Continued Progress on House Painting

Joe and Vincent were wrapping up the Stock Street side when a young man stopped Joe to inquire about working. Elijah had well groomed locs, his pants were belted at his waistline, he spoke articulately. The next week he was part of the crew painting my house. His first task on my house was touching up the Stock Street side. Great job. He and Vincent really seemed to hit it off, working well together.

In week one, rain was forecast everyday. They loss one day to rain. In week two the forecast  was sunshine, low humidity, high 70s, no rain. Perfect summer painting weather. They lost two days to rain, 20200821_113450but the bigger blow was an injury to Vincent that will prevent him from continuing to work on the project.  Elijah now has big shoes to fill and from what I’ve seen so far he is up to the task. I’ve learned that Elijah is a graduate of Job Corp and he had joined a painter’s union.  He’s like a sponge. He wants to learn and he is humble. He has great basic skills and a strong work ethic grounded in wanting to be a high achiever. The young man already has his LLC, a company name and logo as at 23 years of age his aspiration is to own his own paint company. I have no doubt he’ll meet his goal.  We need more young people like Elijah to support, promote, and elevate.

The order of what was going to be painted has changed. Since my last post all sides of my house have been touched. The back of my house gets full sun early and it last well past quitting time, so the guys have been tackling the back and neighbor’s side together. If not for Vincent going down and the rain they would probably be finished with the entire house this week. The dormers really slow things down as Joe does not rely on my gutters to support his equipment. It’s a two-man job with one painting (Elijah) and the other bracing the ladders (Joe). They’ve started arriving earlier to capitalize on the shade as the asphalt shingles really put off heat, which I can testify to when I replaced the siding on the dormers.

The rear dormers are 100% complete. Only the Incredible White on the lower part of the rear needs to completed. The neighbor’s side is 98% complete. There is a small patch at the front gutter and dining room window that needs the Sea Serpent, but it will be easy to hit when they apply the Sea Serpent to the front. The front is 80% primed. I actually joined in on the painting by refreshing the basement/foundation color. Stock Street side looks even better now.

Rain came Thursday as forecast, so the day was cut short. Thanks to hurricane Laura it looks like Friday and Saturday are going to be a wash out too. As they were leaving Joe yelled if weather permits they may work Sunday. Barring more rain the house should be complete by mid next week. I’ve visualized these colors on my house since 2017 when I tried to win the HGTV Urban Oasis Giveaway House from that year. I had my color scheme before I had my house, but I found the perfect house to apply them to. My house’s outward potential is manifesting before my eyes; another vision coming true.

Sosa Hardwood Flooring – Making My Pine Floors Beautiful, Finally

A few times I referenced “drywall deja vu” with my first painter. What made it easier for me to pull the plug was learning from the mistake I made by allowing Roland Hardwood to continue restoring my hardwood floors when I had clear signs that the end result would not be right. I was under the gun. I had a buyer for my house that wanted a three week close. Once I got Roland confirmed from their projected start and finish date I would have approximately a week before I would be moving in. Delivery of my kitchen cabinets and appliances were set assuming the floors would be complete. After sanding the kitchen floors it was obvious the original flooring needed to be replaced, it was too far gone. Roland had five days slated for my project and they were unwilling to extend their time to do what was needed to do to make the floors right. I’ve only lived in my house two years and yet my first floor pine floors look like I’ve lived here two decades.

Sosa LogoThanks to old pine flooring given to me by a Camp Board Member, Lacey, I finally decided to make the floors right, With the outside transforming so beautifully, I could no longer stand the sight of my kitchen floors. While I thought about tackling this myself, I knew this was not a skill set in my wheelhouse so I called Sosa Hardwood Flooring, a company referred to me by a son of a longtime friend. He said he’d stake his life on the quality of their work. That was a good enough reference for me.

Sergio Sosa is so busy that it took three weeks to get on his calendar. When he came to give me a quote I showed him the wood and all my equipment, table and miter saw, router and router table. I said he was free to use all of it, which would save him from hauling his own. To prepare I had to move everything out of the guest room, office and kitchen that was movable, so stove, dish washer, and frig.  I had to remove all the shoe moulding. I also hung plastic to block off dining room from kitchen and zipper doors leading to my master and living room to minimize the dust that would be created.

