Tag Archives: new home purchase

My New House: AKA My Bad Timing & Short Sightedness

This year, I am the perfect example of someone with the worlds’ worst timing: In mid-January I downsized into a new half-duplex. That was before the world fell off its axis. Started work on my basement right away not knowing what was about to come. I do have to do landscaping as new homes have a holdback (in my case $1,500) that’s only refunded once landscaping is done. And this week I just finished my deck. No, that one wasn’t a necessity, but I’m too anti-social to sit on a chair in front of my house for a year.

So, right now I’m a deck expert until I forget everything in a month or so. But I’ve also realized that I’m pretty stupid in wasting money by being short-sighted, not asking first, or thinking ahead.

On my smart side I started buying treated lumber in April when various sizes I needed went on sale. It saved me about $150 waiting for the odd sale and storing them in my garage.

Then came the money waster. There are two sizes of screws needed: 2 ½ inch for the thin deck boards and 3 ½ inch for the structural stuff. How many could I possibly need? It turns out it was almost 3,100 screws! Who knew? Not me. I bought 200 of each, then another 200, then a hundred, then my contractor told me I’d need 1,200 for the actual deck boards (which I found hard to believe) and so on. In other words, I made at least a dozen trips to buy screws again and again and again. That’s the price I paid for not asking!

Yes, I do hire contractors to do things right. Besides, I have zero knowledge and roughly the same talents. But I always find a solo proprietor that lets me be the helper, which saves me a ton of money. In the case of my deck, did all the structural stuff to make sure it passed the permit inspection – I do all the manual labour like the trim, hauling stuff around, and a day of 1,400 screws into the deck boards…that’s about the extent of my talents anyway…

After I was so proud of my lumber savings, way more than that was wasted not buying 2,000 for $61. I tripped over a dime to pick up a nickel and it cost me over $240. I love my double deck and flared stairs and it turned out great. The total cost was $3,800. But all I can think about is that it should have been almost $300 less…

I am also blessed to have another secret resource: My neighbour Greg. He is as nice as he is talented, with everything from heating to (future dream) air conditioning how-to’s, landscaping issues, and construction knowledge. Greg also has tools – adult tools. A lot of adult tools! Metal saws (now learned they’re called grinders), a compressor that saved me countless hours using a Brad nailer, and screw drivers that last for days (my baby one last for two hours before a long recharging time-out). Oh, and a Jeep with a hook and a chain when my 250+ pound tree rolled into its four foot hole horizontally…but I don’t want to re-live that…Plus, he’s incredibly generous with my stupid questions and total lack of building IQ – and all for the low price of just asking and the odd bottle of Bailey’s…

Ahhh…lessons learned the expensive way. This December 31st I AM going to stay up until midnight. Not to party, but just to make darn sure that 2020 really does leave!

Coming Next Month: My New Home Buying Experience

There should be nothing more exciting than purchasing a brand new home. Well, that didn’t last that long for me…We’ll talk about it in April as it’s been 60 days.

Here’s a small insight: THIS is what I got from Bedrock Homes (Carrington) in the year 2020 in my brand new house: 37 regular light bulbs! Hands up if you have at LEAST one LED (now under $1.60 each) or at least a spiral light anywhere in your home. Yup – that’d be everybody in the country. (Bedrock saved some more money by not having any bulbs in two light fixtures…)

THIS is what is STANDARD in every new home with another builder by the name of Jayman Homes. Yup…electric plug-ins for hybrid vehicles. But it gets worse…I’ll explain next month…