Multiply By Ten, Add Two Hours

Multiply By Ten, Add Two Hours

Money Pit
The staircase falling out from underneath Tom Hank’s feet in the movie The Money Pit.

You know that formula for the minimum age you can date someone (Age/2 +7)? Well, at our house we have a formula for home improvement projects.

(time it took someone on internet to do the task) X 10 +2 hours = time it will take us

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s proving to be fairly accurate. We could blame the fact that we are still learning how to fix some things or that we almost always forget to buy some critical part at Home Depot or that the former homeowners fixed everything with glue (wish I was exaggerating) or that we are just terribly unlucky, but whatever it is, this is our reality. Most recently it was the garbage disposal. Noel went to take the recycling out the other day and found the small bin under the sink to be way too heavy to solely contain recyclables. Turns out the bottom of the garbage disposal had rusted out and the water was now draining into our recycling bin instead of flowing gracefully down the sewer lines. A quick Google search claimed you could easily replace your disposal (once purchased and at your house) in about 15 minutes, so Noel ran over to Home Depot to pick one up before I head off to book club. When I got home from book club two and a half hours later, the fun of replacing the garbage disposal had only just begun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause the former homeowner’s were geniuses, the garbage disposal had of course been installed without grounding it. (Water, electricity, and an ungrounded outlet just doesn’t seem like a good idea.) This obstacle should have only added an extra 15 minutes or so, but one stupid decision made by the previous installer problem led to another and we ended up cutting a hole through the dry wall in the garage to extract the super old metal sheathed wires for the disposal so we could replace it with a sleeker, more modern cable. Noel of course also grounded it. It’s nice to not have water pooling underneath the sink and even better to know our chances of electrocution while using the disposal have greatly decreased. Now we just need to pick up some drywall to patch that hole in the garage, but that should be easy. Well, maybe if we were someone else anyway.

5 thoughts on “Multiply By Ten, Add Two Hours

  1. Don’t forget the “will take at least 6 trips to Home Depot/Lowe’s no matter how hard you try to prep ahead of time” rule – or is that built into your x10 +2 formula? (That could also just be us and home projects…) House repairs are a pain…but at least you have SuperNoel!

  2. Ha Ha, we have a similar formula. With Brandon’s flight training we always said that any estimate on how long it would take to get certified in something should be multiplied by 2 and then have 6 weeks added to it. It’s also proved to be fairly accurate for his current application.

    PS This makes me so happy we are still renting 🙂

  3. There are some nice features about renting vs. owning. One of them is the problem belongs to the owner. Far too often the problem causes the renter much more distress than the landlord. Having the ability to repair basic stuff in our apartment has relieved some of the stress for us and the landlord. He likes us. I am inclined to fix fewer things than when I owned the property. The best option of renting is when you leave the problem is not attached to you. You can upgrade simply by paying a deposit, giving your 30 day notice, and renting some moving equipment. There is considerably more involved if you own. The housing market has allowed very few to make a profit these days, but the tax factor is not something to ignore. When you buy, you are stuck with the neighbors you have until you are willing to move or go to war. If you really own, it is far better to put your property in a trust fund. The taxes and reality of court cost while dealing with anyone who wishes to put a lean on your property makes trust funds the way to go. Still owning is desired by most and it teaches one to value the skills of a repair person. Equity is the magic word.

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