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How to install siding on a mobile home? Is there a standard way?

I want to install new...

I want to install new siding on my older Mobile Home. The existing siding is vertical steel panels fastened to horizontal 1 x 2 furring, spaced 32" apart, over 2x 4 studs @ 16" o.c. I want to use 4 x 10 cement-fiber panels which should be edge-nailed every 8" according to the manufacturer. But I don't want to remove the existing siding and furring strips - if possible. Is there a standard method that mobile home trades use that will help?

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Answered in 1 hour by:
11/7/2010
Stephen Cutler
Stephen Cutler, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2,062
Experience: 35 years of troubleshooting construction, remodel, component & material failures. What to do next
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There is no such thing as "mobile home" trades. Mobile home industry would be a more accurate description of the methods of construction unique to trailers. To reduce weight, 2x4s are reduced to 2x3,or less, interior drywall is omitted and replaced with thin wood paneling which is glued to the 2x3s to compensate for the loss of lateral stability, exterior sheathing is eliminated and sheet metal siding is applied directly to the studs to compensate for lost lateral stability. If you truly have horizontal furring then you gain no lateral stability from the sheet metal. "Codes" for trailers are under the purview of the Department of Transportation, not Building Codes. However as soon as you make any changes to the structural, electrical, or plumbing, you loose your D.O.T. certification and become subject to Building Code.
Premanufactured Homes are often treated by zoning officials the same as Trailers, but they are structurally very different and are subject to building codes
It is possible you have a manufactured home which is often mistakenly referred to as a mobile home. These have drywall interiors, exterior sheathing, full 2x4 frame, standard sidings, and a foundation the home is anchored to.
Regardless of trailer or manufactured home, adding siding over existing siding will require extending your current roof perimeter lines. Otherwise water will run behind your additional siding instead of past it. How far you extend the roof depends on how you apply the additional siding.
If the existing siding is not smooth enough to apply the new siding directly, by screwing through the old siding & into the studs or furring, you will need to apply a new layer of furring to the old siding, and then your cement-fiber panels to that.
For all that hassle of drilling the old siding so you can screw to the old furring (every 8") you can remove the old siding & furring, then apply plywood sheathing directly to the studs. Then you can nail your fiber panels as much as you wish & anywhere you wish. You will have access to inspect for framing damage & you update insulation too. The total thickness of the plywood, plus cement fiber panel, should be very close to the old furring + formed metal siding. You can select your plywood thickness to insure this.This means no messing with the roof perimeter.
So your decision is: are you willing to get into roofing issues & are you willing to drill the metal for each fastener for the new siding- just to avoid nailing new plywood sheathing directly to your studs?
If you can apply the fiber panel directly to the old siding, you will need to replace existing metal siding screws that are rusted. These screws will have to bear the weight of all that cement siding! The fasteners for the existing furring will also bear this weight, so be sure to check their condition as well. If you fasten directly to the old siding, you can use self tapping metal building screws- no predrilling.

Stephen Cutler
Stephen Cutler, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2,062
Experience: 35 years of troubleshooting construction, remodel, component & material failures. What to do next
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