Exterior Projects

I have been doing a 9-5 freelance job (more like 8-7 if you include the commute) for the last month. There's just not enough hours in a day to commute, work, and take care of my family and still have energy or time left over to write a blog. I took the day off, put the baby in day care, so I finally get a little bit of free time to write a quick post, clean the house, and meet contractors, fun! We do have a project in the planning stage and another one in process as we speak.

Due to the recent rash of burglaries in the neighborhood, including our house, we are going to install a security alarm system. We got three quotes which include having the companies install the system and monthly monitoring fees. About $3000 for all three units with one central system for monitoring. It was more than what we wanted to spend. So we did a little more research and found a place called Front Point Security where they sell you the system and monthly monitoring for a lot less than the other places. The cost saving comes from installing the system ourselves, it's wireless, but we are still locked into a 1 year contract, that's where they get ya. We also installed a motion sensor security light today on the side of the house that's facing the "problem" street. 

The other project we are embarking on is replacing the three feet fence with a six feet fence on the side of the "problem" street. So far we've met with three companies for quotes. Their quotes range from $3000 to $4000, that was my estimation for how much it would cost to hire out. We could save over half the cost by going the DIY route. I priced out the materials from both Home Depot and Lowe's and it's close to $1000 for just the materials! Ouch, why does every home improvement project cost so much? Oh, we just received the property tax bill for the coming year and it's close to five grand. Did you know that Oakland has some of the highest property taxes in the state due to all the "special assessments" they tack on to the 1.2% base rate...Sorry for the rant, back to the fence. The plan right now is to finish the fence project before the end of the year, which is only two short months away!

House, Y U so expensive?!