Avid airplane enthusiasts, Jim and Julie decided this year they would attend Airventure at Oshkosh in Wisconsin, but they couldn’t find a hotel for 200 miles! Upon advice that camping would be their best bet, they decided to put their talents to work and build a teardrop camper to tow behind their vehicle. Perfect for just a small campsite. Because…you know…when you can’t find a hotel room, you build a camper! Doesn’t everybody? :-)
Did your mobile home come with ugly wall board covered in flowers or thin, pale stripes? How about carpet in the bathroom, was that part of the stunning package you’ve been blessed with? We’ve never made it a secret that we’re perturbed by the crappy quality of our home’s construction and the miserable taste of those who decorated it. But, do we sit and complain about it? No, we change it! A couple of years ago we decided to stick with our mobile home rather than building a “stick-built” home. We aren’t made of money and remodeling this joint has to be an economical venture or it just isn’t going to happen. Our first serious endeavor was our master bathroom. This project was a total rebuild from the subfloor up and we did all of the work ourselves. We’ll try to be as specific about brands and products as we can in this post, so here goes!
We’ve been checking out other mobile home living communities online over the past month and many conversations center around the high temperatures this year. Living in a mobile home presents many challenges with regard to the temperatures outside, hot and cold. If you have an older mobile home, insulation can be scant, if there’s any at all. Much older homes are often covered with aluminum siding, which can turn that home right into a hot tin can if the temps climb! In this article, we’ll address ways we have found to economically and efficiently make a mobile home more comfortable and energy efficient in during warmer temperature seasons.
In our quest to improve our mobile home to “house” quality, we have learned so many lessons about how they are built. When tearing out wall board during a bathroom remodel, we found that behind the 1/4 inch thick gypsum board and the insulation was a 1/4 inch layer of Styrofoam, and then the siding. Our home is a 1995 double wide. I guess we just expected more. It’s amazing the wind doesn’t blow right through it! We have been even more surprised by the items we have found like tools under the sub-flooring and odd bunches of electrical wire shoved in the wall that were connected to nothing. Some friends have a home nearly identical to ours and they have found wads of tube socks in their walls. Hmmmmm….it boggles the mind what was going on the day they ended up in there!
If you live in a mobile home, you are likely always in need of more space, unless your kids are all grown and have left you lovely big bedroom spaces to remodel and use as your very own sitting, sewing, working, tv watching rooms….or anything else you have been dreaming about every time you walked into their rooms to yell “clean it up!” For now, while all the good spaces are still filled with children’s or parent’s belongings, doing some detective work and getting a little creative might be in order.
Mobile home owners are at a serious storage disadvantage as they generally are not put on a basement and do not have attic spaces. Many newer mobile homes are built with 7/12 pitch or higher roofs that allow for a crawl and storage space to be utilized. But for the most part, a single-wide generally has a flat ceiling and a double-wide comes with a 5/12 roof pitch that hardly allows for insulation, let alone a crawl space.
In a recent remodel, we completely renovated our master bedroom/bathroom suite. It included a walk-in closet that was so dreary and included a smaller closet for our water heater and water storage tank. When we tore the walls down, we realized that there was a very large space, approximately 3’x5′, in front of the water heater space that adjoined the living room wall outside of our closet. Hmmmmm…what a great hidden space that wasn’t being used! In fact, it was closed in a wall and at nearly the highest point of our ceiling, so it could accommodate lots of shelves pretty high up if we designed it right!
If we had to choose one thing that annoyed us most during our mobile home makeover projects, plumbing has got to be it. While we’re not sure what they are like in newer homes, water lines in older (pre-2000) mobile homes tend to be oddly configured, plastic tubing, with no shut off valves at the source. No shut off valves at the source? Why does this make sense? Especially when so many mobile home bathrooms have carpet in them! (Oh wait, maybe THIS is our #1 annoyance now that I think about it!) We’re still scratching our heads over why you would put carpet in a room where there are water sources when you are going to use wafer board for sub-flooring. If you have carpeting in your mobile home bathroom, we have two things to say: “Good luck!” and “Get it out, NOW!” Maybe you have an opinion about this, which you are welcome to share in the comments section of this post.
But we digress…Now back to plumbing!