Remodel a Mobile Home: Why & How To Do It

by May 1, 2022


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Can you remodel a mobile home? Remodeling a home isn’t just for real estate. Your manufactured home and you can benefit from a thoughtfully decided on and well-planned remodel. There are also many valid reasons why you could and should consider remodeling your mobile home. In this article, we’ll help you highlight some of these reasons as well as discuss how you could go about it.

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Why you should consider remodeling your mobile home

Let’s first look at the reasons why you might want to consider remodeling your home. Where appropriate, we will also give you some examples of what type of projects you can consider/undertake.

To add value

This is a hotly debated topic when it comes to mobile homes. Is it worth remodeling/renovating a mobile house to increase its value? Won’t depreciation mean that the upgrades will lose their value as well? Additionally, is it worth trying to increase the value of something that’s considered by some as “temporary housing”?

These questions are usually grounded in longstanding stereotypes surrounding mobile homes. People still think of mobile homes as the trailer homes of the early 70’s and 80’s. However, they have improved vastly to become something much different today. They are officially called “manufactured housing”.

First of all, it’s not certain that manufactured homes of today do depreciate in value. The U.S. is currently facing a housing crisis where just about any type of housing is precious. The demand for manufactured homes is growing as more and more people are unable to afford real estate that has entered the market.

Secondly, manufactured homes of today aren’t nearly as “temporary” as the homes of yesteryear. The new construction standards (captured in the HUD Code) means homes last much longer and approach the quality of real estate. Some homes come with guarantees of up to 50 years. Since they are quite new, we don’t yet know for sure how long they will last, but a generation or two is a safe enough bet for a well-cared for home.

Opportunities for value does remain for you

So, in short, yes you can add value to a manufactured home by remodeling/renovating it. The most significant caveat is that any reconstruction you do should not violate the HUD code as doing so will immediately hit your value.

A great way to increase the value of your home is to make functional additions to it, like:

  • Carport
  • Porch
  • Sunroom/screen enclosure
  • Shed
  • Entire room

home office with shelves and desks

This is a whole beast on its own, and we recommend that you check out our articles and guides on the subject.

Fix underlying issues

As we just mentioned, the mobile or manufactured homes of today, are very different from those of the past. They are built to much stricter codes which means increased safety, durability, and quality of living. However, like any type of housing, they do pick up their share of kinks with time. Probably more so than stick-built homes. These can be or are due to:

  • Settling: Whereby mobile homes settle in place once they are transported to their destination.
  • Moving/bending: Because they are made of lighter materials, manufactured homes are under more stress from strong winds or extreme weather.
  • Water damage: Manufactured homes are mostly constructed of wood which means water damage from leaks is a constant threat.
  • Plumbing: Mobile homes mostly use plastic/rubber plumbing which actually makes them less prone to issues than typical real estate plumbing.
  • Frame: Because of settling/moving/bending, the frame inside a mobile home might be in need of repair.
  • Floor: Any home’s floor is constantly under threat of being damaged by one thing or another. Mobile home floors are usually thinner and made from wood, making them more susceptible.
  • Roof: Again, just like any type of housing, the roof is exposed to all the elements and should be regularly checked for any kind of harm from physical collisions to water damage.
  • Wall: It’s surprisingly simple to fix any structural problems within your walls by removing the paneling and fixing. Or you can replace the wooden joist structure underneath.
  • Electricity: Any type of home can experience problems with its electrical system. Older models may be in particular need of an update.

All of these areas can be quite easily fixed by a DIY enthusiast and are common with manufactured homes. They will also help preserve your home and hamper small niggles from becoming much more devastating problems.




Repurpose a room

Another possible reason to remodel a part of the home is to give a certain room some utility or function. Did your last kid move out and you need an office? Turn the bedroom into a small home office. Do you like to paint or do some form of arts and crafts? Turn the utility room into a small studio. It’s quite easy to change the space dynamics in a mobile home to help your repurpose along, which we’ll talk about next.

