One of the most popular questions we get in our Facebook group, Mobile Home Living: Remodels and Repairs are about removing walls in mobile homes.

Many manufactured homes have half pony walls, weirdly designed built-ins, and oddly angled walls that separate living areas. Open floor plans are the most popular floor plans so many homeowners want to remove these walls.

Knowing which walls are load bearing is the main concern when removing mobile home walls. you can remove it. In this article, we will cover how walls are built, mobile home construction, and step-by-step instructions on how to remove a wall.

Removing walls in mobile homes depend on several variables like what type of construction your home has and your layout. Another important variable is how much money you want to spend, or how bad you want the wall removed? In reality, anything is possible if you want it bad enough but sometimes the cost and potential long term side effects are just too much.

Before we begin, please check out our article, How Manufactured Homes are Constructed, to learn more about the construction and anatomy of interior and exterior walls, ceilings, and flooring.

Removing Walls in a Mobile Home – Single Wide

In a single wide mobile home, there are typically very few load-bearing interior walls. In site-built construction, a wall that runs perpendicular to the roof joists may be carrying weight but that isn’t always the case with mobile homes because of their construction. However, the perpendicular rule is still a very good rule to keep in mind.

A manufactured home’s stability and integrity are typically derived from the roof and the weight is carried on the exterior walls, down to the outriggers on the chassis. This is a concept called integrated engineering. That’s why the outriggers are so important and we always recommend that you get an upgrade if needed.

A manufactured home steel chassis being welded (it’s upside down):

Steel chassis with outriggers in palm harbor facotry

Integrated Engineering

Some builders describe integrated engineering as ‘roof-down construction,’ meaning the mobile home’s structural integrity is derived from the roof. It makes sense because the home’s weight sits on a steel chassis and that chassis is what they use to pull the home so to create the strongest ‘box’ they need to focus on the roof first.

There are many ways for manufactured home builders to design the framing and loadbearing placement, and each builder does it a bit differently. That’s why finding information on your exact home model’s construction is nearly impossible.

Researching Your Model’s Construction

Understanding how your manufactured home was constructed is tricky because builders rarely, if ever, release engineering or construction information for their homes.

The manufactured housing industry isn’t known for its customer service. We can barely get ahold of an owner’s manual for a recent manufactured home model so finding actual load-bearing information is next to impossible.

Only the manufacturer that you purchased the home from can give you the schematics and load-bearing information. Don’t be afraid to call them and ask questions. If your home builder is no longer in business you are probably out of luck, unfortunately.

Single Wide Construction

In this next photo you can see a few interesting things. First, in the bathroom on the far left, you can see the flooring is under the wall so if you remove that wall carefully you may not have to replace the floor covering.

Removing walls in a mobile home-mobile home wall construction

The roof and the perimeter of the home are not added until the very end after the interior is close to being complete.

Img 5346

Once all exterior walls are placed the roof is added and it creates a perfectly strong and structurally sound home that can be pulled on the highway going 55mph!

Read about the Tools Every New Mobile Home Owner Should Have in their Toolbox

Framing in a Mobile Home

Here’s what a the perimeter wall looks like on a single wide mobile home looks like when you remove the the wallboard (and everything else):

Removing wallboard from kitchen in mobile home2
Removing wallboard from kitchen in single wide mobile home. (DIYChatroom)

You can expect to find studs every 16 or 24 inches in mobile home interior walls.


Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

A double wide is essentially just two single wides joined together on site. The center line is called the marriage line.

As long as you’re not modifying the marriage line, load-bearing interior walls, or the exterior walls and corners you shouldn’t have any issues when removing walls.

In other words, remove all the partition walls you want but leave the structural walls alone.

Signs of a Load Bearing Wall in a Mobile Home

In Single Wides

In single wides, there is rarely any load-bearing walls. This is because the length and number of the roof trusses can handle the weight of the roof.

However, ceilings that go from one height to another on the same wall can be a sign of a load-bearing wall. That could signify that a shear or load bearing wall is being utilized. Each company did things just a little different and I’m painting with a broad stroke here.

