Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WNC Additions: Mary

Mary is currently living by herself, as she and her husband are getting a divorce. Originally, in 1984, they had a three bedroom manufactured/mobile home, but got a larger one still with three bedrooms. During this time, they had two daughters. They added a pool/workout room that now serves as a play space for the grandchildren. Unfortunately, it does not have a heat source and stays closed off in the winter. During this time, they also put a new roof on because they old one leaked. They expanded their porch and began to re-side the entire house. As Mary said, “We wanted to make it into a house.” Two years ago, they remodeled the kitchen. There were plans to remodel the rest of it, but those are on hold because of the pending divorce.

Manufactured Home Alterations

Additions include porches, new roofs, new siding, garages, and additional rooms.

I have found a number of trends in terms of how people have changed their mobile/manufactured homes. Most people find that they are built cheaply and need to make repairs or remodel, or people just want/need more space. (most of the homes I have been looking at are single-wide, just because it is an easy module to compare).

Mobile/Manufactured Homes

Manufactured home park in Boone, NC.

I spent some time exploring mobile homes in Western North Carolina. Having served as the most effective and extensive affordable housing option in the United States for the past 50 years, I was curious to learn a little more about the uses of mobile homes here, especially since many of them have been adapted and changed. Many people (especially architects) think that manufactured housing is the only way to effectively address the affordable housing crisis in the US. Unfortunately, the past is littered with brilliant architectural minds failing miserably in using mass production to produce well designed, high quality, and affordable homes. (read the excellent book: The Prefabricated Home by Colin Davies).