Sergio and his crew man, Martin, took two days to rip out the rotten floor and replace it with Lacey’s boards. Her boards were wider than mine, so he not only had to rip them down to the right width, but router in a new groove. They also had to shore up under the kitchen counters. As a suspected, which is why this fix should have been done before the counters were set, they landed just shy of a supporting floor joist. Cutting the flooring flush to the cabinet would mean they weren’t supported. Fortunately I had plenty of 2×4 scrapes for him to work with.

The grain of Lacey’s boards weren’t as tight as my original, but I knew instantly that once sanded I would finally have the kitchen floors I expected. Wednesday they did all the sanding and filling where needed. In the office it was discovered that one area replaced by Roland Flooring was done without hitting the joist. Sergio had to go in the basement and shore it up otherwise the entire board could snap if something heavy hit at that location. Roland had also encouraged me to stain the pine floors. The oak floors in the dining and living rooms had to be stained as the new oak that they installed would never match the original. I decided to stain both sides the same. Once the stain was applied to the pine I knew I had made the wrong decision. That was corrected by Sergio’s sanding.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings they applied the protective poly coating. Roland only applied two coats because they considered the stain the first coat. I got to enjoy a nice staycation at the brand new Lytle Park Hotel, a $35 million re-development of the former Anna Louise Inn, since I lost access to my master suite and 1st floor bathroom. What a gorgeous property. It is now my new favorite hotel in downtown Cincinnati.

I can’t get over how great my floors are now. This is what I had envisioned when I made the decision to let these pine floors be my flooring versus covering or replacing. All the shoe moulding has been returned and I’ve even installed the moulding on the kitchen back wall and pantry, which I had left off intentionally until I got this mistake corrected.

Porch Ceiling Restored with Penofin

On multiple searches for the best oil to apply to bead board porches Penofin Penetrating Oil came up, so I went to their website to do further research. I watched their video on how to apply and it focused on deck application. Just to be sure it could be applied to ceilings I emailed their customer service. This is a great tip for DIYers; don’t be afraid to reach out directly to the company whose product you want to use. I have rarely had a negative exchange when doing so.

Kaylee Simii, Penofin Customer Service Manager, replied within a day with detailed instructions for utilizing their Ultra Premium Red Label product. She shared it offered 99% UV protection with mold, mildew and algae inhibitors and it is the same application process as seen in the videos. The preparation and application is a three step process and I must admit I wasn’t thrilled. I went to Amazon first for the product and no one carried small sizes, so I was looking at $150 in products. Their website offered a product locator section, so by typing in my zip code I discovered that Doppes Building Material, less than 5 miles from my house, carried the product. Fortunately they carried quart sizes in the step 2 and 3 products she recommended and they were only $16 each. The actual oil only comes in gallon cans, but I’ll still be well under $100 so I decided to move forward with their product.

The first item in her instructions was: pressure washing is not recommended. Well that ship sailed as I had to do that to get the Peel A-Way product off. Oh well, forge on. Item 2: Penofin Pro-Tech Step 2 Cleaner. Mix 1 cup of Penofin Pro-Tech Step 2 Cleaner to 1 gallon of water in a garden pump sprayer. Prior to applying the Penofin Pro-Tech Step 2 Cleaner solution, sufficiently wet down the surface area with a garden hose. Now you will mist the surface with the Penofin Pro-Tech Step 2 Cleaner. The solution needs to sit on the surface for 10-15 minutes without drying, so you may need to mist with the solution occasionally to prevent the solution from drying on the surface. After the solution has sat on the surface for 10-15 minutes you will lightly agitate the surface area with a push broom or soft bristle brush. Finally, you will rinse the surface area with a garden hose. This is their video on applying the product.

Item 3 from her email stated: Penofin Pro-Tech Step 3 Brightener. Be sure to cover/protect metal surfaces. Mix 1 cup of Penofin Pro-Tech Step 3 Brightener to 1 gallon of water in a garden pump sprayer. Prior to applying the Penofin Pro-Tech Step 3 Brightener solution, sufficiently wet down the surface area with a garden hose. Now you will mist the surface with the Penofin Pro-Tech Step 3 Brightener. The solution needs to sit on the surface for 20-25 minutes without drying, so you may need to mist with the solution occasionally to prevent the solution from drying on the surface. After the solution has sat on the surface for 20-25 minutes you simply rinse off with a garden hose. This is their video on applying the product.

