10 Smart Upgrades When Buying A New Manufactured Home

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24 Comments

  1. This article have been really helpful and I’ve taken a lot of notes because I’m looking at buying a manufactured home in AZ where it’s really hot during the summer. Any tips on what to upgrade due to the heat?

  2. I’ve considered buying a manufactured home and I currently live in a large two story house that is 2600 square feet (131 yrs old). Therefore, I’d like to get all these upgrades but I’d also like ceramic tiled bathrooms, granite countertops, thick solid oak hardwood floors and hardy-plank siding with a sub-wall between exterior and interior walls. Is this possible in a manufactured home? Thanks

    1. Hi Ron,

      Yes, it’s likely possible but if you insist on all of those upgrades it may be best that you buy a site-built home. I say that because by the time you pay for all the upgrades on a manufactured home your cost per square foot is going to be real close to that of a site-built home. Add the transport and installation and it could be equal. If you keep it as personal property and not permanently install the home it the lower taxes may help and make the manufactured home a better option.

      Of course, the west coast of CA is a whole different ball game and you’ll need to speak to experts in that area to see if it makes sense to go with a manufactured home (it likely will).

      Best of luck!

  3. Hello, love this newsletter! We purchased a modular home 2 years ago from Skyline Homes out of Oregan (We live in British Columbia Canada). After studying the homes available we chose Skyline because they offered higher end options. However, the finish product is terrible. We went for drywall, 9 ft ceilings, 5/12 pitch, Hardy Board siding, interior window cornices, recessed lights, crown molding. The drywall install is terrible, with gaps in corners, walls that are bowed, joints opening, screw (probably nails) not flush. Crooked walls so the base boards need adjusting. Not enough electrical outlets and switches, recessed lights in the wrong rooms, the siding is low quality the install is amateur the soffits and fascia are poorly installed plus they look like painted plywood, it appears we have no vapor barrier on the inside between the insulation and drywall…. I designed a very unique plan and that part we are happy with, but we are ashamed by how it appears we were “taken”. We have something in our walls and ceiling that is either mice or bats and my husband can see in the attic to the outside in many areas. We did our best to pick a good home and feel cheated. We are on a very limited income and sold our conventional home to live debt free.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      I’m so sorry. There is at least a one year warranty on all manufactured homes sold in the US. I imagine there would be a better warranty in Canada and as long as you made a verbal or written complaint to the dealership and/or builder you should have no problem getting the issues repaired. Best of luck!

  4. Hi, I live in Southwest Mississippi and is close to the Louisiana state line. So I have been to a lot of manufactured home dealers within a 120 mile radius. I have lived in manufactured homes my whole life and still do and I have never seen a manufactured home without exterior wall sheathing behind the vinyl siding, floor cabinets without bottoms in them, particleboard sub floors, or exterior/interior wall studs smaller than 2×4. Even the low end homes are built with O.S.B wall sheathing, bottoms in the floor cabinets and most come standard with T&G O.S.B sub floor or T&G plywood subfloor as an upgrade. Every home I’ve owned came standard with 3/4 T&G O.S.B sub floors, 2×4 exterior/interior wall studs and 1/2 inch taped and mudded sheetrock . In recent years most homes in my area use 2×6 exterior wall studs on 16 inch centers with R-19 insulation, 2×4 interior studs on either 16 or 24 inch centers, 3/4 T&G O.S.B or plywood sub floors, 7/16 O.S.B exterior wall sheathing with whole house wrap and 2×8 floor joist on 16 inch centers with a double perimeter band for extra strength and rigidity all standard. The cost is more but it is a much better built house. They usually run between $80,000 and $125,000 for a double wide and between $140,000 and $180,000 for a triple wide home with some on the higher end running $200,000 and up for the 7/12 or 9/12 roof pitches, upgraded structure, wiring, plumbing and usually comes with a concrete slab from some builders. There are no builders here that still use metal siding on a home. They stopped building them here with metal siding over 15 years ago. I always look at the structure of the home and certain brands for quality, build specs and the dealer for customer service during and after the sale and their craftsmanship while they set and finish out the home.

    1. Hi Rashad,

      Thank you for such an informative comment! Unfortunately, there are a lot of manufactured homes that didn’t have exterior sheathing. My father’s brand new 1986 Redman double wide didn’t have exterior sheathing under the vinyl siding. Perhaps you are in a different zone and homes around you are built to tougher regulations? Thanks for commenting!

