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).
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.
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.
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:
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.