Thursday, August 27, 2015

Welcome back from summer...Countertops and Kitchen Costs

We took a little time to enjoy the rest of summer.  Lazy days at the pool or down by the river.  (and I think we were just sick and tired of working on the house.)

We finally got our countertops!  They are magnificent.  They are worth every penny I spent on them.  Here's the run down on price...

Our measurements ended up being 39 sq. ft.  We decided not to get the 5 inch backsplash which saved us some money.  We'll do our own backsplash with tile.  I have yet to pick the tile.

We scored a discount because through the process a 10% off sale started.  Our final price with installation was $2000.

So far in the kitchen we have spent:  $2000 countertops, $700 cabinets, $300 farmhouse sink, $600 stove, $500 dishwasher (this was taken off the purchase price).

When thinking about a remodel, take into account the things you must have, things you can install yourself, and when it's time to call in a professional.  The husband and I both wanted a stone countertop so we knew it was going to be a huge cost compared to other items.  This is my dream house for right now.  Some people may even say you won't get your money back on this.  I beg to differ.  With this kitchen remodel I would have no problem asking 10 to 15 thousand above what I paid for the house.

We still need to install upper cabinets, flooring, backsplash, light fixtures, hood, and trim and backing/siding on the cabinets.

Sorry the pics are a bit messy.  Just summer living mode.

The husband has since painted the upper cabinet to at least match the lowers until it's replaced.

Things are still in boxes and in odd places...sigh.

Super shiny!

I'm sure I will have a lot of counter space.  Once I actually get everything off the counters.

It's looking beautiful and bright.  I have to admit I wasn't sure about my husband's choice of color for the counter tops.  Yes, I let him pick the color.  I thought it would be too dark and my kitchen would look like a cave.  But with all the white cabinets and the reflection of light off the counter tops, it really isn't noticeable.

I CANNOT WAIT...till we put the flooring in.  This is an irritation to me.  However, it's just too hot outside to think about sawing pieces of flooring.  We've agreed to wait till Fall.

So what am I working on now?  The husband is doing some painting.  I have switched from remodel mode to unpack and put away mode.  Seriously, I'm still looking at things in boxes.  There's a whole other bedroom we can hardly get into because it is stacked floor to ceiling with boxes.  I have a "disorder" that requires things in the house to be in order or I don't want to remodel.

With school back in session I'll be blogging on a regular schedule.

What are you working on right now?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kitchen Progress

We've now lived here roughly two months.  We've made so much progress and faster than I thought.  A major part of the budget had to go to the kitchen.  I mean, what's not to love here, right?  Just about everything...  I'd say this is a typical 1990's manufactured home kitchen and color scheme.

Should I start with the floor up or the ceiling down?  The floor is linoleum.  It's staying for a tiny bit longer.  We'll bring the same floor from the living room into here.

Those white appliances were sold.  Part of the budget was a new stove and dishwasher.  Something we would be happy with for many years.  The old dishwasher didn't work and the seller reimbursed us the cost of the new dishwasher off our purchase price.

You'll see the fridge is to the left of the stove.  This arrangement didn't work for me and felt like a galley kitchen had been installed in a square space.  

The new stove and dishwasher were installed.  I'll post detailed info about those later.  The faux oak cabinets on the bottom were torn out.  The dividing wall of "floating" cabinets was torn out.  

The counter tops and tile backsplash were torn out.  The sink is about 6 inches deep so it had to go, too.

The position and angle of the sink caused several problems.  I'm a shorty and it made it difficult to reach the upper cabinets behind the sink.  I didn't like the position of the sink and felt it should sit directly under the window.  The triangle space created an empty zone where something...made a yucky smell.  Another reason the cabinets had to go.  I think they absorb smells over time.

Here is the opposite wall.  Again we tore all of the cabinets and counter top out.  For a better flow we placed the fridge against this wall.

I think this works much better.

This is where things are today.  Same floor.  New cabinets.  We'll remove the upper cabinets and re-work that area later.  We've installed a new farmhouse sink.  Changing the angle meant bringing the kitchen out another foot.

That sink is huge!  I'll detail more in another post.

I'm looking forward to getting this back cubby area cleaned out and useable.  The microwave will move and we'll have a coffee area back there.

I picked up this small table for $10 at an estate sale with the intention of repainting and selling it.  I put it here for the time being and it has turned into everyone's favorite place to eat.

