Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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152 Comment

  • Rave: Got to the gym this morning! Averaged 6.3 mph on the treadmill for 25 minutes. Pretty amazing for someone who could hardly jog in September
    Rant: Scale won’t move 🙁 Definitely in another plateau.
    Rave: Fitting into old dresses.
    Rave: Free coffee at Pret
    Rave: Making plans

  • Tom

    RANT: Some woman who doesn’t even work in my department is occupying some swing space at the second (usually empty) desk in my office, and I swear to Christ she never gets off the phone. They all appear to be personal calls that rarely pertain to work, so I guess she’s lucky her boss likes her because it doesn’t seem to matter that she sucks at her job.
    RAVE: I’ve been listening to Collective Soul all morning.

    • Tom

      And, yes, I am aware of the irony in me using on-the-clock time to complain on the internet, so don’t bother pointing that out. This is a fairly slow week, and it just really bugs me that I’ve asked her to cut it out before and she keeps doing it.

      • HATE that! I had a former coworker do that and he’d have his phone on speaker. I repeatedly asked him nicely to stop, but it wasn’t until our receptionist said something that he finally knocked it off. Never spoke to me again, but he was in a different department and I didn’t need to.

        • Tom

          Haha, nice, I’m glad I’m not the only one! It won’t be an issue once the construction elsewhere in the building wraps up and she goes back up to a different floor—just not sure how long that will take.

        • “… and he’d have his phone on speaker.” That alone is reason for RAGE. People shouldn’t conduct calls on speaker within earshot of anyone else — closed-door offices only!

          • even closed door offices don’t necessarily contain speakerphone noise… at an old job, my neighbor always kept his office closed and used speakerphone and I could easily hear people talking to him loud and clear (sometimes discussing things that should not have been broadcast!)

          • My next door neighbor is a loud talker anyway, and feels the need to yell into his speaker phone. He is on a call right now, and closed door or not, it’s like I’m in the room with him. The LA down the hall can hear him, and she’s a good 40 feet away.

          • I once told him “This isn’t Bravo, there’s no reason for your cellphone to be on speaker.” and he just stared at me like I was speaking latin or something. I don’t miss him one tiny bit!

          • I Dont Get It

            And then you snatched his weave off? Knocked over the table? Threw a glass of pinot grigio in his face? FINISH THE STORY!!!!!

          • @IdontGetIT= I get it!!!!! lmao

      • I also hate this. I used to work in an office where several people did their (super-rote) work which was a plus but were still always on personal calls. All day. I always wondered how many mistakes they’d later figure out they made because I don’t know how someone could constantly multitask like that.

      • I’ve worked with several people now who use a blue tooth to have personal phone calls and literally walk around the office on a personal call. Some tried to hide the ear piece with their hair, others truly DGAF. SO annoying.

      • I think it’s two very different things. Her phone calls are disruptive while your internet time is not.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: My apartment building is getting a mural!
    Rant: It’s going to be on the back of the building in the alley where I do not go b/c of rats.

  • Rant: Fell off the curb yesterday onto my hip, knee, elbow, shoulder and wrist while twisting my ankle.
    Rant: Someone watched my fall into the road and offered no help while i tried to get myself out of the street in time for a car to come by.
    Rave: Nothing seriously hurt; feel like i was beaten with a sack of oranges though

    • Ouch! Hope the recovery is fast, glad you weren’t more seriously hurt and angry on your behalf that the person didn’t help in the least.

  • Rant: Baby Artie up in the middle of the night. That kid just can’t be consistent with his sleep.
    Rave/Rant: My new allergy regimen seems to be working. I could breathe through my nose last night, but I still look wasted (my eyes and cheeks are so puff and I am so snotty).
    Observation: I am a hot mess.
    Rave: All the coffee.

