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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