How to Move a Mobile Home

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Upon first glance, the name might be a little deceiving. After all, it's called a "mobile" home, so it shouldn't be too difficult to move it, right? Unfortunately, mobile home owners can't simply fire up the engine and roll out onto the highway, riding off into the sunset towards their new destination. Moving a mobile home is just as big of a process as any other move and it requires just as much forethought, planning and preparation to make it happen as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

When you're moving a mobile home, you're essentially moving an entire house, foundation and all, and that is a major relocation job that requires a lot of preparation that you must be ready to handle months and weeks in advance of your move. There is a lot involved with relocating your mobile home, between finding a moving company to take care of the job and handling all of the necessary tasks required to prepare your actual house for the move.

This guide will walk you through the steps for preparing your mobile home for the move, as well as what you have to do prior to the move to make sure that everything is taken care of, including finding a mover and planning a moving date in advance.

Finding a mover and planning for the move

The first step to planning for your mobile home relocation is to find a reputable and licensed mobile home mover who can handle the job for you. It's important that before you make a decision on a moving company to handle your mobile home relocation and before any details are discussed, that you communicate exactly what the move will entail and what you will require from the movers. Make sure that you let the movers know exactly what kinds of services you will need for the move and have them provide you with a copy of the agreement and quoted price before moving forward.

Once you've found a moving company to help you relocate your mobile home, you'll need to begin the early stages of preparing your home for the move. To start, it always helps to create a checklist of all that you'll need to accomplish in the weeks and months leading up to your move so that you can stay organized and on top of everything. An important thing to note as well is to make alternate living arrangements in advance during the time that it will take for your home to be relocated, since you won't be able to live in it while it's in transit.

Finally, gather all of your paperwork that's related to your home and double-check to make sure that you are allowed to move the home. Also, read up on any insurance requirements that may exist in order for you to relocate the home and confirm that all of your property tax bills have been paid up to date as some places will not allow you to move your home if you have outstanding property tax bills.

Preparing your home for the move

If you have all of the logistics of your mobile home relocation squared away and you're ready to begin preparing for the move, you're first item on the agenda should be getting your home prepped and ready to be transported. When a mobile home is relocated, it's going to literally be hoisted up onto a flat-bed truck and driven, as is, to your new destination. That means that while it's on the road being transported, it will be subjected to all of the elements that one would typically encounter while on the road.

Making sure that your home is ready for the move will go a long way towards ensuring that when your home arrives at your destination that everything is in one piece and that nothing is badly damaged. Here are some of the guidelines that you should follow when getting ready to prepare the interior and exterior of your home prior to your move:
  1. Remove all exterior attachments. If you have a porch attached to your house, or anything else that can possibly hinder its transport on moving day, you should remove it. That means any flower baskets, hanging gardens, awnings, window boxes, lanterns, lights, or anything else that can potentially fly off while the house is being moved. If possible, store these items in a safe location during the move, or you can even keep them inside your home, if you have enough room. While your home is being transported on the highway, it will be exposed to high winds, which can cause exterior attachments to be blown off while in transit.
  2. Make sure that all utilities are turned off. Prior to the move, turn off all utilities like electricity, water, and gas. Also make sure that all cable, television and telephone lines have been properly disconnected and that there is no chance for any of your lines to be damaged during the move. If you are moving during the winter, do not turn off your heat until you have applied a winter seal to your pipes to keep them from freezing over during the move. Frozen pipes that burst can be incredibly costly to repair, so before you turn off your heat, make sure to protect your pipes from the cold weather.
  3. Remove everything from the interior of the house that is valuable or can be easily damaged during the move. When your house is lifted up onto the flatbed truck to be moved, the interior contents of the home will be jostled around quite a bit. Then, once the truck is on the road, your home will be subjected to all of the usual bumps that any other vehicle on the road will experience, which is a great way for items to get thrown around inside the home and broken. To combat this, you should empty most of the big contents from your home just as you would before any other move. That means all large appliances, big pieces of furniture and anything that can be easily damaged should be removed, or else you run the risk of having not only your items damaged, but the interior of your home as well. Also remove any chemicals, liquids and anything that is combustible or flammable. Many times, your movers will not move the house until you have cleared the interior, due to concerns about liability for damaged valuables and other items.
  4. Prepare for your moving day by checking the weather. Mobile homes aren't made to be the toughest structures to withstand extreme weather. Prior to your move, you should check the weather forecast for your moving date and make sure that the weather will not have a major impact on the relocation of your home. If there is bad weather scheduled for your moving date, check with the movers to ask about rescheduling the move.
  5. Secure the exterior of the home. Again, your mobile home is going to be exposed to consistent winds while on the back of the flat-bed truck that will be transporting it. To make sure everything on the exterior of your home is secure, check your roofing and siding for any pieces that are loose or in danger of becoming loose and fix them before the move. Also, remember to bolt all doors and windows shut or board them up prior to the move. Simply closing them and locking them is not secure enough.
  6. Communication with your movers and the driver is important. Before your move gets off the ground, give your driver detailed instructions and directions on how to reach the destination, and instruct the driver on what to do when the home arrives at its new lot. You should have all the necessary information ready for the driver including the lot number and anything else needed to make sure the relocation goes smoothly.

Photo by: Muffing (Wikimedia Commons)

  Posted by Robert Moreschi on March 3, 2013

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