Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with Neighborly, however, all opinions expressed throughout are my own.
The biggest thing in my life that has changed since having my daughter is that time is at an absolute premium. My daily life revolves around our two kids, our two dogs, my husband, and my websites and most days there’s little time for anything else. Case in point: We moved here in March but we still haven’t finished unpacking!
As I mentioned before, we moved into a fixer-upper. It’s a well-made house, but it was built in the 70s and very little has been updated over the years. We’re dealing with things like lime green countertops in the kitchen and an avocado green sink in one of the bathrooms, though many rooms just need some new paint. For instance, here’s a peek at the realtor photos of what are now my kids’ bedrooms:
I can’t imagine why anyone would ever paint a room this weird shade of green. I called it “lime chiffon.” Whatever it was, it was atrocious, but not nearly as bad as this…
It’s like a pale pink cave. Even the ceiling was pink! In the right shade, this may not be terrible. But this particular shade gave everything a horrible pink glow.
While there’s a lot of painting that needs to be done, it was pretty clear that our kids’ rooms needed to be the first done so that we could get them fully situated (and, also, those colors were driving me insane). I actually love painting and in May I decided on the colors for their rooms – gray for my son and periwinkle for my daughter. I went to Ace Hardware over Memorial Day Weekend to take advantage of an awesome paint sale and fully intended on tackling their rooms immediately.
But then, the paint just sat there.
Despite my best intentions, I literally could not find or make time to paint their rooms, so when the opportunity arose to work with Neighborly to get our rooms painted, I jumped.
Neighborly is a coalition of companies that will make your life easier.
I know that sounds simple, but it’s true. Through Neighborly, you can quickly connect with experts that will tackle big projects. Whether you’ve got an emergency plumbing issue, are hosting a get-together and need your house cleaned, or need to get your two kid’s bedrooms painted, Neighborly has you covered.
Through Neighborly, you can connect with 2,500 professional home service experts across 13 brands and services in North America, including:
• Aire Serv®: HVAC repair, replacement and maintenance
• Five Star Painting®: interior and exterior residential painting
• Glass Doctor®: window, windshield and shower glass repair and replacement
• Portland Glass: residential and auto glass replacement and repair
• Molly Maid®: residential cleaning and maid service
• Mr. Appliance®: residential appliance repair, maintenance and replacement
• Mr. Electric®: electrical installation and repair
• Mr. Handyman®: home repair and maintenance
• Mr. Rooter®: plumbing and drain cleaning
• Protect Painters®: interior and exterior residential painting
• Rainbow International®: residential restoration and cleaning
• Window Genie®: window cleaning, tinting, washing and gutter cleaning
• The Grounds Guys®: residential grounds and lawn care
Note: All of these companies are part of The Dwyer Group. Not all companies are available in all locations.
Painting aside, I was geeked to learn that I could go to one website to access professionals in all of these different service areas. Of course, we’ve had things go wrong with our house already, like the blower motor dying in our furnace and the pipes backing up in the basement. Since we’re new to the area, I spent a lot of time researching companies that could fix these issues for us, when all I really needed to do was log on to the Neighborly website. Lesson learned!
How Neighborly Works
It’s a digital world, and thankfully, Neighborly knows that because you can go to their website to request service… aka you don’t necessarily have to call someone to set up an appointment!
After you setup an account with Neighborly (for free, of course), you’ll be able to login to the website and see the services that are available in your area.
In my particular area, Chicago’s western suburbs, there are eight different companies that service the area. If there’s one I want to work with, say, to get a bedroom or two painted, then all I would need to do is find that company and hit the big blue “contact” button. Easy!
Once you hit the contact button, the next page will tell you a bit more about the business, as well as the services they provide. Five Star Painting, as you would imagine, paints anything and everything, but will also remove wallpaper and even do some carpentry work!
If you like what you see, you’ll want to click the “Request an Appointment” button.
Note: Obviously, not everyone is comfortable about booking home services online, which is why Neighborly also displays each business’ phone number so prominently on each page. If you have questions and/or concerns, please call!
After you click the “request an appointment” button, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can view the company’s availability. For some services, like painting, this appointment will be when you will meet with the company to get a quote for your job. For others, like house cleaning, this is actually when someone will come to your house.
From there, all you have to do is fill out the contact form for service, and the company will get back to you to confirm.
