Under the category “Spending Money Like We’re Rich” sub-category “Joys of Home Ownership”: having the house painted.
I called three painters, one never returned my call, the other two gave me proposals. I asked for three prices: painting the house and shed and all carpentry repairs; sanding and staining the deck; and redoing the epoxy paint on the garage floor. One repair I specifically called out was to the front door, where the closer for the steel door attaches to the side jamb. The first guy doesn’t do garage floors and wouldn’t do the door repair. I went with the first guy. He was several hundred dollars cheaper and I liked that he gave me a very detailed proposal. The second guy’s price for the garage floor was more than it’s worth to me, so even had I gone with him, I’d have passed.
To do the door repair, I needed to buy a new tool. I had the good fortune (?) to put my foot through a rotted plank on the rear deck, so that gave me an opportunity to practice with the tool where I could more afford a mistake.
On the deck, I replaced three planks and decided a few more were required. But I needed 12′ boards, which I can’t carry. The painter said he’d pick them up for me so I went and picked out the boards, paid for them, and left them at the store. He got them at the end of the day, but he somehow got the wrong lumber. He picked up the correct lumber the next morning. I told him I’d make the remaining repairs, but he offered to do it for me at no additional cost.
On his walk-through before writing up the proposal, he pointed out the damage to the siding on the north side of the second story. This area was painted when my roof was replaced because of hail damage. Although they repaired some trim pieces, they made no repairs to the siding. I wondered if it was something that was missed, but it would have been missed by both the contractor and the insurance adjuster. No failure to repair, just entropy at work.
They ended up replacing quite a bit more of the siding than he originally thought. These days, each board is about thirty bucks. I didn’t count the boards, but there were several boxes.
I have a number of additional photos that simply illustrate how long overdue this project is. I won’t belabor the point.
It was a crew of four guys for six days, but it wasn’t always the same four guys. Sometimes there was one radio station blasting in the front yard and a different station in the back. The boss, Daniel, is a big man with a big voice, which he used often. And with the saws, sanders, and grinders, it was a noisy time.
I was somewhat annoyed that they borrowed a lot of my tools – blower, the saw I bought for the door repair, my drill, a small pry bar, an extension cord. And I had to go with him to rent the big sander for the deck, Daniel says, because he doesn’t have a credit card. Oh, and Genae busted one of the guys washing his car. She said he looked embarrassed.
After they left one afternoon, I saw that one of the garage doors was open a foot or so. When I closed it, it kept trying to close after it hit the floor so it reversed. Somehow, the adjustment got out of whack. I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, but Michael spotted the screws where you make the adjustment. I asked Daniel about it the next day. He had tried to open the door and thinks the weatherstrip was stuck to the paint. Must have caused the drive belt to slip a notch.
The careful observer will note that we went with a slightly different shade of green. I’m happy with it.
The only real mishap of the project was when we lost our internet. Until last year, we had DirecTV. Over the years they had to come out to either upgrade the dish or run new lines. I joked that the house was held together by all the coax cables. I wanted all the cables gone from the outside of the house. Genae and I followed the internet cable into the phone box where it came out of the back of the garage. I told Daniel they should take every cable off that wasn’t connected to the box. Well, they cut one too many wires and we were without internet for 24 hours. It was a calculated risk.
Overall, I think the guys did a good job.