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October 14, 2008


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Sadly, the frustration you dealt with is nothing compared with the agony of actually painting a house when you're a perfectionist. Kudos for hiring pros! I will never understand how companies like the first one you went to stay in business. A pox on Painters Unlimited for wasting your time!

Houses DEFINITELY cost more than children. You are so right. Glad your painting woes will soon be over. Can't wait to see the "After" pictures!

Houses do eat money! We have spent more money at Lowe's and Home Depot this year than anywhere else except for the mortgage company. But, once you get all of the projects done, you can go a year or two with very little spending!

It took us more than a year to pay off all the debt we racked up in those first few glorious months of becoming first-time homebuyers.

And I'm glad you called those painter dudes out for their bad behavior. They deserve it.

Luke's dad had a good time. Kara loves him. She is a joy.
But it figures, we put in about four man days and the pros will take about 16 man days. (4 x 4 = 16)Practice helps make it better.

You're doing great. Checking references and BBB records is definitely the way to go... getting several estimates can also help (if you're not in a time crunch), to determine if the rates are fair or too high.

Also- I've had great luck with services like Consumer Checkbook (http://www.checkbook.org/) and Angie's List (http://www.angieslist.com/Angieslist/), where community members rate area service providers. When I've called a company with tons of great reviews, I've rarely been disappointed.

your friendly librarian

Seriously, how long does it take to give an estimate!! I would have expected a rough estimate before she left!! So glad you found someone else to work with.
With owning a home, you'll soon see that there is always someting that needs fixed or replaced. Just keep reminding yourself that it's an investment.
When we bought our home someone gave us the Home Improvement book by Home Depot. It has actually helped alot.

This is exactly what I go through every time we need work done. Plumber, landscaper, painter, garage door service, deck restoration, all of it! I guess they didnt get the memo that the economy is in the crapper? You would think they wanted the work. Apparently not.
You will be so glad to have this all done for you. It is always 8x's more work than it seems when you decided to start.

Yeah, you would think they'd be glad for the work. I know at least around here, construction and improvement businesses are closing due to lack of work.

If only you lived closer- I have a friend who is a professional painter. He does side jobs and is so reasonable- we usually just have to buy him beer! Now if only we had some more rooms for him to paint. ugh.

Ugh, that experience sounds like the worst! I'm so proud of you for keeping your head cool throughout it, though. I'm not even pregnant and I can guaran-darn-tee you that there would have much ganashing of teeth and probably hurled cell phones as a result of that kind of ineptitude. I'm glad you found a good painter, good luck!

I'm glad you found another company that was willing to do the work, do it faster, and obviously be more professional. I would think you would have gotten at least a guestimate before she left.

I hope you let your realtor know so she doesn't recommend this company to anyone else.

I second the recommendation for Angie's List...my parents used them to find a roofer and and a fencing contractor and had great luck.

Also, a great rating service for auto mechanics can be found at the website of the (very funny) NPR show Car Talk at cartalk.com.

As for children being more expensive than houses, well, I suppose that all depends. The current Dept. of Agriculture statistics say that it will cost between $140K and $250K for a dual-parent to raise a child to the age of seventeen (NB: This does not include a college education).

I looked it up and it seems that the median purchase price for a house in Indianapolis is about $140K (Indy is one of the most affordable real estate markets nationwide). Now, this does not include any fun extras like utilities, financing fees, upkeep, additions, insurance or the like.

So, in the end, I would venture a guess and say that (if you don't include a college education), a house will end up being more expensive. If you add this in (assuming four years at the going rate to attend a public, four-year university or college, which is about $30K), you get a little closer but I'd say not much.

I guess I would consider both a sort of investment. What one invests in children, I suspect, goes far beyond money. For most, represents a more rewarding (if less quantifiable) return on that investment.

Probably Angie's List is the only good way to get a real recommendation, kinda like reading the product reviews on Amazon from real ppl. I don't trust BBB stuff as much (I mean complaints, sure, but they can also be from a person w/axe to grind, and "certification" often means the business paid the BBB a fee to be called that).

My dad was a professional painter for his second job and I now live with a contractor, so I've seen both sides of it. Estimates do take a LOT of time for some things, but for painting a formula can often be applied. Maybe that lady wasn't good at measuring or something and therefore couldn't do a quick formula? Anyway, I'm glad you have a path forward!!

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