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  1. #1
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    Jan 2016
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    Default Adding on to Manufactured Home

    Is it possible to bump a wall or add on to a manufactured home (with existing metal frame)?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2007
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    7,595

    Default Re: Adding on to Manufactured Home

    My recommendation is DON'T, just DON'T! It's a can of worms that just won't end well.

    Trailers are not built well, and few know how to work on them without compromising what little structural integrity they already have. The addition will have to be to conventional code standards, which don't jive with trailer standards, which may mean upgrading considerable portions of the trailer to support the addition you wish to do. Will your insurer cover the addition? Will your mortgage holder allow it? If you need financing, good luck, lenders don't like to deal with trailers.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Adding on to Manufactured Home

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    It's a can of worms that just won't end well.
    When I was a kid, the neighbor came over to ask my dad to lend him a pair of tin snips.

    When dad asked "what for?", the neighbor replied, "I'm adding on to my trailer."

    Dad said, "Just a moment, I'll go get you a can opener."

    Over the years, the neighbor added at least three different additions onto his trailer. (This was one of the old ones with corrugated aluminum siding.) I can guarantee that none of those additions met any sort of building code, and no building inspector ever set foot on the property.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Adding on to Manufactured Home

    A story:

    Dad to his son: Please go over to the Johnson's across the street and ask to borrow a hammer.
    Son comes back saying that Johnson said he had no hammer.
    Dad tells his to go over to Smith's and ask to borrow a hammer,
    Son comes back "Smith said he had no hammer".

    After trying 7 time, dad tells his son: OK son, bring our own hammer, it's in the red tool box in the garage.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Adding on to Manufactured Home

    Someone we used to know in rural Idaho made his roomier by essentially building a frame and roof around and beyond the dimensions of the mobile home. He sided the whole thing, thus sort of encapsulating the mobile home. Then he made openings from the mobile into the added area. It actually turned out pretty well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,478

    Default Re: Adding on to Manufactured Home

    Almost anyplace where building codes are enforced will prohibit adding directly on to a trailer. Where I live (county) your project may touch it but cannot be attached to it. City code requires at least 1/2" space from anything you build and the trailer; again no connection allowed. It's long been known that the wind rating of a trailer is heavily compromised by anything added to it. It is engineered to stand alone and loses all ratings and compliances once anything is attached to it that wasn't attached when it was tested.

    Not to say that it isn't done, it's just not supposed to be done for many good and valid reasons. If you need more room, get a bigger trailer in there. They make triple-wides now, lots of space but still falls apart quickly compared to a stick-built home.

    The coolest thing I saw done with a trailer was where a fella added a front room to his trailer, then one in the back later on. The whole thing was set onto a very wide single concrete slab from the start Later still he had the trailer pulled out and closed in his frame house It was done so well that you'd never know that house came to be that way. The only give-away is the shear walls in the attic supporting 4 short rafter spans which would normally be just 2 spans- nothing else looks out of place at all. And it was all legal when it was done so it's grandfathered in the now-enforced codes as a house, not a trailer!

    Phil

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Adding on to Manufactured Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    The coolest thing I saw done with a trailer was where a fella added a front room to his trailer, then one in the back later on. The whole thing was set onto a very wide single concrete slab from the start Later still he had the trailer pulled out and closed in his frame house It was done so well that you'd never know that house came to be that way. The only give-away is the shear walls in the attic supporting 4 short rafter spans which would normally be just 2 spans- nothing else looks out of place at all. And it was all legal when it was done so it's grandfathered in the now-enforced codes as a house, not a trailer!
    This reminds me of something I saw done a few years ago. It wasn't a trailer; it was a stick-built commercial building.

    In my county, there are very steep impact fees for new construction: on the order of $10,000-$20,000 for a home; more for commercial property -- maybe as much as $100,000. These impact fees aren't applied to remodels.

    So there was this commercial building on a prominent corner in town. It was in very bad shape. The owner wanted to rebuild, but had he torn the old structure down completely and rebuilt, he would have been hit with very, very expensive impact fees.

    So they tore off the roof. Then they tore off the upper floor walls. Then they tore out the interior walls on the main floor. Then they supported the second story floor with cribbing and tore out the first floor exterior walls. With the second floor "flying" in the sky, they completely ripped out the slab and foundation.

    (Side story: during construction, this property was discovered to have a forgotten underground fuel storage tank that was leaking. So the project was delayed for about a year while litigation and then cleanup proceeded. The whole time, there was a floor up in the air.)

    Once all the old stuff was out of the way (except for the second floor), a new foundation and slab were poured, new exterior walls and a roof were built, and the interior was finished out as office space -- all around the old second floor.

    But hey, it was a "remodel" so they didn't have to pay impact fees!

    Moral of the story: sometimes politics means you have to remodel. So you "remodel" one half of the building by tearing down and rebuilding. A while later you "remodel" the other half. Some places don't even require permits for projects less than a certain amount, so some people have many, many "small projects" strung one after the other until, without being obvious, they have a new house.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,595

    Default Re: Adding on to Manufactured Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    Moral of the story: sometimes politics means you have to remodel. So you "remodel" one half of the building by tearing down and rebuilding. A while later you "remodel" the other half.
    This is fairly true in most places, new construction has fees and tax rates much higher than remodel work, even if "remodel" is new construction grafted on to old. I have done this and have known many who have added onto a home, then a year or so later tear down the original structure and build a brand new home.

    I've had other instances where a structure was too close to the fence line, but either damaged or dilapidated beyond repair, however, removal would have meant that no new structure could be built because of the proximity to the fence line. Solution: leave a portion of a wall or the roof intact and it's considered a repair/remodel.

    Had another instance where properties were developed with detached garage with "granny quarters" upstairs. Most, if not all the homes were sold with the structure just being a bare shell, leaving it up to the owners whether they finish the granny quarters or not. When it came time to finish the space, all of a sudden huge fees and regulations were levied to do the work. I went round and round with the building department, until I figured out that if it was "living space" they wanted massive fees, but call it a day use/rec room and the permits were a few hundred bucks. Turns out that the developer had gotten a special variance from the city that the city did not want to honor, they even told me not to tell anyone that they gave me permits or how I got them.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pacific Northwet
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    Default Re: Adding on to Manufactured Home

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    This is fairly true in most places, new construction has fees and tax rates much higher than remodel work, even if "remodel" is new construction grafted on to old. I have done this and have known many who have added onto a home, then a year or so later tear down the original structure and build a brand new home.
    The sad part is that if you completely tear down and then rebuild in the same footprint, it's considered new construction, so you are hit with all the extra taxes and fees, even though there is zero net impact to schools, roads, neighborhoods, infrastructure, or government services.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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