Tag Archives: small home

Slow going progress.

So I’ve been a bit behind the last 2 weeks. Between trying to find a good dosage of my thyroid meds and just being overwhelmed and overworked, I just haven’t had the energy to sit down and blog. Since that is the case, I figured I better use my computer- that’s right all of my previous blogs were from my phone! Anyway, I thought that might just be safer and produce words more quickly.

So, update on the progress we’ve made over the last 2 weeks. Last I wrote, I believe we had almost finished demolishing the interior walls. Here are a few shots of that, which my Husband took.

That last picture there was us trying to move the piano over. It was HEAVY! So needless to say we didn’t get anywhere with that.

The following week we did actually finish taking down all of the interior walls. Nothing left but the outside walls!

The bathroom was the hardest. We wanted to remove everything except the plumbing, mainly because I’m salvaging that to save money. So, we had to be very careful to get all of the fixtures down- electric and plumbing, and then walls down, without damaging the pipes. It didn’t help that at some point(s) the tub was “re-done”, and there were literally layers of paneling with a base of plywood. All water damaged. One layer of paneling was the painted fake tile- not actually water resistant, by the way. So, it was crumbly and moldy, but attached to the plywood with liquid nails. I found that extra interesting because despite the corners that were cut with placing the paneling, no such luck was in play with the plywood itself- I counted 14: 3 inch screws that took multiple rounds of sledging from both myself and Nathan before they finally turned loose. The most hilarious part is once we finally got that wall down, the floor was toast. The sub-floor had rotted years ago and was “fixed” on either side of the wall with patches of plywood, so when the wall came down we could literally see the ground below.

Needless to say, as to be expected with any project like this, you always discover things needing attention that you might otherwise have hoped would be fine. In this case, I tallied up about 6 sheets worth of sub-floor needing replaced. I don’t do things half-ass-ed, never have, and I’m not going to start now. If it needs done, so be it. It might just take me a little longer to get everything paid for and completed.

Then following that, we (Nathan and I only) proceeded to rip down the insides of the Exterior Walls. The first sheet of paneling came down exposing the insulation- we’d already put on the respirators in preparation for that. I still don’t want to risk asbestos exposure. All this work, I better get to enjoy this into ripe old age. Then we pulled down a second sheet of paneling to make insulation removal easier.

Ok, got the contractor bags out and set up the bag stand so we could just roll up the old insulation and put it directly into bags. Great! Lets Go! Pull out the first piece of insulation….. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! WTF! WHAT am I looking at?


That means that in the 1970’s trailers were built far below current construction req’s. Just so you know, current standards are: you build your stud walls, coat them in plywood, then wrap the outside of the plywood in plastic sheeting such as TyVek or similar, and then put up the exterior covering- be it vinyl, metal or wood siding. So, again I see myself adding up new figures. 66 sheets of plywood that I hadn’t thought I would need- roughly $700 worth. Yippie! Right?!

Ok, so keep going. We wrap around the end of the trailer to the opposite long side, when we get a fourth of the way down that side, we realize that we’re looking at dimples all over the siding.


We go outside, the whole north side (long side) is covered in them, and a couple of them were so deep that they broke through the siding. I hadn’t noticed them before, but I hadn’t really examined that side of the house very well, only having been on that side a few times. We ask; they tell us about 4 years ago there was a storm that went through with fist-sized spiky-hail. It had broken all of the windows on that side, so they were fixed with plexi-glass, but the siding was left alone.

So, now I have a decision, keep what’s good of the siding and try to find some that matches enough for a good coat of paint, or just replace all of the siding. That would mean that everything would be brand new, exactly what we want, and have a very long life span; it would also mean that I’ve got another couple thousand dollars of materials to pay for. I like the latter better, but ARGH, REALLY- more money to spend. Like I need more things to figure out how/when to pay for them. Oh well, I guess.

So, keep on trucking. We did as much as we could that day, and realized that things need moved to finish tear down of the interior. The next work day, we got help, borrowed a trailer, and moved the enormous super heavy piano, deep freeze, barrel of grain, and massive cast iron cook stove out of the trailer and into storage. That was enough work for one day- I was exhausted, did I mention they were HEAVY? The up side, the trailer was looking very sparse. The only objects remaining: fridge, stove, water-heater/pressure-tank, Jacuzzi & sinks, Wood Heat Stove, and construction materials/tools. Now we’re getting somewhere.