Can I Remove a Load Bearing Walls in a Double Wide?

I always advise that mobile homeowners leave their marriage lines alone. Incorrectly modifying the marriage line of a double wide can create roof leaks, weakened structural integrity, and several other very expensive issues.

You really need to know about construction before you remove a wall on the marriage line. The weight that the wall is holding has to be redistributed correctly. That takes a lot of math, experience, and construction knowledge.

Marriage walls support your roof ridge beam. That beam is a particular thickness and length to hold the weight of the roof and distribute it down to the ground. If you remove any section of a load bearing wall at the marriage line you will need to create a

Still, with all that said, removing walls at the marriage line and redistributing the weight with a beam and span or post support system is very popular. This is when things start getting serious and you need to have a professional contractor and a licensed engineer involved. Your home was designed a particular way and modifying that can cause a domino effect.

Post and beam system on double wide marriage line
A post and beam system like this one is used when load bearing walls are removed at the marriage line. (This is a single wide and the beams are not holding any weight, this is decorative only. See the entire home here. )
Studs of a double wide

How to Remove a Wall in a Mobile Home

If you are removing an interior wall there is an order in which you should do it. This ensures you don’t start busting through a wall and find out that it is load/shear bearing or full of juicy wires.

Step 1: Turn Off Electricity and Water

Turn off the electricity in both the room you are in and the neighboring rooms. If possible, turn the breaker off on the entire side of the home you’re working on.

Screen shot 2019 06 10 at 12. 59. 08 pm
This image shows the interior framing of a manufactured home wall. Wiring hasn’t been installed.

If you’re near a bathroom or kitchen or there’s a slight possibility that there could be a pipe anywhere close to where your working, turn the water off as well. Don’t forget about the ventilation pipes, or vent stacks, to your home’s plumbing system.

Step 2: Test for Wiring and Plumbing

At this point, we haven’t done anything but remove the trim, battens, and flooring (if applicable). Now it’s time to test for wiring and plumbing before we start cutting studs.

Precautions to Consider

Watch for Wiring

Laurie Beadle had new cabinets installed but the installer damaged the wiring in the walls during the process. Luckily, they smelled the hot wire and was able to fix the issue. You can see where they cut the section of the wall out to find the damaged wiring. Had the installer checked for wiring first this issue could have been avoided. This image shows what the interior of a mobile home will look like and how the insulation may be covering the wiring.

Step 3: Remove Trim and Battens

Next, remove the battens or strips that cover the seams where your wallboards meet. You can read how to do that here. Also, remove the base, chair rail, or crown molding from the wall if you have them. The seams will cover a stud. You can use a stud finder to mark where all the other studs are or just measure 16 or 24-inches (depending on what framing your home has).

This step sounds odd but it shouldn’t be skipped. Use the side of your fist and knock around the wall. Start at the ends and work your way inward. You’re doing this for 2 reasons: to help you locate the studs and to help loosen the glue that is holding the wallboard to the studs.

Also, notice how the electric wires are placed in the walls. Usually, wiring can be found about 1-foot up from the flooring on the exterior or perimeter walls but interior walls are different.

You may find a ton of glue holding the walls to the studs. This image by Instagram user MobileHomer shows the amount of glue used to attach the wallboard to the interior studs in her home.

Step 3: Flooring

If your interior walls sit on top of the floor covering (and many mobile homes do), you may want to leave the carpet alone. If it’s not too damaged you may be able to get by without needing to replace the flooring. If you are installing new flooring then go ahead and cut the old flooring at the perimeter of the wall so you can carefully pull it pack.

Step 4: Removing the Wall (a bit at a time)

Once you know there are no wires or pipes you can use a new blade to cut through the wallboard. No studs or framing should be touched yet.

Cut the wallboard into a small rectangle starting at the top or bottom corner of the wall first. This will allow you to check for signs that the wall is load-bearing without too much damage.

Peeling wallboard from studs to remove the wall from a mobile home

If you think you have a load-bearing wall you should stop and consult an engineer before continuing the project.

