Repairing a Mobile Home

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
April 17, 2008

Mobile HomeThis great site has everything for the mobile home owner, from history, to parts and great articles to a forum for questions and answers about mobile home problems. It's called They sell a wonderful manual for repairing mobile homes for $29.95 and a manual for additions and roofed porches too. Plus, they offer information on hard-to-get parts for MHs. They even sell parts to fix Underbellies. There's also an abundance of info about going Solar. I'm especially fond of the "Decorating Forum"


Source: FORUM:

By Cyinda from Seattle

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10 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 28, 2007

I'm a social security senior and live in a mobile home in Central California because it's the best I can afford. It's nice, but 30 years old.

I've already painted over all the old paneling, with an off-white throughout, which is okay but not creative. The kitchen cabinet doors, when put back on, did not go back on squarely so that the cabinet doors that face each other in the middle don't square up precisely, leaving an unsightly uneven gap and pulls uneven horizontally. Know what I mean?

I cannot afford new cabinets, which I would prefer, but I would like to somehow camouflage (or fix) the cheap/tacky look in my kitchen, particularly of the cabinet doors not fitting. Thinking of painting (or something) the cabinet drawers and doors with a color or pattern that would not draw the eye to the defects. Any ideas?

Oven and fridge are black, going to paint the stove top and d/w black, cabinets and wall are white, sink is yellow, and counter top is yellow marbled-look formica. Like to continue my rooster decor, which is currently only in the curtains and a strip of wall paper border in the adjoining 'family room', using dark reds, black, wheat, amber (yellow), etc. Floor is white patterned linoleum that I want to change because it's so cheap and easily bruised. It was probably just put in to sell the place.

Would appreciate any thrifty ideas.


Wondernana from Clovis, California


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 169 Posts
October 28, 20070 found this helpful

Would it be feasible to remove the doors which don't fit right? You see a lot of open cabinets on the shows on HGTV. Do you have a handy nephew or grandson who might come over and take them down and put them back so they will fit? As for the rooster decor you might want to incorporate some philodendron in rooster pots or even an indoor herb garden. Plants do wonders for a kitchen and don't cost a great deal. Sometimes I bum cuttings from friends and family. My husband and I are also SS recipients and have learned to pinch those pennies really hard.

By (Guest Post)
October 29, 20070 found this helpful

I think it might be cute to find some fabric with a rooster pattern or the right colors and make curtains instead of the doors that don't square up.

By c_a_ss (Guest Post)
October 29, 20070 found this helpful

You can cover a lot of things with inexpensive contact paper and cut out roosters and place them on the walls cabinets etc. Also since the kitchens tend to be small three boxes of self stick tile would work great.

By Gertrude (Guest Post)
October 30, 20070 found this helpful

I alive in a mobile home in NC and I redid my kitchen. I painted all my cabinets white, and used black hardware that I had repainted from their original brass finish. I found, too, that some of the cabinet doors did not fit right when returned to their place. My husband adjusted the hinges a little and it worked.


You can find art work really cheap. Look for outdated calendars or they can be bought at dollars stores. My countertops are a laminate and we are not able to redo them yet. so I just painted the edges a white like the cabinets and scrubbed the counters down and they look like new. Hope this helps.

By (Guest Post)
October 30, 20070 found this helpful

For the floor, you may want to consider the stick down linoleum tiles. They have come a long way in the past few years and can be applied right over the existing floor.

By CArol in PA (Guest Post)
October 30, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with the previous post that you might be able to take off some of the doors to your cupboards. As she mentioned that is very stylish now. Also, I have had good luck with trading doors from one cupboard to another. So you might try that. Another idea I had was to hang a piece of pretty cloth to cover the opening of the cupboard that doesnt have a door. This is used in country style decorating which you already have implemented with your rooster theme.


Search thrift shops for tablecloths or sheets you can use for this purpose. Perhaps even a dollar store tea towel would have a fresh look to it.

YOu can use sheets or other fabric to cover panelling if you like. You dip it in starch and hang it like wallpaper. Of course, the ridges will show anyway unless you are able to fill them.

