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June home repairs are killing me!

So far, June has been the month of things breaking around the house. I alluded to one repair that cropped up in our May 2015 update, and I was expecting to have to get new tires soon as well, but man, it seems like every time I turn around, something else has broken. What all has gone on? Well, let me tell you.

It started a few weeks ago when we noticed one of our pipes coming out of the house was dripping water. Mrs. SSC googled it, and found out that, “Yipe! That is our AC overflow drain and it shouldn’t ever be dripping water!” We immediately googled DIY AC drain cleaning. Looked pretty simple, just find the original drain, hook up a vacuum and it “should” suck out all the built up algae and what not. Bada-Bing, Bada-boom! Clean drain! I get in the attic, as this is where our main units are located, and trace the pipe across the attic to where it drops into the wall and into the guest bathroom where it is tied into the P trap under the sink. I start monkeying with the joints, and hooray, they have glued every single joint… At this point, I don’t want to start cutting PVC, and get myself into a plumbing rabbit hole nightmare, so we call around and find out it’s only about $69 for drain cleaning. I find this price point definitely worth it, so I set up an appointment.

My crude AC drain diagram

My crude AC drain diagram

The guy gets there and cuts apart the joints, and snakes the line, and nothing. He gets in the attic, cuts apart the line somewhere else, snakes it, vacuums, and nothing. He keeps at it for 4 hrs. and kept re-iterating that there was no guarantee on this drain cleanout. After about 5 hrs., he got a bunch of gunk out of the line and it was all sealed up. However, because this wasn’t a typical drain cleaning, it was in the $450 range, and not $70, but I had signed off on this before he started, and inwardly I was a little glad it took 5 hrs., because I felt a little more justified. I also watched everything and asked lots of questions, and realized that with 5+ hrs. of my own time, I could’ve saved $450. Lesson learned for next time.

Three days later, we notice the drip is back. Yep, remember the non-guarantee about cleaning? This time I call no one, and head to Lowe’s for some PVC connectors, piping, and then start cutting up the pipe. I essentially cut the pipe near the unit, and disconnected it at the last place the plumber cut it. This was about a 10’ section of pipe, and after some finagling, I got it outside. There I turned the jet nozzle of our hose into it and even that wasn’t getting the blockage out. I poked it with a sink snake I had sprayed some more, and about a cupful of algae, scale, and God knows what finally came out. Then I go upstairs and 15 minutes later, clean drain. Yeah me! I was sorry that I didn’t try that sooner, but I’ve always had poor luck when I work on plumbing, so I didn’t feel confident enough to try it on my own the first time. Not anymore!

The second major cost was a broken garage door spring. I went to open the garage door, and heard a loud snap and banging sound. I went to investigate and I saw that the one of the mounts had ripped out of the wall. This was the mount that holds up our garage door overhead bar that the belt travels on, and keeps it attached to the wall.

Seriously?! This just happened?

Seriously?! This just happened?

The people who had installed it had just barely hit the stud with their bolts, and it had ripped out of the top of the stud, and out of the drywall, and was laying on the top of the garage door. I sighed, cursed a little, but 15 minutes later I had it repaired and sunk into a solid stud. Yeah me!

Yep, this is where it ripped out of the top of the stud.

When I hit the door button, it would only travel about 4 inches and stop. I investigated closer and saw the spring was snapped in half. Aye yi yi! I disengaged the motor and tried to manually lift the door so I could at least get the car out, and no. I could get it up about 2 feet before the other spring forced it back down. A couple of calls around and I got some rough quotes and found a place that could get out there that afternoon. This was about 2 pm, because I was home taking care of a sick little one. That repair for both springs (why wait for this to happen again) was right at $440 too.

I think home repair folks just look at some papers, shuffle them, and say, “Meh, that’ll be about $450.” And then shrug their shoulders at you with their hand out waiting for payment. It’s only June 10th, so I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month brings.


How about you? Have you run into any unexpected home repairs recently?

Did you have the time to DIY them, or did you call someone?

Anyone else feel like it’s at least $100 for someone to show up to your house to say “This will cost more than $100.”

14 thoughts on “June home repairs are killing me!

  1. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Yikes – those garage spring breaks can be dangerous!!! I hear you on the home repair stuff. We currently have our dishwasher and oven in need of repair, and I can’t bring myself to call anyone out b/c I know it’s going to cost serious cash. Looking at the DIY options now……

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I would recommend You Tube help. If you google your symptoms and figure out what you need to fix specifically, then you can search for DIY videos on You Tube. They’re typically very abundant, so you can watch 2-3 and get an idea of how easy/hard the job will be.
      I did this for a water heater coil replacement, AC drain clean, and other things I’m not knowledgeable about, or comfortable just tackling straight away.

