Trailerhood Curb Appeal

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I'm still working hard on fixing up my trailer in order to get some serious "detrashing" done. We've really made some progress so far. If you're just joining our mission check out where we started by going herehere, and here. The overall mission is to embrace the trailer. Can I get some "whooosaaahhhs?" 

Anyways! One of the biggest things that makes a trailerhood a trailer park is the fact that traditionally the exterior care of a home is lacking. Like severely. So that's what we've been working on here.

Every year I set aside about $50.00 to spend on flowers (no more than that because annuals die.) But check out the difference some well placed potted plants make when you're walking up the front steps. I bought all of my plants at a local nursery called Bookcliff Gardens. Those are sweet potato vines and spreading petunias. I think. I am not a flower expert. They were pretty. 

Last time I talked about taking the time to repaint your porch and anything else. Check it out. No peeling paint. Makes a difference. Want to see the before again? Look in the bottom left hand corner...

And now:

Totally better!

Another way to help keep your trailer (or any home really) looking sparkly is to maintain flower beds. Don't let the weeds take over and make things all nasty. Also, ignore all the hoses, I don't have a sprinkler system, too much concrete separating each of the sections of grass. Not worth it. Another thing to do is to change out the mulch once it starts looking nasty. Too expensive you say? Well at Lowe's we tend to have it on sale 4 bags for $10. That's like $3.00 a bag. It's cheap.

Keep your outdoor furniture maintained. For me that means making sure the furniture on my front porch are spray painted thoroughly every couple of years (didn't have to this year, thank all things happy) and my bench outside. This year it needed a lot of work because most of the paint was peeling. But now it looks fresh and pretty!

Maintain your hedges and keep weeds from growing up along the chain link fences that are notorious in trailer parks. Don't have a weed eater or lawn mower? Believe me there is probably a nice elderly couple who is upset about how your yard looks that would let you use theirs, or heck even do it for you. Make friends.

If you have to store stuff outside put it in cute and clever storage containers. Don't pile your garbage outside, interior furniture should stay in the interior, no one wants to see that ugly couch outside.

Feel free to add any other tips or comments about lawn maintenance. What tricks have you learned during your home-ownership adventures that may help us out?

DeTrashing the Trailerhood: Strip it Down

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Part of de-trashing the trailerhood is focusing on keeping the exterior looking good. Let's face it, whether it's a stick built home, brick house, or mansion; peeling paint, destroyed furniture, and garbage never look good. At all. 

So keep it clean. That means more then just putting the trash in the can, though that is certainly a great step.

Here's what my front porch looks like all kinds of naked:

A few things that I need to do out here:
  • sweep off the carpeted part of the porch (though that carpet needs to be replaced badly)
  • wash off the patio furniture
  • get the cobwebs out from around the door and by the rafters
  • clean the deck 
  • scrap the peeling paint and repair (a Realtor told me that peeling paint ANYWHERE hinders your appraisal value)

Check out how dirty this is. Gross.

I just used soap and an old rag to scrub down the porch prior to painting, since paint and dirt never stick well together. Here's an example of where the porch is peeling paint:

I have had this same gallon of exterior white paint since the first year I lived in this house. It cost me $15.00 and I use a little bit of it every year repairing the damage from the winter season. I can't stress how important it is to do this type of maintenance every year. It adds value to the property of course, but it also makes you feel more invested.

It rained when I was trying to do my "after" pictures. I'm talking rolling thunder that shook the house rain (thankfully my paint was totally dry) so I'll be back soon with those also! But it is looking way better then it was!

Feel free to comment with any other tips and tricks you may have for de-trashing a trailerhood!

Oh, and just a side note update. The reason that this post was so late was because I lost out on another teaching job and was super duper sad about it. (I'm talking 6 pack and cookies while watching movies sad.) I've interviewed for three different teaching positions and haven't gotten any of them. :(  The secondary English market is pretty competitive where I am at, so I appreciate any prayers, finger crossing, rain dancing, etc. that something might open up for me here soon. It also means I may not get to have an office because subbing isn't enough to live on. 

De-Trash Your Trailerhood: Manage It.

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Here is the first phase of our mission to start de-trashing the trailerhood, or rather, my trailerhood but these are applicable anywhere I'd say. Keep in mind that as we do this some of our steps may get out of order depending on what we are working on.

When I first moved into my trailer it looked straight up trailerhood (for the duration I will be saying "hood" but I mean that in terms of a trailer park/manufactured home community).

Here's a little reminder:

I don't have very many original pictures since it was not my original plan to start a blog. I know. That was dumb. I'm kicking myself for it now. But you can sort of see that the wood is rotting in places, the stairs are weird, there was rotting lattice attached to the porch and some of the flashing was gone from the roof overhang.

Here's what it looks like presently:

You can see even in this picture that the grass is over grown, the rails are filthy, and my aspen tree is totally dead.

Even this big mulberry bush is trying to escape from the picture.

Porch is cluttered with planting materials and is very, very dirty.

This side wasn't so bad even though all the paint was peeling off my bench and it was looking a little wonky.

Loads of cobwebs all around the front entry is also not very inviting. It works out okay on Halloween though!

The main point of showing these somewhat embarrassing photos of my house is that maintaining your exterior is crucial! It not only adds value to your home but also increases the curb appeal, and allows you to identify potential issues early on rather than waiting for it to totally fall apart. 

So for a total investment of $0.00 dollars we are going to start our detrashing by cleaning up the outside of the house considering that is the first thing people see when they drive by, and often the only thing.

To-do list:

  • Mow the lawn
  • Pull weeds that are mega tall.
  • Fill containers with pretty flowers
  • Repaint the peeling paint on the deck.
  • Clean off the cobwebs 
  • Replace the icky light
  • Repaint the bench and clean furniture.
Keep in mind that water is (nearly) free, you can get a decent broom at the dollar store, and if you have to buy paint you can get it for only $15 dollars at Lowe's or even WalMart.

Check back on Friday and I'll show you the steps I've taken so far!

Summer Series: De-Trashing the Trailerhood

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One of the hardest parts about owning the home I do is the fact that it is a trailer. I try to make it pretty by calling it a manufactured home but the truth is... it is still a trailer and I live in a trailer park community for all intents and purposes (though technically it actually is a neighborhood because you have to purchase land where I'm at.) I hate that. I feel as though people judge me before they pull up to my house.

They imagine this:

Well I can't change the fact that it's a trailer, and the way the market is right now, we're not moving. So we are going to de-trash the trailerhood for the rest of this summer!

The goal of this series is to change people's minds about trailers and change my attitude about it as well.

I've outlined five major steps to help out this process:

1. Manage It.

2. Clean it Up.

3. Wear it Well.

4. Give Me Attitude.

5. Keep it Up.

The goal? Have the nicest trailer in the hood, and maybe encourage my neighbors to do the same!

If you would help me out, please comment with a notion or thought that you have about trailers and people that live in them. It will help me a lot! (And don't worry I'm a high school teacher, tough skin yo.)