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Remodeling or repairing mobile homes has certain challenges that homeowners living in more traditional homes won’t experience to the same extent. While they do offer some convenience in the fact that they can be moved if need be, the lack of foundation will create other challenges. In this article, we’ll help focus on some of those challenges, and we will also talk about other types of home improvement projects and the respective considerations you’ll need to be aware of with this type of home in comparison to a more traditional type.
When you’re ready for it, go to the top of this page in order to get quotes from competing mobile home repair services near you in order to save money on your project.
We’ll also talk about how to make additions to this space, and what you’ll need to think about during this remodeling project. As with normal home additions, they’re often done when families expand with more members, or because your housing needs are changing in one way or another. You don’t traditionally have the same option of turning a garage into a room as many other types of houses do, which is why you will want to work with a contractor who is familiar with the different challenges you may run into.
Working with the best mobile home remodeling companies near you is the way that you get a solution that both satisfies the needs you may have, as well as doing it without breaking your budget. Good companies should show a willingness to listen to your needs and help come up with the solutions that meet as many of them as possible while staying on budget.
Choosing to live in a mobile home can be a choice to stay mobile when needs require it, but it’s also an option loved by many because of the affordability it provides, and it’s only natural that you’ll want to find a contractor who understands your desire to get things done, but getting them done cost-conscientiously.
The easiest way to save money on your project is by getting quotes from competing contractors, which is very easy for you to do straight through our website. It only takes you 2 minutes to fill out the form, there’s no obligation and it’s even entirely free for you. When your housing needs change, we encourage you to make use of this free service to make sure you go with the right contractor.
Consider These Things Before You Get Started
There’s an inherent weight concern that needs to be addressed no matter if you’re remodeling your home, considering an addition, wish to replace your floor or engage in another home improvement activity that has the potential to add substantial amounts of weight to the mobile home. Permanent homes will have foundations, typically made of concrete to ensure that they can handle additional weight that might end up being added, but even they could end up having their house framing strengthened to be able to support additional weight such as heavy types of roofing materials.
Mobile homes are, what the name suggests, mobile, but generally at the weight that they currently have, and not necessarily with additional weight added to them. Roofing, siding, flooring are the typical types of material that have the potential to add a lot of weight to the structure, and you’ll therefore want to consider the weight too when you’re making changes to your home.
Making Sure You Have The Required Support For Your Desired Changes
Before you start thinking you’ll go for heavier types of materials, it’s important that you use the contractor to have him evaluate the structural support, or perhaps preferably consult with the manufacturer of the mobile home to hear what they have to say.
Electrical and plumbing in your home could also have been designed and installed in a way that limits the different options available for you, and as soon as you start having to move those around you’ll also start driving up the bill on your project, which is why ideally you will want to not have to knock down drywall and changing the layout of your space with the ambitions of your project. Moving a bathroom during a remodel is a project that carries a certain price tag. If your plans do require restructuring of certain of these elements, make sure that the bids you receive are itemized to ensure everything you wish to have done is included and that the general contractor hasn’t missed anything.
Even if your mobile home will be able to withstand the additional weight, can it be safely moved when more weight is added? And is that in important thing for you in this whole process?
You don’t want to suddenly find cracks in your mobile home simply because you were unable to secure the adequate support for it.
Mobile Home vs Manufactured Home
Although the two names are often used without a clear distinction, it’s important to know what the difference is because it will play an important role for your remodel too. Not so much because of the actual name but because of what the distinction meant for the whole industry.
Although a lot of people might still be talking about mobile homes, many of them actually aren’t since that was the name that they went under before the HUD code was introduced in 1976 which brought a lot of building standards with it, thereby significantly increasing their quality too. Manufactured homes are those built after 1976. With that in mind, it also makes sense that your options are significantly more when you’re in fact living in a manufactured home that lives up to the HUD code.
Adhering to the HUD code also means that you’re not nearly as limited when it comes to choosing building materials, since the increased quality has made them more capable of handling additional weight too.
