Double wide remodel. Have some ?'s

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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:19 pm

Double wide remodel. Have some ?'s

Post by eric_v1 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:24 pm

Going to finally start my 1988 Norris Parkland remodel here in the next couple weeks and have a few questions for all you guru's.

My first series of questions relate to drywalling the home.
1. How can I check if the home would support 1/2 or even 3/8 drywall? The current walls are covered in a kind of wood fiber paneling (almost cardboard like) and the ceiling has the usual textured drywall panels (so I'm guessing the ceiling will have no issues supporting 1/2 gypsum board, right?). The home is sitting on traditional piers (about 14-20 of 'em) poured 30 inches below grade, home located in Southern Illinois.

2. Install wall board vertically or horizontally and staggered as I would in a stick frame house? But before you answer this one read 3.

3. What is my most cost effective method to cover the seams? I thought about hanging the walls vertically and putting battens on each seam as well as the ceiling joints but this may end up costing me more than mud and taping.

My next series of questions is plumbing related.

My current hot / cold lines are a grey type of PEX line. Now whenever I have left the water off for a few weeks while I'm out of town and come back and turn the water back on I get a black soot that comes out of the pipes (both hot and cold) so I did some research and apparently the material is breaking down (if I did my research right).

SO.... I figured since I'm redoing most of the home anyways, why not redo the water lines with some blue and red PEX. So my ?'s.

1. Instead of disturbing the belly insulation can I just run the pex through an exterior wall as long as I keep the insulation between the pipes and the OSB?

2. With 2 baths and a kitchen, should I go 1/2 or 3/4? My main runs to the water heater closet which is in the master bath then leads to kitchen then to second bath? So my thoughts were to use 1/2 to supply the master bath and use 3/4 to run to kitchen then from kitchen to second bath with 1/2". Or should I just save money and use 1/2" everywhere?

3. Should I use an expansion tank even though my current water heater doesn't have one?

David Oxhandler
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:37 am

Re: Double wide remodel. Have some ?'s

Post by David Oxhandler » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:10 pm

Most manufactured homes built in the late 80s were framed with 2x4s centred on 16 inch. You might find them on 24 inch but no less. In either event 1/2 inch sheet rock would work fine. The thicker you make the sheets the more difficult it will be to refinish around the doors and windows. The finished half inch will look exactly like the 3/8 but cost you a bit less.

Hanging the rock horizontally or vertically is up to you. I have had professional sheet rock hangers that have gone both ways in different homes that I renovated. Each method has it benefits, both look the same when finished and trimmed properly.

There is no comparison between taped and mud or bat trim on the seams. The mud finish will give your home a modern, clean, site built appearance. Trim, like all wood products, has gotten to be quiet expensive. If you have the skills to tape and mud you will be much happier with the tape/mud method.

I am in Florida and have re-plumbed about 40 manufactured homes. I have always used half inch CPVC, rather than any rolled tubing. Im not sure about the cost difference, but it is easier for me to deal with hard piping then rolling it under the home. I use the CPVC for hot and cold so I dont need to stock up on 2 different types of material. We have never had any problem doing this... as a matter of fact the half inch will result in better water pressure than the 3/4.

As far as where to run the pipe. We can just hang the plumbing under the home, below the insulation here because we have few problems with freezing. I have never put them into the walls but always followed under the original path. Drilling holes in each and every wall stud could compromise the strength of the wall. I have seen some folks run the pipes along the baseboard and case it in. I think I would rather have potential leaks under the home than in the walls or inside the home. One leaky pipe inside can cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage overnight. While it will be more difficult to open the insulation to run the new plumbing it is the best method for the long run.

If the existing water heater is doing the job and not running up your electric bill too badly why change it... If it aint broken don't fix it.

See the following free articles in our repair archives that may be helpful.

Hangin' Drywall For Beginners
Understanding and Installing Manufactured Housing Waterlines
How to select and install a heat tape
What is A Plumbing Check Vent?
Manufactured Home Ceilings - Repairing or Rebuilding
Tax Deductions For Home Improvements?

You may also want to download The Manual for Manufactured Home Repair & Upgrade This is the only book of its type, available to the public, that we have been able to find. As you would expect from the title, The repair and upgrade techniques described in this manual are specific to manufactured homes.

This book will answer almost every question on manufactured home repair that we have ever heard. Not only does this book show you how to repair and maintain your home, but also great methods for upgrading it. With "The Manual" next to your tool box you will be ready for any renovations you may decide to make.
David Oxhandler
[email protected]

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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: Double wide remodel. Have some ?'s

Post by yogabill » Wed May 02, 2012 7:46 pm

To add to Davids input, sheetrock will also act as thermal mass to some extent (more so than the cardboard walls) I prefer laying the drywall vertically as there will be fewer and shorter cuts to make.

Depending on where you live, I live in Colorado, you will want to keep those pipes as warm as possible. I would avoid putting them in the walls if at all possible to make them more accessible if you have leaks.

be well

David Oxhandler
Posts: 1459
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:37 am

Re: Double wide remodel. Have some ?'s

Post by David Oxhandler » Wed May 02, 2012 8:24 pm

The problem with running water lines inside any home became obvious to me about a year ago. I came to my office on a Tuesday after a three day week-end and noticed that there were wet streaks going down the foundation skirting. Once inside I discovered the floor flooded with 5 inches of standing water through out the entire home we converted to our office.

That small pool caused over $20,000.00 in damage repairs and mold mitigation. I was lucky to have insurance. BUT the company discounted the damaged parts based on their age. If I was not a renovator with a skilled home repair team I would not have been able to afford the repair work.

The leak came from a pin hole in 1/4 inch clear tubing that the former owners had used to hook up the ice maker. Don't let this happen to you. Even if you live in a climate like CO, where freezing is common it is not a good idea to run your water lines inside the home. If a pin hole in 1/4 inch line left 5 inches of standing water imagine what a 1/2 or 3/4 inch broken line would do in your home.

ALL manufactured home builders run their main water runs under the floor, on the warm side of the bottom insulation. It may be very inconvenient to open the insulation to install new water lines but it is by far the best and most accepted path. If the lines are under the floor, the worst problem you can face might be replacing wet insulation, as opposed to terrifying and perhaps economically irreversible damage.
David Oxhandler
[email protected]

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