Trailer Trashtastic

on a mission to live in & love our mobile home

Home Invasion

with 37 comments

Let me begin by apologizing for being the worst Trailer Trashtastic blogger ever.


I do spend most of my time at Sugar Dish Me, so those of you that follow me there know that I’m not really missing. It’s just that I cook EVERY DAY, so taking a little extra time to photograph my efforts isn’t a big stretch, and there certainly isn’t any financial commitment beyond my usual grocery budget. I’m pretty proficient at doing things in a budget-friendly way, and while I would love to spend every bit of spare cash on home improvements and furnishings, mostly I just can’t really justify it.

Anyway… let’s talk about what prompted me to be here today instead of my usual Sugar Dish stomping grounds:

My home is in limbo (you know, the place Dante writes about that exists between Heaven and Hell when you just don’t know what to do or where to go? We are THERE.). It is not a happy place right now. We have been invaded.

It all started when I pulled up the rugs in the master bathroom for their weekly run through the wash. We have a really big bathroom (I mean disproportionately big… it’s almost as big as the master bedroom; I’d throw out measurements for you but math is not really my strong suit), complete with a pretty garden tub, flowy curtains, double sinks and a separate stall shower. There is a skylight that lets in lots of natural light. Our bathroom is generally a very happy bright place to be. Also – NO LITTLE BOYS ALLOWED.

So I pull up the rugs and start scrubbing the floors. Chad comes home for lunch and notices that against the bare floor the toilet looks sort of crooked. He messed around, pulled up a floor tile, and poked around for the source, but everything looked okay. Definitely crooked, though. When I returned to my bathroom scrubbing chores I noticed some light water marks at the bottom of the baseboards behind the toilet. Uh-oh.

It was a day or two before we had a few minutes to run over and inform our landlords of the issue. Some background on the couple we rent from: a very super nice retired couple that love to share fresh veggies from their garden. We are really very fortunate; I’ve rented from some real lame-o’s. These people are like hitting the landlord jackpot. BUT! They like to talk. So if we walk over the road to tell them anything, or even just to pay the rent, we can plan on being there for awhile. Sometimes it just doesn’t fit into our schedules.

By the time we went to let them know that the toilet is crooked and we suspect water damage from some of these crazy storms, the toilet was noticeably more crooked. That was Friday.

I took this picture on Monday morning before the work started. Even. More. Crooked.

So our very nice landlord/handyman wanted to do the work himself. Cheaper and faster, right? On Monday he got the ball rolling and took everything apart. He measured, made a list of materials, and got a good sense of what needed to be done. Basically there is a leak in the skylight or something that is routing water down the back of the house. The wall has water damage and it is now attacking the floor.

trailer bathroom remodel
When he finished working at 3 pm Monday this is what it looked like. At a glance, not too bad.

Tuesday morning arrived, and with it my early morning workout. Workout = Shower. The construction disaster should technically only affect one half of the bathroom. It’s a big enough space that I should have a clear path from the door to the shower. This half of the bath also includes access to the sinks and countertops.


Important stuff like 42 bottles of lotion. And make-up. Jewlery. Face wash. Deodorant. Tweezers. THE MIRROR. My toothbrush and dental floss!!!!!! On my way to the shower I discovered that all of my clean towels have been thrown in one of the sinks and there is the great big mirror that’s been removed from the wall, moulding and all, just sort of leaning all heavy and dirty on top of them. The candles that usually rest on the tub are lolling on the counter waxing up bobby pins and a stray necklace. The bathmats that I washed, dried, and carefully laid over the side of the tub (remember the rugs that got this whole ball rolling? Yeah. Those rugs.) have dirty boards leaning on them. The lid to the toilet is in what was my sparkly clean bathtub. Also there is some unidentified dirt in there. Tuesday morning on the way to the shower I started freaking out.

mobile home bathroom remodel
Another thing about Tuesday:

At the end of Tuesday everything looked exactly like it did at the end of Monday. Rain was in the forecast, and even though it never rained and was 86 degrees and sunshiney bright, Tuesday must have been like the bathroom re-do Sabbath. Time to think and reflect maybe?

While we were sleeping Tuesday night/Wednesday morningΒ it rained. A LOT. So at 4 am I woke up to a really cool watery dripping sound . That’s because it was raining in my bathroom.

mobile home water damage
I don’t know how much you can decipher from this, but the material you see with the horizontal slatted appearance is THE SIDING. That little bit of vinyl is all that exists between us and the outside world. The soaking wet board and insulation still hanging out in the middle of the wall are confusing for me…

water damaged mobile home sub-floor
My favorite part of Wednesday morning was this rained-on rotted sub-floor grossness.

After this I became afraid to enter the bathroom at all. Also I have been air-conditioning the backyard since noon on Monday… because I have room for that in my budget. I have become very worried about my washcloths, hand towels and PRODUCTS. How do you disinfect Argan hair oil?

By 8 am this morning I’d passed the point of no freak-out return. I called my best friend. She talked me down. Sort of.