By Gertrude (Guest Post)
October 30, 20070 found this helpful

I recently fixed up my kitchen in my mobile home in Ocean Isle, NC and this is what I did. My walls are painted a light brown (paint is the cheapest decorating tool). I painted all my cabinets white (I had to prime first) and then took all my brass hardware and painted it black. My floors are a vinyl (but look like tiles) that I got as a remnant at Lowe's, and they are in a light brown/darker brown swirl. I collect strawberry items and my curtains have strawberries but there is a brown in the baskets that some of the berries are in.


We kept our laminate countertop because of budget restrictions, but I cleaned it up and painted the edges white to match my cabinets. They look almost new. Use pictures from old magazines or even calendars that can be bought at dollar stores for art. You can even frame them to look more expensive. Nobody has to know! Have fun. It's your kitchen - do it your way!

October 30, 20070 found this helpful

MartyD's idea of open cabinets would be a great idea! Just take off the door hardware and fill the holes with wood putty. To stick with the rooster motif, get some wallpaper border with roosters on it and let your imagination run wild! Double faced tape and a pair of scissors would be the weapons of choice for that project. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens... We should be happy with them!

By denise w (Guest Post)
November 12, 20070 found this helpful

Hi. I read your post and when I was at an auction the other night, bought some foam adhesive on a a roll. I thought this would really fit the bill on this problem. So if you still have the problem, go to the local hardware or walmart and ask for foam on a roll. What makes this so good is it has tape on it already and when the cabinets close there will be no gaps.

By wondernana (Guest Post)
November 13, 20070 found this helpful

I so appreciate all these ideas. Many thanks. Wondering how adhesive/foam on a roll could be used as suggested by denise w. Can anyone explain this to me?

January 14, 20081 found this helpful

I am posting two feedbacks so I can post two pictures. The kitchen in my son's house was the worst I'd seen in a long time. The cabinets doors were old, chipped and outdated and had missing doors. The counter tops were scarred and sections of the turquoise laminate had come loose and fallen off, probably back in the 70's. After a couple years, I asked my daughter-in-law if I could update her kitchen.

I went to Lowes (the only home improvement store in my small lake resort town in Texas) to get supplies. I found ceramic mosaic tile, and because random pieces were broken, I bought 12"x12" tile for the counter tops for $1 each. Then we cut out all chipped tiles and replaced them with unbroken pieces from "donor" tiles. I tiled right over the old laminate countertop. First, I clean with TSP, score and scratch the laminate to give the adhesive more tooth. I have tiled numerous countertops using this method and have never had a single tile come loose.

For the cabinets, we painted the frames and doors. Then I bought two rolls of thick, prepasted wallpaper that looked like bead board and we pasted it onto the door and drawer fronts and even pasted it onto the interiors of the cabinets so they would also look clean and fresh. I used a clear wallpaper paste for good adhesion and very sharp razor blades for clean cuts. This wallpaper is thick and highly scrubbable. I even tested it by using scouring powder on the surface and it wasn't damaged.

I used inexpensive white vinyl floor tiles to make the shelves of the upper cabinets look clean and new. Upper cabinets are 12" deep, so very little cutting was necessary.
You just peel off the paper and stick them down onto the old wood surface.

I then found door and drawer pulls on closeout for 43 cents each. For the backsplash I bought inexpensive tile to mix with the mosaic because I didn't have enough of the countertop tiles to do the entire project.

January 14, 20081 found this helpful

My first post actually is below this one, but I wanted to post a second picture of the stove area.

I bought a 12" wide base cabinet and inserted in between the stove and the wall. The stove had always floated in the space and food and spills would run down the sides of the stove and onto the floor. The stove then wasn't centered under the overhead cabinets, so I asked my son to make a spice rack. Because I had run out of the countertop tile, I used a thick piece of pine from an IKEA table for the countertop over the new base cabinet.

I splurged and bought about $10 worth of slate mosaic tile for the backsplash behind the stove. We cut it into strips for an accent border, because I didn't have enough of the countertop tile, and I had bought every tile Lowe's had in stock.