One of my prize possessions, the china hutch, is housing all manner of dishes.  It will be repainted to match the final colors.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention I'll be painting all the cabinets!  That will be a fun reveal.

Another view of the sink and dishwasher area.  There's also a tease of a chandelier I'm going to tell you about later.

So far I'm really happy with this update.  It's getting modern updates while also retaining some farmhouse/French details.

In case you thought I had forgotten to put counter tops... Those will be coming.  One of our largest single expenses was buying counter tops.  The ordering and install process is taking a little longer than expected.  I'm told we should have counter tops within the next four weeks.  I guess that will be a good time to give another kitchen update.

I think our next big project is putting flooring in our daughter's room.  See you then!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Living Room and Flooring Reveal

Despite being hit with more rain from Tropical Depression Bill, we have picked up pace again on projects.

One thing I wanted to finish was the flooring in the living room so we could call it DONE! and move on.  Flooring is a major priority on our list.  Your floors might be in good condition and not so bad to look at, so it would be further down on your list of renovation projects. 

Right before we moved in we had the seller remove all the carpet.  I'm not a fan of carpet.  I can't ever get it truly clean if there's a spill, I hate having it cleaned, and we have enough outside allergens and muddy dog paws to definitely nix the carpet idea.  In our last house we had carpet and were astonished when we pulled it up to see how much dirt had made it through the carpet and padding down to the sub-floor.  Gross!

The Husband and I looked at samples and we agreed on a couple.  I brought the samples home and we knew right away which one we liked.  We chose a laminate because we've had it before, it's easy to install, is cheaper than wood, and stands up for a really, really long time (as long as you aren't a knuckle dragging Neanderthal).

We picked....Handscraped Antique Hickory.  I bought it at Lowe's and it runs $1.49 sq. ft.  Our budget allowed us to buy enough for 3 out of 5 rooms.  We finished the living room floor.  We'll put flooring in our daughter's bedroom and the kitchen.  The other 2 bedrooms we'll complete when we get to those room renovations.

Here's the reveal...

Pre-paint and lovely walls...blech!

Walls painted and getting ready to start flooring.  It's easiest for us to move everything to one half of the room and then move it the other side to do the other half.

I'm really happy with the color and look of this floor.

After paint and flooring.   I still need base boards.  That center console/cabinet thing in the middle will get a makeover soon.  Though I detest carpet, I like rugs.  The large living room rug here I purchased at  I paid $99 and was brought from the old house, so was not part of our current budget.

Another view.  Yes my furniture is covered.  It's mud season here.  That cutie-patootie black schnauzer loves mud!  The curtains were found at Hobby Lobby.  I used their 40% off coupon instead of waiting for one of their 50% off sales.  It is sometimes incredibly difficult to find the exact shade and sheen that is imagined for a room.  I had to buy them on the spot.

This is the same view from the first picture.  I'm living with things stashed in odd places, boxes, and power tools strewn about.

This is something interesting I'll have to live with for now.  The dining room already had a laminate flooring so we chose to leave it till way, way, way down the project list.  This pic is where the new floor on the right meets up with the old floor on the left.  It was mighty convenient that we didn't have to cut anything or need a transition piece.  It's also a great example of too much orange or yellow in flooring.

Thanks for stopping by!  Join me next time where we'll take a look at how the kitchen is coming along.

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Dealing With A Flood

Most renovations are not going to go according to plan.  That's a given.  It's frustrating but usually expected.  That weekend project extends to a 3 month project, etc.  What most renovations don't expect are natural disasters.  Yep, we had one.  We had a natural disaster.  A flood of historic proportions.  And hail.  And tornadoes.  A harrowing week to be sure.

 This tornado was 2 miles west of our house

We had an idea the rain and bad weather were coming, but not this bad.  Worst of all it was happening at night.  As we watched the news and saw the constant emergency warnings, imminent danger, and take cover now scrolling across the screen, we were worried.  The husband was at work so we were also separated.  I was at home coming up with all sorts of crazy scenarios and picking which tree I would have to climb and eventually be rescued from by a helicopter.  I also changed out of my pj's back into regular clothes because I knew my helicopter rescue would also be televised and I thought being in pj's might be embarrassing. 

