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Old 11-18-2012, 02:48 PM   #1
Gary79
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Default anyone ever rebuild a mobile home, using the old frame?

okay, don't shoot me for my anti/non-baller topic.

situation: I own an 10x50 1968 mobile home on a 75 acre lake in Missouri. www.lakeoftheoaks.net

it's usable as is, but looks kind of shabby, creaky, drafty. HOA rules will not allow any more single wide trailers, only double wides(if one decides to go that route). priced a small double wide, trailered to site and set up, $45k. have also priced building a small cottage, approx 24 x 32. of course, that is more involved. move electric, water and septic, and pour concrete slab.

ran across www.oakloghome.com they feature "log cabin 2 go" which is a small log cabin on a trailer frame. priced around $40k and up. they sure look neat. I could buy one but they don't meet the new HOA rules of 576 sq ft min on the first floor. the HOA can wave that minimum, but in the end, it's still a fancy, somewhat expensive(for what you get) trailer.

So,I thought why not clear everything off the frame and rebuild on top of it. it saves moving existing utilities and pouring a slab. it doesn't have to be log cabin type. could be conventional stick build, vinyl siding. a few lots down from me, a single wide has been resided, reroofed, (vinyl, metal). it looks like the existing mobile home was re-worked, not knocked flat and rebuilt. the owner is never around so I haven't talked to him. the HOA wants all the single wide trailers gone. the only reason they aren't putting the "heat" on me is because there are other trailers in far worse condition than my trailer and land, but eventually they'll get to me. They suggested I paint it when I bought the property in 2008, and I couldn't see wasting $ & paint on something that will still look "iffy".( I pressure washed it instead) If I do decide to "knock it flat",clear the frame and start all over, the HOA won't be happy and won't approve. I figured if I tell them I'm gonna re-side it and re-roof it(lie), they may not like it but may approve it. then when I actually start, I'll just start stripping down to the frame and tell anyone that asks, "dry rot" was widespread. hence, rebuilding from the ground up. I figure that I can tear down and get a significant start on rebuild before the HOA is aware. and there isn't much they can do anyway. we have no fines or penalties system. meet once a month. this is in the middle of BFE, northeast Missouri. when you build, you call the county office, and tell them what you are doing, "uh, okay". they send you a form to fill out when you are done, so they can tax you. no building permits. septic systems can be real expensive, especially near a lake, but since we are not increasing the "load" on the septic, I don't foresee any problems there, and my current septic system works. btw, my taxes for this property are $142 per year.

since the project will be on a smaller scale, I'll be able to do a lot of the work myself, saving on labor costs. I would need to borrow the money to do this and wonder how a bank will view my idea/project, and if they will loan me the $$$.

what does the great CFOT think???
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:51 PM   #2
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rebuild it and make it into a log home!!!(on a frame)
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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Are you going to replace the tornado magnet?
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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the HOA wants all the single wide trailers gone. the only reason they aren't putting the "heat" on me is because there are other trailers in far worse condition than my trailer and land, but eventually they'll get to me.
I would suggest that they probably don't have the legal option to force you to remove your home. Find out the requirements for rebuilding or restoring and go from there. You have to get the rules and go by them.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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Closest I can come is that I rebuilt a '71 Chevy Van 2500 MH , all 15' of aluminum behind the seats.....total length maybe 22'.....Floor to roof, it is a fiberglass casting in front, up over the top, and down the back *** to the bumper, aluminum sheet siding,.....

the interior is 2x4 all nailed together and bolted tight to the steel frame with aluminum sheet in between, and of course insulation between the 'beams/joists'.....for the most part the side walls were fine, new 2x4 laid flat across the ceiling.....now this is not the SIZE of your project but the techniques are the same......

what are your outside walls/roof made of??? you maybe have to repair the outside first, then redo the interior, to retain water integrity.....

I have a stepson who has done tons of work on a similar project.....

in actuality, it's not much different than a house with crawl space, just check your frame rust.....another thing, is leaky windows, I managed to fix all that on this thing, dumped the roof mounted a/c for a craigslist 20 buck RAC on a slide out the side, the street signs on the side are to cover holes cut by p/owners in the past.....

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Old 11-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #6
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Are you going to replace the tornado magnet?
God hates moblie homes. As anyone in Alafknbama!
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:15 PM   #7
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I would suggest that they probably don't have the legal option to force you to remove your home. Find out the requirements for rebuilding or restoring and go from there. You have to get the rules and go by them.
the very LAST thing to get involved with is the freeking .gov, to be avoided at any cost....


yet another reason to do the outside first, just fix it to be stable, then you can show up one weekday afternoon with your supplies and work the interior once end at a time....

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Old 11-18-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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do the cabin trailer option, looks nicer and especially since your HOA will waive any issues....I mean, all things considered for a trailer
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:15 PM   #9
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If you start to tear down and rebuild and the HOA does find out, they could very well force you to stop. Not only stop but force you to remove the frame. It all depends on who on the HOA Board doesn't like; either you or the work you have planned.

I would talk to them first and show them your specific plans. If the existing place doesn't meet the minimum square footage, you should be able to build something like a "tip-out". Add some more framing and use pier blocks to support it. Even adding another 10 feet to one end should give you 600 sq. ft.