Work began about 9:30 am (after the Tuesday hiatus… P.S. this morning it was actually rainy). The siding came off, the rest of the wall came down, and I resorted to frantically typing this post because I need to vent. FORREAL.

I can’t cook, can’t bake, can’t think with all the banging. I am terrified that we will be taken over by spiders since we have no wall. I think I may have to sell my soul to the power company at the end of all this.

When work stopped for lunch I poked my head in the bathroom. I have a blue tarp for a wall and why yes, that IS my back yard you see there!

I don’t know how many more days this will go on, but I do know that I am a girl and I need my bathroom. I really wish someone would have asked me where I would like my clean towels? Or told me that I should just go ahead and rescue all bath products before the work started. Or let me know that I’d have no wall…

Do you have any crazy remodeling experiences? Tips for how to survive this?


Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

July 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm

37 Responses

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  1. Ugh, this is so awful! I’m so sorry! What a headache!


    July 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    • I know. Now there is a piece of drywall running the length of the bathroom counter… I can’t get to my eyeliner!!! Eeek!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  2. Yep, sounds like a male landlord who is clueless to how upsetting it would be to have all of your products and clean towels ruined. Sorry it is happening to you, just keep telling yourself “and this too shall pass.”


    July 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm

  3. Typical landlord. Maybe you can start hinting at how HE CAN’T FIX THIS PROPERLY on his own. He is literally wasting time and money by not just hiring someone qualified. As a landlord, I had a list of guys who would work on the house for me. I did replace the garbage disposal myself, but left the major construction to the pros. It hurt writing the checks, but I never regretted it later. Angie’s List time! As for your frustration, you should tell him just what you told us: a) I can’t afford the electric bill caused by my house being open to the elements in this heat, and b) I need use of my bathroom or reduced rent for the time it is not functional. And get all your stuff out of there now and stack it in your bedroom after cleaning it – again! I feel for ya girl! P.S. I’m still moving – 11 days now!


    July 12, 2012 at 2:19 am

    • He actually can fix it… he lives just across the road and has a lovely house that I think he had a pretty good hand in building. And if he couldn’t fix it Chad could (he’s a metal worker now but he’s always worked construction; everything from building swimming pools to laying brick… I have yet to find anything he can’t fix PROPERLY). But Chad works till 5 and he worked all weekend. I’m having trouble with the pace. I can’t handle all the moseying around. No work on Tuesday got to me and then I never expected the construction mess to wander all over my personal belongings. Major stress for me. I can’t get to my make-up!!! I so worried about the power bill though. Yesterday it was only 70 degrees which helped, but the unit is still trying to de-humidify the house, you know? 11 days of moving is crazy.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

  4. Nighmarish….he should have just put Chad on the job….can’t talk sense into some people. He should know how capable Chad is…plus he can lift anything! Hopefully, this will be fixed, and you will be back to your glistening clean bathroom again!

    Peggy Campbell

    July 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm

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  6. A couple years back my bro-in-law, and a friend were rebuilding the ceiling in my bedroom; I came home from work to find one entire bedroom wall gone! Evidently they found that the water damage to the ceiling extended to the wall, but I wasn’t expecting it. Fortunately they work hard & fast, so it was all done by nightfall, but it was quite a shock.

    Jenn Roy Sharkey

    July 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    • Missing walls is always shocking. We had a wall by the time they left yesterday evening, but I have still declared the bathroom a disaster area.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

  7. Hopefully by now you have eaten the chocolate and are on your way to get more.
    What a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!


    July 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

  8. This is soooooo out of control!!! I am SO sorry! I’m glad you have such a handy boyfriend to help… but I can’t imagine how upset I would be!!!!!!


    July 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    • I really liked it when I went to get mascara this morning and I had to stand on my tippy toes and reach over the drywall and then fish the eyemakeup out from underneath the rolled up extension cord. My bathroom has a total of zero swag.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm

  9. Oh no! I hope it gets fixed soon…like today.


    July 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    • Or yesterday… Tuesday would have been good, too…
      I feel like I’m being high maintenance and cranky. I’m really not. I just want to go in my bathroom without steel-toed boots.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm

  10. Sounds like there is a lot going on…..being trailer trashtastic myself…I can tell you that it looks like it was leaking at the roof or sunlight….not sure why your wall is missing???? Seeing as a trailer is entirely supported by the outside walls, I would be more concerned with that one is missing. My guess is a quick repair to the actual leak in the roof and a dehumidifier to pull out the moisture and repair the floor under the toilet is all that was needed. 2 day job at the most. In order to keep from losing your paid for air…take the floor vents up in the bathroom and place plastic over the hole until work is completed. Close the bathroom door and use one of your towels to block the opening beneath the door. And as always….if they showed no consideration to your belongings (as my husband usually does when repairing something in the house)…show none for thiers! Move what you need to move…pile it all neatly in one area in order to reach the items you need. Take all of your stuff out and leave them to sort out the pile…listening to them verbally freak out is also slightly enjoyable! πŸ˜‰ Good luck with the bathroom!


