I LOVE renovating, fixing up and taking an ugly duckling space and turning it into something really special.
Hubby and I have spent the past decade or so doing that to our 40ft caravan…and we are almost done…but there is still a verandah to go on…
Anyway. As part of the latest renovations, I wanted an extra room so we could create more storage in the house, a luxury we have been sorely lacking and is the only frustrating element of living in a small space.
So rather than building a new room, which would have been more expense than we were willing to spend, I bought a 20ft caravan that I found locally (advertised on Buy Swap and Sell on Facebook). It was really great condition, had a second roof already installed on it and for $1200 I reckon was a really great deal. The previous owner even came and ‘installed’ it right where I wanted it!
The Van in situ – you can see it looks happy next to our home caravan – and behind it is a gorgeous tree that will shade in the west, a couple of toilets for use and one day we will also build a shower behind it, in amongst the trees!
I bought it in April 2013 with the intention to spend the next months gradually just fixing it up.
The space will be our second spare room, but will also be fully independent of the house in terms of bathroom facilities and cooking, so that we can have a ‘self contained’ space for visitors, wwoofers and whoever ends up being part of the Hungry Spirit Enterprise as it emerges in the coming years!
It was a VERY bright colour inside…
And there were a few holes and gaps and wall issues which we gradually fixed as we went – like the roof gap where the bathroom would have been, which was temporarily covered over – we made it more permanent and blend in with the rest of the roof, as best we could.
Mainly there was just painting to be done…layers and layers of it to cover up that blue! But it’s amazing what a transformation light, clean, white paint can make to the size of a small space.
Once the painting was complete (5 coats in total on both the walls and the roof) we updated the floor.
I went for the cheapest floating laminate floor at Bunnings, total cost $250 for the floor lining and the laminate. Its so simple to put down, and it took just 1 day to get it in – the lengthier process has been putting skirting boards around the entire van, as there were a few ‘soft’ spots that proved tricky for Hubby!
I think it makes the world of difference and is really easy to keep clean.
Next I took to the windows. I had all good intentions of replacing all the glass and making them start working again (the winding mechanism for louvre style windows), but to be honest I lost my mojo on that and so opted for a good clean and a new adornment of flyscreen.
The flyscreen process was a bloody nightmare and took me weeks, as the tool wouldn’t work properly due to the inconsistent size of the window framing, so I had to use a butter knife…that left big blisters. So I would do the flyscreening until my fingers bled, then would wait for the blisters to heal enough to do another couple. 6 windows in all.
I was glad when that job was DONE!
My husband fitted an a/c into one of the windows which was a bit of an epic job, but totally necessary at this time of year…I was in there the other morning and it was 44 degrees at 10am!
The final stages are very exciting, because that is when you get to make it look pretty!
Hubby still has to finish the kitchen skirting, which I am hoping will be done in the next few days, as we have our kids coming to visit soon…and I want this spacer PEFRECT for them!
I reckon it looks gorgeous and when totally finished, will be the best value, most practical and elegant small space caravan around!
IT will be a wonderfully welcoming space for family, friends, WWOOFers and other people who come into our lives, now that we have the room