Notes from Windward: #69


Resurrecting Finey Trailer

Carina tackles a big project


     My first project at Windward is preparing a comfortable place to live.

Walt:      Finney trailer is a singlewide mobile home that was donated to Windward back in the early 90's by Betty Finney after her husband Gene died. He'd been very helpful in those early years as Windward started to tackle the challenge of building on raw land. After he died, Betty decided to sell their property and move into Vancouver to be closer to her interests. The new buyer wanted the land, but not the old trailer, and so their trailer was donated to our project.

Over the years it's been used as either a residence or as storage, but with Windward's growing over-winter population, the decision was made to bring it back into service as housing.


     This building has been vacant for several years, and has suffered some water and freeze damage.

     My first priority has been to seal all the leaks. This involved replacing a couple leaky vents on the roof, and slathering roofing asphalt over seams, cracks and around vents. I also washed the outside of the trailer to create a clean surface for exterior caulking to stick to, then caulked around windows and filled holes in the siding.

tackling the kitchen dining area

     Some areas of siding were missing, so I salvaged aluminum siding from a tear-down trailer to replace it.

     The leaks have caused rot in some areas of the walls and ceilings, so I am replacing some of the paneling, a window, and in some areas, framing and insulation.

     When the light fades in the evening I wash walls, apply a stain blocking primer paint, or work on plumbing.

making repairs in the main bedroom

     A hard freeze some years ago cracked drain pipes and broke water lines. I have nearly finished replacing the drain pipes in kitchen and bathroom, and will soon crawl under the house to look for ruptured water lines.

     My criteria for this living space are that it is weatherproof, clean, comfortable and as warm as possible through the winter.

     Having worked in the ornamental plant industry for most of my life, the psychological value of having a cozy place to warm up when the weather is bad is something I understand very well.

sealing up the main bedroom's push out

     There is a lot of work to do to make Finney a comfy place to live, but it is very rewarding to breathe new life into an old structure. I am gratified to know that whether I build a more permanent house at Windward or move on to another place entirely, Finney trailer will be useful to the community for many years to come.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 69