Monday, May 23, 2016

Mortgage Monday: Estimates

While I was hoping to get a head start on this process much earlier in the year, sometimes things just don’t go exactly as we plan them. Of course, there isn’t anything really pressing at the moment… there isn’t anything that absolutely needs to get done at the house. There are projects that should be started (and finished) soon like replacing the garage doors but there is nothing that needs to be done.  

Unfortunately, without things being set into motion, there is plenty of time to add things to the list. And the list is getting quite a bit longer than was previously disclosed. All of that means is that the dollar figure at the bottom of the sheet of paper keeps climbing which makes me look back and really start cutting some of the unnecessary expenses from the growing budget. This has become an even more essential task of late as we have received a few quotes.

The biggest expense on the horizon is replacing the existing heating and air conditioning systems (which also means we have to swap out our hot water supply). Currently we have an undersized air conditioning unit (I have to call the home warranty company about this) and a loud boiler in the basement providing us with both hot water and heat through the zoned baseboard system throughout the house. While functional, it is not working for us. We will be switching to a central HVAC system with a hot water heater in the basement. While most would balk as we did at the $25,000 estimate (lowest available for quality work), the simple fact is that we will recoup most of that expense in the increased efficiency.

Some of the essential repairs and alterations needed are also quoting out much higher than expected. Actually, the garage doors and motors were a little lower at $2500 while the interior French doors to my office are much higher at $2500. Some may consider these as extra expenses but, for us, they are two smaller projects that need to be done. I am not going to simply repair or replace one garage door with an uninsulated patch… it makes more sense to just replace both and take care of the motors at the same time. And the office door is needed so that I can actually utilize my office.

The last think on this list of initial quotes is the removal of dead trees. While we had much of the property taken care of a couple of weeks ago, there are still a few leafless monsters swaying in the breeze. Because of their size and location it is not going to be a cheap endeavor. The first estimate is about $2800. Some may see them as simply an eye sore but they are within striking distance of the house and it is an unnecessary risk to leave them standing. I just hope that we can find a better price.

Everything else on our long and growing wish list is pretty much on hold as we pursue these projects and try to find a way to pay for them. Once these are done we will re-prioritize the rest of the list and decide when we want to tackle additional improvements and whether we will be able to budget for them. Of course, we will also factor in what makes sense for us now and in the long run… sometimes it is best to get something done now and other times the better option is to wait. We will just have to see what happens with these first few items from our list.