New member intro and a few q's

Hi everybody… Let me introduce myself. I’m a former rental manager of a small rental inventory in northern AZ ( Mostly OLD mobile homes) ,and presently doing the single family rental thing in central TX. I have a full time job escorting windmill parts, so I don’t have a lot of time to take care of the properties my Bro owns in TX. Seems all the emergencies happen when I’m 3 weeks out on the road…lol. Most of what I do now is phone calls to the rental company and my handymen. WHen I do have a slow period escorting, I do the major projects, sheet rock, painting, plumbing, etc. I have a tractor/loader to help with the major cleanup, and pretty much can do most of the work until they start to enforce the “licensed contractors only” rules… The city has had years of major neglect and half done shoddy repairs are the norm among local contractors, so if I DIY well nobody says anything.

I hope to get off the road eventually and start just doing the rental thing but it will be a couple of years until that happens. Currently I am getting my hands on as many bare lots in town as I can, including ones with nonrehabbable homes. In the present market I can buy places for $500. and lots with saveable houses for $2500. 2 BR rentals are $350-450 a month with some real junk places going for 200, with tenants to match.

I am starting to acquire a larger area in town that the town is really happy about someone cleaning up the garbage and weeds on it, and plan to keep adding to that lot.

Thoughts are to create an Adult community with park models and spaces for campers. I want to get away from the actual ownership and responsibilities of home repairs, and sell the MH’s to tenants. I want to do it all with cash, I’m a Dave Ramsey fan and follower…so it’ll be slow going and sweat equity all the way.

My immediate question is HOW do I replace particleboard floors in a MH that is on one of these lots… WIndows were left open and the rain ruined the floor by every window… large fall thru holes just don’t seem like a good renting point… The home is a nice size and painted up would look fine, roof is excellent, it’s grandfathered as far as a foundaion goes, and it cost me about $500 including the lot.

Also are there any good sources for CHA units for these places? there is natural gas onsite, and AC would definitely be a good selling point.

Any ideas and suggestions would be great.

Post Edited (07-05-08 13:11)

Anyone have any hints for the newbie? Anyone, anyone???:wink:


You basically cut out the bad parts, screw in 2x4’s so all edges are supported and lay a new piece of plywood,sturdyfloor, or 2 layers of 7/16 particle board. Your best bet is to buy the mobile home repair manual avaliable on mobile home Good luck, sounds like you are in a market to make some serious money.


 Also make sure you caulk the seams , a little padding, some carpeting and your problem is solved. An easy way that we use is to cut the new piece first, trace over spot to be replaced then cut out. Now your new piece fits perfectly and all you need to do is put in pieces of 2x4's to support all 4 edges. Good luck Bill! By the way , have you ever thought of putting one of those windmills in to supply electricity to your Adult community?   Sorry, always looking for new profit centers !!!

Dan Dawson

Oh my God! You cut out your new piece FIRST, trace it over the spot to be replaced, then cut out the old spot! BRILLIANT! Its a perfect fit! Thank you for the tip, I’m going to make my yo-yo rehabbers use this method right now!

Those first couple years I was doing all my own rehab (and I think I’m pretty smart), I never thought of that. Thanks for that tip.



I thought everyone did it like this B-)!!

You can also put the piece of plywood down (use a couple screws to hold it in place), set the depth of the saw blade to cut through that and the floor and cut both at once.

Also, there have been times I’ve had a scrap of 19/32 that was close to the size needed, drop it over the soft spot, trace it, cut the floor, then attach 2x4 scraps underneath flatwise around the edge of the hole - without attaching to the joists (could even use plywood scraps). Drop the new patch piece in, screw through it into the scrap pieces… done.

Never had a problem even though it’s not attached to the joists.



I used to always cut out the bad area first, as square as possible, then cut a new piece to drop it. The one thing I did do that worked well was to assemble my 2x4 nailer box first on the open floor, then slide it through the opening into place upside the floor joists, and run screws. That way I wasn’t trying to put together the nailer box below the floor, which kills the back and the knees (at least mine).

My rehab guys always roll their eyes at me whenever I give them tips on rehabbing. They think I’ve always sat in an office and never done any of this myself.

A couple years ago one of my rehab guys who insisted he could do it all better than anybody, was replacing some bad floor. I shared my 2x4 nailer technique with him, he gave me a look like I was insulting his intelligence. Then I discovered that he was only using a nailer on 2 of the 4 sides of the cut. When I asked him, he told me that he thought I would appreciate him saving me money on 2x4s!



I really like the idea of building the box first. I have the same back and knee issues (seems to get worse as I get older… B-)

My handyman guy gets fussy with me too when I give advice so I have to snap him back to reality once in a while with a “Who do you think did this stuff before you were around?” line. I have nasty memories of patching floors and laying vinyl tile on a Christmas eve years ago.

I also use the standard “It’s my f&*king checkbook” do what I tell you!" line which is tough 'cause I’m basically a nice guy but ya gotta do what you gotta do…

He does nice work but I reamed him out a while back and explained how much money he’s cost me over the years with his (unnecessary) perfection.


Tracing the new piece over the rotten floor. Brilliant!

I continue to be amazed at the very simple things that can save a ton of time or money, improve quality (or both) that should be obvious, yet am hearing for the first time after a hundred sales.

It would be neat to somehow compile all these tips and tricks from some of the readers here so that none of us have to reinvent the wheel.


I admit to being a true cheapskate. Rather than building a box, I take a power nailer and whack a piece of 3/4 or 2x4 onto the floor joists. For the other two sides I grab scraps of anything, 2x3, 2x4, 1x, any plywood greater than 3/8 thick and screw down through the original floor to catch the nailer, leaving an inch or more showing to screw my new piece to. You’d be surprised at how strong this is.