Friday, September 24, 2010

When to NOT DIY

If you've been reading this blog for a while then you know that I'm no stranger to a good DIY. Most of my weekends are spent trying to sweet talk Jon into a project that needs to get done on our own, because it will save $$$.

I've never really out sourced anything other than sewing projects in designing my own home.

However a couple of weeks ago after I painted my floors:

I started feeling like the ceiling (the always forgotten 5th wall) was looking too BORING! So, I think decided that I wanted to put grass cloth on the ceiling and no one was going to talk me out of it.

Jon agreed that it would look great, but the idea of putting it up was exhausting to me. Grasscloth wallpaper does not come pre-pasted and it is heavy and overall just hard to work with. We used it in our dining room and I swear I think both of us threatened divorce at one point. It was not fun. It's hard to line it up, the glue is never sticky enough so it tends to move, and end of story we just weren't up to it.

At this point of the story I did something I've never done before I told Jon we needed outside help. I got a quote from my normal wallpaper hangers and they wanted between $450-$600 to paper one ceiling!!!

That is madness. If you are in a situation like this make sure you call lots of people and get different estimates. After calling my go-to guys I just started calling people from the yellow pages. The magic number seemed to be $450. When I discussed this with Jon we both decided that $450 was too high and that to save that $$$ we would suck it up and do it ourselves.

Now here is my little secret to getting it done for the price I wanted. When I originally started to look for someone to hang the paper I called people from the yellow pages, but also called people that offered their services on CraigsList. CL people were still giving me quotes in the $450-$600 range. I had all but given up, but decided to try one more thing.

Under CL's gig section I placed an ad saying I was looking for someone to hang grass cloth wallpaper on a ceiling in a room that was approximately 9' x 12' and that I needed it done that week and wanted to pay $250 for it.

It was like magic. I received about 20 emails within the hour. I got a whole range of people. Some where handy men that simply told me they could figure it out, but had never done it before, others were wallpaper removers and simply hadn't fully read my post and a bunch of them were actual professionals in the field. I had one man email me and provide me with references and a website and told me right away that normally he would way more for hanging paper, but that he would accept my $250 payment!!!

Woo hoo!!! For $250 we knew it would be worth it. The man arrived on time and bought all of his own supplies, got to work right away, and finished in 4 hours!

It would have taken us much longer and while he was doing that I was working in my office and Jon took care of lawn work. It was a win/win. I will totally use him again and he even got a me a meeting with a potential new client!

Of course it's a bit overcast today so the pictures aren't perfect, but behold my new ceiling:

I took a bunch more with flash this time since it is so dark in their this morning:

Close up:

We are so happy with the results. We knew that we wouldn't have finished the job in four hours and since we used craigslist to negotiate our price we didn't have to worry about an estimate coming in at more than we could pay.

Plus now Jon realizes that the we need crown molding in the kitchen something that I've been wanting for the longest time.

Win, win.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Camila that looks fantastic!!! And that was just brilliant to post on CL. Go you! Can't wait to see it with crown moulding now!

September 24, 2010 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Living It At Home said...

Wow, I am impressed! It is tough owning a home and all that goes with it! We decided to tackle painting a small bathroom and it is a disaster! Bathroom is still sitting unfinished! What a great idea with the grass cloth! Love the texture and what a score to have it installed for that price! Hang in there and great job!

September 24, 2010 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

It looks great and that is some smart bargaining! Such a great idea! Way to go!

September 24, 2010 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

looks fantastic, Camilla! what a great strategy! I wouldn't have been that persistent and would have either forked over more cash or spent a miserable weekend doing it myself!

September 24, 2010 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I am 99% sure we are going to paint our floors too. Long story short we bought Ikea bamboo floors right when Ikea put out flooring and they are awful, peeling, nicks all over, really really soft and they look like crap. I've written to Ikea and they want me to send them an actual sample of the bad I'm really going to rip up a section of my floor to send to them, riiight.

So my question, how are your painted floors holding up? We have no $ to replace the floors and when I read your post I thought this would be an awesome alternative that we could afford.

September 24, 2010 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

This is SO great! It really adds character to the room!

September 24, 2010 at 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks beautiful, and what a deal you got! Grasscloth is gorgeous, but way too intimidating to deal with. You made a smart choice by hiring someone.

September 24, 2010 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Cashmere Cowboy said...

I love your kitchen, The grass-cloth on the ceiling is genius! How are the painted floors holding up?

September 24, 2010 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Splendid Sass said...

Looks great. I must admit that I have never thought of grasscloth on a ceiling, but it looks great!
Have nice weekend.

September 24, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger katiedid said...

Hmmm....pretty good trick! I will have to try the Craiglist idea soon! I always seem to pay too much!

September 24, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Nicole-Lynn said...

It turned out great! Thanks for sharing!

September 24, 2010 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger LindsB said...

LOVE IT!! What a great win-win situtation!

Also just putting this out there, but if you ever need a new home for those baskets, I know someone who would love them :)

September 24, 2010 at 11:04 AM  
Anonymous consumerkatiescomments said...

