Dream House 2010 ….. HGTV Are You Listening?

Now I like my house a lot. Its a 1983 double wide manufactured home with a lot of nice touches. But its not perfect and there’s things I’d love to change, mostly on the inside.

Outside Issues:

1) I’d love to enclose my side deck so I could let the cats go outside without them making a run for the border (my park manager traps cats and takes them to the Humane Society animal shelter). I’d also love having some outdoor living space for myself.

2) I’d love to finally install the motion lights I bought 2 years ago. I live alone, my sleep patterns are quite weird, the back porch light seems to have a ghost in it, and a bit more outdoor lighting would make me feel safer.

3) I’d like to replace the light bulbs on the back porch and side porch.

4) I’d love to have the whole place weatherized. I can feel cold air coming in around both the back and front doors.

Last December we had a bad cold snap, temperatures were around 15 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and close to or below zero at night.

I was trying to heat with wood while working full-time plus (42 hours) at my ‘part-time seasonal’ job. I live alone and training the cats to feed the woodstove was similar to teaching a pig to sing: it annoyed the cats (pig) and wasted my time.

One morning I got out of bed and the bottom of the blinds in the living room were actually frozen to the windowsill (yes, INSIDE the house) and there was heavy frost –if not actual ice– on the inside of the sliding glass door. I gave up and turned on the furnace shortly thereafter

Functionality Issues: Bathroom

1) I’d love to have working toilets.

1a) The one in the second bathroom flushes when I take the lid off the tank and pull something (don’t ask me what). The piece of plastic that connected the handle to the valve broke last October, just about the time I ran out of money.

1b) It’s a crap shoot (literally) as to whether or not the toilet in the master bathroom will flush at all. I’ve been told that probably all it needs is a new flapper, but again money is an issue.

2) A toilet seat on the toilet in the master bathroom would be a great addition, especially in the middle of winter in the middle of the night. Sitting on cold porcelain in a cold bathroom at 3 a.m. isn’t my idea of fun.

3) The motor for the fan in the master bathroom apparently burned out, anyway it stopped working several months ago. So I keep the bathroom door open when showering. If it ever warms up I’ll have the small window in the master bathroom open too which will help with the evaporation issues. It would still be nice to get that fan fixed.

4) I’d love to have either a small clawfoot bathtub or a functional shower stall in the second bathroom. What is in there now is your typical mobile home bathtub, and two women have gotten stuck in said bathtub already. There’s always a question in my mind on the rare occasions that I use this bathtub if I’m going to be the third person getting stuck in it–and there’s nobody here to get me out except two cats.

5) I can’t use the hot water faucet in the second bathroom because if I do it drips for days. The sound of dripping water drives me out of my mind, but washing my hands in cold water all the time gets real old real fast. I would love to replace this sink, faucets and all, mostly because of the hot water issue but also because the drain plug is one of those dumb little pointy things typically found in a mobile home–which means don’t bother soaking anything in that sink because the water will all drain out within 1/2 an hour

6) A working stopper for that stupid small typical mobile home bathtub would be nice for the rare times it gets used as anything other than a very large clothes hamper.

Functionality Issues: Kitchen

1) The kitchen sink has a slow leak. There’s been a bucket in the cupboard under it for months. I would love to get that fixed, or maybe even replace the sink, faucets and all.

Functionality Issues: Windows and Doors

1) I’d love to replace the blinds on all the windows except those in the dining room (they were replaced in 2008). One of the blinds in the living room has already fallen down, and I’m very gentle with the other two blinds for fear that they miss their fallen buddy and want to join him on the living room floor.

2) I’d also like to replace all the screens on all the windows (a total of 10 not counting the small window in the office) plus the screen on the sliding glass door. Most of the screens have either been pushed out by the cats or are just suffering the ravages of age. The cats have their evil eyes on the screen door leading out to the porch too, and its seen better days anyway.

3) I’d like to replace both screen doors, front and back. The back screen door rarely connects to its hydraulics anymore, and the front screen door ……. if my cats were really determined they probably could take it down.

4) I’d like to replace the deadbolt on the front door. I’ve never been able to get it to work properly.

5) I’d like some custom-made curtains for four windows. The one in the office and the one in the kitchen currently have roll up blinds, not quite the look I want. The one in the master bathroom has no curtain at all other than a poofy little valance. I ain’t the poofy little valance type!! And last but not least the window in the back door, I sometimes get dressed in the utility room and this window looks out on my back porch.

Flooring Issues:

1) I want to replace all the carpeting. The carpeting I have now is probably original to the place, which means it is 27 years old. The color is okay, kind of a caramel brown but its obviously old and obviously worn in some places, mostly near the sliding glass door. I’m also thinking that replacing the carpeting would probably get rid of the lingering cat smell in the master bedroom (from their hide from the evil staff, spray each other, don’t use the litterbox days).

2) I’d also like to replace the linoleum in the second bathroom, kitchen, foyer, and utility room. Again, its probably original to the place and it’s definitely showing signs of wear. The kitchen floor in particular has chips, dings, etc.

Lighting Issues:

1) There isn’t enough and its nearly all from lamps.

1a) There is 1 overhead fixture in the office area, 1 overhead fixture in the walk-in closet, 2 overhead fixtures in the kitchen, 1 overhead fixture in the utility room, 1 overhead fixture in the small second bathroom (bare bulbs, the roofer busted the fixture nearly 2 years ago), a ceiling fan with an inadequate light fixture in the dining room, and an over-sink fixture with several bulbs in the master bathroom. There are no overhead fixtures at all in the master bedroom, the second bedroom, or the living room.

2) In the second bedroom where I keep my *main* computer I have 5 lamps. Lighting in this room –even with the blinds up on a sunny day– is so bad that I have to have all 5 lamps on day or night. We are talking 2 torchieres (single bulbs), 2 floor lamps (3 bulbs each), and 1 table lamp with one main bulb and 3 smaller bulbs.

3) In the living room there are 5 lamps (1 torchiere, 3 table, 1 floor) only 2 of which provide significant light. And because of my *fallen blind* problem I try not to turn on the lights in the living room anyway, as the next door neighbors complained that my lights shine in their bedroom window.

4) In the master bedroom there is one torchiere, one working table lamp, and one non-working table lamp.

Now for the real dream part…..I have champagne tastes on a (tap) water budget.

I would love to replace all of my countertops in the kitchen with DuPont Corian.

I would love to replace all the blinds mentioned before with Levelor.

I would love Pergo laminate flooring for the living room and dining room.

Some Tiffany (or at least Tiffany look) lamps would be great too.

I would dearly love to replace my old ceiling fan in the dining room with a Hunter-Douglas ceiling fan.

And did I mention that huge crush I have on Mike Holmes? I am totally besotted with Mike Holmes and my day, my week, my month, MY LIFE would be made if HE was the contractor on MY dream house.

The designer would have to be Candace Olson (bring Chico along please for the lighting issues).

And since I’m a slob Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie from BBC America’s show “How Clean is Your House” need to come visit me after all the changes have been made and show me how to keep it clean.

Yeah, I know its a tall order. But dreams sometimes come true, and who’s to say that this one can’t come true?

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