If there are no signs of a load-bearing wall cut the wallboard across the middle. Use your hand or a crowbar or hammer to gently pull the rest of the paneling away from the framing.

Do not alter or harm the framing within the wall. Go a little bit at a time to ensure there are no wires or pipes.

Step 5: Loosen the Bottom Plate from the Subfloor

Now that the wallboard has been removed from both sides of the wall you will need to get the glue loosened and the staples and nails out of the bottom plate and the top plate of the wall frame.

Loosen floor covering from bottom plate

Step 6: Remove the Top and Bottom Plates

At this point, you can take a Sawzall and cut the studs midway between the floor and ceiling. You could also cut the vertical stud from the top plate and bottom plate – it’s really up to you. I think by leaving the vertical studs on the top and bottom plates you allow yourself a little more leverage to loosen them from the ceiling and floor.

Real Life Example of Removing a Wall in a Mobile Home

Keia Holm lives in a Hart single wide and it had an odd divider wall between the kitchen and the living room that she wanted to remove.

Floorplan of hart single wide with short divider wall shown example of how to remove a mobile home wall

Below is the image of the wall with one side of the wall removed. After the other side of the wall is removed and the frame you can see the white space left. A little paint and a new home for the light switch will fix it right up.

When you are ready to remove the studs it’s best to remove any nails, staples, or screws and then carefully pry the lumber from the floor and any attached walls. You don’t want to scar the ceiling. Ceiling panels are a pain to replace in manufactured homes!

Consider the following before you remove the studs from the ceiling and floor:

  • How are you going to handle the ceiling? There will likely be evidence that a wall was once there. You can paint or spackle it over or use trim of some sort. Patching the ceiling will be difficult if it isn’t sheetrock. The ceiling panels used in manufactured homes are hard to find and transport.

Of course, by removing a wall you’re probably going to be remodeling the room so you already have a good idea of how you’re going to handle these issues.

Related:  Some Questions about Removing Walls in a Mobile Home.

Conclusion: Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

That’s it! You have successfully removed a wall in your mobile home!

Remember, every manufactured home is built differently, therefore, removing a wall in your home may not be possible. This article should not be considered professional advice. Please consult a professional before attempting a major modification.

HGTV had a good warning on one of their shows about removing walls:

If you can’t identify it by its proper name you shouldn’t remove it.


If you’ve removed a wall in your mobile home please comment about your experience below. Every little bit we can share can help someone out there get one step closer to their dream home and that’s a pretty awesome thing to help someone do.

As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!

Updated April 13, 2019. Originally Published in 2014.

Image Sources: Clayton Homes, Laurie Beadle

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  1. Greetings, I have a single-wide 66X14 mobile home. We want to remove the wall that contains a very small bedroom to expand the living room area. Its a skyline 3 BR 2 Bath constructed in October of 2000. I’ve read that single wide homes do not have load bearing walls, so I would expect I can remove the walls of that small bedroom/office. How can I tell if a wall is load bearing? Are there things to help identify that? Thanks!

    • Hi Dan,

      Most single wides will not have interior load-bearing walls. It’s the perimeter walls and the roof that do most of the work (besides the chassis and bottom of the home, of course). Load bearers are typically 2x6s or 2x4s, and there will usually be two studs nailed side-by-side on the ends (such as the corner or edge of a hallway or window) that creates a 4×4 or 2×6 post.

      Best of luck!

  2. Hi, We bought a used 1979 14×70 single wide home. We would like to put a metal roof over the existing crappy roof. Every step we take, we take two back. This home is nickel and diming us to death. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • I got a 79 double wide and just did a peel and stick roofover made if asphalt but I also got my gutters replaced too….for both jobs it cost me $3k….no leaks and it’s been raining like crazy here….any pin hole, and rusty screw, any lack of drainage will create leaks….Liberty peel and stick at home depot $90 a roll…I needed 9 and also hired someone to do it…..then seamless gutters witheaf guards…..$3k well spent….hope this helps

    • Why on 2001 with metal sides did they not put some kind of wrip around the out side to help with wind ?

