We are doing a little (OK, not so little!) exterior renovation project on our house right now. The house was built in the mid-1980’s, and though I’m sure the color “fecal brown” was all the rage at that time, I’m over it. Since we moved in 6+ years ago, I have been wanting to give the exterior of our home a face-lift. Unfortunately I have neither the savvy nor the budget of Joanna Gaines, so we’re just hoping that we can make our vision a reality.
We all know the old adage about renovating: it will always cost more money and take more time than you think it will, which I can attest is true based on my own personal experience over the years of home ownership.
But here’s the thing about renovating that HGTV will never tell you: Contractors are like bad boyfriends. Trust me on this. I’ve had some bad boyfriends in my day, SO I KNOW. You call this contractor up for the first time for an estimate (which I think might be the contactor equivalent of a booty call), and they show right up at your door the next day. They seem interested in you and they give you a professional estimate for a reasonable price. You commit. Then–NOTHING. Crickets. All communication becomes one-way. You try calling, it goes to voicemail. You email, sometimes to more than one address because you’re creepy like that. No response. You try texting, but you keep it light, you know? Because you’re so breezy and easy to get along with. You’re definitely not the type of girl to sit around your house waiting for your stone mason to text you back.
Why won’t you get back to me? Am I trying to hard? Not hard enough? If you get back to me I will stop texting you, promise.
Don’t tell me that I just need a better contractor, or a different contractor, or that I should call this guy you know who is your husband’s brother and he’s so awesome and professional so he would never do that to me. IT’S ALL LIES. I have employed a least a few dozen contactors over the past 15 years and they have all done it to me at some point. Sooner or later they ghost, and I find myself in the same old predicament–on my phone in the kitchen, stalking this dude who won’t call me back . Hello, high school memories!
Inevitably, the contractor always seems to turn up a few weeks later, right around the time I am giving up all hope for our working relationship. He is always full of apologies and excuses, just like those bad boyfriends. And I am faced with a choice–do I smile, accept the apology, and move on toward a future in which my house is no longer the color of feces with 1970’s brick? Or do I start over with someone else who could be just as bad or worse? That’s the question. That is always the question.
I would like to thank all of the bad boyfriends from my past who unknowingly but effectively prepared me for the rejection, frustration, and abandonment involved with home improvement.