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How to Hire Contractors For Your Mobile Home

Owning a mobile home comes with its own set of unique challenges, especially when it’s time for repairs and maintenance. The question often arises, “Should I hire a contractor?”. With concerns about finding reputable mobile home contractors and understanding the nuances of mobile homes, it’s essential to be well-informed. If you’re considering hiring a contractor for your home, this article is for you. 


Should You Hire a Contractor?

While DIY projects can be fulfilling, not all home repairs should be done without professional help. Complex tasks, such as plumbing, electrical work, or structural alterations, require the expertise of a trained contractor. A contractor will have the tools, knowledge, and experience to do the job correctly and safely.


Finding a Mobile Home Contractor Can Be Difficult

Finding a professional willing to work on a mobile or manufactured home is difficult. There are only a few licensed professionals who will work on factory-built homes, which makes the hiring process complex and prolonged. This is one of the biggest drawbacks to owning a mobile or manufactured home. 

The hesitation may stem from misconceptions regarding the quality of mobile homes or a lack of knowledge about their unique construction methods. However, this then leads us to an important question of why. 


Why Do Contractors Hate Working on Mobile Homes?

Well, it’s not a matter of ‘hate.’ It’s a matter of unfamiliarity. Most contractors train and work on conventional homes, so they may need to become more familiar with the construction and nuances of mobile homes, such as their frame design, plumbing, and electrical systems. As a result, they might be hesitant or need more knowledge to work on them.

Moreover, the mobile home stereotype is sadly still alive and well. Many contractors associate mobile homes with poverty or low income, perceiving mobile home jobs as less lucrative than site-built homes.

So, how do you find a reputable contractor that will work on your mobile home, then?


How to Find a Mobile Home Contractor

Finding the right professional is crucial whether you’re facing a minor repair or considering a major renovation. But where do you start?


Ask Your Park Managers

If you live in a mobile home park, a good source of information will be the park manager. Often, park managers will have a list of trusted contractors who have worked on mobile homes in the community. Talk to your park manager and ask for recommendations. However, keep in mind that their referrals might not always be the best or most affordable options.


Check Announcement Boards

Many mobile home parks or community centers have announcement boards where residents and local businesses can post flyers or special announcements. These can be great places to find contractors offering their services or residents recommending a specific worker. Always keep an eye out, as you might find a local contractor who specializes in mobile or manufactured home repairs.


Consult the Park Maintenance Staff

Sometimes, the best recommendations come from those who are in the field. The park’s maintenance staff deal with repairs daily and might have collaborated with several contractors over the years. Their hands-on experience can offer you valuable recommendations. 

Moreover, the park’s maintenance team could assist with your project. It’s important to note that they would need to dedicate their personal time to do the work. However, given their routine involvement in similar tasks for the park, they possess the necessary experience.


Connect with Mobile Home Dealers

Local mobile home dealers are also a great source of information when it comes to finding contractors. As dealers, they routinely collaborate with local contractors to facilitate the transportation, installation, and setup of mobile homes in the area. As a result, they possess a network of contacts in this field. Substantial tasks, such as those requiring electricians, plumbers, and HVAC specialists, are all potential referrals.


Ask Neighbors and Community Residents

Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Chat with your neighbors and other community residents. Ask about their experiences with contractors. Did they have a good experience? Was the contractor reliable and trustworthy? These first-hand accounts can be invaluable in helping you make an informed decision.


Questions to Ask Potential Contractors

The first contact is such an essential part of hiring mobile home contractors. It sets the stage for the entire relationship. Before reaching out through a phone call or email, conduct some research. Check out your state’s licensing boards and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for reviews on the possible candidate.

When you first contact them, outline the details of your project or concerns and ask if they provide free estimates.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Were you grandfathered in if you are licensed, or did you take the exam? 
  • Do you have employees or use subcontractors?
  • Can I have a list of references from other mobile home jobs?
  • Do you have all the necessary tools and supplies to complete the job? 
  • Do you offer a warranty?
  • What are the payment arrangements? Is there a discount for paying cash?
  • Do you provide written estimates?


Meeting with Potential Contractors

Once you have shortlisted a few contractors, invite them over to assess the job. This is an excellent opportunity to gauge their familiarity with mobile homes and get a feel for their professionalism.

Upon their arrival, the contractor will request to inspect the issue. Guide them to the affected area and clearly explain the situation. They will likely have to check a system (i.e., plumbing, HVAC, etc.) and perform their diagnostic. 

Following their evaluation, they should be able to identify the underlying problem and offer potential solutions. Most good contractors will give you suggestions, ranging from the most cost-effective to expensive routes.


Get Estimates in Writing

Do not hire the first person you meet. Dedicating an extra day or so to finding the right professional will make the entire process easier and safer.

When you start meeting with contractors, always ask for a written estimate. Written estimates protect both you and the contractor by setting clear expectations. It’s wise to get estimates from at least three contractors to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

This should include a detailed breakdown of labor costs, materials, potential additional expenses, and a timeline. In some instances, contractors might need to double-check material and labor prices, so getting an estimate in a couple of days is okay. Usually, they will send you an email, fax, or come back with the estimate.

Buying Materials May Save You Money

Buying your own materials and only paying for labor is a popular option for handyman-type repairs. If you leave the materials to the contractor, you will have to pay a markup of at least 10%.

Luckily, Mobile Home Parts Store has the parts and supplies you need to get the job done! With an extensive range of products tailored to your mobile home needs, we’re your one-stop destination for home improvement. Allowing you to explore different pricing options, take advantage of sales or discounts, and choose materials that align with your budget without compromising on quality.

Embrace convenience and affordability while transforming your living space into a true masterpiece. Shop at Mobile Home Parts Store today and unlock a world of possibilities for enhancing and maintaining your mobile home with confidence.


Hire the Right Contractor for the Job

When meeting with contractors, hiring the right one for the job is essential. No one knows how to do everything; this also goes for contractors. A reliable contractor will communicate their capabilities and limitations. In most states, professionals are restricted to working within their licensed area of expertise, such as plumbers not being allowed to work on your electrical wiring.

An exception arises when hiring a general contractor. These professionals take on a managerial role and have access to licensed experts needed for your project. Typically, general contractors hire and oversee subcontractors.


Wrapping Up

Owning a mobile home can indeed present its distinct challenges. Still, by arming yourself with the right knowledge and resources, these hurdles can be gracefully navigated. Whether you decide on a DIY approach or opt for a professional touch, remember that the key lies in understanding the intricacies of mobile homes and finding the right fit for the task at hand.

By seeking recommendations, doing your due diligence, and asking the right questions, you can ensure that your mobile home remains a haven of comfort and safety. Remember, your mobile home is not just an investment but a space that carries memories and moments. It deserves the care and expertise of someone who understands and respects its uniqueness.

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