How to Remodel and Secure a Manufactured Home

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A manufactured home is a single-family house built entirely in a controlled factory, and then delivered to its destination. This differs from a “site built” home, which is, as the name implies, built on site. Living in a manufactured home (sometimes called a mobile home) certainly has its advantages, like the ability to move your entire house within a matter of days, and a much lower cost of living. But manufactured homes are by nature far less secure than site built homes because they are not constructed with their environment in mind as the environment is ever changing. But there are ways you can remodel your manufactured home to make it more secure. Here are some of the security risks that come with manufactured homes, and how to address them.

“Warping” caused by the elements

Since mobile homes are often only one story tall, and mobile home lots are far from tall buildings, mobile homes don’t get the same protection from the elements that homes in busier, multiple-story neighborhoods do. That means your home is hit more by sun, rain and other elements that can alter the materials and “warp” parts of your home. When something is warped, essentially it has moved slightly or changed in shape. This can be problematic for entryways because if a doorway or window frame has warped, the door or window may not fit properly into the frame anymore, making it easier to break into. If you notice any of your doors or windows have been warped, you can try to straighten them by removing them, laying them flat, and placing concrete blocks or heavy items on them, but you may just have to replace them. The important thing is having doors and windows that fit tightly into their frames.

Hollow/loose doors and windows

Manufactured homes typically come with hollow doors, which are easy to break through. Replace your hollow doors (at least at the entrances to the house) with solid doors. Doors can often come slightly unhinged during transportation, so make sure all doors are secured on their hinges. To reinforce any sliding windows, get a dowel rod (this is a solid, cylindrical rod) and place it at the base of the window inside the house. If an intruder breaks the lock, the rod will still stop the door from being slid open. You’ll want to add a square rod above the glass door as well, in case the burglar tries to outsmart the floor rod by lifting the door out of its frame. Re-frame the doorframes in entry doors with metal strips so that all locks and deadbolts are set into metal, rather than wood that can easily break. And on that note, put deadbolts on all exterior doors.

Additional window issues

Once a burglar sees that your entry doors have been secured, he’ll move onto your windows. To reduce the risk of flying glass shards, and an intrusion, apply some type of glass film protection to your windows. Several companies make this type of film, which holds glass shards together in the event of a break in, and are undetectable by the human eye.

Isolation

Living in a manufactured home will often bring you to some remote places. Installing motion detectors and motion sensor lights on your home can pick up any activity around it and notify you of unwanted guests mbefore they’ve reached your doors or windows. Getting severe weather alerts through your security system is also smart when living in a manufactured home, as you may want to move it somewhere it is less vulnerable to the elements. With a wireless security system, you can apply sensors to your windows and doors without having to open up any walls to put in wires. Set up timers on your lights so that it looks as if someone is home, even when you’re not. This is especially important if you currently have no close neighbors and intruders aren’t worried about witnesses.

Valuables

This isn’t necessarily a remodeling tip but it’s an important one if you live in a manufactured home: purchase a small safe for your home. “Small” is the important part because, since manufactured homes unfortunately get eaten up by fires or destroyed by severe weather easily, you want a safe you can pick up and bring with you easily.

Enjoying the low-cost, high-freedom lifestyle a manufactured home affords should not mean compromising your safety. If you make the right revisions to your home, you can feel secure, even in a house that isn’t “secured” to the ground.

Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2015