The average life expectancy of modern mobile homes is 30 to 55 years. By then or possibly before, the house might become the worse for wear beyond repair. If this happens, one option that you have is to strip down the property to its frame. You can then scrap the structure or put it to new uses.
To guide you through the process, we are going to look at eight steps to gutting a mobile home.
You should start off by buying some necessary protective gear for you or anyone who is going to help.
The following are items that you need:
- Safety glasses
- High visibility vests
- Headgear like hardhats
- Protective gloves
- Work boots
- Masks or respirators for dust or any hazardous chemicals and materials.
- Long sleeve pants and shirts
You will need additional equipment for specialized tasks like welding.
Besides this, gather all the tools you will need. This will depend on the specific situation, but some crucial items are hammers, crowbars, screwdrivers, ladders, and carpet knives.
Before beginning any work, double check that the power and the water are both turned off.
2- Remove moveable objects
Now that you are ready, you can start by taking out anything that can be moved from the house. This includes everything from appliances to furniture. If you don’t have another home, consider getting a storage space to keep it safe in.
The next step is to remove any fixtures and trim from the mobile home. This will involve a variety of objects.
Start by removing lighting and other electrical fixtures. Then remove storage installations such as shelves and cabinets. These are all things that can usually be reused.
After this, you can move on to any paneling and trim on the walls, floors or ceiling. You also need to remove all the doors and windows from the house.
Another part of the process is to remove the carpet, laminate or other types of flooring.
Strip away any tack that secures the material to the surface. Begin to remove the covering in the corner.
If it is a carpet, you can typically pull the whole thing up after it has been loosened. You can then cut the rug into strips and roll them up to make it more comfortable to handle.
On the other hand, you might need to remove plywood or laminate tile-by-tile or strip-by-strip.
You need to dismantle the roof of the mobile home as well. This can be tricky to do on your own. Make sure that you have someone on hand to at least hold the ladder for you.
With shingles, you need to take out any tack or nails that are securing them. It is essential that you identify which pieces are overlapping and start taking them down by lifting the edge of the topmost one. Then go on doing this row by row.
6- Walls and ceilings
For the next part, you need to make sure that nothing is securing the wall or ceiling panels. Take out any nails or screws.
Remove the siding from the top moving to the bottom. Underneath the panels, there are wooden frames to keep them in place. They need to be taken off as well.
Repeat the same process on the interior and exterior.
You can then start with the ceiling. Strip away the panels one at a time beginning in the corner.
7- Plumbing and wiring
If you want to strip down the house altogether, it might be necessary to take out all the plumbing and wiring as well. This is one of the most challenging tasks to tackle. Inexperienced homeowners should instead consult a plumber and electrician to help.
They will know exactly where all the pipes and wires are situated and remove them safely.
Finally, the deconstruction is out of the way. Now the only thing left to do is to take out the trash. Standard garbage removal services probably won’t take away this type of debris. You will need to contact a company that specializes in removing building rubble.
Mistakes to avoid when gutting a mobile home
As with any venture, you need to know the do’s and the don’ts. Here are some of the possible mistakes you should avoid when you are gutting a mobile home:
- Being hasty: We get that you want to get unpleasant jobs over with as soon as possible. But this can cost you in the long run. Instead, take time to prepare to protect yourself and anybody who will help you. Gutting a mobile home is not as easy as it might sound. You can get hurt.
- Not going step by step: If you’re trying to strip everything away at once, you’ll make the task much more difficult for yourself. Parts will be much more challenging to remove. You will also probably damage items that could be salvaged.
- Leave debris lying around: You can just imagine how chaotic any construction or deconstruction site can get after a while. That’s why it is necessary to keep on cleaning as you go. Set out a space on the property for this purpose.
- Being wasteful: Many of the fixtures and materials from a gutted home, like lights and cabinets, can be used again. You can sell some of them at second-hand shops, or you can sell it as scrap. If you want to do do this, put these objects to one side separate from the other debris. You don’t want them to be damaged or lost.
One brilliant thing about gutting a mobile home is that it gives you the opportunity for a fresh start. You can build something new from the ground up using the frame. Take a look at some other thrifty uses for the structure.