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While about 20 million Americans -- or 6% of the population -- live in mobile homes, this affordable form of housing has long had a bit of an image problem. But it doesn't have to be that way! Like the bespectacled-but-beautiful girl in a teen movie, all your mobile home may need is a makeover. Check out these changes that can boost your home's curb appeal -- and ultimately, its value.
Create a fake foundation
Who said a mobile home can't have a foundation? A fake one, that is. According to Dave Morris of Front Porch Ideas and More, stone-look skirting can make a mobile home look just like a traditional one.
Build a deck …
Texas-based architect Ignacio Salas-Humara recently helped a couple upgrade their mobile-home weekend getaway into a stylishly rustic retirement home.
It turns out that a brand-new deck and stairs can make a mobile home look completely different -- and much more inviting. Salas-Humara made the industrial-chic railing with galvanized pipe and stainless-steel cable. This enhances the outdoor living space and allows the owners to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings.
… or a deck plus latticework below
If your deck is elevated, consider adding lattice in a shade that complements your home, as Morris did below. Made from high-quality PVC, panels don't warp, nor will they fade, since the color is ingrained. Plus, they're easy to cut and install, says Morris. If you're hoping to stash a ladder or tools underneath, this creates a much more attractive hideaway.
Add a stone patio
Salas Humara's clients' trailer originally lacked a covered porch at the entry. The architect kept the existing decking but added a stone patio, and spruced up the landscaping to add instant curb appeal. A new front door, complete with sidelights, is a crucial part of this face-lift.
Construct a carport
Salas-Humara also created a rustic carport that suited the agricultural setting, using cedar columns and beams with exposed cedar rafters. The vine-covered pergola on the right leads to the deck, a welcome addition that elevates the home's character, yet looks as if it's always been there.
Slap on some shutters -- or a fence
Decorative shutters, available in aluminum, wood, and vinyl (the least pricey option), make a home look more welcoming, while adding a bit of charm and symmetry.
Meanwhile, fencing also defines the property line and can be dressed up with wreaths and lights during the holidays or bright potted plants in warmer weather, to lend the feel of landscaping without the hassle of maintenance.