7 Low-cost Ways to Update Your Kitchen

“The kitchen is the heart of the house.” You’ve heard it said, and it’s true. It’s where you sit down to fuel up and talk about your day. It’s the unloading and the pickup zone. Let’s make that space special.

If you feel bored of your kitchen, need a change of pace, or just want to create a space you love to cook in – here are some ideas for you.

  1. Add space – Think organizers! Try shelving for your drawers or refrigerator. Add lid organizers, utensil holders, or a hanging pots and pans display.
  2.  Add mats or rugs – If the floor is a little worn out or you want to hide damage, place a mat in front of the sink. You can also add runners for a decorative touch.
  3.  Embellish with a pop of color – This is easy. Use one bright color to decorate your kitchen. Try towels, vases, plates, and soap holders of one color. You can paint some of the items you have to cut the cost.
  4.  Show off the season – Bring a bit of the season inside! It’s summer so display flowers, fruits/veggies, and herbs.
  5.  Add a chalkboard – Be better about planning meals by using the chalkboard for a weeknight menu. You can also make it decorative, use it to display photos, or write a weekly quote on it.
  6.  Switch up the seating – Do you have a sizable island? Consider adding stools. Tired of your table? Try something new, swap with a family member, or add a tablecloth.
  7.  Add some warm lighting – Trying placing a lamp on the island. Add candles to open counter space.

Want something a little more involved?

Try Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

 

Mobile Home Skirting Options and Maintenance

Skirting may be the last item on your mind when thinking about your mobile home. However, it protects many important aspects of your home by wrapping around the bottom of the home. It keeps animals out from under the home, protects the piping and plumbing that runs underneath your home, and it keeps the cold out. It’s not just a style choice.

Whether you are considering the cost, durability, or appearance of skirting, there are tons of options for mobile home skirting.

Options

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Vinyl

 

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Concrete

 

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Brick/ Imitation Brick
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Lattice

If the skirting on your home becomes damaged, you should repair it or have it repaired by a contractor. It can be pretty easy to fix holes in skirting or to take preventative measures to avoid damage to it altogether.

Vinyl Skirting Repair

Vinyl skirting usually gets roughed up by weed eater lines. To avoid this try a skirt guard. This clips into the bottom of the skirting and protects the bottom edge from being torn or damaged by yard tools. There are different types with varying lengths – choose what fits your needs.

If your skirting is damaged you may try repairing small damaged areas yourself pretty easily by using either weather resistant tape or tape made for outdoor use.

You can also purchase skirting panels to replace a damaged section instead of having to replace the whole.

For brick, concrete, or lattice skirting, you’ll probably want to consult a professional as these may involve a little more effort. Vinyl skirting is traditional and can be easier to repair.

We hope this helps you decide on a change for your siding or picking a certain kind!

More Repair Tips!

Oakbur Quill Co.

How to Create a Gravel Driveway

One of the assets of a mobile home is getting to choose the location of your home. From rural areas and hollers, to mobile home communities – there are plenty of opportunities to live in the setting you want. Since many homes are placed on land, they may need certain additions and maintenance. One of those possibilities is to cover your driveway.

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There are various options to cover your driveway like concrete or asphalt. One of the more cost-efficient methods is to lay gravel. Depending on the location of your home and your budget, you can decide the best option. We’ll explore the basics of laying a gravel driveway below!

Mark the perimeter of your driveway

Decide what you want the area of your driveway to be and mark it with wooden posts in corners and in between every six feet or so. You can connect the area with a string to get a better visual. During this time, you can decide if you’d like to place a boarder. This will help keep the perimeter marked. You can use something like bricks or wooden beams. Lastly, measure the area.

Manually dig up grass or hire a professional

Digging up topsoil and grass can be intensive, but if you rent the right tools and have help, it can be smooth sailing. If you have the budget, feel free to hire professionals.

Prepare the area for gravel

First, level the surface of your driveway – you can also compact the dirt if necessary. This can be done with a large tool or your truck. Next, add a weed barrier. It may not seem necessary, but as the seasons change this will be important. Adding this barrier will prevent having to do a lot of maintenance later on.

Progressively add gravel- depending on layers

Best practice is to do 3 layers of gravel. This usually consists of a sand and big rocks, then a layer of smaller rocks, and then finally the smallest layer of gravel. In between levels, it’s wise to compact and spread the rock so the layers settle the way you want.

Grade the gravel

Pull a little more gravel to the center and less on the edges. This is to help your gravel drain properly.

Feel free to do more research before beginning the process. If you’re looking for something even more cost-efficient, try a gravel blend. This may be made up of gravel and crushed pieces. It usually costs less and makes for a great filler.

 

 

How to Clean Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is the exterior material used for most mobile homes. However, its popularity isn’t limited to mobile homes – many manufactured homes and site built homes utilize this versatile material. Even though it’s relatively easy to maintain, vinyl gets dirty pretty quickly.

