The $100 House – Painting Pains (Part 2)

Hey everyone –  I wanted to give you another update on the painting progress of our $100 House.

With almost 1300 square feet inside the $100 house and another 200 square feet on the screen porch all needing a  ton of renovation and in dire need of paint, our adventures in painting continue.  Couple that with needing a solution to hide all the electrical wires after taking down walls in the Great Room and we continue to be faced with a workload that seems to never end!  However, knowing we have to persevere, we push on with sore elbows, knees, and sometimes sheer exhaustion.

It is during these moments, Mr. Mobile Cottage and I have found we simply need to take a break to reflect of how far we have come and perhaps inject a dose of humor into the project such as the picture below.

A little humorous daily reminder Mr. Mobile Cottage wrote to help keep things in perspective!

Late one afternoon after an especially grueling full painting day, Mr. Mobile Cottage used the remaining paint on his brush to sketch out the phrase above on the floor.  Each day thereafter when we would arrive, that small humorous reminder would make be smile and remember to have a little bit of fun each day.

So where are we now in the project?   With the gray/blue color enhancing the top of the walls and a few gallons of white paint on practically everything else, the house is finally not only looking a bit better, but the nicotine smells have dissipated too!

The painting continues, and progress is showing.  Notice that support post in the middle of room?  More about that in another post!

However, there is still so very much to do and our plans to shape this $100 house into a dream lakeside cottage have only just begun.   Can you imagine what we did next?  Stay tuned….many more reveals are coming!






$100 House – Picture Perfect?

Hello all –

I apologize for a long absence but during my time away, there have been many projects completed on the $100 House and another major log cabin “renovation” project which I plan to feature in future posts.  I also noticed a lot of my photos have mysteriously “disappeared” in many of my posts and I plan to diligently repost them as soon as I can, so please check back soon.  In the meantime, I wanted to give you a little sneak peek at what we have accomplished at the $100 house.

Latest Outside Renovation – Cottage Style

New cottage style additions to the outside of the house. So cute!

Notice the outdoor paint colors?  Yes, a total redo outside too!  More inside pictures and tips coming soon!





$100 House – “Charm-ing” Indeed

Hey Everyone – I just wanted to do a quick post on how we added a teeny bit of charm to the kitchen of the $100 house. A lot of people tell me they just don’t know how or what they can do to add charm to their homes. I always tell them the best place to start is with just one item first and then add and layer from that point.  Such as what we did when I just needed something (anything really) to make this overwhelming rehab feel a little bit like a home.

So what did we do?  While I was shopping for yet more needed painting supplies, Mr. Mobile Cottage surprised me when I arrived at the house and had taken scrap wood and built the most adorable, cottagey, vent hood surround on what was a just plain ugly, gold vent hood that still functioned great.

Vent hood area before…the actual vent hood was gold and UGLY!


While this hood surround is not absolutely perfect, it is for me.  If you read my other blogs posts, you know I love the perfect “imperfections” of cottage style.  This particular piece gives the kitchen area a wonderful dose of charm which it was sorely lacking and covers the ugly utilitarian vent hood which still functions beautifully.

The new vent hood surround – absolutely charming!

So if you are thinking you need to add some charm to your own home, why not take a fresh look at what you already have and decide if it could be enhanced or reinvented….you may just be surprised by the results and what could be better than that?

Stay turned…further $100 house stunning reveals are coming soon!



$100 House – Painting “Pains”

Hi guys – So glad to be back to reveal a little more on the $100 house.  In my last post, we were demoing walls, vanities and all other things that could not be salvaged in the house.  We also decided to take off one the 4 doors (yes 4 doors) in the entry area and utilize it elsewhere.  After a good scrub and thorough cleaning of everything in the home, we could FINALLY start to paint all those disgusting surfaces (well sort of).   Due to the amount of nicotine completely covering every nook and cranny, we had no choice but to first use Kilz on everything from ceilings to inside cabinets, not only to prepare the surface for paint but to also fully lock out existing stains and those smoke smells.

Kilz goes on everything

Next, was choosing paint.  We knew we wanted to completely mix it up in this renovation and use a different color paint instead of our usual light yellow (eggnog) color on the walls.  With so many choices out there and after several (or might I say MANY) sample testers, we ended up custom blending a color which sometimes looks more blue, other times more gray (see below).

The new blue/gray color….beautiful!

This new color can work with traditional, cottage, coastal, farmhouse or basically any style home and furnishings and paired with a chair rail and the bottom wall painted a crisp white, it seems to have hit the perfect combination for this home situated on the water.  So what style did we choose in this home?  Stay tuned…we’ve been busy and the reveals are amazing!


$100 House – Demo Day!

Hi all  – YAY!  It’s finally demo day.   Mr. Mobile Cottage and I often get referred to as the “Chip and Joanna Gaines” of mobile home renovations.  If you watch the Fixer Upper show which features the Gaines, you no doubt know that Chip’s favorite part of rehabbing is demo day.  The same holds true for Mr. Mobile Cottage who LOVES to take down walls and all that revolves around demoing a home.

When we first purchased the $100 home, there was a wall and two, very low breakfast bars separating the kitchen area from the living room area.  In addition with was a full wall with hideous glass inserts separating the dining room from the living room.  To put it simply, the living room area which overlooks the lake, was almost closed off to the rest of the home. by these dividing walls.