Amazing results and very easy to execute. I plan to build a deck off the back of my house and thanks to Covid-19 I won’t be able to justify the cost of composite wood for it (bummer), so it’s nice to know I’ve found a product that will make maintaining a wood deck feasible. Item 4 in her email said to allow wood surface to dry for 24-48 hours before application of the Penofin penetrating oil finish.

Ultra Premium Red Label Wood Stain Finish | PenofinI waited 48 hours before applying the oil.  The hardest decision for me was deciding which color to apply.  The cleaning and brightening steps really lightened the wood.  Fortunately Doppes offered sample tubes of the stains, so I got Cedar, Redwood, and Western Red Cedar samples and applied them to the house.  I found a lumber mill in Indiana that sold to order specification Eastern Red Cedar, which I planned for my pergola.  My thought was to find a stain that would hopefully match the cedar.  Given I’ve never seen Eastern Red Cedar I was working from photos of the wood, which I new would change colors as it aged.  I didn’t like any of those options, that I applied to an area that would be painted Incredible White, so I emailed the color chart to my father who thought Bark or Mission Brown would be the best options.  I went back to Doppes and retrieved those samples and decided to go with Mission Brown.  As luck would have it they did not have the Red Label or Blue Label (99% and 90% UV protection respectively) in that color in stock.  They could order, but I wouldn’t have until next week.  This was my weekend to finish this project, so I brought home samples of the colors they had, Sable, Sierra, Hickory, and Clear.  Mission Brown was my color.  The next closes business that sold the product was over an hour away in Georgetown, KY.

20200816_105916Someone else had ordered 4 gallons of Penofin Transparent Penetrating Oil Finish Stain & Sealer in Mission Brown, but had not picked it up. Doppes was willing to sell me a gallon of that, so I went home and looked up that product on Internet and decided to go for it. That area will never see sun, so I didn’t think the high UV value was relevant and I thought the added benefit of the sealer would be, but lets face it…..the color was right. Kaylee had sent steps for applying the Red Label, but I followed the instructions on the can instead. This product called for two thin coats, so I taped off under the moulding being stained and went to work. It applied darker on the bead board than in my sample patch, but it was still the right color. What the first coat revealed were areas where I still had paint in the grooves, so instead of resting in the hour between coats I pulled out my scraper and pick and removed more paint. It chipped out easily, thankfully, in most areas. I didn’t get it all, but enough.

The second coat went on like the breeze that started blowing as it looked as though a pop up shower was headed my way. It never did, but I enjoyed the drop in temp. I applied the product to my door step also, which allowed me finally install the metal strip that had come with the door. My door installer told me to wait until I painted to put it in. My porch is absolutely beautiful. The ceiling now ties in with my brown stained doors that will greet you as soon as you enter. It even ties well with my light fixtures, mailbox, and door hardware. One would think I was a born designer, lol. I did manage to get stain on my concrete. The gray areas don’t concern me as that will be painted, but I hope I can get it off the red areas or at least lighten it greatly.

This project is the lemonade that came from the lemons of selecting the wrong painter. I’m thrilled with the final results, so much so that I am no longer going to use Eastern Red Cedar for my pergola. I found a lumber mill, Wilhelm Lumber, only 30 minutes away that also cuts to order. I spoke to them and they are recommending Poplar or White Oak as they furnish it to some of the top landscape designers in the city specifically for pergola projects. Poplar will be far cheaper and it should stain similar to the ceiling providing more of a cohesive look.

One Down, Three To Go

DJK Painting Co took over painting my house on August 6. The owner Joe Hall and his worker Vincent have shown up every week day like clock work and they work a full day. One day was cut short by rain, but they worked a half day on a Saturday, so no real time lost. Joe understands the concept of time and money. He’s not only proficient in his craft, but he is extremely efficient in his execution without sacrificing quality. His worker, Vincent, is an absolute sweetheart. Meticulous with his work. He reminds me of my great uncle Arthur having in common a serious sweet tooth, which I’m enjoying indulging. I made the right decision in switching companies, no second thoughts.