When my son came home from work, he actually thought we had used real beadboard on the door and drawer fronts. He had to touch them before he would believe it was "just" wallpaper. My daughter-in-law is really happy with the results, and it only took a couple days to paint, paper, tile and grout.

January 15, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for all these ideas. Hope to be able to put them to use soon. We're dealing with some issues at this time that preclude us from thinking about much of anything else but survival. But hope to be using some ideas here within the next year. I really do need someone like Koiflowers around with imagination and skills to get me started. Going to see if I can print these posts and keep them in hard copy until I can use them. Thanks again, everyone.


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April 3, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for the"bead board"wallpaper look.Two other ideas for cupboard doors 1.that chalk board paint and 2.cork.
Thanks to all for these wonderful ideas.

By Laura (Guest Post)
April 22, 20080 found this helpful


Not sure if you updated your cabinets or not, but here is a link to what I did. I also attached a before pic.

February 24, 20120 found this helpful

The ideas you provide will make a normal kitchen to a very elegant and handy kitchen for cooking lovers.

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January 10, 2008

We live in a double-wide and the trim needs to be replaced! Does anyone have any experience with the Styrofoam crown molding? I would appreciate tips on using it as well as trimming baseboards and door facings in the mobile home.

Beth from Lexington, OK


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January 10, 20080 found this helpful

Styrofoam crown molding is easily cracked or broken and dented. I'd try some other type before replacing old molding with the same stuff even if it means only being able to do a room or two until later.

By Michele (Guest Post)
January 11, 20080 found this helpful

Lorilie is correct about it denting/breaking...BUT we remodeled our single wide home with it and have had good luck. If you have small children or animals it might damage easy. We have teenagers and cats and haven't had problems. Just make sure if you use it you secure it well to the wall and cut the joints correctly for a good fit. We have used it around doorways, chair rail, and baseboards.

Good luck

By Memere (Guest Post)
January 11, 20081 found this helpful

Try going to a supply store specifically for Mobile Homes. If you live in an area where mobile homes are common, there should be at least one store in your vicinity. They can advise you as to the best materials to use and what will stand up and what won't. If what they sell is too pricey for you, go either to a home style store (i.e. Lowes) or do a search online for companies that sell the products you will need.

By Dianne (Guest Post)
April 5, 20080 found this helpful

Great prices on mobile home supplies including trim and moulding!

August 17, 20130 found this helpful

Yes, replacing mobile home trim can be a nightmare. It is hard to find studs and miss nailing into wires. Creative Crown have a very good styrofoam crown molding.
Check them out. They should be able to help you. Their molding is easy to cut and install.

September 3, 20230 found this helpful

Beware of the mobile home specialty stores! Their prices aren't pocket friendly and I can usually find what I'm looking for at Home Depot or Lowe's for far less money. The only thing that I could ever see myself buying from those specialty stores are doors, and boy howdy are you going to pay for it! We had to buy an interior door, due to an enthusiastic relative who opened the door too far and too fast! Punched a hole the exact size of the door stopper right into it! Teenagers! Anyway, that door was 2 1/2" short from the top and 4" width wise. Think I could have gotten away with something off the shelf from HD or L? Nope. Their special order doors stopped just short of fitting. The cost of a special order from a MH store was $350 for a hollow core door, and then we got soaked again to have it installed! Buyer beware!

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January 30, 2010

What is the best thing to do with walls in a double wide trailer? They have those textured wallpapered walls in them. Do they paint well? Should I cover them with drywall? All I know is they are ugly. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

By harleegirl2270 from Ashland, VA


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January 31, 20100 found this helpful

Another mobile home question, LOL! There's a great forum for help on mobile home decorating, repair, etc., which I found here on I live in a mobile home, and I'm still learning about it, so I don't know the answer to your question. However, you'll find people who can answer you, at this site:

(I'm not spamming or anything, I just don't want to give any mobile home advice that would do more harm than good. So it's best to ask the people who know more about these homes than I do.)

January 31, 20100 found this helpful

I painted over mine with latex paint a few years ago and I haven't had a problem.


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February 4, 20100 found this helpful

Painting them works just fine and being that they are textured they'll look really nice using your favorite color(s). Many people pay a lot of money to have that textured look ;-)

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October 6, 2009

How do I repair a double wide manufactured home that is separating?