    July 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    • Oh! You’re in the Trailer Trashtastic Club!!! Tell us more! Single-wide, double-wide, modular? Improvements? Weird wallpaper?
      The wall was spongy and rotted. That’s why it was missing. The section between the toilet and the tub that sits just below the skylight was bad. It started above and dripped along the outside eventually attacking the floor. There was no noticeable damage from the inside until the toilet started to sag. Then the baseboards showed waterspots. This place is pretty old; 30-40 years I’d say. We got our wall back before they quit yesterday (see update here: ). The outside is finished as of now and the siding is back where it belongs. I would be more angry and passive aggressive (or just plain old rude and aggressive) if we weren’t friendly with our landlord; he is our neighbor after all. And they’ve been good to us. I just really wish he had asked where I’d like my personal efffects, or warned me that I need to get EVERYTHING I NEED OUT and vacate until they were done. We’ve had the vents closed in the bathroom, but our doors sit a good bit above the floors… no hope there, really. I’m excited to see the finished results and am SO ready to get my space back!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      • I am a lifetime member of the trailer trashtastic club! I started married life (1996) in a 10×50 with a factory 8×8 addition! Very nice! (I think it was built in the 50’s) And I upgraded a year and a half later to a spacious 1974 14×60….with a not so factory addition…that was not added correctly. And it leaked….and leaked and leaked! In 2005, we were able to upgrade once again! We were able to purchase a brand spanking new double wide! I love my little house though….the best part of a double wide or trailer, is that they are built in a building, the studs and floors were never rained on and I have no fear of black mold anymore! Which was the reason the 14×60 had to be torn down…it was the reason my beautiful baby was sick all the time. 😦 When we tore it down, we found that the black mold was in every ceiling in every room. Thanks to that lovely addition! Oh and I have stories of bad wall paper, terrifying prints on laminate floors, crank out windows and only 1 crank for the whole house, rotted floors (Chad landed on the tire when he fell through!), improvements that would scare away any contractor with half a brain, and the best….my series of “you might be trailer livin’ if…” Here’s one to get you started….you might be trailer livin’ if you put chia seeds on the hay bails around your house in the spring and call it hedge!


        October 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      • Hahahhahahahahaa that is hilarious. Not the house disasters, but the chia seed hedges. I bet they were pretty! My Chad grew up in a mobile home with his grandparents on a 55 acre working farm. They were old school cotton farmers. So none of our current living conditions phase him in the least, but he does like helping me improve our house (though it IS still a rental and there’s only so much we can do). I grew up in a brick house in the suburbs of a big city so all of this is different for me, but this is actually the longest I’ve ever stayed at the same rental property… I guess I like it πŸ™‚ I’m actually REALLY surprised that more young couples don’t take advantage of the affordability. It’s actually a fantastic way to own your own home FOR CHEAP. Anyway.. look forward to your expertise weighing in on projects in the future!

        Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

        October 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

  11. Oh Heather, what a pain! This would tip me over the edge! Hopefully it will be all sorted sooner rather than later and you can get back to normal. In the meantime make sure you have lots of chocolate and tequila to help you through this stressful time xxxx


    July 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    • I know! Wednesday morning I was totally freaking out. I’m feeling better now, though. It looks like a whole different bathroom this morning. Not done yet, still no toilet in there, but I can use the sinks and the shower. Most importantly I have access to my products! And it is much tidier πŸ™‚ Chocolate was a life saver. I decided to save the tequila for margaritas πŸ™‚

  12. I can do nothing but sympathise and feel utterly awful for you. I find it hard enough when the hot water’s out for a few hours, this would have me in a fit! I hope it gets fixed quickly for you…then have a nice, looooooooooong, relaxing bath (probably you deserve some sort of expensive new bath product for this too as a reward for surviving! And a very large glass of wine!) to celebrate when it’s all over.xx


    July 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    • Hey Rachael!! Thanks! It’s Saturday and we are getting there… the wine has helped tremendously. And brownies.
      I am using your comment as an excuse to make Chad buy me some sort of awesomely wonderful bath product. Such a great idea!! One more reason why I know you’re my friend πŸ™‚

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      • Haha! Good work!x


        July 15, 2012 at 9:21 am

  13. I just wish you loads of luck. Calgon, take her away!!!!!!

    • Seriously… where is Calgon when you need ’em?
      Thanks for the lucky wishes! My fingers are crossed for this so be over soon…

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  14. Situate yourself at a nice B&B for a while and offer to bake in return for room & board… actually, if you can make that fantasy come true – let me know how you did it…I want to do that…

    • That’s a pretty brilliant plan.
      I am fairly certain that I could bake my way into free room & board, but they may banish my boys and all their bickering. Not good for business. Perhaps I could persuade them to just take me? I’ll be sure to let you know if I’m able to pull it off. And I’ll send you the recipe

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      July 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

  15. Wow! I would be having a cow if that were my bathroom.

    Real Life Farm Wife

    July 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm

  16. You poor thing….you are in need of a spa day. I hope it comes together and soon for you πŸ™‚

    A. Wade

    July 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

  17. […] start with the bathroom. Before our bathroom was finished, we spent 8 days in the sun at the beach. It was wonderful. What […]

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