General Maintenance Questions about a Mobile Home

This week in our ask a mobile home expert series we are going to cover general maintenance questions about a mobile home.  Not all home improvement and repair issues fit into a single topic.  These questions concern leveling a mobile home, drywall, closet doors, skirting for a mobile home, and adding a heavy island in your kitchen.

Ask a Mobile Home Expert Week 6: General Maintenance Questions about a Mobile Home

 

 

Is It Necessary to Level my Home

If the mobile home is off level by just a couple inches do I need to have it leveled?

Yes, it’s a good idea to go ahead and do it before it gets worse. When a mobile home is not level it will add stress to the home. Signs of a unlevel mobile home include cracks in drywall and doors or windows that don’t open and close properly. A couple of inches wouldn’t be too difficult to remedy especially if you have access to some jacks and a water level.

You should check your home with a water level every 18-24 months. Water levels are at Amazon for around $40 (affiliate link).

Here’s an article about mobile home leveling that may help. 

 

 

 

Drywalling over Mobile Home Wallboards

Can you just apply Sheetrock over paneling without removing the original wall?

You can! There are a few things that will need to be planned out. First, decide on the thickness you will use, 1/4″ is a popular size when installing over healthy mobile home wallboards.  If the walls are old or stained it’s never a bad idea to prime over it before the new drywall goes up.

You will want to use extenders for your outlets, light fixtures, windows, and door jambs. You’ll need to know where your studs are located so a stud finder isn’t a terrible idea. Found this Youtube video that may help you:

 

 

 

 

Replacing Closet Doors in a Mobile Home

The doors in the mobile home I just bought have been removed from the closets. Where do I find them to fit?

This is a great opportunity to get creative! 

general maintenance questions about a mobile home - bifold closet doors
Bi-fold doors are very popular.

 

The bifold closet doors are probably the most common and easiest to install. If you want to get a little creative you could always do sliding barn doors (I have a thing for sliding barn doors.) You’d need 2 tracks but there are kits you can buy nowadays that aren’t too expensive (or at least not as expensive as they used to be).

 

general maintenance questions about a mobile home - sliding barn doors for a mobile home closet
Sliding barn doors are awesome!

Skirting my Home

Your tip about checking the home skirting was very insightful. Are there different types of material that use to make the skirting? I wonder if there are any kinds that work better than others!

Skirting needs to do a couple of things: help insulate your home and keep critters out. It also makes a mobile home look a lot better!

There are several different materials available for skirting. Here’s our skirting guide that should help you out.

The most popular material for mobile home skirting is vinyl. It’s not expensive and is fairly easy to install. Adding foam board behind the vinyl is smart for very hot or very cold locations.

Brick, cinder block and wood are also popular.

 

general maintenance questions about a mobile home - best mobile home skirting material
Gorgeous single wide with vinyl skirting.

See 6 Great Mobile Home Kitchen Makeovers here.

 

 

 

Adding an Island

I have a question about adding weight to our kitchen area. We have a 20-yr old single wide. We want to put an island in the middle of the kitchen. Do we need to be concerned about adding that much weight?  The size would be about 36-40 inches wide by 8 or 9 feet long.

Story time! My father put a 6-man hot tub in the front corner of the master bedroom in his 1986 double wide. It was fully-functional for years and there was never a problem until I put a fish candle on the corner and it somehow fell into the tub and dyed the water pink.

With that said, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to install the island. You have steel chassis running down and across your home.

Our modern day manufactured homes aren’t the mobile homes from the 1960’s and as long as you reinforce excessive weight you should be fine.

Related: 31 Amazing Kitchen Makeover Ideas and Storage Solutions

 

 

 

Mobile Home Windows

Hello! Your site is very useful, and I’m grateful to you for replying to readers questions about maintenance.
One area not covered is Windows. In Southern California, we’ve been having heavy rains. My home is a 2000 double wide year from Skyline. During a heavy rain yesterday I found a medium fast leak from the corner top of the window. Any advice? Are mobile home windows different from regular windows?

Thank you for your kind words! Always happy to help! To be honest, windows are a bit out of my comfort zone because I’ve not been around many installs or replacements.

I did finally get around to writing a post about replacing mobile home windows. Just click here.

Since water follows the path of least resistance leaks usually start well above the area that they eventually appear. You will want to find out where the water is coming from and in the majority of cases, I’m told it’s likely a blockage in your gutter letting water flow down the side of the home or a flashing issue. It could also be degradation of the sealant around the window or an issue with the sheathing under the siding (if you have it).

Modern manufactured home models started offering standard sized windows, thankfully.  However, each builder differs so don’t hold me to that. Best of luck!

 

 

Our Ask a Mobile Home Expert Series Continues Next Week!

We hope these questions about general maintenance questions for a mobile home have been helpful!

Remember to comment below if there is a question we can help you with.  Also, be sure to check out next week’s article in the Ask a Mobile Home Expert Series when we will be answering questions regarding replacing flooring.

Our previous Ask a Mobile Home Expert articles:

Ask an Expert about Mobile Home Venting Issues and Sewer Smells

Ask an Expert about Removing Battens from Vinyl-Coated Wallboard

Ask a Mobile Home Expert Questions about Mobile Home Additions

Ask a Mobile Home Expert about Mobile Home Ventilation Problems

 

 

Thanks for reading Mobile Home Living!

Disclosure: Any answers to questions posed and any recommendations or information provided herein should not be used as a substitute of an expert or any relevant professional that has inspected the issues in person. 

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2 Comments
  1. Barbara Granger says

    I have a question but did not see a board to post it on. I have a 2007 Southern Energy single wide home and the belly board has always worried me. It came from the factory twisted and hanging but they would not address it and told me it was fine. I am thinking about having the bottom of my home foamed with closed cell foam. I understand that it repels bugs and rodents, insulates, sound proofs, and increases structural integrity. That said, I have questions like what if a water pipe leaks what would happen? Is this a good idea and will you still need a belly board over it? Has anyone done this and what do they have to say?
    Thank You, I love the site and it has given me the courage to make some home improvements myself and consider some more complicated improvements in the future.
    Barbara

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Barbara,

      Most manufactured homes use a belly wrap (though it is often called belly board). It is basically just a large sheet of black plastic stapled to the home. The middle part often hangs down so that’s probably what you are seeing.

      Adding foam is a great idea! Though it doesn’t really add structural integrity to the home, it will insulate and act as a noise reducer and protect the home a bit better from critters. I think I read that over 25% of your heat is lost through the flooring and vents so foam board will certainly help. You will need to be proactive regarding water leaks but there’s a lot of things you can do to better protect yourself from unknown leaks. Pressure gauges are smart to have. Depending on the location of your water lines, you could create a small hatch. It’s the same situation with belly board, too.

      This article will give you step-by-step instructions and some more information about adding foam board: http://mobilehomeliving.org/insulating-under-a-mobile-home-with-foam-board/

      Best of luck!