Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Home Front

While we await the countdown to the inaugural Person-of-Mystery™ contest, and competitors contests, I was able to compose the following domestic update:

The other day, I told you I was in the process of painting shutters and I didn't want to leave you in the dark, so I figure I'll reveal more now.  As some of you know, I'm a school teacher.  Now I enjoy being a teacher, but there's one small problem with teaching - you earn a very small salary.  Normally, this doesn't bother me all that much, but from time-to-time, it catches up with you.  A few months ago, I noticed the paint on our house peeling.  Actually just the trim and the shutters.  We live in a neighborhood where we have salesmen come around regularly and ask you if you'd like to pay them to do jobs for you and painters are common.  Well, I got a couple quotes (for the shutters and the trim) and both were reasonable, but just a little beyond what we wanted to pay, so we decided to do it ourselves.  We figured we'd start with the shutters as you could actually see wood on some areas of the shutters.

Unfortunately for me, our front door is the same color as the shutters, so if we repaint the shutters, it becomes necessary to also paint the front door.  So to the hardware store we went and picked out a paint color.  After much indecision, we ended up with a color very close to what we already had, but even this was close to being ruined when the salesman unintentionally revealed that the color we had chosen was called "Desert Cactus."  For those single men in our audience who have jobs in paint naming business, I can tell you that few women want to buy something called "Desert Cactus."  They like to buy paints with nice names like "Periwinkle Bud."

The big day came and I removed the door, got it to the garage, and we gave it a first coat.  While it was drying, Mrs. Nate Maas helpfully informed me that while we were waiting for the paint to dry, if I could take down the shutters the boys could start stripping and sanding them.  I got the first one down and my oldest and son began working in the backyard.  My youngest son decided he didn't want to be left out, so I told him, he could work on the other one.

(youngest son where our door used to be)

At this point we returned to the garage to add a second coat.  Just after starting, I hear, "Uh oh, Dad come quick!"  Not a good sign.  Upon coming to the back yard, I discovered that our youngest son had discovered that shutters that have sat in the sun for a number of years come apart pretty easy.

All this commotion caused Mrs. Nate Maas to come to the back yard and give the shutters a closer look.  The shutters looked repairable to a male eye, but after this new inspection, it was determined that new shutters were needed.  But if we got new shutters, it was determined that vinyl shutters were needed.  And if we got new vinyl shutters we should probably add a second set to another window.  Now vinyl shutters come in many colors including something close to "Desert Cactus."  Although as I was ordering these online, I started thinking, hey, the reason we just painted the door was to match the shutters.  Now, we're going to need to paint the shutters that are already close to that color (maybe, keeping fingers crossed).  Bummer!

(the door being painted)

So finished up painting the door and put it back on the hinges, this morning when out to get the newspaper only to discover that the door was stuck closed (not too bad).

After all is said and done, I've got a door that's pretty close to what we had before, no shutters, trim still to paint, more work ahead, and we're about halfway through the money we would have paid the professional.  When all is said and done, I would have done little differently as I greatly enjoyed the time with my family.

There's got to be a lesson here somewhere!


Anonymous said...

Nice update, and painting is one of the best DYI jobs, as it is doable by most people, and you can save a boatload of money. If I ever built another house (which I won't), I would do the painting myself, and save a ton. Very nice job.

Anonymous said...

Nate's secret weapon -- cute little boy.

Nate Maas said...

Thanks Anon, I'm very impressed with your building a house. In my high school days I did a lot of light construction (drywalling, plumbing, etc.) and from time-to-time, I get the crazy notion that this would be fun. Although, I think I know enough to put this idea to rest pretty quick. One of the frustrating things is we live in a tract development and the subs they used just did awful work and it annoys me to still be fixing their laziness years later.

Nate Maas said...

Yeah, he is cute and he's got a personality to boot. His nickname is "Spanky."

Charity Grimes said...

Is dat runnin wartr. Dat has no place in da hous. Dat mos your problm rit der.

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