5 Ways to Give Your Mobile Home Windows Some TLC

Your windows are the eyes of your home. You’ve probably heard a version of that before. Yet, it’s actually pretty true. We see the outside world from our windows and we look into the heart of our home through windows. There are so many ways to work on your windows and improve your living space. If it’s been some time since your worked on your windows, we’re here to give you ideas!

For some of these items you’ll need to consult a professional based on your knowledge of the task. Some items also may require you to exercise caution.

How about shutters? Adding shutters to the exterior of your mobile home can add dimension and flair. If you don’t want to spend the money, you might research how to make your own with painted pallet pieces. Make those windows stand out as the start of the show!

Repair your screens. This is an easy do-it-yourself project. Allow full use of your windows and protect your home from pests! Learn how to fix your screens here.

Repair your window. Fixing the window on your own most likely be cheaper than buying new windows. This leading home site walks you through the process of repairing your mobile home windows. A lot of window repair involves removing/replacing glass – proceed with caution or ask a professional. Keep in mind paying someone for the labor will increase cost.

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Windows being made in a manufactured housing factory. 

Weather stripping/ caulk. Both of these items are also not super expensive to do, and you can apply them to all your windows, usually on the interior of the window. They provide a tight seal and may increase your energy efficiency and give you a cheaper AC/Heat bill. Who doesn’t love that?

Clean your blinds/exterior of mobile home windows. This may sound silly and easy but this is a big help to your space. My blinds are so dirty and they need a good wipe down, strip by strip. It freshens up your space and it’s amazing how much light you didn’t know could come in after those windows are clean. Plus, it’s a good health practice.

We hope that this helps you spend a little time on the maintenance of your windows. It’s so important as it start to get hot and wasps are out to protect your home and your family.

Freshen Up Your Window Treatments!

7 Simple Tips to Modernize Your Manufactured Home

Does your decor need a face lift? Looking to freshen up your space, but don’t want to drop your wallet? There are so many ways to make your home trendy without the price tag. Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration. We’ve catered a list that will fit all your mobile home decor dreams!

Here are some affordable ideas to get you started:

Play with color. Use that fun color on your kitchen cabinets or invest in a bright couch/ couch cover. Paint is a great way to modernize your space and break up the wood grains/ wraps found in many mobile homes. Crisp white and off white are in with inviting, country kitchens. Try painting with a kit!

Add plants! Both fake and real add a homey feel! Fake trees in a basket with lights can create a great mood. Plus, it’s a great space filler for small or awkward areas. Start with some herbs!

Hang lightweight blankets. Fabric can make walls look so much more interesting. If a blanket is too heavy for your walls, try getting some fabric cut at the store and then hang it for some added flair. Not sure how to hang it? We’ve got you covered!

Bring the outside in. I love this one! It’s sort of like having plants in your home, but it goes a step farther. Think branches, pine cones, moss (I’d recommend fake moss) etc. Celebrate your favorite outdoor vibe. Be sure to let items sit in garage or outside of the house for a bit. You may also need to clean or treat some items to preserve them or make sure they are bug free.

Use bookshelves to fill your walls. Hanging a lot of items on the wall can be annoying. But if you have a few focal bookshelves you don’t have to worry about weight, or only hanging items that are flat. Plus, they are versatile, and you can move them and switch up what they display.

Add some quotes/words. Words and statements are a great addition to your home that gives a little reflection of what you value, what matters to you, or what you hope to encourage visitors with. Chalk boards and chalkboard paint are a great option for the indecisive or person of many phrases.

Introduce textures. The simple and basic monochromatic can feel very sleek, but you might feel like something is missing. Adding some texture can help break up the monotony and add some fun! You can try wainscoting a small space, a space bit of wallpaper, curtains or blankets with bold patterns.

We hope you’re ready to get started and add a little more personality to your home. Remember you can always update a room at a time or just one space!

Here’s More Inspiration!

