What is it about houses, that they always seem to know when you’ve come into just a wee bit of extra cash? And why do so many household breakages happen so close to a full moon?
I have no idea. But I do know this –
No matter how much money I put into my new house, there will always be at least one more thing that needs to be done. Preferably now. And always costly.
The drains in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom were running slow, and drain cleaner was not working, so we scheduled the plumber to come snake them out on my day off. Two days before the scheduled date, hubby opened the cabinet under the kitchen sink and discovered the long horizontal pipe was cracked and leaking and would need to be replaced. So, that got added to the plumber’s work list.
I thought we had replaced every pipe in the house, but apparently we neglected those kitchen pipes.
The plumber arrived and estimated the work. Yes, he could simply replace that pipe, and yes he could do the snaking, but the trap under the sink was too high, would continually clog up, and eventually would need to be re-routed so as to avoid having the drain snaked out every six months. This is a plumber we’ve worked with for many years, and we trust his judgment.
So I got an estimate for re-routing the pipes. The plumber himself said he would not pay that price if we were planning to update the kitchen at any point in the next few years. He made an offhand comment that for pretty much the same cost, we could have the entire base cabinet, sink, faucet & countertop replaced. We agreed he would just snake the drains and replace the cracked pipe.
I started initialing the work order for the snaking and pipe replacement. But then it occurred to me – the re-routing work was about one-tenth of what I thought a new kitchen would cost, so that means? Basically a whole new kitchen for a really low cost? I asked the plumber if his company does, in fact, install those cabinets.
Yes, we’re getting a new kitchen. It won’t be fancy (Home Depot basic), and we will have to paint the cabinet ourselves (including sanding and painting the existing upper cabinets), but it will be new, not reeking of cigarette smoke, and even by adding a cheap countertop, stainless steel double sink and new faucet, it will cost far, far less than what I expected to spend to update the kitchen. I’m ok with that.
Sure, the new cabinet will be a a little smaller than the one we have now and will leave a 6-inch gap in the floor tile, so eventually we’ll have to replace that 80-year-old floor. I’m ok with that, too, since it doesn’t need to be done right now – and the shorter cabinet will allow us to open the kitchen door all the way, which is a plus.
BTW, why does my house think I have, or will have, a little extra cash? I just got a very nice raise on my new job! It’s so nice to have an employer who appreciates hard work – definitely not something I’m used to.
Also, BTW, my credit union is running really good rates for home improvement loans. The rest of the replacement windows are on order, there’s enough to pay for the fence installation (if it ever happens), and repointing of the leaky chimney – and there should be enough left for the riding lawn mower hubby wants.
Then we’re done with home improvement requiring contractors. I hope. I need to start paying off the repairs we’ve already done, without adding more. The goal is to have everything paid off in 2 to 3 years, so that the household budget will fit into my Social Security payments should I become unable to work any longer. Planning is good, right? May the fates be with me.
Happy Friday, everyone. May your weekend be warm, dry (um, at least weather-wise), and restful.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom