Moving A Mobile Home | Yourself, Hire Others, and Everything In Between
Moving a double wide mobile home is easier than most people think. In fact, many homeowners choose to move themselves because it saves money and reduces stress.
With moving a mobile home, while they are small, they represent freedom because of the lack of expenses necessary like in regular homes. For some, it sounds simple to just move them anywhere they please by attaching it to the back of a truck and take off.
But it isn’t that simple.
Having any type of home on land personally owned allows the freedom of home ownership and without the need to spend on any built home on site.
But the home cannot just be sitting down anywhere. With mobile homes, it must comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Between physical limitations, legal setbacks and human errors there can be costly mistakes that may happen when you transport your mobile home.
Before you begin packing up your belongings, make sure you prepare yourself mentally and physically. This includes getting enough rest, eating well, and making sure you have plenty of water. Also, pack your items carefully so that nothing gets damaged during transport.
Here is all what you need to know before moving your mobile home.
Pull Permits When Moving A Mobile Home
In most areas in the US, permits are required to move a mobile home and set it in a different location before it can be move.
These “moving permits,” as it is known, can be helped by the professional movers.
Again, the cost of these permits is based on size, such as single or double-wide, although the size of more modern mobile homes are more smaller than older ones.
Laws on Moving A Mobile Home
This ties in very closely to permits. Understanding all the laws on moving a mobile home ahead of time will help avoid the headaches to deal with when moving.
Note that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees all laws, standards, and regulations with the construction of all homes and safety.
The HUD divides the country into three zones based on their overall climate: wind zones, roof load zones, and thermal zones.
Before moving, call the local zoning department of the area where you will be moving to find out if there are any restrictions placed on moving used mobile homes in the area.
Disconnect and Connect Mobile Home Utilities
In addition to these permits, movers also need to get electrical, plumbing, and gas connection permits for when moving into the space.
This can be guided by the home park or city being moved into and they can point to the local permit office to receive these permits.
This allows professionals to legally connect the utilities, electricity and water, to the mobile home. Check on prices for professional electricians and plumbers, who can also assist in getting these permits.
Most companies will not reinstall mobile home skirting after the home is grounded safely. They will only tie the home down securely, but you need to add the skirting. You will need new skirting be cut and installed to the mobile home.
How to Move A Mobile Home Yourself
The answer to that statement is unlikely. With the subject of permits, call the town’s local zoning department prior to moving such as if an individual can do the work themselves.
Call to find out what restrictions are listed for all used mobile homes moving into the state, city/town, county, or ward.
There can also be laws on moving a motor home alone, which may be prohibited because of the various requirements with towing.
Other issues include the age of a home, where some restrict it being no older than 20 years or allowing mobile homes as old as 35 years being moved in.
This also includes the size of mobile homes, the exterior and its foundation, and the specific rating for wind protection and snow loads, if necessary.
Mobile homes have improved in quality and structure and the age of the mobile home will show it.
Some moving companies (more on that later) could have a policy where age limit of a mobile home being transferred is no more than 20 years old, while others don’t have an age limit as long as it is a good shape for transport.
But for an older home to move, things will need to be fixed. Older mobile homes have damage to the floor, walls, and roof, which could fall apart while moving.
- The tongue may have been rusted off, so it needs to be replaced
- If the wheeled chassis was removed, a new one must be installed
- If the home has vinyl sides or a shingled roof, it would need to removed or it will fall off while moving
- It would have to go through inspection to be safe for moving.
Learn the New Park Rules for The Mobile Home
With the local zoning laws, ask about what one can do with the property being moved on, especially if it is private land being bought. This includes the distance of the home is the street and any additions that can be added.
If the mobile home is being moved into a mobile home park, the park manager can say where the home can be placed and what the rules are. The owners of the whole lot will provide the procedures movers have to do when moving in.
t includes if they need vinyl siding, explicit length & width, decks, allowance of roadways, removing tongue & hitches, allowance of a shed, and proper landscaping.
There are also specific rules about how a homeowner can live in that space.
Like with regular apartment buildings, there are rules about the times all trucks and moving vans can enter and how they can move all items. When it is completed, all rubbish along the lot must be cleaned up by proper garbage disposal.
The park can hold homeowners responsible for mess left behind.
How Much Does It Cost to Move A Mobile Home
Next, there is the cost of moving a mobile home. It cannot be just attaching to the back of a truck and drive away.
