Jane is not happy!!! And when Jane is not happy, I am not happy either!!! Jane wants to “improve” her environment and make it more cozy! (“Cozy” for a guy means “it is gonna’ cost me money!” And, furthermore, what’s wrong with things the way they are?!?!?) So, the bottom line is that we are going to install a wood-burning outdoor fireplace (seem illogical to you) and breakup some perfectly good concrete to make a new patio to “improve” our backyard! Jane is excited; and I am having night sweats!!!
It all started when Jane wanted to put new window treatment in our family room. I said something I should have not said and the next thing I knew we were looking at new homes that cost more than the beautiful (and fully functional) home we already have. We scoured the local area going through model homes and looking at building lots. After two weeks of talking to realtors and builders, we have decided to make our existing “nest” even better with the new outdoor fireplace, a reconfigured patio, and a pergola to highlight the area we keep my BBQ grill! (Yes, I was able to escape without having to build an outdoor kitchen!)
So, the hunt for the right contractor began!!! My fiscally conservative nature requires that I get at least three bids for the project. I don’t want to get screwed any more than necessary….but, I want Jane to be happy, too!!! It is truly amazing how many people are ready to promise you the world and take your money. The first person I called was a local guy that I have used in the past. “Mel” came out, listened to Jane’s vision, and pronounced that it was “no problem” and that the job would turn out great! (Trust me….I’m from the government and I am here to help you!) A couple of days later, Jane was taking a walk (while I was commiserating with my soon-to-be-broken checkbook) and she noticed a contractor installing a patio at a neighbor’s house. She came running back so I could get off the couch to see what they were doing…and, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get a bid from them, too! Well, Jane did have a good idea and the bid from the contractor was not only competitive, the quality of his work was excellent. By chance, the concrete guy had a recommendation for a “buddy” to bid the fireplace and the pergola! (BTW, if you don’t know what a “pergola” is, think of a wood structure thrown together at a cost of almost $4,000 that allows rain water to flow freely and only offers partial semi-shade. Looks like a good place for a guy to hang himself!) And, much to my surprise, the bid for the fireplace was also competitive! The bottom line is that the people Jane stumbled upon seemed to be the right folks for the job!!!
Oh, by the way, now that we are building the fireplace, Jane has pointed out that the exterior of the house and garage also needs to be painted! And the front door needs to be re-stained and sealed; and there are lots of nicks, etc., on the interior of the house, and we need to re-set a door, etc., etc., too! The list is growing and growing!
Oh boy!!! More to follow as I try to make Jane’s vision become reality!