Oh man, this house is starting to look nice. About two years, we were interested in getting the interior of the house painted. We didn’t know what color to paint it, but we knew we wanted to get it painted. However, when the prospective painters gave us their quote, we waited until they left before we fainted. Egads, does it really cost this much? We said we would think about it, and two years passed. It was easy, because life just got busier around here, including the arrival of Lily the Muppet.
Fast-forward to this year, and we still really want to paint the house. Of course, we still didn’t know what color to paint it, but that’s beside the point. We called a host of painters, and you would think that in the current state of the economy, contractors would be chomping at the bit for work. Maybe some, but not all. Of the nine different painters I called, only three gave us quotes.
Three. That’s right. Tres painters. Some never called me back. Three came in to check out the place, and emailed us quotes a few days later. The ones who came to estimate, but never sent us quotes, nor responded back when I emailed, informing them I’m still waiting on the quote….. well, those guys just baffled me. Why wouldn’t you even give me a quote? My favorite is probably the same painters who gave us a high quote in 2008, but I called back anyway. With the recession, I wanted to see an updated quote. Instead, they used the same price estimate, and added an additional $400 for extra doors and the upstairs hallway.
For a while, we considered just buying the paint from Home Depot and simply painting the place on our own with the help of some friends. It didn’t work out though. I had limited free time to get the caulking, sanding, and painting completed on my own, and some of our friends didn’t have all the time either. It was cheaper to do it ourselves, but it wasn’t turning out to be the smartest, based on free time, effort, and cost. I’ve come to realize that some jobs are easy enough to do yourself with a little elbow grease. However, you should pick your battles, and avoid getting overwhelmed for a task you don’t have the skills, equipment, and most importantly, the ability to complete it timely.
In the end, we selected Stewart’s Painting and Power Washing, a father and son team based here in central NJ. They seemed honest, fully insured, and their references checked out. I’ve been pretty worried about handing over large sums of money to contractors, based on the horror stories I’ve heard, but I called their references, and previous customers were generally very happy. These guys came in way under compared to everyone else, and well, they actually gave us a quote.
We were scheduled to have the painting completed last week, but the last-minute February snowstorm/blizzard (snowicane? snowapocalpse?) delayed it. Our painter was only able to complete the spackling of cracks and holes on Wednesday, and helping us to remove the old window treatments and blinds (no charge!) Our painters came back the following Monday and Tuesday and finished the job. Truth be told, they missed some very minor details here and there, but on the whole, a very good job, and the price was excellent. I would certainly recommend them to others.
In addition to the interior painting, we’re also replacing the living room window treatments and blinds. The old venetian blinds were broken and hard to use, and the old curtains matched nothing. On Thursday, our new custom shade from Budget Blinds was delivered and installed in 30 mins. Now we’re just waiting to find the curtain rods, get it all installed and hung up, some pictures hung up, and we are done.