      • Hi Danny,

        I wish I knew. Even the most affordable manufactured homes should have an exterior wrap and gutters (or j-channels) above the windows. It’s cost-saving but it usually comes at a steep price in the long run. Thanks for reading!

  3. I started moving an interior wall in my 2009 16 by 80 Clayton and found 3 large bolts going through the bottom sill. Anybody know what these are for and can I remove them?

    • Hi Charlie,

      That may be indicative of a load-bearing wall. They usually just staple and nail the non-load bearers? Were any of the studs doubled together (or even tripled). If so, you likely have a load- bearer.

  4. I recently inherited a mobile home which needs many repairs. Apparently there was a roof leak at one time and there are stains on the kitchen ceiling as well as a small hole. A piece of tile ,which was removed from a closet was used as a patch. How can I repair this area without replacing the whole ceiling as funds are really low and I would rather not have to do the complete ceiling. The panels are approximately 7or8 feet long and about 14” wide with 1 and 1/2” wide strips on either side. I would like to repair this patch to match the rest of the ceiling as close as possible

    • A drywall contractor neighbor told me I could get rid of dark water stains on ceilings, after the roof leak was fixed, by spraying them with a bleach and water mixture. He said it might take repeated applications. I haven’t tried it yet, just wanted to pass along the tip

  5. Hi – we are remodeling a lot our our 1970’s double wide and am looking seriously at walls in the kitchen area. We have already removed some of the interior walls framing out the space, and am looking at a vertical structure that we can’t tell is a supporting element or not. It is on one side of the marriage line. The other side of the house has a span greater than 30ft with no similar support. This particular support is three 2x3s side by side and tied with metal stripping to floor and ceiling. This led me to believe it was a supporting element.

    On further investigation, the ceiling fiberboard is between the ceiling joist and these vertical 2×3, with NO sign of compression (even after all these years). When pounded on, these beams vibrate a fair amount, also leading me to believe I could remove them. Any thoughts? I have a few pictures to share if that would be helpful.


    • Hi Brent,

      You are way over my head – I had to get 3 different contractors to helps me write this

      The 3 studs that are strapped together are def load bearers. Keep in mind that mobile homes have a ‘top-down’ structural integrity so you won’t find compression in many places you think it should be. Most all of the weight and the load-bearing is in the perimeter walls (which would be the marriage line on a double-wide). Sorry, I can’t be more help.

  6. We have a 2005 Skyline double-wide where the original owner had the wall between the living room and master bedroom moved during construction to enlarge the bedroom. We are interested in moving that wall to gain back the lost living room space. The wall if perpendicular to, and attaches to, the marriage wall. Do you think this is possible, and how would we find a professional for this job? We are very new to manufactured home living. Thanks!

    • Hi Lynn,

      It sounds like it would be possible since the home originally had the wall where you want it. If you have to go through inspections then a contractor would be your best bet, that way he can pull in the various crews that are needed to handle it (electrician, framers, drywallers, etc). However, you may be able to do yourself or just hire someone with extensive construction experience. It’s not that difficult to frame in a wall and then drywall it assuming no electricity changes are needed.

  7. I love your site and have a question. I have an older American homes double wide, 2 bedroom, 2 bath. the first half from end to end consist of living room, closet space for living room facing closet as well 2nd bedroom closet, the the 2nd bedroom, and the master bathroom (tub and toilet) in one small room and a sink and his and her closet room to take up the remaining space. The other side is dining room, kitchen, laundry room, bathroom and master bedroom. My wife and I did not realize that the tubs for these mobile homes were so small and barely deep enough to wash your knees. The washer/dryer room on the other side of the faucets is quite large and was wondering if this would be a load bearing wall or not to extend the required 2 feet to accommodate at normal tub or is there any floor structural problems because a normal tub full of water would weigh considerably more I’m sure then the ole’ knee soaker. What are your thoughts on this.

