Time to kick that mobile home rebuild into full gear.
Give the chassis a once over
Depending on where you procured your chassis, it may need a bit of help before you make it the foundation of your beautiful new home. Check for structural soundness and for rust. If you got your hands on a particularly old but still sound chassis, you may want to clean it up a bit before starting.
A metal sander would be great here if you have one. But if you don’t, go for a wire brush or some steel wool.
Finish the job by painting on some rust protector.
Think from the bottom up
You want your house to be a safe, stable environment for you and your family. Correspondingly, tackle the foundation next.
Though the chassis is a foundation of sorts, you may not want your mobile home resting on its wheels forever. If you’ve already ruled out setting your new home on a concrete slab, you may want to consider steel frame piers or concrete blocks for your footers.
Don’t know what the difference between those is? Learn about the different types of mobile home foundations here.
After you’ve installed your floor trusses (prefabricated trusses or ones you designed yourself—provided they’re up to code), you’re ready to put down some floor. Use exterior plywood secured with both caulk and nails.
Wall it in
For the walls, consider either 2x6s or 2x4s for your studs. Exterior plywood is a natural choice for the outside, and, of course, you’ll want to sheetrock the insides. Also, don’t forget that insulating between those two will be vital—reducing your heating and air conditioning costs. Check out the Department of Energy’s rundown on Types of Insulation if you’re not sure which insulation you want to use.
Roof your mobile home rebuild
You can buy pre-made trusses or make your own. However, if you opt for the latter, be sure to check that they’re in compliance with your local building codes. Generally speaking, you don’t want an inspector balking at trusses that weren’t engineered by an expert. Consequently, once you’ve reached the inspection stage, you certainly wouldn’t want to have to remove your trusses.
You may want to check with a structural engineer to be sure you’re on the right track. After trusses, you’ll definitely need to insulate again. This will keep your heating and cooling bills down and keep you more comfortable.
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Save on windows and doors
Now that your mobile home rebuild is off the ground, you’ll want to start thinking about windows and doors. If you’re working on a tight budget, an online classifieds site is a go-to option.
Search for interior or exterior doors and windows that are still in good condition. Remember that broadening your search to nearby towns or cities may be worth it if it allows you to pick up great items for a fraction of their original price. To emphasize, the more exciting opportunity is to snag your dream front entry door (maybe a vintage, all-wood beauty) at a price you can afford.
Call in the experts
Even though your rebuild will be an excellent learning experience, keep in mind that there may be some jobs that simply exceed the scope of your expertise. Nothing to be ashamed of here. Just be honest with yourself about what you are and aren’t equipped to handle.
Certainly, you’ll save yourself time, money, and headache in the long term. The last thing you need is to sink your beautiful mobile home rebuild with shoddy wiring or plumbing.
Unless you’re a seasoned electrician, you may need to hire someone to do your wiring. A good electrician will be knowledgeable about municipal codes so you don’t end up having to tear out work done incorrectly. More importantly, dealing with electricity is inherently dangerous. So having someone who knows what they’re doing is vital. Plumbing also is a task you’ll probably want to consider an expert for.
Dress it up
Since the outside of your new home is the first thing people will see, you certainly want to put some thought into creating a beautiful exterior. Vinyl siding is great for a tidy, classic look.
If you’re looking for a brick or stone appearance, consider faux stone panels like those sold by GenStone. Whether you prefer brick veneer, rock siding, or stacked stone, you’ve got plenty of options for customizing the outside of your new abode.
Build up your dream
With your mobile home rebuild complete, you can start thinking about how to transform this beautiful new house into your true home. Paint the walls in colors that inspire you and choose a theme for your decor. Can’t decide how you want to decorate and personalize? Check out some of our ideas here.
That chassis you have isn’t just a mobile home frame anymore, it’s your dream home just waiting to happen. Time to tackle that mobile home rebuild and turn the dream into a beautiful living space for you and your family.