Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Rustic Bar, has 2 shelves on the back side for storage. 

Hall Tree

Hall Tree SOLD
Made from an old 5 panel door. Shelf on top for storage, bench on the bottom opens up for extra storage for shoes or book bags.  2 hooks under shelf for hanging coats or scarves.    

The Front Porch and the Roof

TJ decided from the very beginning that one of the first things he wanted to do was build a covered front porch.  The porch cover should help to keep the doorway and subfloor dry and considering the current state of the entry way, we’re going to need protection from the rain. I'm ALSO hoping with mats that it will help us keep dirt from coming in as easily on our feet.  It’s 16’x8’ and consists of 1”x6” decking and the framework is made of 2”x6” boards.  The posts are 4”x4” and sit on concrete footers, and the roof is corrugated tin.  They put 8” flashing under the drip rail in between it and the roof of the porch.  We haven’t built new stairs yet but the porch is beautiful!  We believe that minus the tools, the materials probably cost us around $1,200-$1,500.  TJ and Mark built this porch and cover in 3 days.  We still need to build the stairs but that can wait till we have more time.   

It really makes a huge difference to the appearance of the house.  We’d eventually like to replace the aluminum siding with plank siding.  I think that will completely change the look of the house, and with a good coordinating skirting, it might be hard to even tell that it’s a mobile home!


The next step was to seal the roof with an aluminum protectant.  This is a UV reflector and a sealer for any small cracks or pinholes. Hopefully it helps to reduce energy costs in the summer as well.  He used Roofers Choice Mobile Home Aluminum Coating.  This comes in a 5-gallon bucket and is only supposed to cover about 250 sq. ft., but TJ only used 1 bucket for the whole roof.  He will go back later and apply a 2nd coat.  These cost about $57 per bucket.  He also used another roof tar-like sealant to seal around the vents for extra leak protection.  While he was out there he took a hose and blew out the debris in the drip rail.    

I believe we’ve done just about all we can do on the outside for now!  We’re officially ready for demo!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

First Thing's First

As we started planning this remodel and trying to make decisions on colors and types of flooring, TJ had the realization that we should probably get the Mobile Home re-levelled before we even start.  We definitely didn’t want to be trying to install new cabinets and not be able to get them straight because the house wasn’t level.  I hadn’t had it re-levelled since the house was originally set 16 ½ years ago so it was definitely time. 
The jack
TJ searched and found Xavier with Skyjackers to come over and give him an estimate.  He put a level on the house and immediately found that it was about 6 inches off from front to back.  TJ asked him if it was a good idea for us to put more blocks under the trailer and he said absolutely, yes.  He said that when the trailer was set in ’99, the standard distance between blocks was 8 feet, but since has changed to 6 feet.  We felt like it would make the house feel more sturdy from the inside as well, so we agreed to the re-level and to add more blocks.  We bought the extra blocks and he charged us $600 to do the job.  We felt it was well worth it and gave us even more piece of mind to go into our remodel.  He also alerted us to a leak in the guest bathroom area that we had no idea was even there, and that will definitely help our planning for later on. 

All set and no siding

In order to get the re-level and extra blocks done they also had to take down the old skirting, which was ratty and falling down anyway.  We have no idea what we want to replace it with.  Since the house isn’t sitting on a pad I don’t think it would be a good idea to do rock or use any other permanent materials which is a bummer because that actually would make it look more like a permanent structure and a home.  We'll need to find something that will help to insulate the bottom of the house for energy purposes, but not be too permanent.  I guess we’ll just have to keep looking!