Today, to move a mobile home must reach HUD standards and it is expensive. For example, with a single-wide, full-service move, it will cost between $5,000 to $10,000.
For a double-wide mobile home, it will cost between $10,000 to $15,000.
The cost to move a mobile home is based on many factors including labor costs, moving materials, home size and weight, permits, liability insurance, and transportation fees.
Any long distance will obviously cost a lot more compared to local moves.
What Factors Affect the Mobile Home Cost?
To break down some of these factors, here is the distance from moving one place to another.
As mentioned, the shorter the move, the cheaper it is. Transferring a mobile home behind a large truck requires a lot of gas and a lot of time because the drive won’t be fast and the difficulty of turn with a wide load.
Plus, a long move could mean the moving company having to utilize heavy duty tires and equipment capable of the distance.
If the home is too wide to safely drive down the street, as in moving within two lanes rather than the single lane, then a police escort or temporary road closure may be needed and that also costs a lot.
Here is something to note more of with these factors. With older mobile homes, they will weigh about 35 to 40 pounds per square foot, but newer mobile homes weigh about 45 to 50 pounds per square foot.
For a mobile that is 800 square feet, it weighs about 40,000 pounds.
The heavier the home, the more moving materials needed to assist the move including new tow hitches, ropes, and tires among many things needed to keep the mobile safe.
When moving to a new county or state, there are more permits needed to move through. Professional moving companies can help get these permits before moving, including the one that permits the set-up of the home in a new city.
The moving company can break down the costs overall.
Can You Move A Mobile Home for Free?
The answer is no. But there can be moves that are done cheaply. There are three types of mobile home relocations.
- First, there is transit only. This type of move is when the homeowner has all the pre-move work, so the movers just have to show up, hook it up, and drive.
This is the simplest type of move with costs including permits, insurance, guides, hookup, and transport.
Everything will be removed from in the home and utilities disconnected before the mobile home is attached to a towing vehicle and transported.
At arrival, the movers will disconnect the mobile home and leave it on the lot.
- Second, there is the full service, which is doing everything from permits, moving stuff out to disconnecting utilities to setting the house up at the arrival site.
- Third, is the custom move, which is the in-between of the other two moves and moving companies will have select costs based on what the homeowner needs. Items such as disconnecting/connecting utilities and installing back any removed roofing or siding.
A Brief Comparison
Between moving a motor home from Nebraska to Texas, they are in separate zones.
Nebraska does not have the same roof standards as Texas because the latter lives in a high wind zone where hurricanes are likely to make landfall.
The mobile home has to upgrade its standards before moving. In Michigan, moving in-state does not need a special permit if the home is under 8 ft x 6 in wide, 12 ft x 6 in height, and 60 ft in total length including the moving vehicle.
The cost of moving a mobile home in Georgia for a single-wide trailer within a 50-mile radius is on average $2,400. And, for the state of Hawaii, it is not illegal to have a mobile home, but land zones do prohibit the development of a mobile home park.
Only by owning a plot of land can a mobile homeowner in Hawaii actually set up their residence, but the debate over mobile home parks to combat homelessness is ongoing.
How to Find the Right Moving Company?
Amidst all of this is about having the right moving company to hire. Many mobile home transportation companies may not be what it advertises itself as.
This is up to the homeowner to contact mobile home parks and local mobile home dealers to get recommendations about which companies are trustworthy to use in moving mobile homes.
Those who use a company all the time are most likely the right fit in moving a mobile home. When inquiring on overall costs, ask at least three companies to give an in-person estimate.
There is no overall estimate until everything is really accounted for and watch out for red flags in their estimates.
Companies That Move Mobile Homes
There’s a list of them that can help move them. Check out The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as their Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues a number to all licensed movers who work with multiple states.
If moving out of state, look at the moving company’s license and company’s DOT number, as it will be needed to file a claim against the company for any damages later.
In state, just check with the local consumer affairs agency and with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) which can be done online for free. Go with moving companies that are BBB accredited and see that the moving company’s address is listed and registered under their name.
Moving a mobile home has a very long list of things to do prior to moving and the logistics of it is a lot taller to get right. Everything from the cost of moving to the distance to securing everything and having all things in place have to be considered.
The best way is to take the moving process step-by-step and not making hasty decisions just to expedite the move. It will help moving a mobile home from one place to another a lot more manageable.
This is completely uprooting, literally, the home and installing it into another surrounding.
It is why mobile homes are highly popular besides being inexpensive and why people will keep moving into them and moving around with them.
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