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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mobile Home - Remodeling Q & A

So many people have been asking specific questions about our mobile home remodel, so I will try to answer them as best I can in this post.  As more questions come in, I'll just add them here.

First of all...let me just say, that we aren't professionals.  We're just learning as we go, but we're happy to share what we've learned...  maybe you can use our ideas and improve on them.  
Q.  Did you have to remove the vinyl wallpaper before painting/texturizing?
No... we painted over it with Kilz®, which is a good stain blocking primer  (we used two coats in some places).   
At this stage, you could go ahead and paint your walls any color you would like and it would look fine.   However, as a personal preference we added texture to our walls at this point.
Q.  Did you remove all the battens/trim from your walls...and how did you patch it?
Yes, we removed every bit of the mobile home trim that was on our walls, around doors, baseboards and anywhere else it was used.  In some places it exposed large gaps that had to be filled before we could texturize our walls.
Sorry, we didn't take any pictures of the actual tapping and bedding process, but this is what we did:
  • Buzz filled the seams in the walls with painter's all-purpose acrylic latex caulk.  He used caulking because it is flexible and durable.   
  • When he finished caulking, we used a self adhesive fiberglass joint tape over each of the seams and on the inside/outside corners where the gaps were to large to tape, we used  Quik-Tape® a steel reinforced flexible drywall tape.  Once all the taping was done we used a pre-mixed  joint compound to skim over the tape. (make sure to apply the joint compound sparingly...it may take two or three coats, but try to keep it as smooth as possible)  
  • At this point, we were ready to add the texture to our walls.
Note:  If you don't want to texturize your walls, you could probably just prime and paint at this point...  we've seen several homes that used a paint with a sand like texture in it and it looked good.

Spraying on Texture
We used a hopper to spray a pre-mixed texture to our walls.
It was a messy process, but the end result is amazing, and we'd definitely do it over again if we had to.   *After two years, it's holding up very well ... we haven't seen any flaking or cracking.
(see detail of the texture in the picture of our ceiling below)
  • We're in the process of adding baseboards throughout the house. We've also used similar molding around the interior doors.  It is MUCH better than the thin strips of trim that were there originally.
Q.  Did you add crown molding around the ceiling?
No... We had originally thought we would have to because when we removed the original trim there were such large gaps.  However, once Buzz had filled the gaps with caulking and we prepped to paint we were pleasantly surprised at how nice this area looked without crown molding.  
Not perfect by any means ... but for the most part it looks pretty good.
What makes this work is the blown on texture ... I'm sure that without it we would definitely have had to add crown molding.

After two years we haven't noticed any cracks or other deterioration in this area, but I'll keep you posted as time goes by.
Q.  What paint colors did you use in your home?
 I've had several people ask about the paint/color choices in our home.  This is a list of what we've used so far:
  • Interior Walls & Trim - Behr Premium Plus Ultra (Home Depot) Aged Parchment UL150-10.  We used flat on the ceiling, eggshell on the walls and semi gloss on the trim.
  • Kitchen Cabinets - Behr Premium Plus Ultra (color matched) from Martha Stewart Living Heath MSL212 & Valspar's Eddie Bauer Home Amber Yellow EB25-2
  • Exterior - Valspar Exterior Paint (Satin) Asiago 6005-1A  on the house, Outland Subtle Taupe 6005-1B on the trim & Smoked Oyster 6005-1C on the shutters
I don't have the exact colors we used on the dining room cabinets or the guest bathroom cabinets, but they are both a medium gray.  
Q.  How hard was it to close in the doors or other openings you didn't want?
It wasn't hard ... we closed off a door in each bathroom, and an opening between the dining room and living room.  This collage shows the process in our Master Bedroom/Bath
Q.  When you painted your kitchen cabinets, were you able to paint over the "fake wood" ?
Yes.  I described part of our process in my post "Kitchen Remodel - Phase One", but I'll go into more detail for you here.
We were perplexed on how to paint the cabinets, because even though the doors were real wood, the cabinets themselves were a fake wood.  Our fake wood is like a particle board wrapped in a vinyl.  It was in good shape, and we weren't prepared to replace our cabinets at this time (and probably never will be)

