Friday, July 3, 2015

Connections... Perplexions .... and Decisions!

Oh the excitement of our house arriving this past Saturday was quite exhilarating!  Several of our friends and neighbors stopped by to see the house, and it was such a joyous time for us, in spite of the high temperatures.  Typically, we may get one day a year that reaches temps over 100 degrees, and that is usually in late July.  However, this year, we had a run of two days straight with temps in the 100s. Several friends reported seeing thermometers registering temps as high as 110.  Our temperature gauge got to 102, which was still pretty brutal!

We have been very busy getting started with the remodeling process that needs to happen before we can move in.  So many things need to be done, but right now, the floors are taking precedent.

Oh, what a mess!  The top layer of the linoleum in the trailer comes up easily enough, but the felt adhesive backing underneath it... oh what a totally different story!  We have chipped, scraped, and pulled, all without much luck.  Because the floors are already so uneven, we need to get all the adhesive off, so the new flooring will have a clean surface to attach to.  I have researched different options online, and none of them are very appealing.  The best one I have heard that works is using boiling water with a rag, and dipping the rag in the boiling water, and laying it on the adhesive, waiting 10 minutes, and then peeling off the adhesive.  Problem is, we don't have hot water yet...

My husband has hooked up the water, sewer, and electric lines, which was quite a bit of work, but because the hot water heater is gas, we can't use it, as we don't have gas here.  So right now we are shopping craigslist for a propane tank, and then we will have the valves switched over from gas to propane.  So far, we haven't had any luck finding one within our budget.

So... until we get a propane tank installed in order to have hot water, we will just have to continue chipping away at this nasty adhesive!

A dear friend, T came over to help my husband with replacing the soft spots in the floor.  There ended up being more soft spots than we realized, but thankfully these are being easily fixed with new plywood.

Another option that we are considering is putting down a new sub floor in the kitchen and then placing the new flooring on top of that, considering that the adhesive is so difficult to remove.  I wanted to put vinyl flooring or interlocking floor planking through the whole house, but after checking prices at Home Depot, the sticker shock caused me to reconsider other options.  We will probably lay carpet in the living room, hallway and bedrooms, and only lay the new vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom.

My husband keeps reminding me that the house is paid for, and we need to keep things simple, and that is great to think about... except when you start trying to make difficult decisions, and of course, stores know how to "up-sell" product, and leave you reeling with the cost of it all!

I took our kitchen measurements to Home Depot to see what kind of prices were available on cabinets. The man who worked with me was a former contractor, and I told him I wanted the cheapest options, and the most functional. We ended up spending 2 hours designing these cabinets.  This is a computer rendering of what the finished product would generally look like.  The happiest part of this - the cabinets are on sale for 20% off.  I have until July 8th to make a decision on whether we want to do this, or not.

If we went this route, we would use the bar area cabinets that are already in place... (minus the dishwasher, as we tried it, and it is broken!)

... and simply add a corner floor cabinet with a Lazy Susan, hanging wall cabinets, and the pantry, with it all coming to a total of $684.00 plus tax!  My husband thinks this sounds like a reasonable option to consider.

However, with our plan of keeping this process as cost effective as possible, I went back to the cabinets that were stacked inside the kitchen.  These had not been installed, but when I looked at them closer, they could possibly work!  I would have to sand and paint them, and add door handles, but this option might be the cheapest one yet.

So my question to you, my reader, is this... what would you do?  Save the money, and use the very cheap particle board cabinets, repainted - or go with the very cheap on sale cabinets that Home Depot is offering at about $700.00?

I also picked up paint while I was at Home Depot, and these will be the colors, - Scribe (a beautiful light creamy color that unfortunately got  washed out in the picture above) Real Wood (a beautiful dark chocolate) and Aquifer (a lovely turquoise color that my daughter wants to paint her room).

Here are flooring samples that I am going to probably have to choose from (left to right in picture above): Armstrong Heartland Timbers Walnut (87 cents/sq. foot or Armstrong Sentinel Tavola 98 cents/sq. foot.  My thought is to find something that won't show or hold dirt, and I am leaning pretty heavily towards the Heartland Timbers Walnut.  So, if anyone has experience with this type of flooring, it would be nice to hear how it worked for you!  This would be the most cost effective flooring IF we can get a level floor surface.

This particular flooring is the ALLURE Ultra Interlocking Resiliant Plank Flooring that can go down on uneven surfaces, is waterproof, and has a lifetime warrantry.  However, it is very expensive, at approximately $3.00 a square foot!

So... there are many decisions that we will need to make shortly.  One important factor in the decision is that this is not a "forever" home, but simply a starting point to where we can save our money to build the home we really want.  It is all very exciting though, and I am so eager to start painting, but my husband says painting can't start until the floor patching is finished, and until we make a decision on what we are going to do with the floors, because there will be so much dust from the floors, which would hinder the painting process.

So for now, my husband and son, and our dear friend T and another dear friend A are working on getting the floors repaired, and then we will see what happens from there.

