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My House Painting Experience

Updated on May 10, 2018
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Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. As of 2/2020, Jack has over 100,000 views.


Our house was damaged due to a frozen pipe in the den while we were on vacation this past winter. After mitigation by Belfor, the house needed a whole repaint job in addition to repairing the family den room. After a few quotes, we decided on a local contractor. He got us connected to a painter named Carlos. His small company included himself and two workers. They did a fantastic job and I would recommend them wholeheartedly.

- May 2018


It is hard to believe how a small hot water pipe can do so much damage. But it did. In the early January period when the Northeast was experiencing record low temperatures, we were on vacation in sunny West coast of Irvine, visiting my daughter for the holidays. When we arrived home, after a delayed flight, we found a house full of steam and icicles and an inch of water on the first floor. The smoke alarm was beeping and the whole place was like a war zone.

Apparently, as I learned from the plumber, we set the thermostat too low at 55 degree. It should be at 65 degrees at minimum. The outside temperature reached a negative 5 degrees over the evening. The water pipe along the walls started to freeze and traveled into the den which is on the first floor. The pipe runs along the ceiling from the boiler located in the basement. A weak spot along the pipe busted and caused the sheet-rock ceiling to collapse. The hot water started spraying out. it caused steam all over the house including the upstairs bedrooms. The windows were covered with icicles since the steam condensed into water and it froze.

The Frozen Pipe That Did All The Damage

The House

Our house is a front to back Colonial Split with 2200 sq. feet, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, cathedral ceiling living room, family room, dining room, kitchen and a den. It needed a complete repaint of all the rooms. In addition, the den room was gutted due to the water damage and needed to be re-sheetrocked. It was a big job.

Some Details...

The job included restoring the den, painting all the rooms except for one bedroom, with one coat of an oil based prime, and two coats of interior Benjamin Moore paint.

All the ceilings including the bathrooms needed to be repainted as well. Installing the crown moldings and base board heating ducts. In addition, four interior doors were damaged and needed to be replaced. All the windows and doors and trim and a skylight needed to be re-caulked and painted as well.

Here are some "before" photos...

Some Photos of Work in Progress...

A few photos...


The total job was completed after 5 weeks of continuous work. There was prep work, sanding, plaster, moulding, primer and painting, replacing doors and painting trim and hanging drapes...

Afterwards, after the flooring was put in, they came back and finished the job by installing the baseboard heating covers and cutting the doors to fit.

We really appreciated their hard work.



Dining Room

Family Room

Living Room

Entrance Area




In summary, the work took longer than estimated, 5 weeks instead of 3 weeks. However, we are very satisfied with the results and these guys are great. They work hard and did what we asked. They just want us, the customer, to be happy. I would recommend C&S Wallpaper and Painters anytime. You just can't go wrong.

- May 2018

PS - Here is the contact number for Carlos (914) 420-7270.

The Boss - Carlos

The Two Crew Members

Lessons Learned

After this disaster experience, I have learned a few important thing.

1. When leaving your house in the winter, make sure you set the thermostat above 65 degrees F.

2. It helps to install a video monitor system. Blink is a good simple system that works on battery and wifi. It will allow you to check your home while away.

3. It is good to shop around and find a local contractor to do the work.

4. Finally, make sure you have Amica Home Insurance policy. They have the best service.

© 2018 Jack Lee


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