  • Rant: slipped off the edge of a stair last night, couldn’t regain footing, and slid/bumped down a couple stairs. I feel like I was very gently beaten sack of oranges (thanks for that description MaebysMom)
    Rave: DOG seemed to care, which is more than I can say for his attitude when I’m sick
    Rave: having a mutual love fest with a good friend and it’s totally rekindling our communication and I couldn’t be happier. I wish she lived closer than TX though.

    • Quotia Zelda

      Oh no! I’m sorry! Mr. Zelda did the same thing on Sunday. It really hurts!

    • glad you’re ok, and that DOG was worried about you (I mean, I’m not wanting DOG to worry about you, but it’s always nice to know that someone/something does actually care about you!)

      • Haha, it’s fine. He’s not expressive about his feelings, but I know he loves me.
        It’s also possible that he was just checking on me to find out why we weren’t outside yet and what on earth could be slowing down his walk.

    • Ouch! Are all of our allergies making us more accident prone? I’ve had some near misses this week!

      • The allergies themselves probably have something to do with it! I feel like my synapses are full of sludge when my head hurts from allergies.
        I can’t blame this on an allergy med hangover, but I have some done some real dumb stuff during benadryl hangovers.

  • Revel: leaving for Atlantic City in just a few minutes (parked in my friends driveway while I wait for her to get home)
    Rant: I try to be a good friend but one of my friends is such a downer that it’s really affecting me. It’s a hard line to straddle, to be a good friend while taking care of yourself.

  • Rave: Easy day with a nearly-empty office today.
    Rant: Boyfriend’s friends are in town this weekend and made this big deal about not planning things which we agreed to, knowing damn well the planning would come at the last minute and they’d turn to us to do so. Well…here we are. The brunch spot the wife has picked out for a group of *8* doesn’t take reservations and she seems to think we’ll be totally fine and not have a wait…on a nice day…on the Georgetown waterfront. So boyfriend asked me to find a restaurant that takes reservations as a backup plan. Fine except the wife has all kinds of food allergies and my normal go-to places are booked (Founding Farmers, Commissary). Anyone have ideas for gluten-free & dairy-free brunch on a Saturday?

    • Open City

      • Great menu from the looks of it! Wish they took reservations. Will file this one away for another day, thank you!

    • Maybe a place with a buffet, like the Beacon? I can’t remember their exact offerings, but I feel like there are probably gluten-free/dairy-free options.
      How irksome that the boyfriends’ friends have put you in this fix. I think a place with bottomless drinks would be good — if I were in your position, I would be peeved and would seriously want a drink.

    • That’s a tough call on brunch. Open Table has a gluten-free section. (I did a quick search which should be linked to in my user name.) Or you can google “gluten free dc brunch open table” if the link doesn’t work. Off the top of my head, I’m not sure about the gluten status, but Mulebone, Georgia Brown’s and Brasserie Beck are a few brunch places that handle large groups.

      • I loveee Brasserie Beck so I will definitely look into that. Great idea! I didn’t realize Open Table finally has a gluten free section, that is going to be very handy from here on out. Thank you!

    • Firefly or Open City, off the top of my head. My mom is gluten free and lactose intolerant

    • That’s a good point.

    • Such a typical anonymous comment. There are literally a million reasons the boyfriend could have asked. Yeah maybe he is in Africa right now and doesn’t have access to the internet. Or maybe he is in meetings all day and won’t be at a computer long enough to do it. Or maybe she is really good at finding the best restaurants in the city.

      • Thank you FPVR! It’s the latter two, as I menionted I’m dead at work but he isn’t, I’ve been here much longer and know the city a lot better, plus I am also gluten free so it’s usually best to let me find a place I can eat in general.

      • No, it’s because the Rant/Revel has gone in this direction lately where people feel the need to be rude and question the random and personal rants of people on the internet. It says right in PoP’s description: This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC. And your comment was condescending as well. You could have said it in such a nicer way. “Hey AJR, is there a reason why your boyfriend isn’t on the search himself?”

