Browsed by
Category: Manufactured Homes

Prefabricated Housing Concepts for the Low-Energy Future

Prefabricated Housing Concepts for the Low-Energy Future

As homebuyers up and down the West Coast prepare for a net-zero energy mandate – looming large on California’s horizon – these low-energy manufactured homes are providing a glimpse into of the future modern housing in the Golden State.

 Net Zero Housing Concept

First displayed at the October 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo Held in Los Angeles, a team of engineers and architects produced a modular home comprised of 1,790 ft.². Designed for entertaining and flexible living requirements, the home has movable walls that separates the living room and a secondary bedroom. Providing a variety of floor plan options, the primary wall rotates to display a media screen on one side and art on the other – depending on the guest list at your next party. For the master bedroom, the builders included a Murphy bed that, when put away, provided a fall down – to create an office space.

Flexible and offering incredible versatility, these futuristic modular homes offer an additional 200 to 300 ft.² based on the wall configuration.

Innovative and energy-efficient, these futuristic modular homes include a dishwasher that reuses water from the final rinse cycle for the next load and a “power wall” to store electricity from photovoltaic solar panels.

Though some “forward-thinking” builders are pushing the sustainability envelope—and such a home might be in demand today—it is unlikely that homebuilders en masse will pursue the concept anytime soon, according to the team of developers.

“The rising cost of construction and labor are forcing us to do things in different ways, but unfortunately the homebuilding industry is not quick to adopt change,” noted one of the architects.

Find a Manufactured Home Retailer near You Today

Alabama Prefabricated Housing Industry To Help Harvey Flood Victims

Alabama Prefabricated Housing Industry To Help Harvey Flood Victims

The Alabama Manufactured Housing Industry has responded to a recent “nationwide request” from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

On Thursday, published online reports indicated FEMA has rolled out an industrywide plea for emergency housing to help families displaced by hurricane Harvey in southeastern Texas – and Alabama is answering the challenge.

More than 4,500  prefabricated housing units are required to help throughout southeastern Texas families. Representatives of FEMA  note that a majority of this need will be provided by a prefabricated housing plan located in Alabama – of which, Sunshine Manufactured Homes is one.

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives, approximately 22,000 families are have been displaced by hurricane Harvey. Several of which have already begun the go into the process of requesting disaster help – together with a emergency request for FEMA’s manufactured housing units. A flood of requests (no pun intended) are expected to be returned for processing within the next several days.

Alabama Prefabricated Housing, rolls to the rescue…

In Alabama, there are approximately 12 prefabricated housing plants providing valuable employment opportunities for approximately 4,000 skilled craftsman. According to FEMA, those Alabama manufactured housing plants produced more than 11,000 homes during Louisiana’s recent disaster, not including FEMA’s manufactured housing units. About 70 percent of those homes were exported to other states.

“Our industry is very strong in Alabama, and because of that we are in a position to help,” said Latham. “As one of the top four states in the country for producing manufactured housing, Alabama is uniquely prepared to meet this need.”

FEMA’s MHUs offer a flexible floor plan, generally including one, two or three bedroom floor plans, “depending on the applicant’s pre-disaster household composition.”

Additionally, many, if not all of these units are handicap accessible. Like traditional home stick built homes, today’s modern prefabricated housing is built in a factory environment devoid of costly weather delays. Bought in bulk, the same materials are put together in an assembly line process – saving money and avoiding financially costly delays.

While FEMA may also provide rental assistance, FEMA manufactured housing units can be placed on the applicant’s property and can house displaced families for years while their homes are being rebuilt.

Photo courtesy of Sunshine Homes’ Facebook page

Manufactured Home Community Provides Real-World Solutions

Manufactured Home Community Provides Real-World Solutions

The average first-time guest to a manufactured home community is often surprised when their uneducated stereotypes prove to be erroneous.

Example: In the musical, The Great American Trailer Park, the author paints the manufactured home community as being inhabited by a plethora of underprivileged, lethargic and poorly educated people on the margins. The play’s main character, an exotic dancer, requires “a place to live that’s cheap and private where people got so many problems of their own they won’t much notice mine.”