If you look just beyond the bladder tank to the left is the old
 rusty galvanized steel pipe that we pulled out.
The water well on the property is around 30 years old.  My parents had it drilled when I was 5 or 6.  We never had any issues with the well but as us kids grew up our dentist let us know that there was too much fluoride in the water we were drinking. Too much fluoride in your drinking water has various effects, one being that it will weaken the enamel of your teeth and give way to unsightly brown or yellowish stains, which dentists refer to as Fluorosis.  Now fast forward to 1999.  The well had sit for about 5 years with no use, and I had a new mobile home put on the property.  New PVC pipes were put in the ground from the well up to the trailer.  We turned the water on and it was rusty.  It wasn’t even something you’d notice too much if you poured it in a glass of water but you’d definitely be able to tell in your sinks, tubs and appliances over time.  We didn’t drink or cook with the water but it was definitely killing our appliances and clothes.  The pipe inside the well was all galvanized steel, which had surely rusted.  The above ground tank was as well.  I replaced the bladder tank about 7 years ago, and now it was time to replace the pipe with PVC.  There’s no way we could do this remodel and still have rusty water so we definitely needed to get it fixed.  An old family friend pulled the well and replaced the pipe with all new PVC (350 feet) for $800.  As we suspected, the galvanized pipe was eaten up with rust, and we’re hoping that fixes the recurring rust problem.  We’ll still need to replace all of the pipe to the house, and inside of the house because those pipes are too corroded.  We’re also thinking about installing a good water filtration system.  I definitely don’t want Tristyn having the same dental issues I’ve had!        

Monday, March 28, 2016

Our Big Scary Mobile Home Renovation Plans!

My husband and I have decided to completely gut and renovate a 1999 model 16x72 single wide mobile home for us to live in with our toddler. I purchased the home in 1999 and myself as well as several of my family members and friends over the last 16 ½ years have lived in it well.  Over those years we’ve never really done much maintenance to the home, as is evident by the weak spots in the subfloor and walls caused by a poorly maintained “gutter system” off the roof that accumulated leaves, rain, sticks and various debris.  There are leaks in the vents over the bathrooms, the floor doesn’t feel or look level whatsoever, and we are very suspicious of a major leak from the guest bathroom toilet (I kind-of don’t even want to know).  Beyond all of that, myself and various family members have smoked in the home off and on for years and that has definitely added another layer of disgust for this ex-smoker (I haven’t lived in the house for the last 3 years). 

The house is a 3 bedroom 2 bath, 1,152 square feet.  The original countertops are a very cheap laminate in a blue marble look.  The original carpet is blue, and to add even more awesomeness, the manufacturer put carpet in the bathrooms.  The interior walls are obviously some type of cheap wall board with 2 different styles of wallpaper depending on which room you’re standing in that both consist of some sort of floral pattern (of green and blue of course).  There is a partial wall in the kitchen/dining area that separates the utility room and back door, and a partial wall that separates the dining area and living room that functions as a workstation on one side
and an entertainment center on the other.  The linoleum in the kitchen is beyond cleaning, and is showing a special kind of wear that actually invokes a few fond family memories (like the time my mother walked away from bacon cooking on the stove which caught on fire, and in the ruckus to put out, burned a small hole in the linoleum, but that story and others would probably be best saved for another post).
Our plan is to completely remove all appliances, cabinets, carpet, fixtures, and demolish everything down to the studs.  Then we’ll remove the 2 partial walls in the kitchen/dining/living room area to create more of an open concept. Once we have everthing open we’ll then be able to see what the interior walls consist of, and make decisions on whether we will add more insulation.  We’ll also be able to see more of the subfloor and determine how much of it will need to be replaced and figure out what size we’ll need to replace it with. We’ve also decided to move the master bedroom door from the front  part of the house to the back part (in thecurrent utility room), so that we’ll have more continuous kitchen space.  In doing that we’ll need to re-locate the electrical breaker box from the utility room side of the wall where it is currently to the bedroom side of the wall.  Eventually we’ll put in a new slider in the dining room area at the back of the house where there is currently a window which will open up to a back porch. We’ll also be adding a front porch to help with rainfall leaking in the front door which ruined the subfloor in that area before. We’ll also be doing some work on the well and trying to eliminate some rusty water issues we’ve been dealing with for way too long.

I must mention that his house is also in a rural area on 3 acres of land.  I grew up on this exact piece of land and I would like to see my toddler grow up here as well which is our main motivation for all of this hard work.  In this remodel we’ll need to take care of plumbing, electrical, gutting the house, tearing out walls, moving doors, building decks and additions.  We’ll also show our challenges for getting broadband internet and cell service coverage in the area.  We cannot wait to get started on this adventure and hope to document as much of it as we can along the way!