 Our front yard several hours after the worst of the rain

Terrible things happened that night.  Whole houses and families were swept away.  Some are still missing.  Whole neighborhoods were flooded and ruined.  Access to highways was closed.  Electricity, cable, and internet were cut off.  Our home was spared.  Since we had only moved in less than a month, we were completely unsure about water drainage and flood issues.  We could have just sunk all our money into something that was about to be washed away.

 A low water crossing several days after the rain.  The debris on the yellow barrier indicates the water came up this high.  Actually it rose up much, much higher.  They say this river rose 40 feet.

To add to our worry, the Walmart flooded and had to be closed.  No big deal?  Ha!  Walmart is next to the river that was currently washing everything away.  Our storage units which held 90% of our things, so we could renovate uncluttered, were next to the river next to Walmart.  So our house was saved but we were still in a position to lose almost everything.  The roads were closed so all we could do was wait.

 Walmart was closed for several days.  They partially reopened but could only shop the outer perimeter aisles.  The entire center of the store was closed off.  It looks massive compared to the size of the people in the picture.

Once the roads opened we headed to the storage to see what could be saved.  All the houses for several miles in both directions had been flooded.  The Red Cross was across the street from our storage helping residents.  It was grim.  People everywhere pulling everything out of their homes.  Ruined.
We pulled into the storage and expected the worst.  What we found was a miracle.  Everything was dry.  Our storage wasn't on higher ground.  Somehow all the water was diverted in a circle around the storage.  We recognized it for the miracle it was.  With more rain in the forecast we weren't going to throw this miracle away.  The race was on!

 Sad seeing possessions tossed out.  Sadder when it's toys.

We had a limited amount of time to rescue our things and keep it from getting rained on as we moved it.  We spent several days loading a trailer, a truck, and van and brought everything to the house.  Now the house is stacked with boxes everywhere.  As I move through the maze I realize we are blessed.  The renovation will continue a little late and a lot more cluttered than intended.  If that's the worst, then truly there is no room for complaint.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beginning Renovations Are Boring

When you start a renovation it is usually lacking in a lot of glamour.  A lot of mundane things are happening.  I mean how thrilling is this?

Not only is this boring but a lot of your initial expense can go to these and then you won't even look at them on a daily basis.  Some of the boring things we've done so far:  A new and bigger water heater, unclogging drains and replacing old pvc pipes, getting a new roof, fixing the a/c and heating unit, cleaning electrical outlet covers, and painting.

Soon we'll get the flooring in and the kitchen will undergo its transformation.  We'll retrieve all our furniture and things from storage.  Then the renovation will look pretty.  For now I will just have to stay content with boring.  If these things weren't done, no matter how much dressing up the place we did, it wouldn't matter.  It would be worthless if the roof were leaking, the pipes were clogged, the a/c cut out in the middle of summer.

Here's a book I enjoyed reading awhile back.  If you're interested in renovating a manufactured home, trailer, or single wide mobile home, this is a good read.  There's lots of great ideas and instructions on how-to.  I love reading Anna Hess and have followed her blog for a few years. 

She's also a prolific writer about homesteading and has many titles available on Amazon.

No Boys Allowed! Or girls...or Anyone for That Matter

If you're reading this and looking for tips for your own renovation, I'm about to give you one.  Through several projects and over-excitement I couldn't wait to share it with others.  I would invite people over to see the work in progress.  Big mistake. 

I now have a strict No Visitors rule while the worst of the renovations are happening.  Why?  Because people can tend to be...helpful with their advice.  It can go from, "You have a little bit of work to do" to "I can't believe you bought this dump."  Not a pretty scenario I assure you.

I have big dreams for this house, but I also have fears.  I don't want to fall into second guessing my choices and moving straight into paralysis of failure.  Some people love creative criticism and they just can't help themselves, bless their hearts.  I admit, there are some real messes in this house and I'd be hard pressed not to have a prejudiced view even after the renovation is done.  So if there's a big spot on the wall, some people will never be able to see past it, no matter how many times you paint over it.  Get what I'm sayin?

Most people understand, some don't.  I've bruised a few feelings by forbidding any early looks.  In the long run it has to be done.  For my sanity.

I don't mind telling my story and sharing pictures, when I'm ready.  That's my advice:  Keep it to yourself till you're really ready to share.  Keep your dreams and visions and you'll keep your motivation to finish.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Let's Talk About Paint

The roofers decided to show up today.  I'm told they'll be able to finish the job in one day.  This changes all my plans for today.