    • Hi Whit and Cheryl,

      The ‘ole’ knee soaker’ is hilarious! So, usually an interior wall that isn’t attached to or part of the marriage line in a double wide is not load-bearing but some builders don’t play well with others and like to add load-bearers in odd places. It would be impossible to tell without a visual inspection.

      However, the best wall in a manufactured home to move or remove (if I had to choose) is the laundry room wall where the washing machine control box is located and the bathtub is on the other side. I choose that wall situation for 2 reasons: First, it allows for a larger tub and secondly, removing or moving the wall will give you the opportunity to redesign or at least replace the auto vent that is usually used in manufactured home washing machine lines to give your plumbing drainage system better ventilation. Builders are notorious for putting the auto vent lower than the control box and it should be higher. Installing a Studor brand vent in place of the small generic auto vent builders use is a good idea too. If you really want to go all out you could install a vent stack out the roof instead of relying on an auto vent (that is the best design for these powerful new washing machines).

      Hope that helps!

  8. I would like to remodel my double wide with two french doors in my livingroom. Is it possible to cut two openings in the exterior of my home as long as it’s framed properly or will this decrease the strength of my home. We plan to hiring a professional to do this job, not a DIY.

    • Hi Angela,
      If it isn’t the marriage wall, you should be OK. Modifying marriage walls is tricky. You’ll def need to hire a pro that understands the framing needed. Best of luck!

  9. I design Park Model RV’s. My area of Arizona is Tucson and there is a LOT of mobiles here that can use both updating and remodel. I do a series of books with Blurb publishing that I hoped to change how the industry spits out this product but after 11 factory tours coast to coast I have given up on trying to get them to change. I have worked on the factory floor so I know how and what systems are used and remodel is generally MUCH easier than stick built. There are exceptions but nothing a competent builder can not overcome with ease. Finding someone with vision is the big issue.

    • I’m planning on adding to the back my single wide mobile home and I am looking for advise on how this should be completed. This will be done by a professional I just want to arm myself with knowledge about this type of project. If you could email me I would appreciate your advice.

      • Hi Tracy,

        I have a couple of articles about building additions on to a mobile or manufactured home. This one is an all-inclusive article: Building Additions on a Mobile Home. This one is a Q and A article about additions. These should arm you with some basic information. The key to a successful addition is that it be completely separate from the home but that all possible entries for water to get into (roof and siding) be sealed very tightly. Pay close attention to how the addition’s roof will be affecting the home’s roof. Think of every possible way water could get in and use flashing and other roofing materials to make sure water goes where it is supposed to go.

        Best of luck! (Please take photos).

  10. You talk about removing interior closets. I want to remove the interior clothes and kitchen pantry closets that are separated by a common wall and also remove the wall in the kitchen that connects them. Can I do that without touching the marriage wall? Removing the closets will obviously enlarge the kitchen. I should also mention that I removed the old cabinets and want to install new flooring that continues from the living room. Is there any way to remove part of the marriage wall and replace it with a post or beam?

    • Hi Barbara,
      It all depends on the layout of your home. Are these closet walls a part of the marriage line? If so, you should leave it alone – the cost and the future issues you would incur is just not worth it. The new cabinets and flooring are a great way to update your home so def go with that. I’m just not a fan of anyone touching the marriage wall regardless of reason – you’ll never be able to move the home again and you’re essentially disrupting the entire structural integrity of the home.

  11. I like to remove a section of my marriage wall that separates the living room from dining room. It has a 8” or so header in the opening lid like to leave that and install a column under it. Is this feasible?

    • Hi Carrie,
      Good question! To be honest, I’m dead against any kind of modification to a marriage line. It’s absolutely possible to do what you want but every time I’ve seen a home with any kind of mod to the marriage wall an issue of some sort eventually happens (sagging roofs, leaks, etc.). It’s just to big a chance to take in my opinion. Sorry to be the Debbie-downer!

  12. I have a 16 x 80 single wide (93) i think.its a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom. In the 2 small rooms in the back i removed wall and made into one big room.wall studs were 3×1, no load. Hard part was relocate of 2 wall outlets. But all in all took about 1 day

    • Hi Billy!
      I’d love to see pictures of your process. You wouldn’t happen to have any would you? I love to see people make their homes better suit their needs! Thanks for reading!

