Mobile Home Accessories That You May Need, But Haven’t Considered
If you think you are stuck with the mobile home as is once you buy it, you are wrong! There are many things that you can (or should) buy to either make your stay more comfortable, safer or more practical. The good news is that many of these mobile home accessories are relatively inexpensive and easy to install.
We have divided them into separate, relevant categories. It might be a good idea to go through each and either complete the entire section as a small DIY project or create a checklist and go through it one by one. When looking for your next place, keep these mobile home accessories in mind; it’s a definite pro if already comes with some of them.
Most of the accessories in this category are by no means a must-have. But they are welcome additions to make your bathroom more attractive and comfortable.
Even in stick-built homes shower pans (and showers in general) are very Spartan. Getting your own shower pan can be a great way to make your shower more comfortable, stylish, and stop water from getting everywhere. This makes it a great addition since water damage is of extra concern in a mobile home. There are even shower pans that come with built-in seats, for when you just want to relax.
Buying shower heads aren’t just an aesthetic choice. Shower heads can have a whole range of functions to either make your shower more enjoyable or more water-efficient. To properly clean those hard to reach spots look for handheld showerheads. Rain showerheads with broad heads give a softer downpour that’s more relaxing.
Much like shower heads, there are thousands of different faucet designs available to suit any taste. Waterfall faucets are especially modern and attractive. Faucets that blow out air and water have been shown to reduce water usage and clean more efficiently.
Doors & Windows
Many owners choose to locate their mobile homes outside the city. This is great for the fresh air, to be closer to nature, and for better views. However, it does come with bugs and critters too. Window screens let you leave your windows open for some fresh air, but still keep out all unwanted visitors.
This is a fantastic, low-budget option to make your home more energy efficient. There are many types of windows, and each offers its own set of benefits. What you can expect to get from most are adequate temperature control, UV protection, increased durability, and privacy. They can also emulate different window textures without replacing the glass.
Storm windows and doors
If you live in an area that has severe weather patterns, these are an absolute must. Storm windows and doors are strengthened against the elements and usually provide an extra level of insulation and water-tightness. They are reinforced to withstand high winds and forces. Consequently, they are far more secure than standard mobile home doors.
Double glazed windows and doors
These doors and windows and storm doors and windows could be the same thing depending on the model you buy. This type of glass or door has a layer of gas, usually argon, in the middle or some other material. This insulates the glass/door better than conventional items. Producers have also gone the extra mile to make them more secure, stylish, and insulated.
Although mobile homes have come a long way since the institution of the 1976 HUD code, and the amendments made since then, fires are still a concern. It’s estimated that there are around 12,000 fires a year, resulting in 206 deaths. Homes built after 1976 have three times less chance of catching fire and have a drastically lower death rate overall. Still, you can never be too safe with your life or that of your family’s, and it’s worth investing in extra measures.
Some mobile homes already come with smoke detectors and fire alarms. If you feel there aren’t enough, you can easily buy and install more. Of course, there should be one in the kitchen and another by the furnace. One place people often overlook is the bedroom. If the fire starts here, it will give you the best chance to escape. There are usually a lot of heating appliances in the bedroom which can be problematic.
A simple fire extinguisher gives you the best chance of fighting fires in the home, or to completely smother small flames before they have an opportunity to grow and spread. Again, you should place extinguishers by the most at-risk areas such as the kitchen and furnace. Remember to check your extinguishers expiry date and have them serviced annually.
Heating & Cooling
It always seems that summer is too hot, while winter is too cold. Maybe, we are just too hard to satisfy! Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways available to you to heat your home up in winter and cool your home down in summer. It’s not only about heating and cooling, but also making those processes more energy efficient.
This is one accessory that would be a huge bonus if it is pre-built into the mobile home. AC units are still the most effective way to cool down or heat up a home for multiple reasons. For one, you can regulate the temperature to suit your preference. Two, it can provide a cooling solution for your entire home. Three, it also acts as a dehumidifier.
The reason that you should try and buy a home with an AC unit if this is a big deal for you is that they are pretty expensive to install and require a lot of work or a professional. For a more affordable solution, you can look at window units. These are single units that either stand on their own or are mounted to a window on a per-room basis.
Any manufactured home should come with a water heater. However, it might be that you are not happy with its performance, you want to switch to a different method of fuel (gas or electric), or you just wish to replace a faulty one. For a full list of considerations read this articlea. What’s most important is that the new water heater is HUD approved for a mobile home.
Relying purely on air-conditioning or a furnace to meet your heating needs is very inefficient and might drive your utility bills through the roof. Insulation is an effective and affordable way compared to the previous two methods. Most types of insulation can also be installed by yourself relatively easily.
Every mobile home owner should have some insulation foam mats lying around. Wrap these around your water heater, plumbing or fix them to your attic, wall cavities, or floor to lower your heating costs. You can also spray insulate your attic or walls, as long as you feel comfortable using an electric dispenser, making and patching holes, and measuring the exact amounts to use. A last, easy DIY option is to use insulation beads.
