Sunday, August 20, 2006

To roof or to paint? The exterior's saga- Part 1

When we saw the house the first time, it was a given that it needed to be painted. Grey-blue flakes were chipping off on every side- the forest green trim and baby pink front porch weren't any better. (Grey blue, forest green, and baby pink- what were they thinking?!)

It had been at least 20 years since the house had seen a decent paint job. Our new neighbors told us that the previous family had tried to paint the house one side at a time, but did each side several years apart... which explained the slight color difference from one side to the next. To get the house ready to sell, they tried to patch up some of the rougher spots. So, the new paint patches stuck out sore thumbs against the faded grey-blue siding. Our home insurance company had insured us with the understanding that the house would get new paint before fall, so we were sort of locked into that agreement.

And we also needed a new roof. NEEDED. As in, we put buckets in the attic during the first hard rain. A handyman had patched the roof with new shingles nailed UPWARD over old shingles. Not a pretty sight.

So this was a dilemma from the start.

When my association painted my condo's house (similar in size and structure), it was nearly $8K, and that house was in MUCH better shape. With estimates like that, there was no way we could afford to hire a contractor to paint AND a contractor to roof. We had a budget of $10K to do both projects this year. So, it was likely we would have to do one of the big projects ourselves.

Sean was pretty sure he could do the roof. I was not so keen on that idea. Ok, he's a carpenter, yes, but this is a three story house with dormers and hips and all kinds of chaos. I didn't want our first months of homeownership bliss marred by a quick 3-story fall.
Since I had two months of the summer off, I was pretty sure I could paint, with help. I've done a decent amount of painting, and I like to do it. He started looking for roofers. I started looking for bargain painters.

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