    • Andie302

      What about Farmers Fishers Bakers – it’s right there isn’t it? Not sure if they take reservations, but it’s worth a shot!

      • Andie302

        and yes, that is annoying!

      • Just a warning: my friends and I (a group of about 10) had such a terrible experience at brunch at that place when it first opened that I will never go back. That was quite some time ago, so the restaurant may have worked the kinks out, but I personally wouldn’t chance it.

        • That’s good to know. I’m in a similar situation with Farmers & Distillers, which everyone else seems to love, but ugh.

        • I had a pretty sub-par experience there just a few months ago. The food can be good, but it’s more lunch-time fare and not as many brunch-like options as I’d prefer. Also, hot tea is not included in the buffet price (although coffee and iced tea is..) and costs a whopping $4.

          • Hot tea is more expensive than both iced tea and coffee on a per cup basis, and it takes more time to prep, but they could certainly give you a discount like $2 hot tea if you order the buffet.

          • Seriously??? Have you never made tea? It’s a cup of hot water and a teabag on the side “Hot tea is more expensive than both iced tea and coffee on a per cup basis, and it takes more time to prep.” This is nonsense.

      • I had assumed that was there the original, not-planned on spot was. If not, it’s Sequoia? Consider yourself lucky you’re not eating there and happily find another reservation.

        • Orange Anchor actually. I’ve never been there. Seems very orange-themed and I’m REALLY allergic to oranges. This whole thing just screams disaster.

          • You don’t know me, so take this for what it’s worth, but . . . it’s dreadful. I work across the street, and I’ve tried it for lunch twice, and it’s just bad. That space is cursed, too, if you’re superstitious. How on earth did she decide on that as a destination? I don’t love Farmers Fishers Bakers, but it’s a much better choice, and the brunch is supposed to be pretty good.

          • dcd, I know you about as well as I know her so thank you for your input! Part of the fun of guests is visiting some of the best DC spots and based on their reviews/less than exciting menu, I was pretty bummed when I heard this was her pick. Plus they’re staying in Old Town so wth? It all seems wonky to me but since I’m on the outskirts I don’t get much voice. Luckily boyfriend is super supportive and is on the same page as I am so he’s planting the seed for a location change. We’re just walking a line with not wanting to be pushy. I can be pretty type-A so I’m trying to lay low and I’m glad you guys “get it,” so to speak.

          • “Get it” with regards to how bad of an idea this brunch idea is. I’m going to have to report back on Monday with a recap, aren’t I? Haha!

          • If they’re staying in Old Town there are some much better places there anyway!

    • That One Guy

      The Kennedy Center Brunch is pricy but may be an option.

    • Ardeo has a good brunch with a lot of options, and I believe a bottomless option.

    • What about Lapis? It’s become our go-to brunch place, usually have no problem getting a reservation at brunch. They have a good mix of breakfast-y and Afghan dishes, including GF/DF options. Also fun drinks and teas.

  • RANT: I’m in a funk. The decision to stay in DC or relocate to be closer to family is weighing on me. How does anyone make a decision like that? I love DC, I’ve lived here for 11 years and have a life here. Dad’s health is declining, and I’m sick of spend all my PTO on family. The cost of living here is also crazy, and I don’t like the idea of a 90 minute commute by moving out to the burbs.
    Rave: I had a salad for lunch yesterday instead of a sandwich or a rice bowl. Reminded me to stop letting the funk of my mood dictate food choices.

    • Based on everything you just wrote it sounds like the move home is for the best, but only you can make that decision.

    • I’m totally with you on the Rant! I never have any extra vacation time because all of it goes towards my family in the Midwest. And it really would be much cheaper back there. I love DC, but………….

    • Andie302

      Some thoughts for if you want to stay or go. If you want to stay, can you negotiate more PTO or some comp time to allow for you to have at least a week to yourself each year? If you do this, will you actually take the week? Do you have to move so far away into the burbs? Can you live in less space or work remotely more often?