It's not a bad thing.  We've got house guests showing up in...2 weeks.  Eek!  That was kind of unplanned but here we are, and I can't have a future son-in-law thinking his future parents-in-law live like backwood slobs.

The main thing that has to be done is painting.  This is pretty much my biggest complaint about all the houses I've lived in.  They love to use flat paint, or prison paint as I lovingly refer to it.  It must be because it's cheap because it has no other redeeming qualities.  It does nothing but get dirty.

This is a photo of the living room in progress.  Notice the walls are just plain dirty.  The painting has been finished in this room but I'm not ready to do a full reveal yet.  Today I'm working on the kitchen walls.  There's an added bonus of ugly wall paper.

I keep asking Hubs why we thought we were so cool in the 90s because this 90s house is nothing but uncool.

The paint I've chosen is white.  Did you know there's at least a thousand shades of white?  The white I've picked to use throughout the house and trim doesn't even have "white" in the name.  It's called Lilac Muse.  I chose it simply because it was the brightest most blinding white I could find.  It's made by Valspar. 

I have learned the best way to buy paint is with the primer already in it.  I then add 1 cup per gallon of Floetrol.  This eliminates brush and roller marks, so in the end it will save you money by using less paint.

So let's go look at the in progress results...

Oops did I get paint on my ugly 90s glass?  Hee hee.  That's going to be disappearing so I don't worry too much about things that will be covered up or removed.

Everything strewn about as I work around the room.  I'm taking a break contemplating what I've gotten myself into for the day.  That whole countertop/bar thing will be disappearing soon.

Here's the finished work for today.  You don't keep a ladder in your kitchen?  That spot is where the old fridge was positioned.  It didn't work at all for having good flow and cooking.  The fridge will stay on the wall where it is now pictured. 

Kittens you say? 

Happy Renovating!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Did I Mention There Would Be Kittens?

What's a proper renovation without throwing in some kittens.

Four cute and fluffy faces.  All sweet as they slumber.

But when they wake.  They are not a lot of help.  Distracting.  Getting into things they shouldn't.  Chewing on tools.

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Welcome to Mani Reno! A Blog about Transforming a Manufactured Home Into My Current Dream House

Welcome to Mani Reno!  A blog about transforming a manufactured home into my current dream house.

I'm so happy to be here!  It's been quite a journey to get to this point.  A brief summary would begin with "Once upon a time" we decided to sell our house.  We lived in a double-wide manufactured house out in the country.  We lived in a neighborhood where everyone had at least one acre of land.  It was peaceful and quiet.  We enjoyed having the land to experiment with gardening and chickens.  So why move?

At some point we began shifting priorities.  We realized we weren't getting any younger and we had other interests.  The neighborhood wasn't what it used to be.  We couldn't go for a walk for fear someone would have their gigantic dogs running loose.  So we decided to move...

I had done many, many, many, many projects on our house.  Still, selling a manufactured home can be a long process.

These are some photos from our listing.  The total amount of time to sell took 6 months.  Now we were ready to find our next home.  It was crazy time!

We had definite goals.  Find a home that we could buy from our proceeds and be free of a mortgage.  Find a home that is structurally sound.  After telling friends what we were looking for, and enduring their funny looks, we started getting a few good tips.  Then, seemingly overnight, we found our house...

This is a 1997 Fleetwood home.  It is a double-wide at roughly 1312 square feet.  (A whole 12 square feet bigger than the house we sold)  The stuff on the roof is...a new roof.  Unfortunately it's been raining for two weeks and we'll have to wait for better weather.  Part of the purchase of this house is having the seller replace the roof.  That's a huge score in my book.  It still has its' original roof.  Notice there are also a lot of trees.

 Here's another view.  Don't be too hard on her.  We've only been here two weeks.  We still have lots of cleaning up and finding a place for everything.

Here's one of two big trees I have.  This one is a pecan tree.  In fact the whole neighborhood and town is an old pecan plantation.  The trees are old and some are very large.

Well, that's about it for this time.  We've been in the house for 17 days now and have been working from sun up to sun down on a lot of those days.  I can't wait to show you our work in progress and some delightful results.  See you soon!

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