Below are some practical ways to clean your vinyl siding. Most options are cheap and use household items/ cleaners.

First things first – before you begin utilizing these cleaning solutions and methods, be sure you test one small area of the siding before taking on the whole project. There are many different types of siding and you want to be sure your siding reacts well.

vinyl siding on mobile home

The Basics—

In a resource section of their website, The Vinyl Siding Institute – America Sides With VinylSM, recommends using a soft cloth or regular long-handled brush with soft bristles to clean vinyl.  It is suggested that you should clean from the bottom up and cover any brick on the home below the siding to prevent possible staining from runoff.

For mold and mildew, The Vinyl Siding Institute recommends a water/ vinegar mixture that is 70/30. For small areas,  Windex ® or a similar commercial cleaner can be used.

The following can be used for Stubborn Stains—

1/3 cup powered laundry detergent

2/3 cup powdered household cleaner

1 quart liquid laundry bleach*

1 Gallon of water

**Please exercise CAUTION when making any cleaning solution and be sure to NEVER mix bleach and ammonia.**

If you’ve got a garden or great landscaping around your home, you want to be sure to preserve the area while cleaning.

For a mixture that is Landscaping friendly—

Some websites suggest using a gallon of water mixed with a much smaller amount of an eco-friendly cleaner like oxygen bleach.

If these solutions aren’t for you – there is always pressure washing. It’s a little pricier to rent the equipment, but paired with one of the cleaning solutions above it will make for a powerful clean!

Pressure washing—

Most expert sites agree, that when pressure washing, it is best practice to pair with a cleaning solution. Be sure to tend to landscaping accordingly. Also, when washing keep the sprayer eye level for best results. This keeps water from getting behind the siding.

We hope this has been helpful!

Watch for Cleaning How To!

Easy Wallboard Repair Technique

Whether you’ve got a fixer upper or you’re just trying for an updated look – repairing wallboard within your mobile home may be an easy fix. Check out the video to help you with this project!

Please use caution when handling the tools and materials described here – your safest option is to bring in a professional to do the work! Please also note that these repairs may not be covered by your home warranty.

Things to do before you begin:

  1. Call home manufacturer to purchase replacement panels
  2. Have serial # from data plate ready

Things needed for project:

  • Replacement panel
  • Molding to cover edges
  • Panel adhesive
  • 1”/1/4” finishing nails
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Keyhole saw
  • Power saw or handsaw

See Mobile Home Update Ideas!

 

Simple Steps for Landscaping and Flower Bed Clean Up Around Your Mobile Home

Now that’s it warming up, it’s time to plant those flower beds! We’ll look at how to upkeep previously planted areas and restore them for the season, as well as creating a flower bed area around your mobile home. Grab the kiddos, family, or a friend and get to work! I got some of these great ideas from a home improvement site, check out more from them.

If you already have landscaping follow these upkeep tips:

Pick up. Before you dig in pick up the area and your yard. Clear any trash, sticks, and leaves that are sitting around. Basically, move anything that will keep grass from growing.

Clear the way for perennials. If you planted perennials, aka flowers that come back year after year, then you’ll want to make sure they have room to thrive. Depending on your yard, this could mean a lot of things. It may be clearing out weeds, pushing back ivy, or spraying something safe for the environment to ward off pests. Your flower beds may also need to be re-covered with fabric or more mulch.

Consider composting. Composts are a great option to reduce waste, save money, and have rich soil every year for your yard.

Now, for those of you who want to get started with flower beds, I’ll help you get started with some basics.

Landscaping for your mobile home:

Plan your flower beds. Observe the area you want your beds to be.

  • Will it be partial or full sunlight?
  • Will it receive little or a lot of rain?

This will help you choose plants that will best fit your area. You can research before you go to the store, or just take some time at the store looking through options – you also may be well versed in this already. It’s also important to outline the area before you begin work – either with string, or cutting it out with a shovel, or you could even use spray paint.

Break ground/ Kill grass. Depending on the area, you’ll need to try one of these various techniques:

  • Removing it by hand, using tools like a tiller
  • Solarization – covering the area you’ll plant your beds with plastic and tucking it in at the edges for the sun to scorch the grass away
  • Raised beds – make a wood or like material box to place on the area and steak the corners in the ground
  • Spray with something safe
  • Smothering – cover with anything, newspaper, materials, ect.

Lay landscaping fabric. Once you’ve cleared the area, you can lay soil, but the best practice is to lay landscaping fabric first. There are options. Some people use mulch or plastic – it’s up to you and what’s best for the layout of your land.

Plant! Now that the ground is flat and covered, you’re ready to plant! This is where you’ll need to measure how much soil you’ll need and how deep the plants need to be beneath the soil. After planting you can cover in wood chips, or something of the like to protect the beds from weeds. Remember to water your new items, especially if they are seedlings.

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Make sure you don’t just rely on rain, regular watering us a must!