The solution:  We painted all of the cabinets and doors with a contractors bonding primer.  This primer has a bonding agent that adheres to the surface of whatever you're going to paint. Because of the adhesive in the primer, we were able to paint right over the  fake wood parts of our cabinet and it stuck like glue.  We used the Valspar® brand, and it's worked beautifully for us, but there are certainly many other bonding primers out there. 

Once the primer dried, we applied two coats of a good paint to all the cabinets.  They're holding up great!  Of course, we're careful ... I'm sure if you tried hard enough you could scratch them up. ":o)
Our dining room cabinets were a little different.  
We did prime the cabinets with the bonding primer, but  we simply painted over the original wood doors after we had lightly sanded them.  The reason we did it this way was because we wanted a distressed look on the doors. After we applied two coats of paint (sanding lightly between each coat) we distressed the doors with a light grit sanding pad to give them an aged look. We also applied a coat of Minwax® to these doors for extra protection.



Q.  How much did you spend remodeling the interior of your home?
    • Floor Coverings - Carpet/Tile - $3,550.00
    • Appliances Refrigerator, Range, Dishwasher & Washer & Dryer - $3932.00
    •  Heating & Air (inside/outside unit) - $3800.00
    •  Misc  - Appx  - $3000.00
      • Lumber
      • Molding
      • Electrical
      • Plumbing
      • Bathroom Fixtures
      • Doors
      • Hardware
      • Light Fixtures
      • Blinds
      • Paint
      • Caulking 
I think it would be safe to say that we've spent approximately $15,000 on the interior of our home.  We've purchased quality when we could, but also took advantage of outlets like Habitat for Humanity, Thrift Stores, Discount Centers & Garage Sales.  After three years...we're still very pleased with the choices we've made.  Still feeling VERY Blessed!

I hope this helps answer some of your questions....  like I've said, this is an ongoing process and we're still learning ourselves. 

52 comments:

  1. Wow, you have done a great job!

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  2. It's really looking nice. Isn't it a satisfying feeling to do it yourselves and compare the before and afters?!

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  3. What an amazing project to undertake...and you are doing a wonderful job of it! xo wendy

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  4. I have not yet tackled my 'fake wook' laminate cabinets yet in my kitchen. I did the same on my walls, started with kilz then painted over them. my vinyl had a very teenie tiny print so just one coat did the trick. I am afraid to remove the trim throughout the trailer, but you have inspired me to jump in and become "fearless" now.
    Thanks for sharing and I truly love my mobile home also!!!!
    Tiki

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  5. You are too humble! The things that you guys have been able to accomplish in so little time is astounding. I am in awe of your talent and creativity. Can't wait to see what's next!

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  6. I'm so glad I found your blog! We moved into a mobile home just about the time you did and have been undergoing rennovations as well (only we've had to hire people to do it!). Lke you, I had first said no to the idea of a mobile home, and then I too heard a whisper! The rest is history. I do have a question. Somewhere in your blog I remember reading you have plans to do something with the skirting around your home. We have to tackle that area too. Do you know what you are going to do with it yet?

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    Replies
    1. How exciting... It's amazing how nice a mobile home can feel once you've put your personal touch on it. Hopefully, you'll share some of your before/after pictures.

      Re: skirting... It's the one area that has bothered us the most, and really, the only thing we can come up with to hide it is landscaping and decking. Sadly, the landscaping takes time to do it's magic, but we're working on it. I had visions of this amazing decking system just off our front door, but for now we're just using what was already here...it's in good condition, and we have so many other things we need to do first. (Maybe someday)

      You might check with Crystal at http://www.mobilehomeliving.org/ She might be able to guide you to some other ideas.

