We’re so proud to share another great DIY mobile home transformation!
Judy and Michael Gutierrez wanted to be closer to their son and granddaughter in Santa Rosa, California.
They found a 1968 International Newport Single Wide (12’ X 16’), with an addition, in an older mobile home park in Santa Rosa and began a complete DIY mobile home transformation.
Judy says she likes this older park because the lots are wider than in some of the newer parks so they have nice yard space. In addition, the lot rents are on the low end of the scale because the park doesn’t have a lot of amenities like a swimming pool. That’s alright with Judy though, she says it makes living on retirement income more affordable.
DIY Mobile Home Transformation – Very Vintage to Modern Marvel
Their vintage mobile home was a great deal but it needed to be modernized so Judy and Michael got to work.
The couple has done some remodeling in the kitchen, the living room, one bathroom, the laundry room, and their storage room.
‘Tongue and Groovy’ Shiplap Walls
The couple used pine shiplap on their ceilings and walls. Shiplap is a very popular choice these days for wall covering.
Wikipedia defines Shiplap:
Shiplap is a type of wooden board used commonly in the construction of barns, sheds, outbuildings and inexpensive or seasonal homes. It is either rough-sawn 1″ or milled 3/4″ pine or similarly inexpensive wood between 3″ and 10″ wide with a 3/8″ – 1/2″ rabbet on opposite sides of each end. The rabbet allows the boards to overlap in this area. The profile of each board partially overlaps that of the board next to it creating a channel that gives shadow line effects, provides excellent weather protection and allows for dimensional movement.
The Gutierrez’s used unpainted shiplap and Judy love the way it turned out. She admits it’s her proudest DIY mobile home transformation achievement.
Related: How To Hang Fake Shiplap Paneling
Vintage mobile home ceilings almost always need some work. Since shiplap comes in planks it’s an easy way to update damaged or sagging ceilings. It gives a warm, substantial feel to otherwise dated room and the natural texture is a perfect way to add a focal point to a room.
DIY Plumber’s Pipe Shelving
Plumbing pipe is a popular and affordable way to make shelves and entertainment centers so naturally, this creative couple used it!
They built a custom DIY plumbing pipe entertainment center and bookshelf around their wall-mounted television.
The end result is awesome:
Helpful Articles About Plumber’s Pipe Shelving:
Sheet Metal Shower and Bathroom Makeover
Judy and Michael gave their bathroom a new modern look by using corrugated sheet metal and secondhand finds. It looks great!
Here’s what the shower looked like at the beginning of the DIY mobile home transformation:
Sheet metal is a popular material for home improvement projects and has been used on several mobile home remodels and improvement projects. It’s water-resistant, rustproof, and affordable.
The sheet metal shower after:
More Great Sheet Metal Articles:
Bathroom Sink and Counter
The bathroom sink and counter before the remodel:
The bathroom sink and counter has a more modern look. They got their bathroom sink from Habitat for Humanity Restore. Habitat Restores are a superb resource for building materials and all things for the home. It’s a favorite of mobile home owners because you can get a great deal and your purchase helps fund a worthy cause.
The bathroom counter and sink after the mobile home transformation:
Savvy Storage Room
Having done most of the work themselves, Judy estimates that they spent $500 or less for each room, with the exception of the storage room, which is really more of a long, wide hallway.
The couple put cabinets in the space to increase storage; always an issue in a single wide. Judy also has her desk located there and says it may be her favorite room. By putting in lots of cabinets the price tag for the storage room topped out at around $1000. They also used DIY vinyl flooring planks in the home.
Mobile Home Kitchen Transformation
The kitchen got a cool new look with a vintage twist!
Here’s the before:
The wall oven was removed and in its place, a large storage cabinet with a magnetic message center door was installed. Under the cabinet is where the microwave sits.
The counter stove was removed and in its place, a cool vintage stove was installed.
It’s a great use of space!
Here’s the after:
A sleek island was installed in the middle of the kitchen to optimize counter space. Below you can see the cabinetry space where the wall oven used to be:
A close up of the new classic stove and oven:
Judy’s Mobile Home Transformation Interview
Judy and Michael have found that living in their older mobile home is a very economical way to go, especially if you are willing to put in some sweat equity. Learning a few tips from mobile homeowners that have completed their own DIY mobile home transformation is a great way to prepare. Fortunately, Judy was kind enough to answer a few questions for us!
Judy and Michael Gutierrez
Santa Rosa, California
Make and model of the home:
1968 International Newport Single wide 12′ x 60′ with a couple of small additions.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your project, and your home:
We are a couple who moved from Colorado to CA to be close to our oldest son and granddaughter. We couldn’t sell our home in CO so we rented it out and purchased this very old mobile home in a small park in Santa Rosa. It was a great deal but has needed a lot of work! We have semi remodeled the kitchen, the living area, one bathroom, the laundry room, and a storage room. We have done almost all the work ourselves to save money.
Tools and materials used:
Corrugated tin in the shower, pine shiplap on ceilings and walls in different rooms, bathroom sink from Habitat for Humanity, do it yourself vinyl flooring planks and lots of paint!
The total cost of the project:
It varies by room but I don’t think we spent over $500 for any room (except for the storage room, the cupboards were bought online and we might have spent $1,000 on that entire room).
Any tips or tricks you learned during the project:
Vintage mobile homes are not easy to work on. Water is your enemy. A 1968 mobile home is not like a regular home since nothing is straight and working with paneled walls and 2 x 2’s is challenging.
Proudest DIY moment:
The ceilings and wall we did with shiplap pine strips, very inexpensive and look fantastic!
Water! During our recent rains, our floors became saturated and finding out why and how to fix that is still our biggest challenge. Other than that, everything we have done has been challenging!!! Also, working in cramped spaces together, such as the bathroom and especially the laundry room….makes for interesting times!
Favorite room in the home:
So far, I have to say it is the storage room we completely insulated and redid…it’s actually more than storage but we don’t know what to call it. It is a room that goes from the living room out into the backyard, it’s more like a long, wide hallway. I do have a desk there and lots of cupboards and I love the way it turned out.
Any advice you would give someone about buying and living in a mobile home:
It is a very economical way to live if you are willing to put in work. We are lucky, our park is older and the lots are fairly wide and have nice yards. We don’t have amenities like a pool or community room so our space rent is very low. It makes living on a retirement income easier to handle.
A huge thank you to Judy and Michael for letting us share their gorgeous DIY mobile home transformation! Seeing vintage mobile homes getting modernized is so inspiring!
And thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!