How to Level a Double Wide Mobile Home
The idea of mobile homes as an alternative to conventional houses has piqued the interest of the world. More and more people are now considering shifting to prefabricated houses for many different reasons. For instance, mobile homes are more simplistic and self-sustaining – they give you the freedom to decide upon and utilize your resources. Seeing others own a house is pretty inspiring.
WHAT ARE DOUBLE-WIDE MOBILE HOMES?
With an instant boom, these mobile homes began to attract attention across the globe. From tiny houses (such as those used in Mobile Homes in Australia) with a reasonably small space, manufacturers began to produce many variations and sizes to meet the customers’ needs. Double-wide mobile homes measure about 20 feet (6.1 m) in width and 90 feet (27 m) in length. The size allows for the feel of being in a mobile home but gives the family more space to enjoy the convenience of living in a conventional home.
Regardless of the perks of living in mobile homes, these houses are not immune to overtime degradation. In most cases, mobile homes are even more susceptible to settling due to several reasons, such as time and extreme weather conditions. When left unattended, the damage worsens, turning your house into a nightmare of squeaking floors and cracking kitchen.
WHY YOU SHOULD LEVEL YOUR HOUSE
Occasional squeaks and hard-to-close cabinets and doors are some early red flags you should watch out for – it’s the house screaming for help. However, you need not get upset about how much you think it would cost you to level your home. It is natural that certain materials such as untreated wood get damaged over time, either by accident or environmental reasons. Leveling your home is essential for several reasons.
- Prevention is better than cure.
This adage not only speaks about our health but also about the things we value. When you notice the red flags mentioned above, it is time to find out the root cause and deal with it promptly. You will not only get rid of the annoying squeaks, but you also save the house from further damage.
- Avoid complications.
The settling of your floor might affect the electric wirings and pipes installed within your floor or walls. Dealing with this saves you from the expensive mitigation once your plumbing and electrical installations get damaged as well.
- Avoid accidents.
There may be a time that your floor couldn’t take it much longer, and slabs begin to break, or your pillars break through your floor. It’s worse enough in the imagination.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
With the tools you need, the required materials for replacements, and the amount of work involved in re-leveling your double-wide, you can expect to have a hefty amount of cash on hand. In metropolitan areas, the whole re-leveling process may cause you around $800 to $1000, especially if you seek a professional or company to do the job for you. You can significantly reduce the expenses of doing the job yourself, although you’d still need an extra hand to assist you.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IT
Reasonable effort and proper tools make for an excellent outcome. Before hopping onto re-leveling your home, make sure that you have the following tools to make sure that you can do the job quickly and correctly.
1. Shims – Shims are tiny pieces of wood placed between the beam and pillar to level your home.
2. Mobile jack – If you don’t have this yet, you better get one. You will need this tool to lift your home to access the parts that need leveling.
3. Six-foot level – This is an essential tool to check which parts of your house need adjusting.
4. Hammer – You are going to use this to secure the shims in place.
5. Flashlight – You can never go wrong with a handy flashlight when accessing the deeper, darker parts of your house that need adjustments.
6. Hard hat, eye gear, handwork gloves – Make it a habit to always wear protective equipment when working with anything related to building and repairing.
7. Woodblock – This tool may not be that essential, but it pays to have one when you need to secure something (like the mobile jack) in the process.
8. Chalk/markers – Markers are also essential because they let you point out which parts need to be adjusted.
THE LEVELING PROCESS
Now that you have the proper tools and knowledge for the job, it’s time to go through the step-by-step process of re-leveling your double-wide home.
Step 1. Put on your suit.
As mentioned, make it a habit to don a protective suit and gear before doing any significant projects in your home. With protective equipment, you can assure your safety while doing the job, and you can perform more confidently, as you do not worry about incidents that may put you in bad shape.
Step 2. Remove blockage.
Most double-wide houses have skirting. If your home does have one, gently remove the skirting to access the beams and pillars under your house. Place them away somewhere so you can deal with the matter unhindered. Be careful when removing them, though, so you put them back on later undamaged.
Step 3. Secure the pipes and wirings.
Before performing the actual leveling, check your plumbing and electrical installations for possible contact or collision with the beam. Nudging the house’s beams might give your pipes a severe crack, and you don’t want that to happen. Also, check for some wrapped or tangled electric wires around the beams. You might want to undo them first before doing your thing.
Step 4. Evaluate your house’s leveling.
In this process, you will need your six-foot level to check which pillars required adjustment. This step is crucial, as you have to be very careful and precise in determining the leveling of your house. Moving from one post to the next can be challenging, so you have to do it slowly but surely.
Bring your flashlight, chalk or marker, and six-foot level with you. Starting from the house’s center, move from one pillar down to the next. Measure the level of each pillar and marking those that needed replacement or adjustment. Make sure to leave no pillar unchecked!
Step 5. Elevate the beam.
This phase requires your utmost patience and care, as things can be pretty dangerous down there. Once you have checked the pillars to be adjusted, it is time to elevate the beam to put the shims in place between the beam and pillar.
Using the jack, raise the beam gently, and while doing so, place the six-foot level against the beam to keep track of the leveling. Once the tool indicates balance, stop the elevation and secure the jack.
Step 6. Put the shims in place.
Place the shim between the beam and the supporting pillar with your house raised to the ideal level. It would help if you had an assistant to do the process. To secure the shim, use a hammer and pound until you are pretty sure it’s perfectly fixed and locked in.
Step 7. Reevaluate the home.
After doing the raising and re-leveling, go back to step 4 and re-examine your home’s leveling. It will help you make sure that you did an excellent job in your DIY project. Recheck the plumbing and electrical installations and make sure that they have not suffered any damage during the process. If you think you somehow damaged any of your installations and are unsure how to fix it, leave it to the professionals.
Step 8. Reattach the skirting.
Once everything is clear, and you are 100% sure of your work, reattach the skirting you removed in step 1. After securing the skirting, move around and far from the house and take pride in your successful DIY project!
As a homeowner, especially a double-wide mobile home, knowing how to troubleshoot your house’s structural issues is a huge advantage. It saves you time and a hefty amount of cash. Mobile homes are pretty low-maintenance and cost-efficient – add your DIY knowledge and creativity, and you can turn your mobile house into a pleasant, livable household.