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
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!
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).
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.
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.
Storytime! 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 general maintenance questions about 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 the 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.
8 thoughts on “General Maintenance Questions about a Mobile Home”
I am new to mobile living and repair. I have a 2015 Clayton 16×80 I would like to take the bathtub out of the master bathroom and make a place for the washer and dryer. Make a storage area out of the original washer-dryer area. My question is there a problem with routing the new wiring under the flooring? I have
been told that all wiring should be in the overhead.
How much should a single-wide mobile home re-level cost, abot 1 to 1 and a half inches? The park owner says their water lines are affected under the concrete slab. Im not having problems the mobile home is a 1996. Mobile Home Stuff ssid they had to get under home be cause it wasn’t tied down. They then said they couldnt tie down because it wasnt le el. Mobile Home Stuff now says I have to pay to have it untied before they level. Owner has said to re-level,tape waterline, and skirting. I dont have 19p0.00 so owner says theyll borrow with no interest but I have to use Mobile Home Stuff. This price is without labor for attaching skirting to 3 sides of mobile home. Also Mobile Home Stuff says they onle do heater coils to water pipes, no taping. Could you addresse these questions and other problems?
This all sounds overly suspicious. If the park needs to get under THEIR pad that’s on them, not you. The leveling of your home only affects your home, nothing else. The park needs to be paying for this, not you.
Do NOT do this. This is most likely a scam.
Hello I’m hoping someone is still answering questions on the forum, I have a question about a problem I have with condensation, during the winter months when it’s cold outside the gas heater will turn on and within 30 seconds I will hear fast dripping in the back wall this will continue till the heater goes off then the dripping will slow down but the drops will get bigger and louder but slower between drops, it continues till the heater turns on again or if it doesn’t eventually they stop, I have sealed every possible avenue I can find for moisture to enter the space between the ceiling and the roof, including removing and sealing the swamp cooler. it’s been 3 years of this for me and is driving me crazy. this is a single wide home fairly old.
You’re going to need to call a general contractor or a heating expert. This needs to be looked at quickly so that your home isn’t damaged by the moisture. Best of luck!
Thanks so much for your website. It is a great resource for those that see the value in mobile/manufactured housing. For those that are looking for more permanent skirting that provides structural support and windproofing checkout the product at Anchorpanel.
No, I don’t work for them but it looks like it could be a good solution for many people in a variety of locations. They also have some YouTube videos that show installation and final view.
Thanks so much for the info. There have been a ton of great products to hit the market in the last few years. It’s hard to keep up with them. I’ll def give it a look. Thank you!
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: https://mobilehomeliving.org/insulating-under-a-mobile-home-with-foam-board/
Best of luck!