      If you want to go: Is there any chance your job will let you work remotely? (This has happened to several valuable employees in my office, and they are managing to get the best of both worlds.) Would you be okay with the large changes that inevitably come with relocating home?

      It doesn’t sound like you have to make a decision right now. What would have to change to force you into either returning home or committing to stay?

      I can’t see this decision being easy any time you make it, but figured some of the above may help you think through other things that may not have occurred. I would say to try and pay attention to what feels easiest for you. It may not be that it’s easier, it may be what you actually want, but other factors are also pulling at you. Good luck and let us know how/what you decide, please!

    • I don’t know anything aside from what you mentioned above, but my hunch is that you want to stick around. You’re going to have to use that same PTO even if you move closer to family. How often will you commute 3hrs RT for work vs. going the other way to care for your folks?

      • So thats part of the funk I’m in. I took my new job about a year ago under the guise that I could work remotely. But then we bought out another company, and that changed so now I’m almost always coming in everyday working roughly 8:30am-6:30-pm, and the occasional weekend. That said, I really like my job, and the company that I work for. I get a lot of PTO, but thus far I’ve had to take a couple days every single month since November for either my family or my partner’s (holidays, weddings, christenings, etc.) So, I don’t feel like I can actually take my own vacation time because I’ve already taken so much.

    • I found myself in a similar situation last year and chose to move closer to family. I loved my life in DC, but my job, although it paid well, was really crappy. I wanted to buy a house in DC, but with my price range I was looking out places out in the burbs, which meant a much longer commute. I knew that in the long term, I’d be happier if I lived closer to my family. I miss DC like crazy, but overall it’s been a good change so far. But it’s not an easy decision to make.

      • Thanks. To be honest, my job doesn’t pay that well, though my spouse’s does. There’s just so much that goes into a long distance move. Jobs, housing, and the fact that it would be a move into Trump country…. SIGH.

        • I know this is a real stretch (or you likely would have done it already) but does your job have any opportunity for working from a distance temporarily? (Like, could you move to be with your family just for awhile without making a permanent move?)

        • Like Anonamom mentioned, deciding to relocate out of DC was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make (the fact that you’d be moving to Trump country makes it even harder!) I’ve moved around a lot, but it was always for a specific thing, like school or work. This was the first move I decided to do for myself without anything forcing me. There’s so much stress involved. Really take time to think it over and trust your intuition.

        • “Trump country” – oh, f*ck that! Would you really want to live in that much social isolation relative to where you are now? (Obviously making some safe-ish assumptions about you.) Yea, hard pass.

        • You like your job; your spouse has a good paying job; you could conceivably get a job where you could take your vacation days (or just start taking them where you are even though they are busy); you don’t want to live in Trump country. Stay here. You don’t need to be 90 minutes out. There are always places closer that are doable so the commute is under an hour – if you are buying, the houses need some work – or buying or renting, a bit smaller place maybe, not the most chic neighborhood, etc. – it always takes some effort to find the right place at the right price, buying or renting – and you could maybe get a job that pays better eventually. If you really wanted to go, you’d know it – and a big part of you doesn’t want to go (and would it even be possible with two jobs needing to be found?) That’s my take from what you write.

