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Mobile Home Remodeling: The Ultimate Guide

A mobile home offers a beautiful living space at an affordable price.

However, many older mobile homes desperately need some love. From inside to outside, you can do all kinds of awesome renovations to your home. You might not even recognize the result!

UPDATE: If you want some real-world inspiration, check out the results of our first ever Mobile Home Makeover Contest! You’ll find tons of photos from 10 amazing makeover projects, all from real people.

Since a total mobile home makeover is a huge undertaking, we’ve broken this process down into 8 chapters.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

1
The Battle Plan:Where Does Your Mobile Home Stand, Right Now?

You want to renovate your mobile home, but where do you begin?

You can’t just start swinging a crowbar and hope for the best. You need to take a good look at the current state of your home before you start your mobile home remodeling.

Consider your project from two angles: structural, cosmetic, and budgetary. Most likely, you’ll find constraints and opportunities in each of these areas which will shape the scope of what you can do. It’s important to get a comprehensive picture of the state of your home before you get to work.

1Structural Constraints

General Mobile Home Structural Considerations

If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to take a good look at your mobile home’s structural state. We’ll start from the ground and move up.

AI-Beam Inspection

To perform this step, you’ll need to remove a section of skirting and look under your home. It’s important to take a few safety precautions when you do this. As this document from DisasterSafety.org says, you should have a flashlight, gloves, knee pads, and rodent repellent on hand when you go under your home. Also, you should watch for black widow and brown recluse spiders under your home. Since you’re wearing work gloves, your hands will be protected already.

However, you should also prepare yourself with a can of spray pesticide. Black widows in particular are aggressive spiders. They will run towards you, rather than away from you. Make sure you’re ready to spray or completely squash them.

Once you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions, it’s time to take off a section of your mobile home skirting. This skirting might seem hard to remove, but with the proper technique, it’s not that bad. The skirting is held in place with a U-shaped strip on the bottom and a V-shaped strip on top. Don’t mess with the U-shaped strip. Instead, carefully bend back the V-shaped strip on the top until you can get to the top edge of the skirting section. Be careful not to break the V-shaped strip! The skirting sections interlock vertically.

To remove a section, pull it straight up and out after lifting the V-shaped liner. While this video is about installing new skirting, it also gives you a nice view of how the skirting pieces interlock.

Now it’s time to get dirty. Get under your mobile home and look at the I-beams that support it. Are they bent or rusted? If so, your home may not be seated properly on its supports, or the condition of the land may have changed since your home was set up. Warped I-beams won’t get in the way of simple cosmetic renovations, but they could throw a wrench in a major remodeling. Since right angles may have moved off spec, adding or removing an interior wall or installing a new exterior door could be very difficult on a warped frame. However, a warped frame won’t affect simple cosmetic changes like a new coat of paint or new carpet.

While you’re under your home, check for any gaps that would allow black widows or brown recluse spiders to enter your home. Make note of these and add them to your list of essential repairs.

BFloor Framing Inspection

The wooden floor framing sits on top of your home-s I-beams. It supports the entire structure above it. You guessed it-your floor framing is super important!

While you-re under your mobile home, take a look at your floor framing. Is it cracked, broken, or rotten? If it’s cracked or broken, you need to address this issue before you consider any major remodeling. If your mobile home floor framing shows moisture damage or rot, that means that moisture is leaking somewhere. If you have rotten floor framing below a water heater, sink, bathtub, etc., that’s prime evidence that you have some leaky plumbing to fix. Take note of that and add it to your list of critical repairs.

CA Note about Walls

While we-re talking about structure, it’s important to note that mobile homes have two kinds of walls: load-bearing, and non-load-bearing. The exterior walls are load-bearing in all types of mobile homes. If you modify the structure of your exterior walls, you jeopardize the safety of your home. Just don’t do it!

As this post on McGarryAndMadsen.com explains, in a single-wide home, none of the interior walls are load-bearing. However, in a double-wide, the wall(s) over the marriage line (center line) are load-bearing. They support the center of the roof. You can’t modify or remove the marriage line wall in a double-wide.

Note on Pre-1976 Mobile Homes

Homeowners whose mobile homes date from 1976 or before need to take special precautions with their mobile home remodel. Before 1976, mobile home construction was not federally regulated. Most homes from this era were built with the cheapest materials available. Today, pre-1976 homes often show serious structural decay. If the structural weaknesses are bad enough, those issues must be addressed before you consider a remodel that touches on structural elements.

However, take note: if you’re looking at your mobile home renovation as an investment, a pre-1976 model is probably not a money-making candidate-especially if the home requires serious structural repair. Mobile homes in general depreciate over time, and pre-1976 models do not bring a high market value even after renovations. If you dump money into mobile home renovation on a pre-1976 model, don’t expect to get that money back when you sell.

Of course, if you’re renovating simply to make your living space more beautiful, you don’t need to worry about the investment aspect.

