The minute Tim and I moved into this house, I started thinking that I wished it was a different color. I don’t HATE pale yellow, but it sure does show dirt. And I have always had a soft spot for houses that compliment the surroundings. Have you ever seen one of those houses that stick out like a sore thumb? Either they’re an odd color (that one bright purple house on that one corner) or they don’t match the environment (McMansion in a small clearing in a rural forest)… does that make sense? There’s just something about a cohesive marriage of architecture and nature that makes my heart happy. If I can’t have a house that blends with nature (built into the side of a mountain, a house deep in the woods that’s sided in wood shingles) then I want a house that’s a similar color to the surrounding area. Which is why I painted my last house dark green. A rich reddish-brown or dark green would be my preferred color.
I bring this up because Jeff has been suggesting repainting my house; it is sorely in need of a cleaning, I agree on that one hundred percent. But I’d always thought I’d like to get it re-sided, not painted. I mean, it’s a manufactured home (it’s so hard for me not to say “mobile” home but I guess they changed the terminology while I was living in a “real” house). I get you can’t put lipstick on a pig. But I just don’t know that I’m enamored with painting.
Pros about painting: Jeff can do it relatively easily (maybe) (maybe easily; he can definitely do it8 – it’s just a question about what a nightmare it might turn into for him). Lower cost that re-siding (possibly, depending on how many coats of paint it takes, and things that need to be bought such as scaffolding, etc).
Cons about painting: Paint on vinyl lasts 3-5 years; after that you need to either paint again or re-side. You can not paint vinyl in a darker color than what it is originally (darker colors absorb more heat and can warp the vinyl). Would take a very long time if done by one person.
Pros about re-siding: I can get any color I want (hello, dark brown or dark green). There are now vinyl sidings that look like wooden planks, or shingles, if I really want to change up the look. Vinyl siding lasts 20-40 years (so, a good chance of it being the rest of my life).
Cons about re-siding: More expense up front (although for the life of the product, if you compare it to painting, the cost is similar to painting the house two or three times).
And here’s one I’m not sure where to put in the pro/con list; Jeff wants to repaint before I get the house reskirted, which is a plan that’s already in motion. The skirting is on backorder but as soon as it’s here, I’ll pay for it, and I have a guy lined up to do the work. It makes absolute sense to repaint before the skirting is on, so anything that gets splashed/spilled/dripped/whatever would go on the old skirting that’s going away. But again, I don’t know that I’m really sold on painting. I definitely want it cleaner. If I do want it painted, though, I have to come up with a “yes” and a color (the same or lighter than what I have now) within a week or two, max. Jeff has an awful lot on his plate right now. I don’t want to add PAINTING A WHOLE-ASS HOUSE to his list if he doesn’t have to. And I’m not sure he has to, because if the choice was up to me, I’d get it re-sided in a style and color I like more. (Oh, uh, it’s my house, so I guess it *is* up to me?) (And my bank account…) But Jeff does have a good argument of “go ahead and paint it, decide if you’re going to stay living out here, and if you are, then get it re-sided in another three years or so when you’d have to repaint anyway.” And every time he says that I kind of stop hearing after “decide if you want to stay out here” because the thought of moving just…. Ugh.
I already had the massive “should I say or should I go” discussion with myself when Tim was sick. And again when he died. When I thought I might have to sell and move into town when Tim was sick, if he needed health care that would be made more difficult by living in such a rural location, I was devastated, but would have done it if we’d had to. When I thought I might not be able to continue to live out here after he died, if I might have to move into the back of my car and it’d be me and five cats and four tortoises living on the streets in my Rav, I was scared. When enough money showed up that I could get through the first year without making any decisions, that was a blessing. As the year passed, and I started making more and more improvements I started to realize… I was treating the place as if I was staying. I kind of think I’m staying.
What would I leave for? I’m not with anyone. I don’t have aspirations of leaving here and moving in with someone (unless I can find a rugged Irishman who plays a musical instrument and has a good sense of humor and doesn’t mind a shitload of pets, when I’m in Ireland for a week next year, haha… I’d consider moving for that, haha). Here? My art studio. Land. Wildlife. If Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe were in need of health care, I’m only 45 minutes away. If my mother was in need of care, I’m only about three hours away and would have no problems driving down and staying down there for weeks at a time if needed. I don’t mind traveling if I have a rooted place to come home to. There’s not a pressing reason I can think of to move in the next few years. I’m not any more afraid of being alone out here than I am of a strange man making eye contact with me in the parking lot of a grocery store. My health isn’t FANTASTIC (one kidney, allergies, asthma, knees that hurt every time we’re about to have a bad storm, yadda yadda) but I’m not in need of 24/7 health care (and I’m not so stubborn that I’d stay out here if I did need 24/7 care).
Out here, I have my art studio. I have fifteen acres. I have quiet. I have privacy. I get to rescue newly hatched gopher tortoises out of my dog’s mouths! I get to look out my studio door and see five deer twenty feet away munching on leaves. Droves of wild turkeys roam the hills. I don’t have neighbor’s kids incessantly talking to me through the fence. I don’t have neighbors who have parties until 2 AM. Or neighbors who sit outside on their porches and talk loudly on their phones at 2 AM. Sure, I don’t have a Publix. But I have a pergola, and beautiful sunrises, and ridiculous dogs.
What I want to do is contact the guy I have lined up for the reskirting, ask him if he re-sides (or knows someone who does), ask him for a quote on re-siding if it is something he can do, see what he says when he gets under the house (IE is there any major under-carriage damage), and if all of that looks good, get it re-sided (by the guy doing the skirting or some other company) in something like a pine-colored plank vinyl. What I don’t want to do is make Jeff take on the job of painting my whole-ass house if it’s not something I genuinely want, when he’s already got a huge list of things that might not get finished before he moves out, plus he’s helping Aunt Gay with things at their house, plus he might be helping Jenn with some things at her house. Especially if it means deciding on a color I don’t want, in the next few days, that I’ll be looking at for three to five years.
So. Anyone ever had their mobile/manufactured home re-sided? How was your experience?