Currently we are living in an old double wide. When we started looking in the spring of 2004 there wasn't much available in our price range. We finally narrowed it down to two places, the other being a single wide that was in pretty good shape but much smaller, further out and with a driveway that would have been a nightmare.
This house was neglected and abused. There was a family living here when we bought it. I thought it had good bones and a lot of potential. John thought I was nuts. Neither of us is handy. In the past whenever anything needed to be fixed we hired someone to do it for us. John agreed to put in an offer contingent on a professional home inspection.
We hired the inspector that the realtor recommended and pointed out our concerns to him. He pointed out that the house had never been tied down and that some type of gasket should probably have been used on the roof. We asked him about the way some of the floors slanted and his response was that the trailer just need to be leveled, then we could throw down some lauan and new vinyl floors. That was it, nothing we couldn't handle, it needed all new flooring anyway and the rest was just painting. So we adjusted our price down to cover the cost of the tie down and leveling and we had bought our first fixer upper.
Because we had to sell our old house first to have the money to pay for this one, we had everything moved into PJ's garage and we moved in with my mother. Nothing like being middle aged and moving back in with Mom! But it was only going to be for 2-3 weeks we figured. Bean & SIL were getting married the weekend after we closed and then we'd work several days painting.
Three weeks turned into two months. When they came out to do the tie downs they told us that the house was level, the problem was water damage to the floors. The kitchen floor actually bowed between each joist. Our bathroom floor slants slightly toward the center of the house. In the laundry room the vinyl was held down with duct tape. When I removed it I was shocked to find out the the floor didn't meet the wall and I could look down to the ground below. The floor around the toilet in the main bath was so spongy that we were afraid to sit on it. (Well it was also so dirty that we had pretty much decided that we'd have to buy two new toilets.) The hot water tank looked like it might fall through the floor.
There was a large hole in one of the living room walls. Another wall in the livingroom had been used as a dart board. We hadn't noticed that there was a window missing because it was warm when we looked at it and the windows had all been open. There was duct tape holding the wallboard to the window frame in our room. When we pulled it off we found rot and mildew. The bathroom door would not close, they left us a very large rock that they had used to prop it open or closed. This had further damaged the door. And more, much more.
Having no other choice and not knowing any better John and I set to work. We worked a minimum of 9 hours a day and after several days of cleaning we moved in an air mattress so we could start earlier and finish later several days a week. Our marriage at the time was already under a great deal of stress and for awhile I was sure that if we did not kill each other we'd end up divorced. In the end I think it ended up making us closer than we had been in years.
We're still not done. After we moved in I just ignored what we hadn't gotten to when I went back to work in the fall. This past summer I worked some on the yard but could not motivate myself to work on anything inside. A year+ of depression followed but that cloud seems to be lifting and I am finally ready to finish. Our bath and the back bedroom still need to be done top to bottom and there are several small things that need to be done in the other rooms.
Now and then I will post some before and after pictures. I am quite amazed at all that we did accomplish. We took a filthy wreck that was literally falling apart and made it into a comfortable, cozy place that we can be proud of.