them money. We also felt it is aesthetically pleasing as well.”
While the motion to allow the cement fiberboard failed, Chairman Carter asked the building inspector to review the matter further. ##
(Photo credit: Royal Homes of Raleigh)
Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.