How to Increase the Longevity of Your Manufactured Home

Many people try to predict the lifespan of a manufactured home. While some estimates can be accurate, it’s good to consider them through a wide lens. Some claim a manufactured home has a lifespan of 30 – 55 years. While this can be true, there are many factors to evaluate: Is it a pre-1976 mobile home? When was it built? What materials were used? Has it been kept up? Where is it located? Is it exposed to harsh weather? The list goes on. So while 30-55 years could be an average for many  homes, it’s not fair to generalize about the lifespan of any particular manufactured home without evaluating many other factors.

It is better to focus on ways to increase the longevity of your home instead of accepting a timeline that may not even be accurate. Let’s look at how to best care for your home.

Keep it dry! Water can damage all homes. Manufactured homes are no different. Water damage that is left untreated can deteriorate your home over time and significantly shorten its lifespan. Be careful of ceilings and floors. Covering ceilings with paint is not a fix. Don’t ignore dampness. Deal with it as quickly as possible. We’ll help you reduce moisture in your home!

It’s vital to ensure that your home is placed and installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Be sure to use a licensed manufactured home installer and other trusted professionals.  These professionals take the soil conditions into consideration, along with drainage, and just being sure that your home is properly prepped and installed. Knowing if your home is being installed properly can be hard when you’re not aware of the process yourself. Be sure to ask questions. Making sure your home is placed and installed properly can add years to its life.

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Level and smoothed footers help create an even pier and beam system.

Over time your home can settle. This settling often results in your home becoming uneven. Re-leveling your home can be done by a professional. Traditionally, if you have a pier and beam system – they measure the height of the beams and raise the home to the level that it needs to be at. This correction may prevent cracks in the walls and other structural damage  which could shorten the lifespan of your manufactured home.

Be timely with your maintenance. That’s right! Schedule it, write down when each task is completed, and keep up with them. A manufactured home benefits so much from being maintained at the right time. If you notice something out of the ordinary, address it as soon as possible.

Manufactured home roofs are important to protect. Some types of roofing need to be coated yearly. While other types may need to be inspected periodically for problem areas. It’s important to know the kind of roof you have and care for it accordingly. Read here for more about repairing your manufactured roof.

Find More Maintenance Inspiration!

We hope that you’re able to utilize these tips and potentially add years to the life of your manufactured home! Remember, you can positively impact the longevity of your home!

Protecting Your Manufactured Home Roof

Protecting the roof on your home can significantly impact its longevity. There are various types of roofing styles and materials for manufactured homes. It’s best to know what you’re dealing with, so you can best work on your roof.

Most common types of roofing

  • Flat
  • Pitched

Flat roofs are found  more in older homes, whereas pitched roofs have become more popular due to draining advantages and the ability to hold a higher roof load. Both types are built on support systems called trusses.

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Trusses in a manufactured home roof. 

 

Most common roofing materials

  • Steel/Metal
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Composite
  • Rubber/plastic (TPO)

These types are according to a homeowner inspiration site, read more about their definitions of these materials here.1

Each roof type and material will require unique maintenance. The most common advice with yearly maintenance, depending on the type of roof you have, is to apply a roof coating. An article from a mobile home site,2 recommends using some type of “elastomeric resin.” Applied properly, this should protect the roof from water as well as provide reflecting protection. Choosing a white coating can also increase the effectiveness of the roof coating. This helps your roof reflect heat and avoid the bubbling which may occur with TPO-sealed roofs. This is most commonly used in the south where heat can be especially damaging. It’s important to remember to pressure wash and clean the roof before applying the TPO resin as it will stick to the dirt and not be as effective, also according to the article.2 Caution should always be taken when working or accessing a roof.  Safety first!  Also, when in doubt, consult a professional to determine how best to maintain your roof and whether you can perform the work yourself.

