Friday, November 17, 2006

Sucking it up

So I mentioned that I have some soffit panels hanging. We have a problem with a herd of raccoons. They're climbing up a little ornamental tree, up on top of the outdoor cat enclosure and peeling off our siding. Jerks.

Ok, so I called the folks that originally put on my new gutters two years ago; Goddard Guttering. I asked for someone to come out and give me an estimate on repairs.
I get a call from one of their guys while I'm at work. He's standing in my yard, yakking all country-boy friendly with me and once he assesses the damage, he tells me that his company has a minimum 250.00 service call fee just for the gutter problem. We're talking about a gutter they put on only two years ago that is pulling away from the house. 250.00 miminum to come out and do some stuff to it.
He then tells me that the soffits will be another visit altogether and will be even more. Five panels that just need popping back in.
I told him no. I'd find another way.

So if I have this right, Goddard just told me that it would cost me around 600.00 just to have some guys come out with some ladders, hammers and nails and put my newish stuff back together again.
That is so screwed up.

I got a newspaper and found a few people in the Service Pages that are going to give me their estimates in a few days. One of the two told me his service charge was 55.00. I can deal with that. I understand the 55.00 will be subtracted from the final repair bill.

I also have to have a pecan tree taken down that's threatening my and my neighbor's house. It's going down next week for 1250.00. Sounds high, but it's cheap compared to having your house smushed. Or your neighbor's house smushed.

I'm presently in the market for a skilled all round handyman. I have a long list of stuff that needs attending to. I tried one guy, and he did a passable job on a few things, but his work was kind of shoddy in my opinion.

My best friend is a highly skilled woodworker and I've been really blessed to have his help on some home improvement projects. He helped me put on a new roof a few years ago, he built me a screened in porch and he built my cat enclosure (the roof of which that fat-ass racoon fell through last week. Jerk.) But he works full time and can't afford to travel to TN everytime I have a request. He spoiled me though. I know things can be done well. And I know how just how little a good job really costs. I just have to suck it up now and get some work done.


jonathan hickman said...

Good handymen are hard to find. I know a couple who I use sometimes. One is good but expensive for big jobs but doesn't seem to be so great for little ones (ie his roofing crew did a great job on our house, but his carpeting crew did a lousy job on my brother's - why he wanted carpet, I don't know). Then I know this other guy whose daughter I dated in HS. He seems to do a decent job but he's kind of lazy.

I'd give him a try, though. Ronnie Smith - 688-6543. At least get him to give you a bid.

firstimpressionist said...

The experience with Goddard reminds me of when I called a mowing service to give me a quote on doing my backyard once a month. They pull up with $10,000 worth of equipment on a trailer and after one look at my backyard, tell me 10 reasons why they can't do it. Just can't do it. (Basically they couldn't get their candy-ass stand-behind machines into the yard).

I've now got a friend doing the whole yard with a push mower for only 75.00.

I guess once a business gets big enough, they're no longer hungry enough to waste their time on the small stuff.

jon said...

Very true.

And I want to see your yard sometime if it's really $75 to mow it.

(I'm lucky that my yard takes about 10 minutes to mow when I'm in a hurry, and I can mow the whole thing in 30 or so when it needs it).

firstimpressionist said...

My yard is a rolling acre. The back yard has two terraces and the mower is at a 45 degree angle most of the time. Then there's a fenced in side yard, a front yard and another hilly side yard.

There was more at the bottom of the back yard, but after two years I let it grow up. It's a beautiful big park-like mossy expanse when bush-hogged, but it took me an hour or more to do. Last time I mowed it, I ran over a turtle and had a terrible Dr. Dolittle Vietnam experience, where I blew his shell off and then ran over him again as he was still crawling shell-less. I had some serious PTSD after that.

75.00/mo. is a bargain to me at this stage.

jon said...

ouch. 75 does sound like a bargain.

And I don't envy your experience with the turtle. I still feel guilty about the squirrel I ran over 10 years ago.