Did you know that you can recycle your mobile and potentially make a profit? As strange as it may sound, scrapping mobile homes through deconstruction has become a worthwhile option for some looking to pocket a couple hundred extra dollars. Deconstruction is also a feel-good option as many deconstruction companies are nonprofits that employ people in need of temporary jobs.

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As exciting as this may sound, scrapping mobile homes comes with both benefits and drawbacks. Below we’ve provided answers to some frequently asked questions about the deconstruction project.

Can you make money scrapping a mobile home?

Unfortunately, the business of scrapping a mobile home won’t leave you with much profit. It could even set you back depending on how much valuable material you find, the prices offered at your local scrapyard, cost of labor, and other factors. Deconstruction can be a profitable venture. When the home has enough valuable materials, they can be sold or donated to nonprofits for a tax break. A Washington Post article details how one homeowner received a significant tax break when she donated $120,000 – $140,000 in recycled materials from her home. Keep in mind that a mobile home is going to be worth much less than this.

Why would anyone scrap a mobile home if it’s not profitable?

Aside from renting their place out, mobile home owners really only have three options if they want to move or leave their home: relocation, demolition or deconstruction. While deconstruction isn’t very profitable, some may choose this option when it’s cheaper than the other options. Keep in mind that all three are going to cost you a lot, so the decision may be based on which one costs you the least money. Others may choose deconstruction simply because recycling is an environmentally-friendly option that cuts down on waste.

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Transporting your mobile home can cost anywhere between $1,000 – $15,000 depending on the size of your home, the distance traveled and your local rates for labor. Relocation may be completely out of the question if you plan to move far away.

The upfront cost of demolition can cost you upwards of $5,000. Like relocation, demolition costs are dependent on the size of your home, the contents/weight of your home and your location.

Deconstruction is on average more expensive than demolition and is usually only chosen if the salvageable materials are deemed valuable enough. This route will probably cost you 20 – 40 percent more than demolition. It will also take much longer and could require a bigger team of workers. Deconstruction could set you back close to $8,000 but you might be able to make back a decent portion of the cost through the materials you salvage.

What materials are most valuable?

It’s important you know what materials will earn you the most money at the scrapyard if you decide to go with deconstruction. While scrapyard rates vary depending on your location, they generally pay the most for the following materials:

  1. Copper: $2 – $2.50 per pound. You can find copper in your plumbing pipes, gutters, electric wires as well as old electronics and appliances.
  2. Brass: $1 – $1.50 per pound. Look for brass in your locks, valves, musical instruments, handles and plumbing fittings.
  3. Aluminum: 50 cents – $1 per pound: Aluminum is commonly found in mobile homes frames for doors and windows. Try looking for aluminum in the metal siding of your home. Most aluminum will be priced quite low unless it’s an aluminum-copper alloy.
  4. Stainless steel: 40 cents per pound: Look for stainless steel in appliances and kitchenware. You can also find regular steel in the chassis and support beams of your mobile home.

Is it legal to scrap a mobile home?

It’s definitely legal to scrap your mobile home, though you may need a permit to do so. All demolition projects are required to have a permit, so it’s worth looking into your local ordinances to see what is required of you. A typical permit can cost you between $100 – $350.

What do I do with all of the non-salvageable material?

Following deconstruction, you’ll find you that have a lot of leftover materials sitting around that are of no worth to scrapyards (think plastic and wood). The best way to get rid of these is to bring them to a landfill, preferably one with cheap dumping costs.  You could end up paying a lot in gas money if you have to make several trips back and forth. It’s recommended that you have a large vehicle with enough space for scrap materials.

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Learn more about scrapping mobile homes…

We hope this article answered some of your questions about getting rid of your mobile home. You can learn more about scrapping mobile homes in these articles:

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.

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