Have you seen the price of a gallon of paint lately? One gallon of premium interior paint can run you $50! A good paintbrush will cost an easy $15. It’s not cheap to remodel a mobile home. The trick to remodeling a mobile home on a budget is balance. You need to know where to splurge and where you can cut corners without losing quality (paint is definitely in the splurge column).
Over the years we’ve done over 100 homeowner interviews and have learned a ton of great tips and tricks for remodeling a mobile home on a budget. Here are just a few of them:
Start with a Plan to Remodel a Mobile Home on a Budget
Remodeling a mobile home on a budget requires great planning. You’ll want to figure out where to spend money and when to save it. Without a plan, you’ll most likely spend much more than you planned. Whether you’re planning to renovate your entire kitchen or just freshen up your bathroom you’ll need to make a list and set a budget.
- A detailed plan of the changes you want to be made to the mobile home
- Setting a realistic budget that covers your renovation needs and any surprise issues
- Finding contractors that will do quality work at a reasonable price if the project isn’t DIY
Save Money with these Kitchen Remodeling Tips
The most popular home remodeling project in the US is a kitchen update or complete remodel. Kitchen remodels are smart because they have a decent return on investment and cooking in a fancy new kitchen is pretty awesome. Appliances and styles wear out but you can give your kitchen an update with these tips:
- Go with Synthetic Counter Tops – Countertops easily define the look of a kitchen. Rather than going for expensive materials chose man-made materials. Synthetic countertops have a long lifespan and stand up against wear and tear remarkably well. There are many styles available, many look just like granite and marble.
- Paint the Counters – You can paint your old countertops. Hear me out, the kits available today are 100 times better than what was on the market just a couple of years ago. The paint industry has had some serious advancements. Preparation seems to be the key to the best results.
- Just Replace the Cabinet Doors – Instead of replacing your entire kitchen cabinet just replace the doors. The standard lower cabinets in a mobile home kitchen are a bit different than a site-built home because there are no floors in the cabinets. Mobile home cabinets are also a bit lower in height than most standard site-built home cabinets. Replacing just the cabinet’s doors can save a lot of money and installation headaches.
- Just Replace the Cabinet Knobs or Pulls – A mobile home remodel on a budget doesn’t have to be extensive. Small details are often the most important when it comes to home design. New doorknobs or handles on your kitchen cabinets can be exactly what the room needs for a fresh new look.
- Keep the Same Layout– Keep your plumbing and electrical in the same location will save money if you are doing a complete kitchen remodel.
- Scratch and Dent save Money – You can save a lot of money by shopping in the scratch and dent section. A dent on the side of a refrigerator won’t be noticeable if you have a wall or a cabinet covering it.
How to Save Money on Bathroom Remodels
A good bathroom or kitchen update will make the entire home feel more modern. Unfortunately, bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive rooms to update. You can still remodel a mobile home on a budget and create a modern bathroom with the following tips.
- When it comes to a bathroom remodel, use the room’s small size to your advantage. Small spaces are a good place to splurge a bit and finding discounts on overstock or discontinued stock is a great way to do that. You can find overstock sales and discounts on small batches of home improvement materials like tile, flooring, mirrors, and wallpaper at just about every home improvement supply store.
Save Money on Living Room Remodels
For living rooms, you don’t have to do much or spend much to achieve a beautiful new room. Budget-friendly changes like new paint, new outlet covers, trim, or light fixtures can help transform living spaces cheap and fast. Repainted window frames and opting for bold wallpapers can do wonders, too.
Our favorite living room updates in order:
- Paint the ceiling
- Paint the walls
- Update the flooring (new rugs work great)
- New lighting (ceiling, lamps, uplight, and downlight)
- Install thicker trim or paint the current trim
- New light switch and outlet covers
Furnishings and Decor
Quality is what matters when it comes to furnishings. I learned the hard way with a $199 futon a few years ago. Had I spent just a couple hundred more it would have made a huge difference. If new furniture is out of your budget, consider doing some furniture upgrades. New upholstery and re-painting or re-staining the wood can make your old furniture look brand new.
Buy the highest Quality Pieces you Can (Sometimes)
If you do need new furniture, it really does pay to buy the highest quality pieces you can. Consignment stores and Craigslist are perfect places to find good furniture at great prices. Furniture, like paint, is one of those ‘get what you pay for’ products. Quality pieces last longer and save money in the long run.
Hiring Experts to Remodel a Mobile Home on a Budget
One of our favorite mobile home investing experts, Rachel Hernandez, has had a lot of mobile homes repaired and remodeled. If anyone knows how to save money and work with remodeling professionals, it’s her. She usually has to do some kind of repair or renovation after every tenant vacates a home. Finding the right professionals at the right price is the key to a remodel a mobile home on a budget. To find these elusive professionals she recommends contacting the following people and asking for recommendations:
- Local mobile home dealership
- Local mobile home parts supply store
- Your Parks maintenance crew
- Community announcement boards
Once you have a list of a few contractors be sure to interview them, call previous clients, and check for complaints. She also shares great information on her blog about renting mobile homes. While regular inspections are critical, property owners can monitor for Airbnb sublets to identify unauthorized use of their properties.
The Bottom Line
Preparation and spending the time and effort to shop for sales and overstock discounts are great ways to remodel a mobile home on a budget. In fact, it’s probably the best tip we can give you.
Home renovations can be quite expensive, especially if you’re planning a large remodeling project. However, you don’t have to spend a lot to make a big impact. You should always consult a remodeling expert for big projects before starting.