Change the layout

Many people think at first that mobile homes can’t take the removing/adding of walls. Actually, it’s much easier, cheaper, as long as you know what you’re doing. It’s also less risky than doing it in a stick-built home. Mobile homes’ ceilings rely minimally on support from the interior walls. So, as long as you don’t remove everything and your outer walls are intact, you should be good.

In some older homes, especially smaller models, rooms are still divided. A common remodel is to knock down a few walls and create modern, open living spaces. Even more, your mobile home remodelling can involve combining the kitchen with the living/dining room is a common example. You can also erect walls to split rooms. If you want to do this without construction work, consider using room dividers.

Updating the look

Updating the aesthetics of your home can be an entirely valid reason to remodel for a number of reasons:

  • It looks or feels outdated, and you want to modernize it
  • You want to improve the curb appeal of your home
  • Going for a certain design style or feel, like a rustic cottage, a minimalist apartment, etc.

The motivation behind it could be to:

  • Feel more comfortable/content in your own home.
  • Make your home more attractive to tenants/buyers.

organized folder of interior design options

Whatever the reason, there is no shortage of opportunities or possibilities when it comes to affordability and dramatically updating the look of your home’s interior or exterior.

Interior

There are plenty of small and significant changes you can make to the interior. The biggest of which is playing with the layout. You can then consider painting, installing more storage/shelves, refurbishing, replacing the flooring, etc.

You can also update the walls be installing decorative wall panels, floor or crown molding or board and battens. All of these are relatively simple projects you can DIY.

Exterior

Remodeling the exterior will be slightly more expensive. However, it will give you bragging rights throughout the neighborhood. Most exterior remodels will not only raise your curb appeal but also help protect your home. For example, replacing skirting, new wall panels, installing a new roof, like a pitched roof, etc.

We have prepared an entire series on remodeling the exterior of your mobile home.

Prepare for the future

Another reason to remodel could be to adapt to your future lifestyle. The most common and far-reaching life changes that often require remodeling could be:

  • To prepare for retirement – As you’ll most likely be spending more time at home, make it as comfortable as possible. This could mean finally getting that reading porch or sunroom you wanted or making it more accessible.
  • To prepare for kids – This could mean to repurpose a baby room, babyproof the doors, stairs (if any), etc.

Weatherproofing your home and making it more durable

As we have mentioned earlier, manufactured homes are under a lot of threat from the elements, particularly because they are primarily made of wood. This makes weatherproofing remodels a frequent, essential, and common-sense upgrade.

There are many things you can do to weatherproof your home:

  • Install a pitched roof: Pitched roofs are more appealing and have much better drainage as well as structural integrity than flat roofs.
  • Wrap your roof: An EPDM or similar membrane protects your roof against the weather as well as reflecting away warming rays from the sun.
  • Stormproof doors and windows: Stormproof doors and windows can better withstand the elements and provide increased levels of insulation. Look at weatherproof products that cover both the actual doors and windows and their frames.
  • Weatherproof skirting: A home’s skirting protects the sensitive underbelly from rodents and the weather conditions as well as providing insulation.
  • Drainage and gutters: It should be adequate for your home’s location and can be improved.
  • Paint: Only use weatherproof and high-quality paints when remodeling your home’s exterior.



Improve the sales potential

As we mentioned, the manufactured home retail market is changing. More buyers than normal are in the market for real estate. That means these buyers appreciate upgrades, renewals, etc.

Putting effort into your home could make it more attractive to buyers, especially by installing special features like jacuzzis, fireplaces, etc. It could also help you capture tenants if you want to rent out your home.

Make a green home

You could also remodel your home to make it more eco-friendly. This will mostly be by reducing your energy spend by making your home more energy efficient. You could do this by:

  • Repairing/upgrading the insulation in the ceiling, walls, and under the floor.
  • Installing storm windows/doors.
  • Repairing cracks in the walls, ceiling, frames, etc.

As good as real estate

Many people who are willing to extensively remodel their mobile homes also do so to make it appear more like real estate. Although they are becoming more and more attractive out of the box, manufactured homes still have a slightly generic and “boxy” look. Most of the remodel we have talked about so far can be used to make your home look more like real estate inside and out.

