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Mad Men, Contractors and The Grand Entrance

July 27th, 2010 at 07:18 am

I think we've finally realized that no matter what the budget for the project is, we should add 50%.

Our house is a little over 60 years old, and we are the second owners. The interior looks like the set designers from Mad Med had a bad day - mutant pineapple wallpaper, lots of goldenrod, and a bathroom with 3 shades of peachy pink (that, by the way, cannot be color matched). Primarily for safety reasons, we've had to do some substantial work on the exterior of the house (although the improvements have all had cosmetic value)- and we have a great landscaper who has worked with us for several years doing the various projects piece by piece.

This spring, we realized that the fieldstone front steps were going to need work. (By work, I mean: were dangerous, falling apart, and might not last the summer.) While my husband talked about doing the work ourselves, I determined that 1) my husband would take forever to do it, if it got done at all; 2) he has no idea what he's doing 3) it would look awful and we'd probably be re-doing the stairs again next year; 4) having a contractor do the steps was cheaper than divorce. We got several quotes and called our go-to landscaper. He gave us a reasonable estimate and we scheduled the project.

In June, the steps fell apart -I blame the chipmunk who had made a cozy bachelor pad inside, although I think the 2 year old had also been taking pieces of the steps and throwing them into the "lawn." (And by "lawn," I mean dead grass that sits in front of the house.)

The landscaper arrived last week. Like any project at our house, he quickly realized that it wasn't going well and he was going to have to build new steps from scratch. This is not a surprise - all of our repair experiences with this house have been similar.

The good news is that the work will be finished today and the steps look fantastic. The bad news is that he's $750 over estimate. I agree with the changes to the project, (and that the price is fair) but it's not like I can just go get that $ off the tree in the backyard. It's thrown a bit of a wrench into the budget...

I have said throughout that I want to spend the money to do these improvements right, but it's a lot easier to say that than to write the check.

3 Responses to “Mad Men, Contractors and The Grand Entrance”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I understand the kind of house you've got! Smile My son did masonry steps work for me. We're very pleased with how good it looks and how sturdy it is. He saved us hundreds. We have a pink on pink bathroom, but it leans more toward salmon. We also had all-in-one the goldenrod & the mutant pineapples wallpaper. But that wallpaper also had heavy flocking plus silver & gold foil! OMG. I'm sure it was very expensive at the time, but it had to go! So did the custom coordinating draperies, even though they were higher quality than I could afford. They made fine paint tarps.

  2. MomEsq Says:

    I can't imagine the pineapples with flocking and foil AND drapes! You should post a picture! The worst is when it's awful but really good quality -I feel always feel terrible about taking it out...

  3. north georgia gal Says:

    You should post pictures of the new steps!

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