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 decent bang for your buck.
Replacing mobile home windows isn’t difficult if you don’t have to retrofit a different sized window. Unfortunately, because mobile home windows have a “non-standard” size. If you are a seasoned DIYer with moderate construction knowledge and experience replacing a window of the same size should be no problem. If you are installing a smaller or larger window the difficulty factor increases quite a bit.
In this article, we share the types of windows found in mobile homes, how to choose the right replacement windows for your mobile home, and share a step by step guide on how to replace mobile home windows.
6 Most Popular Types of Mobile Home Windows
Mobile and manufactured homes typically have 7 different types of windows:
Awning windows are like Jalousie windows but with 2 or 4 larger panes of glass. Panes open and close via a crank mechanism and torsion rod. Awning windows were popular between 1976 and 1985. Think of them as the ‘new and improved’ Jalousie window.
Replacement casement windows come with hinges on the side, operating outward to the left or right, providing optimal ventilation from top to bottom. These units are easy to operate due to their turnable crank mechanism and superior hardware.
Moreover, you homeowners can select fixed casement windows that don’t open but guarantee lots of natural light and improved energy efficiency. Generally, casement windows with triple glazing and LoE coating may be up to 55% more energy efficient than standard windows.
Why choose new casement windows?
- highest energy efficiency among operable windows
- exceptional ventilation
- little-to-no maintenance
- warranty up to 25 years when buying from reliable contractors
Double Hung and Single Hung: Double hung windows are now the most popular window type. Single hung are a bit cheaper.
Jalousie windows were installed in mobile homes built before 1976. Several panes of glass are installed horizontally and the panes are opened and closed with a torsion rod and crank. Jalousie and awning windows are not very good at stopping drafts so they should really only be used in the south.
Slider windows (horizontal and vertical): Slider windows were popular in mobile homes between 1986 and the late 1990s. One example of a horizontal slider window is in most mobile home bathrooms. Horizontal sliding windows are affordable and often used as replacements to the original mobile home window.
Custom windows can be any unique shape such as the half or full circular.
I’m including the Picture window as the 7th most popular window but these are typically one of the 6 window types above but in a larger size or placed together. These fixed windows are the large bay windows you see on the end of mobile homes.
Why Replace Mobile Home Windows?
If your home is more than 30 years old and still has the original windows you will probably want to replace them soon. 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!
Mobile Homes Have Non-Standard Window Sizes
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.
Related: Three Popular Mobile Home Roof Over Materials
Single Hung Vs 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. When opened, the bottom sash partially obstructs the upper sash. While single-hung is cheaper than double-hung, you get the same appearance. However, you are losing R-value and insulating properties compared to double-hung windows.
A double-hung window offers the homeowner the ability to open each sash, rather than just the bottom sash. This allows for better airflow and ventilation. 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 its advantages and disadvantages.
Vinyl is the most popular window frame material because it is cheap, has good energy efficiency abilities, and a long lifespan. It’s available in several colors but white is the top pick.
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 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
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 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.
One expert recommends that the rough opening of the window sill should be square to the sill within 1/8″ across the full width.
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.
When you install the new window you’ll want to use new screws. 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.
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 silicone sealant around the entire outside of the window frame. Then simply return the siding over the edges of the frame.
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 Home Living!
42 thoughts on “Replacing Mobile Home Windows”
How can I order replacement windows for my manufactured home in the same size
You may be able to find them locally if you have some kind of mobile home parts store around. There are also online stores like the mobilehomepartsstore.com that may have your size. But shipping may be an issue.
I own a 99 Golden West Home, it’s really very nice but it’s over 20 years old and some of the windows need to be replaced. And I’m have one heck of a time trying to find someone to replace them for me. And here in California, evidently I can’t replace my windows without a Permit because it’s a manufactured home. I measured the windows and by my measurements 56″&1/8 high and 30″&1/4. Where can I get my windows? And do you folks make them custom?
I have a stationary storm window out side at my bathroom.Trying to change to a window I can open.There are no visible screws to remove.How can I remove this window with out doing any damage to the wall around it.
I currently have windows that slide up from the bottom. I want windows that slide down from the top, so when we open windows while using our evaporative cooler, the hot air doesn’t have to get within 3 feet of the floor before it goes out. I’ve seen them, but when I asked, was told, “Just install the windows upside down.” Is it really that simple? Seems like some brands would be better than others, does anyone have any experience with this? Any other ideas for venting hot air?
Single Hung Vs 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. When opened, the bottom sash partially obstructs the upper sash.
Please read the article prior to asking questions
Looking for 2″ plastic outer trim for window that has a groove in the middle.
After you’ve removed windows to measure the openings, how do you handle the fact that you are missing windows while you wait for the replacements to arrive? Thanks!
It’s best not to remove the windows until you have the new ones but you can always board it up with a piece of plywood for the time being. I wouldn’t recommend plastic because it’s winter and that would allow a lot of moisture to get into the home.
Best of luck!
Being as the walls of my mobile home/trailer are not very thick and probably isn’t very energy efficient, does it make since to replace current windows with low e? If I’m going to be losing/gaining heat via the walls I don’t want to pay extra if it won’t make a difference due to that.
I think it’s always a good idea to upgrade windows. Your perimeter walls are probably 2×4 which is what a site built home has. Your interior walls may be smaller though.
