Architecture is the art and science of built structures, and a mobile or manufactured house is as much an architectural design as any traditional house.
What influence does mobile house architectural design have on form and function?
What can you expect in external structures and internal provisions, and how are these different from site-built homes?
The outside appearance of a mobile home can be indistinguishable from a traditional stick-built home in many areas.
A human shelter needs similar components regardless of the form it takes.
All homes need a space to stand, and mobile homes are no exception.
The HUD code insists that a mobile home intended as a permanent residence must have a foundation that meets the criteria for ongoing support.
Additionally, trailer parks, lenders, and State regulations may specify the types of acceptable foundations for your mobile home.
The HUD code specifies:
- Footing depth – accounting for frost, seasonal wetting, and wind impact.
- Materials – treated wood, masonry, concrete.
- Structural stability under load.
- Spacing of piers and columns.
The most popular and affordable foundation is the concrete slab foundation.
Still, you can also have a basement foundation providing extra living space and other foundations provided they meet the HUD standards and certified professionals do the installation or provide satisfactory certification.
In challenging terrains, you may need a structural engineer to design your foundation.
Although the mobile home is attached to the foundation (for security against severe weather), you can always detach the mobile home from the foundation and transport it to another location.
The process is not as simple as towing a trailer as the width of the mobile home may necessitate transport in sections.
Suppose you have a mobile home on an inadequate foundation – how do you rebuild a foundation under an existing mobile home?
The most straightforward approach is to remove the mobile home, lay the foundation, and return the mobile home to the site.
This process is impossible with a traditional home and is one of the significant advantages of a manufactured home.
A basement is a real asset for storage and increasing your living space. A basement is part of the foundation in a traditional house, and you can have a basement foundation for your mobile home.
The significant plus point for a basement foundation is that it provides extra space, and you can build a basement foundation on any site as you can build it into a sloping surface.
A basement for a mobile home is built the same way as a basement for a traditional home and serves the same functions.
Any basement has a potential risk of flooding but not a greater risk than a similar conventional home with a basement in that location.
Basements are a valuable space for access and positioning of utility infrastructures such as heating and cooling units. Plus, a basement can give you a utility room and potentially workshop space underneath your home.
The main reason why all mobile homes don’t use a basement foundation is the additional construction cost and delay in using the property while installing the basement foundation.
3. Steps, Stairs, and Ramps
A mobile home on a chassis sits off the ground with a gap underneath.
The HUD codes give a minimum clearance of 12 inches between the steel I-Beams of the chassis and finished ground. However, some states (Florida) have enhanced requirements and demand an 18-inch gap.
The gap between the bottom of the mobile home and the ground is the crawlspace essential for inspection of structural integrity and access to utilities.
The HUD code requires skirting to cover this gap.
Because the mobile home sits above-ground, access to the house requires steps or stairs. Steps have three or fewer risers, whereas stairs have four or more, but the terms are interchangeable when most people talk about accessing their mobile home.
The provision of steps or stairs is part of the installation of your mobile home.
You can opt for various styles and materials:
- Wood – versatile and affordable.
- Fiberglass – lightweight and weather resistant.
- Metal – affordable and portable.
- Concrete – longest lasting and most expensive.
If you have four or more steps, you need a handrail as part of the design.
Each material has pros and cons for price and longevity, and the design adds or detracts from the attractiveness of the mobile home as a permanent residence.
As an alternative or addition to the steps, consider installing a gentle ramp for access.
Ramps are more accessible for wheelchairs, buggies, and anyone who needs assistance walking.
The HUD code specifies covering the gap between the bottom of the mobile home and the ground with skirting. The skirting tends to blend in with the siding material on the outside of your mobile home. If you need to paint your siding, you need to paint your skirting if they are the same material.
The skirting helps with:
- Weatherproofing – this barrier prevents wind and rain from causing damage underneath your mobile home.
- Pest control – the barrier deters rodents and other ground-living pests from nesting under your mobile home.
- Dry storage – some homeowners like to utilize the space beneath their homes for storage.
- Insulation – by blocking wind and resulting wind chill.
