Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Your guess is as good as mine.

Besides the yard, another humongous project we're trying to tackle is getting the house painted this summer. I know some of you are screaming at your computer screen, "WHAT?!? You mean you don't love this pinky brownish skin color??? It's so lovely!!"

Uh, NO.

(Wait, you really like it?... oh wow....umm... This is awkward. Soooo... How about that local team/the weather?)

Actually the paint is in REALLY bad shape. It's flaking off in numerous spots (read = 95% of the house) and is revealing an even pinkier pink underneath! It's like the alien trying to break through that guys stomach in that movie...

So it needs to be repainted in a bad way. And while we're breaking out the brushes, I figured it was time for a new color. You know, put our stamp on it - make it more modern like we're been trying to do inside the house. I got three bids from local painters...

#1 The Referral guy.
This guy is a contractor by trade, but a neighbor 1 street over gave me his name. He painted their house, and it's similar in size, shape, and texture (stucco/brick) so I felt pretty confident that the bid might be the same price. But I have yet to receive it. Yeah, I know. Strange since I keep hearing all these stories about how people who do house construction are dying for work. I guess not so with this dude. He came out, spent about an hour taking measurements, writing stuff down asking my house what it's symptoms are (joking! I think?) and walked around it like 4 times. He then told me he'd have to go calculate the paint and labor and he'd get back to me in a week. That was 2 months ago.

#2 The Open the Phonebook and Point guy.
Just like it sounds, I picked a name out of the phone book at random. I had the Painting Pros come out for an estimate. They are pretty generic franchise that I think is in every city in America. Just like a Firehouse Subs or a Mr. Sandless, you can buy into the franchise and they will help start it up in your city. They looked pretty reputable online too. And I liked the fact they were nice on the phone, right on time for the appointment, and the guy smiled and said thanks when he left. (Courtesy goes a LONG way with me.) He was only here 15 minutes, plugged all the numbers into his computer, spit out an estimate on his portable printer and viola! $3,000 and they could start next week.

(Points awarded for attitude, but YOWZA! Three grand? I'll have to raise some more funds.)

(BTW still no estimate from #1. Called his cell about 502 times.)

#3 The Historic House Painter who Loves his Job guy.
Last estimate came as a referral from another friend. This guy paints all the historic houses in Springfield - a section of downtown Jacksonville. He mainly works on these old two-story houses from the 1800's that are being renovated and updated. Springfield used to be a pretty sketchy part of town but several blocks have been renovated by young couples since they can afford the cheap mortgages and don't mind living in drywall dust.
This painter was very nice, and I liked him alot but I am a little skeptical. For one thing, he took a look at the front, scratched his beard and said "Mmmm, $2,500?" Just like that. Like it was a question. I was tempted to say. "Nope. Try again." The other thing that kind of worries me is the fact that he doesn't work on stucco houses. The houses he paints are all restored wood shingles. I'm sure it's not that different... but what if there's something really wrong with the stucco and he doesn't know how to spot it? I'm probably being paranoid.
Bottom line he was a NICE guy - price is certainly better - and he LOVES painting houses. Can't beat a person who loves their job. You know you are going to get 110% of effort.

(BTW Still no estimate from #1. I called him 4 more times - got the secretary once, she claimed he would call back. He did - only it was the house phone while I was at work. Oldest trick in the book dude, do you think I was born yesterday?)

So there you have it. We have yet to get started... One of the things you must MUST do before you paint is cut all the shrubbery back so the people can get in there and paint. Plus I have to decide on a color... Any suggestions?

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I really think you should make friends at La Nop and find out which of their friends/relatives need to make a couple hundred bucks. Set a budget of $1,500, buy the paint and supplies, and whatever is left over you pay the dudes.

Color: camouflage