Mobile homes (today known as manufactured homes) have many advantages over traditional site-built homes. They are often less expensive and offer a way for first-time buyers to get started as homeowners. They are, of course, mobile, so owners aren’t tied down to one location. And maintenance is often lower and less expensive than with traditional homes.
But manufactured homes do require some maintenance, especially if you live in or near Tucson, AZ. One of those typical but infrequent maintenance tasks is leveling. So let’s take a look at how to determine if your mobile home needs leveling, as well as how to level a mobile home in Tucson.
How to Know When to Level a Mobile Home
Whether your Tucson mobile is brand new and has just been set or you’ve recently moved your mobile home or it has been in the same spot for some time, it may need to be leveled. But how do you know?
Usually, any signs of settling, which indicate that your mobile home is out of level, are pretty much dead giveaways. Here are some of the major signs to look for:
- Doors, windows, and/or cabinet doors that won’t shut properly, stick, or won’t stay shut
- Cracks in walls, ceilings, or floors
- Awnings that are out of kilter or hard to use
- Buckled skirting or space below or above skirting
- A slightly tilted look to your mobile home when viewed from a distance
But do keep in mind that there may not be any visible cues to indicate that your mobile home is out of level. In that case (if you want to be sure), you’ll need to check the level.
How to Check the Level of a Mobile Home
While leveling mobile homes isn’t typically a DIY job, you can easily check the level yourself. Here are the steps:
- Make sure you have the proper protective gear on hand, specifically gloves and protective goggles. It’s also a good idea to have a partner with you – just in case something goes wrong and you need help.
- Carefully remove enough of the skirting to allow easy access so you can crawl under the mobile home.
- Loosen the tie-down straps.
- Check the level by first placing your level on the center of the support beam on one side. Then move the level to just above each support pier under that beam. And then place the level on either end of the support beam. After doing this, move to the other support beam and repeat the process.
If the level’s bubble is noticeable off center at one or more of these points, you likely need to level your mobile home.
Equipment Needed for Leveling Mobile Homes
First, a caveat: leveling a mobile home carries some risk and danger, and that’s why most people hire a professional to do the job. Before you do that, though, it’s a good idea to determine whether leveling is actually worth the effort and cost. In some instances, you may be better off contacting a reputable Tucson mobile home buyer.
But if you’re dead set on doing the job yourself, here are the tools and equipment you’ll need:
- Hydraulic jack – 5 to 20 ton (with the upper end being better)
- Again, gloves and goggles and a partner for safety’s sake
- Flashlight (more than one is best)
- Water or laser level (though you may be able to get by with a standard bubble level)
- Heavy hammer (something like a heavy framing hammer)
- Wooden wedges and shims (various thicknesses)
- Piering material (if any need to be replaced)
How to Level a Mobile Home
A typical leveling procedure goes like this:
- To level the home, you’ll need to go back underneath and find the areas where it needs to be raised to achieve a uniform level throughout.
- Once you’ve found these spots, place the jack at the appropriate spot under the beam – making sure to place a solid piece of wood under it for stability.
- Raise the beam till the level shows that it’s where it should be.
- Drive wedges or shims (with the hammer) into the open space between the pier and the beam created by jacking. Make sure the fit is very tight so that the bean doesn’t come down any after you remove the jack.
- Repeat this process wherever the level indicates it is needed.
- Check water lines, drains, and wires to make sure you haven’t damaged any.
- Tighten the tie-down straps.
- Come out and re-attach the skirting.
Cost of Leveling Manufactured Homes
As we mentioned, leveling a mobile home isn’t a typical or easy DIY job. There is some danger, and if not done properly, further damage could result. That’s why most people hire professionals to level a mobile home in Tucson.
The cost, of course, will depend on where you live, but you can expect something along the lines of the following:
- $450 to $550 for a single-wide
- $750 to $850 for a double-wide
- $900 to $1,000 for a triple-wide
Another Option for Tucson Mobile Home Owners
Leveling a mobile home is no easy task. So you have to decide if it’s worth the risk and the effort to do it yourself or, on the other hand, the expense of hiring professionals. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it better to sell to get out from under the problem.
Most mobile home sellers, though, don’t want to go through all the hassle of hiring an agent, listing, marketing, showing, and then waiting and waiting – especially when they want or need to sell a Tucson mobile home fast. But you don’t have to do all that..
Another viable option is to sell to an experienced, trusted mobile home buyer in Tucson – one that guarantees a fair offer, allows you to choose the closing date, and pays the costs involved in selling. Ease of sale and cash in hand often beat crawling around in the mud under your mobile home. To discover more about how to sell your manufactured home for cash, call 520-433-9298.