As ambitions get bigger, you will feel the need to upgrade your manufactured home at some point. Space is never enough in averagely sized homes. Most buyers start with a single wide home. As the size of the family increases, there is always the need to upgrade to a more sizable home, say, a double-wide.
It depends on your space needs. If your spacing needs are more, say, you need a sizable home office, several bedrooms, a spacious modern kitchen, several bathrooms, and things like those, you are more likely to upgrade past the double-wide.
Can You Add A Second Floor To A Manufactured Home?
Yes, you can. But it’s an expensive, difficult, and slightly risky venture to take. Just a few folks attempt it.
However, if you have the drive for it and you’d stop at nothing to improve your current home – we want to look at a few options you have on the table and a few things you should consider.
It is also important to understand that there aren’t too many HUD requirements that you must meet when adding an extra floor to your mobile home.
HUD requirements are more important during the building of the mobile home in the factory, but once the home gets shipped to the buyer, these requirements start to lose significance.
However, this doesn’t mean HUD requirements will become irrelevant at some point during the lifetime of your home.
The Best Two-Story Options for A Mobile Home
You can choose to add another unit on top of your home – a riskier and more technical option – or add the “second story” by building a basement under the home.
Basements are not real floors, so you are probably not going down that lane unless the idea of a basement was in the cards from the beginning.
It is very possible to build a sizable basement that covers the whole area of your mobile home – HUD/FHA requirements are all for it. You are good to give it a shot as long as you don’t harm the chassis of your home. Another option is to install a raised roof.
Raised rooms tend to pitch your current roof, and the best thing about it is that you don’t really need to build one. You can buy a readymade roof and hire a professional to add it to your home.
It also improves the curb appeal of your home while helping you break the generic and boxy appearance of your mobile home.
Most of the modern manufactured homes can comfortably support an enhanced roof. However, consider checking whether both the support mechanisms already added on your home and the roof can support such addition.
If a raised floor or basement doesn’t fit your needs, you can opt to lift your home. This option is not recommendable unless you own the land on which your home is seated.
It is still doable, but what are the challenges?
The options we have provided above gives you a 2-story home, just in different styles.
We recommend that you consult the experts to understand the implications of each option and how to approach it.
And, Yes, You May Add a Floor On Top of Your Home, but There Are a Few Concerns About
Firstly, mobile homes, more so the single wide type, are generally smaller in structure compared to any size-built home in its class. But, as needs escalate, some homeowners start to think of adding an extra roof on the top. These are the concerns:
The first safety concern has something to do with exits.
Manufactured homes are made to support up to 2 exits.
There is a likelihood that, at some point during your project, an extra room will be considered and linked to one of your exit doors. If you think of an emergency, this creates a serious safety concern.
Another safety concern has something to do with structure.
According to HUD regulations, the foundation and the outer wall system on your manufacturer need to be engineered in such a way that it can offer sufficient resistance to wind shear stress on the roof and walls as well as the weight of the extra roof.
Mobile homes are never built to support the weight of joined additions where the addition(s) exerts stress or weight on the foundation, walls, and roof.
This means it would be improper to add some deck designs that place their weights on the general structure of the manufactured home.
Wiring is another safety concern. When the mobile home rolls out of the factory’s assembly line, it leaves wired for the specific features inside it.
The electrical boxes on walls, for example, are not designed to support extra electrical circuits.
Usually, a DIY add-on will tap electricity from another circuit in a pre existing electrical box thus creating a hazard in the process.
It is important to note that this will not only be a violation of HUD standards, but also your local building codes (most likely).
Then there is the question of HVAC systems – how will you upgrade your HVAC system? When installing the HVAC system, there is always a need for matching the correct size of the HVAC unit with the layout and size of your home.
Adding another floor will require the addition of a vent on your existing ductwork to service the new space.
The problem with HVAC systems is that the addition of extra vents tends to change the airflow through pre existing spaces.
Also, it could mean the system now needs to work harder to adequately service the expanded space.
There will also be issues with the crawl space. Most of the manufactured homes sold today are installed to sit on pier type foundations above the ground.
Many homeowners opt to install skirting around the home to protect the underbelly from water and animals as well as to improve the appearance of the home. If you must add skirting on the perimeter of your house, you are required to allow a certain level of venting for a given square-feet of any type of skirting. T
he amount can vary from one location to another. The point here is that most additions to mobile homes tend to reduce or even eliminate the amount of venting. Less venting means your home won’t be properly vented. Improper ventilation often creates problems in moisture control and creates a friendly environment for mold growth.
2. The warranty on your home may be voided if you add another floor on it
Warranties are very important. There is a reason why many Americans insist on extended warranties for virtually everything that needs to have one. Most of these items can require a lot of money to repair, so warranties are a great way of passing these costs to the guys who made them.
Manufacturer of mobile homes ensure that their products meet specific standards. The floor, foundation, walls, and everything on your mobile home is engineered to match standards.
If you choose to add another floor on your home, however, you are adding a structure that requires the home to work outside the factory standards. So, unless the manufacturer allows it, an additional floor or any other structure that goes against factory standards will most likely result in voidance of the warranty.