Sometimes it’s not the most helpful option to just coat the roof yearly. Some manufactured homes would respond better to a new roof being placed on top of the existing roof. Read about the most common types of trusses and when they are used from a leading mobile home site.3 Some trusses are not designed to be roofed over. For homes that can hold some weight, a roof over  can be a repair option. However, the roof of a manufactured home has weight and support limitations which can make repair challenging.  Check with an expert before starting a roof over if you are unsure whether your roof can withstand the extra weight.

We hope these tips help you care for your roof, and understand better how your roof is built and what it’s made of, too. Remember to consult a professional unless this is your specialty.

Keep Up With Your Home!

References

  1. Hunker. 26 April 2019. Types of Roofing for Mobile Homes. https://www.hunker.com/13417859/types-of-roofing-for-mobile-homes
  2. Mobile Home Friend. 3 March 2019. Do Mobile Home Roof Coatings Really Work? https://mobilehomefriend.com/do-mobile-home-roof-coatings-really-work/
  3. Mobile Home Living. 20 Feb 2018. The Best Self-Supported Mobile Home Roof Over Designs. https://mobilehomeliving.org/best-self-supported-mobile-home-roof-over-designs/

8 Must-Have Yard Tools for the New Mobile Homeowner

New homeowners need a lot of items to keep up with home maintenance and to save on things they can labor themselves. The upfront cost can be a lot on a new buyer. Consider saving up for each item and purchasing as you have funds and as it’s needed. As warmer weather is coming, we think about our yards and the help they need to stay kept. Let’s look at some items that will help you conquer your yard!

Check Your Yard Before You Start!

  1. Garden hose. This is a must for cleaning driveways, watering plants/landscaping, and with the proper attachments – cleaning your vinyl siding. Plus, it’s great, cheap fun for those long summer days at home for the kiddos!
  2. Rain garden/ long drain spouts. It’s quite important to be sure your yard drains well. Especially if your mobile home is not on a permanent foundation. If you notice pooling in your yard or slushy spots after rain consider redistribution ideas. Rain gardens use rocks and or absorbent plants to keep your yard healthy. Long drain spouts carry water farther from your home and foundation to keep puddles at a minimum.
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Make your yard the place for the weekend! 
  1. Lawn mower. This one is obvious. It’s so much cheaper in the long run to mow your own yard than to pay someone.
  2. Hedge shears. These handy little gadgets are good for all the in-between work. Keep your landscaping under control and deal with little issues in a snap! Operate carefully and use safety precautions.
  3. Rake. Whether your yard is covered in leaves or sticks you really can’t clear your yard without a rake. Leaving all that debris in your yard is bad for it, too.
  4. Solar powered path lights. These are a lifesaver, especially if you live in a rural setting. From getting home, to spending time outside, to friends visiting. These lights can guide your cars safely to your home.
  5. Skirting guard. If you’re weed eating or moving near your skirting, you need a skirting guard to protect your siding from holes and dings. Torn skirting is bad news for your home as critters and cold/warm air has direct access to piping.
  6. Weed eater. These are great for those annoying, hard to reach areas, edging, and carefully maneuvering around landscaping. Please follow all safety instructions and familiarize yourself with the machine.

As you spend more time in your home you’ll realize other items you need. You may also start to do gardening which will require some extras. Please be sure to use all tools with care, learn how to use them, ask a trusted individual to help with tools you’ve never used. Safety first!

8 Tips to Create and Keep a Tidy Home

Sometimes it’s easy to see organization as the preference of the type A, or the perfectionist, just wanting everything to have a place. But organization is so much more. Organization is a time saver, a structure that allows our minds to feel less cluttered and allow more than one person to easily navigate and clean a room. Creating and starting a plan is the hardest, most time-consuming part, yet it yields great reward.

Let’s talk ideas!

