Posted by: Kate | August 6, 2009

My Guy is Better Than Your Guy

…and, no, I’m not actually referring to my husband… though I’d be willing to assume he ranks pretty high in the larger scheme of things.

No, the guy to which this post is devoted is my contractor, and just for fun I’ll toss in my housepainter, too. And, what the hell, how about the mover, too? I’ve really been simply swamped with high-quality testosterone lately, and it’s worth a shout-out or three.

First, there were the simple home repairs. I started making calls in early June, thinking we wouldn’t be moving until sometime next summer but that we might as well get rolling now. Nothing enormous needed doing, just stuff like new doors on both ends of the breezeway, a few rotted bits of siding replaced, the useless-and-not-even-decorative chimney, and so on. So I called a few places, and ended up asking two guys to come out and provide estimates. The first arrived at the house on schedule… and that’s the last thing he did. We’re still waiting on his estimate, or even a follow-up call. The second guy, meanwhile, arrived, and within three days of his walk-through he provided me with a typed-up, professional-looking estimate, and listed several different prices because, at that point, I wasn’t sure if we were going to re-side the whole house or just repair the desperate spots, and so on.

In that interim, between walk-through and estimate, Willem got the job offer, and suddenly the home repairs shot to the forefront of our priorities list. I let the contractor – Kevin – know, and he quite amiably found ways to work pieces of our job in between other jobs he was already doing. The work was done quickly and they didn’t make even one single attempt to get me to upgrade the services, spend just a little more money, any of those bait-and-switch maneuvers that make me nauseous at the mere thought. He and his buddy Bill just did the work, and they came in a bit under estimate. Fantastic.

As they were finishing, on a Thursday morning, I asked if they could suggest anyone to do some exterior housepainting. At the very least, the areas of Masonite that my new friends Kevin & Bill had replaced needed to go from brown to white, and I wanted to know how much it would cost to repaint the entire front side of the house, so as to pretty it up for realty listing photos. They gave me Marc’s name and number, and said they’d worked with him before.

I called Marc at 9:37 that same morning. He was at my house by 10:00, since he happened to be en route to another job and was in the area. By 10:15, we were finishing the walk-around, and I realized that I really needed them to paint the entire exterior, not just the patches or the front face. They also had the ability and willingness to power-wash the roof, upon which we had moss growing because the house never got direct sunlight. We had been assured by Kevin that the roof was solid, but he recommended that we get the moss washed down because it made it look like there were moisture problems inside.

Marc provided an instant estimate, which was only slightly more than my in-my-head maximum for the front-only and was therefore significantly less than four times that amount, which included all four exterior walls and the roof-washing extravaganza. I told him we were anxious to get started soon, and he said he could come out Saturday to start on the roof. He was in the middle of a big job, he said, and so he probably wouldn’t be able to start painting for another week or so… but still, we were looking at less than a month away, so I was happy.

Saturday came, and the roof went from looking a bit suspect to looking almost new, magically. Then, at 7:30 on Sunday morning, Marc called to say that their other job had asked them not to work that day because of something-or-other, and could they come out and start painting that morning?

Umm…. yeah, I think that would be just fine. They were completely done by 2:00 that afternoon, and did a fantastic job. All within 72 hours of the initial phone call. Amazing.

Meanwhile, I had called a few different moving companies, because, for various reasons, we felt that doing the move ourselves was not a good idea, and because hiring movers seems like a grown-up thing to do and we felt we had reached that important phase in our lives. I got a few over-the-phone estimates, and had one guy come to the house to do a more precise tally of it all.

Keith and Dallas did the move today. They were polite, and professional, and pleasant, and fast. Holy crap. I ended up going out to sit in the car for a while toward the end of the packing-up process because I just couldn’t scamper out of their way fast enough. At this end, they were bringing things in so quickly that I had a hard time coming up with the answers to the “Which room for this?” questions. And yet, it wasn’t like they were pressured or sloppy – they just knew their stuff and did it well.

So, yeah, I’m babbling, but it’s because I’m beaucoup excited about the process of escaping New Hampshire, so far. After several years of home-repair experiences ranging from good enough to meh to was that installed by vandals?, I can finally bask in the knowledge that, sometimes, home repairs are a thing of beauty and a joy to behold.

Now, as long as my Realtor steps up and behaves in a similarly awesome way, the experience will be complete.

For those in the area, the contractor was Kevin, of In Demand Construction. The housepainter was Marc Spellman. And the moving company was Calling All Cargo. Go, call them. Really. Blatant, unsolicited testimonials from me are not all that common, because it’s sadly too rare for my expectations to be met, much less exceeded.


  1. Awesome!!

    Moving out of NJ forced us to find a really good electrician, when our electric meter almost burned our house down two weeks before we closed to sell it. Eek! The guy got there really quickly, and helped me find a way to fix it that was *right* enough without breaking the bank and giving the new owners an upgrade. He was really, really cool and I wish he wasn’t over an hour away now because we need stuff done here.

  2. That is SUPER AWESOME!!! Nice to know there are still some great contractors/tradesmen out there who do the job right and professionally. It also makes so much of the moving stress disappear too. 🙂

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