am trying to remodel an older (1977) trailer to look modern, fresh and newer. I am very limited with regard to money. How can I make my trailer look really nice inside and outside without spending too much? How can I paint the ugly dark brown doors and dark paneling? What about siding or putting on a peaked roof facade?
Please help me out with some ideas. Thanks
I painted my paneling. Usually you need to use something that keeps the background from bleeding through. First, I washed the paneling with TSP to get any oil or furniture spray that had been used to preserve the paneling then I coated it with primer before painting. In my living room I used spackle to go between the paneling. I just let it dry and sanded if areas were not smooth and I bought a heavy wallpaper (Sherwin Williams) that was discounted ($2/3 dollars a roll) and wallpapered my whole living room. It really helped me. I hate dark paneling because I want as much of the sunlight and light as possible. I just bought wallpaper paste and put it up as usual. The room was transformed.
For the outside, I washed with a pressure washer, which you can rent. It takes the buildup off aluminum. I then painted with a paintbrush. I think I used about 5/6 gallons on a 14 x 70 trailer. Don't skimp on the paint. I used one that was supposed to cover with one coat. I only put one coat on and I wished later I had put on two coats. It would have held up much better.
I otherwise find decorating things at resale stores and yard sales. You can always recover dining room chairs with fabric from the fabric store and put on heavy plastic over it to keep them looking great very inexpensively.
Right now, I am doing some landscape in my backyard with ferns from the woods and other greenery that is perennial.
Wonderful ResultsIn my bedroom of our 1976 mobile home, we removed the built-in drawer unit/vanity in the master bedroom to make use of "outdated" space. We then covered the brown paneled walls and closet doors with inexpensive paintable textured wallpaper. After a coat of paint and an inexpensive carpet remnant, the room was brand spanking new!
Leave The PanelingDon't cover up the dark paneling. Use lemon or tungsten oil to moisturize and brighten the paneling.
Remodeling Takes WorkI lived in a mobile home for 5 years and here is what I learned. There is nothing special about a mobile home. Anything that can be used in a conventional house can be used in a mobile. To get rid of the paneling you need to get some tubes of painter's caulk and fill in the grooves on the panels. It takes some work but then you will have a smooth surface, My husband says the easiest way to do this is with a 3 inch wide putty knife. Anyway after you have filled the cracks you then sand a little to get the shine off the paneling and then coat with Kilz or any other good primer. Paint any light color you like. By filling in the cracks and smoothing this way you can even add wallpaper borders to the walls. Molding is cheap and can be used also to give the room a different feel. If you are into the country look why not try filling only some of the cracks maybe every third one or so and leaving the wider spaces on the board and it will look like that expensive colonial paneling. Or only do half the wall and use a chair rail to divide the smooth from the regular paneling.
You can do your doors the same way. Take them down and sand lightly, coat with Kilz then paint your choice of color. I know from experience that this is a lot of work but painter's caulk is inexpensive and so is sand paper and paint. It is also a lot less expensive then replacing the paneling. The money you save could then be used to help fix up the outside.
Pressure CleaningAs far as the outside, you could start by putting a front porch the length of the home if you can with a roof on it and plant lots of flowers around it. A neighbor of my grandparents sided their old double wide with cedar siding and it looks so wonderful now.
The least expensive way to make the outside look really neat is to pressure wash it to remove any old flakes and then paint it. They have paints on the market for metal. Then add flowers and voila, you have a fairly inexpensive makeover. Maybe when $ permits, you could add shutters or a covered porch or even new siding which incidentally helps lower utility costs because it increases your R value on the insulation.
Using Paint CreativelyMy brother in law is a painter and gave me some good advice regarding painting dark wood doors and paneling. For both, it is very likely that a wax or varnish was applied to them over the years. In order to paint them, you have to remove it or the paint will not adhere to the wood and thus, peel off. Therefore, purchase some TSP cleanser and wash the surface prior to painting. You can find it at any hardware store or even at some grocery stores. It is relatively inexpensive and works great. You will need to be sure to follow the directions on the label and be sure to wipe the surface down with clear water after you apply the TSP. You will be shocked at what ends up on the rag as TSP is a very good cleanser.
Once you have washed the surfaces and wiped them down with clear water, let them dry. You then may want to apply a base coat of white paint to ensure that the dark surface doesn't bleed through the paint. Be sure to seal any knotholes in the wood, as they will definitely bleed through due to the oils in the wood. Sealer is relatively inexpensive and will save you lots or hassle in the long run.
Remember that white walls are boring. Use a modern, warm tone on walls as this will give even the oldest of homes a cozy feel. A mossy green, taupe or creamy yellow are good choices. However, high gloss, white doors and trim are an excellent choice as they give the appearance of cleanliness or "clean lines". Never paint your woodwork the same color as the walls. It is too monochromatic and boring. Don't be afraid of color but do be aware of how certain colors make you feel and can, potentially affect how large the room appears.
Forget the Peaked RoofWe just recently remodeled and sold our 1972 mobile home. We did not replace our siding, but I believe the people who bought our house are going to repaint it with a paint that can go over aluminum siding.
