My Inspiration: My Grandparents lived in a 50’s mobile home for many years. My fondest memories as a child were of vacations spent with my grandparents. Their home was parked in a small trailer park in northern California. Nana, Papa, and us kids would play in the creek running along the park, pick berries and just have way too much fun….. Their trailer epitomized ‘home’ for me.
Biggest Challenge so far: My biggest challenge was finding a location to park my home. Most cities and towns in Montana limit home placement to models that were manufactured after 1995. Since my jewel was born in 1959….. I was a bit stuck. Mom and Dad came through and allowed me to place my home on their property. I guess my second biggest challenge was re-plumbing….. They must have used little people to get their arms in all those tiny spaces between the layers of the floors.
|Bedroom and Bathroom|
What friends say: My friends are either very complimentary, and want me to sell the home to them as a vacation home. The others are amazed that I can live in less than 400 square feet. They all like the home, though.
Proudest DIY moment: My home has all the original cabinetry and closets. The doors and drawers were all in wonderful shape, but each piece of wood making up the frames had faded a different shade. I took one of the cabinet doors to the local hardware store to get paint color matched. I was a bit leery at first, since I live in a very small ‘frontier’ area. But, Margaret at the local Do-it-best store was a miracle worker. She matched the color perfectly! I was able to paint the entire framework as well as the interior of all the cabinets and closets with a perfectly matching color. It made the kitchen, bathroom and closets look new! That was my first project, which of course led to more fun improvements.
Biggest Indulgence: My biggest indulgence so far has been my kitchen. Originally my home had a Formica type of product on the counter tops as well as the back splash walls. It was a deep oxblood color that had faded, and in some areas the finish was just gone. I removed all of this, finding that I needed new counter tops completely. So, I re-built these, using all new materials. Then, with the help of my parents, took on my first tile job. We cut and installed 4” square porcelain tile. It turned out great! The back splashes were finished with commercial grade wallpaper providing a nice clean look, as well as being easy to keep clean. Instead of re-installing the HUGE white stove, I installed a drop-in two burner cook top with a convection microwave below. I took out the over sized double sink, replacing it with a smaller stainless steel single sink; the same size as the cook top. On the opposite side of the kitchen, I removed the again HUGE refrigerator that stuck out into the room and installed a built-in Sub-Zero refrigerator. Now no appliances stick into the room – giving it a much more spacious look and feel.
Sources of materials/supplies for remodel: With the exception of the paint, nails and screws which I got at the local hardware store, the bulk of my materials came from the Home Resource. The Home Resource is a Missoula based – non profit – home and materials recycle center. I was able to obtain my cook top, tile, commercial wallpaper, sink (pink bathroom one also), light fixtures and much more. All the items from the Home Resource were new old stock items that had been donated to clear out old warehouses. I feel good about all my purchases. I was able to keep the ‘flavor’ of my home, while being environmentally conscious about my purchases.
Spartan’s are really the epitome of vintage manufactured homes. They were top of the line when they were made and that is evident by their ability to stand the test of time. Anyone that can call a Spartan home is one very lucky person in my book!
This is one of the most immaculately kept homes I have ever seen. The paneling is original as is the ceiling (as far as I can tell). The previous owners definitely took great care of this home and now Russell is doing a marvelous job of continuing that care.
That should cool you down a little! Thank you so much Russell for sharing your wonderful home and your advice with us. You certainly have a dream home!