So far I’ve spent my second day of furlough catching up on various items around the house. I need to get back into the habit of writing here a bit more frequently. I keep thinking of things that are worth posting, but never actually sitting down to do so.
A bunch of exterior work is being done on my home right now.
- Chimney caps, tuck-pointing and new flashing;
- Rotten siding replacement;
- Glass block windows added to the basement;
- Gutter repair; and
- Some patches to the foundation.
Our regular guy doesn’t do exterior work, so I had to track someone else down. Since you can find anything on Craigslist, I put up an ad. I got a bunch of responses, with the usual range of grammatical errors and professionalism. I responded to a few of the likeliest and only heard back from one.
The guy came out to take a look at things, with two of his buddies. They were all wearing ragged and torn clothes, and one of the guys was more interested in eating as many peaches as he could from my tree. Main dude said he’d get back to me with an estimate within three days. He kept trying to get me to tell him how much I’d be willing to pay, which is a huge red flag. Ten days later, after one unannounced return trip and further phone calls where he kept trying to find out how much I wanted to spend and kept trying to give me prices piece-meal, he finally emailed me his estimate. This estimate only covered the cost of materials for one of the items on the above list. Needless to say he didn’t get the job.
Meanwhile, I received a response from a gal around my age who just moved from Portland, OR. She came out, took a look at things, some measurements and photos, and got me an estimate within a couple of days. She’s done historical restoration work and has the necessary tools to get the job done. My chimneys are repaired and the foundation patched, the glass block has been ordered and from what I’ve seen so far, she works both efficiently and effectively.
Inside I’ve been painting the new doors we got a couple of months ago and touching-up various Bram-smears.
My tenant upstairs is moving out this month. This means I’ll be out the supplementary $450/month that was quite a help. Thankfully Debbie’s now a full-time teacher, so her additional income will help offset that. Her brother might move in upstairs and just pay for utilities, and I plan on working with him to tear off the wallpaper and do a little bit more renovation up there as well. Once it is painted, the electrical is upgraded and there’s new carpet, I’ll probably be able to get at least another $50/month on the rental price. It’s a 2 bedroom, so $500 is a pretty good price, I think. I could probably do better than that if the bathroom wasn’t the size of a mouse turd.
Speaking of which, I’ve killed 4 in the last 24 hours.