Breakfast bars on right hand side need to go. Also all debris left by prior owner. What a mess!

So Mr. Mobile Cottage got busy taking down both walls and also both breakfast bars, opening up all spaces to the living room.  Now this newly formed Great Room has waterfront views from all areas.

Dining Room wall (right side) also had to came down.



Walls coming down to expose open floor plan.

In addition to the Great Room we also demoed the master bath vanity (which had seen better years) and also the built-in “hutch” top,.

Another view of open Great Room – look at all those windows with fabulous views – WOW!

Now that demoing is done, we can finally move forward with painting and adding that much-needed charm.  Stay tuned…more reveals coming soon.

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$100 House – Outside Adventures

Hey all – I wanted to give you a little preview of what the outside of the $100 house looked like when we purchased it.  In the picture below you can almost see the house and that was the problem.  Years of neglectful overgrowth had taken their toll; literally swallowing up both the house and screened porch.  In addition, several critters had decided to take up residency in the many trees and bushes along both the house and screened porch, thereby encroaching further into the home itself.

Overgrowth swallowing the house!

Lake side back and porch area

There was no view of the lake from the living room nor the screened porch…only vegetation which was completely shapeless or dead.  And while I didn’t relish looking at the ugly electric meter once the overgrowth was cut down, I was excited to see the spectacular lake view which lay beyond.  And so it began.

The first project we tackled was to cut back and attempt to shape the gorgeous Bougainvillea bush and remove all the grass and weeds that had grown thru and around this beautiful flowering bush.  Once done with that undertaking, we turned our attention to the screened porch  overlooking the lake.

It became imperative to repair all the screens on windows and the screened porch to keep out any additional unwanted pests.  But with some screens missing, bent or simply destroyed due to neglect, this simple project proved to be a lot more challenging to say the least.  But determined, we whipped the screens back into shape and the home was now sealed off to the outside elements.

Next was the task of removing most of the cedar bushes engulfing the home which were now more “trees” than bushes.  Although reluctant to remove or trim these bushes because of their wonderful smell, we knew we had no other choice.  If left as is, they would only intrude more into the porch and cause more damage plus we wanted to fully expose that remarkable lake view.

Front of home with bushes removed….you can see the home now!

Thorny bougainvillea, cedar bushes and some other unidentifiable weeds were taken out or removed permanently.  Weeds were also cut down around the entire perimeter of the home and other dead or withered bushes and trees were dug out or pulled out and everything raked into piles awaiting their final departure from the home.

Lake side with most of the overgrowth removed revealing a stunning lake view.

Now with sore hands, shoulders and arms from the overabundance of vegetative removal, the home itself was finally coming into view.  And charming it was NOT, but we could at least see what we were actually working with.

Stunning lake view now – WOW!

There is still an overwhelming amount of work yet to do on our $100 home, but at least now we can enjoy that fabulous lakefront view from wherever we may be working and what could be better than that!

Stay tuned as renovation of this little gem continues…you won’t believe the results.



$100 House – Week Two

Hi Guys!  I just wanted to give you another update on the $100 house.  As you remember, my first post detailed our week-long adventure of clearing out all furniture and large debris. Once that was done, we next needed to tackle the second, most pressing issue…. the many years of non-cleaning and those smelly odors.

After bug-bombing the home twice (yes, twice) to ensure we had gotten rid of all the “critters” who had taken up residency, we removed all the carpet and other flooring which had seen much better days and threw out everything else in the home with the exception of the little dining table and headboard in the bedroom that would be rescued and used again.  Garbage bag after garbage bag full of everything imaginable (really, things you wouldn’t believe) eventually became a mountain of bags in the driveway even disguising the shed beyond.   But with everything out of the home, we could finally see its potential, but it was going to need a lot of help.

Trash and debris removed

So much debris!


Kitchen as we found it – food and garbage scattered everywhere

Years of cigarette smoke, pet issues and human neglect had put their mark all over the floors, walls, ceilings, cupboards…pretty much every surface of this home.  And even though we are seasoned rehabbers, I must admit the amount of cleanup in this home was overwhelming in its scope.  But again, we were not going to be deterred and pressed on.

Nicotine stained ceiling – stinky and simply awful!

Poised with spray bleach, liquid bleach, really any and every form of bleach, coupled with a ton of elbow grease, the house started to smell and look a little better, but bleach didn’t solve everything.  So what next?  Baking Soda.  Yep, the one basic, cheap miracle product.  Using boxes and boxes of baking soda completely covering the floors and other surfaces, we let this little “do everything” product work its magic.

Baking soda on all floors to absorb odors…a miracle product indeed!

The secret to using baking soda is to let it set for day(s) until it turns into a very fine powder and then vacuum it away.  Just like it absorbs odors in your frig, it will absorb odors resulting from pets or spills on floors or other surfaces.  Unfortunately for us, however, this process needed to be repeated several times to fully get rid of the neglect thrust upon the floors over the years.

Once we had a handle on the floors, it was time to start on the next pressing project.  What was that?  A little hint……it has nothing to do with inside the home.  More to come soon!