1978 Mobile Home Remodel 1

This 1978 mobile home remodel is a personal favorite of mine for a few reasons. Of course, it’s a beautiful home and the remodel was well done but there are a couple more things that will keep this home in my top 5 favorite remodels of all time.

This was one of the first homes I ever shared and Kathy, the owner, was kind enough to let me interview her and feature her home. I will always be thankful for her kindness.

When I first started this blog I wanted to share beautiful mobile homes. I had just purchased an older single wide and couldn’t find a whole lot on the subject when I Googled it. There was some scattered content around the web, obviously, but I didn’t find a single resource that was specifically for us. Remember, this was before Pinterest.

Another reason I deemed this 1978 mobile home remodels one of my all time favs is far more personal. This Homette is pretty much my own home! It’s 95% similar. The only difference is the post in the living room and the kitchen layout.

Kathy’s remodel taught me what is possible with my own mobile home. She has given me a perfect picture and a ton of inspiration for what my home. I will always appreciate that.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel – Kathy’s Interview

Kathy is so generous and friendly that she has answered several questions for me about her 1978 mobile home remodel. She is a true gem and a great advocate for mobile home living!

One thing I have always thought to be true, Kathy confirmed even more for me: People that live in mobile homes are absolutely the friendliest and most down to earth people you can find.

There’s no pretentiousness, no snobbishness and no one tries to be something they are not. Mobile home owners know the secret to a happy and healthy life: live simply and comfortably and don’t try to keep up with Jones’s.  

We all need a little help when it comes to remodeling a mobile home. There are endless decisions to make: paint color, flooring type, countertop material, and lighting design are just a few basic decisions. Not to mention the stain color, the wall treatments, and the decor.  

Remodeling a mobile home can overwhelm you quickly!

Seeing how others have updated and remodeled their mobile homes helps tremendously. Here’s a great opportunity to learn from someone who has transformed her 1978 single wide into a beautiful home.

Exterior Updates

This mobile home is a 14×60 Homette that was manufactured in 1978. It has some updates but for the most part it had not been very well cared for – let’s say it was very much lived in.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Closeup Of Exterior Before
1978 Homette before the remodel.
Mobile Home Lot
1978 mobile home before the remodel.

This 1978 Homette had a ton of potential and Kathy knew it. That’s why she scooped it up quickly and began a 14-week remodel that gave the home a completely new look.

On the agenda for the exterior was painting the metal siding on the mobile home, building new decking, installing new doors and windows, painting and updating the fencing, and landscaping.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel 0036
New windows and painted siding and skirting.

Can you remember the names of the colors you used on the exterior and interior? 

All Benjamin Moore. The main exterior is Kingport Gray. The exterior trim is Fairview Taupe.

The stain that you used on your patio and steps is a gorgeous color. What brand/color? Any special tips on applying stain?

Benjamin Moore as well. The exterior deck and stain is Natural. The front steps are pressured treated 2×6’s in hemlock and white fir. The boardwalk and deck are douglas fir in 2×6’s all stained with the same stain. I love the color too!!

Tips on staining is to wait till Springtime or late Summer. The wood soaks up the stain.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Before And After Front Steps
New decking, windows, and steps.
1978 Mobile Home Remodel Fence Before And After
New fencing and landscaping.
1978 Mobile Home Rfront Door
New front door.

The exterior of the 1978 mobile home remodel completed:

Mobile Home Lot After

Adding Windows to Take Advantage of the View

If the view from your deck looks like this you probably want to take advantage of it as much as possible. Kathy’s 1978 single wide had an end kitchen but it didn’t take advantage of this view enough. So, Kathy had a few more windows added in the corner of the kitchen.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel View From Deck

The end kitchen had a small window above the sink but as you can see there was plenty of room to add another window.

1978 Mobile Home Exterior Before Remodel

Windows were added on the end wall and the side wall so that the view could be seen from the dining room table.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Exterior Window In Kitchen

The beautiful view from the dining table.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Kitchen Window After

Kitchen Before and After

You painted your kitchen cabinets. Any tips you can give us on how you did it? Any steps you added or special products you used?

It’s actually Bleeker Beige Gloss from Benjamin Moore. The walls in the cabin are Linen White from Benjamin Moore. I think it makes a rich contrast.