2Cosmetic Opportunities

You can easily freshen up your living space with cosmetic renovations. For example, the type and quality of light in a home has a profound effect on the mood of the space. New mobile home windows and new lighting fixtures can change the overall feel of your home for the better-yet they’re fairly simple cosmetic renovations.

Maybe it’s time for new cabinets or a new sink and faucet in the kitchen. Since this area gets constant use, cosmetic renovations here can improve your overall living space dramatically.

Maybe you’re looking to update the outside of your home. New mobile home skirting, new fiberglass steps, or new vinyl exterior shutters can freshen up the exterior of your mobile home. For a dramatic change, consider a new awning-or even a whole new sunroom! Don’t worry, we’ll cover these options in more detail in Chapter 8.

As you can see, mobile home cosmetic renovations come in all shapes and sizes. We’ll talk about budget momentarily, but remember, you can make beautiful changes to your home on any budget.

If you’re considering a mobile home remodel, chances are you’ve already identified some cosmetic things you’d like to improve. Take a longer look at those things now, and write everything down. Don’t hold anything back at this point. You’ll trim your list later based on your budget.

3Consider Your Budget

This part is no fun, but you can’t skip it! Mobile home renovation can turn into a financial rabbit hole if you don’t set some boundaries before you dive in. It’s time to face the hard numbers and make some decisions.

Let’s get one thing out of the way first. How handy are you with tools? Your skill set will significantly influence where you use your funds. If you have the skills to do all the mobile home remodeling yourself, you can allocate most or all of your budget to parts and supplies. That means you can afford more renovations overall, since you’re not paying anyone to do the work.

However, if you’re planning significant changes which you can’t do yourself, a majority of your budget will go to labor costs. If that’s the case, you may have to dial back on the scope of your mobile home renovation.

Now it’s time to write everything down. Make a list and get everything on it—both cosmetic and structural projects.

Why do this? To see the scope of the changes you’ve been thinking about. When you’re staring at one thing in front of you, it’s easy to forget everything else. This way, you can take a step back and see the whole picture.

Once you have everything written down, it’s time to make a second list. This time, you’re going to organize all the cosmetic improvements on your first list. But rather than writing them in the order they come to mind, you’ll want to organize them in order of priority. What’s the most important cosmetic issue you’d like to address? What comes second? What brings up the rear? Once you can answer these questions, you’ll have an easier time staying in budget—simply because you’ll know which projects to cut once you reach your cap.

What’s your total budget? That’s up to you. You could easily spend $30,000 on a mobile home makeover, or you could fill and paint some wood paneling for a few hundred bucks.

Determine the total amount you can afford to spend on your mobile home renovation. Then, as a contingency plan, pull that budget back by 10% or so. That way, if unexpected costs come up, you’ll be prepared to deal with them.

Once you’ve determined your overall budget, it’s time to look at your prioritized list of projects again. Using this list, you should itemize your budget based on what each project will cost. If you’re doing all the work yourself, you can calculate the total which you should allocate to each project based on cost of materials alone. If you’re hiring someone, you’ll want to get quotes from several contractors for each item on your list. Note: even if you need to hire someone to do the work, you can still save money by purchasing the mobile home parts yourself from Mobile Home Parts Store.

4The Whole Picture

What did you come up with? Chances are, you’ve got some great ideas on how to improve your mobile home. Now it’s time to dive in. In the rest of this guide, we have chapters dedicated to kitchen, bedroom, and living room improvements. We’ve got a whole chapter about HVAC renovation, plus chapters about bathroom, plumbing, and exterior improvements. Next up: “Cook Great Meals in an Awesome Kitchen.” We’ll see you there.

Chapter 2

2
Cook Great MealsIn an Awesome Mobile Home Kitchen
Photo courtesy of ShutterStockImage ID: 186311882. Licensed under ABC Photo.

We all need to eat

That means the kitchen has the ultimate draw! Because it’s such an important space, the kitchen can set the tone for your entire mobile home. If your lifestyle brings you again and again to a space that is outdated, claustrophobic, or downright ugly, you’d better believe that affects your mood. So what do you do? You don’t have a lot of space, especially in a single wide. How do you work with what you’ve got?

You’d be surprised what you can do. With a little creativity, a mobile home kitchen remodel can transform your home—and it doesn’t have to break the bank! In this chapter, we’ll show you how to give your kitchen a total makeover. You won’t believe how affordable it is.

1Finding New (To You) Cabinets

Cabinets say a lot about a kitchen. For some reason, they age faster than other fixtures. It’s easy to spot mobile home kitchen cabinets that date from the ‘70s or before. While these older cabinets are often functional, there’s no way around it—they just look old! If your kitchen seems a little stale or stifling, the cabinets are likely a big part of that feeling. A mobile home kitchen with new cabinets will blow you away.

Now, even if you decide not to update your actual cabinets, you can spruce up your cabinet accessories. New cabinet hinges, cabinet knobs, and friction catches breathe life into an older set of cabinets. With a price tag of $50 or less for all the parts combined, this little update gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

However, replacing your entire cabinet structure is more affordable than you might think. Habitat for Humanity operates ReStores all around the country. These non-profit stores sell lightly used furniture, fixtures, and building supplies at bargain prices. You can easily pick up a set of cabinets here for a fraction of retail sticker price. It’s a win-win: you get great, affordable fixtures, and all the proceeds from your local ReStore go to building new homes for the disadvantaged in your community.

