Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Boring House Stuff
Boring House Stuff
We chose some siding and paint colors finally. This online tool gives a pretty fair representation of the colors and siding styles we chose -- it's vinyl, which I'd apologize for more except that a) it's reasonably priced and b) you don't have to paint it, which is time consuming and not cheap and a huge pain in the ass. The downsides, of course, are that a) it's vinyl, and b) you are stuck with the color forever. But if you choose colors that are kinda neato, like for instance we did, then you might not hate it a few years down the line. Every other house in the neighborhood is a varying shade of beige or grey or cream, or creamy greyish beige, or whatever, except a couple that are (gasp!) brown! And one that is a deliciously garish swimming pool blue, and not the sort of minty grandma color but almost robin's egg. Man oh man.
Anyway our house actually has two gables, one above the main part of the house and one above the garage, which would be the left part of this picture instead of the two windows, and the right side has a bay window instead of the two windows shown. We are painting the garage door a color of blue that will closely match the siding. They can't really fully match it as the siding has sort of striations through it so that it's not just a solid color. So I'm almost wondering if we shouldn't paint it either the color of the gables (green) or the trim color ("desert tan"). We will get paint samples beforehand so we can decide then I suppose.
This whole siding thing has been an educational experience. It turns out that buying siding is like buying a car. You may find a decent contractor who just wants to make a decent living, or you may find a real jerk who is out to gouge you. Our first offer was from A Popular Home Improvement Store with the word "Depot" in the name... We only got an estimate as a joke, really, figuring it'd be outrageously expensive. Hunh. Yeah. It was $13,600. The second one was by a guy who did the place across the street -- nice guy, pretty small operation, friendly etc. Uses good materials and does a good solid job. $6,400. Much mo' betta!
Then we got one from a guy who's doing a house down the street here. After making a huge deal about what great guys they are and how they do great work etc etc, they hemmed and hawed and told us they wanted to put their bid in last so they could try to beat everyone else's. Pfft. Real professional! So we entertained his bid of $9,200 (using a crappy grade of siding) and then told him about the other bid. "Oh. Well. That's a good bid," he says. "Gosh now that I have a better idea about what colors and details you guys want etc etc I'll look around and get back to you." Haven't heard from him since. Ha! We wouldn't use them anyway because they pulled the "don't sign any contracts until I get a chance to look them over for you because you are two women and therefore stupid and need looking after" thing (they didn't say the women part out loud but you heard it anyway), plus the fact that they wanted to suck another three grand out of us "just 'cause." And, they are taking forty fucking forevers on the house down the street.
The half-round up in the gables will drive the price up a little but not much, and we also have to get the painting done but he has a fellow who does it for him and it won't cost that much. He's also got someone to do our fence. Yay! We like him a lot, he's a nice guy and just out to make a decent living. We've seen his work and it is good quality. So we're feeling pretty positive overall. He says he can start in about two weeks...