      Best wishes with your remodel... and I was happy to hear you had heard a whisper too. What a blessing!

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    2. Would love to see pictures of the landscaping you have done so far. I saw a little snippet of it in one of your pictures and it looked great already.

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    3. I'll try to get some pictures up at some point.. there isn't much to look at just yet. We're working on it though...it just takes time. :)

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  7. Thank you for answering these common questions regarding mobile homes. I'm loving your kitchen by the way, you did an awesome job. The paint color choices and the fixtures you've used are all look great.

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  8. Great job. Nothing like putting in time and sweat into your place. What an accomplishment. Congrats!!! :)

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    Replies
    1. We really appreciate your comment! The time and sweat has all been worth it...we couldn't be happier!

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  9. Hello.
    Have enjoyed your pics and they have given me lots of ideas. One question, did you do anything to your ceilings. I Have the popcorn ceilings and I want to get rid of them
    thanks
    sheila

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sheila.. Thank you for your comment. Re your question; our ceilings were in great shape, so we didn't do anything to them but paint. You might try searching YouTube on ways to get rid of your popcorn ...seems like they have tutorials for everything there.
      Best Wishes!
      Geneva

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  10. Could you please tell me how you fixed your wallboard where it meets the ceiling. I have the ugly trim and would like to get rid of it. I do not want any trim where the wall and ceiling meet.

    Thanks
    kellee

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kellee... thank you for your question. Since you're not the first person to ask this question I went ahead and added an Q&A about it to this post. Hopefully, it will answer your question.

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  11. I love the before and after pics of the lovely remodel on your mobile home. What great work and what wonderful taste on your decor. Me and my husband noticed on the back side of your mobile there is no back door. There is one on the before pics. Did you remove the back door ? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your question... yes, we still have a back door, it just isn't in the after picture. I'll have more pictures later with our back door in them...we've added a cover over the back porch as well as a new storm door so it's definitely looking better. Thank you again for your question.

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  12. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

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  13. what a great post! thank you for sharing! appreciate it!Keep up!!!!

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  14. Hi!!! I have written before and we finally bought the home. Can you tell me which kind/color paint you used throughout the house? I know you mentioned Asiago for the outside but I was wondering about the indoor one. Thank you and God bless!

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  15. Hi ... I was so happy to read that you had gotten your home. Know you're excited and are making it your own. The paint color we used on all of our interior walls & trim was Behr (from Home Depot) and the color is Aged Parchment UL150-10. We used flat on the ceiling, egg shell on the walls, and a semi gloss on the trim. After two years, we're still very happy with our choice ...
    Thank you for touching base, and congratulations on the purchase of your home.
    Blessings!
    Geneva

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    Replies
    1. We finally got the key three weeks ago. We had everything primed and painted but my niece came to visit and decided to texture the living, dining, and family room. She is almost done, but she had to fill in each grove on the paneling using joint compound and then add texture by hand with a trowel and spatula making it look like Venetian Plaster. Now we will have to prime again and paint again, but it looks so much better!!! Please keep us in prayer and I will post pictures once we move in. Thank you for your inspiration and support!

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  16. You are so special in make overs and now you have become my inspiration. I mean look at this mobile home make over, this is exceptional. You deserve standing ovation. Guys! :)

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  17. I am just starting my mobile home redo. Where did you buy the QuikTape. I can't find it anywhere. Only FibaTape and not sure which to use for the corners.

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    1. We purchased the Quik-Tape at our local big box store (Home Depot or Lowe's) If you can't find that brand, just ask for a corner drywall tape that's steel reinforced. There are probably several other brands out there. The steel reinforced tape helped us get our sharp corners so it's definitely something I would recommend you use. Best wishes on your remodel...you'll have to keep me posted on how it's going.

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    2. Thanks so much! I have a triplewide and plan on doing the whole house (by myself as my husband is not able to help) so it will take quite some time since I also work full time. I am just starting and will take pictures to post...thanks so much for your inspiration. Your home looks fabulous!

