Sunday, August 20, 2006

To roof or to paint? The exterior's saga- Part 2

The roofing bids came in all over the place... our top bid was upwards of $15K (For that price they better use gold shingles!)... our low bid- which was from the union shop we wanted!- was about $6,500. We were ecstatic that the company we wanted actually gave us the best price. We chose our Timberline 30 Yr architechtural shingles, scheduled the date, and were on our way!

The painting.... well, that's a different story.
I knew someone who had worked for student painters for three years, and he was looking for work to do throughout half the summer- he was going to study abroad mid-summer and a painting company wouldn't hire him to work for just part of the season. It seemed like a perfect match. We needed someone that could do it for a really reasonable price- he needed a big job to keep him working and earning some quick $$$... Except that I don't think he realized what a huge job painting this house would be. He gave us a good bid- an hourly rate, which included all the prep work and priming, and little things like taking off the storms, re-putty-ing the windows that needed it, etc.
I could help with whatever I felt like I could do, but the major work would be his responsibility.

2 months later we are regretting that decision... while we are still painting the things that he "didn't have a chance to finish" before he left.
As of today, we still have to:
1) Clean up all the stray paint on the windows, pop them back open, and put the storms back on (once we figure out where each of them go- he didn't leave a map and the masking tape on each window faded with the first rain.)
2) Paint the porch
3) Paint some trim boards left undone
4) Touch up some random places on the siding that we have found unfinished
5) Put our downspouts back up
6) Paint the downspouts
7) Fix all of the other random things we find everyday that went undone in the painting process.

To his credit, he worked his ass off scraping the entire house- and it needed it. And he did it almost all by himself. But we really needed someone who could finish the job.

So, lesson learned: It's a real gamble to hire someone out and pay them for time and materials- better to get a written estimate for the entire job and an all-inclusive total, especially for the big stuff!!

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