Energy Saving Tips for Your Mobile Home

Do you wince every time the utility bill comes in the mail? Do you feel like you could be saving energy and cash? Saving energy can get expensive with new appliances and products. Often those are great investments but for those on a tight budget they aren’t realistic solutions.

Below are ways you can have a more energy efficient home without spending a lot. Feel free to research more – there are tons of resources on this topic! Make it a goal to try 5 of these tips consistently and compare your bills for the next few months.

Air Conditioner: Turn your COOL/HEAT up or down when you are at work or gone from the house for a while, depending on the season. Then put it on a comfortable setting when you are at home. Consider improving or adding insulation.

Check Out Insulation Options!

  • Air Conditioner Filters: Replace them when suggested.
  • Doors: Purchase door draft stoppers “snakes” that will ensure a snug seal and keep air from escaping or entering.
  • Leave bedroom doors open for maximum circulation.
  • Windows: Caulk windows to seal them. Use a caulk gun to apply, a scraper to remove old caulk, and a flat tool to spread it out on the window seam.
  • Open windows to utilize outside air – great in spring or fall!
  • Fireplaces: Board up the flue or install doors to the front of the fireplace to keep air from getting in from the outside.
  • Outlets: Use a power strip and switch it off when you’re gone out of the house for a while. Plus, it’ll give you more outlet space!
  • Dishes: Hand wash and air dry dishes in between meals, then when you have a lot to wash use the dishwasher. Open your dishwasher and let dishes air dry instead of using the drying function.
  • Washer: Machine wash clothes on cold – it costs less and colors are less likely to bleed.
  • Lighting: Invest in energy efficient bulbs like CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamp).
  • Fans: Use box or rotating fans to circulate air and keep the temperature regulated.
  • Roof: Install a roof cap or apply a roof coating to reflect sunlight and reduce heat

Want to invest into making a more energy efficient home? Compare bills after trying these ideas and use the money you saved to start a home savings account. Then try to save that amount every other month. Next time you want to make a bigger purchase you’ll have some cash set aside!

Home Update Series: Bathroom

Bathrooms can be a tricky area to update, especially since they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, if you have a small bathroom, you’ll want to choose the appropriate size vanity that won’t make it too crowded.

Let’s start simple by talking about updating your vanity. Much like the kitchen, you can change out the hardware and paint the cabinets. You can also paint your sink. Check out this article that takes you step by step on how to refinish your sink.

Depending on the condition and age of your bathtub, you have several options. If the tub looks aged or is an old color straight out of the 60s and 70s, you can always paint your bathtub. Another option is also repairing chips in the finish if you have them. This would be for minor repairs and will help prevent further chipping. Replacing the tub altogether can be expensive depending on what you are looking for, but it has the potential to be a do it yourself job. Make sure to educate yourself on any plumbing questions so you don’t end up without a usable bathroom.

On the simpler side, adding a frame around your mirror is a quick fix that can provide a more finished and updated look.

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Finally, another quick update to your bathroom is frosting any windows. If your bathroom window isn’t already, you can add a vinyl frost sticker to the window. This will allow your bathroom to have more light, and you could hang sheer curtains to finish the look.

Updating your bathroom can be as simple or as complicated as you would like. The best thing to do is to assess what is a functionality update and what is a cosmetic update, then choosing what will work best with your space. Research, budgeting, and a little elbow grease can make your do it yourself dreams come true!

Add a Few Final Touches to Your Bathroom!

Home Update Series: Kitchen

Having an updated kitchen can make your space feel better, and if you ever decide to sell it can add to your investment. So what can you do without having to hire a handyman? It turns out, quite a bit!

The components of a kitchen are simple: sink, counters, cabinets, appliances. Each one of these elements can have your space feeling like it is straight out of a different decade, and not necessarily in a retro way. Here are some do it yourself ideas for updating your kitchen!

