Property conditions

Aug 2, 2013Blog, Buying a mobile home, FAQ, Manufactured Home Worth

Check the property condition before making the purchase

Structural Considerations to Help You Find a Sturdy Mobile Home

You should exercise the same caution while checking the structural stability of a mobile home as you would in case of a stick-built or brick and mortar house. The roof and the walls are the two critical structural components of a mobile home and you should ensure that you settle for nothing but only the sturdiest of these in a manufactured home.

A Number of Ways to Damage a Mobile Home

Just because you know the home is not as solid as a stick-built home does not mean your possible future mobile home does not need to be solid. If the price is low, it is not just because it is a manufactured home it could be because there are some inherent issues with the structure of it. Perhaps someone backed a car into it or a tree limb fell on it, there could be a number of reasons there is something wrong with the home you are considering on buying.

Price is Correct

Certainly you are not going to spend as much on a mobile home as you would on a stick-built home but this does not mean the price you are being told is genuine. Well, perhaps the price is legitimate because there is something wrong with the mobile home that someone is not being quite forthright with you about.


A shingled roof scores over a metal one on multiple counts even though the latter is cheaper. Manufactured homes with metal roofs usually have sealed and unventilated attic spaces. This makes the space damp in winter and extremely hot in summer and the latter in turn, raises the temperature inside the house. New mobile homes with shingle roofs provide much more ventilation.

Again, there is no decking beneath most metal roofs making them vulnerable to leaks and damages. Shingled roofs are sturdier in this respect. On the other hand, most shingled roofs come with an overhang thereby protecting the walls of the house from damage from rainwater. Most metal roofs on mobile homes do not have an overhang. Gutters are always a good idea, as they ensure that rain water does not run down the home and rot out the windows.


The exterior walls of the ideal mobile home would be built with 2×6-inches lumber that provides strength to the house while the studs should be 16 inches apart to provide adequate ventilation. The walls should be tall, ideally no less than 7½ feet in height so that you can install readily-available doorways with standard dimensions.

While checking the walls of a mobile home that you intend to buy, a wise idea is to prefer a house with vinyl siding over one that sports hardboard or metal siding. While hardboard siding tends to absorb water at its joints that may cause rotting, metal siding with ornamental railing usually does not prevent rainwater from seeping inside, particularly near the windows and doors. By smacking the walls above windows you’ll be able to tell if they have rotted out, as they would be very soft and spongy.  A vinyl siding wall, with proper guttering, generally does not pose any of these problems and thereby ease your maintenance woes.

Sometimes a layer of plywood is inserted between the studs and the siding of a mobile home. This is an exterior sheath of sorts, which enhances the structural strength of the house. Homes with metal siding usually do not have this additional layer of protection.

Apart from checking the above-mentioned structural components of a mobile home, you have to make sure that the house has been built to adhere to federal building guidelines for manufactured houses in specific weather zones (Arizona for the heat and Oklahoma for tornadoes, for example). Checking these structural components diligently and making sure that they meet accepted standards, you stand to save hundreds of dollars in possible repair and replacement costs.  States won’t let you bring a home in if these standards are not met.   Check the home’s data plat to know for sure whether the home complies with the state you plan on moving it into.

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