Let’s face it. A mobile home fresh out of the factory isn’t the prettiest thing to look at. While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, we can all agree we’d rather not have to look at a mobile home’s exposed underside or tan vinyl siding. Fortunately for you, there are a variety of remodeling projects that can increase your mobile home’s exterior appeal and potentially, its value. Many of these projects can even be accomplished without the help of a professional. Interested? Take a look below at just some of the many options you have for a mobile home exterior remodel.
Skirting your mobile home is one of the most affordable and valuable mobile home exterior remodel projects you can take on. While skirting serves little purpose other than to regulate the temperature underneath the mobile home, it is still considered valuable as it adds exterior appeal. This appeal will increase depending on what material you use. Vinyl, cinder block, rock, and concrete are just a few of the popular materials used in mobile home skirting.
With Awnings you get to shade your mobile home and keep it cooler – it’s no wonder why they are popular in the south.
Even more, it provides some extra privacy and protection from high winds, but this works if the awnings are hinged and cover the entire length of the windows.
Get a Bay Window
Bay windows have an interesting way of making your space look larger, which makes them great for any room, especially if it’s on the end of your mobile home.
Install Flower Beds
Flowers add that extra spark to your mobile home without having to break the bank. You can use anything from landscaping timbers to cinder blocks and even bricks to resist water and hold soil.
For extra visual elements, you can use varying colors and height.
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There’s one thing that every mobile home owner wants: more room. Installing a freestanding porch or deck onto your mobile home does just that, and will add a huge selling point for potential buyers if you choose to sell. This is a great space to kick back and enjoy the summer breeze or make conversation with passing neighbors.
A fresh coat of paint can drastically change your home’s exterior appearance, especially if you choose the right color. Keep in mind that you will need to use a different type of paint and painting method depending on the material your mobile home wall is made of. Aluminum, vinyl, and wood paneling siding are some of the most popular materials mobile home walls are made of.
The original mobile home door isn’t very pretty to look at. Replacing this with a brand new one has a surprisingly positive effect on the overall look and feel of your home, especially if coupled with other exterior remodels. According to this DIY guide, you may have some trouble finding a door that meets the dimension of your mobile home door’s opening. The more expensive alternative is to purchase a specially-made door. To avoid draining your wallet, you can also cut a standard door yourself to make it fit with your mobile home or increase/decrease the size of your entryway.
You can add value to your mobile home’s exterior by taking care of the lawn, too. For example, you could plant bushes around your skirting or install a cement pathway leading up to your door. It might also be worth planting some trees to provide shade and help cut down on energy bills if plotted in the right place. And don’t forget to regularly take care of your lawn by raking, weeding, mowing, and aerating it.
In addition to upping the exterior appearance of your mobile home, new windows also provide great benefits for the interior – if they’re energy efficient, that is. While energy efficient windows may have a higher upfront cost, they may end up saving you money by trapping heat inside the home and keeping the cold out (or vice versa). Shop around to get an idea of what this will cost including installation, and don’t forget to talk to an expert who can estimate how much energy-efficient windows can save you.
Consider adding shutters to your new windows as well. These look nice on the outside and provide extra protection for your home during powerful storms.
Installing an awning on your mobile home creates the illusion of a much bigger space, with the potential to use the area beneath it for parking your car, hosting gatherings, or simply lounging while avoiding the summer heat. The extra shade can also help you cut down on your energy bills. Awnings typically come in two different types: canvas and metal. Home Advisor estimates it’ll cost between $1,300 and $3,628 to install an awning, with expenses reaching around $5,600 in a worst-case scenario.
A pitched roof differs from your typical mobile home roof as it angled, not flat. This will make your mobile home look more traditional and make it stand out from the other mobile homes in your park. Pitched roofs are also beneficial as they direct water and other debris down a slope, unlike a flat roof where these sit still and accumulate.
MOBILE HOME EXTERIOR REMODEL: GET THE LOOK YOU WANT
For those who are still in idea limbo, let’s first talk about “the look.” What look are you going for? Ranch? Modern? Cottage? Research house styles for the look that fits you and your location best. Next, stop by Pinterest for inspiration.
PLANNING YOUR MOBILE HOME EXTERIOR REMODEL
So now that we have a vision, let’s examine three key factors in the remodel process.
