We’re so close to the end of our painting project. We got our HOA to give us an extension to the end of the month, and it looks like we’re going to make it. We’ll probably have to spend two evenings this week and then it will be done. (actually, it looks like about two hours worth of work left, but every time I estimate a timeframe for a home improvement project, it takes us three times that long, so I’m going to give us two evenings and not be disappointed).
This weekend, we worked on the really high parts of the house. The top of the chimney, and the gables at the front and back of the house on the upper story. Our 22 foot ladder wouldn’t reach them, so we rented a ladder. We had thought about buying a used one on Craigs list, but everything we found was at least $100. We rented a 40 foot ladder for $26, and now we don’t have to store it anywhere. This is the first time in over five years that we’ve ever needed a ladder taller than the one we have, so it didn’t make much sense to buy one and have to store it. We picked up the rental ladder yesterday at about 11:30 am. We worked until dark last night – about 8:30. Then we got up at 5am and were outside painting by the time it was light. (bonus – it’s much cooler at 6am than it is at noon… something we night owls don’t usually get to enjoy). We worked all morning, taking turns on the high ladder. It’s nerve racking being up that high, and very tiring – probably because every muscle in your body is tense the whole time, hoping that you’re not going to end up skewered on the picket fence way down there. So we found that it worked better if we switched off, with one of us working on the shorter ladder and the other on the tall ladder. Half the battle was moving the darn thing. It weighed 200 pounds – seriously. Getting it into position would take us at least half an hour each time we needed to move it. Guess we got our workout in today.
We finished the last high spot, got the ladder loaded back on the roof racks of my trusty civic, and returned it to the store, with two minutes to spare. Now we only need to do the back side of the chimney (we just have to stand on the roof behind the chimney to do that) and one section of trim where we can stand on a patio roof. We’ve bought 10 gallons of wall paint, 3 gallons of trim paint, and 16 tubes of caulk. When you add in the ladder rental, the grand total comes to $360. Not bad for a full exterior paint job. We started about the middle of June, but we took a couple weeks of recently when my husband’s family was in town. My family pitched in one day last month and helped us make huge progress – otherwise we’d probably be working on it until September. It’s looking great, and although painting a house is not that high on my summer fun activities list, it feels great to have done it, and I’m so glad that we did it ourselves for just the cost of materials, instead of paying someone else to do it.
Next up… the HOA says we have to paint our fence. I think we’re going to put in a vinyl fence instead – either way, that will be next weekend’s project.