Most MH's are placed on blocks so if you want a slab below it, you will have to move the frame which means disconnecting the utilities. And you will pretty much have to do that anyway if you are going to do a tear-down to the existing frame or subfloor.

IMHO, you would be better off by looking at some type of cabin that is modular in construction. A slab may not be necesssary; just a typical concrete footing and foundation.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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What you propose to do makes a lot of sense if you have the time and energy to do it. I personally would take the slow approach to make sure this appears as a remodel only and not level the whole thing to a frame, if the HOA is going to get ugly. Take the path of least resistance. You could open the walls up inside one at a time, replace any rotted studs pull in new utilities as needed, button things up and after all is done re-side the thing on to your new studs.

If portability is not your concern, I would somehow discover a way to build a sloped roof with generous eaves, that have a lot to do with preserving the structure.

I would like to do the same on a road-licensed RV trailer frame some day, to have an un-permitted cabin (I don't want the hassles of minimum building size, etc). I only need a simple bedroom bath and living area, and don't need the full meal deal most RV's include.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


Finally, to offer inspiration, I have a friend that remodeled a water front cabin. This was built in a good spot that did not meet modern day requirements for set back from the water. I believe he pulled a permit for re-shingling or some foundation repairs, but when he was done, miraculously the house was about twice the size and each wall was at least 4-6' beyond the original footprint. Stupid regulations result in creativity.

Last edited by jasper711; 11-18-2012 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:23 PM   #11
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Are you going to replace the tornado magnet?
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:27 PM   #12
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These are cool looking little trailers
http://www.49ervillage.com/photogall...o_cottages.gif
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:34 PM   #13
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You keep putting thought in it. YOu probably could come up with some really nice alterations without a lot of money. Take your time. If the frame is good and the walls solid, I would start with a new roof. Isn't the floor plywood? You may need to hold off on the roof until you get the look you want.

You can do it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:38 PM   #14
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Creativity, money snd timre equals success. Know the rules beforeyou start with lines on the paper.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #15
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My son's college roommate operates his fathers home building business. When he got married he bought a mobile home frame and built a house on the frame. With a plan to build a conventional house later and sell the mobile home.

He eventually built on the property and sold the mobile home.
LJ
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:56 PM   #16
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My son's college roommate operates his fathers home building business. When he got married he bought a mobile home frame and built a house on the frame. With a plan to build a conventional house later and sell the mobile home.

He eventually built on the property and sold the mobile home.
LJ
A guy I went to school with bought a new 1977 Trans Am. He still owns it but I'm not sure he'd sell it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #17
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My wife and I bought a 1970 double wide modular (not so much a mobile, as it never had wheels, but was delivered on a truck), on 4 beautiful acres. The only thing we disliked about the property was... the house . Our eventual (10 to 15-year) goal is to have this place carted off the property, and build our dream home. That being said, we needed a place to live in the meantime, and this house most DEFINITELY wasn't livable.

When we bought it, it consisted of rotting carpet, broken paneling, and the place absolutely stank to high heaven (it was a foreclosure that the previous 2 owners had rented out). It had sat vacant for a few years.

So, we ended up gutting the place (down to the studs) and essentially re-doing the entire inside of the house. Demo took much longer than anticipated.. they staple, nail, screw, and glue the paneling, and it comes off in tiny tiny pieces (YMMV). We then found that all the 1970 insulation was disintegrating, so it was all new insulation. The nice thing about modular homes is that the exterior walls (and the interior double wall in the case of a double wide) are load bearing, while the interior walls are not. So we were able to move around some closets, rooms, etc.. and actually make the place work quite well. The only work that was hired out was running gas lines for the stove and clothes dryer, and the sheetrock (hanging, mudding and taping). All other work was done by yours truly.

Overall for us, it was well worth it. We likely put more into this place than we should have from a financial POV, but it has afforded us the ability to live on our dream property, in an amazing school district for our son, and some day we'll have exactly the house we want. In the meantime, we have a very nice place that we're currently living in (though we do refer to it as our "well polished turd."

If you have any specific questions about the process, feel free to post here or PM me.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:53 PM   #18
Gary79
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Quote:
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Are you going to replace the tornado magnet?
LOL. the tornado threat is something I have considered. the current trailer has 4-5 straps that are wrapped around the exterior of the trailer along the length. I did briefly work in Florida at a retiree mobile home park in '72. we placed anchors and then metal strapped the frame to the anchors,not around the entire box( trailer).

I am pretty sure the 2 x3 box framing on the trailer is not the best. the trailer is not heated in the winter so I have to blow the water out of the lines each fall. in doing so, I remove the water heater access door on the side, and the framing there is rotted in places. the trailer floor has some "soft" spots, so I would want to replace the whole floor, then the side walls.

many things to consider. maybe I'll just go to a meeting and informally propose my plan and see what happens.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:10 PM   #19
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I was in a similar situation 15 years ago. I ended up with a 1300 sq. ft. modular for $60,000. No regrets.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:10 PM   #20
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Click here: The Complete Vintage Travel Trailer Restoration Web Site
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:10 PM
 
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