Fixer Upper Mobile Homes: Before And After You Buy

Fixer-Upper Mobile Homes Feature Image

Buying and owning a home is usually an exciting experience. But not all kinds of homes give that satisfaction, at least not until the homeowner puts some work into them. Unless you are buying a new mobile home, there is a high chance you will be doing some fixing. However, there are less-than-perfect mobile homes that are going to need a little elbow grease before you can call it a home. We’ll share a few tips and tricks to help homeowners with these fixer-upper mobile homes.

Fixer-Upper Mobile Homes Feature Image

Benefits of fixer-upper mobile homes

Don’t worry, just because it needs some TLC does not mean that the mobile home isn’t worth it. On the contrary, you get to buy it at a significantly low price. By upgrading it, you can make it a gorgeous home worth so much more. Despite the fact that fixer-upper mobile homes can be daunting, they provide the opportunity for a buyer to build their dream home. A true visionary is not bothered by the clutter; they can see the gem that the house will be once they’re finished with it.

Assess the mobile home’s condition

First impressions count, but you need to see beyond what’s visible. A tidy home means that the owners were probably up-to-date with repairs and maintenance, but a poorly kept home can indicate that there’s a lot more hidden underneath that you can’t see. You need to do an inspection, and some of the necessary things to look for are:

  • Building codes
  • Wiring
  • Water leaks
  • Plumbing
  • Structural design
  • Foundation
  • Uneven floors
  • Drooping ceilings
  • Sagging roof
  • Window and Door Functionality
  • Piers
  • Underbelly

You can hire an inspector who will give you a complete rundown of all the repairs that will be needed. With an inspector, you have a better chance of negotiating with the seller.

When you eventually close the deal

To gut or not to gut

Purchasing a fixer-upper mobile home means that your home may be in need of extreme repair. If the condition of the mobile home is severe, you may want to consider gutting the mobile home and starting from scratch. You can remove carpet by cutting it into long strips with a utility knife and carefully rolling it up to make disposal easier. If you decide to replace the drywall, remove the baseboard first. Then use a pry bar to loosen the drywall from the wall. Be careful to remove all of the nails so that you don’t leave any unnecessary hazards lying around!

The flooring

Old mobile homes tend to have the cheapest flooring materials available: particle board. This kind of flooring is easily damaged, especially by moisture. It’s likely that you will need to repair it. Repairing this type of floor is an easy task because all you need to do is lay new plywood on top of the damaged particle boards. Plywood rated for outdoor use is usually better.

Once done, you can then put carpet or tile of your choice on top of that. You should consider children and pets when choosing between carpet and tiles. When replacing your bathroom flooring, you will need material like vinyl that will be more resistant to water and moisture. Should you decide to cut out any damaged floor patches and replace with plywood, be careful not to damage the underlying joists because that will compromise the structural integrity of your home.


Inspect the mobile home siding materials and current damages to decide how much repairs you need to do. Note any missing siding and take measurements. Buy repair supplies from your local mobile home supply retailer or do it online if the materials are not available locally. Take a sample with you to the store to match the materials by color, weight, style, and grain. Create a seamless look when you replace the missing siding by attaching it the same way as the others. Ensure you leave room for expansion.


Window problems always fall into two categories. Either the panes are broken, or the window frames have problems. If the glass is broken, then you can easily replace it, but if you have frame problems, you will need to replace the whole window. Fixing one pane can be fairly inexpensive if you are handy enough to do it yourself. If not, you may consider replacing the entire window because it will be about the same as the cost of a professional repair.

broken window

Roof Repair

This is the one aspect you should not overlook because even the smallest water leak can cause extensive damage in a short amount of time. Look for any holes and fix them, ASAP. Whether to repair or replace will depend on the state of the roof. If you can find and fix a few leaks, then you won’t need to replace it. However, if the roof is leaking in multiple places and showing signs or deformity or sagging, you should replace it. If the roof is a rubber EPDM, you can use a peel-and-seal tape for repairs. Make sure you apply Waterbound primer first to help the tape adhere well. You might also consider a roof-over.

Door Repairs

The exterior door is a barrier against the weather, and you need it in tip-top shape if you don’t want to lose heat in winter and AC in summer. This will help avoid high energy bills. Fortunately, repairing a door is an easy task. If the door does not fit into the jam like it’s supposed to, something must have shifted over time. Usually, this is a sign that the hinges are not holding it at a proper angle. In this case, you can tighten the loose hinges or replace them entirely.

If the door does not fit after these changes, it might have been the wall that shifted, which will require professional attention. If the knob is stuck, try lubricating it and if that doesn’t work, replace the knob. Check to see if the weather stripping needs replacing. If the door is warped or bulging, you might need to replace the whole door.

Kitchen and Bathroom Repairs

Simple cosmetic changes will help transform your fixer-upper mobile home to a dream home. Changing the lighting and fixtures in your bathroom and kitchen can do wonders. You can also update countertops and replace cabinet doors to give the rooms a facelift.



Fixer-upper mobile homes are bound to have ugly exterior walls with peeling paint. You’ll probably want to upgrade them and make them look brand new. Painting is an easy DIY project. Make sure the walls are clean before you paint. Choose different colors for the body and the trim to make it stand out.

Skirting Repair

If there are several holes on the vinyl skirting, make sure to patch them up. You’ll want to do this before winter when little critters start looking for warm places to hide. Also, your plumbing runs under the mobile home, so you want to protect that. If the skirting is irreparable, then you can replace it with stronger materials like Reil Rock or Novik Stone.

Is a fixer-upper mobile home for you?

We hope these tips and tricks for fixer-upper mobile homes have given you a better idea of what you need to consider before purchasing one. Regardless of what you decide to renovate first, you can make any fixer-upper mobile home into a gorgeous space with a little bit of vision, creativity, and smart budgeting.

About Dan Paton

Dan Paton has been working full-time in this field for over a decade. Both him and his partner, Dan Leighton, formed EZ Homes back in 2006 and have seen explosive growth ever since. Dan works heavily in the administrative role within the organization. He is a jack of all trades type of guy. Dan and his wife have 4 children.

Written by Dan Paton

Dan Paton has been working full-time in this field for over a decade. Both him and his partner, Dan Leighton, formed EZ Homes back in 2006 and have seen explosive growth ever since. Dan works heavily in the administrative role within the organization. He is a jack of all trades type of guy. Dan and his wife have 4 children.

October 4, 2017