4 Things to Consider Before Moving a Manufactured Home

Moving a manufactured home is not easy. You don’t just hitch them to a big truck and pull them down the road. You need permits and licenses and bonded professionals.

Manufactured homes aren’t like the old mobile homes and recreational vehicles that could be moved with the turn of a key. In fact, one reason so many people take issue with the term ‘mobile home’ is that they aren’t very mobile at all. In fact, moving a manufactured home is a ‘professionals only’ job.

Once a manufactured home is installed on its original site the vast majority of them remain there. Over 90% of all manufactured homes are never moved again after installation.

If you’re thinking of moving your manufactured home, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Can your Manufactured Home Be Moved?

First things first, a manufactured home must be capable of withstanding the move. Older homes are often deemed unfit. The moving process is tough, even on homes in excellent condition.

Some transport companies have a rule that any home being moved more than 50-100 miles requires new tires and other standard equipment on the home.

Learn what to look for when buying a used mobile home here. 

Zoning Issues when Moving a Manufactured Home

Manufactured homes are built to different standards based on location. HUD has divided the country into three different thermal zones, roof load zones, and wind zones. Manufactured homes must meet or exceed the standards of each area.

Below is a thermal zone map released by ManufacturedHousing.org:

HUD Thermal Zones - 4 things to consider when moving a manufactured home
The 3 wind zones.

For example, let’s say you wanted to move a manufactured home from Michigan to Florida. Michigan is a Zone 1 wind zone and Florida is a Zone 2 and Zone 3 state. Zone 2 and Zone 3 areas are places close to oceans and therefore are more likely to be impacted by hurricanes and other damaging storms, so manufactured homes going there are built to withstand higher wind speeds. Therefore, you can’t move a home built to Michigan’s wind zone standards to Florida. But you could move a manufactured home from Florida to most parts of Michigan (only most parts of Michigan, though, because of roof load standards.)

Learn about mobile home inspections here. 

You also have to make sure there won’t be any zoning issues with the city or county where you would like it placed. Many towns have land use laws that prohibit single wides or manufactured homes more than 10-15 years old.

If you’re planning to move it into a manufactured housing community, this won’t be a problem. But if you want to put it on a privately-owned lot of property, make sure the area is zoned for manufactured homes and find out if there are any.

 

Moving a manufactured home - SavaConta - Flickr
A single wide is being transported to its new home.

Source

Costs

The costs of moving a manufactured home depend on the size of your home, location, and distance of the move.

Moving.com’s article, Moving a Mobile Home? Here’s What You Can Expect to Pay, interviews a licensed Mover in Florida. He quoted the following:

For a single-wide move, handling the entire move—from transporting the home within 50 miles to acquiring the permits to hooking up the utilities—will run the customer somewhere around $8,000. For a double-wide home, the price usually falls between $10,000 and $13,000

 

There are other cost involved when moving a factory-built home such as permits, utilities, and labor.

 

Finding the Right Moving Company

Moving a manufactured home can be a tricky process. You want to find a moving company with lots of experience. Make sure they carry the right insurance, are licensed to move homes in your state (and other states you might be passing through), can get all the necessary permits and bonds, and know whether or not a police escort is needed. This site has a free ebook about moving a manufactured home here. 

Don’t cut corners on this step or use a anyone you haven’t researched. Working with a mover who isn’t licensed or doesn’t get the right permits could end up costing a lot more in the long run.

See our Directory of Mobile Home Installation Manuals here.  

Thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!

 

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6 Comments
  1. Jeff on the Mendocino Coast says

    My 1960 Nashua single-wide apparently moved three times during its 57 years in California, once to its first home, another to Boonville where I found it, and finally another twisty 50 miles through the redwoods to my homestead. It was already pretty tired, but had been lived in almost continuously over its life and seemed worth the gamble. I found the same mover who had hauled it to Boonville from Lakeport, and he was confident. He hired a pilot car, and delivered it without incident.

    Because I’m on a 1200-foot ridge barely a mile from the Pacific, I get heavy orographic rain and some intense winds during winter. To deal with this, I simply added a metal roof, and used long screws to anchor the furring strips that the metal panels are now screwed to. A gale-force wind might take the roof off, but I’m surrounded by redwood forest and doubt the winds will ever reach that intensity. I’ve also purchased the Xi2 anchor system that helps the body of the trailer withstand sustained winds.

    Did I mention I found the trailer on freecycle.org, a website where people offer up things they no longer need?

    This experience has me thinking of what a tremendous resource we have in the hundreds of thousands of aging single-wides that could be refurbished and gathered into collectively owned parks to provide affordable housing for people whose incomes are insufficient to finance a home purchase at salaries that prevail in their communities, as is the case here in my county.

    So this topic of moving a mobile home is actually really important, and worthy of study and experimentation. I’m doing my part!

    Many thanks, Crystal, for shining a light on this topic, and for your tremendous, loving work on behalf of durable, affordable, dignified housing.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Loved reading every word of your comment, Jeff! I would LOVE to see your new home! You have my email already, please send me some photos!

  2. jeffrey vest says

    We are renting a manufactured house and thinking about buying it. The house was moved from the south (roof load zone) to Idaho. We get a lot of snow here. When it was moved apparently no one checked the roof load because it is nowhere near code now. Should we have an engineer check it out? What would you suggest? Thank you.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Jeffrey,

      It’s very smart of you to be considering this. I’ve never ran across this issue before as it is typically cost prohibitive to move an used manufactured home so far. I would get definitely get a professional out there and take a look at it and perhaps even get a couple of estimates on a roof replacement or reinforcement and see if the sellers are willing to negotiate their price. The owners likely never even knew or considered that there was such vast differences in the way homes are built based on their location.

      If the home has a decent pitch and the roof is healthy (other than the load issue) there may be some things a roofer can do to help reinforce it without a completely new installation. I’m not very knowledgeable on roofing advancements unfortunately.

      You are certianly on the right track! Best of luck (and please let me know how it all goes for you). Thank you!

  3. Dreama Ellison-Rhodes says

    While it was scary enough moving our 79-80 mobile home 11 miles with a large tow truck, I’d hate to think what it would be like moving one across the mountains of WV! That one picture shows just what some of those mountain roads look like! Barely wide enough for a car, much less a mobile home! Definitely one of those ‘don’t try this at home’ moments! You’re doing a great job Crystal! Keep up the good work!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thank you so much! I’ve seen some manufactured homes pulled up the mountain on dirt roads that cars had trouble going up. It’s a neat thing to watch!

      Thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!

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