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yes it is possible

Posted by lilium_guy56 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 11, 07 at 15:05

I am 57 in NY. I was reading the posts about SW or DW mobile homes. There seemed to be a lot of concern about the fact that the standard sizes of building materials do not fit in a "trailer". I bought my 16 x 80 in 1996. While it is true that nothing ever seems to fit right that does not mean that you can not go to Lowes or HD to get the stuff to remodel with. I rented this home out for 3 years and the people just about tore it up. Major remodeling was needed.
1) The wood structure of the outside wall was not water damaged so that much was ok. I installed vinyl siding got at Lowes. Standard
2) The entire bath was a mess except for the floor under the tub and the tub itself were ok. I replaced everything else...sheetrock, wall tiles, flooring with ceramic tiles, toilet, upgrade from 30 to 50 gallon water heater and ceiling fan. Standard.
3) The 3 bedrooms were basically ok except they required new sheetrock and either paint on 2 and paneling the 3rd. One bedrrom floor had a 24" hole cut out of it which I found had been used to store "wacky tobacky". Standard sizes used.
4) The living room and adjoining dining room were fine as far as not being torn apart. I installed a material which resembles Knotty Pine on the walls. It comes in 3 1/2 " by 1/4" by 8' and is tongue & groove. $9 for 6 pieces. I put this on at a 45 degree angle coated with clear poly. Only availible at Lowes that I know of. The ceiling I changed from a flat 81" to vaulted 95" at the center. Standard sizes.
5) The kitchen was the worst. Enough said that I tore out everything in the kitchen down to the 2" x 6" studs and replaced everything including the floor. I used standard sized cabinets, counter top(granite), sink and ceramic wall tiles between the upper and lower cabinets. The new cabinets were somewhat larger but that only made the floor space 3" by 4" smaller. Add new wiring, a range, ceiling fan and frig. The kitchen was the most cost at $2100. All standard sizes got at HD, Lowes and a local supplier.
6) Laundry room was surprisingly fine. Painted it.
7) Throughout the home the people managed to break or crack all but 1 window. The old windows were odd size of course but with some added wood to the openings I was able to buy windows from Home Depot. Standard sized windows.
8) Water pipes froze a lot causing damage inside. The problem was that the 18" space underneath where the gray plastic water lines were gets cold here in NY. Pipes freeze. And the only place to get those kind of pipes was at the MH supplier. So I bought 1 fitting from the MH supply enabling me to change from the 13/16" goofy size to standard PVC. That cost $8. Then I ran the pipe straight up so it would get the water inside the home sooner and not freeze. I ran the pipes thru the walls. Adding an in-line heater, connected to a switch so it could be turned off, in the PVC for the 18" and no more freezes and no more damage.
9) add an enclosed front porch and rear deck.
You may say it is my own fault for not checking up on the people renting the place. I agree. So why fix it instead of junking the thing? 4 years ago I kicked those folks out. Then quickly met a lady on-line from dixieland. We conversed. Short story we married in April 2005 and I hauled her up here to Ny and snow country where upon she saw the trailer and said, "ya'll had better fix me up a proper home or git yer own supper". lol
So where I had a trailer valued at $500 and almost junk I now have a home recently valued at $10,750 for sale. I spent $4000. We have 3 possible buyers and will be moving back "down home" to dixie by end of 2007. So whoever tells you that you can't fix your mobile home with standard sizes is mostly F.O.S. Except for the front door which has to stay 77". Thru all the repairs the "dixie chick" held out and managed to cook around the mess. The step-kids were not happy but they had no choice. I asked my southern girl why she put up with that mess. "knew I had me a good old man".
Just fix it. It'll work.
Have a good day. YA'll


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: yes it is possible

Lilium, you're preaching to the choir here. We never bought anything other than normal products from Lowe's, HD or Menards.

We bought a 87 DW on land. Loved the property because of the town view of horses. Who doesn't want a pretty little horse for a NEIGH-bor? :~) Loads of pine trees, etc. We thought we were going to cart this place away and build our dream home. Welllll, it's turned into our dream home. Somewhere during this process, it went from a 1,100 sq 36k nasty POS (land value 22k) to a 139k 2,200 sq home that everyone admires.

We haven't done anything to the kitchen and existing baths yet but thats in a year or two.

In four years we have: replaced roof, replaced and upgraded wiring, sided, put all new Pella windows and doors in, put in new flooring, textured and repainted all wals, new interior doors, landscaping, new decks,put a full finished basement under it, added a garage, new a/c and furnace, new water heater and water softner, all new appliances. I'm sure there is more.

Moral of the story. EVERYTHING came from a regular home improvement store. MH products are expensive, elusive and poorly made IMHO.


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RE: yes it is possible

Two items that quite often are different in mobiles, especially older ones, are the doors (both interior and exterior) and the bathtubs. MH doors were often shorter, but if you are willing to do a little carpentry and cutting, a standard house door can be installed....at about 1/3 the price.
If you only have space for a 4.5' tub, then it's going to be major reconstruction to get a standard 5' house tub in.
You would have to bite the bullet and pay the outrageous price of a mh tub or possibly switch to a shower instead.


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