    • I seem to know quite a few people who have made the decision to relocate out of DC for various reasons, and in my circle it usually has to do with kids and family. Leaving DC was one of the hardest decisions I ever made – seriously, I put more time and effort into that decision than I did my divorce!! It’s been nearly a year, and there really are times I regret it. But, it was what was best for my kids and my relationship, and I am closer to family and see them more. I am getting used to the ‘burbs, though I’m not sure that assimilation will ever happen. I have yet to find a real set of like-minded friends, but thank god I’m not in Trump Country at least. I have a gorgeous, big house, a yard I can plant flowers in and not expect them to go missing from. My kids can do kid stuff like ride their bikes unsupervised. I don’t have to worry about the quality of their school and be a helicopter parent in order to ensure they are getting the education they need. I have zero worries about middle and high school because the school just get better from elementary instead of reversing. So as much as I miss being in the city that I love, life really is better for me. The most important thing for me is that I have good quality time with my kids and my partner, and see my family enough to make them and me happy. The years are getting shorter, and that’s what matters the most now to me.
      Now having said all that, I stayed within an hour drive of DC. I got a job half way between to still capture DC pay rates but have a decent enough commute. This may be a good compromise, and depending what direction you go in, you might be able to work closer to home (example, if I had gone out NOVA way, I could get the same pay, but in Baltimore, forget about it – you’re taking a cut). It’s a tough decision, and I wish you lots of luck on it!

  • Rant: Another night of stressful dreams that leave me feeling tired, not rested.
    Rave: My outdoor plants (especially the irises) are continuing to thrive.

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: Getting home on the Red Line was such a mess last night, and then I still had to change my flat tire! Got it done, though. This weekend I’ll deal with either fixing or replacing the tire.
    Rant: So much going on this week. I’ll be glad when it’s over!
    Rant: For pretty much my entire adult life, I have parted my hair in the same place. Unfortunately, that’s also where a white – and annoyingly dye-resistant – streak has developed. I guess I’ll be parting on the other side now.

    • Quotia Zelda

      And because I need a Rave: Got tickets for an Obscura Day event and the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. May 6 will be lots of fun!

      • Emmaleigh504

        can’t wait!

      • I love the Sheep and Wool festival! The working sheepdog demos are my favorite part – although I suppose I’m partial because I grew up with both sheep and border collies

        • Oh my gosh, this sounds like fun! I’m gonna have to google it up and find out more about it, I would LOVE to watch sheepdogs at work!

    • Quotia Zelda

      PS – I learned about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival from a PopVillager last year, and went because Eldest Zelda loves sheep. It was really a lot of fun! So thank you, person who recommended it!

    • My white hairs have recently gone crazy!! I’d rather a streak than popping up all over the place. Also, my sister-in-law is coming from Minnesota for the Sheep and Wool Festival! Excited that she’ll be staying with us for a few days, first.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: People here mentioning falling down. This past weekend’s incident (aunt falling out of chair, hurting her foot, urgent care, me driving up and down to NJ to drop her off, and now potentially needing surgery on her foot) is still to fresh in memory. Haha. (That said I have a rented wheelchair in the trunk of my car if anyone needs to borrow it until Saturday.)

  • skj84

    Rant: Peak glumpy. Working from home because I’m too depressed to go into the office. Why is this happening? I was just fine a couple weeks ago. Hoping my self imposed hermit mode will help me recharge for the rest of the week.
    Rave: My mom is helping me find a therapist. At least I don’t have to do it alone.

    • I’m sorry you’re not feeling well lately, skj. Anxiety and depression ramp up with overtiredness. I think hermit-mode is a good choice. I hope it helps.
      In other news, glumpy is a great word. It looks like most of us aren’t doing particularly well today.

    • I definitely find recharging absolutely necessary. I push myself because I’m feeling fine until I just have to come to full-stop. Hope you get some deserved R&R, don’t beat yourself up in the meantime, you’re only human! Also glad you have help in finding one. Finding someone that takes your insurance, is accessible to work/home, and is accepting new patients can certainly add to stress & anxiety. Many hugs.

    • I was too depressed to go into the office yesterday and then got more depressed because I was sitting at home alone, so I went in. Hope your mood improves. I have a date with my therapist at 5pm today and I’m counting down the mins.

    • I hope you feel better. Take care of yourself – you’re worth it!

  • Rave: Super glad I’m teleworking and it’s a quiet day because…
    Rant: I’m not feeling very good at all. Everything hurts, I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed this morning, and my tummy is feeling kind of gross.
    Unknown: Too much excitement this week. But how to turn off my brain?

