Doublewide Trailer Conversion - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 03/01/11, 12:47 PM
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Doublewide Trailer Conversion

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to convert a double wide into a barn style house. Obviously you would need to take into consideration the floorplan of the trailer house and how the rooms would flow.
I'm guessing you would start with a stand alone roof onto which you would attach each half or something like that. Or could you just simply build between the 2 halves? I thought it would be simple enough to weld the frames together but how about the rest of it? Any ideas??
Here are a couple of links so that you get the jist of the idea.


http://www.easybuildings.com/images/monitor.png
http://www.horizonstructures.com/ima...ackette_sm.jpg

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  #2  
Old 03/01/11, 02:16 PM
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You'd probably want to start by putting in your foundation runners and setting the two halves in place. That way you wouldn't be worrying about the trucks running into walls or getting things exactly close enough. I'd then build a pole structure between the two halves after doing a good tie down.
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Old 03/02/11, 09:32 AM
 
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Here's my standard reply when somebody asks about adding onto, modifying or building a house over a mobile home: Don't do it.

You'd be a lot better off to build what you want from scratch rather than trying to modify a double wide. The frame of them is the absolute bare minimum adequate to support what the manufacturer puts on top the frame, and is NOT intended to handle whatever else you want to pile on top.

Every time I see a 'build on' to a manufactured home, it's almost always done badly, by folks who have a dream, but no real understanding of construction.....and the result is almost always a mess.

That said, every single one that has ever asked me has proceeded to ignore the advice, and done it anyway....so feel free to join them.

Neighbor down from me asked TWICE....once when he was making a "double wide" out of a single wide...( I said don't do it ) and then again, when he asked about digging a basement under the mess....which was the frame of the old trailer, still on blocks, and the addition, which wasn't on ANYTHING but 4x4 posts on scrap blocks of 2x8 for "footers"....looked like a forest of them under the addition.

Now he has about 80-90k in the thing, and God only knows HOW much labor in it and still looks like what it is.....a single wide trailer converted to a house with a leaky basement....and he wonders WHY he can't sell it.

Another neighbor added a 12x20 addition onto the side of a 14x70 single wide. He put block piers 16x16" filled with concrete ( 2-8" block cross layers ) all down the out side, the inside, and another set in the middle of the addition....because he didn't know how to do a continuous foundation, which would have used less block, concrete AND enclosed the addition ( which he later "under pinned" ). Then proceeded to use finger jointed 2x6's for floor joists, because "they were the same size as the joists on the trailer AND a whole lot cheaper than those regular ones"......ahahahaaa....and so on and so on.....a mess.....

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  #4  
Old 03/02/11, 04:39 PM
 
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we have a double wide around here that has a pole barn built around it with a big porch in front. It is the crazyiest thing to look at. Before you do the work have someone do a cost estimate and compare it to what it would cost to just tear it down and built the house you want.

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Old 03/02/11, 06:07 PM
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Smallhomestead,
I have seen that done before and it really doesn't look that crazy. I actually didn't realize it was a pole barn over the mobile until I went into the house. From the outside it looked like a southern style plantation house. They wrapped the poles with 1x8's to make columns. The big porch was a huge outdoor extention of their living areas with oversize white rocking chairs. I thought it was a fantastic idea.
Thanks for posting. I'll have to give that idea some thought.

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Old 03/02/11, 06:38 PM
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I think if you can find a double wide in decent condition real cheap and did most of the work yourself, it could be done reasonably enough. I wouldn't sink a lot of money into it, personally. One of my cousins lives in a single wide that was converted. Her husband did the work himself and all expenses were out of pocket. They've lived in it for at least 40 yrs with no mortgage. I'd say it paid for itself pretty fast and it didn't matter if it didn't have a huge resale value. They never planned to move and have not done so.

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  #7  
Old 03/02/11, 07:40 PM
 
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TNAndy. Solid post. Early in my hammer swinging career I had a customer who insisted that I put a addition on his very old, stunningly under built, single wide. I tried, nearly begged, him to forget about it. But, he was persistent, and a great old guy. The good part was that it had a fairly steep "A" roof, done over the flat roof. The bad part was that he NEVER spent a dime on material. The roof was framed with stolen police barricades for rafters. I swear, that every rafter was a 2x6, painted orange, with,"POLICE LINE-DO NOT CROSS" routered into each side. They were covered with nice solid plywood and shingles. The trailer was re-sided with painted 3/4" plywood. It was about 12 ply and it turned out to be extremely expensive highway sign stock. The whole mess was up on railroad tie cribbing. The skirting was a collection of thick aluminum street signs, silver side out, and painted black. As you might of guessed, this guy was a retired big city public works employee.
Now the issue was how to "hang" an addition on the side of this precariously perched disaster, and still pretend that I was a professional, with a shred of dignity left? I built a room roughly 12' deep and 30' long. It was supported by 6" P.T columns, bearing on concrete pads, 4' deep. It had a shed roof that ran up to the peak of the existing roof. The neat trick was that it was floating up against the trailer. It had four structural walls and a fully self supported roof structure. Except for caulk and flashing, it wasn't attached at all. Technically it would of been possible to remove the trailer entirely from the addition without pulling a nail. It's been years, but I drive by it every so often, and it still looks darn straight.
Given the way a lot of these things are built. You are correct. They don't make a great candidate for additions and extensive modifications.

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  #8  
Old 03/03/11, 01:13 PM
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This is why I was curious about a stand alone roof onto which you could attach each halve.
Used doublewides are a dime a dozen under 10,000. It's an idea worth exploring.

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