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How Long do Mobile Homes Last

How Long do Mobile Homes Last

Mobile homes are a good alternative for homeowners who are looking for affordable and quality housing. They can last for 30-50 years with good repair and proper maintenance.

Today, people have become more price-conscious when it comes to what they purchase without having to sacrifice its quality. The same principles apply when looking for a home, especially in this economy. One has to be smart when looking for a home. Not to mention the heavy competition in the market.

That is why there is renewed interest in tiny living and mobile homes as they are cheaper alternatives. 

But are they cheap? How long do mobile homes last? Are they worth it?

What is a Mobile Home?

Mobile homes are manufactured homes. 

The US Census defines a manufactured mobile home as a movable dwelling with eight feet or more wide and forty feet or more long. It is designed to be towed using its chassis with its transportation gear, and does not need a permanent foundation. They are built-in factories and would be taken to one’s property to set them up.  

This type of home follows the building code set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

But manufactured homes are not mobile homes depending on what year they are produced. On a technical basis, manufactured homes are called manufactured homes if they are built after 1976, following federal rules set by HUD, anything built before that is called mobile homes.

What are the Different Types of Mobile Homes?

There are at least two different types of mobile homes:

  • Single wide mobile home - is the smallest one with a length of 27 meters or 90 feet (or less) and a width of 4.4 meters or 18 feet (or less). This mobile home type can be towed as single units to specific sites.

  • Double-wide mobile home - has a bigger width at 20 feet or more and has a length of 90 feet. As it is double in size, double-wide mobile homes are moved to the property as two separate units and will be pieced together on-site.

But for those who are thinking that they can further downsize, another option has risen besides these mobile homes. This option is called tiny homes as they come between 100 to 400 square feet. Human ingenuity and resourcefulness are also showcased in tiny homes as occupants downsize and find ways to store their belongings in such a tight space. 

Tiny home living not only promotes having a simple lifestyle while being eco-friendly. Owners have started using renewable sources of energy to lessen their expenses while enjoying a comfortable life.

An example of this is Nature’s Generator Home365, designed to provide a feel of having a full-sized home. This tiny home is equipped with its Powerhouse system to deliver its occupant's energy needs which can be expanded if required.

Mobile Home - Nature's Generator Home365

How Long Do Mobile Homes Last?

On average, mobile homes can last between 30-50 years just like a traditional home. But different factors make them last. One of them is through the strict manufacturing rules and standards set by the HUD.

With the 1976 regulations, the HUD tag or label was introduced. If it doesn’t have a small red square tag (older HUD tags also come in silver and pink) at the back of the structure, then it is likely to be built before 1976. This meant that one can’t be sure of their quality. 

The HUD tag assures buyers that the mobile home they are buying is long-lasting and of the highest quality. The tag represents the fact that manufacturers have followed the country’s regulatory standard when it comes to:

  • Fire Resistance - mobile homes should be built using materials that produce less smoke, equipped with smoke detectors with working batteries, and have two exterior doors. Rooms are designed for quick exits in case of fire.
  • Permanent Steel Chassis - All mobile homes should have a pre-installed permanent steel chassis attached to their underside for easy transport.

Besides being HUD compliant, mobile homes also follow local building codes to ensure they can withstand the native climate and endure for a long time. For example, for those living near the coastline, mobile homes must have added reinforcements to withstand strong winds or at least give the people inside time to leave. Meanwhile, for those living in colder climates, mobile homes should be well insulated to contain heat and reinforced roofs against snow accumulation.

Installation and Maintenance: Keys to Prolonging A Mobile Home’s Life Expectancy

There are two sets of checklists to ensure the longevity of one’s mobile home. 

The first one is the installation checklist:

  • Location - pick the right location. The location where one will stay or install the mobile home plays a huge role in determining how big or what type of mobile home to get. Does the area have a high humidity? If the area is not exposed to high humidity, then there’s less worry of materials warping or degrading.

  • Soil Type - though soil testing is best done for bigger projects such as a high-rise building, it doesn’t hurt to check the property’s soil type. There are different kinds of soils which mean various load-bearing capacities.

  • Water Damage - check for any holes on the roof after installation to prevent any leakage when it rains.

  • Foundation issues - Double-check if the mobile home is installed correctly, meaning it is leveled and anchored to the foundation property. Also, take note of stubborn doors or windows, unlevel floors, sagging ceilings or walls, leakage, musty smell, or cracks in the floors/walls are telltale signs that there’s a problem with the foundation.

  • Quality - Read reviews and ask questions on the materials used to make the mobile home. Poorly constructed mobile homes can have a shorter lifespan and would perform badly against natural wear and tear.

By proactively checking these things, one can prevent spending more money before and after installation.

The maintenance checklist:

  • HVAC System - all homes require a good ventilation and heating system to provide continued warmth and comfort to their occupants. Scan for any damages to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Proper ventilation reduces the risk of mold or mildew from forming due to humidity. 
  • Inspect walls and roof for any holes or cracks and address them immediately to prevent any significant damage. 
  • Check the plumbing and electrical systems. Make sure that the electrical wirings are good and there’s no leak or block on the plumbing system. 
  • Pest infestation - wood-destroying insects and termites can quickly damage one’s home.  
  • Exterior - regularly cleaning and washing the home’s exterior would keep the grime and dust away. Re-painting its walls can also give it a facelift or new life.

These are just some of the things to look at when it comes to proper repair and regular maintenance to ensure that one’s mobile home is always in good shape. Don’t procrastinate on working any damages on one’s mobile home. Fix them quickly to avoid an even more expensive

Final Thoughts

Mobile homes have become a smart and less expensive alternative for many homeowners, who want to live in a quality home while saving money. And, they can last for 30-50 years when properly and regularly maintained.

 

 

* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Cris Ilao, contributed research and content to this blog titled: How Long do Mobile Homes Last Thank you, Cris, for your contributions!