For the second straight weekend, we have holed ourselves up in our house and set our hands, arms, legs, and anything else that will bend to painting our house. Well, parts of our house, at least. (And maybe I was exaggerating about the leg-painting....) Last weekend, it was the downstairs living and dining room area. This weekend, it was supposed to be doors and the walls surrounding our stairs up to the second floor. It ended up being just the doors. That and hanging five sets of blinds took all weekend long. (Obviously, we have a lot of doors.)
Over the past three-and-a-half weeks, our contractor/guy has replaced all the countertops in our upstairs and downstairs bathrooms and our kitchen; he has scraped the linoleum from our bathrooms and kitchen and replaced them with vinyl (upstairs bath only) and laminate (downstairs bath and kitchen); he has painted our bathrooms (upstairs and downstairs) and kitchen; he has repaired the sheet rock in our bedroom and third-floor bonus room where we had previously had leaks; he has replaced or repaired all three of our toilets and installed protective trim in our shower; he has installed shoe molding everywhere we didn't have it before and replaced it where it had to be removed to do the flooring; he replaced our over-the-stove microwave and is going to replace the light fixtures in our kitchen and dining area; he has taught us how to properly caulk, how to build a window cornice, and is going to teach us how to mud walls in order to patch sheet rock.
Did I mention that "he" did all of this: I should probably qualify that a little. He knows a guy who professionally installs vinyl, and that guy and his assistant actually installed the vinyl upstairs. He also has a guy whose expertise is spraying the "popcorn" on ceilings, and that guy did that in our bedroom and skylight area after our guy replaced the sheet rock. Our contractor/guy can basically do everything -- I'm not exaggerating. He had to take three days off from our project the week before last to do a framing job for a guy he works for regularly. This week, he starts working on the crew of a big stone masonry job. But he'll still come by after his day job to finish up a last few things for us. This guy is amazing!
We've put in plenty of hours doing all this painting, a bit of packing and decluttering, cleaning, and oh yeah, hanging those blinds. But our guy's put in plenty more hours doing all that he's done. Of course, we're paying him for everything he's done, but not an exorbitant amount, all things considered. His pricing is fair, he is extremely honest, and we trust him (to the point where I will let him in the house each morning before I go to work and just let him do this thing all day without having to look over his shoulder the whole time, or worry about our (few) valuables being stolen while we're gone.
He works hard, but still saves a bit of his (seemingly boundless) energy for his wife and three kids when he leaves here. His wife makes and sells tamales, and since he's been coming regularly, we've been buying and eating her tamales. (They're wonderful, by the way!) To top it all off, he's a fellow believer, and we've had several great conversations about our Christian faith. We've also shared quite a few laughs.
The big remodeling project will, in all likelihood, be finished before this week is over, and there are many things about it that I won't miss. The day-after-day-after-day of eating takeout because our kitchen was a construction zone and utterly unusable. The three nights we spent on the inflatable bed in the guest bedroom while our bedroom was being worked on. The several days, in the middle of our painting project, when all of our living room furniture was pushed to the middle, and just sitting to eat dinner was a claustrophobic catastrophe. The week-and-a-half-plus that we've spent sleeping with the kitties to keep them isolated from the downstairs construction/painting zone.
But I will miss hanging out with our contractor/guy, not to mention those tamales. (Oh, we'll find a way to get more of those, if we have to drive to Chocowinity to buy them in the store where she sells them.)