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Mobile Home Addition: How to expand a mobile home

Last modified: 2021-06-25 | Approximate reading time 5 mins

Amanda Harvey

If you’re living in a mobile home or you’re in possession of one for traveling, chances are you're already well aware of the benefits. A mobile home is a dream for nomads, travelers, and all those in between. If you’re one of the lucky ones who has access to a mobile home, you may feel a little bit stunned by the size of the structure.

Remember, just because your home is mobile, doesn't mean it can't be renovated to a larger size. If you’re curious about taking on this project but have no idea where to start, we’ve got it covered.

Here’s how to expand a mobile home

To consider before building an addition on a mobile home

mobile home

source: Flickr

Firstly, make sure an addition is within your budget. Home additions are time-consuming and costly, no matter what the size. Carefully map out a budget that includes all material and labour costs.

Another point worth mentioning is that additions should not be attached directly to a mobile house, but should instead be built as a completely separate piece. This piece will then be butted against your mobile home. This is because if the addition is attached to the mobile home itself and the ground beneath it happens to shift or move, the addition will break loose. This can cause it to be destroyed. Therefore, it’s best to allow the addition to stand independently. In this case, make sure to consider if you have the space on your property for a static mobile home addition.

If you're considering taking on this renovation to increase your property value, we'd say this would not be a worthwhile venture. An addition to your mobile home will not increase its resale value, and unless it's permanently installed, it won't be able to exist in a different market.

This is also important in terms of taking out loans to finance the project, as they may be harder to obtain. If your home is already paid for, and you’re not looking for a way to refinance it, then this is a perfectly possible renovation project. Next, we’re going to look at permits and how they work in the world of mobile homes!

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Different types of additions for a mobile home

Additions come in all shapes and sizes, and if you find that your mobile home is simply lacking space you may consider other types of additions. The most important consideration for this project is why you need more space, and thus, the function of the room you plan on building. Maybe you aren’t looking for a permanent sleeping spot, and instead want to build a porch, carport, or deck to extend the exterior areas. If this is the case, bear in mind that these types of additions will require different permits and in many instances, do not need to be weatherized. Also, if you’re working alone or with one contractor, these are the easiest types of additions to complete. 

Another note is that different types of add-ons will require different time periods. For example, a room addition may take anywhere between 1-3 months, whereas building a patio could easily be a weekend project. Thus, consider the time and impact this type of project will have on your life. Take the time to plan and be knowledgeable about what you’re getting yourself into.

Home Addition Permits for Mobile Homes

As a mobile home is mobile, it's governed by different rules than a regular home. This is especially true in the case of renovations. Some municipalities may have strict rules against mobile home renovations, so make sure to do plenty of detailed research before driving in your hammers and nails. If you live outside of a major city, the rules that apply to mobile home renovations may be slightly more lenient. However, within a city, this project will likely involve permits, inspections, and fees. This is why it’s important to talk to as many people as possible about the renovation before moving forward with it.

Making your mobile home addition secure

Once your wants and needs have been determined, you can start to think about the overall structure of the mobile home. Many mobile homes don’t have the same support of a traditional home, such as a basement or even a foundation. Some mobile homes gain their support from the ceiling, moving downwards, while others have no structural support whatsoever. 

Thus, it’s important to keep in mind that any additions or extensions you build should not affect the floors or walls that will structurally weaken them. Make sure if you cause or notice all wall openings, that they’re repaired immediately.

As mentioned, when it comes to building an addition on a mobile home, it will need to sit completely separate from the home itself. Since this is the case, your mobile home addition will require a separate foundation from the main home. A floor will be constructed later to attach the two homes.

The footing area for your mobile home will be determined by the depth of the frost line of your area. This is so that it'll shift as minimally as possible. Further, footers need to be installed below the frost line so that nothing sinks or shifts.

This is paramount to how your addition holds up in the changing seasons and years to come. You’ll need to approach creating your addition's foundation in the same way you did for the one beneath your mobile home, using poured footers, cinder blocks, and slabs to round out the process. If you’ve never built a foundation before, you should check out our article on the subject: How to repair or replace an existing foundation. Although that article pertains to full home foundations themselves, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can be taken away from the article.

When it comes to the framing process, you should also follow the standard techniques of building an addition. Following the building of the addition's frame, make sure that your mobile home is correctly insulated as this will keep the indoor temperatures comfortable!

Other aspects of your mobile home addition


source: unsplash

Windows are an important aspect of your mobile home. Since the space itself will likely be smaller than a regular home, these will have a huge impact on keeping heating and cooling costs. Also, consider the style of your current mobile home: is it cottage-like, rustic, or more modern? Since there aren’t an excessive amount of layers or levels in a mobile home, your windows will have a pretty big impact on the overall feel and design.

Siding is another element to consider for your mobile home addition. Siding not only has an aesthetic value but in fact, will make or break indoor temperatures. Make sure that you consider this when choosing the siding for your addition. Also, working with vinyl, wood or metal will directly depend on your local climate! Do plenty of research leading up to this renovation project, and we’re sure it will go off without a hitch.

Are you preparing a house expansion project? Check out our great guide to house enlargements which contains a checklist that you will be able to use to organize your project. Click here to read it.

Get 3 renovation quotes for your mobile home addition can help you get quotes for your mobile home addition. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals. 

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