Previously, we had taken a model and a floor plan from a well-known maker of manufactured housing and converted it into a modern small house. This is another attempt at such a conversion.
The above floor plan shows the dimensions and arrangements of the various spaces in our new home. The size of this plan is 374 sq. ft. and certainly fits within the definition of many people as a small or tiny house. As with the previous conversion, cost and speed will be strongly considered in any redesign. This house costs $19,500 before any changes. Obviously, asking a manufacturer to either use different cabinets or fixtures or not including them and installing personal choices yourself, might be considered in the final price.
The above image displays the front of the mobile home before redesign. This particular home comes with generic siding and standard windows typically seen in manufactured housing.
The house is covered in a beige carpeting except for the kitchen area and the bathroom which have a dark, muddied tile. Unfortunately, my models are such that they look better than the real thing.
The backdoor is to the right, while the front door is to the left. The two doors on the right are access to the air conditioner and the water heater. The furthest away on the left leads to the bedroom. Through this little hall, on the right, is the bathroom door.
I have been pleasantly surprised about the floor plans of many of the manufactured houses that I have seen. Most times they are quite efficient, requiring little in terms of adjustment. This is certainly true of this model. Of course, gutting a place, moving things around including walls, would give one great leeway in the overall design. Yet this hardly seems economical, logical or necessary since one of our concerns is expense. Moving things like plumbing and electricity as well as a water heater and air conditioning would hardly make much sense. However, changing the air conditioning to a different system not taking up floor space or going with a tankless water heater that could be moved outside or occupying much less territory, is not altogether out of the question.
In our case, the floor plan remains the same. Things like cabinetry and fixtures do get updated. Nevertheless, the doors that came with this model surprisingly did not need replacing, just repainting with a glossy finish.
As with the first conversion, landscaping is kept at a minimum. Although landscaping can make a sizeable difference in the look of a house, for our purposes we will keep our focus just on the house. Compare the front here to the front of the original. The most obvious change is the addition of a deck. In this iteration, a deck on the front becomes necessary because of the layout of the bedroom which has a closet built into the back. So without tearing down the closet, the deck is placed onto the front.
The other major components added are the French style sliding doors which replace the windows on the kitchen and bedroom sides. Not only does this open the house up to much greater natural light, but it also provides access to the outdoors all along the front. To break up the long visual expanse that mobile homes have, different materials are applied as siding. Instead of the common external siding found on the original, 2/3 of the house is clad in a light grey English parquet, while the bedroom area is covered in a dark stained cedar planking. This helps distinguish between the unique spaces of the house without major construction and even though the house is only 374 sq. ft. The addition of a pergola does much the same thing.
Notice, also, the mobile home appears to be built on a foundation due to the rough stones placed around the bottom. The outdoor furniture comes from designs in a DIY book that I am currently working on and inspired by my published book: Outdoor Furniture You Can Make Using Simple Tools and Materials.
The doors did not need replacing and French style sliding doors were used to match them.
The inside of the house needs only a little updating. The major changes occur after adding the sliding French doors, which change the flow and nature of the rooms both inside and outside. First to go are the traditional cabinets, replaced by a contemporary design. I say contemporary rather than modern because the term properly fits. In this particular conversion I use contemporary modern finishes rather than those of the modernist. This includes shades of grey, although I avoid the use of beige since I have a distinct aversion to shades of beige.
The beige carpeting has been replaced with a light wood flooring and the dark tiles are gone from the kitchen area. When looking at the bookcase to the right, the doors and any trim, the color has not change but repainted to a glossy finish. New lights and fixtures are added throughout the house.
The window on the left and all the windows along the backside of the house have not been change. The cabinets are Shaker style cabinets painted grey with contemporary handles. The dining chairs are Platner chairs found at places like Knoll or any modern design store like All Modern. The blue chairs in the living room are of my design called Cube Chairs.
Only the vanity, mirrored medicine cabinet were changed in the bathroom. The original vanity and medicine cabinet were much like the dull, ordinary cabinets in the kitchen. A nice, new shower curtain embellishes the bathtub and a new modern overhead fixture brightens the bathroom.
The dark brown tiles become a soothing light blue epoxy.
To the left of the bed, the French style sliding doors bring in a copious amount of light. To the right of the bed, a modern armoires provides plenty of storage space.
The doors to the built-in closet are changed to match the new armoires.
Besides replacing the doors to the closet, a new modern overhead fixture was added along with drapes for the sliding doors.
Amazingly, this inexpensive small mobile home can be converted to a delightful, comfortable, modern home with out spending a lot of money. This is only the first iteration. Without changing the floor plan, I will produce an alternative to this conversion by moving access from the front to the back for the kitchen/living area and orienting a deck to the side of the house off the bedroom. This alternative design will appear very soon.