How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What walls can I remove in a mobile home?
Thursday, October 4, 2018
The outside walls and the walls below the marriage-line of the two sections of a double-wide home are load bearing. Other interior walls can be removed without creating a structural problem. A single-wide has no load bearing interior walls. However, remember that the wall you want to remove may contain electrical wiring, receptacle boxes, and plumbing that will have to be rerouted or relocated—which may complicate what seems at first like a simple job.
It’s important to understand that the exterior walls of a manufactured home are tightly engineered with withstand multiple forces, and the weight of the roof bearing down on the top of the walls is just one of them. The walls must also resist lateral (sideways) loads from high winds, and it’s important that the corners remain intact to maintain the stiffness of the entire building shell. Plus, the exterior walls must withstand uplift forces in a windstorm, and creating new openings in the walls create new concentrated loads at locations around the perimeter of the home where they are not designed to receive them. So we recommend that you not mess with the exterior walls.
Interior walls along the marriage line can possibly be removed or rearranged, but you should consult the manufacturer or a licensed structural engineer with manufactured home experience before attempting any wall removal there. Just because everything is still standing after you remove a wall along the marriage line does not mean that it’s alright. Again, the rigidity of the entire structure is partially dependent on having enough continuous wall in place at the marriage line to resist lateral forces.
Here’s an example below of what not to do. A homeowner decided to make two small bedrooms of his manufactured home into a single big one, and removed the marriage wall at the end of the home that separated the two rooms. This is the worst possible location to remove a wall.
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