      Good luck!

  2. Fervent Finance

    I’m not a home owner currently, so I all maintenance is built into the rent I’d pay. When I lived at home with the rents, everything was DIY. So I was dad’s assistant most of the time and picked up some decent skills along the way. So therefore if I couldn’t figure it out myself or on Youtube, I’d probably call the old man to come by and fix it :) Another reason to not move away from the Northeast.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That is definitely a bonus of renting! I didn’t get too many skills from the parental units unfortunately. I’m pretty mechanically inclined, and most of this stuff isn’t too hard if you have the time or patience to figure it out. Like you pointed out, the rest I can search for on Youtube to see if it’s worth tackling or handing off to someone else. :)

  3. Our Next Life

    Oh, man. It always feels like those home problems come in groups, doesn’t it? When we first bought our house, we had to replace the dishwasher, fridge, microwave, washer/dryer and water heater in the first year. And the furnace needed major service. We were definitely wondering if we’d bought a money pit. Right now we need a fence but have to restain the house, which is a multiple thousands job, and one we can’t do ourselves so long as we’re working full-time. So we’re staining instead of getting the fence that our doggies need… trade-offs.

    Knock on wood that neither of us have any other issues for a while!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeeowch! Whole house jobs are spendy! I’m glad the house was repainted before we bought it. We may get to avoid that one.

      I just had the master bath semi frameless door hinge break yesterday…. No repair pieces for the part that broke, just replace the whole deal. Ridiculous. It’s another $1350 that we had no plans on spending in the bathroom. I’m loving June so far, let me tell you.

  4. Vawt

    I hear you on the string of repairs. In April it was 2 new tires for my wife’s car (and alingment), in May it was an AC capacitor that I vastly overpaid for, and last week on my day off it was a broken garbage disposal. I replaced the garbage disposal myself, but it still cost abotu $120 with parts and taxes. The AC was $290 and I think the car was close to $400.

    I need a couple months in a row of no surprises!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I could use a couple of days with no surprises, as I just approved A work order to fix our shower enclosure. Ridiculous those things aren’t repairable. 4 companies and 5 hrs scouring online later, and no replacement parts just “replace the enclosure.” Seems like a racket for sure.

      At least your disposal was a replace dyi job, but I hear you that it’s still an unplanned expense. Fingers crossed for the remaining 14 days left of this month,lol.

  5. Kalie

    Same killer June here! We had to replace a quarter of our exterior wall, from studs to siding. And half the deck needs to be rebuilt in a way that won’t cause the same water damage to occur. It’s an expensive month but we’re grateful to have enough help to DIY it, which is saving us thousands.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Wow, those are some big projects, even with DIY help. It’s amazing how some seemingly minor things add up to be SO expensive so quickly.
      I’m envious of people with time for some DIY. I think I could’ve taken on the shower replacement, but not with my current schedule.

  6. Hannah

    The great thing about undergoing a home renovation is that every unexpected cost just rolls right into the estimate. We’ve been pleasantly surprised that we’ve replaced more than half our floors for less than 3 Grand. Although our first bathroom renovation is coming up later this month, and I would be surprised if that runs any less than 4 grand.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That’s awesome getting floors replaced for that price. I wasn’t expecting our semi-frameless shower replacement to cost around $1300, but that was the going rate from 3 different estimates. That was without any other bathroom upgrades.
      The guy said, “Well, depending on what you want to spend…” I cut him off and said, “Considering I wasn’t planning on “updating” this bathroom until the shower door broke. I want to spend as little as possible to get this looking nice and updated.” He was great and got together a good frameless design keeping that in mind.
      I still think it’s ridiculous that those semi-frameless enclosures don’t have replacement parts or hinges available.

  7. Abigail @ipickuppennies

    The last 18 months or so have been chock full of repairs/upgrades: installing insulation in the main house and an A/C unit for the guest house, closing in a shed, extending the masonry wall, three new fence doors, three new toilets, a leak in the guest house’s kitchen plumbing, a new kitchen faucet for the guest house (while they were here, we had them install a disposal in our kitchen), a new water heater, a new dishwasher, patching holes in the front door and getting in an accident and having to get a new (to us) car.

    The only good thing is that we’re literally running out of things to have break on us.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yipe! I guess that’s a good thing if you’re running out of things to break? :)

      Fingers crossed the repairs and upgrades are good to go for a while right? For me and you.

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