Ugly siding, and other budget constraints

So, after spending all this time picking out siding and agonizing over it (we decided to take the plunge and go with the rusty red diamond faux metal) we found out that the “square” in $60/square (our budget for siding, and right around where the rusty red was priced, we thought) meant 100 square feet. Rusty red was priced at $63/square and they meant square as in 2×4 as in 8 square feet as in far and away out of our price range.

So we emailed our contractor back and told him to get whatever he was going to get anyway.

We also sent him these doors because all the other doors we saw and like we’re 3x our budget. I can’t tell if we have expensive taste or our contractor was just super cheap:

Yep, literally just a slab of wood. Not even keyholes.

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Post Hurricane House Updates

It was my first thought after the hurricane – how did our house do? It was already in a questionable state to begin with, would it make it through the whistling winds intact?

It was a Wednesday when we resurfaced and I had to actually work from home (or coffee shop, in my case) so my boyfriend went to go take a look and he reported back that nothing, not even the garbage in front, had blown away.

Total miracle.

Last Thursday, we spent hours looking at doors, door handles, and vinyl siding.

Our tight budget kept us looking for creative solutions –

“what if we just buy plain doors and let our friends do crazy stuff to it?”

And sometimes we found ourselves deciding between two things we never thought we would care about –

“brass doorknob or black wrought iron? Do we want the one where we push down on the handle to open the door or just a knob? Wait, shiny brass or matte?”

And started to try to find the difference between different shades of gray –

“what about this siding? See how the fake crevices look better in this gray? What about this one with the hint of red?”

And then entertaining options that could turn out to be really creative and cutting edge, or just really ugly –

“Look at this diamond shaped pattern that looks like rusted metal? How do you think that will look on the entire facade of our house?”

“Either really creative and cutting edge, or just really ugly.”

Everyday, it feels like we could be making a decision we might regret. I think it’s exhilarating when I don’t feel like closing my eyes and hoping someone else just decides for me. Boyfriend???

In the meantime, our contractor can’t get gas or Internet service and has way bigger issues to worry about. So I guess we have time.

While all this is happening, our estimated water bill keeps rolling in each month and they expect you to pay it, even though no one is living there and can’t possibly be using any water. Because they haven’t read the meter in two years, their estimates have been about $280. Each month. Because their policy is to estimate the highest possible amount. Guilty until proven innocent.

And there are currently no appointments in Brooklyn being scheduled to do an accurate water meter reading. Hooray.

And if we don’t pay the water bills now while we are waiting for an appointment to open up, it gets reported as a delinquent payment on my credit report. Double hooray.

The silver lining (we hope) is that they realize for the last two years that the house has been abandoned and credit us thousands of dollars in water bills. Fingers crossed.

In conclusion, home ownership is, um, great.