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  18. I enjoyed a lot in my mobile home remodeling. I learned so many interesting things that time. Andrew Johnson

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  19. You may not be a professional but you've done a wonderful job remodeling your mobile home. Great work :)
    Mobile Homes for Sale

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  20. I am totally impressed by your post. I am looking for your more updates. Keep them coming. Mike

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  21. One year ago we purchased our property which included a small mobile home. We wanted to live in the 'country' and figured we'd stay in the house for a few years till we could buy/build something better. We have 5 kids and, needless to say, after only one year the walls of our 1400 sq. ft. home are closing in! I came across your site today and now I'm determined to make our space a lot more liveable by using some of your ideas! I'm especially interested in your post about removing the garden tub. We have one of those eye sores as well and I'd never really thought of just getting rid of it! Where did you purchase the shower to replace it? Did you have to use a mobile home specific shower? I've been told mobile home 'parts' are way more expensive than regular stuff.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Katrina.
      To answer your question regarding our shower ... we purchased the kit from our local big box store (Lowe's or Home Depot) It was fairly easy to install as you'll see on my post about our Master Bathroom. Actually, we haven't used anything mobile home specific in our remodel. Everything came from the Big Box stores or was recycled from Habitat for Humanity or thrift stores.
      Best Wishes with your remodel...your choice to live in the country sounds great!
      Geneva

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  22. This is such a Great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. It gives in depth information. Thanks for this valuable information.
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  23. there are certain things you can claim on such as insulation or upgrading to green items (furnace, heaters, ect..). A little research you will find there is several things in remodeling you can use when filing.

    http://www.allevaconstruction.com/

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  24. I loved looking at the pictures and stories of your remodel! We bought a mobile home two years ago and are slowly trying to redo it, health being our big factor in time and labor. We had some bad bad storms this year in LA and like you we decided the roof needs to be replaced by the steel one (shingles now) but we can't seem to get a direct quote. Ours is a 18x80, so I was wondering if you would share what yours cost and the size of your home. With all the damage done around here lately from storms (our insurance also cut us a check but advised we wait until around oct as prizes will go down) the companies are in hog heaven and charging way above normal. Thank you and look forward to more from yalls home.

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    1. Thank You for your sweet comment.
      An 18x80 sounds wonderful; we'd enjoy that extra square footage. Our home is a 16x80.
      The perma steel roofing system has made a huge difference to our home. It's much quieter and energy efficient. The cost of the roof and installation was around $4,600.00 and worth every penny, especially since we were able to pay for it with our insurance check. We purchased our roof from http://www.roofover.com/ - they also did the installation.
      Take care of yourselves ... be in good health, and enjoy your remodel.
      Blessings!
      Geneva

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  25. I Really Enjoyed The Blog. I Have Just Bookmarked. I Am Regular Visitor Of Your Website I Will Share It With My Friends Thanks and I promises I will visit your blog again.
    bathroom remodeling birmingham, al

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  26. Amazing renovation! We have a similar master bath in our house. Would you mind sharing the dimensions of the entire bathroom? I apologize if you've already done so! tub reglazing

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  27. Geneva: I'm so tired of shows like Million Dollar Homes, Million Dollar Rooms, Selling London et al on TV.
    A show based on mobile home redos is much needed.
    It saves our landfills, has a smaller footprint environmentally, and is within reach of the average person.
    I don't know anyone who can afford to pay $75,000 for a home, let alone a million dollar plus !
    Wonderful job!

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  28. good post,I am glad to visit your website.. This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality and it is very useful one and gives in depth information.
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  29. Geneva,
    Your home is the ultimate in inspiration; I refer to it often in my own efforts. However, I am wondering whether your home sits on a permanent foundation.
    Thank you,
    B

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, we're happy that you can use our home as a resource. We certainly get out inspiration from other MH owners. To answer your question...our home is not on a permanent foundation. Our foundation is typical of most this part of Texas ... cinder blocks.

