Looking to Spend Money

We got our stimulus checks. We had some Christmas money (my mother’s version of a stimulus check). And then we got a Federal tax refund. Sparky determined that we need to spend some money. Then fate intervened to determine how we were going to dole that cash into the economy. The garage door decided to die. It had had problems off and on for the last 10 years. Seems that the spring would break every 18 months and we’d have it replaced. When we were getting the house painted last August I suggested that it was time for a replacement/upgrade. Sparky pooh-poohed the idea. To save some money, he bolted the lose stability strips to the door – twice as the bolts pulled out the first time. Well, when the garage door repairman came out to repair the spring he told us that he couldn’t do the work in good conscience. Seems the little wheels that roll on the track were shot – of the 16 wheels, 4 were not even on the track and half of the remaining ones were so worn they were more square than round. The track itself was off kilter and probably part of the reason it kept breaking the spring. So a new garage door was ordered and we were anxiously awaiting the arrival. The company said it would arrive in 10 weeks. We were pleasantly surprised when the door arrived in 7 weeks and was installed just a few days later.

   

Then there was the issue of the driveway. It had slowly been crumbling. There were so many cracks and areas where the cement has tilted or sunken that it was impossible to shovel during the winter. It was a trip hazard. It was so uneven that to play basketball resulted in the ball taking bad bounces and ankles being at risk of being broken. This has been an ongoing issue that we had resolved to fix during the COVID shutdown. Sadly the company we had contacted was so crazy busy that they said they couldn’t give us an estimate last year. We called again this year and they can’t come out for an estimate until August! As luck would have it, neighbors just down the street had their driveway repoured. Sparky went and talked to the guys. A few hours later we had an estimate. Ten minutes after the estimate we asked when they could start. It took them 1 day to get the driveway torn out, leveled, and compacted. The next day it was poured. They came out 2 days later to cut the  stress joints. We had to park on the street for a week as it cured. It was completed way before the garage door ever arrived.

Of course the last photo shows the new drive and the new garage door! It really is a big improvement! 

52 thoughts on “Looking to Spend Money

    1. It was something already in the plans – the “stimulus money” just helped take some of the sting out of getting it done… And it will be so very nice not to have the snow shovel catch on a crack and nearly dislocate a shoulder or throw you to the ground!

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  1. I’m having to research charities as daughter had a 401. Of course some will be set aside for the day one of us might need a nursing home.

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    1. I hope the money can go to a good use – and having some as a safety net is never a bad thing. There are lots of good causes – hope you find one that honors her memory…

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    1. Yes and yes! I’m really liking the new garage door – the old one was so loud that if it opened you knew no matter where you were in the house. The new one is so quiet that it surprises me when Sparky walks in from an errand!!

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  2. I’m so glad that you had a way to do something so pleasing! It really DOES look great, and I know you’ve got to feel better knowing it’s all fixed for a long time to come. Sparky is clever in going up to the workmen on the neighbor’s job. Very glad that things went so well for you guys :).

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    1. We were really lucky to be able to get them to do the driveway. So many construction/home improvement/repair services are over booked and understaffed. The guys doing the driveway were all professional concrete workers that were doing the work during “down times” on the big projects they were working on…

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    1. Thanks May! It is a joy – they widened the driveway just a little but it is enough to make it much easier to back out! As for the trees – those are black walnut trees and are evil! They prevent most other plants from thriving anywhere nearby.

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    1. I thought so! When they put in the new drive they moved the point where the drive angles to allow you to back all the way out before you have to turn the wheel for the angle. I think it made a huge difference in how easy it is to back up! I don’t think I’ll ever fall off the drive again!!

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  3. lol much as I am into repair and reuse you guys take that to a whole new level … about b time! Sometimes it’s better to pay the dosh out and get the job done properly … yeh for Sparky using his initiative to bail up the workers down the street.

    I finally got my pics hung asking a tradie visiting my neighbour … took him all of 15 minutes with the right tools and know how. He felt guilty taking my money but I was just so pleased to finally have it done!

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    1. Sometimes it is just so very worth the $ to hire someone to get the job done and done right! I’m waiting on Sparky to install the new kitchen faucets… but that’s fodder for another post!

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        1. He knows. I’m pretty sure he’s waiting until I’m gone for the day and out of the house. Maybe this Thursday. He wants to spare me any foul language that the project might cause to escape his lips…

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            1. Hehe! Yes it has been Sparky’s opinion that a well placed cuss word can be very effective communication – I personally don’t care to hear certain words uttered out loud.

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    1. Nope. Haven’t done any reading – we just needed to get the projects done and since I don’t know anything about pouring concrete and neither does Sparky our only option was to have the professionals do the work… if it puts food on someone else’s table then that’s all the better!

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      1. Murisopsis, Our driveway is too long-it would cost close to $4000 or more. But our driveway is in good shape. Now for pavers-wow, if we win the lottery or inherit monies.

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  4. If only they could improve the angle of the curve in the road in front of your house! It’s so hard for me to park on the street there without the back end of my van sticking out.

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    1. Hehe! You could always park in the driveway (Sparky would just have to give us a heads up when he was nearing home.) Of course when I become Emperor of the World I’ll make sure to have a special designated parking spot just for you or maybe just have my private helicopter pick you up and drop you off at my penthouse…. hehehe! I’m dreaming again…

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  5. I have total garage door envy. (I wrote about it at length, and then hit some combination of buttons on my computer that deleted my entire entry and left a exclamation mark in its place. Boo hiss.)

    I will hope to see the new garage door, as time goes by. (Yes, life is pretty boring around here. Watching other people’s home improvements is intended to spark a similar activity in myself.)

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    1. We didn’t want to be the neighbors that had the “trashy” house! Four of the houses have new roofs, 5 have new driveways, and all but 1 (a brick house) were repainted this last year… It was time to step up our game so to speak. We painted last summer, now the driveway and garage door. I’m hoping we can delay the new roof until after this coming winter. We need to get a new fence put up – Sparky put up the fence 25 years ago and it is starting to have issues (the front gate rotted and fell off). I’m thinking of renaming it from “Happiness House” to “Casa de la deuda” !

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  6. You certainly put some of that money to good use. A nice, smooth driveway and a new garage door! I especially like the driveway. Ours is being turned out by the tree roots which run beneath the drive. A real walking hazard alright. Which is why I appreciate your upgrade.
    Enjoy!

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    1. It seems we were the last on the street of replace our driveway. We used to have a very big maple tree in the side yard. When it got sick and died, it was removed. Over the years the roots that were under the driveway rotted and the cement collapsed – resulting in the cracked and displaced chunks of concrete. I’m sure if the tree had lived longer we’d still be in need of a new drive for the same reason yours is a trip hazard! You just can’t win either way!

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