Hey everyone, I have been a little MIA with the blog lately but with a good reason. I’ve been working on a quick mobile home remodel for my Dad.
Let me catch you up. My father had a stroke a little over a year ago and since then he has been slowly getting more confused with dementia. Well, recently we noticed a quick decline and realized that he really shouldn’t be living alone anymore. So, we decided to move my brother and his wife into my dad’s mobile home to help take care of him.
Mobile home remodel before and after
I own the mobile home that my Dad lives in. I didn’t do many updates when my parents moved in because it reminded them of our childhood home. Even though it was so dated, they loved it! So, it really needed some TLC.
I was just going to replace the flooring because I had to remove some tile and sub-floor a while ago because of my Dad’s incontinent dog. Ugh! Well, I never replaced the tile because I couldn’t match it, so I was waiting to replace the whole floor, which never happened. So, that had to get done.
When I finally picked out the new flooring I thought about how good the cabinets would look if I painted them.
Then, I decided that I might as well paint the wall paneling while I was at it.
And then I realized that the hall closet/pantry was just a terrible design and a complete waste of space and it needed to be redone too.
You get the idea. I just can’t stop myself. Therefore, I spent a very exhausting couple of weeks updating quite a bit of my Dad’s home.
Well, one good thing about that is I now have something to blog about. 😉
You can do big changes with a small budget
We needed to do this mobile home remodel quickly, so my brother and his wife could move in, and with a small budget, which I knew I could do. Even though my husband was getting really nervous about my growing to do list, I knew I could do it all inexpensively. The only expense I was worried about was the floor installation quote I got from Home Depot. Yikes! For the product and the installation it was around $10,000. Nope. That was not going to happen.
My sister-in-law’s father, who is a contractor offered to help, but things came up and the more I thought about it I knew I could do it myself. At least in my head I could. Not sure if my knees and back could do it, but I figured I’d give it a shot. So, my brother and I did the floor ourselves and ended up saving thousands of dollars! The flooring itself was around $2000. So we saved around $8000. WOW!
So, the lesson here is to look into what is involved in your home improvement project before you hire it out. This flooring was pretty easy to install, aches and pains aside. 🙂
Here is a rundown of the projects I did and how I did them. I haven’t added up all the expenses but I’m sure the whole project was under $3000. Wait to you see what a difference it made. Here are the details of the mobile home remodel before and after.
For another quick and inexpensive remodeling project read my post on my RV renovation
Fixing the cabinets
We started with the existing stained wood kitchen cabinets. My dad had a glass cabinet that sat in the corner of his kitchen counter top. This took up so much space on the counter and the only thing in the cabinet was cable boxes, wires, and other miscellaneous stuff. Nothing that you would want to see in a glass cabinet. So, I decided to take it out. This made so much more space on the counter. Now there is actually a place to put the microwave that doesn’t take up all the counter space.
He also had a corner cabinet that sat on the floor in the back corner of the kitchen. This cabinet had random items in it like some snack foods, cookbooks, and plant food and vases. Again, not a good use of space. So, we took that out. This ended up making a nice corner for my brother’s water cooler.
Painting the cabinets and paneled walls
Paint is your number one best friend. Paint can literally transform a space from dull and drab to bright and cheery for very little money. I purchased 1 gallon of primer and 2 gallons of paint to update my Dad’s kitchen cabinets, and the walls in the kitchen, hall and living room.
My first camper renovation is another great example of how paint can transform a space. Read Camper Remodel – Before and After.
Disclosure: I am an amazon affiliate and may earn a small commission from any purchase you make thru these links at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I will not recommend any product that I would not use myself.
The first step for this project was to wash the cabinets with tsp first. This is a strong cleaner that strips all oils and dirt from the cabinets to make sure that the paint will stick to the surface. I couldn’t believe how clean the cabinets looked after using this product.
Then I purchased a good primer and painted all of the paneling and cabinets. I decided to use a very pale gray for the cabinets and a bright white for the walls. It was amazing how much brighter the whole space looked just from painting.
Add style with an inexpensive backsplash
While I was shopping for paint colors I looked at back splash options. I really didn’t need to add a back splash, but you know…I wanted to. 🙂 This peel and stick tile worked great with the paint colors and the flooring I chose.
Installing the back splash was so quick and easy. I did however learn something. When you start your back splash cut one side of the tile into a straight line and start from a corner. I started in a corner but I didn’t cut the tile first and had to go back after and “fill in” a bunch of tiles. This worked fine but I would have saved myself a lot of time if I had just started with a straight edge to begin with.
I had to replace the floor. This was a necessity. The dog had done a number on the existing vinyl floor tiles and it just had to be replaced. Plus this mobile home had 4 different types of flooring from the back bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. It really needed to be one consistent flooring.
I picked out a floating vinyl plank flooring from LifeProof that we were able to install right over the old floors. Of course we replaced any damaged flooring and had to level up a few spots but other than that it was a pretty easy installation.
