My husband and I always thought that tackling DIY projects would be the surest way to marital troubles. After all, neither one of us knows what we're doing so there are WAY too many opportunities to screw things up and get on each other's nerves about things and the way they should be done.
So we bought the house we did precisely because it had been updated and we only needed to do a few things. Such as:
1. Paint a bedroom and bathroom which had, inexplicably, been painted purple. The rest of the house is tastefully done in Navajo White and soothing shades of green, blue and yellow - but these two rooms were a strange zombie-like purple.
2. Put a chandelier in the dining room. Not a big deal because we didn't even have to buy one since a chandelier had been installed, inexplicably, in the middle of the kitchen. (I'm 5'8" and my husband is 6'2". Needless to say, our skulls couldn't take this anymore.)
(Who needs a chandelier in the middle of their kitchen? Our house is full of little oddities like this.)
3. Replace the kitchen chandelier with recessed lighting to match the rest of the kitchen.
4. Re-caulk a few spots in the two bathrooms.
And that was it. Simple! We'll just hire a handyman and be done with it!
So I took it upon myself, as Chief Executive Officer in Charge of All Household Operations and Negotiating Minx, to call every single handyman, painter and electrician in the Boston suburbs. My plan was to screen a few companies, schedule a few appointments for estimates and then hire a professional based on who could give me the best quality work at the best price.
Oh, how innocent I was!
(This is the part where experienced homeowners try to suppress a little chuckle, amused at my naive belief that I would be in charge of this process. Ha!)
I'm convinced that home repair contractors live by a code, and that code is: ESTIMATES? HAHAHAHHAHA!
Either the contractor flat-out refused to give me an estimate (or even better, they wanted me to PAY them $60 just to hear an estimate!) or they did what the handyman I ultimately hired did - they just pulled a number out of thin air and told me the work would be done in 10 hours.
In the end I spent 3 days at my house without internet access or showers, and the cost was 3 times the original estimate (HAHAHAHA! ESTIMATE!)
I've learned my lesson. Next time, I'll learn to love the purple.