- Maintaining the temperature in the crawlspace and preventing pipes from freezing.
The skirting must include venting:
- Some airflow is necessary to keep the bottom of the house dry and free from condensation.
- Airflow removes hazardous gasses emitted from the ground, plumbing, and heating systems.
You need a minimum of eight vents and at least one vent for every 150sqft of the floor.
One material available for mobile home skirting is a concrete board which you can then paint or clad. Concrete board has excellent thermal shielding properties and does not require insulation.
It is best to insulate the bottom of your mobile home rather than the skirting – you need the crawlspace to breathe, and insulating the skirting boards interferes with that process.
Finally, you need to choose skirting materials that don’t deteriorate in contact with the ground or concrete foundation.
Part of the installation process involves removing the wheels, axels, and tow bar (the running gear) to allow the mobile home to attach to the foundations.
This process is essential for a mobile home to class as a permanent residence.
In theory, if you want to move your mobile home, you can reattach the running gear and tow it behind an appropriate vehicle.
Less than 10% of manufactured homes relocate to a second site in practice, and these typically load onto a trailer for transport.
6. Exterior Walls
Assuming you are looking at a HUD standard mobile home, you can expect the exterior walls to be wood framed with:
- 2″ X 4″
- 2″ X 6″
- 2″ X 3″ – if wind standards permit and are not standard for most manufactured homes.
Typically, the stud spacing is on center and 16.”
The exterior sheathing attaches to the wooden frame and is a layer between the framing and the eternal siding. A manufactured home with a metal siding may dispense with this layer.
More luxurious mobile homes use marine plywood, and less expensive homes may use OSB (oriented-strand board).
The external finish on the exterior wall (siding) attaches to the sheathing, and the material chosen impacts the cost and durability:
- Metal is durable but may leak at the joins and corrode.
- Timber is affordable but prone to rotting when damp and may need a vapor barrier.
- Vinyl is waterproof, rot-proof, and does not need painting.
You can replace and upgrade your sidings later and opt for a more luxurious material like stone or quality wooden shingles.
The stud framing allows an insulation layer typically sandwiched between the external sheathing and the interior wall finish.
These are the types of siding can you put on a mobile home:
- Colored vinyl siding is easy to clean and never needs repainting.
- Aluminum siding may come with a powder-coated paint finish and may need repainting in the future.
- Timber siding will need a protective finish (showcases the beauty of the wood) or regular painting.
The advantage of a painted finish is that you can change the color of your mobile home.
What about installing vinyl siding over another siding material?
Although you can install vinyl siding over aluminum or wooden siding on your manufactured house, it is not the best plan.
The addition of vinyl siding creates a layer that can trap water and debris next to your underlying siding, with issues like rot and structural damage following.
Can you paint the vinyl siding?
If you don’t like the color of your vinyl siding, you can paint it, but this will ruin your warranty, damage your insurance, and dark color can cause the underlying vinyl to warp under sunlight.
Painting your vinyl siding is the last resort because the advantage of vinyl siding is that you don’t need to paint it.
The best paint for applying a color coat to aluminum or timber siding on your mobile home is exterior paint. Exterior paint formula enhances weather resistance both for damage from rain and sun bleaching.
How thick are the external walls?
The final thickness of the exterior walls of your mobile home depends on:
- Stud framing.
- External sheathing.
- Interior finish.
You can expect a wall thickness between six and ten inches, depending on the materials in the wall.
7. Exterior Door
The HUD code specifies that all mobile homes need at least two external doors. This requirement is for fire safety.
- The external doors must be 12 feet (single-wide) or 20 feet (double-wide) apart.
- One external door must be within 35 feet of each bedroom door.
- You can’t locate an exit door in a room with a lockable interior door.
You get the same level of choice of style and materials that you get with any external door for a house, and there are some basic styles:
- Solid – no windows.
- Diamond-shaped window at eye level.
- Slider – you can slide a small glass window to one side for ventilation.
- Fan – an arrangement of small windows at the top of the door in a fan shape.
- Cottage – half solid door and half window.
- Six panels.
- French windows – double doors.