Manufactured home communities are not a safe harbor for societies rejects. Primarily owner-occupied, manufactured housing units are overwhelmingly occupied by homeowners. More often than not retirees, these owners must be financially dependable, according to many state laws and community standards. Dramatically more affordable than the traditional stick-built home, many households within these communities have the necessary funds to purchase their units outright – while those with steady incomes qualify for home loans.

Seniors citizens specifically find that manufactured homes meet their financial needs.

Per a 2011 American Housing Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 28 percent of manufactured home owners are 65 years old or over. Today’s modern manufactured home communities provide seniors with resort living with a minimal price tag. Modern communities provide active schedules featuring festive dinners and special holiday events. Generally tight knit communities, these mobile home parks are incredibly easy to make new friends. And, because size matters there, these communities feature low-maintenance properties with small yards, allowing for today’s elderly to experience a sense of independent living. Provided a homeowner needs a handyman for a quick repair, there are always skilled neighbors to turn to for help.

Featured in the modern manufactured home community, seniors and their loved ones will find features that are often missing in site-built neighborhoods. Amenities include recreation halls, pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, putting greens and more. More often than not a gated community, Manufactured home neighborhoods offer a reassuring level of safe. Safety features include gated entrances, perimeter fences, lighting and 24-hour staff.

Top benefits of a manufactured home community

  • Fiscally responsible: Manufactured home communities makes dollars and cents for retirees
  • Snowbirds: With relatively low ownership costs, “Snowbirds” can seasonally migrate from colder climates to warmer ones on a budget
  • Amenities: Many manufactured home communities offer access to communal spaces, pools, exercise facilities, shuffleboard courts and golf courses

Facilities in manufactured home communities can be better maintained than those in surrounding residential neighborhoods. In these tough fiscal times for local governments, public streets, sidewalks and recreational resources are falling apart, but owners of well-built and well-maintained manufactured homes seldom see the decay that can plague site-built neighborhoods.

Not all communities are equal – exercise due diligence

For those contemplating the purchase of a manufactured home and are considering relocating into a specific community, a good place to start exercising your “due diligence” is to talk with senior advocacy services in your state, county or city. These senior advocate organizations should have valuable information for your area and will know the bad actors in your community.

The homeowners’ association (HOA) is also a great source of information. Below are a few key questions to ask them:

  • Have rents increased in recent years? If so, how much?
  • What are the specific terms spelled out in the lease?
  • Does the homeowners Association maintain the “common areas”?
  • If the mobile home park is sold and you have to move, will you be compensated?

Like James Rockford, the old mobile home is an antiquated relic of the past. Since 1976, manufactured homes have been built according to a national building code and inspection system standards. Factory construction can exceed site-built methods. Over half are double- or triple-wide models, according to the American Housing Survey. These models match or exceed a typical single-family home in many real estate markets. Once installed on a site, manufactured homes remain in place. The American Housing Survey reports that less than 18 percent of all manufactured homes were ever moved from one site to another.

Energy Sucking Devices in Manufactured Houses

Energy Sucking Devices in Manufactured Houses

Manufactured Houses
Energy Sucking Devices

We all usually plug in multiple gadgets or appliances such as air conditioner, smart TV, and other devices in the power outlet of our manufactured houses. However, several homeowners are not aware of the fact that most of these devices will continue to consume power even when we have turned them off.

Some devices suck a significant amount of energy and increase the energy bills in your manufactured home. So, you should have a clear idea of the devices that are energy hogs because it will help you cut down the electric bills at your home to a certain extent. Below are three secret energy suckers found in most manufactured houses.

Gadgets in Standby Mode

It is a fact that most modern high-tech devices suck a significant amount of energy even when they are not in use. This is mainly because most of these devices contain a standby mode that allows them to power up the device a lot more quickly when compared to when they were turned off all the way down. So, if you fail to turn off these devices properly, then they will continue to suck electricity from the power supply socket and increase the electric bills at your home.


You will probably have chargers for laptops, phones, tablets, and other devices in your home and you might have plugged them into the electrical outlets for easy access. However, the issue is that these chargers will draw in a small amount of power from the outlets and add up your electric bills. So you should unplug your chargers when they are not in use. Investing in a charging station will be great too, as it will help you to reduce the electric bills at your home.