Cost Considerations For Materials
While you may wish to remodel your home aspiring to increase its value as much as possible, the materials used for this type of remodel often have two things in common – they’re light-weight, and fairly affordable. A lot of times it does not make sense to install expensive materials as part of a mobile home remodel simply because you won’t see the increase in value from it. People that are looking to buy them when you eventually consider moving out simply may not value higher end materials, and your decisions during this project should reflect those considerations if a major concern of yours is to recoup your investment in a couple of years.
Are You Planning on Moving Out Eventually?
If you’re planning on moving out of the space in a couple of years, that’s also something to consider, since it may then may make sense to sacrifice some of the things that you really value which a potential buyer may not value quite as much, that means the color palette you go with could be a little bit more neutral than you’d like since its appeal is broader. When you don’t choose to do that, you may simply end up in a situation in a couple of years where the real estate agent advises you to get a professional painter to come in and give the whole thing a new feel, which simply increases your overall cost of the project too.
Mobile Homes Are Subject to Local and Federal Regulations in Ways That Normal Houses May Not be
Although normal houses are subject to a lot of regulation too, being the owner of a mobile home you should ensure that the possible changes that you have in mind are also allowed in the neighboring state, should you have a desire to move it there instead, which is why you will want to make sure you don’t start making changes in one state that could be prohibited in another. With the aid of the right contractor, you’ll be able to make sure that doesn’t happen. Making additions often requires getting special permits, and since contractor license requirements aren’t the same in each state, you can probably imagine that they also have different building codes. The contractor license requirements in Texas differ from the ones in Arkansas, as is the case with building codes.
A quality contractor will either know those specific details or will at the very least know how to get in contact with the building inspector in your county to ensure that your project adheres with the relevant regulation, so that things are done safely and according to the law also. It would be undesirable having to redo the plumbing simply because it doesn’t live up to the building codes. This contractor will also be able to get the necessary permits required to undertake your project, so that you don’t have to do it since it’s probably not a process you’re very familiar with, meaning it would take you significantly longer for you to do it than it will for them.
Are you thinking of replacing the flooring in your mobile home, then these are some of the most popular options to consider. The flooring is in fact what helps provide protection against water leaks. With faulty flooring combined with water getting out of hand, you’ll easily be able to find yourself with damage in the subfloor which will then need to be replaced by a carpenter before you are able to proceed, which increases the cost, and is therefore a reason why you will want to make sure that your choices match the desired functionality. For instance, installing carpet in the bathroom is not a good idea because of their poor ability to handle the high moisture content in the air.
Before You Start on Your Flooring Project, You Need to do This
Given the lack of foundation that’s inherent with these structures, they’re also more prone to requiring floor leveling after having been installed for a couple of years. Without this, you can imagine that it obviously causes some stress to the framing of the structure. When one side is 3 inches lower than the other side, the frame has to adjust, and since it wasn’t built for that, it creates stress to the frame. This should ideally be fixed before you start replacing the flooring also.
Subflooring is what the floor will use for support, and while there aren’t usually problems with this important part in the higher end models, some lower end models may have poor support in the subfloor, which will need to be addressed, especially if it is found that your mobile home can in fact support the installation of tile, and that is the route you wish to go in. Hardwood floors are no different with that regards.
Ceramic tile is definitely not a flooring material that is installed by yourself over the weekend, since there’s simply too much that can go wrong. It’s a great way to upgrade the look and feel of your mobile home, and bathrooms and kitchens is where it most often goes, although there are also homes that choose to use this tile throughout the whole space to create a very uniform feeling.
It does require not just a strong subfloor but also that the overall structure of the space is able to handle it since it isn’t a light option to go with. Porcelain is even heavier than traditional ceramics due to its increased density. Glazed tile or porcelain are even great options that can be installed in showers to create a one-of-a-kind look. The density of the porcelain makes its water absorption rate low, while the liquid glass that is added to ceramic tile will have the same effect.
No matter the type of home that you have, carpet is loved by many types of homeowners because of how comfortable it is to walk on. It’s not quite as good as some of the easier-to-clean materials in terms of ensuring good air quality, but standing on carpet first thing in the morning when you get out of bed sure is a nice feeling, which is also why it’s the most popular flooring materials when it comes to bedrooms.