The next day, we went to a different friend’s house to work on cutting down a dead tree to build up our wood stores for next winter.


That’s the first felled part of the tree on the left- there’s about 6 more trunks of the cluster to be felled yet. On the right: the piles are what we had done after about 3 hours of cutting and cleaning up. I didn’t take a photo of the tiny twigs- that pile was huge, but at least we’ll have plenty of kindling. Anyway, we only did the 3 hours, because after moving heavy stuff the day before, that was all we could handle physically. I promised them we’d be back on the following Monday to finish that part, and that we’d keep working on the whole tree until it was all down. I made such a promise because I know we’ll need the wood next winter. Might as well plan ahead and have seasoned wood for just the cost of labor. My estimates are that we’ll end up with enough for us, and then possibly enough extra for the friend that gave us the trailer. That’s good.

So, slow progress. My goal is to finish tear down this Sunday, and get sub-floor repair and plumbing started the following. We only have 3 workable weekends left if we’re still moving April 1st, so this Sunday will determine that. If we can’t finish tear down this Sunday, I will probably have to postpone the move date- an idea I detest, especially since I don’t know if our landlord would be willing to pro-rate for half a month. I really don’t want to stay  a whole month longer.

Keep those fingers crossed for us!

New beginnings, old endings

Life has been a battle for financial stability,  & a feeling of security.  Pile  on top of that having spent 3 years in an apartment complex with an out of control bed bug problem.

It’s been a never ending cycle of kill them in our apartment, with – oh look,  they’re back,  must’ve come through the walls/carpet again.

Enough is enough.   There’s that insanity I  referenced in my initial post. If I’m ever going to fix our situation, something has  to change.

I’m a massage therapist,  despite everyone’s preconceived notions,  we don’t make a lot of moolah.  After all my overhead,  licensing,  insurance,  taxes,  & fees – I break about 12 grand a year working  full time. Yikes! Sadly, it’s about the same as my wages  used to be working in graphic design for a family owned screen printing company. Needless to say – those aren’t my solutions – believe me,  I’ve tried.


So where does all this & a floor-plan of a mobile home come in you ask?

This is not the exact current floor-plan, in fact I’m dealing with a 2 bedroom-  used to be 2 bath, but really is 1 bath now – mobile home.  The up side,  it’s free.

After extolling my woes & conundrum to my friend, for what seems  like the thousandth time- she offered.  “You know I have an extra trailer on  my property. You can have  it as  soon as Dotty moves out. ” Maybe, I said.

5 or 6 offers later it started looking really good.  3 or 4 later, I was sold.  It’s way out in the country – more fuel.  But FREE! No more rent! It needs A Lot of work- ok,  not ideal,  but I got this.  I’ve done everything before in bits & pieces, this will just put all my skills to work at once.  Bonus,  I can customise,  & eventually be off grid. A pretty home that’d be mine,  & just the way I want,  & if we’re careful (& throw a ton of stuff away) in moving,  bug free!

Ok… I think. 

This is huge…. all the planning, calculations,  materials,  work,  stuff needing packed & stored, stuff needing purchased/found,  so many steps.  I’m going to be living in essentially a plywood  box,  with my family,  & for how long? How  long does it take to move all the Windows & doors,  & rebuild the roof?  When you’re working for  money, you’re not working on the house,  & vice versa. We’ll have water,  at least 1 sink & tub will be finished before move in. But DAMN!

Now you see the insanity.  The flat out,  I’m a crazy woman that’s completely lost her mind & dragging her whole family along, just so that in 4 or 5, maybe even 6 years,  we’ll have a beautiful home & much less of  a burden income wise.

She’s said she’ll sign over the title eventually,  & we’ve discussed getting acreage closer to the metro- & if she wants to move  with us,  that’s ok too, she has  her own trailer. That’s a win,  win in my book,  just have to watch car fuel consumption in the meantime.

I can do this.  I am Woman, I have & use power tools- Hear Me Roar! ( Helen Reddy “I am Woman”)

Plus,  I bought my dream tub today for $87.50 at Habitat Restore.



It has 6 jets, & has been tested for functionality (but not leaks – small issue to test before installation). I’m so excited to install & use this for the first time!

Wish me/us luck! We’ll need all we can get!