Decor Tips and Equipment Suggestions When Ordering Your New Manufactured Home
Purchasing a new home is probably the biggest decision any of us will make in our lifetime. If you have finally made that momentous decision to become a manufactured home owner, then you are on your way to realizing the American dream of homeownership. The decision to buy is the “big” decision, however, there are still lots of “little” decisions to be made that are also important and will contribute to your enjoyment and satisfaction for many years to come.
If you are purchasing a display model home, you apparently agree with the decor and equipment of that home. However, if you are purchasing a factory ordered home, you will need to select a decor and equipment to match your taste and needs. This is the fun part of the purchasing process, wherein you will determine how your home will look on the interior and exterior of the home.
Decorating the home is a personal thing that allows the home buyer to choose colors and qualities that fit their personal tastes and requirements. The retailer will conduct a “speck out” (specification process) where you will be asked to choose from factory samples of carpet, linoleum, paint, counter tops, window coverings, kitchen vinyl, exterior elevations and colors, roofing shingles, kitchen appliances, and more.
It is good idea to have a preconceived color scheme in your mind before you arrive for the “speck-out.” Purchasers’ often bring with them to the session something to help coordinate their own furniture colors with the colors selected for the new manufactured home, such as, a sofa cushion, a throw pillow, etc.
I have noted below some suggestions and observations that might be helpful with your decor and equipment selections. Please be advised that I am not a decorator (not even close), however, I have moderated “speck-outs” with several hundred customers over many years and have noted situations where the customer missed something that they might have chosen differently if they had it to do over again.
The paint color offered standard by almost all manufacturers is a neutral color such as white, off-white, beige, or a light shade of grey. The theory of neutral colors is that they will blend with all aspects of home and your furnishing decor. The factory will probably permit you to go with a different color throughout or in different rooms, if you desire. However, there will likely be a small charge if you vary from the standard paint color. Painting individual rooms in different colors is not necessarily a good choice. If you would like to accent any rooms to match a theme for the occupant of that room, such a nursery, playroom, or sports enthusiast, it can be accomplished with wallpaper or paint after your occupancy.
Homes with finished tape and textured drywall may have standard radius corners or rounded corners where the drywall terminates at corners, windows, doorways, and passageways. If this is an upgrade on the home you are purchasing, it is well worth the extra charge as the rounded corners will give the home a look and feel of a much more expensive home.
Most standard interior passage doors are smooth plywood clad hollow doors painted white. Most manufacturers offer a colonist door with raised panels and brass coated lever type handles, as an upgrade. The colonist style door is usually only available in the most expensive custom site built homes. This is an option worth considering as it adds a luxurious feel and look to your home, especially if you also go with the radius drywall corners.
Your rear exit door is usually an in-swing door. However if the home you are purchasing comes standard with an outswing door, you will appreciate paying the small extra charge to make the door swing into the home.
A very popular optional upgrade would be a rear door usually called a “nine light.” This door has nine individual small windows that improves the appearance from both the interior and exterior of the home as well as providing light illumination from the outside.
Carpeting And Floor Covering
Carpeting is usually the first thing a visitor will notice and will be the first impression of your home.
You will have several choices of carpet color and qualities from which to select. The safest choice of carpet color is usually the light brown, beige, or a shade of grey. These colors are the most popular and will blend with your furniture and accessory colors, or whatever you might acquire in the future.
The standard carpeting in most manufactured homes is available in several colors. Also there will be several upgrades of carpet styles that are also available as an extra charge.
The most popular choices are nylon carpets which are more stain resistant than other carpet materials. If you cannot afford the extra expense to upgrade the carpet, you might consider upgrading the carpet pad to get a softer feel to the standard carpet.
If you are financing your purchase through the Federal Housing Administration (F.H.A.) you will need to select a carpet approved by F.H.A
Your choice of countertops will vary a great deal depending on the brand and model of manufactured home you are purchasing. Typically all will have standard formica type laminated countertops with a choice of colors and designs. One piece countertops with a coved and bull nosed design is preferable to the type with a glued front trim and backsplash attached to back of countertop.
Lighting in kitchen will either be encased in a drop down ceiling with plastic diffusers covering two banks of fluorescent bulbs, or will have spot lights recessed into ceiling strategically located to illuminate entire kitchen area. I would recommend that there be a light fixture directly over the kitchen sink to eliminate shadowing while standing at sink.
Floor covering in kitchen is typically linoleum. Your choice of linoleum colors should blend with the color of the adjoining carpet.
Appliance colors are usually white. Some factories will also offer black appliances. Kitchen sinks can be plastic, porcelain, or stainless steel.
Porcelain or stainless steel are preferable to plastic and usually feature a deeper sink.
A refrigerator is standard equipment in a manufactured home. If you intend to delete the standard refrigerator and use your existing refrigerator, it is important that the space will accommodate the width and height of your refrigerator. Also, if your refrigerator is equipped with an ice-maker you should order your new home built with plumbing and wiring for the ice-maker.
Many new manufactured homes are designed for three exterior colors; trim, body, and accent. The manufacturer will have suggestions for combining the paint colors of the three surfaces.
It is best if the colors chosen are compatible with the home colors in the neighborhood or area where your new home will be located.
Most multi-width mobile homes have two bathrooms, master bath and guest bath. Master bath typically is equipped with a bathtub and separate stall shower. The second or guest bath usually contains a tub/shower combination
It is recommended that the guest bath tub/shower combination be upgraded to a one-piece fibreglass tub/shower combination, if not standard equipment.
The master bath sometimes can be upgraded to a so-called “glamour bath” which would usually include a garden tub with a larger shower and double sinks.
I would recommend linoleum as a flooring covering as opposed to carpet in bathrooms.
If linen or storage space is limited in your floor plan, you should inquire about the factory installing an additional linen cabinet over the toilet stool in either or both baths.
The cabinets in your bathrooms usually are the same wood grained cabinets as the kitchen. Perhaps cabinets in baths could be painted white, which makes a better appearance for a bathroom than kitchen cabinetry.
One last “pet peeve.” Mirrors in bathrooms are usually attached to wall over sinks using plastic mirror clips. Ask your retailer to have your mirrors framed with wood molding to match your cabinetry.
If a only a shelf is standard over the washer/dryer for detergent, bleach, etc., it may be beneficial to purchase an overhead utility cabinet. This is normally a low cost upgrade.
Many manufacturers over a deep laundry tub/sink as an option, depending on the space available in the utility area.
Typically you will not have a large number of fixtures to choose from as there are so many types available that the factory cannot inventory something that will appeal to everyone. The exception is ceiling fan lights, which may or may not appeal to your tastes. You probably will be able to purchase these fan or fan-lights at a local supplier at near the same upgrade cost as you would pay the dealer. It is important that you order your new home to be built with a “j-box” and bracing in all areas where you might wish to install a ceiling fan.
I sincerely hope that this information will be helpful in your manufactured home “speck-out.” The best way to have the new home the way you want it is to take your time, analyse each room and area of the floor plan, and try to visualize how you want to utilize that space and how you would like it to look. Ask a lot of questions of the retailer about what is available in each area of the home.
There are dozens of upgrades available. You may want to decide which are most important,and which are not so important in order to maintain your budget considerations. WELCOME HOME!
(Photo via Mobile Home Interior Design)