Need Suggestions for Our First Home

Updated on May 28, 2008
K.K. asks from Phoenix, AZ
12 answers

Hi ladies, we bought our first house and we are confused whether we should paint it ourselves or should we get somebody to do it for us. I know it will be cheap to paint it ourselves as we have limited budget. But are scared if we will mess it up. If you know somebody who can give us suggestions at less cost then please give his/her contact number. We need to buy appliances also. Dont know where can we get cheap and good quality appliances. We went to HOME DEPO and LOWES as we were planning to do flooring also. It seemed costly to us. My husband suggested we will put laminated floor in living area by ourselves but am scared as we dont have any experience. Carpet also needs to be changed. Anyone who does good quality flooring or atleast can suggest us how to do it, please help.

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much everybody! your responses gave me so much courage that this home project does not look scary anymore. It will take us months before i will be able to tell what happened...but i am sure that we will make it. Thanks again to all of you!

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answers from Phoenix on

A good flooring company is They are wonderful people. Let them know that A. sent you. I would ask them about the house painting. They may have some connections.

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answers from Phoenix on

Hi - I have several friends who all installed their own laminate flooring that they purchased at CostCo. It's less expensive than what you would get at Lowes or HomeDepot and the same product. They say that it is super easy to install and the pieces just snap together.

Painting is also easy but a lot of work. The trick to painting is taping. Make sure you tape really well (taping ususally takes longer than painting!) and then just roll the paint on and that's it. It is time consuming and takes some work but definately something you can do!

Just remember that you can do any home project you want to! All you have to do is research what you are doing or as others have suggested, take a class at HomeDepot to learn how. HomeDepot also has a 123 book that's wonderful and tells you how to do everything around your house.

Good Luck!



answers from Phoenix on

Hi there!

Now is a good time for you because the subcontractors are hurting for business and can be more flexible. However, at lot of these guys are unlicensed and without bonding, impossible to track down if the job is done poorly or not completed, which I am sure you have heard can be an issue!!
My husband's nephew is a painter by trade and has interest in interior design and did a great job on our baby's room with a complicated paiting scheme we gave him, plus he does the painting for the retail offices I run. If you are interested ina quality painter that won't cost a fortune, let me know. As for flooring, I know many people with little experience that have done this themselves with materials from Costco or Home Depot and it looks great--you just need the patience and freedom from children to line up the flooring correctly. I think it would be a fun adventure for you two as a couple if you have the patience and a good sense of humor about it should things go terribly awry!



answers from Phoenix on

Hi K.,

Congrats on your new home.

To respond to your request, my husband has been in the flooring business for over 10 years. He is an expert and takes pride in his work.

You are more than welcome to contact Pete at ###-###-####





answers from Phoenix on

When we first got married, our apartment was "college and starting out" .. bits and pieces from here and there. My mother started going to estate sales and divorce sales.. and we now have awesome furniture at a fraction of the cost!

Mom had five of us kids.. and we never bought a new appliance. Mom knew the brand names and what she was looking for.. and watched the ads in the newspapers - where folks had things for sale, and went to her yard/estate sales. For example, this past year, she had told me that she her Maytag Washer and Dryer (15-20 yrs old) were needing replaced. I was attending an Easter Sunrise service and while driving out the church driveway.. someone had set on their carport a set - under 2 years old, next to the top model of Maytag - and BOTH were purchased for $150.00!!! There had been a death in the family and the person selling just wanted to get things gone as they were from out of state!!!

We have purchased our freezers, frigs, a stove, etc.. the same way. The most important thing is to know the brand names and do some research using the consumer products guide.

Home Depot has free workshops on just about everything that one can do around the home.

Have a 'paint party'. Have some friends over - maybe they can even bring their own brushes/roillers/and other supplies and you provide the paint and pizza. Make sure all the trim/windows etc. has been covered by tape.. put on some music or just have fun spending time together with friends and talking. We repainted three rooms in my Mother-in-law's home in a day with the help of friends (and because I was prepared).

My brother and a friend just finished putting tile on his kitchen, dining area and master bath floors. It is not hard...just make sure you follow directions. The person whom he hired... tried a 'short cut' and all the tiles were loose which is why my brother had to do the job over. The laminated flooring is not hard to do either.. Once again, do your research, all laminated flooring is NOT equal. The least expensive can end up costing you more in the end.

Do area rugs until you are able to do what you want.. take your time... keep asking till you get the help you are looking for.. do a little at a time. Ask your friends for help and see if they know anyone who could advise you.

