Replacing Mobile Home Windows - Exterior of a double wide with new windows

Replacing Mobile Home Windows

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.

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.

Awning Window For Mobile Home
Awning Window

Casement windows have cranks that open the framed pane. Casement are like awning windows but they are vertical instead of horizontal.

Casement Window
Casement Window

Double Hung and Single Hung: Double hung windows are now the most popular window type. Single hung are a bit cheaper.

Double Hung Window
Double Hung Window

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.

Jalousie Window For Mobile Home
Jalousie Window

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.

Slider Window In Mobile Home
Slider Window

Custom windows can be any unique shape such as the half or full circular.

Custom Shape Window In Mobile Home
Custom Shape Window

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.

Wood sided manufactured home with picture window on end

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!

Awning Window In 1978 Single Wide Mobile Home
These awning windows still look great considering their age. This is a 1978 single wide. The torsion rods and crank still work great.
Replacing Mobile Home Windows 1
 Team effort to install the picture window on The Whim. See it here.

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.

Slider window in Remodeled Single Wide Mobile Home For Sale In Denver Craigslist Steve11 Copy 2
Slider window in a mobile home.

Related: Three Popular Mobile Home Roof Over Materials

Single Hung Vs Double Hung Windows
Single Hung Window and Double Hung Window (Source: greatlakeswindow.com)

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

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!


19 thoughts on “Replacing Mobile Home Windows”

  1. 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

    1. Hi 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.

  2. 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.

    1. Hi Shelly,

      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!

  3. 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.

    1. Hi Dana,

      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.

  4. 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!

    1. Hi Tammy!

      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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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
    good work!

  8. Robynne Catheron

    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?

    1. Debra R Rowlands

      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.

      1. 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.

  9. 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.

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