I certainly appreciate any comments, ideas, or suggestions on how to make this process go more smoothly, and be as cost effective as possible.  :)


  1. Lots of big decisions that is for sure. I wish I had the answers for you...or a big check! ;) Painting the old is probably the most economical way and then you would have a few hundred left for other things you need. However, it is a ton of work and you need to make sure that they will really fit properly, etc. Yikes, so much to consider. Good luck!

    1. Haha! I looked forward to your comments, because I know you have done a lot of renovations, and we have never had to do any major renovations to any home we've lived in. So, this is a new experience for me, and indeed so many decisions! I think I have decided to go with the cabinets already in the house, paint them, and save that money for something else. Appreciate your input so very much!

  2. Stripping, sanding, painting, no time, will the cabinets even fit right, and will they look as nice after all that work?

    I suggest pulling out that entire "bar" where the dishwasher is and opening it up with an island instead. That "bar" is a floor space guzzler and an island offers more freedom.

    My Dad has a double-wide in Florida and he did that-- opened up the area with an island and the difference was AMAZING!

    And trying to rip up all that gag-flooring is a huge time-(back-)waster. Lay new subfloor and work from there. Scrub as best as you can first and level it out with a pourable compound first in the dippy spots.

    It's going to be amazing!!!! I'm so excited for you!


    P.S. Craig's list!!!!

    1. Kelley, thank you SO much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I really enjoyed considering each one of them! I had already asked my husband if we could move the bar, but, (isn't there always a "but" lol!) moving the bar to the window wouldn't work, because the window is too low for the sink to be put there - bummer! I have asked several carpenter friends, and they all agree that idea won't work, because the window is so low. So, for now, we are going to try to use just what we've got, make it as cute as we can, and live with whatever else isn't our fancy, and save our $$ for the home we really want. So at this point, the most cost effective way seems to be using the cabinets I've got. Have you ever painted kitchen cabinets? Any tips, tricks, how-tos, or do nots?

      For the flooring, we are meeting with a flooring man tomorrow, and hear what he has to say. I think we have decided to carpet the living room and bedrooms, and vinyl flooring for the kitchen and bathroom, which seems to be the most cost effective plan. I guess we'll see!

      Appreciate you sharing your thoughts so much... and I'll keep you posted on new developments! Hope you are having safe travels! :)

  3. So many decisions!!! But, it is very exciting. I can't wait to see the finished product. It makes me tired to think of how much work the older cabinets will require. LOL! If it were me, and I possibly could, I would go with the cabinet plan the man drew up for you....but that is just me...I know the dear Lord will lead you and show you what is best for you. :) So happy for you!!!

    1. Indeed, so many many decisions, and although many options have been considered, I think we are going to go with the cabinets that were in the house, ugly as they are, and repaint them and try to make them work, and save the $$. I really would love to have the new cabinets, but they come unstained as well, and so would still need that work done to them. We are going to stretch our frugal budget as far as we can, and try to make the best of it, and try to find all the "joy in the journey" we can! I really appreciate your thoughts and prayers, and it means so much to hear what other people think, and of course, trusting the Lord to show us the best way to get it all done. I know He cares about even the tiniest details! Many love and hugs sent to you and your family across the miles today :)

  4. Haha! If it were me I would lay a plywood subfloor (not particle board) and then paint my floors adding carpeting or rugs where desired. Stain and polyurethane can also be used to give the look of a wood floor although it is more expensive due to the cost of the polyurethane but your floors will be easy to clean. I would use the existing cabinets and maybe take doors off add fabric or whatever to make them feel homey. Seven hundred dollars is seven hundred dollars! I would choose to be content because contentment is a state of the mind. I wish you well!

    1. You know Ronda, my husband had mentioned to me about painting the floors. We have a flooring man coming tomorrow, and after I find out the sticker shock from that visit, I may be taking you up on your great idea of painting the floors, since my husband had mentioned it as well. I will have to check into the cost of putting down the plywood subfloor and the stain, versus the cost of flooring, and then decide. At this point, the cheapest, and durable options are winning out, lol! Indeed, I am learning how to trust the Lord for every decision and process that we are making, as I know He cares about each and every detail, and finding that joy in the journey too! I can't imagine my life without Him involved in every aspect of it! Thank you again for your thoughts, and I will keep you posted on what our decision is.... are you having the heat wave up there? Whew! It has really been a doozy around here! Anyway, take care my friend! :)

    2. Good for you!! Email me if you want to know any tips about painting or using polyurethane on the subfloor.

    3. I totally agree with my friend Ronda. Yes, yes, yes! And she is a good resource for you as you tackle this project. Hugs!

  5. Wow, so many decisions and so much work! I'm not sure I have many good suggestions. I think I would put a subfloor in rather than continue to scrape! As far as the cabinets...there are so many factors, the top one being, what can you afford and will you be happy with what you do? You can save, but will you feel good about what you have in the end and inviting company over or looking at them every day? Or, if money is too tight, you could just be thankful you have what you have. It's all in your perspective and what you really want to do. I hope you are having fun!


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