Tag Archives: remodeling

I just want my house painted!

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

Somehow 20 + years has flown by and the house my husband and I built has seen better days (especially with two crazy boys and lots of their crazy friends), and now my husband and I are on the verge of being empty nesters. As I talked about in earlier blogs my husband and I dont exactly see eye to eye when it comes to bigger decisions like this. But after several, ok many, months of he and I being on opposite pages, he finally came around to my way of thinking. I only am half kidding about my way of thinking by the way, the fact that we dont agree right away is what helps makes our marriage work.

Anyway, the husband decided that perhaps I was right and we needed to update the house in order to get it ready to sell. I decided that the best place to start would be with the floors and the walls.

I poured through websites and watched dozens of tv shows discussing what styles are in and what styles are out, what updates get the best return for the money when fixing to resell, and what order is best to remodel a house should be done in. I was ready and start. The first thing I need to do was find the companies and people to do the updating that I wanted done. That is where I hit a snag.

Every place I went I asked people if they knew someone they could recommend to do three things, 1. Paint the interior 2. replace the floors and 3. and install an invisible fence for my dog. The invisible fence was first so I could have the dog outside when people were working inside. First of all everyone asked had the same comment. It’s easy, just rent the tool to do it or use a shovel and bury the wire a couple inches in the ground. Cool, I thought, this is going to be installed by the end of the week. The first gentleman I called never got back to me, despite how eager he said he was. The second gentleman came and looked at the backyard, the whole time saying “This will be easy”, then I never heard from him again. Last week someone posted on Facebook that they too were looking for someone to install an invisible fence and got lots off people who said it was easy and to DM them to discuss details. I reviewed the posts and decided on a gentleman to do it and DM’d him. He contacted me back and asked about the job. I described my patio, where the electrical was. “No problem.” he said. I gave him my address he said he would take a look and give me a quote. You guessed it… I never heard from him again. I emailed him twice and no response back. I contacted the woman who did the original FB post and he never contacted her again either.

When I told someone this story they just told me to do it myself because, it’s easy. I dont WANT to do it myself. My husband does not WANT to do it himself. With all this talk about supporting the trades I though it would be easy to find people who knew what they are doing, and are willing to do it so that they can earn a living. My husband and I fully understand the time and cost involved in doing these types of things and are ready to pay to have it done, probably more than others would. But the same went for painting my house. Everyone said they would do and could do it. When I brought up my two story foyer, a complete average foyer by the way, suddenly the “painters” freeze up. One painter told me he didn’t like heights, and another told me that he didn’t have a ladder to get up that high. After several calls I found someone who I thought was legit, they had a couple references and some really nice pictures. They also had a work van and a ladder on top of it. I thought I hit the jack pot. I called them, then waiting, and waiting and waited. Nothing, the never called me back with an estimate. I called them and left a message too. still no answer.

So no invisible fence, no painting… What do “the trades” do? I know people are not working as much because of Covid, but I like to think we are finally on the downside of that. I know that many people have been receiving help financially because of covid, but that will not go on forever and I would think you wouldn’t want to just ignore your business for any length of time. So I’m left wondering why then, why dont people want me to pay them to put in my invisible fence? And why dont people want me to pay them to paint my house? Maybe it is me? Maybe it is my crazy dog? My cranky husband? The fact that I’m more than willing to pay people a more than fair amount to do these things, I’m sure, is confusing and off-putting, but I’m crazy that way. I like to pay people money to do things I want to get done, if only I could find someone who was willing to take it.

My husband and I get up everyday and go to work, and put in 120% percent doing it for one reason and one reason only….. to get paid. That is the purpose of working right? to get money so you can afford your life. I understand why people push their kids to going to college and not the trades. I understand why “the trades” have less and less people working in them. I dont want to think this way, I know plenty of friends and really good people who work in the trades and are hard working people who work their butts off to support themselves and their family, but it appears that there maybe just as many who do it for other reasons. Whatever those reasons are, I currently have a very sour taste in my mouth from calling and calling people who say they will install a fence, paint a house or replace my flooring, but not only dont every show up but dont have the respect to tell you the truth in the first place. Respect is earned…..

