Note to Self: Pay the Professionals

We knew we wanted to tint the back 6 windows of “Buddy” to help block the summer heat that’s to come. It would also be great for privacy. We did our first window and it wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t great. It did show us just how much more privacy we’d have though (my other hand is directly on the right window too and you can’t see it at all).

We are all about DIY and saving money, but sometimes it’s best to pay the experts.

What we did to prepare to tint ourselves:
1) Watched tons of YouTube how-to videos.
2) Bought the tint.
3) Used kraft paper to create a template.

4) Traced around the template.

5) Cut around the template.

6) Sprayed the adhesive and got our squeegee ready.

7) Went to battle with the tint.

8) Lost the battle.

Here’s how our second window turned out. (See the one on the right).

Permanent creases and bubbles.

What we didn’t do to prepare for tinting ourselves:
1) Get a quote from a professional and compare that to how much it would cost us, accounting for extra material for mess-ups.
2) Consider how much time we’d spend.

It would have cost us a total of about $80-100 to do it ourselves (because of the extra tint we’d have to buy for mess-ups), but probably an hour per window that would result in permanent bubbles/creases. So we went to 3 local tint shops. The first one quoted us at $145, the second $150 and the third was a super sketchy/scary/creepy place where a homeless-looking dude walked up to me and said the “tint man ain’t here”. Eek! Not interested.

Then we looked up reviews online and found out that the first place was excellent and offered a better lifetime warranty (plus it was $5 cheaper…that’s a gallon of gas people!) So Auto Trim Design of Columbia it was!

Yay for professionals!


  1. alison

    wow.. that’s pretty cheap! i’m impressed… but, your van looks sketchy now..

    Comment by alison on April 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  2. follow this trip

    haha…a little bit. it looked sketchy before but now it’s more mysterious i guess.

    Comment by follow this trip on April 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm

  3. Julie/Mom Landers

    Papa would be proud!

    Comment by Julie/Mom Landers on April 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

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