Thermostats are a great way to regulate your home’s temperature from one, central point. Depending on how fancy your model is it can handle more than one heating/cooling system, be programmable, and provide a digital interface with all relevant information.
Walls & External
You shouldn’t think of skirting as an “accessory” it should be a must-have for any mobile home owner! In fact, in many states, it’s illegal not to have skirting. Nowadays, there are many attractive varieties available such as faux wood or stone skirting. They can also act as an extra layer of insulation and protect your homes sensitive underbelly.
Door and window canopies not only give your mobile home that quaint, countryside look but also help drive down heat and glare coming in from the windows. They are easy to install for those of us with a little bit of DIY experience and come in very stylish designs.
Just imagine if you weren’t happy with your mobile home walls and the only way to update the look was a major overhaul! Luckily, there is something like wall panels. Popular materials include vinyl over gypsum (or VOG), wood, or faux wood/stone panels. They are not only a way to change the look of your home almost entirely, but also add an extra layer of protection and insulation. Interior panels should focus mostly on the aesthetics, while it is important for exterior panels that you take durability into account.
It is not recommended to do extensive remodels or construction work on your mobile home. If not done with 110% care and skill it can lead to significant structural problems. To this end, we have included portable room dividers. It’s an easy way to restructure your rooms, like cordoning off a home office. It’s also a great style addition.
A roof membrane is another excellent way to protect your roof from the elements and to deflect some of the harsh rays of the sun. TPO membranes are said to reduce your electricity bills in summer by up to 30%. Following instructions, they are very easy to install (as long as you aren’t afraid of heights) and pretty inexpensive.
If roof wraps don’t go far enough for your taste, there is always a complete roof over. It might surprise you to learn that you can simply buy a new roof and install it on top of your existing one! Of course, you will need to have a flat roof, and you should have your homes structural integrity inspect to make sure it can take the extra strain.
Most of these accessories don’t take much explanation. They are something that we have in every home, and most of us have replaced or fixed them before at some point. However, for completeness here are some electrical accessories you should consider.
You should always be prepared to replace electrical outlets at the first sign of trouble. Electrical problems are one of the main causes of fires in any type of home. You should keep some around, just in case.
The same goes for switches. However, switches can also carry some aesthetic value. They come in different shapes and sizes. Some switches come with lights that shine when their corresponding light is turned off. A very handy feature.
Another absolute must. These can protect your expensive appliances (computers and laptops are especially vulnerable to this kind of damage) and reduce the risk of an electrical fire.
Mobile home owners are more often than not all about making their homes more efficient. Solar lights or outdoor lamps are a great way to lower your energy bills and get the satisfaction of living more planet-friendly.
Tools & Hardware
Most mobile home owners are no strangers to rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on improving their home. Thinking ahead and stocking up on some hardware beforehand can give you an advantage when dealing with small, unexpected problems or one less thing to worry about when tackling a serious project.
This tool is for the serious DIY-er. They can be pretty expensive but are necessary for a variety of home improvement projects. If you plan to make some major home improvements, they could save a lot of costs that come from hiring contractors. Probably their two most prominent uses are to power a paint sprayer and to clean out dirty areas from dust and other debris. However, you can also use them for pneumatic nail guns or staplers or just inflating your flat tires.
It’s essential that you put together a toolbox that will enable you to tackle any project head-on. This article provides a helpful guide to building the ultimate handyman’s toolbox.
Something it doesn’t mention but that you should always have around is a variety of caulks and sealants. Make sure you pick the right caulk for whatever material you will use it on, for example, plywood versus vinyl. Mobile homes tend to develop cracks over time, and it’s a quick fix.
Towing, anchors & tie-downs
You never know when one might come in handy. It is an indispensable tool if you plan any foundation work in the future. These jacks also double for use on your car. Just make sure you get one that can handle the weight.
Anchors or tie downs
Most anchors and tie-downs look pretty much the same except for length and color. They all have the same function, which is to keep your home tied down. These are especially crucial in areas with extreme weather patterns. If a tie-down is done right, it also aids your home’s structural integrity. Look for kits that come with all the bolts and cables you need.
Hydraulic earth drill
Inserting tie-downs or anchors can be hard work! However, you don’t need to do it very often, so it is questionable whether a hydraulic earth drill is worth the purchase. If you plan to live most of your life in mobile homes, it might just be worth it. You can also purchase electric tie down machines that take care of everything for you.
Start compiling your mobile home accessories!
Well, that’s it. We know it’s a daunting list of items but remember that they are all at your discretion. Where necessary, we have highlighted the items that we think are very important. We recommend you stock up on those right away. Remember to look for homes that already include some, or all, of these items if you are in the mobile home market again.
Note: Throughout this article, we regularly referred to the HUD code. To read more about the HUD code and how to check compliance with it, read the article HUD Laws and Mobile Homes.