How to remodel your home

Identify what you want to remodel

The first thing you need to do before attempting to remodel your home is to identify the area(s) that will be affected. Remember that doing something like changing the layout may have consequences for more than one room or area of the home. The remodel could be isolated to a few or include a number of the following:

A remodeled kitchen with orange brick walls

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Living area
  • Whole house
  • Layout
  • Interior/exterior
  • Roof

Define a scope for the remodel

Once you’ve identified which areas of the home you want to remodel, it’s time to make sure you identify all the possible areas of collateral work. For example, it makes sense when you open up your walls to check the electrical system or insulation while you’re at it. Or, clean up underneath your house when installing new skirting.

Choose DIY vs. contractor

Another important consideration to make is whether to attempt all of the work yourself or hire a contractor. If your remodel affects multiple different areas of your home, don’t hesitate to hire a specialized contractor for only the plumbing, electricals, etc. You might be tempted to save money and do it all yourself, however, you could violate the HUD code or cause further problems if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Come up with a budget

A mobile home remodel can quickly run away with your wallet if you let it. Delays, unexpected problems or our tendency to include this and that impulsively can quickly turn a small project into a massive one. Set a clear and realistic budget based on your goals. Make provisions for an “emergency fund” in the case of something going completely wrong. It’s important that you have a cushioning amount at the ready.

Follow our blog!

We will soon launch a series of articles that will provide you with handy tips and advice when it comes to remodeling specific parts of the rooms within your home. So, keep a look out for our “Tips for Remodeling Your Mobile Home” series. In this series we will look at, among others:

  • Tips for Remodeling a Mobile Home Bathroom
  • Tips for Remodeling a Mobile Home Kitchen
  • Tips for Remodeling a Mobile Home Living room, etc.

DIY BEDROOM MAKEOVER TO IMPROVE RESALE VALUE

We are going to cover the ultimate DIY bedroom makeover to improve resale value. We are going to look at specific things you can change to help you make the sale.

CLEANING

Before anything else, you need to clean your home in spring cleaning style thoroughly. You need to tackle every crack and every corner.

Any dirt or dust can seriously put off potential buyers. Not cleaning is a major mistake that some sellers make.

So, start off by cleaning the bedroom. Here are some specific steps you can take:

  • Dusting: First, you can dust all the surfaces in your home. Use a microfiber cloth or any other wet cloth to which any fine particles will stick. This includes light fixtures, window sills, and shelves.
  • Vacuum: After, you need to vacuum the room. Move the bed and any other furniture and clean underneath and behind too.
  • Wash: Next you can move on to washing the floors. Try to clear away any grime or debris from cracks in tiles or flooring. But if the room is carpeted, you might want to consider renting a carpet cleaner machine.
  • Windows: You want the windows to be so clean that they shine. Use specialized glass cleaners and use soft cloths to make sure they don’t scratch the surface.
  • Other: You need to clean anything else that is dusty, stained or dirty. Take away any dishes and clear out trash cans.

This isn’t only essential for your bedroom but your whole house.

DECLUTTER

Now you should move on to clearing out any clutter in the bedroom. When it comes to staging a house, minimalist is the way to go.

You can declutter any bedroom in a few easy steps. Sort, organize and pack away.

Usually, your bedroom is your sanctuary. Therefore, it’s often filled with personal objects like pictures and so on. But it’s better to pack this away when you are preparing your home for showings.

You can leave a few choice items out but choose very carefully. In essence, don’t leave out anything that is unnecessary or that might look unattractive.

This includes appliances like hair dryers. Put them in the cupboard or wardrobe or create some space to pack them neatly.

You also need to put away your clothing items. Don’t forget those shoes lying around.

THEME

Once these first steps are done, you can move onto the more exciting parts of the makeover. This is where you can start getting creative.

It can be helpful to decide on a theme for the bedroom. This can be an idea or look that ties the whole room together.

Retro themed bedroom based on wildflower color palette

When you are preparing your house for sale, remember that it isn’t your taste that matters. Instead, you have to worry about the preferences of potential buyers.