- Sliding doors.
The critical measurement for installing an external door into your mobile home is the jamb – or wall thickness.
The thickness of the mobile house exterior doors is comparable to standard traditional house doors, but it is worth measuring the door frame first.
Depending on your design choices, you can remodel the door frame to use a larger or a smaller door.
Typically, your mobile home incorporates a louvered vent – usually above the external doors and a gap at the bottom of the doors for airflow. This airflow is essential for the safe operation of your HVAC system – otherwise, you end up with dangerously pressurized rooms.
There are alternative ventilation systems for manufactured homes because a regular (roughly a whole-house air changes every 3-4 hours) is essential for health.
Most ventilation is passive – relying on internal and external temperature differences to pull fresh air in and expel spent air.
If the vents are not associated with the door, they may be around windows, floor, ceiling, or additions to the external walls.
In theory, you can hang an external door to open inside or outside, but most mobile home exterior doors swing outside the home. Most traditional homes have external doors that swing inside of the house when you open them.
Why the difference?
An outward swinging door does not impact your living space – you can put your shoes and boots immediately behind the door.
The convention of an outward swinging door is about indoor space utilization with an added safety benefit of being a better exit in case of fire.
Many mobile home external doors incorporate a mesh screen as an inner door so you can leave the front door open to allow airflow through a screen to freshen the house and prevent heat and humidity build up, especially in the summer.
An outward swinging or a sliding door is ideal for this arrangement.
You can paint the external doors for your mobile home if wooden or buy finished like any traditional house door.
You can also fit pet flaps, doorbells, and any other conventional external door fittings.
The post on mobile home door FAQs answers your door and hardware replacement questions in greater detail.
As part of your mobile home specification, you choose the type and number of windows for your design.
What about upgrades and replacements?
You can upgrade and replace the windows in your mobile home as easily (and in some cases more easily) as changing the windows in a traditional home. For example, you may want to increase the number of windows, add safety features, or double glazing for energy efficiency.
You get all the window styles and options available to any householder, but picking window shapes and sizes that match your mobile home style for a pleasing external appearance is essential.
Advances in modern mobile home insulation and energy efficiency can result in more window sweat or condensation.
Why do the windows sweat?
The increase in condensation results from warm moist air inside meeting cold window glass – the water vapor condenses into droplets – this moisture comes from your everyday activities.
Reducing condensation in a mobile home involves:
- Venting moist air to the outside during cooking or showering – use an extractor fan and leave it running for a while.
- Don’t oversize the heating and cooling system.
- Ensure adequate airflow to bring in fresh air (also prevents the buildup of fumes).
- Clean your air filters regularly.
- Regularly open your windows to improve ventilation.
In hot, humid climates, invest in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.
9. Roofs and Gutters
Modern mobile home roofs typically feature a slope to facilitate water and snow removal, but flat roofs are a preference in areas that do not get much rain or heavy snowfalls.
Your roofing options are the same as traditional houses with one extra possibility – the roof-over that can protect your existing roof without replacing it.
An alternative to replacing a mobile home roof is to build a roof-over to shelter the mobile home. You can extend this to give additional weather protection or shade around the mobile home.
The roof-over has all the material options of any standard roof and is an independent structure.
The type of roofing on your mobile home depends on the strength of the trusses.
Typical roofing options include:
- Metal sheets – need 2 X 6-foot framing for support.
- Shingles – one layer instead of the two or three on a traditional house.
- Composite shingles – exceptionally durable with a life expectancy exceeding 50 years.
- Rubber membrane on a flat or slightly sloping roof.
A roofing contractor can walk on a mobile home roof exercising the same care as with any roof.
All roofs can develop problems with time and exposure to weather. Signs of roof problems include leaks and sagging parts of the mobile home roof.
A mobile home roof can sag because the roof is too heavy for the structure or damage to the supporting trusses. In addition, if water penetrates the roof, it can cause problems with the supporting trusses.
The roof may leak due to weather damage, destroying the roof’s waterproofing – broken or damaged shingles or holes in the roofing material.
What about using flex seal on your mobile house roof to deal with leaks?