Our house, in the middle of the street

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Throughout my 33+ years of marriage I have had two standard replies when people ask me “what the secret to a long marriage is?” Sometimes I say “Separate vacations”, which is half truth, fact is if I really want to go someplace and the husband doesn’t, then I take my girlfriends. Same for him, but with his guy friends of course. We still take at least one really good vacation a year together tho. My second answer is usually “patience”. Then I follow it up by saying I just wait until he comes around to my way of thinking. The second response is more true than the first one, however it is also the most frustrating.

We have been living in the house we are currently in for 20 years. We built it when our kids were very young with the plans of staying in it until they were both out of school. Graduation days have come and gone and we are still here. Its a great neighborhood, close to where we work and the perfect combination of city and country to suit us. The house however is more than showing its wear and tear. We already had to replace the furnace, the air conditioner and our dishwasher. Mostly, however the house needs updating. I am thinking paint and new flooring. My husband is thinking paint. That is it, just paint. Of course to me, the idea of painting and NOT putting in some type of new flooring makes absolutely no sense. Why brighten up the place and leave the same dingy carpeting. To make the issue worse, I know that right now people want wood floors if we were to try and sell. Watching any fixer-upper show on HGTV and you’ll notice that right away. I also think that it will not only make the house look better and easier to sell that we could ask more money for it.

My husband has an entirely different thought on that however. In his mind, the people that move into the house next will want to put their own stamp on it. He thinks we should paint the house, every room, cream (how boring). No new carpeting and diffidently no wood floors because then the people that move in can put whatever they want in the house. As for the price, he feels like we should not worry about how much money we get for it. We should have it appraised and then ask that price, the end. As you can tell we are on very opposite ends when it comes to what we should and should not do to our house when we get it ready to sell.

Over this past summer, during the couple weeks our state opened up a little temporarily, we ran into a handy man at our local bar. After we told him what we were thinking of doing he began to ask us qualifying questions. When are we thinking of doing this he asked. I said that I wanted to start right away. My husband said “In the next year or so.” The gentleman asked if we wanted to remodel our kitchen. I said “yes”, but my husband said “no”. With a funny look on his face the gentleman asked the big question…. Carpeting? or wood floor? I, of course said wood floor! My husband, to my surprise, said “Carpeting,” then not surprisingly “but only downstairs”. We looked at each other and started to laugh. The gentleman looked at both of us, grabbed his beer and just walked away, without even a “call me when you two agree” between us. It was the last time we talked about remodeling the house until this weekend.

This weekend I brought it up again. I’m tired of the carpeting, the paint on the walls, everything really. It’s old looking and I think when people come in our house they must think we how badly we need to paint and replace the carpeting. My husbands parents came over and asked ME when we were going to do this, or do that to the house, or ask if there is a reason we aren’t doing something, like painting. It is frustrating to me because I feel like they blame me for the way the house looks. Their son is sitting right there and they never say anything to him, but I bite my lip and make up some stupid excuse. After they left, I brought up the subject again and asked hubby his thoughts. He said he just didn’t care about what our house looks like, it’s fine. He said he doesn’t want to go through all the remodeling mess again, and he doesn’t care how much money we get for the house when we sell it. I replied that I didn’t understand why he didn’t want to have a nice home, have a place to be proud of when people come over, have a place we can enjoy because it filled with things we love. He said he just didn’t as long as we were happy and healthy. How do I argue with that? So I just stopped talking about it. I have to hope that he changes his mind, that one of his friends, or his parents says something to him that makes him change his mind. And so I wait, wait for him to change his mind… again. I know (or hope) that he eventually will, but how long will that take? I guess I just wait… so we are at a standstill. Of course he didn’t want a dog but we got one so there is that, baby steps I guess.