Replacing Mobile Home Windows

Replacing mobile home windows will save on energy costs and give your home a whole new look. If you want to spend your remodeling dollars wisely you cannot go wrong with new windows. You get better heating and cooling control and update the appearance of both your interior and exterior. That’s a lot of bang for your buck!

Replacing mobile home windows may seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Installing new windows can be done by a seasoned and knowledgeable DIY homeowner.

 

new windows in mobile home

 

Here’s what you need to know about replacing mobile home windows:

Why Replace Mobile Home Windows? 

If you live in a mobile home that still has the original windows you will want to replace your windows as soon as possible. While it is a large upfront investment the long-term savings on your energy costs and the updated appearance will make it worth every dime.

Replacing windows is a smart mobile home remodeling project that will affect both the interior and exterior of your home and give you better control over your temperature and energy consumption. It’s a win, win, win!

 Team effort to install the picture window on The Whim. See it here.

(Odd) Size Matters 

In most older mobile and manufactured homes, you cannot buy a standard window at Lowe’s and expect it to fit the opening in a mobile home unless you plan on retrofitting it.

Unless retrofitting sounds like your idea of a good time, you will want to order the exact size you need from a mobile home supply store. Keep in mind that if you order the windows online the shipping increases the price per window significantly so try to find a local mobile home supplier first.

 

An example of an awning window. The two panes can be raised.

Window Designs Used in Mobile Homes

Mobile homes typically have four basic types of windows: jalousie windows, horizontal sliders, vertical sliders, and awning windows.

Jalousie Windows

Jalousie windows were used a lot before 1976. It’s several pieces of rectangular glass that open when you turn the dial. They open fully to allow great air circulation but they don’t seal well at all. You will see significant savings if you replace jalousie windows.

Awning Window

From 1976 to the mid-1980’s the awning window was popular in manufactured homes. It’s the same design as a jalousie window but there are only two panes of glass that open instead of 10 (depending on the size of the window).

Vertical and Horizontal Sliding Window

Vertical sliding windows are found in manufactured homes built in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. There are 2 panes of glass that are on tracks and slide to open and close.

Related: Three Popular Mobile Home Roof Over Materials

Parts of a Window

Before replacing mobile home windows you need to knowithe different parts that make up a window. Regardless of the design, a window has the same parts: casing, sills, sashes, etc. This image shows all the different parts of a window:

 

parts of a window - replacing mobile home windows

 

Single or Double-Hung?  

A single-hung window is fairly self-explaining:  In a single-hung window the bottom panel, or sash, moves vertically, while the upper sash remains stationary (source).

When opened, the bottom sash obstructs, at least partially, the upper sash. While they are cheaper than double-hung, you get the same appearance. You are losing r-value and insulating properties compared to double-hung windows.

Exterior mobile home remodel - After new siding and windows and roof was installed - liseinalberta blogspot com

 

A double-hung window offers the homeowner the ability to open each sash, rather than just the bottom sash. This allows for better air flow and ventilation. (Source)

The ability to open and tilt each sash makes cleaning easier, too.

 

Vinyl or Aluminum?

The two most common window frame materials for mobile and manufactured homes are vinyl and aluminum. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

typical vinyl window

 Vinyl Windows 

Vinyl is the most popular window frame material because it is a relatively cheap and has a great lifespan. Vinyl is available in several colors but white is the top pick. Vinyl is a top performer for stopping heat loss.

An average vinyl framed window for mobile homes, measuring 14″ x 27″ with double-hung glass, was found online for around $85 without shipping costs added.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum windows have been used on mobile and manufactured homes for decades. It is strong and cheap to produce and does very well at creating an airtight seal. Most will agree that aluminum windows aren’t the prettiest but they get the job done and that’s all that matters.

Aluminum windows are cheaper than vinyl. What you lose in appearance you gain in value. A 14″ x 27″ aluminum window can be found online for around $45 without shipping.

Related: 6 Mobile Home Maintenance Tips Every Owner Should Know

 

Replacing Mobile Home Windows - Exterior of a double wide with new windows

Guide to Replacing Mobile Home Windows

Step 1: Remove the Window

The type of window and siding on your home will determine how easy it will be to remove the old window. If the window’s frame is over the siding just unscrew the numerous screws.

If you cannot see the frame and screws around your window you’ll need to find them. For vinyl or metal siding, you will need to remove the siding sections that surround the window.

 

Step One of replacing mobile home windows - remove the siding

 

Step 2: Measure the Opening

Your measurements will make or break your entire project. You need to get it right!

Most importantly, when replacing mobile home windows, you don’t measure the window, you measure the opening after the old window has been removed. 

Next, you’ll need to check to see if the opening is square. If it’s a bit off you can use shims to adjust the difference. If it’s off by a lot you may want to use a smaller window so you can create a square opening yourself.

