Please Don't Let This Jinx Us

The last time we mentioned the words "excited" and "windows" in the same post we got a giant dose of the biggest disappointment we've faced since buying our house. (Don't worry, I keeping detailed notes on how the issue is getting resolved.) But, we're going to risk it and say those two words again. Our new basement windows are being installed today and we're excited that we're not doing the install ourselves.
We bought the replacement windows several months ago and planned to put them in as soon as we had a free weekend with a warmer forecast. However, when the window guy came to measure the upstairs windows, subjects of the window fiasco, S mentioned that we'd be doing the basement windows and the window guy offered to install them for a price that soooo made it worth it. Especially since the current windows have metal frames that are actually encased in the concrete foundation.
See how the edge piece seems to disappear into the concrete? It does. And we have no idea how deep it goes.
We figure that if we did the work ourselves, the metal sawzall blades alone would account for at least a third of what we're paying. Throw in a few tubes of caulk, some trim and a whole lot of labor and it was an offer we couldn't refuse. Sometimes it just costs less to call in the experts. And if you could put a price on marital harmony and what it's worth to save ourselves a weekend of colorful language yelled at the windows and each other, then it's a couple $100 bills sitting in my pocket that I just can't wait to give the window guy at the end of the day today.

Tell me we're not the only die-hard DIY'ers who call in the experts every now and then? 'Cause we're facing another dealio we can't refuse with the basement remodel and we're this close to hiring someone to do the majority of the work.

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  1. Okay, I'm going to have to live vicariously through your blog posts right now b/c we sooooo need new windows in our 1978 fixer upper, but it's just not in the budget yet!

    As for calling in the experts. We're big DIYers. We've drywalled, replumbed, laid floors, etc. But we did call in an expert to install our new front door. Our house has had some settling (so much so we had to have the foundation peired shortly after moving in) and we weren't sure it was level/plumb enough for us to do the install. Nothing worse than a great big whole in the front of your house!

    Good luck with the windows!

  2. Sometimes, even to the most hardcore DIY-ers, throwing in the towel and calling a pro is needed. There are just somethings that are our of our control and would be better off in the hands of a professional.

    Luckily we have not gotten to that point yet at our house. We might call in a friend though for some plumbing work... although he isn't a certified contractor, he has done that sort of thing for years and it will just be nice to have somewhat of a 'professional' opinion on something we are tackling for the first time :)

  3. I love DIY, and even calling in some handy relatives or friends when needed.

    But it's ok to set a limit and accept that it might be easier/better/faster to hire a real professional, even if it is pricier. At the same time you can Be-Your-Own-Contractor, because there is usually work to do inbetween the professional visits!

  4. I definitely think there are times to call in the pros... After we got our hardwoods, we had to have our sink and toilet put back into place. For $60 we had a plumber come out and fix it. 60 bucks well spent to ensure that it was done right the first time! =]

  5. GOOD LUCK!!!! How did it turn out? Ack, you want to make sure those windows are installed properly because that could equals problems for life if it is not done properly!
    the row house nest

  6. I think it's a trap a lot of us die-hard DIY-ers fall into that we almost feel guilty if we don't DIY absolutely everything. But as you say, sometimes there are offers you simply can't refuse! After all, just as DIYing isn't all about the money (satisfaction and pride being BIG motivators for me), paying professionals isn't all about the money either. As you've pointed out, marital harmony and the time saved have outweighed the cost in this case.

    I think we sometimes fall into a trap of feeling that we MUST DIY everything when really, it's perfectly ok to bring in the big guns when a job exceeds your time/patience. For example, we've decided to hire a tiler to do our bathroom tiling because our current bathroom is actually unsafe, and we are running to a pretty strict deadline to have a working (and safe) new bathroom completed. I still feel guilty whenever I think about the fact that we're not doing it ourselves, but ultimately it's about making the most sensible decision, right?



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