The dollar figure can shoot sky high if you’re not careful. Factor in all your costs. Material, labor, and fees incurred from code regulations must be added. Contact your municipality and get quotes from varying suppliers and contractors. (Let these contractors know you’re talking to their competitors!)
Poke around Craigslist, your local secondhand store, and salvage yard. You might find those charming window shutters you’ve dreamed of! Tastefully re-purposing can save you money and give your mobile home a unique curb appeal.
On the other hand, be ready to spend money on things that make your home safer and more energy efficient. Properly installed windows, doors, and insulation can save you money in the long run.
Last but not least, plan for a contingency fund. A contingency fund is money set aside for unplanned expenses. At the very least plan for 5% contingency. This will give you a little breathing room if things go wrong or if you missed something in your planning.
Next, let’s consider time in both the sense of time of year and the time it will take to remodel.
If you’re in Florida, chances are you don’t want to replace your roof in the middle of hurricane season. If you’re living in Wisconsin, you’d probably be wise to not get that skirting while the snow is six feet deep. Plan around the weather as best you can. We think you get the drift (no pun intended.)
Get time estimates from contractors. When you speak to contractors, ask them for customer referrals. No one wants to hire a needlessly slow contractor. Talk to people they’ve served.
However, if you opt to do it yourself (more on that below), be prepared for things to take a little longer than planned. Murphy’s Law is bound to show up uninvited. If you don’t do this for a living, troubleshooting may take you more time than it would a seasoned contractor.
DIY VS. CONTRACTOR
A good contractor is skilled in his or her trade. If safety is a concern, or a permit is required, a licensed contractor is the best fit for the job. Don’t forget to take the cost of mistakes into consideration if you lean towards DIY. Poorly installed energy efficient windows are no longer energy efficient. It becomes a wasted investment and you don’t save as much as you hoped for in your utility bills.
If you choose the route of a contractor, ask for a written contract and make sure it’s detailed. A vague contract will do you no good if things go south. Visit their current job sites, see what they’ve done and if you like the quality.
The do-it-yourself approach is not for everyone, but it can be rewarding. It can cost you significantly less than hiring a professional. It can also end up costing you more if you have to call in a contractor to fix your mistakes. Another downside is devaluing your home due to construction mistakes.
Ordinarily, a blend of both approaches is more realistic. Take the DIY approach for projects you’re comfortable with, and hire a contractor for everything else. Find a contractor for the more delicate or dangerous tasks.
Patience and a keen eye for detail will go a long way in pulling together your mobile home exterior remodel. Weigh the pros and cons project-to-project or even step-to-step. Only you can know which option is best to meet your needs.
TIPS ON BRINGING IT TOGETHER
Now that you’ve laid the ground-work, here are some tips for bringing your research together.
You can start with the least expensive projects and work your way up. Or weigh what project is the most beneficial in the long run. (For example, changes that will make your home most energy efficient could be high on your list.) Don’t forget to look at the big picture as you prioritize. Some updates may look out of place if made before others.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Before you begin, be clear on your budget. Write it down and keep it visible. It’s too easy to lose sight of all the details when you’re in the middle of a big project. It doesn’t take much effort to exceed your budget. According to Houzz, 41% of homeowners surveyed exceed their remodeling project budget.
PERMITS AND CODE REGULATIONS
We’ve heard our share of horror stories. No one wants to find themselves thoroughly invested in a project just to find it doesn’t meet government regulation. We can’t stress this enough: do your research.
TIME TO GET STARTED!
A mobile home exterior remodel is no walk in the park, but a beautiful home is worth it. By going into this project with a solid plan and well thought out budget, you’ve set yourself up for success. An easy place to get started with an exterior remodel is your landscaping. Not only can you add little by little, it’s also more forgiving if you make a mistake.
In conclusion, if you are looking to enhance the appearance of your mobile home, there are several affordable and valuable exterior remodeling projects you can take on. Skirting, installing awnings, adding a bay window, creating flower beds, building a porch/back deck, giving your home a fresh coat of paint, installing a new door, and lawn renovations are all viable options to increase your home’s appeal and potentially its value. Additionally, replacing windows with energy-efficient options, adding pitched roofs, and following expert advice on tackling these projects are also great ways to boost your home’s curb appeal.