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When everything is organized, everything is easily found.
  1. The weekly check. The best organization is maintained often. By checking in weekly and realigning everything you save yourself from having to take a huge amount of time and start your system all over. Doing a little over time is a far better use of your time.
  2. Use height. This one is rather popular these days. If you lack good storage, install shelves, hooks over doors, or try bookcases. These keep clutter off your floor and they create a great look.
  3. Sometimes seeing things fit in a bin is just calming to the mind. I honestly don’t think it makes much of a difference, but it’s quite helpful to visual folks. So, if that’s you – dive in and try it!
  4. The transition bin/table. Organization often gets undermined at a specific point – when new things enter the home. Having a table for transitioning items is so helpful. It helps you see if you have enough space, allows you to clear out old items to make space for the new, and it helps you properly introduce it into the perfect place.
  5. Communicate your method and use signage. The best organization is shared. If you know where it goes but no one else does, that’s not as efficient as it could be. Communicating with your family and showing them all the organization stations and how they function before using them is so helpful. You can help kiddos succeed by using signs on your bins or color systems, so they can help and keep their own space organized as well.
  6. Have a laundry day. I must be joking, right? No, this is so helpful. It’s hard sometimes to have enough time to set aside to do all the household laundry but it really impacts your organization. Also, make it a point to put everything away the same day if possible. Enlist some help and you’ll notice a big difference in your organization.
  7. Have a mail station. Having a place to sort your mail keeps you paying bills on time and saves you from papers piling up. It also keeps everything in one place instead of having it strewn about everywhere.
  8. Have a monthly donation sweep. Clearing out is so beneficial for your organization. Plus it frees up space!

More Organizing Tips!

A Helpful Guide to Mobile Homeowner Responsibilities

Buying a home is a great privilege. Quite often the joys of homeownership are expressed, and while these should not be undermined, they should not overshadow the responsibilities that follow. Owning a home is work. Anything we invest in requires attention and maintenance. Sometimes this transition from renting to ownership can cause a shock. We want to alleviate that shock.

Let’s look at some of the items that a homeowner will be responsible for.

Interior Maintenance:

  • Change air filters
  • Cleaning: floors, bathrooms, surfaces, deep clean appliances
  • Change light bulbs

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    Your manufactured home benefits greatly from timely air filter changes. 

Interior maintenance as a homeowner is not much different from renting but the importance of it is stressed. When renting you may not care about deep cleaning, or sweeping weekly because it’s not your home, not your investment. However, when the home is yours and your inheriting the mess – these items matter a lot more. Stay up on these and they are quite simple.

Lawn Care:

Lawn care is usually a big shift for new homeowners. Where you may have someone who did the work regularly that your landlord paid or you just did work when it got bad – now you have to take care of your yard. It’s also important to make sure your yard is safe and usable for guests, kids, and pets.

Exterior Maintenance:

Maintaining your exterior can really give you great curb appeal. Pressure washing your siding makes it look brand new, and skirting without holes looks super sleek. Since mobile homes are often times not on a permanent foundation a sump pump is highly advised to reduce or prevent flooding. It’s also advisable to coat your mobile home roof.

Confronting Issues:

  • Be sure you have insurance!
  • Fixing plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Flooding
  • Maintaining/ creating driveway

One of the hard things about owning is you can’t leave it there for the landlord to fix. You have to fix and it’s usually in your best interest to do it quickly. This can sometimes be a financial hardship, that’s why we stress saving past a down payment, because the habit will help you as homeowner. Most of these issues are not do it on your own unless you are versed in the issue professionally. Otherwise, expect to find a repair person to diagnose and fix the issue, plus someone will need to be home while the work is being done usually.

Maintain your home in every season:

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

How Well do Manufactured Homes Stand Up to Storms?

Storm season is on it’s way and you might be wondering, ‘how will a mobile home hold up’? It’s a common question, and not one that can be answered out right as there are a variety of storms and many types of manufactured homes. However, we can take a moment to look at preventative measures you can take as a homeowner and how mobile homes have been built to withstand storms.

