In our case, and especially in case of huge project such as an exterior paint job, the learning curve was pretty daring and came with new experiences.
For example: siding repairs.
Termites, bad prep work committed by former owners, and weather had wrought quite a number on some of the boards of our wooden siding, and those had to be repaired one way or another.
I filed the paperwork for the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) to make sure all our siding repairs were legit and sanctioned by our Historic Preservation Commission, picked up a couple of boards of bevelled pine siding matching our own at Carolina Lumber (nicest people ever!), and set the husband up with a couple of videos and articles on This Old House on how to repair wood siding.
Like this video for example.
We started with a very simple spot - no piecing, no funny monkey business, just plain replacement of one board.
Well, our first trial run cost us three boards in the end since prying the old boards - even the old, rotted, broken one - was harder than we thought and it looked, and before we knew it we'd cracked a second one and a third. Oy! They always make it look so easy on TV!
Fortunately, after that things started looking up (it's like calibrating your feet for a new car and a more touchy pair of brakes), and we replaced a few other spots with no problem at all.
It is rather straightforward process, after all: pry out or cut out broken piece, measure new piece in place, cut, nail, caulk seams. Done!
That being said, when the husband came to fix the siding on the upstairs addition (the area containing our dressing room and master bath) things got difficult again, mainly because a previous owner had used and patched with -three- different types of siding.
In order to make up for the discrepancies in board widths and the resulting gaps, we had to remove quite a few boards - more than we'd originally planned.
That required another trip to Carolina Lumber (not really a hardship at all - they are very close by and really nice and helpful, not to mention surprisingly affordable) and more siding boards. A small blow to our tight budget for our exterior job but no budget buster (unless we hit another crazy snag like this).
The husband spent an entire weekend trying to match things up, fitting boards, measuring, and cutting perched on the roof of our little downstairs (enclosed) porch.
Steep learning curve, I'm telling you! There were quite a few choice words directed at tools and planks, but in the end, he figured things out and made me a mighty proud wife.