The “Big Idea” was to obtain a livable mobile home house trailer and set it up in my backyard so that I could move into it and rent out my house. This will enable me to make the house payment and also be a nice source of income for me in my baby-boomer retirement years. By selling off much of my belongings, I was able to obtain a nice mobile home and now am faced with setting it all up with utilities and making it into a nice home.
Plan for the worst, you need as much money as you can get right now. This is why it’s so important to find your trailer for the cheapest price possible. It will not pay now to set up payments, you seriously need to be able to buy it with cash in hand. Here’s where you will need to do it yourself for all the things you are able to do. Hire help by advertising in the craigslist for the lowest bidder, and then interview them making sure each knows how to do the job, then supervise. You don’t need anyone getting hurt. Just in case, get the excavator driver to dig a deep hole in the back yard in case you hear anyone mention the words ‘workman’s comp!”
You will need to get your utilities hooked up and tied into your house. You don’t need professionals for this, only someone with experience. I was able to hire unemployed workers for $10 – 15.00 an hr to do each job on my list. The first one was to tie into the gas main in the front of the house. My house is built up on sauna tubes so he had to get pipes (cost 250.00) and run them up under the house then over the top of the ground and up under the trailer. Then we buried the pipe between the house in the trailer underground, laying boards on top marking it off. Later we plan to build a deck to cover it over. If you have any gas appliances in the trailer they will have to be hooked up as well.
For $3-500 I can have my local electric company come one day and set up another power pole and a double gained meter box for several hundred dollars as well. But for today, I hired an unemployed electric company worker for $15.00 an hr to tie me into my house using underground rated cable I bought at the local electric supply company. He simply tied into the main box at the back of my house from underneath and the cable is buried underground to the trailer. It took him less than 2 hrs.
I hired another unemployed worker to fix my roof. He brought his son and taught him how to do this. The total charge for the job was $100.00. I advertised on our local ‘Freecycle’ website asking for any leftover roofing shingles and was able to get all I needed free. Most major cities have a local ‘Freecycle’ site. Try Googling the name of your city, then ‘freecycle’. Items you need in the setting up of your trailer can usually be easily attained through the craigslist as well.
Insulating in Alaska is a matter of great importance, meaning the difference in whether you and your belongings will be able to survive the winter, or not! I sure didn’t want my brand new pipes bursting as soon as the temperature drops to -25 degrees! You will need to insulate every exposed area underneath your trailer, but especially your water pipes. I used the black foam rubber insulating slip covers taping them up good and then covered in fiber insulation. After this it’s important to stop the airflow. Make sure you seal up very tightly. I recommend crawling the entire length of the trailer with a couple of cans of spray expanding foam sealant. Where ever you see daylight coming through seal it up. I advertised asking for any leftover from projects or used insulation and got so much I was able to put it under the house as well as the trailer. Many builders order more than they need and will offer you this for a very cheap price or free just to keep it out of the landfills
The next thing on the list is to get your house ready for the rental market! As soon as you get a rental agreement, you will be on your way to the bank to make your house payment on time, so that your home can finally be saved from foreclosure!