Great job!!! Love the floor too!!!

September 24, 2010 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy said...

Looks amazing! And I always look to Craigslist for furniture, but never thought to look for "handymen"! Thanks for that tip!

September 24, 2010 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Robyn said...

Great job on outsourcing! I love Craig! He helped me sell a lot of furniture last weekend. He may help me out with a couple more pieces this weekend ;)

September 24, 2010 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Stephanie Sabbe said...

love it! never would have thought about CG. My client requires all this insurance paper work, but for myself that would be a great idea.

September 24, 2010 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Heather J said...

What great ideas...both the grass cloth and craigslist. It looks really great!

September 24, 2010 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chic said...

I really like your idea of hanging grass-cloth on the ceiling...looks so pretty.

In the past I've used CL to find landscapers to install a sprinkler system and even found our Wedding Photographer via CL - there's many talented people out there!

September 24, 2010 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Teresa Meyer said...

Oh my gosh Camila it looks absolutely stunning!!!! I love, love, LOVE it! Man, gotta love Craigslist.

Now, going back to see where you got the grasscloth from...

September 24, 2010 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Deb's mind said...

I love your persistence!! Good job!!

September 24, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

Nice work, fru-gal! ;) This strategy is similar to another service I just heard of called You post a job and the max you're willing to pay and people contact you to do it. And it's all online, so it's pretty competitive as far as pricing.

September 24, 2010 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

It looks amazing! Great post too. I love that even those that love a good project need outside help at times! It was so great to meet you this week and I hope we can meet again soon!

September 24, 2010 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger jessica o'brien said...

what a great tip! i've never used craigslist in that way. thanks for sharing!

September 24, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Sincerely Sara Cate said...

I love the look of the ceiling with the wire baskets and white ceramics! Great job!

September 24, 2010 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Laurie Jones said...

It really looks beautiful, I just had my entryway wallpapered and it was the best $150.00 spent, in fact I would have spent more!!

September 24, 2010 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger kayce hughes said...

It looks so great! And I love the CL advice.

September 24, 2010 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Love it! And I'm still entranced by your floors...*sigh*.

September 24, 2010 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

You are such a resourceful girl! What a great tip to tell THEM what you want to pay instead of them telling you what they charge. I love grass cloth, but know that it's a pain to work with. I took wallpapering classes years ago and we were told that string cloth and grass cloth were two types of treatments best left to the pro's-good call!

September 24, 2010 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design said...

Such a good tip!!! Would have never thought of it! And your grasscloth looks amazing!

September 24, 2010 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger diane@onlinefabricstore said...

I never would have thought to put grasscloth on the ceiling. Not to be negative nellie but how do you handle spattering spaghetti sauce, a soda can that sprays or just everyday dirt and grime? Looks great though.

September 24, 2010 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

So happy you all liked it. It was worth all of the estimates to get it done right.

I'm going to try naming my price from now on on craiglist. It worked out great for me and I would totally recommend it.

The grasscloth is from Steve's Blinds and Wallpaper. My go to web store for inexpensive grasscloth. Plus the book I order them from is at Lowes so I go there to look at the samples and then order a way.

Floors are doing okay. They don't look quite perfect anymore, but still really good. Because I had two dogs and it's such a high traffic area I think I'm going to poly it with a protective coat. The person I bought it from didn't think I would need it, but with the dogs paws it's totally necessary for me.

As for stains on the ceiling I've never had any. I've had a can of soda spray all the way up to the ceiling or sauce go crazy. I think it's because my oven has the microwave over it. So if sauce every goes crazy and it does it hit the bottom of the microwave and the subway tiled backsplash, but that's it.

September 24, 2010 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger House and Life said...

It looks so great, I seriously never thought to put grasscloth on the ceiling. Fantastic!

September 24, 2010 at 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Living Livelier said...

awesomeness! I LOVE grasscloth, but my husband thinks it looks like "someone puked on the walls" so I haven't used it in my own home yet :(.
good for you!

September 24, 2010 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Clever, CLEVER girl! The ceiling looks great!

September 24, 2010 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I'm also curious about upkeep of grasscloth on the ceiling; I know that my kitchen can get quiet steamy, which would be a problem for wallpaper in general, but heavy stuff like grasscloth on the ceiling seems like a challenge to keep up. Did your wallpaper guy use something extra strong for glue?

September 25, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger le petit garage said...

Looks fabulous! Love the grass cloth. How are your painted floors? Still holding up with that special paint you used? I have white painted floors and dogs...not a great combo so wanted to see if I should repaint again with that paint. The ceiling is beautious! Well done!

September 25, 2010 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger traci zeller designs said...

You are so smart. What a DEAL!!! And to get crown molding out of it, too ... ;-) I'm super impressed!

September 25, 2010 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Midwest Mommy said...

What a great idea!

September 26, 2010 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger maison21 said...


September 27, 2010 at 1:00 AM  
Anonymous Morgan @ said...

Beautiful!! Love the idea of posting a gig ad on Craigslist, too!

The ceiling truly turned out amazing.

September 27, 2010 at 1:17 AM  

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