By TeresaR from Prescott Valley, AZ


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October 8, 20090 found this helpful

This sounds like a foundation problem to me (I had a one car garage doing that and it was the foundation causing it) but you really should speak to an expert. There is one really nice man online where you can possibly get a free opinion. Be patient if it takes him awhile to answer.

Click on the 'Ask Tim' button in the yellow strip towards the top of the web page. Good luck and let us know what you find out :-) He also sends out newsletters every now and then that you can sign up to receive. He's very personable and I would trust his advice.

May 28, 20230 found this helpful

There is not a yellow strip that says "ask Tim"


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May 30, 20230 found this helpful

The website appears to have been updated since this comment was left. But I see a mailbox that says "Ask Tim" at the top right of the page.

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August 14, 2009

We have a double wide mobile home. In the living room, across the ceiling the board that covers the joint is not flush. On one end it's flush, but in the middle it starts to separate. I can't stand this open hole in my house.

How can I fix this and have it stay for a while as the home shifts? I thought about spray foam, but it gets ridged and will crack also. Any help would be great. Thanks.

Connie from AR

By connie


August 14, 20090 found this helpful

You will need a old extension shower curtain rod, if it will reach that far, or else get someone to make you a support with a 2x4 long enough to reach, and a pc across the end to press the board up (I have had the same problem on my double wide as well!). Then get some Liquid nails at Walmart, and a good ladder. Squeeze the liquid nails into the space. Don't worry about taking the board down. Then press it back into place, using the 2x4 or extension rod to hold the board in place until it dries. Keep an old rag close by to wipe out any oozing that may come out. We fixed ours like this, and you can't tell there was ever a problem.

August 15, 20090 found this helpful

Once you get the board back in place you could also take some stained 1x4 lumber and affix them over all the joints in the room to give it an exposed beam look to keep the problem from coming back. This is really easy to do and inexpensive, especially with an air nailer.

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May 1, 2019

My double wide is separating at the seam it was put together with. Is it cost effective to fix it or move? I purchased it from the mobile resort I live in 3 years ago.


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May 1, 20190 found this helpful

According to this article, it is a job for a contractor. The home has to be re-leveled and joints have to be tightened.

I would call a contractor in for an estimate and then decide whether staying or moving is better for you.

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October 31, 2014

My 14 year old home has a crack in the stucco ceiling the width of hall (4ft approx.), where hall meets living room. It was fixed before by the manufacturer, but cracked when the seasons changed and the home shifted. I have no experience with renovation. I am an elderly lady and will likely get someone to come fix it, but can't afford errors. Where do I start and what do I need to know? Thankyou for your insight.

By Cindy N


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November 2, 20140 found this helpful

I suspect if it has cracked twice now, and does so everytime that that the seasons change and your home shifts, that you should just learn to live with that crack. There is no way to fix it so it won't crack if it does so whenever your house shifts. If you decided to improve the foundation your home sits upon, so that it didn't shift, than you might have a chance. Now, I am no home reno expert, but it seems to me that you have described a situation that is unfixable. The problem you describe is exactly the reason that mobile homes used to have ceilings made from "wallboard", rather than gyprock and textured paint.

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April 30, 2010

We bought a 1990 Patriot double wide two months ago. It's very drafty and out of curiosity we looked under the siding. To our surprise it was cardboard! There is insulation under the cardboard. Shouldn't the walls be made out of wood or something stronger than cardboard?

By Jamie from Wayland, MI


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May 3, 20100 found this helpful

I have lived in several mobile homes, and they were all made out of wood, more or less like a house. There is something fishy going on with yours, I would think. It sounds like some sort of "fix" that the former homeowners have done.

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November 13, 2013

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep the underpinning on a mobile home secure in place? My chocolate lab puppy (which is the size of a small horse) will not stop busting it in. I'm worried she will mess up all the duct work and AC wiring down there. Similarly, if the west Texas wind hits, or a child throws a ball into it, well let's just say you have to re-underpin half of the trailer. Any suggestions?

By Shana

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