Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My House Is Going To Be Blue

or strategies for how to afford the siding your house needs

As I was just walking back from putting NetFlix into our mailbox, I looked up at our two story, white house and thought "Soon our house is going to be blue. With white corners." What color the shutters will be, is any one's guess. My husband seems to think that the dark green shutters that we have now will work perfectly fine, and they are in great condition. I have my doubts, on the shutter color. They are in great condition, but I think they'll be going to FreeCycle before they ever return to our house.

And to be perfectly honest, our house is going to be Harbor Blue, not Baby Blue, or Military Blue or any of those other blue - blues that houses are colored. In fact, our blue is the 5th color from the bottom on the swatches I have posted. May-be green shutters will work.

This is how it all started: I was going out the door because I
thought I heard my husband's car in the driveway, and I wanted

to welcome him home. Yes, after thirty years
I still do that. As I went out the door, I scared the salesman coming up our front steps half to death. He hadn't expected me, I hadn't expected him; it's good that neither of us have faint hearts.

"Uh, uh, uh...." he said.

"Uh, uh uh.." I said, wondering who the heck this
was, and why my Labrador hadn't sounded the alarm first.

Well to cut to the chase, he was a pre-salesman with Power Window and Siding , and would we be interested in a free estimate?

What did we have to lose? We knew the house needed to be resided (unfortunately, we only seemed to notice how badly it needed it done, after we bought the house. I think Barnum wrote something about us, something about a sucker?)

The next day, a salesman came to our house, to show us samples, to measure the house, and to tell us why the product that Power Windows and Siding uses is superior to what we would have bought at Home Depot, for instance, because that was where we had pretty much decided to go if Nate was going to do the work.

That is Johann Manss, our salesman in the picture above showing the three layers that are going up on our house. The green layer sheds water, and yet is breathable. The second layer is insulation with bug killer (think termites) embedded in it and the third layer is our siding. Not only will that keep our warm air in the winter, in our house and our cold air in the summer in, but it also makes the siding more durable to random things like little boys throwing baseballs and lawn mowers tossing stones.

Then Johann gave us a little class about where siding comes from. Our siding has never been formed before; being our house siding is it's first incarnation. Now you know I am nothing if not a re-use, recycle and re purpose girl, but when Johann showed us the demonstration about Power Windows and Siding's material (Jar A) and other siding (Jar C), I made an exception.
Because for the whole appointment, which was about 4 hours, the powder in Jar A never mixed with the water. I even stuck my finger directly into it , and pushed the powder into the water. It still never mixed, and my finger, where the powder had been, remained dry also. The contents of Jar C however, became one with the water. The reason for this being such a big deal is that when water becomes part of the equation, so does mold. Ick!

The frosting on the cake though, is not only are we getting a lifetime guarantee with this siding, but the guarantee is transferable to the people we eventually sell our home too! I was pretty impressed with that. Actually, I was impressed with the whole thing, which is why I am blogging about this in the first place.

And then there is the question of : How on God's green earth will we ever be able to afford this? I'd like to share a few thoughts and tips with you. As I mentioned before, my husband and I knew we were going to have to replace the siding on our house before the salesman ever called. We knew it would be expensive, and not something we could afford easily. We also knew that it was to the point that we couldn't think about it any more, we had to act on it pretty soon.

We went to both Lowes and Home Depot to see what was available, how much it would cost (at least in a ballpark estimate), and we looked online to see tutorials of how reside the house. We knew we could never afford to hire someone to do it.

The trips to Home Depot and Lowe's were downright depressing. At best, we could only afford their least expensive, so no fancy siding like we wanted. The job would be a drudge job; an expensive drudge job. Actually a big, expensive, drudge job with little pride to it except to be able to say that we did it ourselves.

Yet, as depressing as those trips were, they were necessary and informative. It didn't let us have any false hopes about how much we'd be spending. We took out a home equity loan. Joy of joys, it wasn't something that we wanted to do, especially since we are trying to live debt free, but it was necessary.

At the time that the pre-salesman came, he told us that if we signed for the work to be done in the month of September, we would be getting two discounts, one was offered by the Warehouse Club we belong to, the other was a matching discount offered by Power Windows and Siding.

Another thing to consider is this: if you are among the first to get siding or window work done in your community, your house can be an advertising billboard for that company. Is that worth any money to the company? For Power Windows and Siding, it was. We agreed to have pictures of our house taken before and after, along with having a small sign posted in our front yard. The sign in our yard is self explanatory. The before and after pictures will go into the company's "brag book." And it shaved money off of the bottom line.

Being able to pay cash for the job also shaved money off the bottom line.

Lastly, and this is only offered this year, the government will give us a $1500 tax credit (not deduction) on our taxes.

Another thing to ask is if may-be your salesman would consider less of a sales commission and lower the price, if you agree at the first meeting to sign a contract for work? Be aware though, not all salesmen work on commission. Ours didn't.

See if any of these strategies work for you.

* I have not made a penny writing about my experience with Power Windows and Siding. I have only written because it was a good experience, and I wanted to share. If you'd like to talk to a salesman because of my blog, please e-mail me with your name and telephone number, and I could earn an $100 gift certificate.


gena said...

Oh that sounds lovely ! I would go with barn red shutters and doors. You could probably paint the ones you have yourselves.

I'm saving for wooden shutters with a heart cutout - the kind of shutters that are hinged and open and close. Hubby says he likes it without shutters, and it's not an option right now anyway - lol !

looking forward to seeing pics,


Mary Bennett said...

I'm wondering, because I don't have your flare for color. Wimpy us, we were thinking of white. Honestly Gena, your neighbors don't appreciate you, move here so I can be challenged in my color safety net!!! :)

Hanna said...

I am your newest follower from the weekend blog hop! Lovely Blog! You can find me at

Mary Bennett said...

Welcome Hanna! I'm so glad that you are a follower now. Please feel free to leave comments. I'd love to hear from you!

Mary Bennett said...

Guess what? Nate LIKED your idea, so we're going to check out shutters in that color. :)

Anonymous said...

Mary, can you post a pic of your house now that it is completes? That color sounds lovely!!!


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