There are many different types and grades of carpet, but that’s a discussion best left out of this article for its very own article focusing on the topic.
Laminate flooring might have used to have a bad reputation but that is definitely not the case anymore given how far it has come. The variety that you can choose from is stunning, and it can be made to resemble a lot of different materials, although not having a lot of their disadvantages. It’s also very affordable, really quite durable and can serve you well in a lot of different functions.
When you’re not a person that appreciates having to do a lot of maintenance and cleaning, this option definitely beats carpet that will gather dust and is a lot harder to also keep clean if you spill something on it. With laminate, you simply wipe it up straight away and you’re good to go about the rest of your day. The thickness will play a huge role in how durable it is, and therefore how long it will last.
Wood flooring is definitely more expensive than a lot of cheaper options, but it also feels more luxurious. The good thing is that wood can be refinished by a pro when it starts showing wear, and then you can very quickly have a floor that looks brand new again.
Vinyl flooring, like laminate, used to have a bad reputation but its production processes have been fine-tuned over the course of time and you now get options that can resemble other materials, with great durability, and at a fraction of the cost of some of the other materials. It’s actually maybe the most popular flooring material when it comes to mobile homes, also because there are no weight concerns with this material.
Window replacement is another popular popular thing to do in mobile homes, given that is where a lot of your precious AC will leak through if your windows aren’t air tight. The advantage when it comes to this home upgrade is that replacing the windows in this type of home is often significantly easier than it is in a traditional home, and that will in turn be reflected in the price that the contractor will be able to quote you for the project.
Mobile and manufactured homes are traditionally built with very standard sizes, and that means that a contractor will be able to install a standard product too without having to modify the frame or order custom windows. You can often find that you’ll be spending several hundred dollars less than would be the case on a comparable project for a traditional home. Cheap windows can be bought for as little as $85 and they’ll then need to be installed by a pro to ensure they’re fitted properly and that they serve the intended purpose.
New windows serve a couple of different purposes including improving your home’s energy efficiency as well as improving its curb appeal. Leaky windows, the same as roofing leaks, can cause all sorts of trouble such as water damage.
The advantage with the improved energy efficiency is that you’ll be able to turn your HVAC unit down a bit, which in turn will lead to monthly cost savings, and over time it’s one of those home improvement projects that ends up financing itself. Obviously, it doesn’t help much that you install new windows if your unit basically has no insulation, which is also a topic we’ll be talking about.
There are different materials that can be used for windows, each of them come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Aluminum is a relatively strong material that can be used for windows, and is an option that’s also stronger than vinyl. Pure aluminum is not good at insulating, so the manufacturers will often install insulating materials, or a thermal-break, between the different sheets of aluminum, thereby making it a better insulator too. The strength of the material means that you can make relatively thin frames which thereby gives the impression of bigger windows too.
Its thermal properties and little requirement for maintenance is the reason why this is the most popular type of material. It’s durable and its production processes have also come very far over the years. They’re commonly made to resemble wood, and although they obviously don’t look exactly like wood, they’re usually chosen because of how easy they are to have. When frequent home maintenance isn’t your preferred activity of choice, vinyl’s a good option.
Wood is usually chosen when you wish to get a slightly higher end look, because they will look better than the alternatives.The issue with wood, no matter if it’s cedar siding or wooden windows is that it requires maintenance to stay protected against elements such as rot and termites.
Fiberglass also has good insulating capabilities as well as the ability to be repainted, although the material does have some limitations in terms of variety. They’re not usually the first choice of material when it comes to mobile homes.
We already mentioned the importance of ensuring that your home has adequate insulation when you’re installing new windows, which brings us to this section on the topic. Mobile homes traditionally have not been properly insulated, and given the fact that they’re often made from thin materials with poor thermal properties, insulation doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Additionally, the manufacturers of these types of homes are known to add no insulation to them, which may make them slightly cheaper but also means you’ll be spending significant amounts of money ensuring a comfortable temperature inside of them.