However, take note: turnaround at your local ReStore could be lightning fast! People who know about the ReStore like to snatch up a bargain right away. If you see the perfect cabinets at the ReStore, buy them that day. They likely won’t be there tomorrow.

Watch for roadside pickup opportunities, too. Sometimes, tacking up a FREE sign is the easiest way to dump an item that’s still functional but has lost is appeal for the owner. If someone is offering a used item for free, it’s most likely still usable. Who offers garbage for free? That’s just rude! If you see some good-looking cabinets on the side of the road, pull over and check them out. This could be a golden opportunity.

Remember, whether you buy your cabinets second hand or pick them up for free, those accessories we mentioned earlier can transform a cabinet from second-choice to first-choice. With a little paint and some new cabinet hinges and knobs, you can transform your “okay” new cabinets into great new cabinets.

2Peninsulas and Islands

Bad Peninsulas

Did you doze off and wake up in geography class? Nope! We’re still talking about the ultimate mobile home remodel. Here’s the deal: your kitchen is an ocean, and your fixtures are the coastlines. The ocean current needs to flow. So what allows more flow? A peninsula, or an island? You can see where we’re going with this.

Peninsulas are common in older mobile home kitchens. The long kitchen peninsula was a classic design trend in the ‘70s. Let’s be honest—it had its run. Today, the long kitchen peninsula doesn’t feel as fresh and inviting as it must have felt back in the day.

What’s wrong with a peninsula? Technically, nothing. However, since a long peninsula creates a barrier that often reduces the kitchen entry-point to the width of a single walkway, it can create a sense of constriction or claustrophobia. Taking out an old full-length peninsula and replacing it with an island is a great way to open up your kitchen space without significantly reducing your available storage space.

A new island from a home décor retailer can cost anywhere from $400 to well over $1000. If you’re doing a total mobile home makeover on a budget, a new island may not be feasible. If that’s the case, this is a great opportunity to get creative. As well as checking your local ReStore or 2nd-hand furniture store, consider repurposing a large cabinet. In this blog post on Blue Roof Cabin, Mimi tells how she picked up a large free cabinet and repurposed it into a kitchen island.

If you follow in Mimi’s footsteps, we’d like to add one caveat. We would recommend something harder than pine for your DIY island countertop. Even with a hard finish, pine is still a softwood. Over time, it may show deep dings from everyday use. The ideal wood here is maple. Like pine, maple has closed grain, meaning it doesn’t have tiny holes all over it. It looks incredibly smooth, exactly what you’d expect in a kitchen countertop. However, unlike pine, maple is one of the hardest woods you can buy. It will take years of abuse without showing a lot of dings or dents. When dents do appear in maple, they tend to be shallower, simply because of the wood’s natural hardness.

Not all islands have to be rooted to the floor. Islands on wheels allow the ultimate in flexible kitchen space. A DIY kitchen island on wheels is easier than you might think! Add a set of casters to your large repurposed cabinet, and you have a kitchen island on wheels. This article from DoItYourself.com gives you the lowdown on installing casters on any kind of furniture.

Not-So-Bad Peninsulas

Now, not all kitchen peninsulas are bad. A properly-placed shorter peninsula can add a sense of definition to the kitchen space without blocking it off. Also, a shorter peninsula pairs well with an island. Together, they create a sense of balance and harmony.

If you’re ripping out a long kitchen peninsula, consider replacing it with a shorter peninsula. You can recover the lost storage space with an island. If you build a wheeled island like we mentioned above, you can easily recreate that long peninsula if you need it for parties or a group cooking session.

3New and/or Improved Stove

Add a Range Hood to Remove Cooking Odor and Heat

Did you notice how we phrased that? If your stove is in working condition and you don’t mind how it looks, you don’t need to replace it—especially since a new stove can be expensive. However, even if you want a new stove but can’t afford it, you can spruce up your range area with new parts and accessories.

If you don’t have a range hood over your stove, adding one is a great way to improve your kitchen. A range hood sucks up heat and vapor from the stove, making your living space (and your cooking experience) more enjoyable.

There are two types of range hood. A vented range hood sends heat, vapor, and odor to the outside world through a duct system. A ductless range hood simply filters gases and odors out of the air, returning the filtered air to the kitchen.

If you don’t have an old vented range hood installed already, a new one will require a duct system. That means modification to your home’s wall. If you don’t have the skills to do this yourself, you should hire a professional to install your vented range hood. Since a ductless range hood doesn’t require a duct to the outside world, it’s much easier to install. Simply mount it to the underside of the cabinet above your stove.

New Burners and Burner Pans

Let’s face it, stoves get messy. Even if you try to clean up spills before they harden, nasty stuff builds up on your burners. If you have an electric stove, the range reflector bowls are even worse. They hang onto any spill and toast away until it’s a gritty black mess. If you neglect cleaning even one spill on a reflector bowl, you’ll never get it clean again!