    • Billy,
      I just purchased a 2018 single wide that is 3 bedrooms, I want to remove the walls to the middle bedroom to enlarge the living area. Can you give me more details on how to do this? I’m sure I could hire an electrician if I can get the wall down. Were you able to keep the flooring, or was it damaged to much?
      Love to see some pictures if you have any.

      • Hi Rhonda,

        The article has all the info I know to share. You will have to deal with the scars left from the wall but it’s not too hard to sand and paint to make it all blend in better. New flooring or a new rug would be needed if you have carpet because those carpet strips with the staples or nails are usually following the perimeter of every wall. Best of luck!

  13. Hi,
    We have a double-wide in the Harvey disaster area, it was built in ’98, we are having a hard time finding VOG suppliers, I asked about rebuilding with traditional paper faced gypsum but it was suggested cost might be higher, I don’t mind a little higher, since walls would look much better. Even Googling for answers has not turned up much and our interior has been demolished and ceiling and walls are ready to go up. Do you have any supplier options for VOG, and you mentioned XRoc but when I search all I find is some junk sites and can’t find that manufacturer or a supplier for XRoc, is XRoc thin like VOG 5/8″? Any help would be greatly appreciated, we are trying to get my elderly mother back in her home after being in hospital for over 6 months including having been evacuated 3 times during the hurricane. Thanks again from Victoria TX

    • Hi Mark,
      Unfortunately, finding VOG wall and ceiling panels is very difficult. However, you are in TX so you have a better shot at this than anyone because you have 19 manufactured home builders in your state and that’s who I would call first. My second move would be mobile home supply stores. No one wants to ship them because they are so easily damaged but if you can get a store to work with you and be your delivery point you may be able to get some.
      Let me know how it goes! Best of luck!

  14. yes my husband and I are looking to take out a counter top in kitchen to open it up it is between the livingroom and kitchen will that be diffacult to do and are they attached to the floor it is what I call a wrap around counter that devides the kitchen living room we want to open that up but we have to do that ourself cause we definetly cant pay to have contractor come in and do the work please if anyone is familiar with that let us know send an e-mail ty so very much for your help

    • Hi Gena,
      Removing counters isn’t as difficult as a wall but it’s not as easy as most think. You need to consider electrical and plumbing first. Subfloors and joists will also need to be considered (patching any holes, etc). You will probably have scars on your flooring and any connecting walls, too. A big open floor plan is a great thing to have these days – everyone wants them so it may make selling your home easier in the future.
      Best of luck!

  15. When remodeling, can regular gypsum board be used to replace the vinyl wall material? (This is a big remodel that will affect all the interior walls.)
    Second question: You mentioned carpet, laminate and a ‘floating floor’ <— what is that? Also, when it comes to upgrading insulation, what have you found most effective?
    Third question: I have a collection of favorite books; while planning my remodel, built in shelves are an item I want to discuss with my designer and contractor. Have you seen this done nicely anywhere? Got any photos to share?
    Thank you for answering my questions! I am brand new here, and I am so glad I found I appreciate the diagrams, photos and lists. This is clearly a work of love.

    • Hi Cynthia,
      It’s a great idea to replace VOG with sheetrock or XRoc, or whatever brand you choose. You can rid of the strips that cover the seams of the VOG.
      The different terms is a common problem because different parts of the country use different names for products. In WV, laminate flooring is also called floating floor and I use both terms interchangeably. It’s the flooring that interlocks together to create a single plane and the perimeter is covered with trim. It’s a good DIY product.
      As far as built-ins, I’m kinda against them. You never know when you’ll want to change the space around and built-ins are pretty expensive. I’d go with bookshelves or braces and boards or floating shelves.
      So glad you found us! Please take photos of your project!

  16. We would like to add a framed room to the back of our double wide and then take the wall of the mobile down. Can this be done. Bruce

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