A manufactured home is one that is constructed almost entirely in a factory. The house is placed on a steel chassis and transported to the building site. The wheels can be removed but the chassis stays in place.
A manufactured home can come in many different sizes and shapes. It may be a simple one-story “mobile home,” or it can be so large and complex that you might not guess that it was constructed off site.
Local building codes do not apply to manufactured homes; instead, these houses are built according to specialized guidelines (Federal HUD regulations in the United States) for manufactured housing. Manufactured homes are not permitted in some communities.
factory-built, factory-made, mobile
A manufactured home is one type of factory-built housing. Other types of homes that use factory-made building parts include modular homes, panelized homes, mobile homes, pre-cut homes, and other varieties of prefab homes. Factory-built houses usually cost much less than homes that are site-built.
Here is a mobile home ad from the 1950’s. It is amazing how manufactured housing has changed over the years. The manufactured homes from this era look nothing like you would expect a home to appear, and now you can’t tell the difference from a manufactured home and one build on site.
Manufactured Homes Then
Manufactured Homes Now
Here is an example of one of our modern manufactured home. It looks very “residential”, don’t you agree?
it is worth mentioning that this modern manufactured home boasts over 2000 square feet and our normal single wide homes provide “livability in 70 and 80 feet.” Size alone sets new homes far ahead of their “mobile” cousins.
Although moving can be a stressful step for a family, it can be less of a hassle when you get a head start. Preparation is the key to a smoother move – whether you do it yourself or hire a moving company. Look over this moving and packing guide to find out how to time your move, choose a mover, rent a truck, get organized, pack your possessions and get settled in your new home.
The most economical way to move is to do-it-yourself. Sounds simple enough, just rent a truck, load up your stuff and go. This can be a good choice if you’re not going far, don’t have a lot of things to haul and have a strong back.
But think twice about a long distance do-it-yourself move. When you factor in all the costs, gasoline, motels, meals, insurance, packing materials, truck and equipment rental, you may not save as much as you planned.
Consider a few questions before you decide to handle your own move. Do I have time to pack, load, unload and drive? How many heavy items, like furniture and appliances, do I have to move? Am I physically capable to do this hard work? Do I have friends and family that can help me through relocation? Can I handle a big truck over a long distance?
Shop around for truck rates, and don’t rent more truck than you need. Rental companies have charts that help you calculate what’s needed to haul your belongings. Companies like U-Haul and Ryder make it easier with step-by-step moving and packing guidance.
Moving With Kids
Almost all children resist the idea of moving. The older the child, the more difficulty he or she will have with the family’s move. The thought of leaving friends, facing new kids in a new school and adjusting to a new community can be overwhelming. But there are ways to help your kids feel more comfortable before, during and after the move.
It’s very important to make sure your manufactured home furnace operates safely and efficiently during winter weather. You can perform many routine furnace maintenance jobs, while other procedures are best handled by a qualified repair person. Most furnace manufacturers recommend a professional inspection of fuel lines, safety controls, burner and flue pipe every year. Your utility company may provide a free inspection.
You should replace disposable furnace filters regularly. Remove and wash, brush or vacuum permanent filters. Remove the cover of the thermostat and vacuum away dust and dirt. Check the exhaust vent from furnace. Clear obstructions like leaves or animal nests from the vent pipe. Keep roof exhaust vents clear of excess snow build-up.
Inspect blower motor. Vacuum any accumulated dirt. Inspect V-belt and pulleys for wear. If the belt moves more than an inch when you push it, tighten it. Check air intake. Most manufactured home furnaces draw combustion air from beneath the home, so keep four to six vents in the skirting to allow free air passage.
Check flue assembly for alignment and rigidity. It should run in a straight line from the top of furnace through the ceiling. Be sure the flue is attached to the furnace collar. Check to make sure there is no loose wiring near the flue. If there is wiring in the flue area, move and secure it well away from the flue pipe.
Carpeting in furnace compartment should be removed and replaced with fireproof material. Some manufactured home furnaces have wire mesh in front of the stack to prevent storage on top of the furnace. If this mesh is missing, replace it.
Clean out debris in furnace area, and don’t allow even small amounts to accumulate. Never use your furnace closet for storage or drying clothes. This is a fire hazard.
Ceilings – Repairing or Rebuilding
Homes that don’t have sheetrock ceilings probably have tile or ceiling board. The ceiling tiles are generally 16" or 4′ wide and run the width of the home. Some types of ceiling tiles are held up with screws and rosettes. Other types are screwed up at the seams and then the seams are covered with a plastic spline.
If the tile has become wet due to a ceiling leak and has sagged (left picture), the sag will generally not come out. Very slight sags may be corrected by wetting the tile with a spray bottle, pushing up and holding for several days. No guarantee that it will work. Below is another way to fix the sagging seam that’s pictured to the left.
A more forceful option is to push the panels up at the seams using boards. At the seams of each panel is a truss. The boards can be pulled into place using long screws. Either the ceiling panels will pull up into place or break (depending upon how deep the sag was). Of course to make everything look symmetrical, you could add these boards to every seam in the room. Paint and stain before screwing them up. The picture to the left shows the sagging seam (pictured above) pulled and secured together with the board.
When a ceiling tile becomes damaged, replacing it can be a real headache. The first headache is finding ceiling tile to match. Many types of tile are unavailable, and if it were available installation is a real challenge due to the length. In fact, just getting a ceiling tile into a room may be challenging. So if you can’t replace the tile(s), your only option is to build a new ceiling. Three types of ceilings are commonly installed in manufactured homes – suspended, sheetrock and paneled.
Suspended ceilings are tile set in a grid work. Tile sizes are either 2’x2′ or 2’x4′. All kinds of textures are available. The suspended ceiling can be installed just below the existing ceiling. However, any of the old ceiling that is loose or hanging should be removed to prevent it from falling or pushing on the new suspended ceiling. To install, first hang your grids with wire fastened to the old ceiling then drop in the tile. There is no special instructions to installing a false ceiling. Most likely the store you buy the grid and tiles from will have details.