The sides of my house will be the most difficult, due to heights, so they started with the Stock Street side. After 6 days the entire side is complete. Caulked, primed, painted. Caulking took a lot of time as there was a lot to do. Even once they applied the primer, Joe decided to caulk any large gap between the pieces of siding. He also caulked along the sides of the windows and the result was a night and day difference from the first painter. I have seldom had to point out flaws or areas in need of correction. Joe finds them first and tells me he’s going to fix it. I love that about this crew.

Originally the plan was to prime the entire house and then apply the color. They had half of the Stock Street side completed when I asked if they could paint the back porch, so that I could finally rehang my light and door bell. They got it primed, but returned to the side of the house because the porch was in full sun. I think they sensed I wanted to see my colors on my house, so Joe decided to apply the actual colors and fully complete the side.

Stock Street side complete.

The Sherwin Williams Incredible White and Sea Serpent colors look as good on my house as it did on the HGTV 2017 Urban Oasis Giveaway house. Hopefully they’ll finish the back porch next, but if not I don’t care. Joe wants to knock out the other side next, which is fine with me. Three years waiting for this moment and I can’t be more pleased.

Peel A-Way Clean-up to Prepare for Oil Finish

After getting all the crown moulding on the front cleared of paint and ready for Joe and crew, I finally turned my focus on the porch ceiling bead board. Thanks to working on other projects for Mike Tanner, Joe is very familiar with painting my type of columns, so it is very important for me to get this project done before he starts working on the front of the house. His plan is to paint fully the Stock Street side, followed by my neighbor’s side. These areas call for his tallest ladders and will be the most difficult to paint. If I’m finished with my project he’ll paint the front next, saving the rear for last.

I had received the sample pints from Alan Bensen, National Account Sales Manager Dumond Chemicals, Inc., but I started with what I had left from the crown moulding. Alan sent me an email with reminder tips from our phone call. Somehow I forgot reminder one and paid the price for it.

  1. Apply Peel Away 1 like you are icing a birthday cake, and you like icing! 😊  
  2. Don’t let it sit too long or else it may dry out (24 hours max).  It may even work overnight (apply at 5-6pm at night), remove before noon the next day….it’s trial and error.
  3. When removing, use water, nylon scrub brush, and/or scotch- bright pad to remove. Don’t be afraid to use the garden hose!  Water and elbow grease working together does the trick.

When this product dries out on your surface it does not scrub off. I had to use my pressure washer and unfortunately in spots I furred up the soft pine boards. On the phone he had told me, based on the pictures I sent that the product wouldn’t need to sit for more than a couple of hours. It was drying so fast that for the third section I only let it sit for an hour. Applying it liberally is truly the key. The paint that was in the groves, especially around the edges was my primary concern. The re-treatment with the Peel A-Way did nothing around the edges; about 60% came out of the grooves thanks to the 20200813_081636pressure washer. The very thing I was trying to avoid, using my heat gun with a metal pick, is exactly what I ended up doing. The white along the edges I think was caulk and not paint because it was really gummy once hit with the heat gun. I burned the wood in some places. That didn’t concern me much as once I discovered I had furred up the wood in some areas I knew I’d need to sand the surface. The burns weren’t deep, so most would go away with the sanding.  I started with 80 grit, followed by 120.  I may go a step further before applying the oil.

I did the ceiling in three sections over the course of two days. My arms were so tired, as all the work was above my head with extended arms. I still love Peel A-Way and would highly recommend it, but given how much manual removal I ended up doing I could have eliminated the need to use the pressure washer and sanding if I had just started with my heat gun and pick.

Ceiling Before Peel A-Way

Amazing what the right product and elbow grease can accomplish. After doing some Internet searching I have decided to use Penofin Ultra Premium Red Label Pentrating Oil. I’ll let the Peel A-Way neutralizing agent set for a day before starting the Penofin prep processes. If all goes well I should be finished with my outdoor projects by the end of the weekend.

