Above Average

The average American male, upon finding himself in the kitchen of a woman he’s just met on the morning after their second date, would probably skedaddle when faced with the prospect of meeting said woman’s father.

But he doesn’t skedaddle.

In fact, when my dad arrives, 8 minutes ahead of schedule, he simply says hello and offers him a cinnamon bun from the tray I’d made for breakfast.

It is then that I realize he’s not your average American male.

(Our first date had given me a few clues but this confirmed it.)

And when the contractor arrives a few minutes later, he follows us from room to room, not getting in the way but just listening as I explain what I’d like to have done: new ceilings throughout the entire downstairs, new walls (sheet rock or skim coat), a new full sized window to replace the current Hobbit-sized window at the front of the house, new French doors to replace the window overlooking my back deck, a square arch to replace the fake Styrofoam brick monstrosity that currently separates my dining room from my kitchen and so and so forth…

There is, as usual, a lot of discussion about the ceiling. It’s a wreck (which is why the previous owner dropped the whole thing down and covered it with Styrofoam panels) and I want it completely redone to give the rooms as much height as possible.


There are, I’ve learned, quite a few different ways to accomplish this task (I won’t bore you with the details) but when the discussion is over, I think that maybe, just maybe, I have finally found a contractor who is going to be able to do what I want him to do.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ve found a man who is—pardon the phrase—man enough to come along for the ride.

7 Responses to “Above Average”

  1. Landlord No Longer

    Ack! the horrible memory of those ceilings, which are now, “priceless” LOL

    It is all beginning to make some sense now, especially after our discussion yesterday 😉

  2. Jerseyite Lurker

    Sounds like old Chauffeur is a bit of a cut above the average too.

    • Kat Richter

      Yeah, that he is 🙂 Afterward he was like, “You’re almost 30. I don’t care who you do or don’t have overnight at your house. And it’s not like I wouldn’t have noticed the TWO breakfast plates anyway!”

  3. A City Girl

    Sound like you have a winner! As for the ceiling it does not look that bad, I have a 1940 house and I have those same wood slats on my ceilings and I left them there. leave the wood there and take all that is nailed up against it down (looks like cardboard from here LOL) and have them put up new sheet rock. Piece of cake. When I had my contractors in here I made them give me a price per sheet of sheetrock for the labor, They were not contractors though they were some Mexican laborers I met in a new subdivision working on new construction that I complimented them on theri work and asked them if they would do my sheetrock. They worked after they got off the job and it was all side money for them. They did a hell of a job too. But I knew they would because I already saw how well they worked on the new houses. I paid for supplies. Knowing how much per sheet you have to pay in labor helps to plan out your to do list and time line. The contractor companies sub out that work and they do not pay per hour they pay per sheet and charge the customer double in mark up on the labor.
    The contractor that told me this said he pays them $80 per sheet took it. After they put the sheet rock up they mudded, sanded and primed. I had to paint myself and do the cleanup from the tearout. If you do your own painiting make sure they prime the walls as that is the only way you will be able to see if they are absolutely smooth and if they are not smooth they should put fix it and don’t pay them until they do. You should see no screw heads and absolutely no seams.. That’s my two cents worth of advice.
    What is that on the right wall? Is that water stains? I hope you don’t find mold. If you do check your insurance policy. A lot of them will test and get rid of mold with no co-pay on your part. Mold kills be careful.
    If you have a good contractor who actually knows what in the hell he is doing, does not try to rape your wallet and works when he is supposed to then you have another winner. Look forward to seeing how this all turns out. Man and home. Good luck.

    • Kat Richter

      Yes, all good advice! My contractor subbed out the sheetrock work as well and they too did a heck of a job. I couldn’t believe how quickly they got everything up! At the advice of my dad, I went ahead and put all of the finishing work (including priming) in the contract and lo and behold: no seams and no screws! Now if everything else would fall into place that easily…


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