How to Replace Windows in a Mobile Home

by Jan 2, 2023


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There could be a variety of reasons why you would opt to replace the windows in your mobile home. Perhaps you noticed a crack in your glass, leaking window seals, rotting wood, or you may simply want to increase the curb appeal of your mobile home.

The main concern with replacing windows in your mobile home is that the frames are of a non-standard size. This means that you may not be met with a lot of options when shopping for ready-made alternatives.

Instead, you will need to measure your frames and order in the exact size. This shouldn’t be too hard of a task especially if you have enough knowledge and experience to get the job done yourself. Otherwise, it would be best to outsource a professional carpenter.

Determine your mobile home’s window size

It is important to get the measurements of your windows correctly. This helps avoid needing to resize the materials you purchased or modify your frame. To get the precise numbers, you will need to measure both vertically and horizontally – three times.

For the vertical dimensions, measure the following:

  • Left of the window
  • Center of the window
  • Right of the window

For the horizontal dimensions, measure the following:

  • Top of the window
  • Center of the window
  • Bottom of the window

Take these measurements three times and then purchase the smallest result of each.

Select your mobile home replacement window style

Now that you have the sizes ready, it is time to choose the type of replacement window best suited for your mobile home. There are 6 main designs, namely:

Jalousie Windows

Jalousie windows were mighty popular back in the day. They consist of multiple pieces of rectangular glass, one slightly overlapping the other when closed, and all fully open once you flip the lever.

They are great for letting air flow in and out of the mobile home. However, they do not have great sealing capabilities and are therefore not the energy efficient option.

Awning Windows

The awning window was particularly popular with manufactured homes back in the 80’s. Its design is similar to that of the jalousie window except that it only has between two to four panels of glass that open up.

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows can either be built vertically or horizontally. A lot of manufactured homes back in the 80’s and 90’s favored this simple process of simply sliding it open and shut.

Replacement Casement Windows

These types come with hinges on the side and open up outwards either to the left or right. This type of window provides optimal ventilation through the whole frame and is also very easy to operate.  There is even the option to purchase casement windows with triple glazing and LoE coating, which shows to be over 50% more energy efficient next to regular windows.

Single Hung or Double Hung

A single hung window operates by having two panels. The bottom panel is what you can push up or pull back down in order to open and close. The upper panel remains in the same position all throughout.

A double hung window gives mobile homeowners the ability to open both panels and promote even better ventilation and airflow.

Customized

Who’s to say you can’t have a uniquely shaped window? Those who opt to have their own kind of window designed are free to do so. The same principle applies that you need to get the exact measurements needed in order to match your frame with the manufactured window.

Select your mobile home replacement window frame

Now that you have a better idea as to what kind of window design you want, don’t forget to consider the frame! There are 3 main types of window frames popular with mobile homes, namely:

Vinyl Window Frames

Vinyl is currently the most popular of the three because it is highly durable, is available in multiple styles and colors, and also offers a more reliable seal compared to other options. While it is not the cheapest option, it is still fairly affordable especially for the value it delivers.

Because of its longer lifespan and wide variety of colors that will absolutely not fade out, vinyl window frames are the perfect combination of functional and aesthetic. Furthermore, it has consistently proven to stop heat loss and maximize energy.

Most homebuilders would suggest checking the crosscut section of vinyl windows since allows you to see how thick the material is, which greatly impacts its efficiency.  If you want an extra rigid, airtight, and durable frame, opt for 3 ¼” of thickness.

Aluminum Window Frames

Aluminum windows have been used for mobile homes much longer than vinyl ones mainly because they are easier on the budget. However, while they are much more affordable compared to vinyl, they are also less energy-efficient and not as durable.

Alternatives aside, the material itself has gotten better over the years, proving to be effective in keeping cool air inside even during the warm months. Unfortunately, it still does lack the ability to keep warm air in during cold months, which is just as crucial. The reason behind this is that when cold air penetrates the aluminum, it goes through the metal and can even frost up the jamb. This is a huge factor to consider if you live in colder locations.

