mobile home chassis recycling

Mobile Home Renovation Ideas: Recycling a Mobile Home Chassis

Recycling a mobile home chassis or frame is a great way to help the environment and your wallet. You can build trailers to haul with, a small home or studio, or you can do what this creative builder did and create a new workshop!

This avid woodworker took a dilapidated mobile home and with a little salvaging, and recycling the mobile home chassis, ended up with a great workshop to house his woodworking tools. It’s a great design and a great example of the unlimited possibilities that all mobile homes have, even those that have been completely destroyed or damaged.

Recycling Project

I found this awesome recycle on LumberJocks.com, a forum site for woodworkers where projects are shared and questions are happily answered about all things wood. Lots of great information is available and there’s a lot of gorgeous wood designs scattered throughout the site. I immediately liked this one because it reused something that some don’t think to reuse – mobile home chassis or frames.

The user named Sillac shared this wonderful build. He writes, “My shop is built on the frame of an old mobile home (got it for free, I manage a Mobile Home Community and it was one that was so far gone that we were going to demo it, so I saved the bones) that was 60 feet long. I cut it down to 48 feet and it is 13 1/2 feet wide on the outside.”

 

This workshop would be perfect for a home! The sloped roof is one of the most simple roof designs available. The monotone tan siding is low cost, yet very durable. But, the punch of orange for the front door makes this workshop modern and fresh. It’s amazing what you can come up with using a little innovation!
 Here’s the old mobile home getting torn down.
Here’s the workshop getting built!
The interior is spacious and perfect for a woodworkers tools.
I do want to advise that if you plan on building on an old mobile home chassis that you do thorough research. There could be laws against it in your area and insurance may be hard to get. Also, some chassis are curved for each make or model of a manufactured home. Differences in weight and layout require different curvature so not all frames are the same. If you would like to read more about this great recycling project click here for Lumberjocks.com.
As always, thank you for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!

14 thoughts on “Mobile Home Renovation Ideas: Recycling a Mobile Home Chassis”

    1. Hi Robbin,

      Sorry, I don’t know anyone that buys them. Since the frames are cambered or curved for the particular layout or design of the home it holds it makes building another structure on it a little more technical than most people think. You may be able to put them on Craigslist?

      Best of luck. Let me know if you do find a company that buys them.

  1. Hi Crystal,

    On a property with an old mobile home, that’s in bad shape, do you have any websites or resources to sell or recycle? It’s located in East Texas and hate to demolish when I see how it could be used as foundation for a shop or remodel. Any direction or info appreciated.

    1. Hi Liz,

      I do not, sorry! Maybe you could put a free ad on Craigslist? Just be careful that they don’t go and get just the copper and then leave – that happens a lot in WV when demolishing homes.

      Best of luck!

  2. Hello, I have recently bought a piece of property about an hour outside of Orlando, Florida with an older (1970s ?) single wide mobile home on it. The floor is falling out of it and it is in horrible shape. The roof and walls are not too bad but if you walk in the bathroom you can see the ground. It has set unoccupied for about two years. Any thoughts on what I could do with it?

    1. Hi Brock,

      If it’s just the floor (and it’s usually always the bathroom floor) you will have to lay new flooring down along with the joists or ‘frame’. Before you do that you’ll want to find the cause of the flooring problem – usually a leak that wasn’t repaired quickly. You’ll need to demo and install the entire room’s floor (new belly wrap, frame/joists, insulation, and sub-floor). Since you can already see the ground, you’re halfway there because there’s less demo needed (most floor replacements I’ve seen usually ends up with us standing on the ground while reattaching the floor joists). We were able to completely redo our small bathroom for less than $500 in material (we did the labor ourselves) and that included all the lumber, screws, the good plywood (not OSB), and the new floor-covering.

      Best of luck!

  3. Hi..
    We are interested in purchasing a land that has a 3 bedroom 1970’s manufactured home on it — single wide. We are thinking of tearing in to it, and remodeling it from the outside in. We live in Michigan

  4. We bought 5 acres with a double wide. We are going to build a house, and the regulations will not allow us to keep the mobile home. However, we would like to keep the mobile home as an outbuilding. If we removed the kitchen would it be in compliance as an outbuilding? We live in shasta co california .

    1. Hi Donna!

      I’m really not familiar with CA and their laws but I did a Google search and found a couple of resources. The CA mobile home obudsman should be able to answer any question you have about mobile homes, here’s their link: http://www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/ol/ombpg-menu.html

      The Shasta County website has a lot of great info but I wasn’t able to pinpoint the exact rule or law regarding mobile homes. You should be able to call them and they can tell you everything you need to know. Here’s their website and contact info: http://www.co.shasta.ca.us/index.aspx

      I did find this regarding mobile homes in Shasta County but it doesn’t state anything about your issue: http://www.co.shasta.ca.us/docs/Resource_Management/zoning-plan/1732.pdf?sfvrsn=0

      Good luck! Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

      1. I purchased a manufactured home 5 years ago and it’s permanently setting on mystery property that you also purchased. The chassis is still under my house but the house is permanently affixed to a concrete slab and isn’t going anywhere. The chassis is sitting under my house wasting away and if it could be sold and used for something or someone else, I would be interested in hearing more about this. My home (and chassis) is only 5 years old.

      2. Hi Marcia!

        If you’re in a true manufactured home the chassis cannot be removed regardless if the home is sitting on a permanent ‘foundation’. One of the most misunderstood aspects of manufactured housing is the true definition of a permanently installed home – it simply means tie-downs and straps were used properly and has nothing to do with foundation or skirting (a home can be permanently installed with only plastic skirting around it). Now, if there’s a chassis from another home sitting under you then that could possibly be used as scrap metal or as a chassis for another building (like the one in this article), you just have to be aware of the camber (or slight bends in the chassis) as each chassis is specially designed for the home’s particular floor plan and weight distribution. Sky’s the limit when it comes to recycling building materials!

        Thanks so much for reading MHL!

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