Friday, October 5, 2012

FREE is a Great Price!

It’s amazing what I’ve learned about myself during the process of renovating my little Scotsman.  I have discovered that I am even more capable than I thought I was.  I’ve conquered my fear of electricity (rewired the interior lights) and found creative and cost effective solutions for many issues; like the countertop, exterior paint, and flooring.

I originally wanted a dark blue countertop because I was using dark blue as my accent / trim color.  So, I tore out the countertop and table top and hauled them in the back of my truck to the local countertop manufacturer.  (No guessing required. Here’s what the measurements are, dude!)

I almost hit the FLOOR when he quoted me $580!!!  Perhaps you have your math wrong?  Nope. Five hundred and eighty big ones.  Um.  Well.  No thanks.

Oh crap.  Now what?
The countertop...before demolition.  Icky!
As I have mentioned, I love craigslist but even more so (if that’s possible) I LOVE IKEA!  They get a bad rap for having crappy stuff but like any store, if you know what you’re looking for you can get amazing deals and décor items at IKEA.  So, off I went in search of countertop options.  Once again, they did not disappoint.  I found a 9 foot x 28 inch piece of 1” thick butcher block for…drum roll….$59!!!  It was more than enough for the table top and the countertop with cutting boards to spare.  Woo Hoo!!!
The NEW Ikea countertop.  Love, love, love it!
For the exterior paint I contacted a guy who had recently painted two, fifty three foot long, semi-truck trailers for me.  (I am a purchasing professional so I know how to find people, and stuff!)  One of my friends provides all her basic needs merely by bartering.  Seriously, she barters for everything she needs! 

Ok, where am I going with this?

So I asked Kevin the paint guy, “I’m not sure how to ask this because I’ve never done it before but…would you be willing to paint my vintage trailer for barter?”

He asked me a few questions about what I could offer him in trade, we came to an agreement and I’m happy to say that my exterior paint job was FREE.  (if you don’t count the labor hours I owe him.)  I had gotten two other bids from auto painters and they wanted $1000 - $1200 so FREE was a gift from Karma, or God, or whatever higher power you believe in.  He painted my trailer the same factory color as my convertible V6 that I’ll be towing her with.  They’re a matched set!

Before Paint....

After Paint.... 
I also know a guy (OK, by now I bet you’re thinking “this chick knows everyone!” and you wouldn’t be too far off…) that does amazing interior remodel work with reclaimed barn wood.  So I called him up and he said I could bring my truck and get as much reclaimed barn wood as I wanted for…you guessed it….FREE!

Of course, the wood was wet with rusted nails but I had a vision and I would not let a little wood working project get in my way of jaw dropping floors.

Enter, once again, Mark to the rescue!

He loaned me his planer, I borrowed a table saw from the neighbor, and I bought a miter saw on craiglist for $15; and went to work.  I ran all the boards through the planer to get them all the same thickness (well, almost….close enough?) and then cut them to length and dry fit them in the space.  Mark generously donated a weekend to run them through the table saw and then meticulously installed them.  I sanded the floor and put two coats (so far) of polyurethane down.

I’m telling ya’….these are the most beautiful floors you have ever seen and I’m so glad I didn’t go with VCT because reclaimed barn wood is durable and I don’t care if they get scratched or dirty.  The worse the floor gets, the better it looks.  I know it’s way different than every other trailer out there and really, isn’t that the point?


And the floor was almost FREE!


1 comment:

  1. U are awesome!!! I love reading your blogs and ur tiny house is amazing!!! Don't know how I stubbled up and found you but I love your stories :)