Let’s say you’ve just bought an older mobile home and want to update it. What do you focus on first? Where should you spend your money? How do you get the most bang for the buck? This article covers our top mobile home makeover ideas that add value time and again: windows, floors, and paint.
As an added bonus, you’ll get to see an amazing mobile home remodel that was transformed with new paint, new windows, and new flooring. The transformation is amazing!
Our new homeowners snagged a 1974 double wide mobile home for a great price right before the crazy CA real estate market went crazy. They then proceeded to breathe new life into the home with these 3 smart mobile home makeover ideas.
Installing New Windows is One of the Smartest Mobile Home Makeover Ideas You Can Do
This mobile home had never been updated so installing new windows was the obvious first choice. New windows will give an older mobile home a fresh new look and save money on energy costs.
If you only have so much saved you need to be especially careful where you spend your makeover money. You want to choose mobile home makeover ideas that balance aesthetics and longterm benefits like lower energy costs.
Stick with Standard Vinyl Windows for Best ROI
Windows are a great mobile home improvement but be careful, you don’t want to get too fancy or spend too much on the windows.
Leave the overly fancy windows at the store. Go with the standard vinyl windows that have the best energy efficiency within your budget. Going with the overly expensive windows for an older mobile home makeover isn’t the best return on investment.
Time’s home renovation expert states,
“Homeowners get about 73% of their replacement window investment back when they resell the house, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Cost Versus Value study. Choose the wrong windows, though, and replacements can detract from home value.”
The same expert claims that today’s dual-paned windows are about twice as effective at energy retention as the single-paned windows just a couple of decades old. Windows have come a long way in twenty years.
You’ll be amazed at how different the home looks after new windows are installed, especially if you’re replacing old mobile home jalousie windows.
Installing New Flooring is Another Great Mobile Home Makeover Idea
New laminate flooring was installed throughout this 1974 double wide mobile home. The home had carpet in the living areas and vinyl floor covering in the kitchen and baths.
Going with a single floor covering for the entire home is an affordable choice because it can help reduce installation time and hassle. Buying a lot of the same floor covering at once can help you convince the seller to give you a bulk discount, too.
Popular Flooring Choices
The most popular home flooring options for mobile homes are laminate, hardwood, bamboo, cork, and tile.
We do not recommend that you place tile or laminate over the marriage line of a double wide if the home may need to be moved.
Painting is Always Tops for Mobile Home Makeover Ideas
Painting walls and ceilings have always been one of the easiest mobile home makeover ideas you can do. It is definitely the quickest ways to update a home.
This is especially true for homes that have lower ceilings, like older mobile homes. A fresh white ceiling will make a low ceiling appear taller instantly.
As you can see below, the entire interior of this double wide was done in paneling. Even the kitchen cabinets blend in with the walls!
After the kitchen cabinets were painted, the room has a crisp, clean feel. It’s ready for another 40 years of happy living.
Choosing the Right Paint Color is Important
If you plan on selling your mobile home in the future choose a neutral paint color. Neutral doesn’t have to be boring, though. White is great on ceilings but can be too bright for walls. Muted colors like a pale green or soft yellow work especially well in small rooms.
If you don’t plan on selling your home go with whatever your heart desires. Keep in mind, though, that it is much more difficult to paint over darker colors though today’s paint technology has made it easier in the last few years.
Perfectly Painted with a 2″ Brush
The star of this mobile home transformation, and just about any affordable mobile home remodel, is the newly painted walls throughout the home.
The owner says she used a 2-inch brush to paint every inch of the home, including the crown and base molding that was added. It took one coat of primer and two coats of satin finish to create the look.
We’re not sure why the owner decided to use such a small brush to paint all the walls but we suspect the paneling had a rough texture that made using a roller inefficient. Of course, some people just prefer using brushes.
Using one of the many primer/paint combinations that are available (Kilz is our favorite) can make your paint project a bit easier.
Painting your bookshelves or hutches the same color as the wall can make the piece appear to be built in.
The exterior got a makeover, too! See 14 more great mobile home exteriors here.
Can You Really Paint Paneling?
Mobile and manufactured home builders love paneling. Some form of faux wood paneling has been used in most homes for the last 50 years. Up until the mid-1980s, the paneling often had a rough texture and was actually made with real wood, though extremely thin. This paneling is easy to paint.
In the mid-1980s, we saw more VOG panels with a laminated paper printed to look like real wood. Even the black lines were printed. This paneling is a bit more difficult to paint as you can’t use sandpaper and if the walls aren’t cleaned and primed correctly the panels can soak paint up like a sponge.
The Paint Needs to Bond to the Wall
The trick to painting VOG panels is to prepare the walls properly so that the paint can bond to the wall. There’s a secret to making sure your paint job is a success:
Clean the walls. Twice. Then again just for good measure.
A simple dish detergent and water combination should do the trick to remove any dirt or oil residue buildup that stuck over the years. Be careful that you don’t soak your walls, you don’t want the top paper or the gypsum to get wet.
For complete step-by-step instructions and tips to successfully paint your mobile home walls check out our Guide on How to Paint Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes.
We don’t know much about the history of this double wide mobile home other then it is a 1974 model that the owners purchased in 1998.
These images came from a 2010 Flickr stream. I’ve tried to contact the owner a few times over the years without success.
Painting, flooring, and windows are smart mobile home makeover ideas that transform a home without completely gutting it. If your budget is limited, try your best to give a little attention to every surface in your home.
The true secret to the best remodels and makeovers is to be able to see the potential in a home. If you can do that, you can do anything!
Thanks for reading Mobile Home Living.