Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Pitfalls of Saving Money

I haven't had a chance yet to link back to this New York Times article, which hit the front page:
Even to Save Cash, Don’t Try This Stuff at Home

When the toilet in Carol Taddei’s master bathroom began to break down a few months ago, she decided it would be cheaper to buy a new one than pay for repairs. Ever frugal in this dismal economy, Ms. Taddei, a retired paralegal, then took her economizing a step further, figuring she could save even more by installing the new toilet herself.

Initially, things looked good with the flushing and the swishing. That is, until the ceiling collapsed in the room below the new (leaky) toilet. Rushing to get supplies for a repair, Ms. Taddei clipped a pole in her garage. It ripped the bumper off her car, and later, several shelves holding flower pots and garden tools collapsed over her head.

“It just kept getting worse,” Ms. Taddei said, ruefully describing what came out to be a $3,000, three-day renovation at her suburban Minneapolis home, finished by a professional from Mr. Handyman, a home repair service that takes emergency calls.

Reminds me of my Rule #9: DIY vs. PAY! Plumbing is not for everyone!

Frugal Zeitgeist was all over this one too-- and yet she is commencing some bathroom repairs anyway!


Hazzard said...

How timely,
My toilet has had a tiny trickle for months. It never occurred to me how much water I might be wasting by trying to ignore the problem until I read an article saying that you can use hundreds of gallons a month with a small trickle from the toilet valve. I turned off the valve at the toilet and banned everyone from using it (It's in the master bathroom so we can use the other two in the house). I finally got time to go buy the new internal toilet parts, drained the tank, and replaced the parts. After screwing around with it for an hour (total) I turned the valve back on only to find that the new valve did the same thing. I was so disgusted that I walked away from it. That was two weeks ago. I guess I better get back to it.

And no, I'm not hiring someone. :) At least until I really screw something up.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me when I tried to recess mount some bath cabinets and ended up gaping into the plumbing and the frames once I cut a huge hole! I then had to put sheet rock and surface mounted the cabinets. Good thing the plumbing lines were thick, otherwise I hate to think what it would have costed to fix!

Oooo....ya! This weekend I will also be removing the grout from my master bath...scared as I am I will still charge forth!

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

I feel very lucky to be married to a man who can fix just about anything. He's repaired and replaced toilets, installed dishwashers (2!) and removed a garbage disposal & replumbed the kitchen sink. A keeper!

frugal zeitgeist said...

I'll be posting about the DIY results on Monday or thereabouts. Right now, my hands are too swollen to do much more than wrap them around a coffee cup.

And no, I'm not touching the plumbing!

frugal zeitgeist said...

DIY is D.O.N.E.