This flooring completely transformed the whole space. Not only did it make the space more updated but it made the space feel bigger. It’s amazing what having one consistent floor can do for a space. No more with the 3 different vinyl floor tiles that ran through the space. Now it’s one consistent, beautiful floor.
Use what you have
The key to any budget friendly mobile home remodel is to use what you have first.
One way I did this was to use the existing hardware from the cabinets. However, they needed to be cleaned badly. I soaked them in the tsp solution for about an hour then rinsed them off. Well, the solution kind of oxidized the metal. But, I loved it! I was going for a farmhouse look anyway and the brass took on an aged blue/green tint that I loved. That was an oops that turned out good.
Another way to make a huge difference in a space without spending a lot of money is to organize what you have. Just moving things around, purging, and organizing what’s left will make a huge difference.
The kitchen cabinets
Because we had to empty the cabinets for painting I cleaned and purged some items Dad didn’t use. This helped make room for some of my brother’s stuff. It’s amazing how much cleaner and more organized your space can look just doing this and it doesn’t cost a penny.
The hall pantry closet
The hall closet/pantry drove me crazy. It had the cheapest sliding doors that never worked right. My dad tried to “fix” them by adding hinges and making them doors that opened out but that didn’t work out very well either.
The shelves were very deep and there was only 3 of them so they were useless for holding food items. Everything just got lost deep in the back. Totally a waste of space.
And for some strange reason there were two dividing walls that ended up in the middle of the door openings. ??? Not sure what that was all about. This made the whole middle section of the closet inaccessible. It just had to be gutted. Note: I realized that because the doors were originally sliding doors, it makes sense why the dividers were in the middle of the doors. But, it still wasn’t a good use of space.
I took off the doors and the tracks. I removed the dividing walls inside the closet and ripped out all of the shelves.
Once the closet was all opened up I decided that I didn’t want to build in any shelving. I decided to purchase free standing units that could be configured to your needs. I purchased one large metal unit with 4 shelves that measured 46″w x 18″d x 72″h. This worked great for dried foods and canned items. I also purchased some containers to hold smaller items and to organize things a bit better.
For the other side of the closet I needed shelving for linens and bathroom supplies. My daughter-in-law had a smaller metal shelving unit that worked great for this. I was able to get all of my Dad’s personal stuff in there.
This left a small section in the middle which was perfect for hanging cleaning tools and to house the vacuum cleaner and ironing board.
Now I just need to get doors. I think I’m going to use two sets of bi-fold doors. This way you will be able to open up a whole section and still have room in the hall to move around.
Move things around
Now, we had to move all of my brother’s stuff into the house. This is always the funnest part to me. I love using what people already have to make their home look great.
Setting up Dad’s bedroom
The plan was to move my Dad into the back bedroom and give my brother and his wife the other one because it had a master bath that was open to the bedroom. This would make it easier for them to get ready for work in the morning with out having to walk to the other bathroom.
The rooms were about the same size anyway so we were able to set up my Dad’s new room exactly the same way he had it before. We added a recliner instead of the winged back chair he had in the other room and added a TV on top of his dresser so he would have a place to himself to relax in.
I know this room isn’t exactly a designer’s showcase but with my Dad having dementia, we are trying to keep some things familiar to him. Moving him to another room was a big move in itself so keeping his own furniture seems like a good idea for now. Maybe, bit by bit we can get him some new things. But, he did make that bed himself and is proud of it. 🙂 And one of the first things he said when we moved him is that he liked that floral wallpaper. huh. 😉 So for now it stays.
And I bet your wondering about the hats? Well, Dad is from the generation where you keep everything. And by “keep everything” I mean not only keep everything but display everything! So, wherever there was a blank space on the wall, he would fill it with, well, anything. He had his hats on a shelf the length of a whole wall, and hung them over the kitchen table across the window. So when we moved him I decided to collect all his hats and display them in his room. This way he not only gets to enjoy them, but they are easily accessible for him to grab one and go. At least they’re not all over the house anymore.
The living room and family room
Next was the living room. My brother owns 2 large scaled reclining sofas that we had to fit into a small room. We ended up putting them in an “L” configuration which gave it a “sectional” kind of look. Even though one sofa sits in front of part of the other one we were still able to get most of the seating to recline.
We needed to figure out what we were going to use under the TV for the cable boxes and movies, etc. that we took out of the kitchen corner cabinet. My daughter-in-law reminded us that my brother’s entertainment center was in the shed. It fit the space perfectly and looked great with the floor.
We started with making a picture gallery of our family photos. Even though we had one in the same space before, I decided to consolidate the photos by removing outdated pictures. I began the arrangement with a wooden “family” saying and worked the pictures around it. I love the way it turned out. We still have a few pictures to replace but we can work on that later.
Next was to install a window frame photo project we made for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Just like the photo arrangement this ended up where it was before.
A couple weeks of craziness, a little bit of money and the place looks completely updated and new. I love how light and bright the space looks after getting rid of all the brown wood walls and cabinets.
This project was far from a complete rehab or full decorating project but more like a “I have to get this place ready quick”. But despite that, I think the place looks completely different. Just goes to show you what you can do with a little elbow grease and a little $$.