Old Appliances

Most people living in manufactured houses are seen to be a little bit hesitant to spend a large amount of money to buy new appliances for their home. However, they fail to realize that investing in new appliances will reduce the energy usage in their manufactured home, which in turn, helps to cuts down the utility bills.

Older dishwashers, refrigerators, dryers, washers, trash compactors, and even garbage disposals use more power than new appliances. If your budget doesn’t allow you to replace all the old appliances in your home, consider about replacing at least one or two of your older appliances.

Understanding the HVAC System of Manufactured Homes

Understanding the HVAC System of Manufactured Homes

Manufactured Home For Sale
Manufactured Home HVAC System

HVAC systems are used in all homes, not just the manufactured homes. The term HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning system and it will be beneficial for you to understand its working before you put your manufactured home for sale.

HVAC Working

Normal HVAC systems make use of refrigerant evaporation to offer conditioned and cooled air inside the manufactured home. These systems can also be used to offer heat in winter via the same ventilation system but will make use of a furnace or heat pump to provide the required heat. Therefore, in simple terms, an HVAC system is a simple centralized system that can offer air conditioning and heating, making use of the same ventilation network.

Types of HVAC Systems

There are mainly four different varieties of HVAC systems uses in residential and commercial applications. These are explained in brief below.

Furnace and Condensing HVAC Systems

This type of the HVAC system pulls in the outside air and processes it. This processed air is then used to replace the polluted inside air of the home, which is then expelled by the system. This type of system is much common in old manufactured homes.

Heat Pump and Fan Coin HVAC Systems

The working of this type of system is similar to that of the Furnace and Condensing HVAC systems, but the difference is that a single pump does both heating and cooling functions in the system. This type of system can be more economical to the homeowner in terms of cost and installation charges.

Zoning HVAC Systems

This type of HVAC system is new when compared to the other two systems and break the house into different zones. Each of the zones will have its own thermostat control. Housing experts say that the zoning HVAC systems are more efficient when compared to the other types of systems.

Packaged HVAC Systems

These systems combine the elements of both fan and heat pump systems and are usually used in commercial buildings. The problem with this HVAC system is that installation of this system can be a difficult and time-consuming task.

These are the different types of HVAC systems used in US homes and commercial buildings. All these systems work in different ways and this can depend on the application that the system is used for. Some types of HVAC systems break the manufactured home or the building into many areas, whereas the others address the cooling and heating needs of the building at once.

Pros and Cons of Replacing Vinyl Sidings with Brick Veneer

Pros and Cons of Replacing Vinyl Sidings with Brick Veneer

Best Manufactured Homes
Replacing Vinyl Sidings

Homeowners use brick veneer on the sidewalls of a manufactured housing to improve the home’s curb appeal. In addition to that, brick veneer also offers a thermal barrier to the home that resists thermal heat. Below is the process of laying the brick veneer on sidewalls by replacing the existing vinyl sidings, alongside the pros and cons of using brick veneers.

Installing the Brick Veneer

A temporary foundation in a manufactured housing is required to lay the brick veneer on the sidewalls. Generally, pier foundation is used for that, most of which are built on concrete slabs. Approximately 4-inches concrete slab might suffice to anchor the new sidewalls on concrete and help lay new bricks up on the temporary foundation.

Secondly, if vinyl siding exists on wooden sidewalls, you will need to replace the vinyl siding with heavy-duty water membrane and upgrade the manufactured housing exterior. Water membrane prevents water from seeping through the brick veneer into the wood and avoids excessive moisture on sidewalls.

The Pros of Brick Veneer

In addition to weatherization, brick veneer barricades sound and keeps the outside sound out of the best manufactured homes. Brick veneer also offers a “fire stop” on the sidewalls, and most brick veneers have a one-hour resistance rating that pre-empts the fire from spreading in case of a fire accident. Brick veneer absorbs heat slowly and thereby creates more energy efficiency on the sidewalls and inside the adobes of the home.