Coincidentally, the first thing most people say when they take the tour is that they love the cabinet color.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Kitchen Before
1978 Mobile Home Remodel Kitchen After
1978 Mobile Home Remodel Living Room Before
1978 Mobile Home Remodel Living Room After

Living Room Before and After

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Living Room Wall Before

I understand that your little cabin was not in the best of shape when you bought it, reeking of smoke and dog. How did you go about getting the odors out? Any tips?

Well, I thought I could just paint it all myself but with the 14-week schedule before the cabin warming and it took me two full weekends just to paint the bathroom. I had to kick butt and find a painting company to come in.

We had no furniture so we decided to coat everything, from wall to wall and floors to ceiling.

It really helped a lot to coat the floors. I guess it sealed in the odors? Every once in a while in the hottest of summers I get a whiff of the old aroma but that is why I bought the Bath and Body Works plug-in night lights.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Living Room Wall After

Now that you have finished the majority of your 1978 mobile home remodel and your little cabin is gorgeous, can you tell us what your biggest issues were or what part of the remodel brought on the most stress? 

The biggest issues are clogged drains, many mousey holes, aluminum single paned windows held together by duct tape and luck. There’s also a drooping ceiling from the removal of an old wood stove piping (water had leaked in and caved in joists),

The front door was actually an interior door where a makeshift window was put.

The most stressful issues were trying to get the Little Cabin ready for a cabin warming scheduled 14 wks after purchase. Two days before the cabin warming we were driving the furniture over the pass in a utility trailer with heavy rain. Everything made it with just fine with only minimal water on the chairs (thanks to good tarping whew!).

I noticed your bathroom light is actually attached in the middle of the mirror, which would be a great way to disburse the light in a small room, how did you do that without breaking the mirror?

First of all the mirror frame in the bathroom and living room were found at a consignment shop and just coincidentally fit. (Was it destiny or maybe karma?). The mirror needed a hole drilled into it to fit the outlet.

On the first run, they actually glued the mirror to the wall but then we had an electrical problem and they came over and very carefully pried it off. I do not know how they did it without breaking the mirror but I do know that the electricians came in and ripped apart the wall.

Then the mirror guys came in and we used the molding support to hold the mirror and frame for easy removal in the future.

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Bathroom Before 1

You hand painted your bathroom walls but in the photos, it looks like a rich wallpaper. What colors did you use, how did you get the swirls so perfect?  

I painted the walls with a rusty colored stain to hide tens of drilled holes, dings and scratches. As we mobile home owners know the minute you drill a hole in the wall it puffs out and you nearly have to scrape and sand for hours to get it flat.

Adding new walls was not cost effective! So I pulled out the paint stain and hand applied swirly wigglies.

You live just 25 feet from the beautiful Wenatchee River, does that add to excessive moisture or humidity inside the mobile home? Is there anything special that needs added or done to keep your home from becoming too humid or overly moist?

We live in an arid region. It’s actually desert converted to agriculture because of the water brought into the region. Wentachee is one of the biggest apple producers in the US.

On your blog, you mention that the flooring was a real pain because nothing is ever square in an older mobile home. Any tricks you learned along the way?

Lots of cussing and trial and error!

They do not show how to lay a laminate floor in an un-square home on DIY! The second row was a bit easier and from then on we used blocks and tapped the sections together. What a pain in the ass!

I found the maple laminate at Lumber Liquidators. It was, believe it or not, $.78 a square foot.

We added the underlayment of 1/4″ of foam which added a bit of an insulation factor and cushions the walk across the floors. It has endured fabulously not one problem. Lucky ducks, we are!!

1978 Mobile Home Remodel Guest Bedroom Before

Lastly, what exactly is a dragonfly dilly dinger?

You are so funny!!!! The garden art that has the dragonfly on top!!

(You’ll see the infamous dragonfly dilly dinger on her blog)  

Get more advice and inspiration on Kathy’s blog at mylittlerivercabin.blogspot.com.

As always, thanks for reading Mobile Home Living!

