Is it possible to remove a portion of an exterior wall?

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Lil Haus
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:53 pm

Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:51 pm

I have searched everywhere and have yet to find a definitive answer to this question. Can a portion of an exterior wall be removed?

We have a single wide (12x37) 1989 Cavco. The preev owner had a bedroom added on. Only thing is, it's off the pop out dining room...they did not remove the wall between it and the MH. All they did was remove the glass out of the windows, then drywall the window posts! So while you're sitting in the dining room, you can chat with your guests thru open "windows"! Stupidest thing I've seen yet. So can I just remove that whole wall? Is a pop out structural to the rest of the MH?

Next question along the theme... We are expanding the living space by building an addition. But I don't want an L. I want a wide open, great room in a square. So I want to remove the 6' slider door for access...AND another few feet of the exterior wall on either side. I know I can't mess with the corner of the MH, as that really is a crucial load bearing part. But can I remove the exterior wall and somehow fix the load bearing issues (like in a stick built house when you add a header and posts and create a new load bearing point past the old one.)...??

Thanks!


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Greg
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Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:03 pm

Short answer to your question is yes.
That said, there are many factors involved. The walls ARE an intrical part of the support system for the roof. You did not give your location so I don't know if snow load is a factor or not. Most of the US has a 20#/sq. ft rating (northern rating can be as high as 40#/sq. ft.) so you do not want to compromise that rating. That said when you go to pull a permit to do the job if the code officer is up on requirements he will require the work be done by a Certified Mobile home mechanic and that may be harder than it sounds. In my county there are 2, I took the course and aced the test but was not going to post a $5000 bond when I did my roof so I would have been the third.
In the long run you may find it easier and cheaper to move another home better suited to your needs onto your lot.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

Lil Haus
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:53 pm

Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:54 pm

Arizona... so no snow load ever. As far as permits go, nope. This is way out in the toolies. I just want to be sure my house doesn't fall down around me! I did write to Cavco and asked them a bunch of questions about my model. Let's see if they answer with anything helpful. Like how to redistribute the load with beams/posts and where they should go. Sigh....

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Greg
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Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:08 pm

On a home that old if the response back to you it will be something along the lines of "we have no information on that home or contact a structural engineer".

What is wall framed with? A home from that era most likely has 2x4 frame at best so you will need to do major reinforcing to maintain the structural integrity Remember that snow is not the only load factor, Wind is also a factor. If enough support is removed the wall will fold like a cardboard box so keep that in mind also.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

Lil Haus
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:53 pm

Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:27 am

Greg wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:08 pm
On a home that old if the response back to you it will be something along the lines of "we have no information on that home or contact a structural engineer".

What is wall framed with? A home from that era most likely has 2x4 frame at best so you will need to do major reinforcing to maintain the structural integrity Remember that snow is not the only load factor, Wind is also a factor. If enough support is removed the wall will fold like a cardboard box so keep that in mind also.

Greg

Yes, that's what I'm guessing they'll say. But it's worth a try. Not sure yet what the walls are framed with...I'll be back out there next weekend. And yes, WIND. Huge wind storms will come up out of the blue, so that is a huge concern.

I'm thinking once the wall is opened, a support header with posts running down to the I beam frame at the base of the wall where the load is carried should work...but until I get into it, who knows.

I do know there are steel piers underneath on a concrete pad and I have about 2 dozen more stored in the shed (the preev owner collected stuff). The entire rig is well supported and anchored. All piers have good contact with the I beams, frames, perimeters, etc. The preev owner went overboard on supports, footings, anchors due to winds...so I got that goin for me. ;)

I'll keep researching and share my progress.


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Greg
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Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:57 pm

Unless someone has done some major modifications, you will find the frame
I beams 3-4' in from the walls. I think you should get under the home and take a close look at what you have. Get some pictures so you can keep it handy.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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