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.