If a new stove is out of the question, new range reflector bowls and new range heating elements can refresh your stove to match the parts of the kitchen that you are remodeling. Replacing these things is part of regular maintenance for an electric stove, so you may as well hit that while remodeling.

New Stove on a Budget of Any Size

No amount of maintenance can fix a stove that’s done for. If your electric stove isn’t heating properly, works intermittently, or produces dangerous sparks, it’s time to replace it. A new stove is a great investment if you can afford it. The quality of stoves available on the market today is excellent, especially if you can spend a little more.

If a brand new stove doesn’t fit your budget, try the ReStore or local second-hand furniture store again. Also, take a look at Craigslist. Someone might be looking to dump a stove that’s perfect for you. With used stoves generally going for $100-200, Craigslist could hold a hidden gem for your kitchen.

4Everything—AND the Kitchen Sink!

If you’re remodeling the entire kitchen, why not throw in the kitchen sink, too? It’s one of the most-used fixtures in your home, and a new one can really take your kitchen to the next level.

If you’re replacing your old kitchen sink without changing your cabinets and countertop, you’ll need to choose a sink that has the same footprint or larger as your existing sink. (A smaller sink will fall through the existing hole!) If you choose a larger sink, or if you’re installing a sink in a new cupboard system, you’ll need to cut out your countertop to match the size and shape of the new sink. Our easy-to-follow video shows you how to do this—and more. Check it out!

Now, before you go pulling anything, make sure you turn off the hot and cold water lines to the sink. You’ll also need to drain out any water still in the faucet system by opening both faucet handles until no more water comes out. After that, you need to disconnect all plumbing going in and out of your old sink.

Chapter 3

3
Get a Great Night’s SleepWith a Mobile Home Bedroom Remodel
Photo courtesy of ShutterStockImage ID: 223023634. Licensed under Anna Marynenko

A mobile home bedroom remodel can really change the ambiance of your home

Sleep and downtime are critical to health, so a thoughtful update to your bedroom can revolutionize your quality of life.

Good news: in the bedroom, you don’t have to worry about plumbing or serious electrical appliances. That means bedroom renovation is more about the look, feel, and mood of the room. Your personal preference is the boss! For this reason, we don’t have a lot of specific tips for your mobile home bedroom remodel. Instead, we’ll give you links to some inspiring resources for your project.

This post on HomeTalk.com has some great before-and-after photos of a mobile home bedroom remodel. Before the renovation, the bedroom in this post had wall-to-wall faux wood paneling. This outdated decorative style left the room feeling small and stifling. The owner went with an all-white look in the remodeled bedroom. This emphasis on white creates a sense of light and purity—perfect for starting your day on the right foot.

Over at MobileHomeLiving.org, webmaster Crystal Adkins has compiled a great list of photos for general mobile home renovation ideas. Scroll down to “Master Bedroom Ideas” for photos of some beautifully redecorated bedrooms. If you’re looking for kid-specific bedroom ideas, Crystal has a post dedicated to that, too. Check out her post on mobile home children’s bedroom ideas.

Of course, for inspiration, you don’t have to confine yourself to mobile home bedroom ideas. With a little more budget, you can take any inspirational look from a site-built home and apply it to your bedroom. Over at HGTV, there’s a great post with 10 photos of small-space bedroom designs that will blow you away. Since these designs are already for small spaces, they won’t need much adaptation to rock your bedroom.

If you want some really groundbreaking ideas, check out Houzz.com. Their Bedroom Photo category has over 356,000 entries! That’s a lot of inspiration.

With all your renovating, don’t forget your windows. A new set of blinds can brighten your bedroom considerably. While you’re at it, take a good look at your bedroom windows. If they’re not closing properly or if you feel a draft anywhere near them, it’s time to replace them. Note: windows not closing properly could be a sign of warped I-beams, as we mentioned in Chapter 1. If that’s the reason your windows aren’t closing all the way, new windows won’t fix the problem. However, if you want to update your windows, check out Kinro Aluminum Windows and Kinro Vinyl Windows from Mobile Home Parts Store.

With all this focus on walls, windows, and colors, it’s easy to overlook your bedroom door. Don’t do it! The bedroom door can really tie your room together. If it’s time to update your bedroom door, check out the wide selection of interior doors from Mobile Home Parts Store.

The lighting in your bedroom plays a big role in determining the overall mood. With all the changes you’re making, your old light fixture may look a little out of place. If you want to replace it, check out the Mobile Home Parts Store catalog of interior lighting fixtures.

Chapter 4

4
Crack Open a Cold OneIn Your Remodeled Mobile Home Living Room
Photo courtesy of ShutterstockImage ID: 140124130. Licensed under robinimages2013.

Whether you kick back and watch your favorite show after a long day at work

Or relax on the couch with your sweetheart once the kids are in bed, the living room is all about taking it easy. Renovations can make a so-so living room into a little in-home vacation spot. Everyone can get on board with that!

