Saturday, May 4, 2013

Home Repairs: A Quick Money and Time-Saving Tip

Our house is now sparkly clean and ready for guests.  Starting next week we will have one SIL here for a week then the BIL will be here for three months, and in June, another SIL will bring her grandkids and stay for a month.  Needless to say our house is going to be crazy busy.  To get ready for everyone's arrival we did a couple of updates that we felt were important (replace the leaky kitchen faucet and install shower doors in two bathrooms, getting rid of the icky shower curtains) as well as scrubbed everything clean and made sure the guest rooms were neat and tidy.  So I think we are now ready for the onslaught.  Yesterday as we finished installing the second shower door we realized one very important thing about doing home improvement projects:  if possible, do the upgrades in multiples.  Here's some examples:

  • When we bought our house, all of the smoke alarms were missing so we went to the home store and bought five of the exact same smoke alarms to install.  This saved money because we were able to buy a contractor pack of five which was cheaper than buying them individually.  
  • After we moved into our house we realized that all of the bedrooms really needed ceiling fans.  We bought three identical fans then set to work installing them.  The first one took a while to figure out.  The second one was easier to install.  By the third one, we could have installed it blindfolded.
  • A while back, I noticed that the on-off valve in my shower was dripping.  We replaced it (a traumatic event related somewhere in this blog...sorry couldn't find it to link to it) but we didn't replace the on-off valve in the other shower which we should have done because now it has a slow drip.  Following the rule of 'always do things in multiples if possible' we would have saved time (after the first one, the second one is easier because you already know what you are doing) and effort (we already had the tools and after two trips to the home store, finally got the correct replacement cartridge).  So....lesson learned there.  
  • Finally, we installed two shower doors in the bathrooms over the past few days.  The first door install four hours over two days and was a pain in the a**.  We installed the bottom sill then screwed in the side frame pieces then noticed that the side frame was too tall to hold the doors correctly so had to unscrew the side frame pieces and cut them to size and somewhere in there had to stop and run to the home store to get a better hacksaw blade and...well there was a lot of confusion (plus we had already caulked the side frame pieces in place then had to remove them and the caulk DID NOT WANT TO LET GO).  Ayayay  we should have made a YouTube video.  Then we installed the second shower door which took a grand total one one hour since we had already figured out what to do and how to do it well and quickly.  There was also a screw missing in the little parts set that came with the first door so we simply borrowed the needed piece from the second door set which was good because we didn't have to stop mid-project and run to the store for the missing piece (later we picked up the needed screw but at least we didn't have to stop--yet again--when working on the first door).
Bottom line: it pays to do repair/upgrade things in multiples to save both time and money (and your sanity!).

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