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The House, she has been painted

You know, for a house blog, we’ve done a poor job of chronicling our house painting adventure.

For the last 4 years we’ve been working on the inside of the house, and ignoring the outside.  Primarily because, in our neighborhood, it seemed wise to not shine too brightly.  But also, we needed to do our living space first, and then deal with the outside aesthetics second.

At some point, we started to get very worried that the integrity of the house might be compromised.  Holes where birds were crawling in, shingles falling off, etc.  So we were resolved to do something.  And S said to me:  “I don’t care what it looks like, just get it painted.”  If I waited just a little bit longer, I could have maybe gotten a purple and yellow house!

At first we thought we were going to have to re-side the whole thing.  But pricing that out, it was clear it was very expensive.  Especially if we wanted to go with cedar shingle siding or hardy board.  And we weren’t sure if we wanted to go with vinyl siding, which was still quite expensive. 

After getting ready to bite the bullet, I realized that I’d never gotten a quote from a painter.  So I went to the Home Show, got a few numbers, and arranged a free estimate.  This was mid-November.

We knew time was running out (you generally can’t paint past November) so after the first quote with a clearly very knowledgable painter, which was THOUSANDS of dollars less than any siding quotes we got, we decided to go ahead.  At the very least, it would buy us some time to save up the money.

(Although we had a little bit of a problem– we’d been saving up our home equity to get the painting done, and just as we got ready to pull the trigger, they lowered our line of credit!– Fortunately, I talked to them, and we worked it out, and all is good in financing world right now.)

We went away for Thanksgiving, and while we went away, they painted.  We wanted the fumes to be as far away from our little bundle of Aaron as possible.

Coming back from the airport was very exciting– we barely recognized the house!

There’s still some stuff that they need to do/redo (and weirdly, some of the trim color looks like they didn’t use the same dark blue) but overall we are very pleased with our makeover.

Anyway, here’s some of the before- and after pictures.  Someday, we’ll take the exact same before photos in the after pose.  But for now, here’s what’s changed.  Pretty big change, yes?

The Outside of the House

So we are finally getting ready to start thinking about the outside of the house, and just in time.

The gutters have fallen off one side of the house, there are lots of little nicks and holes all over the house, the paint has come off, there are lots of cracks in the current/board siding, and even some of the siding is coming down. All that stuff is not going to fix itself.

We’ve had three (well, four people come out) to give us quotes on fibre cement and also on vinyl siding. Nearly everybody that we’ve talked to has said that vinyl siding is the way to go. Cheaper, easier to install, and easier to maintain. Not quite convinced yet, but based on the quotes so far that’s the way we might have to go.

So far we can’t quite afford ANY of the quotes (well, we got one that was 10K cheaper than two of the other guys, but we didn’t actually meet him. He blew off the appointment, and then sent an email saying “I couldn’t find a place to park, and I have a bum leg” and then proceeded to give us a quote WITHOUT ASKING US WHAT WE WANT. From my perspective, that guy could PAY US to side the house, and we still wouldn’t go with him.

We’re still waiting on one quote, and meanwhile we have to have a serious look at our finances and see how in the hell we can afford this.

We can’t afford to not protect the house, but we can’t afford to protect it either.

Anybody out there done vinyl siding? Anything to watch out for?