About the peaked roof, I know several people who did it and regretted it because of cost and upkeep. Shingles do blow off. I would recommend buying a bucket of roof coating specifically for mobile home roofs, as this only has to be done once every other year. A rubberized roof is nice but expensive up front but is also worthwhile in the long run due to not needing maintenance.
Don't forget to caulk the seams around the house and the windows. This will eliminate drafts, water damage, etc. If you have jalousie-type windows with a crank you can usually find the cranks at a store that sells RVs. These are usually cheaper during the winter months.
Discussions about the future of cities in Europe, 'village' communities within cities ...values or similar status, as part of a growing desire for community living have been around for over 30 years! In the USA Mobile home parks are changing in to communities of middle age working modern X generation family's ... With the cost to live its a type of a wonderful lotto, If you get a great park! But remember a great mobile home park starts and stops with the Manger on Site (A Must this day and age)
A healthy, inexpensive, environmentally friendly solution for housing millions of retiring baby boomers is staring us in the face.
We just know it by a dirty name. .....................
"Trailer Park" Mobile Home park"
Residents call life at Pismo Dunes Senior Park “Pismodise.” Park manager Louise Payne calls it “a holding tank for the great beyond.” Louise has short hair and blunt bleached bangs that give her the air of a preteen skateboarder, but at 72 she’s often found rolling by the park’s 333 trailers in her electric golf cart, alternating between her roles as mother hen and whip-cracker. California is a notoriously youthful culture, but eventually the perpetually young get very old. If they’re lucky enough to live in Pismodise, which is on the Central Coast, they can exit its palm-lined entrance, cross the road, amble across the capacious sand of Pismo State Beach, and dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean while contemplating eternity (or a cocktail).
To move into Pismodise you must meet four conditions: Be 55 or older, keep your dog under 20 pounds, be present when guests stay at your home, and be comfortable with what most Americans consider a very small house. “If you need more than 800 square feet I can’t help you,” says Louise with a shrug. There seems to be some leeway on the dog’s weight. The unofficial rules are no less definite: If you are attending the late-afternoon cocktail session on the porch of Space 329, bring your own can, bottle, or box to drink. If you are fighting with other residents, you still have to greet them when you run into them. Make your peace with the word “trailer trash.”
“I have very wealthy people here. They think it’s the coolest thing there is.”No one in California aspires to be old or to live in a trailer, but we need to be more open to the possibilities inherent in both. Every day since January 1, 2011, some 10,000 American baby boomers have retired, and that will continue until 2030, when people over 65 will make up 19 percent of the population (up from 13 percent today). Old is the new boom and it is changing the culture and the conversation. (Have you seen all the sexy talk in Betty White’s reality show?) In Washington, D.C., anxiety about the decreasing proportion of workers to retirees underlies the frenzied discussion of “entitlement reform.”
Baby boomers aren’t going to retire the way their parents did. They are poorer and more likely to live alone. They can’t depend on pensions, and the real-estate bubble destroyed almost 50 percent of their wealth. Today one in six seniors lives in poverty, and that proportion is rising; the generation of Americans now facing retirement is so financially ill prepared that half of them have less than $10,000 in the bank. The coming swell of retirees will strain our current system to its limits—in terms of not only health care, but also incidental things like road signs, which are hard for drivers over 65 to read in a majority of American cities and towns.
Emily Greenfield, an assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Social Work, who researchers elder-care networks, says a change is occurring under our feet, whether we see it or not: “Baby boomers have critical mass—they’re covertly revolutionizing society again” as they retire.
One of the biggest questions facing the nation with regard to aging boomers is: Where are they going to live? The options amount to a tangle of euphemisms and politically correct titles: independent living, nursing homes, aging-in-place, naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs), retirement village, memory-care units, age-restricted communities. All this complexity disguises a simple fact about money, happiness, and aging: Seniors who can live on their own cost the country relatively little—they even contribute to the economy. But those who move into nursing homes start to run up a significant tab—starting at $52,000 a year. People who are isolated and lonely end up in nursing homes sooner. Hence, finding ways to keep people living on their own, socially engaged, healthy, happy, and out of care isn’t just a personal or family goal—it’s a national priority. Among seniors’ living options, there is one we overlook: mobile homes. Time-tested, inhabited by no fewer than three million seniors already, but notoriously underloved, manufactured-homes can provide organic communities and a lifestyle that is healthy, affordable, and green, and not incidentally, fun. But in order to really see their charms, we need to change a mix of bad policies and prejudice.
TRAILER PARKS HAVE REPUTATIONS:
they’re considered havens of crime, perches for transients; they’re flimsy rusting structures, dangerous during disasters—”blight” that brings down neighborhood property values. Legally and financially, manufactured homes have a second-class existence. They are not treated as real estate, but as chattel or personal property. Owners don’t get the same rights or financial benefits as do other homeowners. For this reason, sociologists have described trailer parks as “quasi-homelessness” and “a kind of serfdom.” Among the few recent pieces of research about parks is a paper describing the strategies residents use to “manage” the “stigma” of living in a trailer park. Included: dressing well, not telling people where they live, and disparaging other trailer parks as worse than theirs. We all have an ugly prejudice when it comes to the trailer park. “Trailer trash jokes are still acceptable in polite circles where other prejudicial humor wouldn’t be considered funny,” says Paul Bradley, the president of New Hampshire’s ROC USA, a non-profit that helps residents buy their parks and turn them into co-ops.