Fish or Cut Bait

Have you ever looked forward to a fishing trip? Days leading up to it you plan and pack your snacks, playlist, and gear. The day arrives and you get up early to find that perfect spot on the water and you cast your first line. After a few hours no bites, but you’re not deterred. You find a new spot and cast again. This time you get caught in debris and loose your hook. Still not deterred you connect a new one and cast again and you catch something. A guppy sized carp that you throw back. You keep fishing. You move again. Now your snacks are running low. It’s hot, you haven’t caught anything worth keeping. The sun is starting to set, mosquitoes are eating you alive, and you get snagged again. This time you cut bait, call it quits and hope for better results the next time. This describes the process of getting my house painted.

Work to paint my house started on June 9. From the beginning I was physically involved with the project and initially I didn’t mind because I like working on my house and the first project I took on would save me money and the painter time; replacing the trim on the 14, 1st floor windows and scraping them myself. After this project I decided to rebuild the rear portico as the ceiling wood was spongee and the outer layers of paint came off with your hand. I love woodwork projects, so this was also fun to tackle. Lyle was exceeding my expectations at that point due to the degree he was scraping and prepping the dormers and side trim. He shared with me that he couldn’t find people that would work on heights, so I took on another project, removing the paint from around my transom window. This work is what led to the ONLY project I added, the paint removal from the porch bead board, which introduced me to the product Peel A-Way.

The removal went so well I decided I wanted to leave the wood natural, but some detailed clean up would be needed. Since this was an add-on project I removed the porch and columns off of the original scope of work. I would handle the detail clean-up of ceiling and did not want to feel rushed/pressed to get it done and not impede Lyle’s progress. This was 20 day mark, so it was clear the three week timeline I was given would never be met.

The first of July hit and Lyle didn’t work for several days of good whether.  When he finally returned it was to clean up his scaffolding that had been blown over in the storm from the night before.  I asked if he was going to work that day and he shared that he had a contract to paint apartments in Kentucky at the first of each month.  Nice to know.  When Lyle started putting primer paint on the dormer trim I knew I was in trouble.  He had only fully scraped two of the four and the Stock Street side of my house.  Other areas he started, but did not complete.  This was a clear sign to me that he was going to start taking short cuts to get the job complete.  He had left his ladder on the roof near the large dormer, so I finished scraping the side of that with my heat gun.  He did finish scraping the fourth, but then turned to applying primer to the dormer siding.  

The crown under the soffit of the front of the house can be easily reached with a ladder. The man Lyle brought on day one could have been tackling that instead of the windows.  For 40+ days Lyle scraped in earnest dormers 20′ off the ground, in crevices that can barely be seen with the naked eye and yet he’d done next to nothing to the crown and soffit that greets PWd Crownvisitors as soon as the walk up to the front door. On day 3, when his guy pressured washed the front of the house he hit that area and in spots went down to the bare wood. At that time Lyle said it would be scraped. When I discovered the rot in the crown of the rear of the house, my concern was that their could be more in the front. I asked again about when that area would be scraped. Lyle scraped more in the same areas that had been pressured washed and told me I should replace all of the front, as for “resell value” the two sides should be the same. I totally disagreed with that, so instead I took a metal pipe and tapped hard every 3-5 inches and determined the wood was20200728_162816 sound. When I shared I would not be replacing his response had turned to that area was not part of the proposal. My grandmother said all the time “one monkey don’t stop no show” or “one setback should not impede progress”, so I purchased more of the Peel A-Way product and decided to do it myself.

Peel A-Way is awesome, but you cannot allow the product to dry. It does not come off with scrubbing. I actually purchased a pressure washer specifically to tackle this project. The first of August rolled around and I knew Lyle would disappear again for his Kentucky contract. I was still steamed over the girlfriend smearing caulk on my house, but while cleaning the crown I took about an 8′ fall off my ladder. The soil gave way, the ladder went to the right, I went to the left. Thankfully I landed in my flower bed which is relatively soft soil and butt first (baby got back). I was bruised, sore, and mad at myself for falling. That also became the moment I decided to cut bait. I should not have needed to be on the ladder in the first place. When Lyle arrived the morning of August 3, 54 days after starting, I brought an end to the contract. At that point I did not have another painter lined up, but my gut told me to shut him down in the same resolve it had when it told me to rent a jack hammer and remove the concrete from my shower.