Flex Seal is a low-cost option for minor leaks and is helpful for minor repairs. You can paint over the flex seal spray but not the flex seal liquid.
It is ideal for holes and cracks and deals with a leak before it expands and causes significant damage to underlying structures.
Some roof materials benefit from a coat of paint as regular maintenance. Still, generally, composite or asphalt shingles don’t need painting – unless you want to change the color of your roof.
You can paint any material in practice, but the downside is that the paint may peel or fade.
The roof of your mobile home is an ideal place to put solar panels – your contractor will make sure they are adequately supported.
You can take advantage of the roof space for an eco-friendly green roof, but a roof terrace or garden is more challenging and will require the services of a structural engineer.
Guttering is an essential part of rain management for a mobile home. The gutter collects the rain running off the roof and directs it into drainage or a rainwater collection system.
Guttering as a rain management system helps:
- Prevent water from flooding under the mobile home.
- Protect the foundations from water damage.
- Prevent soil erosion.
- Protect the sidings and other structures from running water damage.
You can install regular gutters or invisible gutters. But there are alternatives rain management systems; these include:
- Rain chains directing the water away from your mobile home.
- Louvers on the roof to disperse rainwater.
- Drip edges to ensure the water falls away from the foundations.
- French drains.
The precise rainwater management system suitable for your manufactured home depends on your climate and taste in architecture.
The roof and guttering arrangements for a mobile home are substantially the same as any other house roof.
Typically, mobile houses are stud framed with timber because this is a practical and affordable structural material.
The framing standards for manufactured homes are the same as site-built homes. Wood is the popular choice by most constructors, but alternatives are available.
Steel framing with cold-formed steel provides a light, stable frame and is resistant to fire and vermin.
The HUD code specifies calculations and designs that make a steel-framed manufactured house compliant.
Currently, steel-framed houses class as non-traditional homes and can be difficult to mortgage, but that is likely to change in the future.
Decks are a stylish and practical addition to your mobile home. You can incorporate steps, shade, and possibly a hot tub if space permits.
A deck addition to a mobile home is identical to any deck built for a site-built home.
Timber is popular, but new materials like rot-proof recycled plastic planks reduce the need for maintenance and vigilance against wood-eating pests.
If you have space, you can add a garage to your mobile home.
The garage construction can match (and attach to) your mobile home or as a stand-alone building. The size of the garage depends on available land.
You may need to follow park regulations for construction and obtain permission if you live on a park or other mobile home community as there may be site regulations to follow.
If the garage attaches to your mobile home, you need to check the impact on your HUD certification. The HUD certification covers the original manufactured home and not additions.
13. License Plate
Given that a mobile home is potentially mobile, does it need a license plate?
Suppose you are towing your mobile home (possible with a single-wide with running gear) as a leisure vehicle or transporting it to a new location.
In that case, you need to display your vehicle license plate on the back of your mobile home because this is your registration as a road user.
A mobile or manufactured home as a permanent residence does not need a road license plate but an address.
However, you will expect a metal HUD tag that certifies the mobile home as meeting the HUD codes and other building regulations.
The interior of the mobile home has many structural elements like traditional stick-built homes.
1. Interior Walls
In addition to the load-bearing walls that frame the mobile house, interior walls create rooms inside your mobile home.
Typically, the partition dividing walls are not load-bearing which is excellent news if you want to remove them and change the internal layout.
Some interior walls may be load-bearing – in a double-wide or triple-wide mobile home.
The “marriage line” or the wall representing the join between single-wide sections to create the additional width can be load-bearing and be part of your roof support.
Framing the internal walls uses timber studs placed 16″ or 24″ apart – like stud walls in a site-built house. Some manufactured homes use steel framing studs for the internal and external walls.
What are the walls made of?
The wall finish varies depending on the manufacturer and the specification. You can expect drywall (plasterboard, sheetrock), plywood, MDF, or vinyl.
The interior of the wall will contain any necessary wiring or plumbing infrastructure and is frequently insulated.
You can upgrade cheaper stud wall finishes to drywall while remodeling or decorating your mobile house.
