Energy Efficiency in a Mobile Home on a Budget – Windows and Roofs

Improving energy efficiency in a mobile home is sometimes a difficult and expensive task if you do not know what to address. High pressure home improvement salesman will try to push you into very expensive upgrades that usually take a very long time to get the pay off. In a down economy nobody wants to waste their hard earned money on something that won’t perform the way it is advertised. I want to concentrate on very effective and affordable energy savings measures that will pay you back fast.

  • Windows – Replacement windows are the number one energy savings rip-offs. High end and name brand replacement windows are often the most expensive home improvement upgrade. The savings to investment ratio is very low with replacement window. This translates into a very long payback on the money spent. The only time you will get a high payback is if your existing windows are completely falling apart, letting a lot of outside air in and inside air out. This is where you will have a decent payback. You want to stay away from name brand windows, since they are usually the most expensive. I suggest researching a replacement window that is locally made and does not have name brand recognition. Being in a mobile home, custom windows will be needed. A local window manufacturer/installer will be able to do this at a low cost. This way you won’t pay for all the advertising. Make sure the company offers a lifetime warranty, this is standard among quality window manufacturers/installers. Remember, only if your windows really bad, you will have a potential for high energy savings. If they are not, consider inside storm windows instead.
  • Roof – An older mobile home typically has a flat or near flat metal roof. The space between the metal roof deck and the inside ceiling often has very little insulation in it, making the roof a large potential for energy loss. You can benefit the most from an insulated white rubber roof. This roof system is a one-piece white rubber membrane that covers the entire roof surface. An insulation board is installed onto the roof deck prior to the rubber being installed. This insulation needs to be at least an R-10 and usually 2″ thick. The added R-Value couple with the white surface dramatically reduces the heat loss and gain during the winter and summer months. People have reported saving up to 35% on their gas and electric.

Whenever you want to reduce your utility bills, you want to spend your money wisely. High pay-back with low investment cost is the recipe for improving energy efficiency in your mobile home.

Home Improvements, Get Your Permits

If you are contemplating some home improvements in the near future, you are well advised to check with the town office before you spend any time or money on the planned project. Failing to get the proper permits and/or inspections as required, could end up costing you much more in the long run.

The finishing or renovating of a basement is a common improvement undertaken by many homeowners in our area. After all, most new homes do not include a finished basement, unless you have negotiated and specified such with the builder at the time of purchase and construction. These projects often involve the addition of electrical, plumbing, drywall and other features such as, a gas fireplace or wood stove, which may call for inspections at different stages of completion. In many cases, you will also require a final inspection and occupation permit when the job is done.

Safety aside, when you buy your next home, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing the improvements were done to code and have been inspected by the appropriate experts, and not done in a hap-hazard manner by someone flying by the seat of their pants?

The potential cost of not getting your permits and inspections could present itself at any time, and you could be forced to disassemble the project for inspections or, in some cases, remove the improvement completely. Even if the renovation goes unnoticed by the town, the lack of permits and inspections could return to haunt you later when you try and sell your home. Often you will be asked for proof of the required building permits, occupancy permits, and inspection documents as a condition of sale.

Fences, decks, asphalt driveways, pools and other improvements also require permits and blessings of the town before you proceed.

Check out the article from the Globe and Mail on this subject:

Here are some helpful links and numbers:

Wasaga Beach Planning Department: (705) 429-3847 [email protected]

Wasaga Beach Building Department: (705) 429-1120 [email protected]