By Tom Metzgar
Back in 2009 when we bought our Blairsville headquarters complex, we knew it would require a lot of work. That’s a major reason why we got it for such a low price. Poor “curb appeal” made these buildings less desirable.
During our first eight years of ownership, we focused on infrastructure & interior projects. Meanwhile, the exterior continued to deteriorate.
In October 2017, Punxsutawney roofer Crist Byler & his fellow Amish crew installed a metal roof, soffit, fascia, gutters, and downspouts.
This shiny new green roof made our chalky, faded cement siding look even worse. We really needed to do something!
MAKC’s secretary, Carl Pierce, had the perfect solution. Assisted by “ethanol encouragement” during social events, Carl discussed our needs with MAKC and Pittsburgh Grotto member Chuck Hilpert, a professional house painter. Chuck said that he wanted to contribute to the MAKC in a meaningful way, so a deal was made. Chuck agreed to furnish his labor and expertise if we would buy the paint. The board jumped at this!
On June 10, 2018, I met Chuck in Blairsville so he could preview the job and calculate paint coverage. Chuck estimated his labor at $2,050, and the paint and application materials at $450. So we would get a $2,500 job at one fifth cost!
I donated $500 to pay for the paint and materials. Chuck recommended a high quality paint—Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior Satin Enamel—which will last a long time.
Chuck lives an hour and a half from Blairsville, so the board approved him as a guest who could could stay on the job for a week. Chuck and his faithful canine companion Dixie showed up on October 1st, 2018, stayed until the 4th, then returned on the 8th. Board member Dennis Melko also helped for a day. Chuck pressure-washed the entire building, then spot-primed, and applied two coats. Windows and doors now have green trim matching the roof and downspouts. The place looks great! Thank you, Chuck, for taking an entire week out of this unusually rainy year’s painting season to donate your labor and know-how to this highly visible and much needed improvement. Several neighbors have commented that now, our previously ratty looking building makes THEIR places look like they need spruced up!
By Tom Metzgar