So here are some lessons I learned in selecting a painting contractor:

Get personal reference. Lyle found me, he was not referred, so I relied on strangers to vouch for him.
Even when referred check references. I did. But only 1 of 3 actually called me back. The one supported the quality of his work, but warned me about his poor time management, which Lyle explained away.
Ask how big of a crew they have and if they are on payroll with the company. Run if the company only deals with freelancers because you have to trust they work at the same level of quality as the person you selected.
Ask about their equipment and how they plan to access high areas. Lyle’s ladders have scraped the coating off areas of my box gutters. They should not have been used to give him access to the dormers. I feel fortunate that more damage was not done. I will not use them in that fashion again.
#1 question to ask, especially for a small operation, is how many projects are they working simultaneously. You only want to deal with a small operator that is solely dedicated to your project. Maybe two projects if one is interior, which they could work in the case of inclement weather.

DJK Painting Co_Joe HallOn August 5th Joe Hall of DJK Painting Co. came to look at my house.  Joe was referred to me by Mike Tanner, who had installed my master shower and replacement columns.  This was the second time Joe had come out.  The first time, after explaining I wanted the windows and trim scraped to wood he was not interested in the project.  It would be too time intensive. I told him Lyle’s bid and he said, if that guy does all that, for that price, he’s your man.  He wasn’t surprised by the turn of events.  Mike Tanner was enough of voucher for Joe, but I did check out a house he had painted in Indian Hills.  He encouraged me to knock on the door and speak with the owners.  I did and they could not say enough great things about Joe and his crew of two.  They volunteered all the answers to questions I had before I could ask the questions.  That house was 3x the size of mine, all brick, and they had it painted in three weeks and there was no signs they were ever there.  Joe also gave me the address of an asbestos siding house he had painted.  I didn’t get to speak with anyone, but comparing it to the before picture he had sent to what I saw in person was enough to seal the deal for me.  Fortunate for me, his schedule allowed him to start the next day.

Not a Date Night Location

After not working on a Friday afternoon or Saturday, days the back side crown was installed, on Sunday, after 5pm, Lyle showed up with his girl friend and starts applying gray primer to the front of my house. The only reason I discovered they were working is I had come outside to see how the first window frame I had hung looked and I saw his van parked on the street. When he didn’t show on Saturday, after texting that he would, I decided to apply Peel A-Way to the crown moulding that wrapped around the front entrance. Based on an exchange I had earlier in the week with Lyle I had no confidence he was going to scrap that area and I felt it needed to be done. He could clearly see that I had applied the product, but instead of alerting me to ask the status they just started painting. When I let him know it needed to be removed that night he finished painting the living room side and said he could tarp it. They then went to the dining room side of house and started caulking the windows. Now early on he told me he likes to caulk after he primes and he had not applied primer to that side.

Before he could start he had to send his girlfriend to Family Dollar to buy rubber gloves, for herself, and rags because they failed to bring them. When they did get started I could hear him instructing her, too much, too little as she applied the caulk. I went inside to put on my coverall and by the time I returned they were caulking the painted side. I stood and watched in agony. She was skipping spots, applying too much in areas and he’d just drag the caulk from those areas to fill in what she missed. I cleared my throat several times hoping he’d catch the hint, he didn’t, so finally I asked him to take the caulk gun out of her hands. He finished up and sent her to get his shop vac so she could vacuum the porch. She couldn’t even turn it on correctly; connecting the hose to the wrong in. By the time they tarped the painted side and got out of my way the Peel A-Way chemical had dried and I lost daylight, leaving me no choice but to apply another coat the next day.

Lyle did show up the next morning and we didn’t have a great conversation as daylight revealed to me the sloppiest caulk job I had ever seen. I sent pictures to my father and even he said “that is one piss poor ass caulk job”.

I really don’t feel I should have had to say it, but I let him know if I wanted an amateur painting my house, I would have done it myself and that his girlfriend was no longer permitted on my property. She’s made several visits since he started on June 9, never introducing herself. I pointed out to him that those smeared lines would show up because the caulk has now filled the grooves of the siding where the paint should fill. He tried to argue it wouldn’t, said he could prove it wouldn’t, but then started finding fault with the caulk work done by 20200731_191552Fusion Roofing around the box gutters and Tom around the new trim.  At that very moment I knew I was right about the paint. What is even sadder is that with all the caulk applied and smeared they still missed spots. I told him I’d handle caulking the rest of the windows, to which he responded no that was what I was paying him to do.