This prejudice prevents us from seeing a modest but otherwise pleasant house. Travel-trailers evolved into mobile homes, which eventually lost their wheels and became manufactured housing. By any name, they are the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the country. There are seven million manufactured homes housing 18 million people. In some counties they make up 60 percent of dwellings. Approximately one out of every 12 Floridians lives in a manufactured home. Units built since 1976, when the Department of Housing and Urban Development started regulating their construction, can last as long as site-built homes when they’re well built and maintained. Yet they cost far less: $41 per square foot versus $85 per square foot and up. At least one study, from the University of Illinois-Chicago, on trailer parks in Omaha, Nebraska, found that crime rates in mobile-home parks are the same as the rest of the community; the parks do not cause crime nearby; and that the parks appear to depress crime levels because residents own their homes. In one survey, nine out of 10 owners of manufactured homes said they were satisfied with their dwellings. They’ve found a housing option that suited their budget and needs.
Like a number of trailer parks, Pismo Dunes started as a camper park in the 1970s. Some of those campers stayed in place, and concrete blocks surrounded their wheels as they became layered with porches, awnings, sunrooms, and carports. Some have been replaced with new factory-built homes that resemble townhouses—but still have wheels hidden underneath, because Pismo Dunes is still technically an RV park. Though the home have changed dramatically from the trailers they once were, the business model has not: Residents own their homes but not the land under them. If you want to buy here you can go through Louise (who has a license to sell RVs) or buy directly from the owner, but you can’t buy or sell using a realtor. Louise is advertising units that start at $6,500 (for an old camper) to $185,000 (for a nearly new, splashy vinyl-sided Chariot Eagle one-bedroom manufactured house with a loft). Everyone also pays rent to Louise’s employer, the park owner, of between $400 and $700 a month, depending on the space and how long they’ve occupied it. The homes are taxed as automobiles, and fees are paid to the DMV. The park still has community showers and bathrooms, a remnant of earlier days, but most folks use the ones in their homes. Residents can hobnob at a clubhouse that hosts games every night and serves lunch twice a week.
The term “voluntary simplicity” was first used by Richard Gregg in a 1936 article touting the benefits of simplifying one’s lifestyle for the sake of personal reflection. Forty-one years later, in 1977, Duane Elgin and Arnold Mitchell co-authored an article titled “Voluntary Simplicity,” identifying the benefits of simplicity in our modern consumer society. They argued that a simpler lifestyle would enable one to become more self-aware, since it allows one to determine what he or she really needs to survive. They proposed that separation from the larger economy into smaller societal groups would give individuals the feeling that they have a larger contribution and responsibility to the group.
The voluntary simplicity movement gained momentum until its peak in the mid-1990s, when an estimated 10% of adults in the United States practiced some form of voluntary simplicity. This trend brought about non-profit organizations like The Center for a New American Dream, with its campaigns for rejection of the consumerism and materialism so engrained in American culture. After its popularity waned in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the volatile markets and worldwide recessions have recently brought about a revitalization of the simplicity movement.
The main purpose of modern voluntary simplicity, or simple living, is to simplify one’s lifestyle and cut out all the unneeded “stuff.” Instead of expending all your efforts into paying for, storing and maintaining all your possessions, why not eliminate the things that are unnecessary? Focus instead on what makes you happiest and what makes you feel fulfilled instead of what the media says you “should have” or “should be.” If you want to have more free time to spend with family or to pursue hobbies, then consider downsizing your home, car or other services that you rarely use, and sell or donate unused possessions so that you can work fewer hours. Instead of hoarding more and more cheap goods in a large McMansion, focus on buying a few high-quality items that you use often and will last a long time.
Other reasons people have chosen the simplicity lifestyle include reducing their ecological footprint or facilitating social justice. Continued overconsumption of the world’s natural resources by wealthy nations means that there are less material resources for the world’s poor. Not only is this unjust, it’s unsustainable. The earth’s natural resources are limited, and ecosystems can only absorb so much pollution and lose so many species before the damage becomes irreparable. On an individual level, the endless pursuit of “more” is stressing out American families, who work and commute long hours to afford the big house in the suburbs and all the “gotta have” possessions, We have less time for the things we claim are most important – our families, friends and hobbies.
Voluntary simplicity is about more meaningful consumer choices and more sustainable technologies. It’s about regaining financial independence, prioritizing relationships and slowing down your lifestyle to become centered around your needs, not arbitrary “wants.
” A famous quote by Lin Yutang says,
“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” I like this quote so much I put it on my printable To-Do List to remind me everyday to cut the non-essential.