Sinks:

Updating your sink can be as simple as a trip to the hardware store. Try to find one that will fit your means and is within your budget. You can have a double bucket sink or a farmhouse style. Sinks can be expensive, as are faucets, so if you can find a combo, typically those are the same price if not a little bit more expensive than just the sink or the faucet. Check out this video to see how to install the sink yourself!

Cabinets:

Updating your cabinets doesn’t have to take a long time. You can update your hardware such as the handles and the hinges. This alone will give new life to old cabinets. You can also update your cabinets by painting or staining them a different color. If your cabinets still have good bones, there is no need to go out and replace all your cabinets just to give your kitchen a new look!

Counters:

Counter tops can be tricky, but you can buy ready-made counters that you can install yourself. You can change the whole feel of your kitchen by changing the color of your counters. You can have dark counters to give a warmer feel, or light to keep it bright and open. Another option is to make your own counters out of concrete.

Back splash:

Adding a back splash to your kitchen walls can upgrade your look. If you aren’t sure about tiling yourself, you can take a class to learn. You can also buy tiles that you can stick directly on the wall. This will give the space a finished look.

Lighting:

Updating your lighting to your kitchen can modernize your look. Plus, having a better lit space will literally brighten the room.

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Paint:

Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint on the walls. It may seem simple, but it will freshen up your space. If you have a small, dark area, using bright colors helps to open the room. Adding a dark accent color is a great way to include a little drama in a well-lit kitchen.

Doing one, or a combination of these suggestions, will make a difference in your space to bring it up to date. If there is a project that you want to tackle, but aren’t quite sure how, you can always reach out to employees of local hardware stores when you buy or supplies or take to the internet to learn more about the specifics on upgrading. Remember to create a plan for how to tackle the area so you don’t feel overwhelmed!

More Kitchen Inspiration!

Home Updates Series: Preparation

Updating your home can be expensive. The worst part is that if you don’t, your home can look  outdated. The trends for rooms like the kitchen or bathroom are always changing and while they may still be functional, sometimes as an owner, you’ll want to freshen the  look of your home and bring the space up to date. So what can you do to stay inside your budget and get a great space?

The good news is you can do more repairs yourself than you think. With a little do it yourself education and some elbow grease, you can bring any room up to date.

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Simple and efficient spaces are in!

Before starting any project, it’s a good idea to plan out what it is you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it. Create a budget! Have a number in mind for what you would be willing to spend on updates and then stick to it. Keep in mind, you can run into surprises along the way, so it’s a good idea to have a cushion.

Deciding what to spend can be arbitrary unless you know what the realistic price points are for the updates. Go window shopping to see what the reasonable prices would be. This remodeling calculator is also a useful tool! It gives you an estimate of major projects that you can quite possibly do yourself. It is good to factor in the type of style you like, but don’t limit yourself! Sinks, faucets, hardware, etc. can get pretty pricey if you aren’t careful.

Once you’ve decided what your budget is, make a realistic plan to save for it to make your goal. Maybe you’ll use your tax return or maybe you’ll put away an extra $50 a paycheck. Whatever the case is, it’s good to have a plan. It is exciting to update your home, but no one wants to go into debt over what should be a fun endeavor.

Another good tip is don’t tackle every room at once. Do it room by room. That way, instead of the whole house being a construction zone, it’s just one area at a time, which becomes more manageable. Remember, making updates, major or minor, can take more time than anticipated. It’s good to split the updates up over a few weekend projects depending on what you want to accomplish.

Remember, whatever room you decide to update next, have fun and make it your own!

Start Budgeting For Those Updates!

 

How to Buy Parts for Your Mobile Home

If you’re repairing your mobile home, updating a room, or even maybe you’re an investor – you probably are looking for mobile home parts. Seems easy enough, right? It can be for sure, but if you’re looking in the wrong places or in the same places as site-built products you may come up short.

Let’s look at how you can find the right product every time.

According to a popular mobile home maintenance site, it’s a good idea to look for part numbers – which can be found on specific pieces. Also, a user’s manual can be quite helpful in the replacement process. If you’re unable to find that – contact your manufacturer.

