Sunday, July 23, 2006
What Curb Appeal?
These are pictures of our 1973 Glendale "Glendette" trailer the day we first looked at it.
It was dirty, the ceiling leaked, it had several dead appliances and the upholstery had a
charming fragrance called "the grandkids slept here before they were potty-trained".
BUT, an intense professional inspection showed that it was sturdy and servicable, assuming that we were willing to put $2000- $3000 and a great deal of work into it. The floor plan was the one we wanted, the interior walls were real wood, and it had all kinds of possibilities.
We didn't want a new trailer. The decor in them does not suit our tastes, and we wanted to be able to customize the interior to meet our needs without having to worry about resale value. Let's face it, anything we did to this one would enhance its value, unless we lit a fire under it.
First things first. We had wiring work done, had the roof resealed, installed a new water heater, had the old non-functional fridge and propane lighting torn out, and had new brakes installed. This took the dealer six weeks.
Once it was in our hands we began the tear down. The ceiling was damaged in one corner, so after making certain there were no ceiling leaks left we tore the ceiling panel and old insulation out in that area. We reinsulated and sealed it, and replaced the ceiling panel. We couldn't get a panel which matched the original so opted to recover the entire ceiling with a textured wallpaper. We tore off all the cheesy half-inch wide moldings from every interior door and drawer. Badly fitted to begin with, they were an eyesore. Have to replace about half the cupboard doors.
We also took off the old cabinet hardware, much of which was hanging loose. We removed the fold-down bunks in the back (bedroom area, leaving an 8" deep shelf above each of the bed/couches. We will put another shelf in each of these to hold books, DVDs, CDs and small baskets. We ripped up the dark green carpet. We removed the mirrors. Took down the dark green curtains. Took out and tossed the smelly foam cushions. Removed the fold-down table from the bedroom area. Took down the rusted range hood, light fixtures, and furnace door. Took rust off of same and sprayed them with "brushed steel" paint.
Then began the agony of priming and painting. The interior is real wood paneling. I HATE wood paneling. It was dark and despondant looking. Paint to the rescue - oh, stop your whining about preserving the original character of the trailer. An Airstream this isn't. It's just plain ugly old unvarnished dirty wood panels. Spar varnish on it would make it look like a dirty epoxy coffin.
It drank primer like a camel drinks water after a month in the desert. It's taken two weeks and five coats to get the walls done, and I'm still not done with the bathroom, which has Rorschach-style ink blob vinyl wallpaper. My personal philosophy is that you shouldn't need psychoanalysis after using the bathroom. But then, that's just me.
The colors are chosen, the fabrics are bought. More on that next time.