I decided to test my theory about visibility on a scrap piece of siding. After painting the piece with the same primer he used (I had some from painting the foundation, tinted different color) I applied and wiped caulk to the piece in the same fashion they applied it to my house. After letting it dry I painted over it with the Sea Serpent tinted paint I had from the shed (granted a different brand than will be used on house, but paint is paint). While from a distance you can’t see the outline of the smeared caulk, up close it is very noticeable and I plan to utilize the front porch, so people will be up close. I showed my test to Lyle and he denies it will look that way and questioned my application process and held to it would not look that way once he painted.

Jay arrived to finish installing the crown on the last two dormers and I showed him the area. I was considering buying more tile and replacing all impacted by their caulk work, but he said that when they come across areas like that on houses they are painting they use a 5-in-1 tool to clean out the grooves. I put that to a test with a new tool I ordered from Amazon. It seems to be working, so I’ll do this in the worst areas. Yeah, just what I needed another project I hadn’t planned to do.

I had said if Lyle paints the way he prepped (in the beginning) my house will be gorgeous. Well if he paints the way he caulks my house will be a hot mess! Almost eight weeks in and I’m beyond concerned at this point.

You Can Never Know To Many Carpenters

Lyle brought in a carpenter, Jay, to reinstall the crown he removed from the dormers. That poor man started at 8 am and toiled in the heat of my roof for 8 hours and was only able to get two and a half of the four dormers restored. He actually tore a hole in the seat of his pants, most likely due to the extreme heat and sliding on the asphalt shingles, while doing the work. Why did it take that long to install 10 pieces of moulding? He had to carry all 16 pieces to the roof and measure each location to find out which piece went where. He had a jigsaw puzzle on his hands. This all could have been avoided if Lyle had just taken the time to keep the pieces of each dormer together.

He planned to finish the following day, but I commandeered him to help me with replacing the crown moulding on the rear of the house. I had done all the prep work, taking down old, clearling debris that was in the crevice, and removing top row of siding the day before as I had Tom all lined up to help.

Unfortunately Tom wasn’t feeling well and his radar called for rain all day, so he wanted to wait for another day. When the skies cleared, around noon, I called Jay to see if he could help as I really didn’t want to put it off another day. Like with Tom, I was able to learn some things by working with Jay. The 16′ length boards prevented him from being able to work by himself. We started with the right side and the first task was sticking a 5″ wide strip of R20 insulation in the open crevice. When I took the moulding down I could feel the air conditioning from inside the house. We worked four hours and we were on course to finish the entire project that day until Jay, unfortunately cut the last board short by about 2″. I had to go to Hyde Park Lumber the next morning and buy another 8′ board. Jay left, but I kept working to install the top row of siding tiles. The next day was my Big Chop day, so I didn’t work at all. Jay returned in the morning as promised and finished the project, which included finishing the last 8′ of siding and caulking. Unfortunately that took him 6 hours and the heat of the day had been reached, so he did not return to the roof to finish installing the dormer crown.

Jay is working with another painter that is known for restoring the grand houses in Northside, so he didn’t return for a few days to finish the dormers. I think he thought and I know I thought he’d make quick work of it since he only had the four pieces on the right front and the two front pieces of the rear large dormer. Think again. I don’t know what elaborate ladder system Lyle had rigged to get the pieces down, but it wasn’t in place for Jay to put the pieces back up. The left side was accessible with an extension ladder, but the rear portico didn’t allow ladder access to the right. He could reach the lower portions of each piece from the roof, but could not reach the peaks at the top. I wish a third person was around to take pictures. I ended up using my workout bench and a stick while leaning out the top portion of the window to push up on the piece of crown while Jay laid on the very top and used his battery powered nail gun to attach the board. He got everything back in place and even caulked, but as with the scaffolding collapse I feel Lyle dodged another preventable bullet. I’m growing increasingly weary of this situation.