There is growing interest in the United States in the purchase of mobile homes. This is particularly the case since manufacturing/building regulations were improved and enforced by HUD in 1976. These prefab, somewhat portable units are now owned by roughly 22 million Americans. These units possess increasingly customizable designs, offer efficient living, present buyers with cost savings, and can fit, on average, into a space of approximately 960 square feet.
But what about the curb appeal of manufactured homes? You may have seen any number of mobile or manufactured homes that were slightly lacking where aesthetic appeal was concerned. It’s true, in the looks department, a little help could be given to many manufactured homes. Fortunately, to offset a mobile home’s somewhat boring and boxy exterior, there’s a lot you can do.
There are, however, things you must keep in mind when deciding on and then implementing improvements.
Things to Consider When Thinking About Exterior Improvements
Before you start any exterior upgrades or remodeling, give the following ample consideration:
- When making your plans, think 360°. Don’t just decorate one front or one side. Allow the project to go all the way around your manufactured home.
- Remember that even though you own the home, the land it sits on is likely leased if you live in a community. Know ahead of time exactly what is owned by you, what’s owned by the community, and who’s responsible for the upkeep of every exterior surface or object.
Remember, don’t start spending money on your project until you get permission. According to your HOA or the community’s property management company, there may be some regulations as to what you can and cannot do to the outside of your manufactured home. The following could have restrictions:
- Exterior architectural modifications
- Inground landscaping
- Including decks and porches, distance from the property line for any build-outs
- Modifications to a driveway or carport
- Acceptable screening options
- Siding or paint color pallets
Mobile Home Exterior Enhancements
It’s time to take the exterior appeal of your manufactured home and kick it up a notch. Here are seven suggestions:
- Outdoor Living Space Can Be Maximized
Create a dedicated patio area with some flagstone, bricks, or pavers in an area that is currently unused. Build a fire pit (if allowed), add a grill, an outdoor table, etc.
- Add Plants That Aren’t Situated in the Ground
Unless it’s okay to plant trees and shrubs, go with potted plants around the exterior of your home. Remember hanging plants as well as those in pots.
- Carport Creativity Can Be a Nice Improvement
Try some substantial, sturdy columns or scroll metal supports instead of those chintzy narrow poles supporting your carport.
- Install a Deck or Porch to Replace Plain Steps
To relax outdoors, a space can be created with the addition of a deck. You can create an air deck with built-in seating, a screen-enclosed sunroom, or a pergola for an added element of style.
- Install Skirting
To keep the underside of your home clear of critters, debris, and possibly snow, and to hide the pipes and cement pad foundation under your home, skirting is used. A major visual statement can be made with the right kind of skirting. Beyond the traditional vinyl and lattice choices, you can now enhance your home’s exterior with polyurethane skirting that mimics rock, stone, brick, and more.
- Repair or Repaint Your Siding
Remember to repair cracks in fiber cement, fix/fill aluminum dents, and use new clapboard to patch up any wood siding damage.
- Install a Front Door
Install a front door that is distinctive and matches architectural accents to go with it. Do away with the cookie-cutter look of your home by making it as attractively unique as possible. Use durable, solid awnings, retractable fabric, or classic aluminum awnings to dress up your windows. Also consider adding flower boxes, custom shutters, and more.
As you can see, the possibilities for dressing up the exterior of your manufactured home are nearly endless. You’re only as limited as your imagination and the rules of your mobile home community allow.