Boring Before and After

>> 1.11.2011

I'll apologize in advance because this topic is soooo not blogworthy.

I got a new roof last week... woo. The $x,000 project might have been more exciting if changing the shingle color would do anything to my (obviously lacking) curb appeal, but we really got nothing out of the swap (other than a more weather-proofed home). With my house being slightly uphill from the street, you can barely even see the thing- and that's only if you try.

We need to do some power washing where I removed a rose bush on the side of the house STAT! 

I actually had to stand on a chair to get this before shot of the back of the roof:
As you can see, the back door had to wait until after I sunk money into the roof.

 And the after:

As a bonus for those of you who stuck around until the end of this post, I'll share how I instantly saved $400 on this sucker:

1. I got more than one bid.
2. I read every single detail of the proposals and eliminated unnecessary costs. Eighty dollars to remove and replace a satellite dish left by the previous owners- I don't think so!
3. I used the competitors' bids against one another. I'm a believer in going with the company with the highest recommendations, but I also believe in paying the lowest price possible. In this case, I simply told the roofer that he was coming several hundred dollars over the other companies and told him to "let me know if [his company] could be more competitive."  Magically, those extra costs disappeared and I had a roof by the end of the week ;).

Anyone else starting off 2011 by spending money on boring home improvement expenses?

PS I have to give some blog love to Lori from Thrifty Decor Mom. Thanks for the award!


Jenna Scott January 11, 2011 at 11:48 AM  

I think this post is def. blog worthy! I mean what's more exciting than knowing your house is going to be free from water damage? Ok, so maybe a few things, but hey, it's still exciting! Congrats on the new roof :)

Mrs. Chic January 11, 2011 at 12:39 PM  

I'm gadl you were able to save some money -- Our goal this year is to spend less money on home improvements projects!

Liz January 11, 2011 at 5:21 PM  

Hey these things are important! Also, it's nice to see the outside of your house for a change!

Amanda- Hip House Girl January 11, 2011 at 6:23 PM  

A new roof was the first thing I did when I bought my house. It was actually pretty visible though- the old one was an ugly red (not to mention the kitchen had puddles on the floor).

These things are not fun to pay for, but if you sell soonish you can always put that on the listing. And way to go getting multiple bids- I got tons.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards January 11, 2011 at 9:24 PM  

I love the roof. It's not as glamorous as others, but it does its job.

Tovah January 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM  

We squeaked out the tax break for a new tankless water heater at the end of december and then took advantage of an appliance sale in January to get a new fridge. We've also installed a toilet conversion so that now our toilet has dual flush ability and will save water and money.

It's all documented here:

However now that those are all done I think any other home projects will be more cosmetic/aesthetic for awhile. Like painting the doors in the guest room from yellow back to white. I'm not sure what the previous house owner was thinking...

Gaby January 12, 2011 at 12:29 PM  

We'll be spending money on repairing our toilets. Fun stuff I tell yah.

Amanda @ Little House on the Corner January 12, 2011 at 8:08 PM  

Hey, roofs are important! It can't all be glamorous. :)

Sara @ Russet Street Reno January 13, 2011 at 8:53 PM  

I think it's a very good post, more for the bargaining skills than the before and after.

Karl B (The Frugal Berry) October 1, 2012 at 9:52 AM  

As a contractor starting out (many years ago), I was surprised at how few people got a price other than mine. Maybe one in every 30 or 40 customers told me they were looking for pricing elsewhere. I later found that most of my competition was completely incompetent and didn't return phone calls (loosing business in the process). This was in South Eastern PA, where there was almost always plenty of work to go around.

I also learned that you don't always save by going with the cheapest contractor. Most of the ones that undercut also skimp on materials and cut corners. Please beware when going with the cheaper price.

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