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Getting Stuff Done Around the House

So D and I want to make our house as maintenance-proof as possible, get needed updates done, and just sort of spruce up a bit.  I got a quote a bit ago on tearing out our old deck and replacing it with just a plain old stairway.  That's it.  Nothing fancy.  Total cost:  just under $9,000.  I mean really. 

We're looking into getting the Azek decking material for the stairway and requested samples from the company.  We have our colours all picked out and have had two contractors out so far giving us bids.  But from what I'm hearing?  The actual frame of the deck would be plain ol' wood anyway.  So... the point of having decking that lasts 25 years?  I'm not sure? 

But we're looking into it anyway.  You know how that goes... I just can't see myself spending $5000 on a wooden deck I replace in 10 years.  The sticker shock is pretty hard, though.

And then there are two trees.  Two trees cost how much to remove?  Take a good guess...

The trees in question are kinda tall and close between the houses... but still.  $$$
You will never guess, so I will tell you:  $12,500.  JUST to take down the trees.  We're not even talking of removing the stumps or making anything around that area pretty.  I'm really thinking at this rate we are not ever going to be "done" with home improvement stuff.  There is no way I have $12,500 around just to cut down a couple of trees.

Well, darn it.  We've saved a few pennies for a bit of updating but not another $20,000.  We had already spent about $25,000 last year on the siding and windows.  Think we have that much sitting around with nothing to do in our bank account after spending that?  Think again!  :)
Our Azek/ Timbertech sample collection.

Oh well.  Now that I've ordered samples of this and that and made enquiries with a zillion different contractors, the magazines are rolling in.  It's nice to dream, I guess.  My kitchen could use a looking-at judging from the photos I see in these publications.  Whoever thought a kitchen was just a cozy place to prepare and eat food?  What was I thinking?  It is supposed to be a giant granite sanctuary with recessed lighting, folks!  I didn't know that.  Also?  Everything is to be some odd shade of grey with cabinet knobs made of nickel.


  1. Removing trees is a dangerous business, so there is lots of equipment and safety measures to take into consideration. You can't just chop away at the bottom with an axe and hope it falls away from the houses and cars. If the trees around here are an example, what they do is first trim the branches away from the trunk from the bottom up, the higher they go the more need to attach cables to lower them safely to the ground, then there are cables attached to the trunk when cutting off the top of the tree so it can be safely lowered, then the next section of trunk is cut down and so on back to the base of the tree. All kinds of OHS regulations are in place. It's costly but safer to get it done properly. So wait until all else is done, then save for the trees. Work in order of importance, stairs first for instance, then...whatever. Trees last.

    1. Oh, I know these fellows earn every penny and I've seen how they do it. In the past, though, we paid about $2000/ tree. What I'm hearing now is the proximity to the houses and the liability insurance mean they have to work differently and charge way more. Wayyy more. :/

    2. Oh! And I *promise* I will not hire some hack who decides just to chop down the tree at the bottom with an axe. It's about 140-150 feet tall. And it spreads out. Even if no one died, you know there would be some major property damage and some road closures if someone got stupid.

    3. It's just so discouraging to see such big numbers, you know??

  2. I know the sticker shock of tree removal. If you aren't in a hurry you'll find the prices drop in the off season when they don't have as much work. We saved a couple of thousand that way. I remember your house tour and I think your kitchen looks great!

    1. Thanks so much! For the advice and for the compliment both. I will have to do more research, then, before calling another estimate in.

  3. Seriously... I would chop those trees down myself! But then I am the daughter of a logger, so kinda know a bit about trees! LOL... not that I've actually done tree felling MYSELF. But I am sure I could do it... cos I'm a determined type of chick! But for you.. I'd say get an expert in! $12 + thousand sounds like daylight robbery to me though.


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