Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shouse vs Mobile Home

Ok, I have a need for some advice, dear reader. Perhaps ya'll can help me make up my mind. On my property is an old mobile home. I don't know what year, but I am guessing it was built in the late 1980's to mid 1990's based on its style from the outside. I have not seen this in person, but my friend has and she said it "needs work." There is some water damage to one wall, the roof on one end needs fixed, and the siding needs repaired. The floors are mostly solid though, which is good.

Now, up until now I hadn't really given this old building too much thought simply because I didn't believe it to be inhabitable. However, upon further reflection it would appear that there is potential to this building. This building, if redone would be a cross between my first ideas for a tiny house of a house on wheels, since it can be moved if I choose, and a Shouse, because I can gut it to its bones and have a shell to work with. Let's consider the pros and cons of this building.

  • The building is 14' x 75', which is double the size of the largest shed building I can afford. 1050 sq. ft.
  • It is a three bedroom, two bath model. I could make it into a 2 bedroom model with one large bath  and use the additional floor space for a rocking pantry and storage room as well as a laundry room.
  • Parts such as doors and cabinets may be re-purposed.
  • It is a greener option since I will not be sending it to a landfill as originally planned.
  • The chassis is metal. 
  • The chassis is mounted off the ground far enough to avoid water in a flood and critters who slither. 
  • It can be considered "real estate" if it is redone and placed on a foundation.
  • It is already there and free, as it came with the land.
  • It is a mobile home that has been neglected.
  • I will have to gut it myself. Hello respirator.
  • Wiring will need to be redone ($700)
  • Plumbing will need to be redone ($500)
  • Kitchen will need to be redone. ($2000)
  • Insulation will need to be redone. ($800)
  • Roof will need to be redone. ($2000)
  • Exterior will have to be redone. ($1200)
  • Interior walls need to be redone. ($800)
  • Basically, I will have to strip the entire thing down to the frame and build back out. 
The cost analysis is the real kicker for me. This building is free. The Shouse building would push close to $9000 and that is prior to any improvements. I am wondering if it would be wiser to use that $9000 to build up my own Shouse-Mobile. I would still have had to spend another $5000 for the Shedroom (master bedroom) with my original plan. I have "guestimated" the costs to redo this building on my own and I am still coming in under the mark by about $2000, which I am sure will be sucked up by incidentals. This is quite a bit of savings overall which will allow me to install a central heat and air unit should I so choose. In my minds eye I can see this old mobile made-over and all finished, covered in log cabin siding,  a corrugated and pitched metal roof installed, a custom kitchen to my own design, the wood floors and walls as I planned, etc. The size is more than enough to have the office/guestroom I planned to build later, plus I would have lots of space to "put by." Although I would still be spending the money, I would end up with a Shouse that is larger and can increase the value of my land as it is considered real estate whereas the Shouse would be just a portable building no matter what.

I know this building would add to my workload since I would have to gut it in addition to all the other work I already had planned, but it has already wired for electricity and plumbed, which I could use as a guide as I go along. I could essentially run the new systems parallel to the old for direction and remove the old when finished before closing up the floor or wall. Eventually, when it is finished, I could hire a moving company to haul it up to the part of my property where I envisioned my house being and have a great, custom home.

I don't want to abandon my Shouse plan, but I think I would be a fool not to recognize that I can use my initial capital in a much more effective manor if I don't have to pay for the Shouse building itself.

What do you think, dear reader? What would you do?

1 comment:

  1. It's a challenge! I've never known you to back down from one yet though. I like the idea. Repurposing in a nut shell. It's already on the land. Someone loved it very much at one time. I say go for it! You planned out the Shouse in complete detail. You have a back up plan. Take ANOTHER risk and jump in with both feet. That's what living is all about.
    I feel some very nice energy from the video. Not much to heal :) You're needed!