Mobile Home Renovation: The Ultimate Guide

installing new flooringDeciding whether to renovate your existing mobile home or buy a new one can be tricky. It’s not just about cost—it’s about understanding what your home currently offers versus what you need in the long run. So the thought of any home renovation can be seen as daunting task

If you’ve ever seen the HGTV television program Love It Or List It, you’ve seen homeowners work through this dilemma: How much will it cost to transform their existing space into one that better fits their needs versus throwing in the towel and buying a new home?

Don’t worry. We’ll help you figure out the best choice for your situation and ensuring your manufactured home meets your needs for years to come.

Assessing Your Manufactured Home’s Condition

Deciding to renovate your existing manufactured home or have it removed so that you can purchase and place a new own, may not come easily. But, it all starts with understanding your manufactured home’s current condition. This detailed check-up helps you understand what’s beneath the surface, potentially saving you from costly surprises down the road.

Here’s what to focus on:

  • Roof: Look for any signs of leaks or water damage. Sagging spots or missing shingles can indicate a need for serious repairs or a full replacement. Remember that a typical asphalt shingle/composition roof will last about 20 years.
  • Walls: Check for stability and signs of mold or moisture, which could compromise the structure’s integrity. Mold can also cause serious health issues when not properly remediated.
  • Floors: Feel for any soft spots or uneven areas. These could be symptoms of underlying damage that need addressing.
  • Windows and Doors: Ensure they seal properly. Drafts or moisture can be signs of energy inefficiency and structural issues. Plus, drafty windows and doors can significantly increase your monthly energy bill.

Beyond these basics, it’s also smart to look into the mechanical aspects:

  • Plumbing: Look for any leaks, water damage, or outdated piping that may require an upgrade. Ensuring all fixtures have proper water flow and no signs of blockage or deterioration is necessary.
  • Electrical System: Check the condition of the fuse box, look for exposed wires, and test outlets and switches. An outdated or faulty electrical system can pose significant safety risks.

Identifying these issues early can help you prioritize your renovation efforts and allocate your budget effectively. This not only ensures the home remains livable and safe but also helps in making an informed decision on whether renovating is worthwhile or if purchasing a new home might be the better option.

The key message here? Don’t overlook signs of critical wear and tear, such as major structural, plumbing, or electrical issues.

Smart Manufactured Home Renovation Choices

If you decide that renovating is the way to go, or you are leaning in that direction, you probably want to know where to start. And here’s what we have to say on that

Do focus your renovation on high-value areas. So, what are those areas?

Kitchen Updates

The kitchen often acts as the heart of the home—and we spend about 400 hours of our lives there! Making improvements here can improve your living quality and increase your home’s appeal should you sell in the future.

Consider updating appliances to more energy-efficient models, replacing countertops, or refurbishing cabinets. Even small changes, like new hardware or modern lighting fixtures, can make a significant difference.

Bathroom Renovations

Next to the kitchen, bathrooms offer some of the best return on investment regarding renovations. Updating fixtures, adding new floor tiles, or installing a modern shower or tub can totally turn an old space into a spa-like sanctuary. It’s not just about how your bathroom looks; ensuring it works as needed and is accessible can add some big-time value.

Think about water-saving toilets and showers, which are eco-friendly and appealing to future buyers. Also, consider wider spaces that can help those who need to access the bathroom via wheelchair.

Living Space Upgrades

Don’t overlook living areas. Fresh paint, new flooring, or updated lighting can rejuvenate your space. If the budget allows, consider more substantial changes like removing non-structural walls to create an open floor plan, a popular trend in current home design.

Key message? Don’t waste your financial resources on superficial changes that won’t improve your home’s safety or usage.

The Benefits of Renovating Versus Replacing

If you love your neighborhood and space limitations might make it difficult to replace your existing manufactured home simply, renovating might be the best choice. Here are some of the other benefits of renovating versus replacing.

