Modular homes have been becoming more popular in real estate over the years. They provide affordable places to live for new homeowners.
Like all homeowners, you may wonder if you can do a bit of renovation on your modular home. One of those renovation projects may require you to knock down a wall.
Here’s what you need to know about whether you can knock down a wall in a modular home or not.
Can You Knock Down Walls in a Modular Home?
Yes, you can knock down walls in a modular home.
Many of the interior walls in a modular home are not load-bearing. They can be removed to create open spaces or new rooms.
There are a few walls that you cannot remove, however.
In most modular homes designs, the front of the house and the rear of the house carry most of the weight. These are load-bearing walls that cannot be removed.
There’s also a wall that runs in the middle of the house. It connects the rear and front of the home.
This is called a marriage wall because it connects both of those walls. This wall is also load-bearing and cannot be removed.
Can You Replace Structural Walls?
It is possible to replace structural walls. While the front and rears wall can never be changed, the marriage wall can be altered to a degree.
One way to do this is to replace the marriage wall with a structural beam. Some homeowners enjoy the structural beam because it adds a decorative wooden beam to the home.
They can stain it and make it a feature of the home.
Others don’t like the beam. They may think it looks out of place or doesn’t mesh with the rest of the home’s interior design.
In this instance, it’s also possible to remove the beam with a different kind of beam.
One that is called a dropped header can carry the weight of the house on it. The dropped header is made out of laminated veneer lumber.
The lumber is basically clear. It can be hidden by the ceiling.
That gives the area the illusion that there’s no beam holding the home up.
What Are Load-Bearing Walls and Why Can’t They Be Removed?
It’s easy to think that any wall can be replaced in a home.
After all, it has other walls to hold the home up. That’s not necessarily the case.
The way a home is built is based on the support that the foundation can give. A foundation can only support so much weight in a certain area.
Homes use load-bearing walls to support the rest of the home’s weight. In most cases, they’re only the exterior walls.
The front and rear of the home are the most popular choices for load-bearing walls.
They’re built to specific measurements to ensure they can support the home and roof. If a second story is included, then even more measurements need to take place.
It’s impossible to remove a load-bearing wall because it messes with the ability of the home to hold itself up.
This is especially true when the home has a unique shape for its roof.
It can topple over or just collapse.
How Can You Tell if a Wall is a Load-Bearing Wall?
There are a few signs that can indicate whether or not the wall is load-bearing.
If you’re wondering can you knock down walls in a modular home, then you need to know what they look like. The first is the location.
If you’re examining the front or rear walls of the home, then it’s likely that they’re load-bearing.
This is just standard practice.
Interior walls can be more difficult to determine. One way you can check is to look for beams.
If the home uses any beams along with the wall, then it’s load-bearing. Columns are another sign.
You can also locate the center of your home.
If there’s a wall running down the middle of the house, then it’s likely a load-bearing wall. It’s the marriage wall.
How To Remove a Marriage Wall in a Modular Home
You can remove the marriage wall in your modular home if you know what to switch it to.
A marriage wall cannot be completely removed without something else taking its place to support the home.
A great option is to use a dropped header with support beams and columns.
Professionals can remove parts of the wall and move the support to the sides of the home.
Then they install a large beam that connects one side of the house to the other.
In so doing, part of the ceiling, or wall, will drop down to meet the beam. This can become a focal point or design point if you know how to work with it.
Once the beam is in place, a few more columns are put in place on each side of the wall to give it lasting support.
By the time the professionals are done, your marriage wall is mostly removed. You have a large open space that connects two rooms.
Can You Replace Existing Walls with Drywall?
The easiest way to install drywall in your modular home is to install them on the existing walls. Some modular homes may already come with drywall.
Many manufacturers offer insulation and drywall services at an extra fee. If you prefer to do it yourself, then it’s possible.
Start by choosing thin drywall.
You don’t need it to be too thick since you already have a wall beneath it.
You do want to choose large drywall slabs. The larger they are, the fewer joints you need to cover later.
When attaching the drywall to the existing wall, don’t use nails. Screws fasten better and they can be removed later without damaging the drywall in the process.
Don’t line the drywall up vertically. Instead, line them up horizontally.
Start at the top and work your way down.
When it comes to installing drywall by doors and windows, make a bridge with the drywall and just cut out holes for the windows and door.
If you want the drywall to be strong, then stagger the joints.
Using drywall can give your modular home a finished look. Guests may not even realize that your home is modular once you’re done.
It’s possible to knock down walls in a modular home.
You need to avoid load-bearing walls because they help keep your home safe and structurally sound. Walls that aren’t load-bearing can be removed.
You can also replace a marriage wall with beams to open up space within the modular home if you don’t like it.
Otherwise, the marriage wall is a load-bearing wall that shouldn’t be changed.
Consider these tips when you’re thinking about remodeling your modular home.