Category Archives: Home Improvements

More Money Into The House

Last time on our home improvement saga, we added more money for grading and drying out the basement.  Well, we just added more for new carpeting.

Last week, H called me at work to tell me that the restoration company wanted over $500 to stretch and place our old carpeting back in place.  I really didn’t want to have to spend that much just to lay our old carpet back down.  Our old, urinated on, vomited on, formally water-logged, not in great shape carpet.

So, now we are spending $1300 for brand spanking new carpet.  Honestly, even though it costs more I feel better about spending the money on new carpet rather than the crappy old stuff.  However, we are not replacing the carpet on the side door landing and two steps to the kitchen.  Eventually we are going to lay down vinyl for an additional $475.

We are going to put off the vinyl and the new front porch until spring to save up the money.  I can’t wait for all this to be over.


Rain, Rain, Go Away

In my last post I talked about using H’s money to get our driveway redone for $4200.  Well…..

I was wrong about the price, it was $5400.  The word “was” is key here.

The price has gone up.  I thought I was clever in tearing out the front porch ourselves and saving us some money.  Not so much.  It turns out I forgot to factor in the rain and the depressed earth underneath the porch.  Which has now cost us an additional $1500 so far and climbing.

On Tuesday of last week, I came home to find the carpet in the basement sopping wet.  The water now has easier access to the basement.  We spent several days and tons of money drying everything out, but can’t put the room back together until the driveway and grading against the house is complete (grading is a new expense).

The driveway can’t begin until it stops raining.  We have tarps and plastic all over the front of the house to keep the water at bay.  Granted, we live in Michigan so this is nothing compared to if we lived in NJ or NY.

In all, we are expecting to spend almost $10,000 not including the new porch.  Twice what we expected.  Oh, and if the driveway and grading don’t doesn’t work?  $7000 for a french drain…… in our future.

Hello Money, too bad you didn’t stay long

When H switched companies he ended up cashing out one of his retirements and paying the taxes and 10% penalties.  It wasn’t a ton of money, but he felt a better use for it would to fix our driveway.  So for a brief period of time our checking account looked awesome!  How I wish it was always that high!  Someday….

Some genius who owned the home previously thought it would be a great idea to cover half of the concrete along the side of the house with asphalt.  Thus, making a giant lake along the foundation of the house every time it rains.  This is not good for the house or my allergies, as it encourages mold.  So for the sake of our home and health we are decided to put in a new concrete driveway.  Goodbye $4500, nice seeing you, please come back someday.

In addition, the weird front porch and boardwalk was in terrible shape, as was the back deck (also weird, as it had no access from the house).  With the help from some friends we managed to tear both out for the cost of a dumpster, $350.  It turns out that the front porch was even more in need of being ripped out than I thought.  I discovered where the carpenter ants had set up a colony when I tore up one of the boards and they streamed out.  I may have screamed a little!

Given all this, we are also adding a sidewalk and a new smaller front porch, price yet to be determined.  I was hoping the concrete under the front porch would be in decent shape, alas it was not in any condition to keep as our entryway.  The good news is that there was a patio underneath the back deck in decent shape.  Now we have patio that doesn’t feel like it is going to give out on us when we walk on it.  Hooray!

It may not have been a smart move to use some of H’s retirement in the long-term.  At least we won’t cringe and worry about the basement every time it rains.  Relief is worth every penny.


Sewer Line In The City

Mom called and said the sewer line was backing up again.  Time to clean out the tree roots.

The plumber came and cleaned out the line and sent me an estimate to replace it with PVC.

Do you know how much replacing a sewer line in the city will cost me?  $10,068.

I don’t have $10,068!  Apparently, at least half or more is to pay the city to replace the sidewalk and curb.  I have no recourse, they will not allow me to try to bid the project out.  Ugh!

Frankly, I don’t want to spent ten grand on a house I don’t live in and can’t sell without a loss of at least 30 grand.  I am feeling a little stuck at the moment.  For now, I will continue to clean the tree roots until I no longer can.

I’ll deal with it later.

New to Us Patio Furniture

We received free patio furniture yesterday from friends of my fiance’s parents.  At first we were reluctant to say we’d take it, sight unseen.  If we didn’t have furniture it would have been one thing, but we already had a decent hand-me down table set.

My fiance agreed to at least go move it to his parents.  The friends needed to get rid of it asap.  When they showed up with the set, I took one look at the chairs and said absolutely.  It was exactly the style I had been looking for, mesh fabric, adjustable chairs and two foot stools.  Plus it came with an umbrella, which I had been contemplating purchasing one.  Awesome!

Of course we don’t use our outdoor area much, but I hope to use it more now that we have an umbrella for shade.

We decided to offer our set to his brother & sister-in-law, although transporting it may be an issue.  If they decide not to take it, I am giving it to my mom.  She is using an old wooden set I left behind that is falling apart.

We also received a free DVD player that we are going to hook up to the small tv in the exercise room.  It has a DVD player but no remote, it is on loan from a friend that didn’t need it.  In fact she may have forgotten about it already.

I Love Central Air

I did it again.  I disappeared for weeks on end.  During my time away I managed to spend almost $3000.

Due to a combination of poor quality and lack of maintenance the compressor wore out on our central air conditioner.  It was kind of funny, because I had just scheduled a company to come out and do some routine maintenance on it in two weeks.  I knew my fiancé had never had anything done since he purchased the home in 2008.  I had a schedule at my home.  Every two years I had routine maintenance done on the AC and furnace.

I always thought that my lack of knowledge on how to keep up a house was due to living in apartments all my life. Turns out, it really is up to parents to teach their kids these things.  My fiancé grew up in a house, he regularly did chores, but no one bothered to teach him why they were important.  He never made the correlation between taking a hose to the AC as a kid and regular maintenance of the unit.

We endured a week of 85-91 degree temperatures and we were miserable. Now its 95-100 and we are very happy that we halved our savings.

I Can Finally Wash My Clothes!

The repairman just left and I have a washer that works!  So excited!

Our washer stopped spinning a month ago and my boyfriend didn’t want to spend the money to repair it.  I have been to the laundromat 5 times, spending on average $15 each time.  I just spent $135 to repair a broken coupling.  If we had just called them when it first broke, we would have saved at least $40-50 dollars.  The first time I went to the laundromat was when the washer actually broke so I am not counting that time.

Putting off calling the repairman cost us more than sucking it up and shelling out the money.  We thought about attempting to save the money and fix it ourselves, that is what cost us.  I suspected it was a broken coupling, but we didn’t consider the fact that we really didn’t have the right tools.

I also noticed that the water shut-offs are corroding and I think we will need to get them replaced before we have a problem.  One of our budget items is home repair and this home sure needs it. My boyfriend bought a bit of a money pit, it already sucked up $10,000 last year. Unfortunately, neither one of us is handy, so paying professionals is really the only option.  The bonus is that its more likely to be done well.  Well, hopefully!

  • Single in Debt

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 33 other followers

  • Archives

  • Advertisements