Congratulations on your new abode and Best Wishes as you turn your house into a home!



answers from Phoenix on

Yes, you should paint it yourselves. Be sure to buy latex paint, non-glossy for most rooms, and glossy or semi-gloss for the kitchen and bath. It's much easier to clesn.
It's really hard to mess up a paint job on your house. You didn't say if you were going to do it inside or out. If outside, be sure to read the label on the can of paint to see what the outside temperature should be when you paint. We don't have to worry about too cold here, but we do have to consider that it might be too hot!
Before you go any further, find a book at the library or at Home Depot or look on-line for instructions on house painting. It's a lot cheaper to read it first than when in the middle of the job!
If you're painting inside, remember that you DO need drop-cloths and you do need to mask windows and edges in order to get straight lines.
If you and your husband are both painting, your daughter can "help". You can always paint over her paint job!
I can't give you advice on the flooring, but I'm sure you'll get lots of advice from others.
Good Luck!



answers from Phoenix on

Hi, there ~

I don't know anything about paint or flooring, but I can tell you we just bought a dishwasher from B&B Appliances in Phoenix. On 3rd Street and Dunlap. It's quite a drive, but they deliver even out in El Mirage, where we are, at no extra charge. And their prices and service are excellent. (Also, they are recommended by Dave Ramsey!) We got a quality dishwasher installed free the next day. We're definitely going back for the stove we're saving for!

Congratulations on your new house and best wishes for a happy one. I know whatever you decide, you'll enjoy making it home!

~ R.



answers from Phoenix on

Hi, I bought my first house in October and decided to paint it myself. It was a lot of work but it turned out great. A couple tips-you will need lots of masking tape. Also buy a edge trimmer and a pole that can extend-that was a life saver. The trimmer looks kinda like a flat sponge. At the store they have computers that can tell you good color combos. Sometimes you can get a deal on paint that has been mixed for somebody else but the color was not a match so they need to sell it. You can cut a 1x1" square from a discreet area of the room's paint and have Lowe's color match it so that you do not have to repaint the entire room. This is so much easier because I did not have to tape off the celling and the room still looks fresh. Buy a good small flat brush from a art store-the ones at lowes and home depot are pore quality-this works good for the floor baseboards. Use a lighter nuetral color and have a darker accent color for one or two walls. If you are getting new flooring then it will be easy because you don't have to worry about the carpet. You will be sore if you paint all at once. It took me about a week of hard work.



answers from Phoenix on

My boyfriend is a general contractor. Kitchen and bath remodel, room additions, etc. Who we use is R and D Improvement Dan and Rita May ###-###-####.
They are resonable, they do excellent work and Rita is awesome at faux painting as well!

Let me know! And let them know that S. Fritz sent you!



answers from Phoenix on

you can't really mess up on painting, so that may even be fun to do together especially if you are redoing everything else (don't really have to worry where you drip). Flooring leave to the professionals. If it is layed wrong, yes even laminate has to be squared right, the installer will be responsible and pay for more materials (been there, done that more than once). If you know the appliances you want, shop the internet most of the time there is no shipping or tax.(locally i've had luck at: R & R wholesale plumbing in scottsdale, also Spencer's and sears for appliances)



answers from Phoenix on

I would recommend ALbrecht and Son Painting for the paint. They have been painting for well over 20 years and have a wonderful reputation. There phone number is ###-###-####.

If you call ask for Kyle or Dorreen Skillingstad and let them know I refered you.

Good luck.



answers from Phoenix on


Congratulations to your new house!!! I am glad this worked out for you!

There is a Sears appliance outlet at the Mills Mall. The items are returns and scratch'n dent and quite discounted. I do not believe that they deliver, so you have to transport them yourself, but that might work for you.
You can also get used appliances either online (i.e. Craig's list or the paper classfifieds) and at some point we bought a washer from a store that specialized in used appliances. That washer lasted us for years so it was a good buy. That particular store is closed now, but I am sure something similar can be found through yellow pages.

Painting is easy, but you may want to wait until November now - it will get too hot soon : )

I hear that laminate is realtively easy to do yourself. Home Depot or Lowes propably have free classes on how to do it.
We had both of those stores install carpet for us over the years, but liked the Lowes service in store and installed better. You can also save by getting a lower grade carpet and upgrade the pad for good flooring.

Hope this all helps!
Good luck!

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