Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Deconstruction has begun! No, I'm not using a sledge hammer...

 I am not a licensed contractor, nor am I telling anyone how to do this, just sharing my experience - whether it's the right way or wrong way, I'm just a woman with a desire and short on cash
SO, as my Dad used to say, 'If you think you can, or you think you can't - your right'... 

I have 3 prybars, papa bear, mama bear & baby bear, thats all you need, for now! 
Just so you know, if you take the paneling down, it's trash!  It's glued and stapled, and the glue strips the back of it.  Doesn't matter how careful you try to be..

In this photo, I had just begun deconstruction. The tv was built into the wall and framed out. Below it was a built-in book/display case. The opening on the right is the hallway. At this point, the frame around tv & display case has been removed. (right of the tv is a partial section of a lobster trap I found on the beach).

Here the tv has been removed. At the top of the wall, you can see a dark strip. That is where I've already taken the trim off.   Above tv on the ceiling is the remnants of a wood stove chimney, that also will be removed.

This view is from the spare room/laundry room looking out towards living room & kitchen. To the left of the hole the tv was removed from,  that grey box is the furnace. The wire hanging is connected to the furnace.

That wire that is hanging in above pic comes from the electric panel, to the this strange looking connection box (below left), then two wires comes out of this box, one to power the furnace, the other to this emergency shut-off switch (below right) by the door (it has been cut out of paneling because that panel will also be removed).
connection box
Shut-off switch

Well, on with the show...

The wall between the living room and laundry room has been removed, and that's the furnace on the right. The wall studs are 2x2's.  The floor is continuous.  The way a mobile home is made is that the floor is laid down, then walls set on top.  Here is a really good  diagram .
One thing you will find is that the insulation in a mobile home (MH) is about 1 inch thick (about R-0) lol. I bought used 1 1/2 inch, used 4'x8' sheets of polyiso insulation. I completely covered the outside of my MH with the sheets of this insulation.  But thats for another post (stay tuned for that).

The black spots on insulation is just dust, not mold.  Usually when you see that, it means air leakage!

On the other side of this wall is the bathroom.  The ceiling was easy to take down, just messy - make sure you wear safety glasses and a mask.  The structure of the roof as you can see, is trusses. The ceiling panels run the width, from one side to the other.  The material is a press-board, and is stapled along each truss.  It came down in fairly large sections, and it was pretty lightweight.  There was plastic sheeting/vapor barrier holding the insulation in the ceiling, which made it easier to take insulation down, bay by bay.

One more thing, when you pull the ceiling down, the panels are under the trusses and on top of the outside wall top plate, so they break off along the edge. And not clean, but sticking out. I knew I had to cut them flush, so the drywall would set flat.  What to do?  The only way I could think of to cut it flush, is with the awesome tool my neice got me last year. 
The Dremel Multi-Max.  It has saved me from so many potentially frustrating situations, that I don't know what I would do with-out it!  I just absolutely love it!  It oscillates rather then spins. The wood blades are fairly reasonably priced, but the blades that are labeled wood/metal are a little more pricey. And if ya hit a nail or staple with the wood blades, it pretty much ruins them.  But this tool cuts that press-board like butter..
Luv it, luv it, luv it!!!


  1. Looking at your pictures, they remind me of the progress I am making on my old mobile home. I am documenting mine on my website. I wish I had more insight about this, it's a learn as you go kind of thing

  2. Wow, it pays to cruise the internet. I like "personal" projects. Even though I will be looking up codes and regulations (smart to do, but it is OUR personal home) to maximize safety, I really like your pics. I have a 1962 Whonosewutt Mobile home (10x53) and the previous owner laid down 500 bucks worth of carpet and the subfloor is shot. This August its a total gut, rewire, upgrade electrical, reinsulate, new outlet boxes, new plywood subfloor with steel screen between wall gaps, wire and pipe entry's (rodent proof it). Then hopefully there will be enough for beadboard (white) in almost every room. Have to put in a new belly, so its down to the skeleton!!! I liked the vinyl backed insulation, that just saved me a potential dampness problem because my lot is 15 minutes from a great lake. I know I am going to use ocb for belly boards and hopefully there is some kind of vapor proof barrier to put over that. Thanks for all the ideas.......CJ

  3. Thankful to have found your blog, but there are no recent entries, are you still doing mobile homes or have you moved on to stick houses? I enjoy these sites and the detailed pictures as to what you are doing. I have many things to improve on this ol' home, but very little income. Hope for some more updates.
    Victoria BC Canada

  4. i like your post.Mobile home remodeling is a good idea.it also save time.

  5. good idea. i must share one thing which will be very helpful to many.every one wants to remodel his/her bath and kitchen so visit this site for bath room remodeling http://buildingresourcelimited.com/home-services/las-vegas-bathroom-remodel-with-brl/

  6. Awesume! Just the info I was searching for! Very inspiring webpage! Thanks for taking the time to document, photograph and post this!

  7. BIG KUDOS to you for attacking this project. I have demoed and remodeled numerous old houses, but never a MH. In anticipation of purchasing a used MH, I needed some "hands on" experience to guide me. Your comments and pics were perfect!! Thank you.