1Saving Space in Your Mobile Home Living Room

We all know that space is limited in a mobile home. It’s the blessing (and the curse) of our chosen lifestyle. But with a little careful planning, you can turn this limited space into all blessing and no curse!

First off, let’s talk about using space well. To allow more storage space without losing living space, look at wasted space in your existing furniture. For example, traditional couches don’t use the space below the seats for storage. However, with the new tiny house movement (and general interest in using space better), couches with built-in storage are now available. Check out HomeReserve.com for great couches, chairs, loveseats, and more with hidden storage space. If you can get enough cubic feet of storage in your furniture, you can eliminate bulky or unsightly storage units.

The TV is often the focal point of the living room. If you haven’t yet joined the flat panel revolution, consider replacing your older CRT TV with a flat panel unit. You’ll save space and get a crisp, clear digital picture to boot.

If your plan already maximizes storage but you still want a bigger sense of space, take a look at your walls. As humans, we like to see farther. It just makes us feel better, like there are more possibilities and more freedoms available to us. Removing or partially removing a wall can really open up a room. However, take note: as we said in Chapter 1, not all walls in mobile homes are removable! In a single wide, all interior walls are non-load-bearing, meaning you can remove them. However, in a double wide, any walls over the marriage line are load-bearing. That means you can’t remove them. Make sure you know what you’re doing before you start demolishing a wall.

2Decorating Your Mobile Home Living Room

Here, you have the ultimate freedom: picking color schemes, selecting furniture, and creating an overall look. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Site-built homes have seen a revolution in interior design, and there’s no reason you can’t apply the same principles to your mobile home living room. The web is full of inspiring living room design ideas. We’ve gathered some of the best for you right here.

Over at HGTV, check out these 9 living room designs on a budget. They’re beautiful—and affordable. Some were achieved for under $500!

ApartmentTherapy.com has some great ideas for spicing up your living room while spending little to no money. If your mobile home remodel has a tight budget, these tips can help you freshen up your living room while saving money for must-fix items like new plumbing or a new furnace.

Remember, a small change can go a long way. New carpet in an attractive color, plus new wallpaper that works with your existing furniture, is a sneaky “half-makeover” that looks like a full makeover.

3Windows and Lighting in Your Mobile Home Living Room

Since the living room is usually a somewhat larger space, light is more important than ever. A large space that isn’t well-lit seems shabby, vague, and even intimidating. In a large space like the living room, light comes from two sources: electric bulbs, and natural daylight.

To nail the electric side of things, consider a new ceiling light. A multitude of light sources helps to reduce awkward shadows in a room, especially at night. Try pairing a new nickel 5-light chandelier with a floor lamp and an end-table lamp.

But remember, your windows are equally important in lighting your living room—at least, during the day. If you’re considering new Kinro aluminum windows for your mobile home, your living room will benefit from the upgrade. Of course, if you’re really looking to save on your heating and air conditioning bills, consider Kinro’s Low-e vinyl windows. They’re the most energy-efficient windows available on the mobile home market.

Chapter 5

5
Stay Comfortable All Yearwith Mobile Home HVAC Renovations
Photo courtesy of Mobile Home Parts Store

Heating and air conditioning are crucial to maintaining a comfortable environment In your mobile home

There’s nothing worse than a house that’s frigid in the winter and boiling hot in the summer. How are your HVAC systems doing? If you have any problems here, make that a high-priority item to address.

1Taking Stock of Your Mobile Home Furnace

For a basic overview on how mobile home furnaces work, check out this post from HVAC-For-Beginners.com. Take note: mobile home furnaces typically do not have a system of air return ducts. Instead, the air returns to the furnace through vents in the furnace room door. These vents also hold the air filters for the furnace.

Fall is the perfect time to check your furnace for problems. If you wait till winter, you could find yourself in a pickle. In this post on our blog, we give you some great tips on preparing your furnace, windows, and siding for winter.

To get an idea how much a mobile home furnace replacement may cost, check out this post on ImproveNet.com. The post covers choosing a mobile home furnace, as well as what you should expect in installation cost (if you decide to hire a contractor—which you probably should).

If your gas furnace isn’t working properly, this post from HomeTips.com gives you some excellent step-by-step troubleshooting tips. Of course, the post isn’t specifically for mobile home furnaces, but these tips should apply to any gas furnace.

If you have an electric mobile home furnace, this post from HVAC-For-Beginners.com provides excellent troubleshooting tips.

If the troubleshooting tips don’t work, you may need a new mobile home furnace. Mobile Home Parts Store carries the highest quality Revolv gas furnaces, as well as Revolv electric furnaces and Nordyne electric furnaces. If “Revolv” sounds new to you, take note: this brand was formerly known as Coleman. Revolv furnaces are a direct replacement for your older Coleman furnace.

2Taking Stock of Your Mobile Home Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is displaying any kind of problem, see this troubleshooting checklist from HomeTips.com. Many common problems with your AC unit can be fixed by cleaning and/or lubricating those hardworking parts.

