Sometimes Size Does Matter

I’d like to rearrange my room.  It’s not really working well for me – the bed blocks access to the closet and dresser so I end up piling clothes on my chair and desk.  But after spending some time with a tape measure and graph paper I’ve come to the same conclusion I had when I arranged the room in the first place.  The only way to rearrange (short of hanging a hammock from the ceiling and frankly, judging from the experience I’ve had hanging things on the walls, I’m not sure the ceiling wouldn’t collapse) is to knock out a wall!

Which got me thinking – is it possible to add on to a mobile home?  So I did some research and the answer is theoretically yes.  The internet (love being online again) is full of articles, plans and photos like the one below that make it seem (relatively) easy and I do have two ‘free’ months in the summer.  AdditBook1Then again I wasn’t even able to get our front porch rebuilt and I’m notoriously incapable of even hanging a picture straight.  Building is not my forte and although I’ve been known to attempt to do things I’m not qualified to do I try to limit my disasters to those of small to medium sized proportions.

In addition to lack of skill and know-how our current home is not exactly level. Our erstwhile contractor/con-men left it so skewed that interior doors would slam shut unless propped open by a door stop and while our relative did his best to fix the faults he lacked the proper equipment and while the house ended up being more level it also is just a bit torqued.  And that was before it sort of settled into the ground. So now cracks are developing (have I mentioned before the incredibly cheap material these places are constructed from?).wall crackOn the other hand, in my fantasy home addition this is the wall that would get knocked out 🙂  If I could I’d like to add a 8-foot (or so) addition running lengthwise along the entire back of the house which would make my and my youngest daughter’s small rooms long and skinny, enlarge the living room to the point that we could curtain off a section for my son to give him more privacy (we can’t add another bedroom as our septic system is only permitted for three bedrooms – oddly it doesn’t matter how many people or bathrooms you have, just bedrooms), create a dining area and a mudroom/laundry room.  My older girls have the master bedroom and the oldest is headed to college this summer so I don’t see the need to enlarge their room.

Although there are organizations that sell pre-fab add ons such as and Aluminum Fabricators, most don’t serve our area or they just offer single room additions. I suspect we would have to find a local contractor to build the addition I have in mind.  I haven’t even begun to estimate the cost but I suspect it would be substantial.

But this is all wishful thinking at this point.  On my salary it’s not possible to save much, if any, money and in addition to ongoing problems with our water system, the latest being a cracked water pump and an inexplicably empty cistern (another crack?) that has left us without water for the past week, we have other basic needs like gravel for our mud driveway that are more pressing than extending our house.  Still it would be nice to be less cramped, have more storage and comfortable spaces, so I will continue to dream and doodle floor plans!



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10 Responses to Sometimes Size Does Matter

  1. DeeDee says:

    It made me smile, a little, to remember the tiny space you were struggling with two years ago! Hubby and I share a pretty tiny space (originally so Babygirl’s dialysis equipment would all fit in the bigger room) and we’ve adapted. But every once in a while the walls close in and I just wish there was some OTHER way to turn the bed….


  2. Because of the lack of space, I have a daybed to sleep on. The only place for a bed to go was along a wall, so I opted for the daybed. Adults can sleep comfortably. There is just me.

    With a girl soon gone, you could save money by utilizing space you have. Here in the South, there are many homes with mobile home inside.

    I don’t know what you have now, but a sloped roof over the flat mobile roof might be a better use of your money right now.

  3. Rachael Macry says:

    You can definitely build on to a mobile home. There are different ways to go about it, I’ve seen rooms built alongside, and lined up with existing doorways. A friend ws brave enough to cut out part of the wall and built the main section outwards. That’s a lot trickier I think.. My first home, I lovingly referred to as a ‘shack on wheels’. Ahem. So I feel you!

    Just want to mention, one thing with mobile homes is they need to be releveled reguarly. How regularly depends on your soil and other conditions, but every 3-5 years is a good bet. Ground always shifts, things move about. It is normal maintanance to relevel mobile homes periodically.

    AND….. fixing level on a mobile home is 10,000 times easier and cheaper than with a built home. Don’t ask me how I know.. you do not want to know…

  4. Jill says:

    Wrt the need for gravel, municipalities sometimes sell gravel by the dump truck load as ‘street tailings’, collected from the street sweeper. In our town, $20/load. Might be worth checking…

  5. Lisa M. says:

    What about making your bed a murphy bed? A la this: This cost is $289, and I haven’t researched others, nor what the strength of the wall would have to be, the wall that you fold the bed up against. But that has to be cheaper than building an extension…. Maybe also a Murphy bed for the youngest girl?

    • boxcarkids says:

      Given that the bookshelf I put up fell down taking part of the wall with it I don’t think a Murphy bed will work! The walls are just dry board/wall board,very flimsy.

  6. Lynn says:

    i know firsthand that you can add onto a single wide mobile home. The first house we bought was exactly that. The eccentric fellow who had owned it added on here and there The neighbors told me the “house” had been a trailer, “and we think it’s still in there somewhere”. I did not believe it till we cut into a wall to add a fireplace, and inside the wall was the exterior wall of the trailer, porch light still hanging. Good luck. I am sure it will seem spacious after one person goes off to college.

  7. Maryl says:

    If your daughter leaves for college, can the daughter who has her own room share with #2, thus allowing your son to have a room of his own? Doesn’t really help you with your plight, but would give you more free space in the main part of the house. Is there a local agency like Hammer and Nails who give assistance to homeowners? I think an addition is a project way beyond ordinary skills.

    • Denise says:

      Or, give the daughter in the master (who is still home) your current room and YOU take the master. I don’t think you should be thinking about adding on just yet but it sounds like you could rearrange and make better use of the space.

    • boxcarkids says:

      My daughter will be going to the local university so we expect her home frequently. Her scholarship pays for on campus housing the first year but doesn’t guarantee housing money the following years so she could live at home if necessary. And the younger two really do not mesh well as possible roommates!

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