M and I have been valiantly trying all summer to get a new fence and a paint job for our house. We did not think this would be such a big deal because we plan to use the Microsoft home improvement tool (a telephone and a checkbook) to get the job done. No gathering of tools, no visits to Home Debit, and no hours and hours of hard work. Easy right? Ha, ha, not so fast.
You know all those unflattering, unkind things people say about the intelligence, integrity, and possible drug abuse of painters, roofers, and construction workers? I now believe that any and all of those things may be true. The first problem you face with these guys (they're always guys) is just getting them to talk to you. M probably called four or five different fencing companies trying to get estimates from them. You would think that a business would not survive if you completely fail to call the customers back. He finally found some companies that would come and give him estimates, but some of them were sky hi. After MANY months (and two letters of complaint from our HOA) we are FINALLY getting a fence in the next few weeks (knock on wood).
Roughly the same thing happened when we tried to get a house painter. M called one guy who said he would be out on Friday. Then he called back to say he would come at 11:30, oh wait, he meant to say SATURDAY at 11:30. Saturday at 11:30 came and went without any sign of him. He called to ask if M wanted to set up an appointment some time? Argh! Now he's supposed to come this afternoon. We shall see.
Meanwhile, I've been searching for painters too. My friend, T, very kindly forwarded several recommendations and I called three of them from the list. One called me back. He said he would call in the next two days to make an estimate appointment. He called four days later to ask if I was home right at that moment. Fortunately I was and he said he would come in an hour. Three hours later he actually appeared. If our house ever gets a paint job and a new fence I will be thrilled and amazed.