Lay edging. Lastly, it’s a good idea to lay edging if there’s not a pathway or something that outlines your flower bed. You could use rocks, brick, wood, stone you name it! Get creative and finish your flower bed off in style.

I hope this helps you get started in making your exterior even more beautiful! Feel free to break up this project into days so it’s not overwhelming! Looking to do more projects outside? I’ve got something you’ll want to read.

Check Out Yard Tools You Need!

How to Maximize Your Free Time

Cleaning is a tasking chore. There is no doubt about that. For me, it felt like I was stuck in the same routine every Saturday. I worked hard all week and yet when the weekend came, I was still working. It was exhausting and I just wanted to take a break! So what is the solution? Hire a maid? Nice idea, but it wasn’t for me.

Here are some tips to make life a little easier when it comes to cleaning.

Make a schedule:

Who knew mom would have had genius ideas? As a child it seemed like the chore list was put in place to create torture. A rotating schedule that meant you had to do one of each thing as a child, yuck! And now as adults, it is all left up to us to complete.

Implementing a family chore list, or one even if you live alone can be a huge help. It’ll help you complete all the tasks throughout the week so when Saturday morning comes, you are free to relax without housework looming over your head.  Plus, if you have a family, you’ll have help around the house and won’t have to remind anyone what chore they have and on what day.

Feel free to take this with you to make your own chore list that works for you!

Chore List Template Sheet1

One Extra Thing…

If you have too many horror flashbacks from implementing a chore schedule or it just doesn’t work for your lifestyle, try to do just one extra thing a day. This could be doing a load of laundry after you get off work, or going grocery shopping during the week. Doing just one thing extra a day will help for your house to be fresh all through out the week and maximize your weekend time.

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Keeping up with clutter keeps it from happening!

Put it away, right away:

Yet again, mom was right. How many times did you hear, “pick up your toys if you’re done with them?” A thousand times at least, right? This holds true with clutter. For me, the clutter is always the worst, especially junk mail. It just seems to creep up on me. But, if I take care of it right away it won’t be there later; simple enough concept.  The same holds true with putting away laundry, folding blankets, etc. If you do it right when you are done with whatever it is, it won’t be waiting for you to do later. The extra 3 seconds it takes to toss the junk mail out or fold the blanket you are done with will save you more in the future. It’ll be a moment here or there rather than all the moment compiled at once. Plus, you’ll continue to have your house tidy even if you haven’t had the time to sweep or vacuum.

Check out the Interactive Chore List!

Remember, any change of routine can take a little bit to truly set in and the more people in the household, the longer it probably is going to take. Try to be patient with yourself (and your family) with getting there. But once you are, you won’t regret the extra time you have!

7 Affordable Ways to Update Your Older Mobile Home

Mobile homes are a product of variety. There are tons of styles and types to fit different people. With all these changes and options the possibilities are endless! The same is true for older models. You don’t have to have a new model to have a modern look. Want to update your home?

We’ve hit on some practical ways that you can update your home. Not only do these ideas improve the overall appearance, but they could also add value! Need some ideas on how to maintain your home and keep it looking on trend? Check out the list below!

  1. Change door knobs – Not a fan of those gold knobs? Changing old knobs can give the whole home a modern feel. Most knobs are about $10-20 per door. You can even buy one every month if you don’t have enough to get them all at once.
  2. Paint kitchen cabinets — Darker cabinets are in! Update lighter cabinets with a painting kit that is cost-efficient. Kits usually don’t require priming, and they give you step by step instructions. Most kits run about $70. If you don’t want to go dark – simply pick any color to freshen up old or worn cabinets.
  3. Alter decorative spaces— Older models often have decorative pieces or windows that aren’t always practical. You can easily paint frosted glass with chalk board paint ($20-30) or cover the area with cork to make them functional.
  4. Update vinyl flooring – Floors often show age. However, they definitely cost more than the other ideas. If you’re looking for an investment – this is the one. Costs vary depending on square feet and style. This is another place where you can do one room at a time to regulate costs.
  5. Change light fixtures – Lighting sets the vibe of a home. Modern lighting is EVERYWHERE! A simple hanging light in the kitchen or a spotlight on an accent wall can give your mobile home a fresh look! You can even add wall lights for an even more updated look.
  6. Refinish tubs— If your tub looks discolored by age or mineral water it may be time for a facelift. Bathroom remodels are an option, but they are pricey. If you’re wanting to save some of the cost you may want to consider refinishing your tub. Be sure to research this one and ask people who have had it done.
  7. Landscaping— Adding some potted flowers or lining the home with different plants is a great way to add color and youth to the exterior of a mobile home. You can even put a patio set in the yard! Try these ideas!

Keep Momentum With Our Home Update Series!

Ready to get started? Pick a project from the list and you’ll be on your way. This may even get you thinking of something you want to update that we didn’t list. We know it’s going to look GREAT!

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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!