If the tips in that article didn’t fix your problem, or if you determine that major components in your AC unit have failed, it’s time to replace the unit. Mobile Home Parts Store carries the highest quality Revolv (formerly Coleman) air conditioner units.

3Taking Stock of Your Ductwork

Well-sealed heating ducts have a big impact on your home’s energy efficiency. The HVAC system is all about controlling airflow. When leaky ducts allow warm and cool air to mix inappropriately, your overall HVAC energy usage rises.

This article on E3A gives you some great tips on sealing your mobile home ductwork. As the article explains, some duct problems are more easily repaired from underneath the home. If that’s the case, prepare yourself for examining the underside of your home as you did in Chapter 1.

If you want a visual guide to repairing your mobile home ductwork, check out this video on YouTube from PowerHouse TV

4Replacing Filters, Thermostats, and Coils

Replacing your furnace door filter is incredibly easy. Simply open the door, remove the old filter, and install the new one!

Replacing a thermostat is fairly straightforward. At Mobile Home Parts Store, each of our mobile home thermostat replacements comes with installation instructions specifically tailored to that model.

Replacing an evaporator coil is a more involved job. You may want to hire a professional to do this. If you want to try it yourself, take a look at this post from DoItYourself.com.

5Installing a New Mobile Home Furnace

Installing a New Mobile Home Gas Furnace

Things get a little hairy here. Among other technical tasks, replacing a furnace involves shutting off the gas line, sealing the new fittings properly, and checking for gas leaks. If you want to install your furnace yourself, you must educate yourself fully. We can give you helpful links, but it’s your responsibility to ensure you understand the process and don’t endanger yourself and others. If that sounds intimidating, consider hiring an HVAC professional to replace your furnace. However, if you want to try it yourself, read on.

This video from YouTube gives you a quick visual overview of the basic steps involved in replacing a mobile home gas furnace. However, note that the video spends only a few seconds on each step. Think of this video like a visual introduction to the process. The video is not detailed enough to be your only resource.

Installing a New Mobile Home Electric Furnace

While you don’t have to worry about gas leaks when replacing an electric furnace, you do need to take the proper steps to shut off high voltage before doing anything. This article on DoItYourself.com gives you an overview of the process for replacing an electric furnace in a mobile home.

6Making Cosmetic Updates

Are your floor vents corroded or bent? If so, it’s time to replace them. Mobile Home Parts Store offers a wide variety of floor vents. With so many options, you’re sure to find a style that fits your renovated décor.

Floor vents are the easiest HVAC cosmetic improvement you can perform. Most models simply drop into your existing vent opening and attach with two screws. Some floor vents, like our beautiful Natural Oak Wood Floor Register, simply drop into the vent opening without any attachment screws. The weight of this natural wood floor vent is enough to hold it down.

This is an easy improvement! Why not add it to your list of tasks

Chapter 6

6
The Mobile Home Bathroom of Your Dreams
Photo courtesy of Dennis Wong. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Whether you shower to wake up in the morning or shower at night to wash the day off

The bathroom is a sanctuary. It’s a great place to get your thoughts in order. You’d be surprised how much your bathroom décor can influence the mood of the room. Of course, along with renovating your bathroom décor, you may need to address plumbing and other functional issues. In this chapter, we’ve got it all!

1The Road to Beautiful Bathroom Décor

We’ve assembled some amazing mobile home bathroom remodeling ideas. Take a look on Pinterest if you haven’t already. This board has amazing mobile home remodeling ideas. They’re not all bathroom-specific, but the looks are gorgeous, and you could easily apply them to the bathroom.

For ideas that are specific to mobile home bathrooms, check out this great board on Pinterest. It has over 1400 followers, and you’ll find some stunning creative inspiration here.

Of course, as this article from SF Gate explains, you need to leave structural elements intact when remodeling your bathroom. Sound familiar? Since some walls may be load-bearing, you need to work with what’s available. Focus on new paint, new fixtures, and new functional units, where necessary. A major change to the floorplan may be difficult to carry out.

One of the most inspiring mobile home bathroom remodels we’ve found is Kimberly’s Bathroom Remodel over at MobileHomeLiving.org. You really need to check it out! Kimberly took a fairly standard double-wide bathroom and turned it into a beautiful oasis. Check out the tasteful color choice on the walls and the beautiful tiled look on the floor. This one’s a beauty!

Here’s another great mobile home bathroom remodel over at MyMobileHomeMakeover.com. Check out the in-progress photos—and take a look at that shiny new bathtub, just waiting to be moved into place.

2Updating Your Fixtures: New Toilet, Sink, and Tub

Let’s face it, these fixtures are critical! Without them, a bathroom isn’t a bathroom. If your toilet, sink, and tub have seen a few years, consider replacing them. If stains and deposits have built up for years, it can be very difficult to scrub them off. If the fixtures have outdated styling to boot, replacing them is a no-brainer.

