We joined Angie's List today. Thanks to their pretty much constant adds on NPR we decided to give them a shot. It is time for us to get serious about hiring contractors to do work on the house. We have felt so lost on where to start and how to find a good contractor, which is where Angie's List comes in. Here is their description for what they are:
Angie's List is where you'll find thousands of unbiased reports and reviews about service companies in your area. Our members share their experiences with each other so that you can choose the service company that's right for your job the first time around.
Whenever you need a plumber, roofer, dentist, electrician, auto mechanic, physician, dermatologist, landscaper (or anyone from our 500+ categories), search Angie's List online, by phone or via fax.
You'll receive ratings and reviews of local professionals who've done work for other members in your area, plus important details about the type of work they've done, prices, professionalism and timeliness.
Once your choice is made, circle back with Angie's List to share your feedback. Your input on any service or health provider will become part of their rating on Angie's List
So, we joined. You have to pay a membership fee, but it is nothing crazy. We payed for the year membership and they had a special going that you saved 20% is payed with paypal, which meant our total for the year was $31. Not a bad price as long as you make good use of their services. I think it will be a good first step for us in taking care of some of the restoration work around the house.
The project we are looking into is having our front deck restored to it's original condition. That involves work on about half of our columns, replacing some floor boards, and some of the railing either needs to be repaired or replaced. Also, the cement steps leading up to the porch need some work, one of the side supports is at an angle and the other side's corner has crumbled a bit. Oh, and I think to be up to code there should be a railing on at least one side of the steps. Ah, and one more thing that I just remembered. The overhead light needs to be redone since it is currently tube and knob wiring.
Humph, I took some (grainy) photos with my itouch of the porch, but for unknown reasons it is having issues uploading the photos onto my computer. I guess you will just have to imagine what out of alignment columns look like, as well, as rotting floor boards.
I researched contractors this morning and was somewhat pleasantly surprised by the member reviews. In the reviews the members give a description of the work and the approximate cost. More often than not the costs were lower than what I would anticipate for the work done. I know that now is a good time to get work done on your house, since the recessions has really affected contractors and they need to be very competitive in their pricing. I'm hoping that we will have the companies come out over spring break to put in their bids and we will find one that is just right.
The porch project is just one thing in a very long list. After the porch is done, we plan on looking into getting the exterior of the house painted; we are hoping to tack onto that job getting our living room painted. Normally we would like to do interior painting on our own, but some of the lathe and plaster needs to be repaired and there is some water damage that also needs to fixed- all of which puts painting the living room above our expertise level. We are hoping we can get the house painted this summer...
We also need a dormer window replaced. Our fencing needs to be extended and the gates need to replaced. The garage needs works- specifically a new roof, but there is a ton of other things that could be done too- like some siding needs to be replaced and it would be nice to have electricity out there. I could go on and on and on and on about all the things we need done (but who couldn't, right?).
For now, we are focusing on the front porch. Hopefully, before too long I will be able share with you our beautifully restored porch!
I'm happy to report that our crocuses are up! The poor little guys have had quite the beat down by the heavy rains the last few days, but they are looking pretty cheery when it is a bit drier. The daffodils are almost ready to bloom and there are tons of tulips just starting to get their leaves out. We planted a lot last fall, so I am excited to see what all took.
I'm still feeling pretty blah today. I haven't throw up (winning!), but I have had a few waves of nausea. I'm at least being semi-productive- what with contacting contractors and doing laundry. But... mostly I'm hanging out on the couch watch the BBC series Monarch of the Glen on Netflix Watch Instantly. Honestly, I'm not really being sucked into the story or the characters, but the setting... oh, the setting... It takes place in the Scottish Highlands in the fictional town of Glenbogle. It is filmed a the Ardverikie Estate which is actually in the Scottish Highlands and. It. Is. Gorgeous. I want to go to there.