I live in a manufactured home with 2″ x 6″ exterior wall studs. The old Kinro windows are shot — seals popped, spiral counterweight system broken, latches shattered, you name it. I do NOT want to replace these with more of the same! Is there any reason regular replacement windows won’t fit?
You should have little to no problem finding windows that will fit your home nowadays. A worst-case scenario would be special ordering and even that isn’t as expensive as it sounds. A mobile home supply store and Lowe’s or Home Depot would be my first two stops. Best of luck!
Thank you for a clearly written article! I have a manufactured home with windows that were replaced in 2005. Sadly, they were replaced with single-hung windows, but I have decided that it is not worth the cost to upgrade to double-hung given they are already dual pane. The real issue is I do not believe they were installed correctly (installed by my beau as it was his house then) as there is a gap between the window flange and the exterior wall trim (not the wall) ranging from ¼” to ½”. Suggestions I have received include adding another piece of trim on top of the existing one (not of fan of this one) and trimming (as in cutting) the window sill and jamb on the interior by the gap so the window can be pushed further in (feels like a big job, but the right thing to do). Thoughts?
I’m not very knowledgeable about windows but from what I’ve seen the main concern when installing is to make sure it’s level and then worry about plugging up the gaps. I’d make sure water can’t enter (maybe put a little j hook above it to diverge the water if needed) and then stuff the gaps with fiberglass insulation and trim it out. Keep in mind, I’m far from an expert so take that suggestion lightly.
Best of luck (let me know what you end up doing).
I was just trying to figure out how to approach this. My friend and her family have a modular home. I believe it is a singular hung window as the bottom is the only window that opens. The upper window got shattered and needs to be replaced. It is a vinyl window and the house has vinyl siding. Can just the glass be replaced or does the entire window need replaced. Thanks
You may be able to have a glazer come out and replace the window but I’ve read somewhere that it’s usually better (cheaper and easier) to just have a new window installed, especially if it has the gas between the panes. (I’m not really knowledgeable about windows to be honest). If it’s a manufactured home or mobile home you should be able to have a similar window ordered from a mobile home parts store or Lowe’s. If it’s modular it should have the same windows as a site-built home. Sorry I can’t be more help.
How can i find a replacement for the custom window. I have one with a a half circle as the top.
Those half circle windows are available through most local mobile home supply stores and even your big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. You’ll probably have to special order them. Tafco is one of the most popular brand names for mobile home windows so perhaps calling your local mobile home supply stores and asking if they carry that brand may help (but even if they don’t they may carry the shape and size you need in a different brand).
Best of luck!
I want to replace two bedroom windows with a sliding glass door out to my back porch. There is an electrical outlet under the windows. What I’m wondering is will that be a problem? and can it be moved over and put on the outside?
There shouldn’t be any problem at all. You wouldn’t even need to cut the wire. You should be able to install an exterior outlet with a GFIC outlet easily with no problem. Be forewarned that any electrical modifications that aren’t done by a licensed electrician with proper permits and inspections could cause denials on any insurance claim you may have in the future (whether it’s because of the changes or not) so you will want to at least have it inspected with proper paperwork just in case. Best of luck!
Any suggestions on how to cover up all those hex screws. Would like to replace windows and trim them out.
I’m not a pro by any means but we usually caulk or seal over our screws on the siding and the windows before each winter. You can get a colored product or a paintable one or you can use a metal trim (maybe a single piece J channel would work well?)
how do you replace a long high 3 window bow window in front of a 1986 shultz Mobile home. The inside of windows got wet through years of condensation . the wood inside the well area is rotting. we want to Replace it soon. How do we find a bow window and someone to put it in. Will it be better to replace with a strait picture window. Most likely will have to be custom made by reframing the window. Any thoughts on how to tackle this project. Which is better to use a vinyel or aluminum windows. First we have to fine someone to Tackle this project. How much will this cost us. I want to go in the middle of the road when it comes to doing this project. Please respond Thank you. WE really love our MH. low cost for living. Darlene
You can custom order windows in just about any size or shape you want. However, in a lot of situations, it’s much more affordable to create your own frame and just use standard size windows.
Well worth a read. Got great insights and information from your blog. Keep up the great work!
What if you want to replace with bigger windows? I live in a 1999 SW Redmond mobile home with aluminum siding. The window are too small for my liking and I’m tired of putting up Duck Brand window film every winter.
You won’t have too much trouble at all. You just have to make the opening bigger and reframe it all to code. It’s much easier to go larger than smaller and a window company should have no problems getting it done for you.
Best of luck!
I replaced 13 windows several years ago. I’m definitely experiencing savings on my heat bill, but they did not do the interior trim, so I’ve been looking at rough openings inside all this time! Any tips on interior trim for replaced windows? They are not flush to the wall as the old windows were.
You should be able to buy some thin board and an angled trim and make a pretty nice frame. If you measure it They will cut the lumber and the trim for you at Home Depot and Lowe’s.
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!
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!
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!
Glad you like it Marissa!
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.
Good to read! Very informative!
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
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?
I also live in a 2001 triple wide, and the windows are crap. The screens rotted off a long time ago. The corners of each of them, little plastic pieces, simply disintegrated. I bought screens at the hardware, or Walmart, that you simply place in the window and slide it open to fit, then lower the top window down onto it. Maybe someday, I can afford to buy new windows.
Hi, Debra! I bet your house is going to look amazing with new windows!
You can buy screen kits at home depot. They are pretty cheap With a razor cutter and a hack saw you can put them together easily. Measuring is the key.
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.