Toilet Troubles

At Mobile Home Parts Store, we carry the highest-quality toilets and toilet parts for mobile home owners. Toilets are relatively simple machines, but when something goes wrong, it’s a real pain. Even if you don’t need to update your whole toilet, we can make your repairs a snap with the Fluidmaster Complete Toilet Repair Kit or the Fluidmaster Adjust-A-Flush toilet flapper. If you’ve broken one nut on your toilet seat (a common problem), a new toilet seat is available in white or almond.

Think of a New Sink

Have you thought about a new sink? We don’t often realize it, but the sink is the hidden focal point of the bathroom. A new sink sets the tone for the entire room. When your old sink is rusty and stained, that just looks bad—not to mention it could be a health hazard. At Mobile Home Parts Store, we sell bathroom sinks for every taste, from white to stainless-steel-colored acrylic. For a great step-by-step guide on installing a new drop-in mobile home sink, check out this YouTube video from LifeTransPlanet.

Relax In A New Tub

We’ve really lost the art of taking a bath. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in warm water! Of course, if your old tub is stained, cracking, or otherwise compromised, you don’t want to take a bath in it. A quick shower will do, maybe with beach shoes on! Why not take care of that hazard by installing a beautiful new tub? Mobile Home Parts Store carries a wide range of gorgeous mobile home bathtubs.

Of course, a walk-in shower is great, too. If that’s your style, Mobile Home Parts Store has a great selection of walk-in showers and walk-in shower surrounds in white and almond.

For instructions on installing a new mobile home bathtub, check out this YouTube video.

Chapter 7

7
No More Smells!The Road to Perfect Mobile Home Plumbing
Photo courtesy of Steve Buissinne. Licensed under Pixabay.

Unlike a lot of the renovations we’ve discussed

Fixing your plumbing isn’t optional! It might seem overwhelming, but with a little research (or by hiring of a professional), you can solve these pesky issues. Mobile Home Parts Store carries all the plumbing supplies you’ll need to fix this important aspect of your home.

Mobile Home Plumbing: Different From Site-Built Plumbing

Mobile home plumbing can be different from the plumbing found in site-built homes, as this article at MobileHomeRepair.com explains. For these reasons, plumbers may be unwilling to work on mobile home pipes.

If you’re going to work on your plumbing yourself, you MUST turn off the water before starting the work! This article explains how to find and shut off the main water line for your mobile home. Note, however—plumbing is a specialized trade. You may be better off hiring a professional.

Crystal Adkins, founder of MobileHomeLiving.org, has a great overview post about mobile home plumbing. Read it from beginning to end, and you’ll have a comprehensive picture of how all those pipes work together.

Replacing a Kitchen Sink Faucet

If you need to replace a faucet in your bathroom or kitchen, check out the great selection of mobile home faucets from Mobile Home Parts Store. For video instructions on installing a new kitchen sink faucet, see this video from My Redneck Life.

Mobile Home Bathroom Plumbing

This comprehensive video from TileMasterGa shows how to remove a bathtub and disconnect the drain. While the video isn’t specifically for mobile home bathroom plumbing, many of the techniques will work in a mobile home setting.

If you’re replacing your toilet, check out this video from Mindbites for the plumbing details. Again, it isn’t mobile-home specific, but the video and the process are general enough to apply here.

Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter

With water lines running under your home, you’re in danger of freezing your pipes in winter. This is especially true if you or a repairman went under the home at some point and didn’t seal up the opening in the skirting properly. Unsealed skirting lets cold air flow under the home, putting your pipes in greater danger. Before winter, you should insulate your pipes, either with pipe wrap insulation or (better yet) with a Frost King electric water pipe heat cable. This heat cable will keep your pipes warm in winter, and at 84 watts, it uses up less energy than a 100W light bulb.

Repairing Your Mobile Home Sewer Connection

This one is pretty important. This forum thread at MobileHomeRepair.com has some great tips for loosening a stuck 3” pipe fitting. The thread also mentions that, if you rent space in a trailer park, you should be aware of where your responsibilities end and the park’s responsibilities begin. If there is a problem with this connection, it may be your park’s responsibility.

This YouTube video from PulaskiCorey gives a great overview of a typical mobile home sewer connection.

Chapter 8

8
Mobile Home Exterior ImprovementsThat Will Change Your Life!
Photo courtesy of stock ID 20071611. Licensed under iStock.

The exterior of your mobile home is super important

You want your home to look nice—not just for the neighbors’ opinion of you, but for your own enjoyment! In fact, mobile home exterior renovations can give you some of the best bang for your buck as far as emotional satisfaction. If you have the budget available, why not update your home’s exterior?

Inspiration: Get Excited With These Incredible Photos!

Let’s start with some visual inspiration. Check out this awesome mobile home exteriors board on Pinterest for some great renovation ideas. You’d be amazed at what’s possible!

Once again, Crystal Adkins (founder of MobileHomeLiving.org) has put together an awesome post of 14 Great Mobile Home Makeover Ideas. These run the gamut from a simple exterior paint job, to new awnings installed, to adding a porch and flower beds.

