Friday, December 6, 2013

The Great Home Repair/Improvement Project Part One....with Lots of Pictures!

Some months ago, we developed yet another leak in our 30 year old trailer, this one in the bathroom. This has been very discouraging, as we are "working poor" and there is no margin for repairs, let alone home improvement.
Dreamweaver's dad got wind of this and contacted her, saying basically, "Lets get everything fixed up." Our response was hysterical laughter followed by a "Thanks for the thought, Dad, but there's too much wrong for you to take that on." email back to him.
Thus began the series of emails between Dreamweaver and her Dad....the irresistible force and the immovable object, tickets one day only. I popped popcorn. Basically, he was determined to fix up the trailer, and she was grateful for his intent, but thought that there was no way he could or should take on that much financially. Trailer was a mess.
Finally, he insisted she send him a list of what was wrong and what needed updating. Another round of hysterically laughter followed, and she sent him the entire comprehensive list. Mostly as a "See, its too much - no way you can do this but we truly appreciate it." point.
His response was go get the contractor.
Another week or so of "Seriously???" / "Yes, I really mean it!" emails followed. I was running low on popcorn. We were astonished. Finally, he convinced her he was serious and we went looking for a contractor.
After making a bunch of calls to various answering machines, we finally landed a contractor who actually called back and came out to give us an estimate. We were delighted with their willingness to work, and their really good "fit" with us - they loved our cats and the dog, they weren't the slightest bit intimidated by the condition of the trailer, and they were perfectly accepting of us being a "gay/transgender" couple - not a small point in this conservative area. An estimate was made, Dreamweaver's Dad was consulted and The Great Home Repair/Improvement Project was ON!
A rough list of what is being or has been done so far in no particular order -
Leveling the trailer

(this deserves an explanation so digression number one, there will probably be a few - whoever put this trailer here long before we bought it, put a double wide trailer on a single wide trailer pad. Uh-oh. Really? Seriously? So, over the years, the back of the trailer, NOT on the pad, has been sinking like the Titanic, going down by the head. We had enough of a tilt to feel it when we walked around, almost a roof pitch. Food cooked on the stove slid to the back of pans and pots. The first thing they had to do, was level it. Which they did. We almost couldn't walk around the first day! We had to get use to not feeling the slant. It was amazing right there!)

Fix the leak in the ceiling of the bathroom (did that the day they came to give us the estimate, no charge. See why we kept them?)
Complete redo/update of the kitchen, including building a pantry!
Complete redo/update of both bathrooms.
New wood stove - old fireplace is not really safe.
New flooring.
New windows, weather proofed.
Painting, and wainscoting for the walls.
A 10'x12' deck on the back!
Fixing electrical problems.
New doors - front and back. Note on the doors....the new doors have the double paned glass with the blinds INSIDE in between the panes. In other words, no more cats, swinging from the blinds! The back door was a particular major change, because we had the door moved over to the other end of the trailer, there by getting rid of an insanely non ergonomic mess between the conjunction of the original back door, the kitchen cabinets, the stove, the refrigerator and the washer/dryer. The other thing we did with the back doors is that the new ones are French doors! This in particular made Dreamweaver rather giddy, is the only word for it!

We are in the middle of all this as I type...and there is no doubt that there has been chaos and will continue to be chaos. We still have part of the kitchen stashed in the living room until we are able to organize at the end, and we still have some months to go. So...let me toss a few pictures out of what this has been like!

Basically, the following pictures are of the installation of the back double french doors and the new deck, which took place over a period of days.

Where they have cut out the opening for the French doors used to be a window.
The original back door is at the other end and now no longer exists.

Feels VERY odd, to have a gaping hole like this! 

Now we see the progress!

Next is the deck....
Framing in the deck....

Next, the ramp will be added.

We elected to do a ramp because we have had enough mobility issues in the past
with my hips before surgery, plus we have friends with mobility issues.
So we wanted to do this instead of stairs!

And Ibn here thinks this was all built JUST for him! 

The railing will be added after they side the house, so they don't have to work
around and over it!

So, that was the great deck and door part of the process. Also note, the new windows have also been installed around the house. In fact, they are finishing up the deck today....they left the railing off, until they finished up the siding on the outside, which will be one of the next posts!
Part two here will be The Great Kitchen Saga!
Hope these posts are enjoyable - we're just so excited, but I suspect its a little like being subjected to pictures of pets, children and grandbabies!
More to come....and I can not express how grateful we are to Dreamweaver's Father for stepping in and helping us in such a magnificent, generous way.  For the first time in years we are going to have a home we can be truly proud of, enjoy living in, and feel comfortable inviting people over to visit! We are truly blessed!


  1. Dreamweaver's Dad deserves big kudos for his loving and generous assistance! I love the deck and its ramp -- great idea to install that right from the get-go. I'm happy for you that your trailer will soon be ship-shape and perfect for your needs!

  2. Glad you were able to post all of those photos! Thanks for the home repair tips. I usually use the House Logic site when I start a DIY project im not sure how to do.