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Considering Buying A MH: What Are Our Subfloor Options? (Pic Heavy)

Jessica Culver's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2

08-04-14, 05:04 PM   #1  
Considering Buying A MH: What Are Our Subfloor Options? (Pic Heavy)

So, we live in an area where rent costs are astronomical compared to incomes, and we're considering buying a mobile home (1971 Kirkwood 14x66) that needs a lot of work. (It's a whopping $200, so I expect a lot of work.) However, this is all pretty new to both my mister and I. We went through the trailer today, and took pictures of what we could so we could try to make an informed decision on whether or not we wanted to buy it and pay to have it moved the 45 miles to where we live. These are the subfloor issues that are glaringly apparent:

The entryway to the house is kinda scary:

The main bedroom has pieces of wood thrown under the carpet, presumably to cover holes:

Under the cupboards and where the stove/fridge belong is pretty terrible:

I think the bathroom/back bedroom floors may be okay, but I'm not sure considering the wall in the back bedroom:

The tiny "bedroom" has some issues:

Not sure if the outside is relevant, but this is what we have going on from there:

Our entire album can be found here.

So, the big questions I have are:

1) Is this, honestly, a doable project that's worth the money?
2) I've read differing opinions, so, is it possible to lay an OSB subfloor on top of this one, considering the condition?
2a) If we did that, what problems would we be potentially facing in the long run for making that decision?
3) If we opt to remove the subfloor and replace it, is that a project 2 of us with no experience (but the ability to operate power tools and such) could do?
4) Any advice on where to start/what definitely has to be done versus what can wait a while?

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Pulpo's Avatar
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08-04-14, 05:55 PM   #2  
I have far more experience that you do & I would walk away from that deal. If you want to consider a mobile, I'm sure you can do much better than that. Normally, I would ask questions such as why are they selling it? & other questions. However, I wouldn't waste my time or yours. Forget about it.

Rough Rooster's Avatar

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08-04-14, 06:37 PM   #3  
Agree with Pulpo. Run! don't walk, away. That is a $MONEY PIT$ and you would still have a worthless pos.


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08-04-14, 06:44 PM   #4  
Jessica, welcome to the forums! For starters, all the subflooring will be particleboard, which obviously has moisture damage, thus the buckling in places. It would all have to be torn out and replaced. Then, you are talking 24" centers for your flooring support, and it just won't handle tile very well, should you decide to go that way. The exterior will need skirting to keep cold air out as well as Bubba's dogs. One corner has insulation hanging down. You need to know why. How about the other insulation beneath the floor. Your profile isn't complete so we don't know where you live, and can't offer any further information climate wise.

You will pay $200 for the home, then sink probably $15,000 to bring it up to a livable structure, including flooring, possible hvac, cabinets, windows, wall work, skirting. So be ready.

ray2047's Avatar
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08-04-14, 08:12 PM   #5  
Early on working for myself I'd do MH repairs but I eventually just learned to say no. Floors were especially difficult to repair. Particle board swollen like sponge in a swamp that just crumbled. You kept trying to tear out to good point to start your repairs and never found it. Carpet that had been installed before the walls made it worse. The carpet had to go, the floor had to go which left the wall hanging above the new floor.

Of course lets not forget cabinets that were more poorly constructed then ones in a tree house built by a ten year old. And walls with nothing more then 1/8" paneling with scrap paneling used for the sides and doors on the cabinets fastened on a frame of scrap and savage wood.

I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

Jessica Culver's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2014
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08-04-14, 09:51 PM   #6  
Thank you for the input!

I think we will definitely pass on this, thanks to you lovely experienced people!

lawrosa's Avatar
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08-04-14, 10:05 PM   #7  
Hmmm how long you living in it??? For 200 bucks I may not pass... Fix the roof and the leaks stop... So take it from there...

Easy repairs IMO.. Floor is harder to repair but for $200???

Whats the goal?

Just my opinion...

Mike NJ

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".

- Albert Einstein

marksr's Avatar
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08-05-14, 04:10 AM   #8  
I've lived in and worked on a fair amount of MHs. The subfloor is almost always 5/8" particle board. It isn't uncommon to have to rip out and replace the subfloor around the perimeter and near plumbing. I've never seen a MH that had joists/studs on 24" centers, they are always 16" on center but the floor joists are normally 2x6s and the walls can be anything from the normal 2x4 to 2x2s, 1x4s, 1x3s and occasionally 1x2s.

My biggest concern would be how/if the MH will transport. My wife had a neighbor that bought an old MH and it broke when they came to move it, fortunately it was insured.

I paid $300 for my 1st MH, it needed a lot of work! I probably spent $500 in material but if you counted my labor - that was probably 10x that. But I lived in it for 3 yrs and sold it for $1k - that was about 40 yrs ago. Learned a lot working on that MH.

retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

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