The thickness of the internal wall depends on the timber framing and the finishing panels. You can expect interior partitioning walls to vary between 4 and 5 inches in most mobile homes.
Before 1976 asbestos was a valuable fire-retardant material widely used in construction. Modern HUD code mobile homes don’t have asbestos as part of their construction.
If your home has a HUD tag, you can relax and not worry about this material.
Formaldehyde is another material that is useful for building materials. Still, formaldehyde gas can cause respiratory problems (sore throats, itchy eyes, coughs, and nose bleeds) if you inhale too much.
Some people are more sensitive than others to this strong-smelling gas. In extreme cases of prolonged exposure, formaldehyde is cancerous.
Formaldehyde gets into the air by a process known as off-gassing. Formaldehyde is a component in plywood and particleboard.
From 1985 the HUD code restricts the plywood and particleboard emission levels for installation in mobile homes:
- Plywood – 0.2 parts per million.
- Particleboard – 0.3 parts per million.
There is no regulation covering the maximum allowable level of formaldehyde gas in a new manufactured home.
The best way to deal with off-gassing is to open windows and doors to change the air inside with fresh air from outside – like airing off a new mattress.
Issues with formaldehyde are not unique to manufactured homes as off-gassing occurs in conventional homes. However, awareness of the potential problem is higher with mobile homes because of the necessity for adequate ventilation.
You can finish your interior walls in any of the standard ways:
- Plaster – if you have plywood walls, you can add a plaster layer before decorating or a decorative finish.
- Paint – interior paint covers most wall finishes with a vast range of colors and sheens.
- Wallboards – including decorative cladding.
Any paint suitable for interior design in a traditional house is appropriate for a mobile home, from chalk to high gloss.
Baseboard covers the gap where your interior wall meets the floor and protects the bottom of the wall from dents and scrapes.
You get a wide range of shapes and materials, but most baseboards are wood or MDF.
You can finish a natural soft or hardwood baseboard with varnish or oil to showcase the wood’s beauty. You can also paint your baseboards in a complementary or contrast color as part of your interior design selections.
Typically, more durable gloss paint is more resistant to the scuffs and stains of daily life.
You may not be aware of it, but moving furniture around and hoovering can frequently result in you knocking into the bottom of your walls.
3. Interior Doors
Mobile home interior doors are typically shorter and narrower than standard interior doors because the manufactured home ceiling height is often less than a site-built home.
It means you either buy a mobile home interior door or buy a standard door (in wood) that will cut down for the mobile home door frame.
There is a wide variation of mobile home interior door sizes; typical examples include:
- 24″ by 78″ or 80″
- 28″ by 78″ or 80″
- 30″ by 78″ or 80″
Before buying a new door for your mobile home, it is essential to measure the frame.
The floor is the base of your interior design.
Before you start to consider your flooring options, you need to check:
Leveling – both site-built and manufactured homes can sink and rise unevenly due to ground heave. A manufactured home has the advantage that it is relatively straightforward to relevel compared with traditional housing.
Most movement occurs within the first few years but checking that your house is level every few years is the best practice for maintaining your mobile home.
Squareness – rooms in homes (mobile or traditional) are never exact squares or rectangles. Before choosing, buying, and laying any flooring material, you need to measure the actual room dimensions.
Subfloor – depending on your specification, your subfloor may be durable, high-quality marine ply, or more likely a softer, spongier, cheaper particle board.
Particleboard absorbs moisture, and at some point, you will need to replace it with a better standard of subflooring and earlier if you want to use heavier tile or wood flooring as a finish.
The construction of the mobile home floor meets (or exceeds) the HUD code rigidity requirements for strength in use and transport. Floor joists attach to the chassis, and connecting timber improves the rigidity.
Insulation, wiring, and plumbing all go into the floor spaces before the final subfloor sheets attach.
The subfloor sheeting varies in cost and quality:
- Particleboard – affordable but prone to damage from water.
- Plywood – the best quality is exterior and marine-grade, but there are cheaper options.
- Orientated strand – overlapping wood strands and slightly cheaper than plywood, not suitable for tiling.
