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Job Creation

We’re moving forward with the mobile. The old carpeting is mostly out, the power is on, and the water is off but we can turn it on. We didn’t leave the water turned on because we couldn’t be sure there weren’t any hidden leaks. Ostensibly the husband half of the world is having our handyman come through and fix the cooler and go over the rest of the plumbing to check for issues next week. We already know we’re replacing faucets and eliminating an unusable garbage disposal. I loath garbage disposals, anyway. I hope to compost the stuff that would normally go into a disposal. We might end up replacing the whole sink – the one that’s there now is a white porcelain dinosaur.

We’ve got a window AC unit to tide us over until the cooler is working like it’s supposed to work. The fan works on the cooler but with the water off, it’s not gonna cut it in weather well over 100º. Hubby still has to yank the old carpet from the smallest bedroom, and to scrape up the two layers of vinyl from the kitchen, bathroom and a small section of hall. Lucky for us the sub-floors are in incredibly good shape for their age. Usually once there have been any leaks at all, the sub floors are toast. That didn’t happen here and we plan to keep it that way.

We may buy a bigger capacity window AC in the off season. As small as this place is, one of the bigger units might be enough to do the trick permanently. There are other people who simply removed the rooftop swamp cooler and went 100% to a window AC for places of similar size. We’ll see how it goes.

We agree on paint colors and flooring colors. We agreed on cheap ceiling lights for the kitchen. I don’t love them but they’re 1000% improvement over what’s there now, which is mismatched and tacky. These are boring but modern. The bedrooms still have old style fixtures – I wanted to go ahead and get replacements for those too but hubby said no. Not a huge deal to me – for those I’ll be fine with just swapping out the square glass shades for round. Hubby also said no to getting the kitchen faucet I wanted. That was a bigger deal to me because the one I wanted was on clearance, but since we’re waiting on handyman guy, I’ll cool my heels for the time being.

More pictures, now that we’ve cleared out all the furniture:

Master BedroomThis is the master bedroom. Hubby had to take the closet doors off because the bottom door runners were mounted on top of the carpeting. They didn’t slide as a result. You had to force them. Glad to see that carpet gone! Considering its age, the gold high-low carpet was still in amazing condition. That doesn’t mean we wanted to keep it.

The little built-in is a nice touch. I haven’t talked to G about whether it’ll be white or if we’ll paint it navy like all the lower cabinets. I’m leaning toward white for now.
Living RoomThis is the living room. One thing I love about it is how bright it is! Those are big windows on all three sides. Despite what it looks like in this picture, it’s actually a decent size, at 13’4″ by 16′. Not too shabby considering the overall size of the place. It needs to be big since it’s also going to serve as hubby’s office space.

I’m less enamored of the two badly done Kokopelli and saguaro cactus on the far wall. Hubby thinks they’re on with paint. I think somebody did them with a magic marker. Either way, I’ll be glad when they’re buried under a layer of KILZ and gray paint.

This is the hallway looking from the master bedroom door. That slice of brown vinyl was actually underneath carpeting. You can just see the little niche next to the bathroom where the washer and dryer will go. The dryer fits on one side of the bathroom door and the washer on the other side. The hall was carpeted before but we’re planning to do all vinyl tile this time, so it’s consistent from kitchen to hall to bath.

There were actually three different vinyl patterns throughout the place, including 2-3 layers in places. The carpet padding, meanwhile, was a layer of upholstery foam. That was kind of a facepalm moment, especially since the foam was of different thicknesses in different parts of the place. It’s all going so we start clean.

There will be mid-tone laminate in the living room and both bedrooms, and the light colored paneling is getting a coat of light gray paint. The tile we picked out is very close in tone to the laminate – we originally looked at something lighter, but I wanted something that wouldn’t show every speck of dirt!! We’ll be putting in a white baseboard throughout and painting the ceilings white.

Finally, this is our paint test. It’s only one quick run over with a sponge brush, but you get the idea. It looks slightly darker in person, though still a light gray.

We decided to use the same light gray we bought for the house, and white trim. I think it will look awesome once get two coats up and it’s a nice even color throughout. We had the majority of our paint left from the previous project and can always get more if needed. If the bedrooms aren’t a perfect match it isn’t a big deal anyway.

Yes, this place is small, but it’s far too big to be considered a “tiny house”. Those things are insane, at 400sf and under. The majority I’ve seen have been on the order of 150-200sf. If push came to shove I could do it, alone. Hubby would lose his mind, and I couldn’t do it with two or more people. We’ve watched a lot of shows on tiny houses, where people pay as much for those things as a full size house.

Why on earth would you do that? Why not take something like this old mobile, give it some love, and do the whole thing for well under $10K, including the price of the mobile? The structure is already in place and you’re saving it from destruction, plus you have more space and can still haul it to wherever you like, if you insist.  I’ve seen some mid-century mobiles thMobile-002-07-28-2016(1)at were remodeled to keep the original kitchy style throughout. We’re not doing that, given this one’s vintage (1978) but I saw some from the 50’s and 60’s that were just amazing. This is our answer to the tiny house movement: not quite so tiny, but a definite downsize, and done right on a budget that’s within the scope of a couple of big tax refunds.

That plant that’s overtaken the stairs in the picture at left? It’s a bougainvillea. And it’s also going as soon as we can rip it out. Those things have insanely long thorns and they get to be huge in a hurry. We’ll be replacing it with something a little less apt to rip a hole in your legs.

The stairs and deck will also be replaced. There’s no railing around that deck, and both stairs and deck are rickety as heck. Hubby will be taking care of those after he wraps up the inside, and we plan to paint the outside of the mobile in either gray and white or two-tone gray. The railing will be white and the flooring is going to get a gray-tone stain. The stairs will be replaced by a wheelchair ramp.

There’s more, but it’s o’dark thirty in the middle of the night and I’ve got a long day ahead of me tomorrow. Looking into business options, because I’m done with the non-starter stuff we’ve done so far. I’ve got a narrow window of opportunity here and I plan to take it, one way or another.



  1. goatbarnwitch goatbarnwitch August 13, 2016

    Wow and wow, you are literally ripping through that new place. I bet it is going to be a gem when you are finished. Older mobiles don’t have that kind of life span often up here in the temperate rainforest/tundra of NY but there are a few that people have babied through the years. I have always thought a great retirement would be a home on wheels to travel and then park it somewhere I love. Think Airstream 🙂

    • leilani leilani Post author | August 14, 2016

      I’ve seen some older places in more temperate regions that are gems, and some that aren’t. It really is all about maintenance. Same goes here. We saw some absolute wrecks for which they wanted a lot more money. We gave $2000 for this, total, so we still had a respectable cushion for repairs and upgrades. We saw a few for the same price that were move-in ready, just not a good match for us.

      This place was old, but it had clearly been maintained up until the last. The carpet wasn’t original, and the vinyl was (mostly) not original. The windows were. Wish we could replace all the windows with dual pane, but at $1000+ for that project it ain’t happening.

      One truly awesome thing – all those blinds in the windows are aluminum, rather than cheap vinyl that disintegrates after one season. At nearly 40 years old they still look almost like new. I hope to hang some curtains sooner or later, but soooo happy to have usable blinds in the meantime!

  2. Terri Tinkel Terri Tinkel August 13, 2016

    Yes, you two are really moving along (no pun intended). I think it will look great with the light grey tones. Great job so far.

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