  5. Your website is helping me to learn what to ask. I looked at manufactured homes last week and of course like many people you go for the one you like the way it looks. Now I am getting educated on looking into which manufactured homes are built better for what I can afford. Then pick from those and see what upgrades I can get. Thanks! Great information

    1. I love reading comments like this! Thank you, Toni! Best of luck on the house hunt! If you have any questions or if I can help at all just email or write a comment (email is crystaladkins @ mobilehomeliving.org).

      Thanks!

  6. Hi,
    I purchased a manufactured home two years ago and had it set on an acre and a quarter in Arizona. I love it here! And I’m not disappointed in my choice, but I am disappointed in the quality of a lot of the workmanship that went into the home. They were pretty sloppy and cut corners I think. Anyway, I would love to upgrade my front and back door and many of the other upgrades you mention I have had on my list to do at some point LOL my main concern is in the kids bathroom, the tub is so small and when they use the shower the water goes out on the sides. They are kids and did not think much of it, and I did not notice unfortunately until it was too late. I’ve got quite a bit of swelling and damage now in that bathroom. I’m thinking I need to have it fixed sooner than later. Thank you so much for your article and I read another one on this site that has helped me determine what needs to be done as far as replacing the flooring in that bathroom and getting marine-grade plywood. So glad I found this resource!

    1. Hi Janelle,

      The bathtubs are 6″ shorter and 6″ less narrow (wide?) and kids need a lot more room to play in the tub! If there’s a way you can find 6″ to install a standard $129 tub from Lowe’s the kids probably wouldn’t splash that much. Also, when you decide to replace the tub go ahead and replace the just the area at the tub with marine-grade plywood, it holds up against water better than regular plywood or OSB. Of course, anything holds up against water better than the MDF that most manufactured homes have.

      Quality of workmanship is the main complaint against manufactured home builders and I can understand that they need to cut some corners to be profitable but some things are just ridiculous. I’m sorry you’ve dealt with it.

      1. My mobile home is excellent on the interior. I want the outside to look like a home. Currently we have a metal roof which looks good except for the pitch. We will build some type of wrap around deck/porch. What can we replace replace the current siding with? Any idea of approximate cost for replacing siding on a double wide?

  7. Very informative article. I’m trying to make a decision about my future home, site built or manufactured???? VERY difficult to choose. I’ve visited many retailers in my area and have seen some beautiful homes but no decision yet.

    1. Hi Raylene,
      I LOVE manufactured homes but sometimes a site-built home is the best choice. Ideally, I think the best deal is to buy an older pre-owned manufactured home and have it placed on your own private land and remodel it exactly how you want it. In Myrtle Beach, it makes no sense at all to buy a double wide and the best single wides are in 55+ parks. You can buy a 2400 sq ft two-story home on about half an acre for $20k more than an older double wide on the same size lot. I have no idea why.
      Your heart will tell you when you find the right home. Best of luck!

  8. How do I know if my 1998 Redmond double wide can accommodate ceramic tile throughout? Not on a cement foundation but block piers. SE AZ high desert. TY

    1. Hi David,

      In all reality, you should be fine as long as the tile isn’t mega thick and crazy heavy (I don’t like tile over marriage lines though). If you still have your owner’s manual there should be a section in it talking about weight per inch or weight load per foot. You can take the weight of the tile and match that using the formula for your home’s weight load.

      Best of luck! Thanks for reading!

  9. Nice article with reminders of everything to consider on a good to-do list! There is one thing that still puzzles me, though: The cost/benefit ratio of low-e glass windows – Letting infra-red radiation in during the day vs letting heat out at night. I haven’t figured out how to compute the trade-off, and for all I’ve been able to tell, there shouldn’t be a single window in the whole house!

  10. This email has been very interesting as I’m in the process of a fixer upper an ’85 Skyline. Had all the carpet removed and replaced with vinyl plank well worth it. The walls had vinyl wall someone tried to remove I’ve replaced with quarter inch plywood. Just trying to get it liveable.

  11. Great Ideas! I’m looking to install a barn door at my master bedroom entrance. There is no support in the closet to the door opening to allow me to properly install the hardware. Any ideas?!?!

    1. Hi Joe,

      You’ll probably need to frame it out yourself. I’ll let you research on that more since you know your layout and framing. Best of luck! (If you do add it please take photos of the process, I’d love to share that! Thanks!)

  12. Great article, very helpful!
    So far, the most we’ve done to our 2008 Fleetwood is new carpet and paint throughout. Painted the existing porch, changed out the back door, added window tint to one bedroom and the utility room that receive all day sun, and changed out one toilet and one tub faucet. There more, of course. Isn’t there always, home or mobile home? lol