Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What is a good value?

I got the first estimate for my deck project, and it's about $4,000 more than I thought it would be, at just a bit over $11,000. I like this guy, and would not mind at all working with him. I'm still waiting for the second bid, and won't get that for several days, but let's assume for the moment that it's close to the first one.

I'm having trouble justifying this project. I have no doubt I would use a deck, and it would be nice to have direct access to the yard from the house. I don't know if that is worth $11,000 to me.

I'm wondering if the money would be better spent on something else. I bet I could get a modest kitchen remodel for $11,000 that would add value to the house. And for that matter, we've gotten another wave of "well, we're not sure what the budgets are going to be looking like for the next fiscal year" at work. I actually ran into my boss's boss, who is this totally nice guy, and who took about 15 minutes out of his day, as he was on his way to something else, to talk with me about the state of things. They just don't know at this point. Money was taken away, but likely we'll get some of it back. How much, no one knows. People are working on it.

This doesn't sound like a good time to spend that money, does it?

It's really important to me, if I get work done on the house, for the work to add value to it. So what would add more, a deck, or a nicer kitchen? I think the answer there is obvious, but I'd like to know whether the deck would add anything at all. Who tells people these things? I had an appraiser come out to do an appraisal the refi, I wonder if he'd be able to answer that.

In response to the job wackiness, I've found another teaching job to apply for. Not ideal by any means, but it's teaching the stuff I want to teach. It's an instructor position in Denver. Year to year. I chickened out of applying to the one in WY a few weeks ago. I like it too much here. But I've asked people for references and all I have to do is write up my teaching philosophy and send the application on its merry electronic way. So I will. I'll think about the implications more if they actually invite me to interview....


  1. L-
    Perhaps a door out to a future deck might solve your problem in the short-term; maybe a brick patio might help. A modest kitchen remodel for $11,000 is dreaming; but anythihg to the kitchen will add value, as you know. Spending that much money right now might make you feel a little vulnerable; an unwanted stress, in my opinion.

  2. $11,000 for a deck?? How many acres are you covering? I know labor costs are up but lumber costs are supposedly DOWN. If he's planning on putting a foundation under it that would support closing it in as a room down the road I guess that would add to the cost.

    What about Suzanne's suggestion of a brick patio? With a couple of good books, a little blood, sweat and tears (and yes, a little $$$), you and your son could do that.

  3. I should have mentioned that the project includes replacing two windows in the living room with a patio door, which looks like it accounts for about $5K of the project.

    Still, I could do that and have them build a nice set of stairs to the paver patio I make myself (and whoever I could rope into helping).

    Good ideas, thanks.


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.