One of the unfortunate things about being a homeowner is having to spend a bunch of money to fix very un-glamourous aspects of the house.
Case in point:
Our front steps had some nasty cracks that got very bad over the winter. So bad, there were weeds and moss growing out of holes in the cement. Yeah, time to fix.
The funny thing is, it was very hard to find someone to come out and fix the stairs. One company in our town was very reputable and constantly advertising. I called them no less than 10 times over the course of 1 month - each time they said someone would be over the next day, or possibly over the next few days. I actually had to call them to tell them I no longer wanted to do business with them because it I was getting no response from them, the receptionist was kind of like "Sorry, I know, this is weird".
It's a small town and I wonder what the deal is with them, because I would see their truck around town, like, ACTUALLY doing work. And they wouldn't even come over to meet us. I think they had some issue unbeknownst to us? About our house in the past or something? Because it was all very strange and very unlike every experience we've had with other companies around here.
And searching for "cement workers" on Google usually turned up companies who were like "we don't do stairs, only flat surfaces like sidewalks or driveways" or "we don't speak English" or "maybe we'll come around sometime in a few months"
I finally reached someone who immediately set up an appointment and responded very quickly to all my requests. He also seemed very knowledgeable about masonry and cement. And I think he is Italian. So you know, all that stuff about brick and marble and cement and stuff. (Hello Great-grandfather and sons!) So I just went on my intuition that this one guy who would show up and wasn't asking for a deposit* would actually be able to complete the job.
And in one day the job was done and we were able to walk on the steps. It looks great! And I can actually, you know, walk up and down the stairs without worrying I will trip and break my neck or something.
So this week I hope to update you all on my ideas for re-vamping the entry-way with paint, plants, etc. And my goal is to work on this over next weekend. I need to finish this before (gulp) the winter comes! Yikes!
*Since owning this house we have never paid a deposit before a job was complete. I have to say, we have had some pretty good experiences with all the contractors we've hired - everything from our floors, to carpentry, tree trimming, lawn care, electricians, and now cement workers - everything has worked out fine and we usually pay in full within a day the work is complete, but no sooner. I like to share this information and be as up-front about this because I would like people with less experience to know what to expect. Also if anyone in the North Jersey area needs services and doesn't know where to start, please contact me and I can recommend some people!