Despite this, there are still some perks of aluminum windows, apart from its affordability. For one, it is highly efficient in dampening sound dampening. It is also very light, which makes the installation process much easier.  Lastly, the material can easily be bent or molded to perfectly fit the window openings.

Fiberglass Window Frames

Fiberglass windows are the third and most durable option thus far. Its material can withstand much more than vinyl and aluminum and is also highly resistant to weathering. In fact, it is said to be15% more energy efficient than vinyl. Fiberglass window frames do not have any seams at the corners and can be painted to look like traditional wooden frames. Due to its high value and benefits, it is also more costly than the first two options.

What you need to install windows in a mobile home?

Unlike some other DIY projects for a mobile home, replacing your windows does not need expensive or unique equipment. Here are the basic tools you can use to efficiently get the job done:

  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • A small pry bar or crowbar
  • A tape measure
  • A level and carpenter’s square
  • A caulking gun
  • A hammer
  • A power drill
  • A screwdriver + screws
  • Putty and utility knives
  • Waterproof shims
  • Sealant
  • Steel brushes

If you are planning to do any customized upgrades such as soundproofing or tinting, then you may need more supplies. No matter how skilled you are at carpentry or how easy it is to install the type of window you chose, it is important to remember that this would take several hours to accomplish.

On top of the labor you will put into the project, you may have a few inconsistencies come up along the way. These are good factors to take into consideration in deciding whether or not you should outsource a professional.

Step-by-step Guide To Replacing Windows in a Mobile Home

Step 1: Measure your current window

Before purchasing anything or making further decisions as to how you want the new window to be, you first have to properly measure the window opening you have to work with. Because mobile homes have limited space and do not confirm to the standard sized window frames, getting the measurements ahead could speed along the process by narrowing down your options.

We have a quick guideline in the section above on how to correctly measure out your windows

Step 2: Determine how the current window is mounted

While you are measuring, also check how your current windows are being mounted. By replacing it with the same type, installing will go much smoother. More often than not, it could fall under these two options:

Flush-Mounted

This means that the window frame is screwed on along the side.

Lap-Siding Mounted

This means that the window frame’s screws are completely covered by the siding. This type of mount requires the additional step of removing the sidings first and reinstalling them after the new window has been set.

Step 3: Remove the current window

Carefully remove the screws from the window frame, and either keep them or measure their diameter. This way, you can find the perfect fitting screws for your next window. Apart from getting the same diameter, it is important to get longer screws for the replacement.

Once all the screws have been taken out, slowly remove the window.

Step 4: Clean the area

Take a steel brush and remove all the old sealant and putty from the opening. This ensures that the replacement will fit perfectly and effectively seal.

Step 5: Apply a new layer of putty

Put two layers of putty tape at the top of the opening, and one layer around the rest of the frame.

Step 6: Putting the replacement

Slowly put the replacement window into the frame. Take the drill and screw into the middle of each side of the window. Make sure not to tighten them just yet!

Step 7: Level it out and tighten it up

Make sure that your window is leveled out. You can even take a carpenter’s square to double-check that the corners at a 90-degree angle. Once it is all set, tighten the screws completely.

Step 8: Seal it up

Apply sealant to protect your wall, frame, and window from moisture. It is also important in regulating the temperature and saving on energy.

You’re All Set!

Replacing your mobile home windows shouldn’t be too difficult with this handy guide! Ensuring that you invest in quality materials not only increases your mobile home’s value, but it would also make it easier to sell your home should you decide to later on. For this reason, and to fully enjoy your home, always opt for quality materials no matter the renovation project!

Your mobile home represents your achievements, hard work and investments through the years. It is very important to protect your mobile home and your belongings against loss and damage. Getting insurance for mobile homes provides protection to your mobile home. If you are looking for the right mobile home insurance for your mobile home, we are here for you, every step of the way.

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