Besides already being built without much insulation, another major problem arises from the fact that these structures settle, and once they’re no longer level, the additional stress to the structure drastically increases the risk of air leaks, and valuable AC dollars going straight out through those leaks.
When you choose the material for insulating your mobile home, the R-value is one that you will see over and over, and this is an indication of how effective the material in fact is at doing its job and keeping outside air out and inside air in. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating material. The HUD code also regulates insulation in manufactured homes. The roof is often where heat will escape through, which is why the attic is perhaps the most important part to insulate.
The R-value of the insulation will also be determined by different factors, including the type of material, how much of it is being used, the density and how well it has been applied. Even if you are using good material, if you’re only applying it to 80% of the necessary space, there’s still a large vulnerable area not being addressed. For it to be as effective as possible, you will want to get proper insulation installed throughout the different areas.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of materials, but one meant to highlight the most relevant options for you as a mobile home owner.
As you might have imagined, this is an option when the drywall has already been set up and you don’t want to have to tear it down in order to install some of the other options. A professional insulation contractor will make a hole in the existing wall through which it’s blown-in in one manner or another. Different types of material can be used for this purpose including mineral wool, fiberglass and cellulose being the most common types. When the material has been properly applied by the pro, it’s now time to fix the hole through which the material was injected through. It’s a type of application that is both suitable for attics, walls and other hard to get to places.
Rolls of Insulation
The disadvantage with this material that it needs to be applied in a space that is in fact accessible, which isn’t the case for walls that have already been put up. It can, however, be used to insulate underneath the home assuming its accessible for a pro to crawl there.
Various types of fibers, mineral wool or fiberglass are the most common materials that come available in rolls.
Another popular type of insulation material that is applied by pros is spray foam, which is extremely efficient at insulating those areas that might be hard to secure air leaks in. The advantage of using spray foam for corners and other places is that the material is sprayed and starts expanding upon contact, at which point it easily fills out all those tiny little holes.
The Different Places that Need Insulation
You might have thought that it’s just the attic and walls that need insulation, but if you thought that we’re sorry to inform you that there are a bunch of other places that require insulation, including underneath the mobile home, in the crawlspaces, water heaters, ducts, plumbing, windows, doors, and garage doors. The different spaces also require different types of insulation, where a garage door, for example, needs to have its weather stripping replaced every couple of years. Doors and windows will need to be properly caulked to provide the satisfactory protection against the elements.
Furnaces installed in mobile homes are built specifically for the purpose since they will need to accommodate to the smaller ductwork in this type of house in order to ensure the proper distribution of the warm air. Before you simply go out and buy a furnace, you will want to make sure that it’s actually allowed to be installed in your mobile home, which is one of the reasons working with a pro is the best solution. The furnaces generally start around $650 uninstalled, and by using the form on our site, you can make sure you get the job done as economically as possible.
Bathtub Installations and Bathroom Remodeling
Adding a bathtub to your mobile home or remodeling your bathroom is another type of project that we get a lot of inquiries about. You can obviously remodel to varying extents, but even if you are “simply” installing a tub, the best idea is to get it done by a pro. The issue about not getting it done professionally is that you don’t want to end up with water damage which can and will be expensive to repair. Best to just avoid that!
We also previously mentioned how the plumbing has already been laid, and while you can get it changed, it will cost money. Consequently, the less plumbing that needs to be changed the better for your wallet, and you could even go as far as to keep the same existing layout in your bathroom that you already have. Plumbing often needs to be inspected and approved by a government official after it has been installed, and all of that adds to the duration of the process and to the cost.
When you’re having a bathtub installed, it’s also incredibly important that you’re cautious with regards to its size. You can get bathtubs that are specifically made for mobile homes, or you can get a normal one. Either way, making sure you can get it through the doors will ensure you don’t need to knock down a wall to make your project happen.
Getting Free Quotes From Mobile Home Contractors
Getting free quotes from mobile home contractors has never been easy, and all you need to do is simply go to the top of this page and fill it out with the relevant information, and we’ll match your home improvement project with the most relevant contractors in your area who will then get the opportunity to reach out to you, hear more about your project and bid on it.
What are you waiting for?