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Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween 365

We have had a small flurry of activity here at the house as of late. I got the green light to set up a few projects if I took on the responsibility of setting up the appointments, verifying contractor licenses, etc. myself. I found a great website called Thumbtack.com that aids in that process. You can list the projects you want done, and then receive responses back from interested contractors. Maybe we just got lucky so far, but have had really good luck identifying guys through this site that are not just good at what they do, but provided straightforward no nonsense pricing, and go a little above and beyond. In talking about the site with people, it has the same feeling when you were letting people know about Pinterest. Everybody I have talked to about it have been looking for an alternative like this, and many get started on their own Thumbtack projects shortly thereafter.


Case in point -- our front door. Remember there was a bit of a debate about buying a new one versus refinishing our old one? In pricing doors I realized one important thing -- they don't make them like they used to. Many new doors are made from composite materials. Solid wood doors are very, very expensive. We had a solid wood door that just needed some TLC. So, I threw the project up on Thumbtack. We received a bid back from a guy whose primary work is fine woodworking. I could tell from his website that he was very detail oriented. He did a GREAT job with the door! I picked out the paint and hardware -- most from Rejuvenation. I am not sure I saved any money versus buying a new door, but felt good to give new life to an original piece of our house.

We went for a modern look. I think I have mentioned before that our house wants to be midcentury modern. There are a few houses in our neighborhood that fit squarely in this category. Our house is more aligned with this style than, say, the traditional and Spanish style houses in our neighborhood, but we will have to do some upgrades to make it look retro cool. Although you would think the bright orange color would add the most drama, the real gasp inducing change is that we took down our security door. About a quarter of the houses in our neighborhood have security doors. I don't think it is as much for security as it is for air flow, as central heat/air was not a standard feature of houses in our neighborhood, and only the few smart ones who have added a/c experience any degree of comfort in our 90 degree + summers. We know we will regret this decision at times, but we do still have the side security door, and we also have a freestanding a/c unit. Style over function. As for security -- I know we live in a neighborhood where unsavory people would be inclined to try the front door to see if it is unlocked, but it is not the type of neighborhood where somebody would, say, kick in the front door to get in. Knock on wood.

Let the light in -- every morning there is a shadow puppet show in the circle of light made from the now unobstructed peephole. It was crazy day at school this day, if you were wondering about Everett's outfit.
Anyway, we are very happy with how the door came out. If we were going to stay, we probably would have added lites to the door. Not sure all future buyers will find an orange door to their liking (it's orange on the inside too, lol), but having a pulled together look goes a long way. Assuming we do get everything pulled together (haha), I think we will attract people who have similar tastes to us. If it is any indication, we receive a flurry of compliments from folks who come to our house for Craigslist purchases and the like about our style (ohh -- I love your doorbell! Did you see their chairs? You have a record collection!) The other projects we undertook this month were way less glamorous -- installing a bathroom exhaust fan, trying to hide our hideous upgraded electric panel, and moving a whole mess of exposed and oddly protruding gas and water pipes. I told BT I needed something visual to set the tone for what we are striving for, and I think the door fit that bill. Glad we found a good person to help out with this project. And look -- he even gave me a pair of earrings he made :)


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