Not too long after the Hillbilly and I first started dating, a friend of his mother got a new mobile home (or trailer as most rednecks call them) to replace his 25-year old single wide. Being the hoarder that the Hillbilly is, he made a deal with the dude that he could have the trailer free of charge if he would haul it away. So we spent the day before Thanksgiving holiday, about 6 months before we were married, watching him and his cousin place axles under this trailer and haul it off with a rather large pick-up truck. We followed behind, watching as the bathtub, that had halfway fallen through the floor bumped along the asphalt the whole way. If his tea-totaling mom hadn’t been there to “supervise”, I would have brought a
6 12-pack of beer and laughed my ass off watching that debacle.
He ended up reframing the walls, rehung and painted fresh drywall, replaced all the light fixtures and carpet, new plumbing and electrical along with the interior fixtures, pretty much replaced everything…except the roof, ceiling and floor/subfloor which still seemed to be in good condition. His whole remodel of the 2 BR, 1 Bath trailer took about 2 years and cost more than if we would have just bought a new house.
About three years after we moved in, we gradually began noticing soft spots in the floor, mostly in the higher traffic areas of the living room. During the following year, we built an addition along the whole length of the trailer, giving us a formal dining room, a huge master bedroom with walk-in closets, another bathroom, a laundry room/office for me, as well as a whole new aluminum roof. Its actually a house now instead of a mobile home because its no longer…mobile. Over the next four years, we replaced most of the original flooring, seemingly seconds before they fell through. This year was the last of the “big” rooms…the kitchen.
So the plan was to take measurements and make the pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Lowe’s Friday morning to get the materials, then he and the Boy would begin the deconstruction and replacement phase Saturday morning as I hid in one of the back bedrooms with my laptop, a pack of Starbucks frappucinos, and a bag of Cheetos to tide me over until dinner. As is the Hillbilly way, those plans changed without prior notice. In his mind, he could go ahead and start the project Friday after we got home and be finished by dark-thirty.
10:30 am: We’re loading lumber, insulation, plywood, new linoleum, various tools, drill bits, and fix-it miscellany and new kitchen faucet, since that had sprung a leak somewhere and was causing puddles on top of the counter. I also bought our new refrigerator while there, which had to be special ordered and won’t be delivered for at least a month. He’s still planning to be done by Friday night.
11:30 am: The old fridge is moved to temporary home in dining room, but cutoff valve for the water line is not, well…cutting off. He has to make another trip to Lowe’s for a cap so it will stop leaking all over the floor.
1:30 pm: Water line is capped, he goes to get tools from his garage. Disappears until 3:30 pm.
3:30 pm: Finally pulls off the first square of the old linoleum I chose during our construction phase. Still thinks he’ll be done Friday night.
4:30 pm: The first layer of OSB sub-flooring is mostly gone and the Hillbilly is currently releasing his frustrations by slamming a hammer through the remnants of what was
once a butt-ugly kitchen floor. A kitchen floor that consisted of a piece of particle board and a 1970s marigold yellow layer of plaid linoleum. I go temporarily blind just trying to get a picture for proof of the atrocity. You’re welcome.
5:30 pm: I realize the Hillbilly’s expectations of finishing this project are grossly over-ambitious and I won’t have access to any appliances to cook dinner. Order pizza and wings to be delivered.
9:00 pm: All the flooring is removed and he begins repairing the studs that are damaged. The cat figures out he can go under the house and come in through the open floor. Repeated attempts to put him back out fail and we put him in the dog’s crate to keep him safe.
10:00 pm: Caged cat has been meowing for a solid hour and is put back outside. Is wise enough to stay out this time.
11:00 pm: All the support work is completed and the measurements are taken for the first piece of flooring to go down. Exhaustion is affecting us all. We’re at each other’s throats, snapping harsh replies and on the verge of doing each other bodily harm.
At this point, I suggest we get the holes blocked up overnight so the cats, snakes, raccoons, ‘possums, and various insect don’t invade the house overnight. Hillbilly snarls, thinking I was implying he was working too slow and I explain that I was just suggesting bringing in the whole pieces of plywood, getting the floor covered and going to sleep because at this point we’re either going to kill each other or make a mistake with one of the power tools that could cause serious, “ER trip” type injury.
To be continued…