Cons of Brick Veneer on Vinyl Sidewalls

Most homeowners hire a professional structural engineer who assesses the home property and decides which type of exterior best suits your home. As there are preps involved in laying brick veneer on the sidewalls, the process of upgrading the manufactured exterior would take a while to get completed especially if you plan the upgrade by self.

However, if you practice laying the bricks and designing the brick layouts, you could upgrade the home’s exterior by self no matter how difficult it seems. In that case, keep the mortar width in between the brickwork to up to 10 millimeters thick or as per the stipulated masonry regulation in your region.

Brick veneer sidings offer attractive looks up-front regardless of the drawbacks, and offers an alternate siding option to other types of siding on the best manufactured homes exterior. Get in touch with your mobile home manufacturer for more ideas on using brick veneer.

3 Must-Have Bathroom Accessories

3 Must-Have Bathroom Accessories

Manufactured Homes
Must-Have Bathroom Accessories

It is true that bathrooms of manufactured homes are one of the most overlooked rooms in the home when it comes to decorating. Most mobile homeowners prefer to leave their bathrooms plain because they assume that potential homebuyers and guests will not look for an attractive bathroom. Yet the reality is that bathroom and kitchen of manufactured homes are the first things potential homebuyers look for when they are buying a home. This means that if you leave your bathroom plain and unattractive, then it will draw away potential homebuyers from your house.

Therefore, you should really put in some effort and consider about adding a few personal touches to your bathroom to make it look unique and attractive. The greatest thing about decorating a bathroom is that the decorating items will not only add style and beauty to the space but it will also add functionality. So, make sure to place these few bathroom accessories after decorating your bathroom.

Soap Dispensers

Every bathroom usually has hand soap for guests and residents to use but not all homeowners keep them inside a soap dispenser. Soap dispenser comes in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and styles and you can purchase them at an affordable price from a nearby store. So, no matter whether you are planning to use a liquid soap or bars of soap, buy a soap dispenser or a holder to place the hand soaps.


A number of people use the bathroom in their house to do makeup, which means that you will have to place multiple mirrors in the bathroom. If you already have a large mirror above the sink, consider getting a wall-mounted magnifying mirror or small free standing mirror to do your makeup. Moreover, look for attractive mirrors with elegantly decorated cabinets, frames, and stands instead of settling for plain mirrors.

Linen Baskets

A variety of bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths should be placed in the bathroom of your home. Linen baskets are certainly the ideal way for storing every kind of bathroom linen and it includes your towels. So, look for a plastic bin or a wicker basket and place them in your bathroom. You could also add a matching laundry basket in the bathroom for dirty clothes and linens.

How to Replace the Filter of Manufactured Home Air Conditioners

How to Replace the Filter of Manufactured Home Air Conditioners

Manufactured Home For Sale
Replace Air Conditioner Filter

Air conditioners are a vital appliance in a manufactured home, especially in the summer months. If the air conditioner is not working properly, you will be forced to face the heat that can make your days uncomfortable and nights sleepless. So it is important to keep the air conditioner in your manufactured home in top shape, and for that, you will need to change the air filter of the AC unit at regular intervals.

The steps to change the filter of an air conditioner are simple and can be completed by the homeowner itself. Below are the steps to change the air filter of central AC unit.

Shut Off the System

Make sure that the power supply to the air conditioner is turned off before starting the replacement. This is important to ensure your safety and the health of the air conditioning system. Note that if dust and debris from the filter is sucked into system, it will adversely affect the functioning of the air conditioner. After turning off the system, you need to remove the old filter. This can be done by sliding the filter out of the slot.

Check the Old Filter

After removing the old filter from the air conditioning unit, you will need to check the overall condition of the filter. You can hold up the filter to light to see how clogged and dirty the filter is. If you find that only a little light makes way through the filter, you can be sure that the filter needs to be replaced with a new one. Never try to clean the old filter and use it again as it can be harmful to the air conditioning unit.

Insert New Filter

Now you can put the new filter into the air conditioner. You need to make sure that you are adding the filter correctly by finding the arrow on the frame of the filter that shows the direction in which the air should flow. This will be always towards the air handler and away from the return duct. So, you will need to place filter in such a way that the arrow points away from the return air duct and towards the handler.