Regardless of the material, pay attention to the thickness and suitability of the material for the subfloor. The materials come in different thicknesses and qualities.
Exterior grades tend to resist water damage to a higher level than interior grades – essential for bathrooms and kitchens.
The HUD codes specify a need for regular air changes in the mobile home over that provided by opening windows and doors.
The HVAC system installed in your mobile home will pump hot or cool air through ductwork into your rooms.
Around your mobile home, you see vents or grilles in the floor, walls, and ceiling depending on the ventilation and HVAC system employed.
Vent covers covering the hole in the floor, wall, or ceiling and are one of the following types:
- Heat register with louvers (or dampers) that you open or close to control the flow of warm air into the room.
- Supply vent cover with louvers (or dampers) for airflow and ventilation.
- Grille without louvers (or dampers) to blow hot or cold air into the room.
The vents on your floor are part of your HVAC and ventilation system, and you want to keep them clean to work smoothly. When you change your flooring, you need to retain these vents, but you can change the covers to match your décor.
You need to consider the load-bearing capacity of your floor before changing your flooring materials.
High-quality plywood will allow you to have the full range of flooring materials, but it is best to avoid heavy stone tiles unless you reinforce the floor as a preliminary stage.
You can tile, paint, lay vinyl, wood, laminate, and carpet in the same way you would in a traditional house. For example, you can use epoxy resins, flooring glues, and grout when laying a floor by following the standard instructions.
Upgrading the flooring in your mobile home is the same process as in any other home.
Why do floors squeak or creak?
If you hear a squeaking or creaking noise when you walk on your floor, then you have something loose that is rubbing when you walk on it.
Typically, there is a wrong nail or an incorrect installation, plus there may be a gap between your subfloor and the joists. You may need to access the crawlspace to find the location of the issue, and you may need a professional to fix it.
The simpler approach is to move your furniture around, so no one walks over the squeaky sections. The noise is an irritant, but there is unlikely to be anything significantly wrong with your floor.
The amount of effort and expense you put into eliminating the squeak depends on your noise sensitivity.
Why do mobile home floors get soft?
A softness of sagging in the floor is probably the result of water damage.
Particleboard is notorious for soaking up water like a sponge and then weakening. Plywood or OSB board are less prone to this type of softening, but it still happens.
Most likely spots for soft floors are under bathrooms, kitchens, plant pots, around vents, or anywhere with a leaky pipe passing under the boards.
The moisture can come from condensation and high humidity, as well as actual water leakage. Fortunately, replacing the subfloor is relatively straightforward.
Before tacking the soft floor, deal with the leaks and condensation, or the same issue will recur.
You can always lay a new subfloor on top of the old, provided you attach it securely to the floor joists. Alternatively, you can remove and replace the subfloor in whole or in part.
Provided your mobile home is manufactured after 1970, you can relax knowing that there are few harmful materials in the constructions and no asbestos.
Asbestos was a popular construction material for fire safety reasons, but the realization of potential harm means modern buildings do not contain asbestos.
Does a mobile home ceiling have joists?
The ceiling panels attach to ceiling joists. The joists are roughly 16″ to 24″ apart.
What about crawl space?
In a pitched roof, you may be able to create storage space as a loft. Typically, the area is cramped and has minimal room filled with insulation.
A light-reflecting paint is one of the best finishes for your mobile home ceiling as this increases the appearance of space.
A higher standard mobile home will give you room heights of 8-9 feet, but a more budget home may have restricted heights of 7 feet.
Light colors on the ceiling increase the spacious feeling.
Mobile houses don’t usually have attics you can access as a standard feature. The area above the ceiling is cramped and not useful for storage or access.
Some mobile homeowners modify their manufactured homes by installing an access point in the ceiling to convert the space into a limited storage area and check on insulation, roof integrity, and wiring if necessary.
The load-bearing capacity of the ceiling joists is limited to around 20lbs per square foot, so the usefulness of this space for storage is limited.
Mobile homes come with bathrooms because what is a home without a bathroom?
You can put a regular toilet in your mobile home bathroom because there are no significant differences.
