How To Remodel A Mobile Home To Look Like A House? 5 Easy Tips

Mobile homes are well known for their affordability and fast installation process. But a mobile home is considered personal property rather than real estate. That’s why mobile homes often lack real estate financing opportunities like stick-built homes. Therefore, it is essential to know how to remodel a mobile home to look like a house. 

There are a lot of strategies to remodel a mobile home to look like a real house. Among them, shifting to a permanent foundation from a non-permanent one is the best. It gives the mobile home more opportunity for future alteration. Also, increasing the curb appeal of the mobile home matters significantly. 

Transforming your mobile home requires a lot of research and planning. That’s why you need to study a lot about real estate before you jump into the transformation process. 

5 Easy Tips To Remodel A Mobile Home Into A Site-built House

Mobile homes look different from permanent, site-built houses in many aspects. Some of them are roofing, walls, story structure, and the most important one, the foundation. Here are five easy tips for you to turn your mobile home into a permanent house – 

Remodel The Eaves And Roof

Most of the mobile home’s roof is aluminum-made and has got a low roof pitch. They don’t hold up well in heavy rain or snowfall. Also, they get old and shabby quickly. Installing a higher roof pitch is a great way of giving your mobile home a permanent feel. 

Mobile homes also have smaller roof eaves. For that reason, water and snow get stuck easily in the window frames. High pitch roofs and wide eaves create a significant change in your mobile home’s features to make it look more like a permanent home. 

Remodeling the roof of your mobile home can be a long process. You may need to get renovation permission from the authorities. You can either go for a completely new roof or remodel the old one. Either way, make sure your roof has a steep of at least 4/12 or more. It’s better to get a roofing contractor to do the job without hassle. 

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At least 12 inches of roof eave makes a mobile home look like a real house. But if you can get more than 12 inches (up to 16 inches) on the eave, your mobile home will transform significantly into a real house. Note that less than 6 inches of eave is not desirable at all. 

Important Note: Please read the guidelines from HUD/FHA before you make any structural alterations to your mobile home. Here is the link:- HUD/FHA Guidelines and Requirements for Manufactured Homes

Modify The Walls

Mobile home walls have three major problems that make them different from site-built home walls. They are – 

  • Mobile homes have thinner walls.
  • Materials of typical mobile home walls don’t provide adequate insulation. 
  • Paneling for mobile home walls doesn’t give the real-home feeling. 

     So, these are differences you need to dissolve to make your mobile home look more like a real home. Consider installing R 11 insulation during the wall modification because R 11 insulation is smaller and built for mobile homes. 

     Remodeling mobile home walls from scratch requires considerable renovation skills. If you can DIY it, go for it. But you would need to be cautious to avoid mishaps. If you want to change the wall paneling only, follow the usual steps to replace wall panels in your manufactured home

Add A Second Story

Usually, mobile homes don’t come with a second story. That’s why having one can make your mobile home unique. Also, it will make it look like a real house. But there are guidelines and requirements by HUD/FHA that you need to follow during any structural alteration. Also, there are specific rules you need to follow about the height and size of your mobile home. 

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One way to have a two-storied mobile home is to build an additional story like a separate wing or section and then attach it to your original one-story block. This way doesn’t break any rules. But there are some precautionary measures you must take before you install an additional story:

  • Check your mobile home’s capacity to support an additional story. 
  • Check the wall strength of the original story. Do the walls have the strength to support an additional story? 
  • Check the strength of your mobile home’s foundation. If you don’t know how to, then find a professional mobile home renovation contractor to help you there. 
  • Check out the costs to add an additional story to your mobile home. The total estimated cost range could be anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000. 

Switch To Permanent Foundation

There are two types of permanent foundation transformation to consider: basement foundation and pit foundation. The basement foundation is the most expensive permanent foundation. But it gives you greater earthquake resistance and more living space. 

But if you don’t need extra living space, you can choose the pit foundation. It’s cheaper than the basement foundation, but still, you need to spend a considerable amount of money on it. 

Another benefit of the basement foundation is the extra space can be used as a garage. But that will require a deep slope to have a taller basement, and thus, the cost will be higher. Overall, turning the non-permanent foundation of your mobile home into a permanent one requires a large budget and a long process. 

But there are some benefits of having a permanent foundation on your mobile home – 

  • Your real estate financing opportunity increases.
  • Your home will have more resale value. 
  • Your home will have a more secure foundation for further structural alteration. 
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Increase The Curb Appeal

Curb appeal in real estate means changing the exterior of a property or house, so it looks appealing from the street. But it’s better to check out the regulations for curb appeal or landscaping for mobile homes before you proceed. 

Here are some ideas to increase the curb appeal of your mobile home- 

  • Get an aesthetic landscape by putting plants and flower boxes. Keep your lawn neat. 
  • Try to install a unique and aesthetic front door. 
  • Get better skirting. Vinyl skirting is the most popular one right now. The price range for vinyl skirting starts from $360 to $1500, depending on your requirements. Insulated vinyl skirting costs more. 
  • Get more attractive outdoor lights. 
  • Install an aesthetic mailbox.

Remodeling Costs (Mobile Home To Permanent House)

Remodeling a mobile home can be cheaper than you might think. Get a budget in place before you begin any renovations, depending on your plans. Here are the questions you need to have clear answers to:

  • How much will it cost if I buy a stick-built home instead? 
  • In which areas do I need renovations? What are their individual costs? 
  • What will be the total value of the land and the home after I finish renovating? 

After that, you should have a plan and a cost list for your renovations. For your benefit, here are some estimated renovation costs to turn your mobile home into a site-built home – 

Renovation AreaCost  
Roofing $650 – $3000 (Single Wide)$1300 – $6000 (Double Wide)
Wall (Vinyl Siding)$3000 – $12000 
Windows (per window)$200 – $250  
Lighting (3 bedroom)$800 

The cost for remodeling increases as per your renovation plan. It would be best if you did thorough budgeting before you step into the renovation process.

Owning a mobile home can come with a lot of hurdles. Thus, it’s understandable if you’re hesitant to make any changes to them. My goal was to make your planning easy by providing correction information on how to remodel a mobile home to look like a house. Hope you got your help.