This 1978 double wide kitchen remodel is a great example of what opening a wall up can do for your entire home. Until the open floor concept became so popular over a decade ago, most kitchens were walled-in and completely separated from the other rooms. This was true with both stick built homes and manufactured homes.

Now, it’s all changed. We want everything open and airy. We want to watch the chef and be able to interact with them while they cook. So, what do you do if you want to open up the kitchen in your 1978 double wide? Well, you simply do it!

It sounds a bit easier than it really is though. Don’t think you can just take a sledge hammer to the wall you no longer want. There’s some safety precautions, of course, and some serious issues you need to consider before doing it:

  • First, is it a load bearing wall? There is a difference in manufactured homes and stick-built homes when it comes to load bearing walls so definitely, definitely do your homework! Typically, the marriage wall (in double wides) and the exterior walls in single wides are your only load-bearing walls. You can still modify a load-bearing wall but it will need to be re-engineered with headers and load bearing horizontal studs (joists). I won’t get into all that here but if you have questions just comment below and I’ll point you in the right direction.
  • Second, are there wires or pipes in the wall? If so, you can still remove/modify the wall, you just need to re-route them. I won’t get into all that either.

Let’s start from the beginning: The owner wanted to update their 1978 double wide. At first, they painted the wall that separated the kitchen and living room  but didn’t like it (See, it happens to all of us! Don’t let a wrong color discourage you though, keep at it and you’ll find the perfect option. I promise!)

What happened after that is gorgeous!

Here’s the home (above) and below is the painted wall and original dining room built-ins. The owner painted it back to the original white and began thinking up a way to get the look and style they wanted.

Freshly painted wall and original dining room built-ins.

They painted the wall back to the original white.

After trying a new color and deciding it wasn’t for them, they decided to cut a window or pass-thru out of the wall that would allow a new hood to become a feature and give the home an eat-in breakfast bar. The cabinetry, counter top range and wall oven was on the other side of that wall so all that had to be removed first. All the work was worth it though!

This is what was on the other side of that wall.

Once the plan was made and the cabinets, stove and range were removed, they began to slowly remove the sheet-rock. There was wiring because of the stove and oven so they removed one side of the wall and then the other very carefully. Never take a saw and start sawing through the wall, go slowly and in layers.
Once they had the opening, they rerouted the wiring. This should be done by a licensed electrician!

Once the window was made and the the wiring was taken care of, they removed the studs (due diligence is required anytime you modify a home) and sheet rocked the opening to make it one seamless wall. They also installed new cabinets, counter, stove and stainless steel hood and added a bar to the living room side of the wall as well as stools. New flooring was installed in all the rooms, too.

The bar was added with shelf brackets. The flooring is a great touch, too.

Below is the other side of the wall. The cabinets are gone and the 2 piece oven and counter top range is replaced with a single unit stove. The opening instantly brightens the kitchen and the shiny stainless steel hood provides a modern look to the whole home.

This remodel also included updating the dining room built ins. They removed the mirror and the doors and painted everything. The black counter adds a great touch as does the new chandelier. Here’s the photo of the original and the new so you can compare:

Before:
After:

Here’s some more photos of the completed remodel:

This is a great remodel that I found on HGTV Rate My Space. They don’t have many manufactured homes but the ones they do have are awesome!

Remodeling a manufactured home is not that different from a stick-built home. You have the exact same options and possibilities but there’s a small difference in how things are done. If you can dream it or imagine it, you absolutely can make it happen in a manufactured home. That’s what makes them such awesome homes!

As always, thank you for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!

8 Responses

  1. CrystalMHL

    Thank You! I'm trying to get better at writing more instructional and in-depth “how-to” type articles to correlate with all the awesome homes I get to feature. Working on making this site as professional as possible (considering it's just me and I have no idea what I'm doing..lol). Thanks for commenting!

    Reply
  2. Joe

    Excellent work! We've decided to take the plunge and do some upgrading. Our biggest concern in wiring and rewiring. Redirecting the wiring and adding different fixtures and pendant lighting. Want to install some overhead lighting as well. The thought of ripping our walls and sheet rocking is huge. Did you have to rip out walls to find the wiring and redo wherever you want to bring in new fixtures? It seems to us that our biggest undertaking may very well be the sheetrock. Are we on the right track? Hope ours turns out as good as yours. Nice work!

    Give us your take on what we are striving for. Appreciate your thoughts and comments.

    Reply
  3. Joe

    Excellent work! We've decided to take the plunge and do some upgrading. Our biggest concern in wiring and rewiring. Redirecting the wiring and adding different fixtures and pendant lighting. Want to install some overhead lighting as well. The thought of ripping our walls and sheet rocking is huge. Did you have to rip out walls to find the wiring and redo wherever you want to bring in new fixtures? It seems to us that our biggest undertaking may very well be the sheetrock. Are we on the right track? Hope ours turns out as good as yours. Nice work!

    Give us your take on what we are striving for. Appreciate your thoughts and comments.

    Reply
    • Crystal

      Hi there! Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm sure the owners will see your comment and answer you soon. Until then, I'm Crystal, and I'll try to help you best I can.

      I'll be honest though, I've never been involved with any kind of re-wiring (aside from changing out light fixtures and switches). My husband is a master plumber and contractor and stays away from the juice, he always jokes that water and electricity don't mix..lol. We do have a friend that is a master electrician and I'll try to contact him to get some advice for you. I'll tell you my thoughts, but please be advised I am not a professional nor have I ever worked with electricity.