A bathtub is trickier because you need to consider the floor’s load-bearing capacity underneath it.
The mobile home manufacturer will ensure that the floor joists support the standard bathtub installed, but you need to ensure it is adequately supported if you put in a new bathtub.
Provided your mobile home floor is not damaged or sagging, there are no issues with the weight of standard bathroom fittings.
A bathroom is an area where water can damage your structure, so routine inspection and maintenance are necessary. Avoid leaving pools of water on the floor and check for plumbing leaks.
You have all the standard finishing options for your bathroom – tiling, vinyl, paint, and storm boarding.
You can use regular standard bathroom fittings or opt for those ranges designed for mobile homes with a different range of sizes and materials.
Your mobile home will come with a kitchen fitted to an agreed specification.
In time you may want to upgrade and change the design; what are your options?
Remodeling your mobile home kitchen is as straightforward as any other type of home.
You can replace or refinish the cabinets. If you replace the cabinet doors, you may need to have them made to measure.
Repainting the cabinets is always an option; with sufficient preparation and attention, you can successfully paint any material.
Perhaps you want to go off-grid and use a wood stove in your kitchen?
The short answer is yes, but you must make sure it is a HUD-approved wood stove for manufactured homes – with the appropriate metal tag.
Why do you need to install a HUD-approved model?
Mobile homes are sealed boxes, and airflow is an essential consideration – a wood-burning stove with a metal tag showing compliance with HUD standard UM-84 reassures you that it is safe to operate.
You also need an approved chimney system, air intake, and an approved installation.
Plus, you need to talk to your insurer as they may have a list of preferred models.
Before widescreen TVs and multimedia entertainment, the fireplace was the focal point of any living space. The place you put up birthday cards and hang your Christmas stocking.
Most mobile homes (and site-built homes) don’t use fires for heating and cooking.
But you can install a real fire or wood-burning stove in your mobile home with due regard for fire safety and building regulations.
Alternatively, you can install a decorative fireplace (with or without a heat source) as an interior design feature if you feel a fireplace is an essential element of your family style.
10. Furniture and Appliances
Your manufactured home will come with some appliances and built-in furniture units, depending on your specification at the design and sign-off stage.
You will add more appliances and furniture to suit your requirements.
Your mobile home will remain in a permanent location. You don’t need specific mobile home furniture to bolt to the floor (although you can do that if you want to), but you will want to buy size-appropriate furniture for your interior design.
Specific appliances like a washer and a dryer may or may not be in the initial design and order.
In your preferred floor plan, you need to establish what is standard and what you need space for.
11. Internet Ready and Wired for Sound?
Internet availability is crucial for most people, especially if remote working is a substantial element of their employment or if you enjoy games, film, or any of the other comforts of modern life.
For most people, internet access is a necessity rather than a luxury or a nice-to-have item.
The issue with high-speed internet access is the site park or local infrastructure.
If the park owner installs the necessary infrastructure or hooks up to local cable infrastructure, you can install a wi-fi hub in your mobile home.
You can use an internal antenna, external antenna, or satellite dish for your communication and TV needs if you get poor phone reception in your mobile home because of metal sidings.
The issue with poor reception because of the house construction is not unique to mobile homes.
If you live in a remote location, your other internet access options are local fixed wireless networks, satellites, and the mobile phone network.
Your access to the internet is not impacted by living in a mobile home vs. a traditional home – it is all about local facilities.
Is the Architecture Different from Manufactured Homes?
A mobile home vs. a traditional site-built home is not significantly different if you compare like for like. Most mobile homes are single-story, although raised from the ground.
The construction and finishing of the walls, floor, and roof are substantially identical with timber framing, sidings, drywall, and shingles as appropriate.
In some respects, manufactured homes are better and more energy efficient because they share a common regulation standard.
Both types of housing are straightforward to remodel.
The selection of windows, doors, finishes, furniture, and appliances does not vary significantly between the two types of houses.
Maintenance and remodeling use the same techniques and materials.
People choose to live in manufactured houses because they are affordable and provide attractive places and communities.