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Find the right products for your project, by shopping for mobile home specific parts. 

After finding ways to identify the specific product so you can accurately replace it – it’s time to think about where to get your products.

  1. Online. More than likely this will be your best bet. Especially if you live in a rural area or you need a big order. You do want to take extra care when ordering that it matches what you need and call a store if you’re uncertain about parts so they can help you understand what you need to order. Be mindful of return policies! Check out some trusted sites here. *A popular mobile home education site, makes a great point to think about shipping. Bigger items can cost more and you’ll likely have to pay to return an item if it’s wrong or you don’t need it. They make a ton of good suggestions and offer more great tips about ordering parts here.
  1. In store. Look for a mom and pop type shop that will treat you right. Another great suggestion from the repair site, is to take pictures of the parts you need if you aren’t familiar with the parts yourself. This will limit confusion and help an employee help you better.

We hope that you’re able to find the parts you need for your latest project and that this makes your process a little easier. Remember that items like windows are doors are usually specifically cut for mobile homes. Check your sizing on everything you order as well. There’s no size fits all and that’s just another reason we love these diverse homes!

Try This Home Improvement Idea!

Easy Remedies for a Yellowing Bathtub

Plenty of mobile homes are built with the classic garden tub. This is usually a square, corner tub used for baths only. However, other tubs are popular to with stand up showers built into a traditional rectangle tub. Due to materials used, usually yellowing can happen to these tubs. This is not limited to the material however, any wear and tear to a tub can cause discoloration.

Want to learn more about what could make your tub yellow? Read more here!

So, what are the remedies? Are they affordable? How can we address this cosmetic issue?

Forget the toxic cleaners – these three natural ingredients can be mixed with water and/or left to sit in your tub for a while. Then you can return later (leaving the cleaner to sit for at least 30 minutes will help it work) to scrub them with a gentle sponge and hot water.

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide

As you work to find a solution that works be very careful with what you use and do not mix things like bleach or ammonia. Wear gloves to protect your hands from burns or irritation. Ventilate your bathroom well so that fumes don’t bother you and so the space can dry well.

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Make your bathroom a place to relax. 

If cleaning doesn’t strip the yellow coloring away, you might want to try some refinishing paint that will add a fresh face to your tub. As detailed in the link above, you can find kits that will tell you all you need to do to refinish your tub. The kits are quite cost efficient as well.

A popular project site suggests, sanding the tub well before applying the kit. This aids to the longevity of the paint. Also be sure to wear a mask and keep the air flow going. Be sure to follow the instructions closely and practice safety. You may also consider hiring a professional if it feels worth the saved time and you’ve got the budget for it.

We hope that this helps add new life to your bathroom and makes everything feel fresh and clean!

More Bathroom Update Ideas!

Simple Ways to Prep Your Yard/Exterior for Fall

When I became a homeowner I learned that fall really is the most important time for your lawn. It’s when you put in the most work (or should) and it’s finally not a million degrees, so you can linger in your yard to get some things done. Dig out the gloves, borrow a ladder, free up some storage space, and let’s get busy making your yard ready for autumn!

  • Start your landscaping/gardening. Fall is usually the best time to plant flowers, trees, and some veggies. Check the Farmer’s Almanac for your area. Seasons of planting vary by weather, last frost, and soil type.
  • Another thing to do late summer, early fall is aerate your land. You can usually pay someone to do this, or rent a machine yourself.
  • This is also a great time to start a compost bin. Want less waste, and richer soil? You may just like composting. Follow this easy home magazine to learn more and get some information to help you create your compost station!
  • Clean those gutters. You want them to drain right for the coming season.
  • Also, try putting your tools away. From buckets to water hoses, you’ll want to store anything that can freeze away for now.
  • Sweep off your deck/driveway. Rain and leaves will stain these areas and leave them in a mess. Keep the mess at bay by sweeping off leaves and debris. Same goes for your lawn. Keep them off the grass or mow over them.