  • Rant: The red line last night! It took my ONE HOUR to get from Dupont to Union Station. I shoulda’ just walked.
    Rave: My mom is currently in Texas, and yesterday she went to The Silos! (Chip & Joanna’s place, for all you Fixer Upper fans!!) And she’s bringing me a present! So excited!
    Rant: Next week is Administrative Professionals Day. For as much as I detest that day, being an admin professional…I can already tell you that my office will be completely oblivious and there will be no recognition.
    Rant: I just purchased live butterflies over the internet for a service we’re having. I know they’re a ‘sign of resurrection’ but the fact that the poor things have to stay refrigerated? Ugh, that bothers me!

  • Rant: My right shoe is squeaking and my left shoe is cutting in to the back of my heel. Ow!
    Rant: I need more sleep.
    Rant: So overwhelmed at work
    Rant: Somehow the thermostat got all messed up and when I woke up this morning, the heat was on and blowing because it was set to kick in if the house got “down” to 70 degrees! Grrrr! What a waste of heat and money! I usually have it set to come on only if it hits 62!
    Rant: I’m cranky, can ya tell?

  • Rave: My foot (broken last year) hurts quite a bit today, and for the first time since I got off the boot the pain isn’t upsetting me and making me flash back to that time. Sounds absurd, but a definite win.
    Rant: Snack mode is not good when combined with foot pain mode.
    Rave: Looking forward to travel and a friend’s wedding soon.

    • Have you done physical therapy? My broken foot still hurt after the bone had healed until I did PT and then it got better. My understanding is that all the tissue (muscles, tendons, etc.) around the break was still a mess. It really helped. Now, years later, I have to think to remember which foot I broke – I really have no lingering pain.

  • Rant: I’m reasonably computer competent, but any photos I upload simply scatter themselves randomly into dozens of different files/folders/libraries/programs so it takes lots of random clicking to find them again. Is there any program I can get that will let me easily organize them all? I have Windows live photo gallery, also One Drive, but neither are very helpful or even logical.

    Revel: I have an adorable bunch of 5 newborn foster kittens and their mom! (Which is why I need posting photos to Facebook to be much easier!)

    • Don’t you take a lot of photos? Definitely look into getting one of the photoshop variants. They have great features for sorting/cataloging.

  • Andie302

    Rave: Just ordered a pair of Rothy’s for the first time and I am hoping I love them like the friend of mine that has them loves them. If anyone wants $20 off, let me know and I can email you a code. (I would put the code here, but it contains my full name, which I realized when I pasted it.)
    Rant: I am also feeling a little down in the dumps despite the good weather.
    Rave: Taxes done, obviously last night after 10pm. Procrastinating almost bit us in the butt…that will NOT happen next year! I normally like to file the first half of February but someoneeee I live with likes to wait, and also happens to be my go-to tax preparer these days.
    Rant: Best friend that never seems to catch a break is having a boundary line dispute/issue (aka the owners build a huge shed outside of their property line) on the place they are under contract to buy. I feel bad – because this doesn’t look like it’ll end well.
    Rave: The GD half marathon that I so stupidly signed up for will be completed (hopefully successfully!) this weekend and I can change up my fitness focus to avoid running for hours at a time because I’m slow as all get-out!
    Rant: No one that’s running will go out to dinner with me the night before 🙁 Sounds like there is some pants-pooping fear among us. I guess I don’t blame them!

  • Rant: Worried about my stats skills at work now. I’m doing some statistics that I haven’t done since grad school 12 years ago and I’m afraid that I’m looking like an amateur. I have my old text books on the procedure but I still feel nervous about it since the stats are supposed to be apart of presentation I’m giving at a conference in June and I’m scared that I may look stupid about stuff that I should (and used to ) know.
    Rave: Back pain finally subsided this morning. Since my blood work didn’t show any issues, my doctor determined it was a muscle issue and suggested stretching exercises before bed. After weeks of doing them, I am finally noticing a difference. I also began slowly increasing my water intake. Could dehydration have played apart in the back pain? Not sure.
    Rave: Increased water intake means less hunger yesterday.
    Rant: I hate that at my age (40) I’m just now figuring out how to get my physical health together.

