If you live in a single wide mobile home like me, you’re always looking for ways to make old mobile home remodels look more modern and up to date. The great thing about this is that you wouldn’t have to do all the updates that architect Michael Hughes did, you could simply choose one or two of the ideas and run with it. That’s gonna be my plan anyway.
Trailer Wrap Project
“Mobile homes came into being as a low-cost housing solution, serving that niche in between an apartment or condo and a standard suburban home,” says Hughes in his interview with Elle Decor. “Their typical design, however, has been fundamentally flawed, with structural and spatial issues.” He is an architectural professor and was donated the original 1960’s mobile home. The home was gutted down to the chassis. From there, he and his students designed and built the concept home with donated materials and $36,000 in grants.
The original home was a mere 489 square foot, he was able to add to that by building a covered front deck. “We oriented the interiors toward this outdoor living room, which has a covered roof and feels like part of the house,” says Hughes. “In a small space, if you can increase your view and access to the outdoors, your place feels larger.” They also used a substantial system of concrete tie-downs to tether the unit to the site and withstand high winds. They added cross-bracing and metal columns for further support, which allowed them to extend steel tubing beyond the original frame to create thicker, insulated walls and gain a few more feet of living space. It is still movable. It has all the comforts of any other home, mobile or not and it is very easy on the eyes.
An Easier Fix
That’s all fine and dandy if you have a team of teens and a lot of money but for those who don’t (me) what can we do to our homes to make it look like this? A panel of say 10 ft by 10 ft made of 1×2’s layered over our siding would be the first thing I would do to mimic the look. I wouldn’t cover the whole trailer, only every other section of 10′. Then I would build a deck with the roof and sides to look just like the above one. The roof could be extended and given height on one side if you have a good sized bank account. Adding lots of windows, especially up high and over the original windows would give your home a modern look as well.
The green concept is popular because it reduces material consumption by reusing what is around. The architect used redwood from a resale store and scrap veneer plywood. Go to your local lumber supplier and see whats cheap and make it work!
*The photos and quotes are found on several different sites. As stated above Elle Decor has the best article about the TrailerWrap Project just click on the link above to get there.
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