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Sometimes It's Better to Save Time Than Money

January 3rd, 2007 at 02:24 pm

I finished 2006 somewhat in the red. During the year I replaced all the windows in my house with more energy-efficient ones. While I could have struggled with the old double-hung windows a few years longer (some of them had to be wrestled open with a screwdriver), I really, really wanted new ones. I have a neighbor who used to be in the window-installation business. I bought my kitchen cabinets used from him when I moved to the neighborhood and he gave me a great deal. He and some friends earn a little extra money doing the occasional window installation job on weekends. I could have bought the windows myself and my brother would have installed them, but he has plenty of work to do at his own home and while I would have saved a lot, I would have waited months, perhaps years, for the job to be completed. So I spent the dough and I'm glad I did. There's even a small tax deduction I can take for doing an energy efficient improvement to the house. While I hope the windows will eventually pay for themselves in energy savings, I'm still pinched by the expenditure.

I also opted to have a contractor replace the gutters on my house instead of doing it myself (that is, asking my brother to do it). My brother replaced the soffits and fascia, which were either in bad shape or nonexistent, and while it took about 2 months for the contractor to get around to the job and I got poured on every time I went in or out the door when it was raining, again it seemed prudent to have the professionals get the job done in one day. They did beautiful trimming and ran two of the downspouts into a trench drain my brother dug over the summer. The gutters on my garage are old steel ones that have rusted through, so my brother saved the old aluminum gutters from the house and will eventually put them on the garage.

I guess I'm not being terribly frugal, but sometimes it just seems to make more sense to get something done well and quickly than to putz around hoping to save a few dollars by cobbling things together or getting it done in fits and starts.

4 Responses to “Sometimes It's Better to Save Time Than Money”

  1. Carolina Bound Says:

    I agree. My brother, who is very frugal, once told me that he thought that paying professionals to do a professional job was actually the most frugal thing to do.

  2. disneysteve Says:

    I agree, as well. As much as I hate to spend the money, I'm always pleased after the job is done because I know it got done right and looks great. Left to my own devices, I'd either never do it or screw it up somehow. One of my not-so-frugal decisions a few years ago was to stop mowing the lawn myself. I hated doing it and didn't do a very good job. And often waited way too long between mowings. Now, it gets done regularly and neatly every other week. Well worth the price.

  3. boomeyers Says:

    Wow, I totally agree! It may a take a little longer to pay off, but it is worth it. Especially if something went wrong. You would'nt have to keep bugging your brother to fix it.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    I agree!!!!

    My father grew up so poor and now he is upper-middle-class. To this day he wants to do everything himself and it is just crazy - he is better off on focusing on work and paying someone.

    Every time I have a home improvement he starts telling me how I can do it myself. Since I am not very mechanically inclined (I can not even open a jar usually without help - LOL - anything that requires my hands I generally foul up) I opt to pay someone to do it "right." Plus I am a little too busy to spend all my free time doing things (& shoddy at that) around the house.

    My dad has done okay but I remember as a kid we all redid the tile in the house and something didn't go right - they had to replace it not long after. The first time he finally hired someone and he may be a little converted - hehe.

    I am with carolina Bound - if you find a good professional you can get a job done well, and save money down the road. & I have to say - remember price is always negotiable.

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