The Year of Maintenance

02 February 2009 · 6 comments

Have I mentioned that Kris and I own a big, old house? We do. And for the past couple of years, I have done a piss-poor job of maintaining the thing. (Kris has upheld her end of the deal for the most part, but I’ve been absorbed with other things.)

The recent snow and ice pulled the gutters away from the side of the house in spots, which means the rain (which has been in mercifully short supply lately) just pours off the side of the house, and probably curls back onto (and under?) the siding. This problem snapped me out of my stupor, and I realized that hey! if I don’t take care of the house, it’ll fall apart. Yikes.

Over the weekend, we took a tour of Rosings Park — indoors and out. We made a long list of projects that need attention. Some are easy. We prune the grapes and the blackberries every year, right? Some are time-consuming but won’t cost much: cleaning the shop, finishing the horseshoe pits. But others will take both time and money, and they’re the things I’m most worried about. The gutters are but one example.

The southeast corner of the house — where we had an exahust vent installed for the furnace — is a nightmare. Paint is peeling away in large chunks. In some spots, it’s just bare wood against the outside world.

Kris and I have agreed that this year is the Year of Maintenance at Rosings Park. It’s going to be costly, but it needs to be done. As our home inspector wrote when we bought the house:

The national statistic on the Cash Value of Home Maintenance states, for every $1 that is spent on maintenance, up to $100 of repairs are avoided. In my experience as a professional home inspector, I have looked at hundreds of homes in all age ranges, and I have seen thousands of dollars of damage to homes that could have been avoided by spending $5 to $10 and just a few minutes of work.

It’s time for us to spend a few bucks and do a few minutes of work! (Though we’ve kind of progressed to a middle stage where it’s going to take a little longer and cost a little more.)

Anybody have experience/suggestions/recommendations for house painters?

1 Drew February 2, 2009 at 19:40

Yep. I recommend Travis Harp. He’s a fire marshal by training, but biding his time as security personnel at Sunset. He has a painting business on the side. Bet he’s painted half dozen Sunset teachers’ houses. I was planning to use him myself when we need to paint.

2 dickey45 February 2, 2009 at 20:58

If it is old wood siding, it might be worth looking at replacing the siding and trim and recaulking. Hardi siding holds paint very well.

3 Mom February 3, 2009 at 15:59

Let me and Jeff know if you find someone. (Travis Harp sounds good.) My house is needing painting badly, too, and some of the boards on the porches need replacing.

4 Sue Harvey February 4, 2009 at 16:32

I got just the people for you JD. I could give you their number if you want.

5 Blogeois February 4, 2009 at 20:38

We recently used Creekside Painters from Vancouver: (360) 574-9400( and have nothing but good things to say about the job they did for us (after nearly 10 years of our neglect).

Just a thought… wouldn’t neglecting your home be similar to neglecting a valuable asset? Bad J.D.

6 Dagny February 15, 2009 at 15:39

My friend Morgan has Stumptown Painting – he’s very good too. When I was managing the apartment building downtown, he was the only guy I used because he ROCKS.

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