December 6, 2013 – A recap of 2013

Holiday Greetings to all,

This has been a very exciting, but up and down year for Ned and Lorna. It all started almost a year ago when Ned mentioned to Lorna that he thought it was time to buy a house. We put our lot up for sale and decided to buy our neighbor’s house because we like the area and all our neighbors. The long and short of that story is our lot sold and we were down to the last week before leaving for the summer when the deal fell through. The people that bought our lot, who were friends from the RV Forum, came and offered to sell the lot back to us for what they paid for it. That was a most generous offer from good friends.

We left for Wisconsin and spent the entire summer putting together a deal with Clayton Homes to buy a manufactured home. We love those depreciating assets now that we own three of them. We left Milwaukee the middle of September with the understanding that the house would be delivered the second or third week in October. Well, so much for delivery dates because we arrived back at the lot the end of the third week of September and figured that we had at least three weeks to prepare the area for the house. At this point the fellow Ned had been working with at Clayton informed us the house would be delivered the middle of the first week of October.

Before it arrived we had about six cedars and a Live Oak to remove, a wood pile and rocks to move. Of course the weather was hot and humid. The day before the house came the company had four loads of rock delivered for the base and had it spread and leveled.

The house arrived in two pieces, the front half and the back half. Now this was something to watch as they hooked this mini caterpillar tractor to the back half, controlled by a joy-stick on a belt around the boss’s waist. He brought it up the drive and maneuvered it into place on the rock pad. Then the tractor was attached to the front half and he brought it up the drive to place it in front of the back half, but before he could finish getting it into place the back half had to be pulled forward. Once the front half was in place he moved the back half back. At this point we had to make sure the house was 15 feet from the lot line which is required by the rules of the sub-division. The house arrived mid- morning and all of this was finished by mid-afternoon. Then the crew laid down a sheet of heavy plastic as a vapor barrier and then they leveled the back half before they could quit for the day.

The next day the crew arrived to finish putting the house together. This involved bringing the front half to meet the back half, leveling it and marrying the two halves. The whole house sits on many concrete block pillars. Because we were putting the house on our RV pad the water and sewer were already there which saved us some expense. They did have to bring 200 amp electric service from the shed but they could use the existing trench which meant that they didn’t have to bring a rock saw in which saved us some more expense. Before they finished for the day the house was completely together and they had finished skirting it and painting the skirt. Both ends of the house were sided too. It was dark by the time that everyone left and we could enter the house using a ladder.

The next crew that arrived was two fellows that finished some of the marriage line because the house is all sheetrock, tape and texture. Another crew came and spent three days building the 10′ by 40′ deck on the front of the house and the 4′ x 4′ deck and steps on the back of the house. All in all it took about a week to finish the house before a couple came in and cleaned it. The house came with all of the appliances except the dishwasher that we bought locally and Ned and our neighbor installed.

The timing of the arrival of the house couldn’t have been better because after the outside work was finished it rained for the next week or two. Besides that the RV was paying us back for moving into the house because the refrigerator quit working and was leaking ammonia so we had to move into the house sooner than planned. Of course we had to get furniture since we had sold everything when we went full-time RVing 16-1/2 years ago. We were able to buy some used furniture from friends and other friends had a couch and computer desk they were donating to Hope House and gave to us instead. We did buy new beds and moved the washer and dryer from the shed to the house.

The past week Lorna has been selecting pictures from our travels to put into frames she picked up at our church bazaar and a few that we purchased. We are still looking for a desk for Ned and a comfortable chair that we can use in the bedroom or the livingroom. All in all we are very pleased with the house, but have noticed that we put on many more steps than in the RV. It was quite a change to go from about 350 sq. ft. to 1200 sq. ft.

Photos of the house installation and interior can be found here.