How do I prepare for my move?Click the topics below for detailed instructions. To print, click here.
Planning and preparation are key to the successful move of your mobile home. Careful preparation, and assistance from a professional service company like Rite•Way, will go a long way toward preventing the problems that are all too common when mobile homes are moved and setup by inexperienced and unprepared movers. Rite•Way can assist you with most of the tasks associated with the moving your home.
Hire a reputable service provider
Discuss your plans and requirements with a reputable service provider like Rite•Way, and determine exactly what services you will need help with. Get a written agreement from your service provider detailing the services you will receive, what the cost will be, who will be responsible for what, a tentative schedule, and the payment terms.
Establish an estimated timeline, and include all of the tasks that you expect to complete. Consider tasks at both the existing site, and the new site. Don't forget to plan for alternative living arrangements while your home is in the process of being moved.
You will want to review your loans, mortgages, or contracts for deed to determine if there are any restrictions on your ability to move the home, and what special insurance requirements may need to be satisfied. We highly recommend that you obtain moving insurance for your home and contents. You may need a statement from the county taxing authority to show that your property taxes are paid up to date. In many places you cannot move a mobile home if your taxes are not current. You will also want to review your lease if you have one, to make sure that you comply with any notice periods or special terms or conditions for moving the home. You will need to advise Rite•Way of any restrictions on when the home can be moved.
Exterior attachments and skirting
The next step in the process is to remove the skirting from the bottom of the home. You will also need to remove any steps, decks, or other attached structures that interfere with access to the skirting. Be careful with the skirting, and you may be able to reuse some of it when it is reinstalled. Do not remove the top rail that is attached to the house, as this can be reused. If you intend to reuse the skirting, put it in the house before it is transported. Rite•Way includes removal of skirting when we provide the teardown service.
The next step is to inspect the underside of the home and insure that the running gear is securely attached and in good working order. Inspect the chassis I-beams that run the length of the home. Make sure that they are solid and that they are securely fastened to the house. Inspect the axles. Make sure that they are in good working order, securely fastened to the I-beams, and that there are the right number—the number that the home had when it left the factory. Inspect the wheels and tires. Make sure that they are securely attached, the wheel bearings are lubricated, and the tires are in good condition and hold adequate air pressure. It may be necessary to cut the tie-down straps that connect the home to the anchors so that the home can be raised to attach the tires. Inspect the tongue, or hitch. Make sure that it is attached securely to the I-beams (bolted or welded) and that the receiver end is in good condition. Rite•Way can perform some or all of these functions as part of our teardown service, and we highly recommend that you have a professional perform any tasks that require jacking up the home. It is dangerous and can cause damage to the home if done improperly. It is critical that the home owner notify Rite•Way if any of these components are missing or in poor condition before we arrive at the job site.
Next, disconnect your utilities, other than your heat source if the home is being moved in the winter. Heat should not be disconnected in the winter until after the plumbing is winterized to avoid frozen pipes. Utilities include water supply, sanitary sewer, electricity, gas, cable television, telephone, and any other connections. Be careful, disconnecting some utilities is dangerous and may require professional assistance. Rite•Way can disconnect utilities for you as long as the utility companies have disconnected their service.
The next step is to prepare the home on the interior. Take a few minutes to think of anything in the home that can be easily broken, or is very valuable, or might otherwise be damaged as the home bounces down the road, and remove them. This includes anything that is glass or fragile such as light fixtures, artwork, shower doors, mirrors, and the like. Don't forget toilet tank lids.
Remove all heavy or breakable furniture including televisions, lamps, couches, chairs, etc. They add unacceptable weight to the house, and can cause damage to the house and themselves in transit. Be especially careful if you are moving a multi-section home, as one side of the home will be merely covered in plastic, and heavy items have the potential to go right through the plastic and out onto the roadway. Remove all food items, dishes and glassware from refrigerators and cabinets and secure cabinet doors. Secure all appliances. Even though most appliances were transported with the home when it came from the factory, they are very heavy and can cause significant damage. Clothes, linens and bedding can often be left in the home on the floor. Remove all cleaning chemicals, flammable items, or other liquids that could cause damage to the home.
You will be responsible for any damage caused to the contents of your home or to the home itself due to contents shifting during transit. No mobile home mover, Rite•Way included, will take responsibility for damage caused by the contents of the home in transit. It is highly recommended that you treat the move of your mobile home contents like any other move. Have the contents moved separate and apart from the home itself, preferably by professionals.
The next step is to prepare the home on the exterior. The most important thing to think about when preparing the exterior is that the home will be subject to sustained winds in excess of 50 miles per hour. Any loose exterior items that catch wind can be blown off. Remove all exterior fixtures such as coach lights or window boxes, and anything else attached to the exterior of the home. Doors should be securely screwed shut. Door locks are not enough to hold them secure. Any loose siding or roofing should be reinforced or repaired. Finally, makes sure that all obstructions, such as tree limbs, are removed so that the home can be removed from the lot.
Prepare for the driver
Be prepared to give the driver detailed instructions on where the home is to be delivered. Include lot numbers if being delivered to a community. Of course, make sure the lot is prepared to receive the home (discussed below). Make sure to instruct the driver regarding how the home is to be oriented on the lot. Draw pictures if necessary, or be there when the house is delivered.
Lot prep and setup
The most technically demanding part of the home moving process is the preparation of the new lot, and the setup of the home. The lot preparation and setup processes and procedures are governed by federal, state, and local regulations; you must follow very specific guidelines provided by the manufacturers, and generally require specialized skills, tools, and licensing. Setup of a home, if done incorrectly, can damage the home beyond repair. Consequently, instructions regarding setup of a home are beyond the scope of this document. We highly recommend hiring the most experienced setup service provider that you can find, who is also licensed, bonded, and insured. Rite•Way has the experience you need.
Some of the setup tasks that you will need to plan for are: installation of a proper foundation (frost-free footings, monolithic slab, basement, crawl space, etc.); rough installation of utilities (electric service, water, sanitary sewer, cable TV, gas, etc.); site drainage; skirting; stairs, decks and sheds; and house numbers.
Almost all mobile home moves involve some problems or unexpected events. If you follow the recommendations above, you should be able to minimize the number and severity of problems that you encounter in your move. Don't cut corners and be sure to hire an experienced and reputable service company like Rite•Way.
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