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 09-14-2004, 09:13 Post: 96417
DeTwang



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 mobile home framing techniques

I want to replace a window in an olber mnobile home with a set of french doors. Having been a contractor for years but only worked on traditionally framed homes, I don't know (nor can I find info on) how older thin walled mobile homes are framed, and what is required as far as headers, king studs, etc. for these structures.

I want to eventually replace all the windows and doors fort looks and energy efficiency, but all I can find that I like is intended for standard stick framed buildings.

I have located a few entry doors and windows for older mobile homes on the net, but they are not the style I want.

The current doors on the structure are reduced height (a little over 6') as oppsed to the standard 6'8 of modern stick framed structures.

Rather than oreding custom sized french doors and windows form traditional window/door manufacturers and paying through the nose, I want to use low cost stuff off the shelf from local home supply stores.

This means I'll have to create structural firring/moulding around the doors and standard stucco in windows will probably work fine with proper sealing and decorative molding.

I;m just clueless as to what to expect once I begin sutting into the existng structure.

Is it 2x2 framing? 2x4 turned sideways? How often (12" OC, 16" OC, 24" OC)? What do they use for bottom and top plates? How are doors and windows framed?

Surely somkeone around here has worked on these older mobile homes (this one is 1974), and can shed some light on things.

Thanks,
Mark S.






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 09-14-2004, 09:57 Post: 96424
Murf

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 mobile home framing techniques

I don't know about the older ones, but I have seen the inside of a modern one that was opened for inspection by a dump truck at highway speed. I have also seen them being built on one of those 'How they do it" TV shows.

They are all 2" x 2" pine, it looks to be about 16" O.C., I can't recall bottom plate, but the top was also 2" x 2", but it was connected with those little steel brackets to stiffen & secure the joint. The skin was also, like a tractor trailer, a structural component.

Basically anything you do now is going to be stronger than what it was built with, Laughing out loud.

Best of luck.






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 09-14-2004, 11:08 Post: 96429
DeTwang



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Hi Murf,

Did you happen to notice how the roof was framed/supported (especially on the ends)?

Also, are any internal walls typically bearing walls? Considering that they're panelled 2x2s I can't imagine that they are.

Mark S.






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 09-14-2004, 11:57 Post: 96434
Murf

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Mark, they seemed to have arched 2" x 2" roof 'rafters' then they used small steel straps, about 1" x sheet metal thick, that ran side to side as sort of collar ties to prevent spreading.

All the exterior walls were framed the same way, front sides or rear.

No load bearing is required for any interior walls. Mind you, these were only 8' wide units, it may be different with wider units.

Best of luck.






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 09-14-2004, 20:49 Post: 96479
DeTwang



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 mobile home framing techniques

Have any idea why the doors are 6'2 instead of 6'8?

seems like there's room for 6'8 doors, but both the rear door and the sliding glass patio door on the front are 62.

I believe this is standard for these older thinwall mobile homes, but I have no idea why.






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 09-15-2004, 04:50 Post: 96501
grinder

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I would venture a guess that the 6'2" height has something to do with the height of the finished product. (road travel)Assuming there is some kind of header.
You will have to cut your openings larger than the unit by at least 3", and reframe with 2x4's. If the wall is 2x2, slip in a 2x4 on the flat with 1/2 in plywood attached to it
to fill the gap. Do this before you frame your opening so you will have something wide enough to attach your inside and outside trim. Keep it flush outside and box in your trim inside.
Allow me to make a negative comment: You can spend a lot of money trying to make something out of nothing. Seems the doors and windows would cost more than the unit is worth?
But, if you want to do it, it can be done. Be glad to try to help you.






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 09-15-2004, 05:28 Post: 96502
TomG

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Increasing the door height would reduce room for a header. I don't have a clue about header requirements for trailers, but our inspector wants me to replace some BS framing in our front porch door with doubled 2x10's before I install a pre-hung door. It's in a 4" unloaded wall, but there probably is one rafter over it and the roof has to carry snow. A door in a trailer wall is likely in a loaded wall.

I don't know how a standard residential door and framing would work for a trailer. Our old 40' construction trailer has 4" walls but the doors are nothing like residential doors. The doors still jam if the trailer isn't leveled right. I suspect that unless to doors are very light, 2x2's for the short studs wouldn't hold the door weight near the hinges without deflecting.

I suspect that what ever is done has to accommodate leveling changes and flexing if the trailer is moved. Maybe standard low-cost residential units may create problems. I think that trailers build on steel frames work very differently from structures built on masonry.






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 09-15-2004, 15:00 Post: 96539
grinder

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Tom
If there is a rafter tail over it ,then it is carrying weight.
2x10 with a 1/2 in pc. of plywood between will get you the 3 1/2 " 2x4 wall thickness.
As opposed to a gable end wall where a 2x6 header would do.






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 09-16-2004, 06:25 Post: 96560
TomG

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Thanks Grinder! I doubt the rafters span the short side-walls in this lean-to porch roof but I suppose there could be stubs from the middle of the end rafters to the wall plates, which would be over the door--don't know how much that would load the door frame though. The inspector's idea is that if I have to replace the short door frame studs with longer ones to accommodate a pre-hung door than I might as well make the whole area solid to the wall plate, whether it needs 2x10's or not.

Dang! This whole thing started with an insurance company nattering away about the lack of steps and an exterior door on a front enclosed porch. Few people have front stairs around here. Two other entrances meet fire code. The problem is me wanting to save as much of my wife's flower bed as possible by eliminating landings and handrails. I think I've figured how to do it and it shouldn't be too bad. However, I suppose that my wife's flower bed will blossom with my aggravation if I find two layers of exterior wall covering nailed to the door framing I may have to remove.






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