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Building Homes or Extensions/Build OVER a mobile then REMOVE mobile home


QUESTION: Intent: build a self standing "second floor" over a mobile home while living in the mobile home. Once "second floor" completed, remove mobile home and finish out first floor in its place.
Is this possible?
Mobile home: delapidated and deterriorating rapidly. Not feasible to repair. Tooo many problems.
Its a double wide built in 1980.
Situation: almost own the five acres its on. Want new home in location of existing home. Single mother and teacher. Trying to provide stable, functional, secure home as independently and prudently as possible. Husband left us in financial bind. Credit DEVASTATED.
Exploring options.
Please respond as thoroughly as possible. And thanks in advance for availing your knowledge to me.

ANSWER: Hi Julie, basically you are talking about a "stilt" house.  I'm sure you've seen them, houses that sit up off the ground 8-10 feet.  The trick would be to make the central supporting beam big enough to carry the load without depending on the mobile for any structural support.  However to avoid having to oversize the central support beam to a point where it becomes cost prohibitive, it would be possible to open up a few places in the roof, down to the ground, install support columns and then patch the roof around the penetrations until the mobile can be demolished. Depending on the overall width of your mobile home you could run your support beams cross wise over the house..if your existing home is 24' wide you will need 6x16 beams minimum to make that span.  They could be spaced 12' apart and your second floor system would then be made up of 2x10 floor joists 24" apart, topped,with 3/4" plywood.  Once your floor system is in place you can then build your exterior walls out of 2x4 studs and top the walls with manufactured trusses that span from outside wall to outside wall.  You will have to be conscious of where your existing plumbing is and arrange the bathrooms, kitchen etc. in similar areas to make the plumbing tie ins reasonable.

I am sorry about your financial situation, but  anytime you try something that is not conventional construction, it will cost more.  You might be better off building a smaller house alongside the mobile with a bathroom, kitchen and large living room but make it so that once the mobile is removed you can add a bedroom wing.   I hope this information helps, please feel free to write again regarding this or other matters, sincerely Bruce Johnson

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QUESTION: Wow!! Thank you for the thorough and rapid response!
I do hope Im not over-using you (and your knowledge) but your reponse leads me to another question:
Building the small structure beside the home vs the one above...which one could would lend itself to bein done in stages as finances allow? And, if I were to do the sidestructure, wouldn't I need to have an overall vision of the completed full sized home in mind (planned) prior to building so that the add-ons fit aesthetically and functionally? Could the remaining rooms be completed over time as well? I worry bout what foundation would be best. (The footprint too) i want pier n beam. Would this be best considering the piecemeal construction? Cost effective also a consideration.
(My DREAM home would be to purchase a 1920-1950 home n move it here to re-furnish but those are hard to come by)
Thanks AGAIN for your thoughtful response! Encouraging!

Hi again Julie, a lot of the answers to these questions depends on what kind of building codes and building department requirements you have in your area.  If you live in an area with heavily enforced building codes you might not be able to live in a dwelling until it is completed with a certificate of occupancy.  And yes you may need to have a "Master Plan" showing the completed structure after the mobile is removed.  Depending on your lot size and setback requirements and where your existing mobile is situated the best configuration would be a "T" or "L" shape with one side of the T or L being the initial half of the new house with a simple gable or shed roof..then after the mobile is removed the other leg of the house could be built with a simple roof tie in with a valley on each side.  As far as foundations go, a simple monolithic slab on grade is generally cheaper since it gives you a floor and foundation in one shot.  However either this type of foundation or a post and beam will work, and it may have to be an elevated post and beam foundation if your existing land elevations require that the floor be higher for drainage purposes.    A qualified house mover can move a house in one piece and depending on the location and distance can cost anywhere from 10,000 dollars and up.  Sincerely Bruce Johnson,

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Bruce E. Johnson


I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.


Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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