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Crystal Adkins

Hello! I'm Crystal and I created Mobile Home Living® in 2011.I hope Mobile Home Living is an inspiring and informative resource for you. Please consider letting me feature your mobile home remodels, DIY projects, and makeovers. There aren't enough resources for us mobile home owners online and I want to change that! Thank you!

13 thoughts on “This 1978 Mobile Home Remodel is One of Our Favs”

  1. I was wondering is there a kit to build a screen in to my mobile home..I wondered also if anyone had an idea of what the cost would be.

    1. Hi Cee,

      There are kits but unfortunately, I don’t know how to go about finding them. I’ve seen them somewhere but can’t remember where (Costco maybe?). Maybe call your local Lowe’s or Home Depot and see if they have them.

  2. We own a Homette manufactured home that was built in the early 70’s and have no original info or paperwork. We are having electrical problems in 3 of the rooms. The electrician is trying to find the junction box but so far no luck. Wondering if perhaps you might have some thoughts as to where it would be located. It is a single wide home. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Kay,

      I’m a big fan of Homettes. Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about wiring. When we bought 1978 Homette it had already been rewired. If your home was built before 1972/3 it may still have the aluminum wiring and that needs to be replaced completely so the old wiring would be disconnected and new wiring ran. Ours had a new breaker box with wiring going under the home and then up behind the interior walls to the switches and light fixtures. I’ve seen some mobile homes just have wiring ran outside the walls and ceilings with a cover over it – it’s barely noticeable and much cheaper in the long run.

      Apologies. Best of luck!

  3. I have learned a lot about mobile homes since moving into mine 10 years ago. I have learned that you can do just about anything to a mobile home that you can do to a stick built home as long as you make sure that you also reinforce the underneath to sustain the extra weight that you are adding inside. I didn't have a large amount of money to do a full remodel either but I found a company here in CA that specializes in Mobile and Manufactured homes and I had some cabinets just moved around in my kitchen added a dishwasher, cut the wall between the living room and kitchen and have now doubled the size of my kitchen for a reasonable amount of money……

  4. you can also try looking at your Title paper work from when you purchased the home it should state the make, model and year it was built.

  5. Great to hear from you Carla!
    It is a great feeling to plant your roots and the fact that it is
    permanently attached to the land gives you a great resale potential
    (if you ever do decide to sale). I am always looking for pretty homes
    to feature so please send me some photos. I always liked the 80's
    mobile homes, they had great room layouts. Thanks so much for reading
    and commenting!

  6. Ours is an 1980 Skyline. I know because we bought it new. We've moved it 5 times and when we bought our land 10 years ago, my husband sold the axles and said 'this is it. We don't move it again.'

    Great post. Very encouraging!

  7. Wow! Inspiring! I am still in the process of trying to convince my hubby that living in a mobile home is not a bad idea. We're older, closer to retirement than not, and I really don't *want* a mortgage on a $100,000+ home that we would probably die before being able to pay off. I'd rather live simply and have extra money to spend on things like, oh, I dunno – visiting the kids and eventual grandkids? I am so excited to have found this blog, I think it may be just the thing to help me sway him!

  8. There is certainly some hard work and lot's of talent in this remodel. Kathy turned coal into a diamond in less than 14 weeks..lol. The money situation is our problem too. If I had the money to really do what I wanted, I would be living in a mobile home that looks EXACTLY like this one! For now, I'll do one project at a time but that doesn't get to much done..dang economy!

  9. That sure looks nice. Hard to believe it's that old. The one I own (and can't afford to do anything about) is from somewhere in the 1980's and it's a mess. I bought it for the son to live in, but he can't afford enough rent to do more than pay the bills. Nevertheless, I'm interested in what could be done.

  10. Hey Candy, I had been looking for the manufacturer for 16 months!! Just stumbled upon the blog and viola I saw my home (but much much nicer). Kathy is a great person too (just like you!) I think you to would hit it off..leave her a comment and she'll reply, That's how I got a hold of her…I need to pick your brain about Claytons (or have you write something again :-)))))

  11. WoW! Thanks for the resource. I'm going to hop over to her blog and take a look! 🙂 It's good to know the manufacturer and such – I agree. Mine had a tag, and it's on the paperwork, so I lucked out. Before knew its make and model, I knew it was a mid to late 90s Clayton – only because I'm a Clayton fanatic, LOL.

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