3. Moving your home when an extra story is onboard
Have you ever stopped to think about how moving a mobile home with an additional top floor would be like?
As you can imagine, a home with an extra roof on it can be quite hard to move to a new location due to a reduction or increase in the center of gravity depending on which side you chose to add the structure.
If you are lucky to get a moving company with proper machinery for moving 2-story homes, you could end up paying a great deal of money. Still, there are chances your home will reach with significant damages on it.
5 Factors to Bear in Mind When Considering to Add a Second Floor To A Manufactured Home
What will the whole project cost?
How much are you willing to commit to it?
Two major factors often determine the cost of adding an extra floor on your home –
- the kind of materials you choose to use and
- whether you’re going the DIY route or hiring a qualified contractor.
You are more likely to spend anything between $21,200 and $70,800. The size of the floor can also have a say on the amount of money you will spend.
A small floor, about 20 x 20, will cost between $32,000 and $80,000.
This is why it is important to start by taking the measurements and seeking the advice of an experienced contractor before starting.
However, everyone’s needs and situation are unique, including the amount of money you would be willing to place on the project. Before even committing yourself to acquire one, prepare a well-thought budget first. That budget serves to help you stay focused on what you need and lets you allocate the right amount of money for acquisition. Basically, budgeting helps you avoid overspending.
Start by deciding the maximum and minimum amount of money you’re willing to spend on an oven. If you need a product with more features or bigger, factor in the specific additional features and if you need it.
Also, be critical of the size just so you don’t end up paying for a larger unit that you don’t even need.
Once you decide the specific amount of money to spend, it becomes way easier to come up with a list of features the cooktop must have and those that you needed but are willing to trade-off with others because of the cost.
The good news, however, is that you won’t pay much for one. A permit for an additional floor usually costs between $100 and $200.
If your mobile home is situated in a local park, you will need to see the permission of the management first before pressing ahead with the project.
Even though they may not have explicit clauses restricting construction work within the park, they (and the tenants living in the park) are more likely not to be very happy with your project.
3. Water and Electricity
From the start of your project, you’ll need to figure out how utilities will get to your new floor.
As mentioned earlier, the electrical boxes on the walls of your mobile are not designed to support extra electrical circuits.
You will need to consider this challenge. Also, if you are not skilled enough in handling electricity and plumbing, it will only make sense to hire an experienced person to handle these parts of your project.
Most mobile homeowners do not attempt to add anything that requires pipes of water of gas on the top floor – it can be difficult to do.
There is also a chance that water may seep from leaking pipes and ruin parts of the home.
This document gives directions on how the foundation should be built, how the rest of the home should be attached to it, how far above the ground the home should be, how to deal with skirting, among other essentials.
It is highly recommended that you read those requirements. Note that for your home and the new second floor to pass as HUD Compliant, the additional structure should be installed in consideration of these requirements.
Here are brief extracts from the HUD requirements document:
- The additional structure may not lean or bear on the home (this means your second floor must be able to support itself)
- No parts of the chassis, walls, or roof supporting the structure of the home should be removed
- The home must have two exit doors regardless of whatever upgrades you may do on your home.
Finally, How Do You Attach a Second Floor to A Manufactured Home?
Whether your home is old or new, you can’t add a second floor directly on top of the structure because HUD regulations are against it.
So, we have two options to meet our foundation/support needs:
- Build an independent shell around the existing home and tie the two units together to form a single system. This approach is the costliest – the amount of money you will be enough to build a home
- Build a 2-story garage add-on with its own support mechanisms and attach it to the main home unit. The cost per foot of this approach is low
These two approaches are to be used to create a support system that can support the overlying floor without distributing any of its weight on the main home.
- Choose between the two support approaches above.
- You can seek the advice and service of an experienced contractor.
- Also, consider contacting your mortgage company (in case you have one) and determine their requirements regarding the home expansion
Acquire the zonal approval of your local authority.
Proceed to buy the materials of construction and figure out the specific method of connection to use in linking the two structures.
- Determine if the local zoning commission approves your desire for utilities (electricity and water plumbing) on the top floor.
- Do the same for venting and heating systems.
- If they are approved, proceed to hire a relevant qualified professional to install them.
If you opted for a 2-story garage and linking it to the rest of the home, you should use the breezeway to connect the two.
Attach the two units in such a way that the top floor will have its own electrical box and HVAC system.
Finish the installation by adding a siding or cover that blends with the rest of the home.
Call the contractor to inspect the complete unit if necessary. Finish everything by adding a fresh coat of paint.
The approaches may be different for different situations, but the main rule remains – never distribute the weight of the second floor on the existing home.
An increase in spacing needs may compel you to add a floor on top of your home.
It may sound like a great idea, but there are serious safety questions to address.
Some of the top factors you need to consider are the cost of the whole project and your budget for it, the permits needed, the foundation, and how you will get water and electricity up there.
Because HUD requirements forbid you to add a second floor directly on top of the structure with all the weight distributed on the rest of the home, you can opt for one of the two tricks:
- build an independent shell around the existing home and tie the two units together to form a single system or
- build a 2-story garage add-on with its own support mechanisms and attach it on the main home unit.