So when choosing a look don’t go with something too far out or elaborate. People want to be able to imagine themselves in a possible new home. Sleek and straightforward works best.

A few possible themes that you can choose for a bedroom is:

  • Modern: Contemporary designs typically use few colors, little decor, and geometric shapes. Overall, it should be minimalist.
  • Beach house: Few things are as calming and peaceful as the seaside. Perhaps that is why this works brilliantly as a theme for a bedroom. This usually involves colors like white and light blue together with suitable decor.
  • Nautical: One theme that can look fantastic is nautical. It also evokes the sea. The primary colors you can use are dark red and blue mixed with white. You can use stripe-like patterns too.
  • Neutrality: Another popular theme for a show home is a predominantly neutral one. There are a variety of shades that you can choose from like cream, white and ivory.
  • Country: Few things feel as cozy as a cottage. So it can make an excellent style for a bedroom. To achieve the look you can use wood and textures and fixtures of wrought iron.

These designs suit all bedrooms. You can use them in master suites, children’s rooms or guest rooms. These themes can work for everyone.

COLORS

As you can see, an essential part of any makeover is the use of colors.

One thing that all these styles have in common is their use of neutral shades. And for a good reason. Experts consider these to be the ideal choice when you are trying to sell a home. Not only will it help you to get it sold, but it can also increase the value.

By using these shades, you can help make the room appear cleaner and neater.

The following are some of the best neutral colors to choose from:

  • Gray
  • Beige
  • White
  • Stone
  • Cream
  • Off-white
  • Ivory
  • Silverstone

After neutrals, blues are the second most desired colors for bedrooms. It can be a great idea to combine the two palettes.

Importantly, you need to choose the right combinations of colors to go together. They need to complement each other. You can match similar shades. Or you can carefully select colors which contrast without clashing. One way to do this is to make the primary color for the room neutral and only including pops of color like blue.

Remember that you need to incorporate these palettes into all aspects of the room from the linens to the furniture to the walls.

BED AND BOARD

Obviously, the centerpiece for any bedroom is the bed and its furniture. Therefore, it’s essential that this fits in with the complete look of the space too.

You need to consider the appearance of its base and the headboard and baseboard.

Stands made of wrought iron can fit perfectly into a cozy cottage style. In the case of showing a home, you might want to paint them white or another neutral color to make them look more sleek than rustic.

For the other themes, wood can work better. You can paint these with neutral colors too. Alternatively, you can go with furnishings made from wicker.

It’s crucial that you make sure your bedroom set isn’t very ornamental. You want to keep it neat and straightforward. If the bed board has been damaged, try to repair and hide visible disfigurations if you’re unable to replace it. The buyer probably isn’t buying your furniture but those flaws can still stand out or leave a negative impression in buyers’ memories.

BEDDING AND LINEN

Next, it’s time to move on to the bed linen. A safe choice is to choose bedding that is either neutral or pastel.

They can have patterns, but these shouldn’t be too overwhelming or too colorful. This can detract from the peaceful atmosphere of the room. If you want some patterns, consider stripes.

Modern blue and grey bedroom set

Many would recommend that you buy brand new bedding when you are staging the home. Again, even if you don’t sell the house furnished, impressions are critical.

Finally, you can liven up the bed by adding some beautiful pillows or throws. This can help the room look much more comfortable and welcoming.

CURTAINS

Another factor to consider is the curtains in the bedroom.

Typically, you would consider functional features, such as the weight of the drapes or how they can be washed. But to increase resale value aesthetics should be the critical concern.

In case they come across outdated, you shouldn’t choose curtains with too many frills or lace. Ones made of shiny material can potentially look too showy.

The specific color or pattern that you go with depends on the style of the room. But here are a few tips that can help:

  • Don’t use dark colors. You want the space to look light rather than gloomy.
  • Take some measurements and buy drapes that will hang to the floor.
  • Lightweight material like linen and cotton can help to create a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Choose a color that is represented somewhere else in the room as well.

While your mobile home is being staged, you should open any curtains or drapes. This will help make the room look airy and let the sunlight flood in. If necessary, you should tie them back using matching ribbons or something similar as long as it looks neat.

