Mobile homes are great investments for people who want affordable living. Depending on how well you maintain your mobile home, it may last anywhere from 30 to 50 years. But what do you do when you are ready to move on from your old mobile home? Disposing of old mobile homes can be done, but you’ll want to do it safely, legally, and hopefully without too much difficulty.

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A mobile home’s depreciation may mean you can’t make much of a profit when it comes time to sell. Of course, if you abandon the mobile home on land you own, your property value will decrease as the mobile home erodes.¬†Many people will suggest that you donate your old mobile home to the local fire department to be burned down. But contacting your local fire department for assistance with inexpensive demolitions is actually illegal. If you are unable to donate your home legally or find a buyer for it, you should consider demolishing or deconstructing it. Here are a few suggestions for disposing of old mobile homes safely, legally, and easily!


Deconstruction¬†is the process of disassembling buildings in a way that recovers materials for re-use. This process may not work very well on all mobile home structures. However, it is environmentally-friendly and promotes recycling within your community. Not only can you make a profit off of any salvageable materials, but you’ll also send fewer materials to already full landfills.


One of the easiest ways to deconstruct is to pay a company to do it for you. Depending on the mobile home, the cost may be upwards of $8,000 if you hire a reputable deconstruction contractor.

There are non-profits who might be able to help you with deconstruction. A few organizations that offer these services are Planet Reuse, Community Forklift, Rebuilding Exchange, The ReUse people of America and Habitat for Humanity. Any salvageable materials donated to your nonprofit of choice are tax deductible.

Lastly, you can assemble your own team and manage the deconstruction of your old mobile home on your own. Here are the necessary steps for this project!

Step 1 – Get a deconstruction permit

Contact your local government to get permission to begin deconstructing your old mobile home. These permits cost anywhere between $100 – $350.

Step 2 – Develop a safety plan

This safety plan is your guide to preventing any accidents that could happen. It is very important for you and your team to talk to one another. Communicate your plan for the day. Build an order of operations through the use of an assembly line. This will ensure that there is as little confusion as possible. Your team should clearly understand the guidelines for the use of tools.

You and your team should wear face masks for respiratory protection. Have a plan for who to call in case there is an emergency, ensure that you and your team are wearing protective clothing such as hard boots and hard hats and most importantly make sure everyone has signed the proper OSHA insurance forms.

Step 3 – Comply with environmental health laws

Before you can begin deconstructing your old mobile home, you must have your local abatement contractor check your old mobile home for asbestos. This process will cost you anywhere between $400 and $800. If asbestos is in your old mobile home, you are legally required to get rid of it. Having a contractor remove asbestos is very expensive and it will cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000.

Step 4 – Make sure all of your utilities are cut off

Disconnect any utility services before you begin deconstructing your old mobile home. These utilities include electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater, telephone, and cable.

Step 5 – Develop a materials management plan

Create a plan to disassemble and dispose of your materials. Not only will this help make the process more efficient, it will also contribute to your safety. First, all materials will have to be removed from the metal structure of your old mobile home. Next, all non-metal or extraneous pieces (such as nails) must be removed. Finally, your materials must be transported to either be reused, recycled or scrapped.

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Demolition is the process of using heavy machinery to knock down your old mobile home. This process costs less than deconstruction. Just like the deconstruction process, you will be required to have your mobile home checked for asbestos, and you will have to get a permit for demolition from your local government. You could hire a contractor to demolish your old mobile home for you, and it would cost you approximately $5,000 depending on the state where you live.

Demolishing your old mobile home will take you less time and cost you less money than deconstruction. If you are on a budget, you can rent demolishing tools from your local hardware store and a trailer to haul off your torn-down materials. Demolishing on your own will require a great deal of physical strength. We strongly suggest following steps 2, 3, and 4 listed above in the deconstruction process.

Disposing of old mobile homes can be done safely, legally, and without too much difficulty!

The major difference between demolition and deconstruction is that demolition aims to tear down and total the entire structure of your old mobile home. Deconstruction is a more time-consuming process. However, by selling off the salvage material, you might make back some of the money you spent. For more information on the salvage materials in your home, read our article on how much scrap metal is in a mobile home.

About Dan Leighton

Dan Leighton has been working in the mobile home industry for over a decade. His focus has been on sales and customer relations - making sure each person in the transaction is comfortable and fully transparent. He has a wife and one son. Dan continues to look for innovative ways to help both sellers and parks get the most bang for their buck.