Mobile Home Parts Store gives detailed instructions for measuring:

“The rough opening should be 1/4″ greater in width and height than the portion of the window that fits in the rough opening. The rough opening sill must be square to the floor within 1/8″ across its width. If the rough opening sill is out of square by a greater amount, it may not be possible to shim and square the window in the opening.”

Step Two of replacing mobile home window - Removing the window

 

 

Step 3: Prepare for the New Window

Old putty or caulk will need to be removed around the opening of the window so that new sealant can be used. You will also want to use new screws for the new window. Assuming the opening is square, you’ll create a line of caulk and install the new window into the opening and then screw it in.

If the opening is not square you will use shims under the window (never above) to make the window square. Mobile Home Parts Store advises:

If the rough opening sill is not square to the floor and if you have elected to shim the window, place the shims beneath the lower corner of the unit until the sill of the unit is square. Shims must be placed beneath the extreme corners of the window frame, additional shims must be placed every 12″ on center to fully support the weight of the unit. Do not use shims on the header, or building loads will be transferred to the window, causing improper operation or failure of window.

Center the window from left to right, but do not remove the sill from contact with the rough opening sill and any shims that were required to square the sill of the unit. While holding the window flat against the exterior wall, start a corrosion resistant Hex Head Screw in the approximate center of one of the frame/jamb mounting flanges. Continue installing screws in the following order: Center of opposite frame/jamb, center of head and center of sill. Re-check the window to be certain it is centered from side to side in the opening, and that the window frame members are straight and the frame is square.

Check to ensure the window operates properly, if it does not, remove the screws and reinstall. Continue installation of the rest of the screws, starting in the center of each member and progressing out to the corners. Note: Do not over drive the screws; to do so will unduly deform the window frame and compromise the seal.

Step Three of replacing mobile home windows - applying fresh putty

Mobile homes are not uniform when it comes to exterior wall thickness. Some homes are built with 2 x 4’s and some with 2 x 3’s. The width of your home and of the old window will need to be given to your window supplier. They can give you the best advice about the sashes for your thickness. Sometimes it’s best to order windows without a sash.

 

Step 4: Seal the Frame and Replace the Siding

Finally, run a line of silicon sealant around the entire outside of the window frame. Then simply return the siding over the edges of the frame.

 

Step Four of Replacing mobile home windows - Installing the new window with screws and sealing

See more great guides from Mobile Home Parts Store here.

I hope these steps will help to work as a guide to replace mobile home windows and giving your manufactured home a fresh look!

As always, thank you so much for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!

 

Image Source: Steps 1-4, Double Hung Window,

9 Comments
  1. Tammy Castleberry says

    Hi! I have a 1989 mobile home that’s in good condition but still has its original windows. I’d like to replace them but I’m having the hardest time finding anyone who makes windows that fit and anyone to install. I’m not “handy” at all, I don’t know anyone who could do something like this and any of the “handymen” or window places don’t want to touch a mobile home window.
    I’m really really hoping that you’ll be able to assist me in locating a window place & possibly someone to install them as well.
    Thank you for your help!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Tammy!

      In many cases like yours, it may be cheaper (and easier) to buy standard sized windows and modify the home to fit them, aka retrofitting. One of my favorite examples is a single wide where the homeowners installed larger windows and used the opportunity to install faux rock from roof to skirting in a vertical stripe that was a few inches wider than the windows. It allowed for new windows that didn’t have to be special-ordered and gave the home’s exterior a great update.

      If that doesn’t work, you should be able to find windows for your home at Mobile Home Parts Supply (mobilehomepartsstore.com I think) or at your local supply house. They should be able to point you in the right direction to find contractors that will work on your home.

      Best of luck, let me know how it works out!

  2. Marissa Bogdansky says

    Thank you so much for your help! I found your page on a google search, and I am glad I did! You have so many helpful resources! Thank you! Keep it up!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Glad you like it Marissa!

  3. Sam Wilkins says

    I didn’t know that there were different options when it came to mobile home windows. My uncle has those jalousie windows you talked about in his mobile home. He should look into getting those replaced so he can keep it warmer in the winter.

  4. Tiffany Melendez says

    Good to read! Very informative!

  5. charity says

    Thank you for posting. You do a great job articulating
    your thoughts and I really enjoy reading your site. You’ve
    created a very valuable resource here. Just wanted to say keep up the
    good work!

  6. Robynne Catheron says

    Great information, Kim! I just purchased a 2001 3b/2ba single wide. There are no screens whatsoever, and I’d love to be able to open the windows without flying insects invading my home. Would you recommend shopping for pre-made screens or ordering the kits and making them myself? Price is a big factor- I’m retired military on a small, fixed income.

    Can you please point me in the right direction?

  7. ardis adrian says

    thanks so much. Just replaced 10 windows and they look great. The kitchen window went from tall and narrow to panorama style, the rest were same size. I am hopeful of better energy bills this summer.

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