It couldn’t be easier to set up an appointment, and I love that you don’t have to call anyone. As I told someone recently, my kids are great UNTIL I pick up the phone to make a call. That’s when they both decide they’re hungry and/or just need to cry in tandem. Phone calls are more or less out of the question, so setting something up online is perfect for my current lifestyle.
Five Star Painting
While there are two different painting companies in the Neighborly family, Five Star Painting is the only one in my area. After I submitted my information, Brian, the owner of the local Five Star Painting franchise, called to set up a time for a quote. Luckily, he was able to come out the very next day!
Since I usually enjoy painting, I’ve never had someone come out to paint a room for me and so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When he first arrived, I took Brian up to the rooms that needed to be painted and he used an awesome gadget to precisely measure each room. I already had the paint, but if I hadn’t already purchased it, we would have talked about colors because they bring the paint with them when they start a job. Since that wasn’t an issue for me, we just talked about whether or not the ceilings and closets needed to be painted. (Note: This is included in most painting jobs, though I didn’t have them paint one closet because it was already white.)
Afterward, we sat down and Brian not only provided me with a detailed quote, but he also explained the mission of Five Star Painting, as well as their code of values, and went over their liability insurance and warranty.
By the time Brian left, I felt really comfortable about having Five Star Painting enter my home, which was incredibly important to me. As I’m home with two young kids, I didn’t want to let just anyone into the house. I needed to feel like I could trust the company, and thanks in large part to their Code of Values, which stipulates that respect and integrity are of the utmost importance to them, I knew I could trust them to come in and do a great job.
When painting day arrived, Brian came over with the painter, Loris, to introduce us and to get the job going. We walked through everything that needed to be done, and then I took the kids and hid out in the TV room for the day. Every so often I snuck upstairs to take some photos.
Note: Five Star Painting will take care of moving any furniture that’s in the room and will cover it with a tarp. They really think of everything!
I really should have taken a better picture of Loris. He was such a friendly guy! Also, he was tall enough to paint up to the ceiling without needing a step stool! He began each room by painting the ceilings and closets, patching up the walls, and then cutting into the corners.
I marveled at how quickly Loris was able to paint the room. When I was planning on doing it myself, I figured it would take three full days. At the rate Loris was going, I assumed he’d be done by lunchtime. He told me that it’s all about how you hold the brush and roller and that he’d taken classes to learn how to be a better painter. This bit of information had me rethinking whether or not I will even attempt to paint any rooms in the future.
I was not sad to see that crazy green color go away!
Once the first coat of gray paint was on, it was time to move to the ugly pink room. Like the green room, the ceiling in this room was painted first. I asked them not to paint the closet in here, though, because it was already white and in good shape.
The landlord at my second apartment in Chicago let me paint my bedroom, and I settled on periwinkle. I absolutely loved that room, so I’ve known for a long time that if I ever had a daughter I would paint her room the same color.
Just like with the green room, Loris did all of the corners and edge work before rolling out the walls.
While it would have taken me an unknown number of hours to paint two bedrooms, Loris worked from 10-6 the first day and 7-11 the second day. It took him a total of 12 hours to fully paint two rooms! Not only was he fast, but he did a magnificent job. Behold:
I will be doing a full bedroom reveal soon, but these pictures give you an idea of just how wonderful the color looks. Our dated green bedroom is now a modern gray that should be perfect for a growing boy and his constantly changing interests.
As for my daughter’s room, I couldn’t be more in love with how it looks now. It has been a few weeks, but I literally get a huge smile on my face whenever I take my daughter in there. The paint color is beautiful (if I do say so myself), and now it’s such a bright and happy room. It’s perfect.
Thanks to Neighborly and Five Star Painting, I got to spend 12 hours playing with my kids instead of trying to find a huge chunk of time when I could sneak away to paint. Our lives weren’t interrupted at all and my kid’s now have beautiful rooms that we are now busy decorating.
Use Neighborly & Have More Time for Cake (and Kids)
Having one kid was a big lifestyle adjustment. Having two kids has been a game-changer. It’s so much harder to get out now because I have to take into account two different nap times, and when it will be best for the baby to eat, and countless other details. Despite my best intentions, I don’t know when I would have ever gotten around to painting my kids’ bedrooms. Unless I did it in the middle of the night, I never have a big chunk of free time anymore.
Neighborly is a game changer, in my opinion. Hiring home professionals is a piece of cake with Neighborly, which gives you more time to eat cake… or other important things. Instead of spending hours researching companies, you can book your appointments and move on with your day. Whether it’s an emergency or something cosmetic, Neighborly has your back.