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  30. Nice post, recently i was found some intresting site about home improvement financing options...
    here i share with you: http://www.allevaconstruction.com/financing-options.php

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  31. It is possible to just substitute units and give the kitchen area a whole new look. Actually, sometimes re-facing units is an option. But, since everything in the kitchen area area needs to match, an entire renovate can bring about the alternative of every element. The key to the kitchen area renovate is the cabinets. construction companies san francisco

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  32. Lots of great information!... I love the transformation and seeing the before and after pictures. Ive always wanted to paint our Kitchen cabinets and doors, but never had courage to do so. Thank you for sharing :)

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  33. Did you have to get financing to finish your beautiful home? Our home currently has what is left of an old single wide (our only bedroom and my sewing room) with a home addition attached. Our problem is in WV no bank wants to loan to us to finish it without first cutting off the mobile home which would leave us without a bedroom until the addition was done. Any suggestions?

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  34. Hi Marlies, Fortunantely, we didn't have to get financing for our remodel. You might check with Mobile Home & Manufactured Home Living...I think you can find information about getting financing there. http://mobilehomeliving.org/

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  35. THANK YOUSOOOO MUCH!!!! I have got dealt a pretty crummy hand..,lol my home caught on fire that I was rent to owning from family & I figured family so we didn't do any official paperwork...bad move cause when the insurance completely remodeled they sold vit from under me but thank God I am lucky enough to have my grandparents!! I was a single mom of 2 at the time & my company had shut down the very day my house caught fire so I was in the worset perdicument of my life & they let me move in this place for free for the 1st 2 years to get on my feet again. I have since paid it off & the property is worth way more than was given for sure but the trail or , when my dad left he had just let it ruin!! In the master bedroom the garden tub had a hole in the floor so big that it was stuffed with sheets & our big pii-st Bernard mix would poke his head through to say hello...lol...I am in the woods so we have dealt with roidents naturally, but my dad had sprayed Great stuff in every hole he could find, way to much to!! & put doctors office style wallboard up EVERYWHERE, which wouldn't have been the end of the world but he not only glued it to the walls but was undoubtfully way to intoxicated cutting it because it looks like pieces & remnants. We have re subfloored & resheetrocked mostly everything, we only have my 2 kids small bedrooms & the smaller bathroom left but just to fix the HAVE TOstuff in out bedroom we spent over 5000!! We just tore out the garden tub & double sink & only left the closet that housed a small shower & toilet because we had another baby so that gave plenty of room for his crib changing table etc... We are moving on to more of the cosmetics now & just what I have read here helps sooo much!! One problem that I am having issues in is my kitchen, I now know what to use on the cabinets but my walls there "peeling". I had painted over it just to make do but the original flowery paper crap was peeling & I have no idea what that stuff is or what to do!! Is resheetrocking the only option?? Its the only in tact wall here..lol

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  36. Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Thanks for your great information.
    renovation contractor

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  37. Hi Geneva! First, I wanted to say how wonderful it is that you posted this blog! My husband and I just purchased our first home and it's a manufactured home that needs a little TLC. We've started our renovations and I had a question I wanted to ask you. For the walls, do you think the acrylic latex caulk is the most flexible? See, our MH is sitting on very sandy soil--we were told we would need to re-level it every 1-2 years. I'm concerned about cracks showing in the walls with the shifting and was wondering how the caulk had worked out for you? Any cracks? And do you think the caulk would be best for our situation? We're still learning and would be grateful for your advice!

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    1. Hi Bethany, Thank you for your sweet comment. We've lived in our home four years now and have only had minimal cracks on our walls. The acrylic latex caulk has worked great for us, but our soil is clay instead of sand, so I'm not sure how to advise you (we're still learning too). A great site for remodeling information is mobilehomeliving.org. It's probably the most extensive site around for mobile/mfg homes. Blessings & Best Wishes on your remodel.

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello.
Blessings!

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