Crystal also has a great post about a beautiful double-wide exterior renovation. This mobile home needed some outside love. The owners replaced the siding, added some beautiful stone siding around the front door, and replaced all their windows. You’d be amazed at the power which new windows have. They really tie the home together as an accent. Mobile Home Parts Store carries Kinro vinyl windows in white, as well as Kinro aluminum windows, Kinro interior storm windows, and all kinds of window accessories.

Replace Your Skirting, and Your Home Will Shine

Mobile home skirting is crucial to the overall look of your home. But it’s much more than a cosmetic feature. If properly installed, mobile home skirting will keep rodents and other unwanted pests from shacking up under your home. Skirting also helps to insulate your home by creating a wind barrier. Without skirting, the underside of your home would be open to the weather.

Again, Crystal Adkins has a great mobile home skirting post at MobileHomeLiving.org that explains the ins and outs of this critical exterior feature. Crystal explains how to calculate the amount of skirting you need to cover your home’s base. She also talks about the best options for mobile home skirting, including vinyl skirting, Reil Rock panels, and faux rock or brick panels. Mobile Home Parts Store carries all 3 types of skirting.

Installing new vinyl skirting is incredibly easy. This video from FarmLifeNC is a great guide to installing new mobile home vinyl skirting. Notice how the vinyl panels lock together at the edge. Pretty neat, huh?

Awnings Add A Touch of Class

Let’s face it. With a mobile home exterior, we don’t have a lot of different angles to work with. Everything is rectangular. Left untreated, it can look a little flat. An awning (or two, or three, or more!) can break up the flatness of a long mobile home exterior wall. Awnings bring visual focus to windows. Their counterparts, canopies, help protect a doorway from the elements. Mobile Home Parts Store sells both awnings and canopies, in a variety of sizes.

Vinyl Exterior Shutters Go Hand-in-Hand with Awnings

Windows look a little naked on their own. If you’re shielding them with awnings, why not add beautiful custom exterior shutters, too? Carefully-chosen shutters help break up the long walls of a mobile home. When you choose a color that plays off your siding color, you create a pleasing, integrated visual.

For help choosing the right custom exterior shutters, check out CustomExteriorShutters.com. It’s a great informational website and blog to help you match your needs to a particular style of shutter.

Mobile Home Parts Store carries all kinds of vinyl custom exterior shutters. The great thing about vinyl is that it doesn’t chip, fade, or rot. Vinyl shutters are colored all the way through, though many styles are also available in a paintable option.

Upgrading Your Steps: Fiberglass Never Rots

Wooden steps are a great starting point. But eventually, they start to break down. A new set of fiberglass mobile home steps provides durable, beautiful access to your door. With children and older relatives using your steps, rotten wood can be a real safety hazard. An upgrade here is good for the whole family. We can’t recommend this one enough!

More Space To Relax In: Add A New Room!

The ultimate mobile home exterior improvement expands the interior of your home, too. If space is getting cramped, why not add a new room purely for relaxation? A new sunroom, screened room, or patio room will give you and your family a fresh, airy space to relax in.

Installing a sunroom is a big investment, so you’ll want to consider every aspect of this renovation. This post from Manufactured Home Repair Tips gives you a great overview of all the considerations involved in adding a sunroom. Mobile Home Parts Store carries manufactured sunrooms, screen rooms, and patio rooms in a variety of sizes. Note: installation is not included, so you’ll need to work with a contractor if you aren’t a construction professional.

If a sunroom isn’t your style, why not add an open porch? Again, Crystal Adkins from MobileHomeLiving.org really nails it with this post showcasing 9 beautiful mobile home porches. And don’t forget Pinterest. It’s a great resource for mobile home porch inspiration. If you decide to build a porch, don’t forget a deck and patio cover to shield your family from the sun

Shield Your Wheels—Add A Carport!

Weather can do a number on your car’s finish. You won’t notice it in a few weeks or months, but as the years add up, your car’s finish breaks down. Rust is a short step away from that—and once your vehicle starts rusting out, it isn’t worth it to perform the major repairs that keep a car running.

If you don’t have a garage, a carport is a great way to protect your vehicle at an affordable price. This post from Mobile Home Maintenance Options gives you the lowdown on installing a carport. Note: you will need to pour concrete to anchor your carport into the ground, and we highly recommend a concrete pad under your carport for a nice, strong parking surface.

Mobile Home Parts Store sells 3 types of attached carports—Dura-Lock insulated roof, aluminum roof, and Galvalume roof versions. There’s something for every budget here.

Chapter 9

9
Wrap-Up:Enjoy Your Newly-Renovated Home!
Photo courtesy of Wongpear. Licensed under Pixabay.

Have you forgotten how to relax after all that work?

Let’s hope not! Now that you have a beautiful, fully remodeled mobile home, your family’s quality of life is improving already. Kick back, crack open a cold one, and let it all sink in.

Now let us know how you feel. What did you try? Did it work? Did we forget anything? Leave a comment below, or share this on social media and let us know your thoughts. Thanks for reading, and happy mobile home living to you and yours!

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