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    Keep your deck space looking great!
  • Fix that slippery spot. Lay down some seed for muddy places, stepping stones for uneven areas, etc. It will get worse when it freezes in winter, so best to address it now.

Seasonal maintenance can add longevity to your home, and beauty and safety to your lawn. Take some time this weekend to take care a couple of these items. The long term is worth it!

Now Add Some Flair!

Creating an Outdoor Space for Your Mobile Home

As we shed the heat of summer and invite in some cooler days, it’s time to spend some quality time outside. In order to do that, you’ll need a perfect space for family and friends to gather around. Let’s take the fun outside and start the party!

There are a few maintenance items you can take care of to improve your outdoor space. Let’s look at those before we dive into the decorating bits.

  1. Stain a deck. This is a great way to protect and freshen up your outside area. This will seal and protect the wood while offering a sleek look. It’s also a relatively cheap process. We did ours a couple weeks ago and spent about $200 on all the supplies including paint on a deck of about 300 sq. ft. Our paint job should last 6 to 8 years. Check the weather for about 3 dry days and give yourself an entire day for the project.
  2. Pressure wash the space. Whether you clean your vinyl siding, concrete, etc. this will significantly help the look of your home. It will brighten your home.
  3. Replace or fix skirting. Seamless skirting makes for a beautiful home. Holes and damage to your skirting can make for a messy exterior. Improve the overall look of your home and protect your home by maintaining your skirting.

After tiding up a bit, you’re ready to add some flair.

  • Lighting plays a huge role in creating an outdoor space. Your space can be totally rustic and a splash of lights will make it dream-like. Find some outdoor string lights, float some candles in a pot/ bucket, or find a statement piece. This alone will create the perfect atmosphere.
  • Next, add some shine for the daytime with mirrors. Mirrors also make the space feel like a room with walls and perfectly bring the inside, out. You also can find some affordable mirrors that cost very little but make the space feel bigger and sophisticated.
  • Lastly, add some outdoor furniture. You’ve decorated your space and made it feel like home. Now, you just need to add a place to sit. Furniture adds an inviting element. You can get old, used pieces to have outside as well as make your own table. Think creatively, you could use wood stumps for seats or footstools and not have to spend anything.

We hope you’re able to invite fall in and love your outside space even more!

Add Some Curb Appeal!

Cleaning Gutters on Your Mobile Home In a Snap

I started to notice there were water marks and leaves stuck to the side of my house and couldn’t figure it out. It hadn’t stormed badly, it wasn’t fall, and there weren’t any trees against the house. The culprit? We hadn’t cleaned the gutters! So, let’s help you avoid this dismay and damage to your basil pots.

There are a few different strategies to cleaning out gutters, the most important part is to practice ladder safety by firmly planting the ladder and having a spotter hold the ladder in place from the bottom as you work. Be sure to read you ladder’s instruction manual as well.

  1. Set up your ladder. The most recommended ladder across home websites, is an extendable ladder. With a mobile home though, you probably won’t need that unless yours is built on a basement or you have a pitched roof.
  2. Next, find your gathering method. You can place a tarp below, hold a bucket (or strap it to your gutter), or use an alternative bag method. Choose the one that is the safest for your expertise, or based off if the materials your scoping are wet or dry.
  3. Select your tool. Now that you know where the mess is going, what will you use to get it there. You can go classic with gloves, choose a small shovel devise from a hardware store, or an alternative tool.
  4. Notice and fix repairs while you’re up there. Tighten brackets or add screws as needed. You may even want to add gutter guards.

Be sure that you practice safety and have help when cleaning your gutters. Wear clothes that can get dirty and gloves. Protective eye gear isn’t a bad idea if you expect the leaves/debris to be wet. This maintenance will save the side of your house and prevent damage to your gutters and keep filtering the water away from your home.

Read More In-depth!