WALLS AND SKIRTING

Nothing can make a home look as new as a fresh coat of paint.

As has been mentioned, blue and neutral colors work the best in a bedroom. This is true for the walls as well. If you want to use blue, go with pastel and light shades. No matter which palette you decide on, white trim should match it perfectly.

Generally, repainting will add value to any home. It’s a vital step in preparing a home for sale. Luckily, it’s cheap and easy to do.

This can be an effective way to get rid of any dirt or discoloration. While you’re at it, seal any holes or cracks on the wall.

Here is a step-by-step guide to painting any room like a pro.

LIGHTING

Lighting plays a crucial role in creating the right atmosphere for any room. So you want to make sure that the bedroom in question is well lit.

An expert trick is to use several sources to make layers of light in the room. Three types that can help you to create this effect are:

  • Ambient lights aimed at lighting up the entire space. These are typically mounted on the ceiling.
  • Task lighting to brighten up workspaces or other necessary spots. In a bedroom, you can put lamps on bed tables, dressing tables or next to mirrors.
  • Accent lights to highlight features in the room, like decor and art.

Overall, it’s essential to buy bulbs that give off a warmer tone.

DECOR

One of the last aspects you can work on is the decor in the bedroom. The general principle of keeping it simple remains true here.

Don’t put out items that are too eccentric or unusual no matter how much you love them. And don’t overcrowd the space. Instead, select a few beautiful decorations.

Buy some glass or ceramic vases for flowers. Put them on one or two surfaces in the room.

Another excellent idea is to display some mirrors. They can help you to create the illusion of spaciousness.

FLOORS

Preparing the floors of the bedroom can potentially be one of the biggest jobs of the makeover.

Your most prominent concern here should be that they look neat and well kept. If the floors are wood, you should sand them and apply some new varnish.

Wooden floors

With any type of flooring, you should repair scratches.

Unfortunately, it can take a lot of work. But if there are cracked or broken panels or tiles, consider replacing them.

Wood, laminated panels and carpets are ideal for bedrooms.

If you want the room to appear more cozy and warm, place some fat and plump rugs on the floor.

STORAGE

Ask yourself what do you find essential in a bedroom?

Chances are that one of these features is adequate storage. Many potential buyers have crossed a home of their list because there isn’t space to put their things.

Hence a high-value addition to any bedroom is more storage space. Generally, people will look for a place to put their clothing, hang robes or towels, and shoes. That’s why wardrobes and closets are crucial.

Besides this, you should install some shelves for decorative items, like vases.

For the time being, the additional space will help you to declutter the home while you show it.

OTHER TIPS ON STAGING

The following are some general tips on showing a home that can be applied throughout your house including the bedrooms:

  • Personal accents: Because you want potential buyers to envision themselves living there you shouldn’t keep too many personal effects on display. This includes family photographs.
  • Deodorizing: Before you stage a home you need to get rid of any unpleasant odors. Bad smells can dramatically decrease the value of a property.
  • The whole picture: Value will increase as you renovate specific rooms. But you can only maximize the effectiveness of these renovations if you make the home pleasant as a whole. To do this, you need to extend themes and palettes throughout the house.
  • Fresh flowers: When it’s time to show your property, fresh flowers will add the final touch your home needs.

SLEEP EASY

Whenever people look for a new home, bedrooms are one of the features they pay the most attention to. This means that renovating it can add significant value to your property. Hopefully, our guide to a DIY bedroom makeover can help you create the ideal space to show off to potential buyers.

There is a lot to learn about selling mobile homes. For additional help, read our article on how to get the best deal for your house. And before your first showing, take a look at this checklist for getting your home ready to sell.

We hope you were inspired!

That’s it from us! So if you’re wondering if remodeling a mobile home is worth it, we hope that you found some inspiration, meaning or remodeling ideas in this comprehensive list. Remember to check our blog for any specific remodeling task as we are always posting new step by step guides, inspirational ideas, and advice. For example, 5 Key Considerations When Completing an Old Mobile Home Remodel or What Does a Mobile Home Before and After Look Like.



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