      With that said, most all mobile homes I have seen or read about has had the wiring under the home (under the plastic sheeting and insulation). I'm thinking that if you just need to change the locations of the light fixtures (or just add additional fixtures) you could simply do that by adding additional wire (with the proper connectors) and then opening up the new fixture location. You'd use a rod and hook system to pull the new wire to the new light and hook it up. All you'd have to do is patch the old hole up. Of course, you'd have to make sure the breaker is able to handle the new light.

      If it has to be complete wired straight through to the breaker box, you should be able to do that with just small holes that are easily patchable (especially if you already have sheet rock). Maybe just run the wiring under the home and bring it up to the location you want behind the wall. Open up just enough to grab it at the floor and at the ceiling and then from the top of the wall to the new fixture. 2 or 3 small holes should be sufficient to grab the wire, thread it through the studs and get it to the hole in the ceiling (using the rod and hook system to pull it through).

      Those are just the thoughts off the top of my head though. I really don't think you're gonna have to remove all the walls, especially since most mobile homes have the wiring under the home anyway (they aren't running through small holes in the studs). Of course, each model and manufacturer does things differently and yours very well could be running through the studs. If that is the case, one small hole at each stud would allow you to run all new wire and branch off to the new lights and sockets. Patching sheet rock is much easier than installing all new stuff (and cheaper, too). I did some searching and found these sites that could be very helpful. Maybe you could email them and get some good answers:
      http://www.mobilehomemanufacturedhomes.com/How-Tohttp://www.mobilehomemanufacturedhomes.com/LightS… (the top 2 are the same site, he is an electrician and obviously wants to help others in mobile homes, otherwise he wouldn't have the site so try to contact him, I'm sure he'll have the best advice)

      This one is just a schematic of the meter and breaker box but could help: http://www.co.collin.tx.us/development_services/f

      Try searching for re-wiring a mobile home and read around a few pages. There's a bunch of forums that could be very beneficial to you.

      Thanks for commenting (and reading MMHL). Sorry I couldn't be much help. I've never written about electricity on this site because it's the one area I have absolutely no experience in. I do need to get an electrician to write up a couple of good articles though, huh? I'll work on that. You can't do a lot of remodeling without eventually having to deal with it. Good luck to you! I hope you find the easiest approach that is cheap :)

      Reply
  4. Crystal

    Hi there! Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm sure the owners will see your comment and answer you soon. Until then, I'm Crystal, and I'll try to help you best I can.

    I'll be honest though, I've never been involved with any kind of re-wiring (aside from changing out light fixtures and switches). My husband is a master plumber and contractor and stays away from the juice, he always jokes that water and electricity don't mix..lol. We do have a friend that is a master electrician and I'll try to contact him to get some advice for you. I'll tell you my thoughts, but please be advised I am not a professional nor have I ever worked with electricity.

    With that said, most all mobile homes I have seen or read about has had the wiring under the home (under the plastic sheeting and insulation). I'm thinking that if you just need to change the locations of the light fixtures (or just add additional fixtures) you could simply do that by adding additional wire (with the proper connectors) and then opening up the new fixture location. You'd use a rod and hook system to pull the new wire to the new light and hook it up. All you'd have to do is patch the old hole up. Of course, you'd have to make sure the breaker is able to handle the new light.

    If it has to be complete wired straight through to the breaker box, you should be able to do that with just small holes that are easily patchable (especially if you already have sheet rock). Maybe just run the wiring under the home and bring it up to the location you want behind the wall. Open up just enough to grab it at the floor and at the ceiling and then from the top of the wall to the new fixture. 2 or 3 small holes should be sufficient to grab the wire, thread it through the studs and get it to the hole in the ceiling (using the rod and hook system to pull it through).

    Those are just the thoughts off the top of my head though. I really don't think you're gonna have to remove all the walls, especially since most mobile homes have the wiring under the home anyway (they aren't running through small holes in the studs). Of course, each model and manufacturer does things differently and yours very well could be running through the studs. If that is the case, one small hole at each stud would allow you to run all new wire and branch off to the new lights and sockets. Patching sheet rock is much easier than installing all new stuff (and cheaper, too). I did some searching and found these sites that could be very helpful. Maybe you could email them and get some good answers:
    http://www.mobilehomemanufacturedhomes.com/How-Tohttp://www.mobilehomemanufacturedhomes.com/LightS… (the top 2 are the same site, he is an electrician and obviously wants to help others in mobile homes, otherwise he wouldn't have the site so try to contact him, I'm sure he'll have the best advice)

    This one is just a schematic of the meter and breaker box but could help: http://www.co.collin.tx.us/development_services/f

    Try searching for re-wiring a mobile home and read around a few pages. There's a bunch of forums that could be very beneficial to you.

    Thanks for commenting (and reading MMHL). Sorry I couldn't be much help. I've never written about electricity on this site because it's the one area I have absolutely no experience in. I do need to get an electrician to write up a couple of good articles though, huh? I'll work on that. You can't do a lot of remodeling without eventually having to deal with it. Good luck to you! I hope you find the easiest approach that is cheap :)

    Reply
  5. Chris

    I am interested in learning if those involved in this remodel replaced windows. If so, what suggestions, cautions, etc. do they have for someone who might be doing something similar in the near future? I am a novice when it comes to manufactured home, but the one needing work definitely needs new windows. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply

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