  • Rave – Jason Chaffetz not seeking reelection! Doubtless he’ll run for Governor, but he wont be pestering DC residents anymore.

  • HaileUnlikely

    Question: Has anybody here successfully applied for a permit to build a new fence (not replace an old fence) on your property in DC? I’m working on applying for a permit, the guidance on DCRA’s website is minimal, and the generic application checklist for a building permit contains a lot of stuff that is obviously inapplicable (fine!) plus several items of unclear applicability (trickier!) I’d be very grateful for some tips on how detailed the drawings need to be for a new fence entirely on your own property.
    (I spoke with the Homeowner’s Center on the phone; they were very friendly and tried to be helpful but their suggestions to “include everything” and “draw everything” and “it needs to be technical” don’t really clarify matters much.)

    • Yes. It was a nightmare. Many many people in my new neighborhood have done so and every person has had a different experience. The ones who had the easiest time were the ones who used the Homeowner’s Service Center. For me, the one person who worked there was out that day and instead of just saying to come back another day, I spent over 5 hours with people who did not know what they were doing. But I finally got it.

      I’m happy to share my paperwork with you if the Prince will forward my email address to you or yours to me. (but it will take about 2 days to get home to access the paperwork)

      • HaileUnlikely

        That would be awesome, thank you so much! I have a gmail address that is the same as my name on here (HaileUnlikely at gmail), please feel free to send it to that address.
        FWIW I’m still on the fence, pun intended, regarding whether to hire a contractor or build it myself. If I hire a contractor, I’d consider paying them to complete the permit application, but their fees for that are about half the cost of the fence itself, and I’d like to think of myself as capable of at least getting the permit if not actually building the fence.

        • Andie302

          My contractor on the eastern shore recently told me that companies like Long Fence have gotten so efficient that they are less expensive and he cannot compete. It may be worth getting a quote from them – I’m not sure if that stands for DC.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Really, that’s interesting, thanks. I believe Long Home (does windows/doors/siding) is part of the same company as Long Fence, though I might misunderstand, and Long Home is goofy expensive.

          • I think I previously shared my fence contractor (Frederick Fence), and they were substantially cheaper than Long Fence. (It will be installed next week, will report back then.)

          • HaileUnlikely

            FWIW I sent an email to Fredrick Fence, inquiring about whether they worked in DC, and they did not reply, so unfortunately I’m inferring that they likely don’t.

          • HaileUnlikely

            p.s. From what I have found so far it appears that getting a permit myself will likely be as difficult or more difficult than building the freaking fence. I have a strong temptation to apply for a postcard permit for “replacement in-kind” of a fence that does not presently exist, and am quite sure I could get away with it, but that’s generally not how I roll.

          • Hi Andie and Haile – caught this conversation late in the day. I built a new wood fence using LongFence a few years ago, and think that I was WAY overcharged (it was nearly 4k for a fence around a pretty small rowhouse backyard. They did take care of the permit for me, which was great, but I was new to the contractor’s game and hadn’t done much comparison shopping before I went with them.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Thanks for the tip, LT, much appreciated. I’ll get a quote from them for the hell of it, but will get others too. If all are too high, I will build the darn thing myself. (I can, but it’s hard, and I’m lazy, and probably willing to pay if price is fair.) I would really like to be able to complete the permitting forms and successfully get the permit myself; I’m sure the ability to do that would come in handy in the future when I want another permit for something else and don’t want to have to pay another pro several hundred more dollars to get another permit that I oughtta be able to figure out how to get on my own.
            FWIW, my reference for the above regarding Long being expensive was getting a $4600 quote from Long Home for a new front door and then getting the same exact door for slightly less than half of that from a licensed, bonded, and insured small contractor who did an excellent job. Crystal Exteriors of Silver Spring, in case it is of interest!
            Finally, somebody else told me that Home Depot subcontracts to Long Fence when you hire Home Depot to install a fence (I have no idea whether that is true, or whether maybe Long is one of a dozen contracts Home Depot subs to, or whatever). I bet Home Depot usually charges less than Long Fence does. I wonder if that is what Andie’s contractor meant(???)