That’s it. These are the simple steps to replace the filter of your manufactured home air conditioning unit. Obviously, these steps will help you to increase the lifespan of the air conditioning unit.

How to Choose the Best Stereo for Manufactured Homes

How to Choose the Best Stereo for Manufactured Homes

Best Manufactured Homes
Choosing Stereo For Manufactured Homes

When you walk into an electronic home appliances store to choose a stereo system for your manufactured home, you will find a variety of model with varying features and options. This can make the process of selection confusing. It is important to consider your personal preferences and the ways in which you intend to use the system before making the selection.

The various things that you need to consider while selecting a stereo system for manufactured homes are listed below. Following these points would surely enroll your home in the list of best manufactured homes.

Location Consideration

Before considering the various home stereo options available to you, it is important to consider the location where you plan to install the system. You will need to decide on the place where you are planning to listen to music. Usually, people listen to music in their basement, office, or bedroom. Deciding on the location to install the system will help you make plans to install the connection wires.

Optional Features

You can start by compiling a wish list that will let you consider your needs compared to what you can afford. If you find that the cost exceeds your budget for the system, you can exclude options that are not so necessary. You need to understand that there are good quality home stereo systems that can meet every preference and budget. If you own music components like iPods or MP3 players, you can look for systems that can also incorporate your personal music player.


Speakers are becoming smaller and smaller with the evolution of technology. This means that the size of the speaker is no longer a representation of the quality of sound offered by them. While you are shopping for speakers, you can listen to your favorite songs on different brand speakers of varying sizes and types. You need to find time to listen to the various options and types of speakers to before deciding on the model that you need to buy.

Custom Systems

This is another thing, which can help you enlist your manufactured home in the list of the best manufactured homes in the locality. There are many custom stereo dealers out there, who can help you select the best stereo system for your manufactured home, which will meet all your preferences and budget, as they can build the stereo system to your requirements and specifications. These dealers can also offer help from start to finish.

Common Attic Fan Options for Manufactured Homes

Common Attic Fan Options for Manufactured Homes

Best Manufactured Homes
Common Attic Fan Options

Manufactured houses usually consist of heating and cooling systems for maintaining the temperature in the interiors. This system consumes more energy than all the appliances in the home thereby contributing to excess charges in the utility bills. In places where there are moderate climates, frequent heating and cooling are not necessary throughout. This is why attic fans are the best alternatives to manufactured homes, which do not require frequent heating and cooling.

The attic fan functions by removing the stale air inside the homes and is located in the highest point of the home, the attic. Improper venting in the venting can cause the accumulation of the warm air raised from below the home, which increases the temperatures inside.

Installing attic fans will effectively remove this warm air and aids in re circulating the home with fresher air thereby maintaining a steady temperature inside. Apart from that, attic fans are cost effective for best manufactured homes and consume less energy than that an air conditioning unit consumes.

There are several types of attic fans available in the market. Below are some of the commonly available attic fans for use in manufactured homes.

Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are the most common type of attic venting systems that are used in the best manufactured homes. They are available in a wide range of sizes for perfectly fitting with most home sizes. Exhaust fans are powered using the normal electrical supply in the homes, so they consume far less power than central heating and cooling systems. They help in effectively removing the air inside the home that will help bring in fresher air through the vents distributed across the rooms.

Static Air Vents

Static air vents are another type of attic fans used in the best manufactured homes. They are installed on the roof and helps in facilitating an exchange of the warm air of the interiors with the cooler air of the exteriors. Static vents do not contain any moving parts such as fans, and functions by creating a low force suction force that removes the warmer air from the interior of the home. They are best suited for manufactured houses that are located in moderate climate zones.

Solar Fans

Solar fans function by using power harnessed from the sun. It is similar to an exhaust fan and has spinning blades for removing the inside air and circulating it. This fan causes the warmer air to rise upwards to the attic and vent outside while bringing in cooler air from the outside. Solar fans can be used to cool a home much effectively and is a greener option especially for those inclined towards sustainable building methods.