Green house

The fascia is painted. The shutters are hung
The fascia is painted. The shutters are hung
Ellen feeds Spencer before leaving for Arizona
Ellen feeds Spencer before leaving for Arizona
Dave and Spencer reading a book
Dave and Spencer reading a book
No, not the kind you grow vegetables in. Not, not a super-duper LEED certified, energy efficient house (though we have made our house much more energy efficient). I am talking about a house which is the color green. More specifically, the trim is now consistently dark green (reaction is the name of the paint color). This has been a long process, and is actually still not totally complete. We started putting in new windows last spring, and put green trim around them. We knew that we wanted to get new gutters and fascia this summer, since the previous tenants had let the gutters get so clogged that the fascia was rotting. We got a couple quotes on gutters, and decided on Gutter Topper, which had a booth at the Arvada Gold Rush festival in June. They actually specialize in this gutter topper thing, which prevents leaves from getting in your gutters to begin with. It is actually more expensive than the gutters themselves though, so we did not get that. I’m young and have plenty of energy to clean the gutters a couple times per year.

We signed a contract with Graham Lutz (the salesman) of Gutter Topper in early July, and they said it would be 3-5 weeks, since they were pretty backed up. They didn’t end up starting for nearly 7 weeks, and then it took them over 2 weeks to complete the job. There were all sorts of excuses like dental emergencies, and hornet stings, as well as simple unpreparedness, and short working days. The first day that Greg (the installer) showed up, I actually got a call from Matt Roberts (the installation manager), saying that Greg wasn’t able to get the outside power outlet on our house to work. I was quite surprised, since I was at home with Spencer that day. It turns out he was at my next door neighbor’s house. Had their outdoor power outlet worked, he probably would have started ripping off their gutters. I am not sure what would have happened in that case. At any rate, I went out and talked to Greg, and we went over the project. He had all the new fascia board (I requested cedar instead of pine) with him, and asked me if I wanted the rough side or the smooth side facing out. I said the smooth side, since it would be easier to paint. He said: “Oh, I was wondering if you were going to paint it. Why don’t I let you paint it before I put it up?” This was a good idea, since it is a lot easier to paint the boards on solid ground, as opposed to on a ladder. However, he could have this great idea a month earlier. It actually stated in the contract that the owner would paint the fascia. So suddenly I had a new project to do. Fortunately I had some paint left over from the window trim, so I was able to start painting that day. It took me several days to paint all of the boards though, since I didn’t have enough room on my saw horses to paint all of them at once. This didn’t turn out to be much of a problem, since Greg worked so slowly and little.

The next hurdle was the soffit. We had already discussed the fact that some of the soffit needed to be replaced, and it was in the contract, but Greg did not have any material to replace it with him. So that delayed things even more, and ended up in more painting for me unexpectedly. In addition, some of the fascia boards had some fairly obvious imperfections. One of them had several gouges near one edge of the board. It turned out that Greg put this board right in the front of the house. Had he flipped the board upside down, the imperfections would have been covered. Or if he had put this piece somewhere where gutter would cover it, it would have been covered. Or he could have put it in the back of the house or on the side, and I probably would not have cared, but I thought it looked bad, so I had him replace it, which meant he put up a new board which I did not have time to paint first.

To top things off, on one Friday Matt Roberts (the installer manager) called me to ask if I could give them partial payment, so that Greg could have some money for the weekend. I said no, since the contract said 30% up front, and the remainder when the job was done. By this point I was not very confident that he would come back to finish if I only owed them a bit more. Had they been more on top of things, the job should have taken 2 days – 3 at most. Greg did come back on Tuesday, the day after labor day, and finished the job, and in the end, did a fairly decent job. It has rained since then, and the gutters and downspouts work well, and the fascia is hung fairly well. One thing he did not do with the fascia that he probably should have is overlap the seams of the boards. Overall, I would give them a C-. I would not recommend Gutter Topper of Colorado (or L & R enterprises, their new name).

Back to the green house. Dave and Ellen came to visit us last weekend, and while they were here, we got a bunch of work done, including painting the remaining fascia boards, and painting over the nails on the fascia that was painted. We also hung back up the old shutters in the front after painting them. Dave almost fell off his ladder while helping me do this, and dropped one shutter. It cracked, but we were able to put it back together with a little silicone caulk, and you can’t tell at all from street level that it is cracked. We were just glad that the shutter broke, and not Dave. Ellen did a bunch of work inside the house, including putting up more baseboard, and re-weatherstripping the front door. And of course we had plenty of time to play with Spencer too. Now we just need to paint the front door green to match the trim, and to replace the two windows in the front of the house.

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