Mobile Home Remodeling/Repairs Tips

Mobile Home Remodeling/Repairs Tips

Are you a homeowner that live in a mobile home or as the industry says manufactured home? If you are there are several things to keep in mind when you have to remodel or repair your home. Mobile homes are built different than regular stick built homes. The materials are sub-standard to be polite. In my 28 year career as a handyman here in Athens, Tn I have worked on many trailers. The following is what I have found to be true.

5 Building Defects in  Mobile Homes

  1. Particle Board Floors- Without a doubt this is the main reason that so much work has to be done on mobile homes. Almost all mobile homes that are 1980 and newer are all built out of particle board floors. The older “trailers” like the 10 foot wides and the 12 foot wides were actually built with 3/4 inch plywood. Particle board floors can not get wet. That is a big problem in bathrooms and leads to the second problem with mobile homes.
  2. Gray Plastic Plumbing Pipes or Polybutelene. This plumbing system was introduced in the mid 70’s and was a disaster. This type plumbing leaks and when you have particle board floors, you are asking for trouble.
  3. Plastic plumbing fixtures. The bathtubs, sinks, vanities are all made out of cheap plastic that will crack over time. It is not a question of maybe. They will have to be replaced if you use your bathtub or shower alot.
  4. Bad electrical switches and receptacles. In a regular home, the outlets for the electrical switches and lights are nailed to a sutd wall. In mobile homes they use boxes that are only supported by a gym clip. The boxes are not nailed to a stud rather just held on by compression of the gym clip.
  5. Thin drywall. The drywall in most homes is 1/2 inch thick.  In mobile homes it is 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch. Which would not be so bad but they have fastened all of the electrical boxes to really thin Sheetrock. When you go to plug something in to an outlet, you can pull the plug right out of the wall. I can not tell you how many service calls I have been on to fix electrical outlets that have pulled out.

To be fair I live in a mobile home and really like my home. It is paid for. I guess at the end of the day the main reason most of us have purchased a mobile home is for the fact they cost a whole lot less. The promise of affordable housing is being met with the manufactured housing industry. Yes a trailer will always be a trailer to some- but for 30% of America households, a trailer is home!


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