Manufactured homes are built with the elements in mind

To begin, we need to look at the HUD Code for manufactured housing, which was implemented in 1976, and how it impacted how these homes are built. Mobile homes are built to comply with certain wind zones, thermal zones, and roof load requirements. These are all standards that help homes withstand certain forces. Wind zone requirements help your mobile home withstand hurricane force winds and are based on the location of the home. Thermal zones have to do with heat leakage in the home, and roof loads are based on how many pounds of snow a roof can withstand per square foot.  Roof load requirements also determine the build of the roof such as flat or pitched, etc.

Manufactured homes and their ability to withstand the elements

The Manufactured Housing Institute has provided information regarding the ability of manufactured homes to perform as well as site-built homes when it comes to storms and harsh weather.  According to the information, this attribution is said to be connected to the fact that manufactured homes in wind zones 2 and 3 are built to withstand the equivalent building code requirements as site-built homes.

Preventing damage to your mobile home

There are a couple ways you can actually prepare your mobile home for severe weather. One is ensuring your home has the appropriate tie-downs and anchors. Then you’ll need to be sure they are installed correctly and fix any that are broken or not properly placed. It’s also advised to have storm shutters, or heavy-duty shutters to protect your home. Another good way to prepare for storms is to make sure than any structures that are attached to the home are improperly installed as carports and patio roofs are likely to be the cause of home damage in high winds.  If you live in a place prone to tornadoes you could also consider building an underground shelter. Don’t forget to be sure your home is protected by your mobile home insurance. Most plans don’t include flood coverage – this is quite important if you live in a moderate storm area.

Storms cannot always be predicted and the level of threat from a storm is not always understood or appreciated. We aren’t meteorologists, so we would never advise you to remain in your home during a life-threatening storm.  We are saying, however, that you may come back to your home after a storm and find that your home survived much better than you thought it would. Manufactured homes may surprise you in their ability to withstand storm damage until you know that they are built with the elements in mind.

Learn More About Mobile Homes!

7 Ways to Keep Your Mobile Home Interior Efficient and Fresh

There’s plenty out there on how to keep the outside of your mobile home maintained. From roof coating, to checking to see if the home is level – you’re encouraged to protect the outside of your home. So why not do the same with the interior? Let’s look at things you can do to keep the inside of your home in great shape, too.

  1. Bust the dust. Dust can happen on your vinyl over gypsum covered walls like clockwork. Keep those walls fresh with a wipe down every month. Check your ceiling fan blades, air filter returns (if accessible), and corners for dust and cobwebs as well. Stuck on dust is annoying to clean. Catch it before it gets worse!
  2. Protect those floors! Vinyl flooring can be impacted most by water and indentions. Keep them safe by always mopping/wiping up after spills. Also, check appliances for leaks and deal with them immediately. To avoid scuffs, put soft felt rounds on the legs of furniture. Rugs can also help preserve your floors.
  3. Keep your lighting eco-friendly. Lose those old bulbs and swap them out for some more cost-efficient ones. You’ll pay more on the front end but it’s worth it and they won’t get as hot as those others!
  4. Change the position of your furniture.  Don’t leave that couch in the same place for five years, welcome a little change and relieve those floors as well as clean a place that you haven’t cleaned in a while. This is a great way to keep carpet from getting permanent indentions.
  5. Protect those pipes. Especially in the winter! Open cabinet doors so warm air can reach pipes at night, leave water dripping slightly, and keep thermostat level. No burst pipes make for a happy home!
  6. The Classic. Change your air filters monthly! This gives you clean air and helps your system stay clean.
  7. Clean vent hood over oven. Wipe it down every now and then or take it down and soak it for an easy clean. You might even try your dishwasher.

There are more items on the interior of your home to address, these are just the basics. Maintaining your home could build your equity if other factors play in and your home is attached to land. Improve your investment by keeping your home tidy! Learn more about how the condition of a home can impact you in the long run!

Tell Me About Equity!