          • I also got a quote from Long for a front door, and it was so high I think I actually laughed out loud in spite of myself.
            I need to check into Crystal Exteriors if I ever get around to replacing that door or another door I was eyeing. (I bought two replacement basement doors that were installed by Home Depot’s contractor, and was not happy with the job they did — especially given that the two doors together cost something like $3000 including installation.)

          • HaileUnlikely

            FYI another you might want to check for the door is American Home Center (Beltsville, MD). Their quote was slightly lower than Crystal Exteriors (about $200). Their owner was kind of brusque and gave me the impression that I was bothering him by asking him simple questions, though. The owner of Crystal Exteriors was super nice, responsive, and helpful, so I was happy to pay him $200 more. Based on reviews in Consumer Checkbook, both are known to do good work seem to be by far the two least expensive locally for highly-rated companies that install doors.

          • Thanks for the additional tip on American Home Center! I am haile appreciative. 😉

        • Haile thanks so much for the advice on door contractors! You must have remembered my query in that regard a few months back. Still haven’t gotten that front door replaced (grrrr – but they’re pricey buggers, so will wait it out for awhile longer)

          • HaileUnlikely

            I thought that was you; just mentioned in the context of not being surprised that Long was not cheap. Anyway, the price referenced above (a hair over $2000) was for a standard-sized standard-color smooth fiberglass door with a small non-fancy window, manufactured by ProVia, with all of the usual “extras” subtracted off. By “extras,” I mean, they will charge you $300 to have the inside and outside be different colors. Buy a solid color door the color that you want the outside to be. If you want the inside a different color, you can make it happen for way less than $300 without too much effort (much easier to paint a door than to install one!) Similarly they will charge $300 for a builder-grade Schlage lock and handle set that costs $100 on Amazon. Buy locks yourself. A steel door is about the same price. A textured fiberglass door is perhaps a couple hundred dollars more. More glass is a lot more. A solid wood door is a whole lot more. Anyway, that was my experience with Crystal Exteriors (and similar with the other one)

    • The real issue is why does the DC govt. make it so hard to install a simple fence around one’s own property? Seriously, we need to take the initiative and let every council member know that this is a stupid waste of time, energy and money. It is your property. It is your fence. What in the world could be the problem with that? Is there a racoon and rat lobby objecting because their vermin might be excluded from your back yard?

      • HaileUnlikely

        Word. Anybody with a lick of sense would just get a postcard permit for “replacement in kind” of a fence that does not exist. I don’t have any sense, though, so I’m steeling myself to run the gauntlet of the DCRA permitting process to get a real permit. Anybody who cared could pull up a Google Street View image and catch the cheater, but I’d be astonished if DCRA would ever bother…

      • I could understand if they wanted to make sure that people weren’t installing fences that were ugly-looking or otherwise detracted from a block’s appearance. Unfortunately I don’t think that’s the case.
        IIRC, there was some trouble with a previous mayor — I think Vince Gray? — who turned out to have installed a fence in violation of city regulations.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Yes it was Vince Gray. Another issue in the city is with properties being so close to each other, so close to houses, etc., is that a shoddily-built fence can fall down or blow over in the wind and end up damaging a neighbor’s property. I wouldn’t be surprised if the permit reviewers actually pay attention to relevant technical details. I sincerely doubt the inspectors in the field would to the same degree, though.

  • Rave: 420 tomorrow

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