  • Cost Efficiency: Renovating can often be more budget-friendly than buying new, especially if major structural changes aren’t needed.
  • Customization: Upgrades allow you to tailor your living space to your specific tastes and needs without the constraints of pre-set designs in new homes.
  • Increased Home Value: Strategic updates, especially in key areas like kitchens and bathrooms, can significantly increase a home’s market value.
  • Less Disruption: Renovating allows you to stay in your current neighborhood, maintaining your daily routines, community ties, and proximity to familiar amenities.
  • Energy Efficiency: Updating old fixtures and appliances to more modern, energy-efficient versions can reduce your utility bills.
  • Faster Turnaround: Renovations can often be completed quicker than buying and installing a new manufactured home, which includes preparation, delivery, and setup times—about six weeks.
  • Reduced Waste: Renovating contributes less waste to landfills than replacing an entire home, which aligns with more environmentally responsible practices.

Key message: Don’t underestimate the time or costs of a manufactured home renovation. This could potentially lead to unfinished projects or overspending. We recommend that you plan for a 20% contingency.

When it Makes More Sense to Purchase a New Manufactured Home

After assessing the current condition of your existing manufactured home, it is better to plan to have it removed from the site and replaced with a new one. While costs can vary, demolishing and removing a manufactured home in Washington state can cost around $3,000 to $7,000, depending on the location of the property and the size and condition of the existing home.

This said, here are some reasons you may decide that pursuing demolition is the best course of action, especially if your existing home is dated prior to June 15, 1976:

  • Compliance with Modern Standards: New manufactured homes meet current safety and construction standards, which may not be the case with older homes. This compliance ensures better protection against fire, weather, and structural failures.
  • More Energy Efficiency: Modern homes are built with better insulation, windows, and doors, along with more efficient heating and cooling systems, which can significantly lower energy costs.
  • Modern Design and Layout: New manufactured homes come with updated designs that maximize space utilization and provide modern conveniences that older homes may lack.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs: New homes typically require less maintenance in the first few years compared to older homes, where systems might be nearing the end of their lifespan.
  • Warranty Protection: New manufactured homes often come with warranties that cover key components and craftsmanship, offering peace of mind that isn’t available with an older, renovated home.
  • Avoiding Costly Upgrades: For homes built before modern standards were implemented, the cost of updating wiring, plumbing, and structural elements can be prohibitive, making new homes a more cost-effective option.

Key message? Don’t ignore our suggested cutoff date for renovations; homes older than this date often require extensive updates that may not be cost-effective.

Advantages of New Manufactured Homes

Purchasing a new manufactured home brings many serious benefits, catering to modern living standards and preferences. Here’s why a new manufactured home, especially one from a reputable dealer like ECM Homes, can be an excellent investment:

  • Modern Construction Standards: New manufactured homes are built according to the latest construction codes, ensuring robust structural integrity. These standards are continually updated to reflect building technology and materials advancements, offering homeowners greater peace of mind.
  • Energy Efficiency: Modern manufactured homes are designed with energy conservation in mind. They feature state-of-the-art insulation, energy-efficient windows, and HVAC systems that reduce energy consumption and substantially save utility bills.
  • Improved Safety Features: Safety in newly manufactured homes has significantly improved, with modern fire retardants in building materials, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide alarms as standard features.
  • Contemporary Amenities and Designs: New homes have the latest amenities catering to contemporary lifestyles. Open floor plans, large master suites, and modern kitchens with the latest appliances and fixtures are common.
  • Customization Options: Unlike older homes or extensive renovations, new manufactured homes offer the possibility of customization before installation. Buyers can choose from various floor plans and design elements. This makes it easier to tailor a home to personal tastes and needs without needing immediate renovations.

Partnership with Palm Harbor Homes

ECM Homes is a licensed dealer of Palm Harbor Homes. We offer access to a line of upscale, high-quality manufactured homes at an affordable price. Palm Harbor is renowned for its craftsmanship and variety of floor plans. They ensuring that every homeowner finds a home that fits their lifestyle and budget.

Have you Decided to Replace Rather than Renovate?

If replacing your manufactured home is your choice, ECM Homes is here to help. We’ll help you through every step of the process, from the site visit to selecting your new floor plan to choosing the right upgrades. If you are ready to get started, contact us today.