Thursday, August 18, 2005

They don't make them like they used to

The old RCA TV in the kids playroom finally died yesterday. The picture was getting bad for a couple of days and yesterday morning when I turned it own I heard a couple of pops and that was it. Me and Chris had to load the thing on a dolly to get it out of the house. We put in the TV from the library (which originally was from our bedroom) on a cart I had from my single days (its good to be a packrat).

I'm going to miss that TV. I got it about ten years ago at an auction at my old apartment complex for $75 and it was at least 10 years old then. It was big, sturdy and was able to stand up while the kids were pushing on it. The down side was that it always took two people to move it.

Alas it was cheaper to replace the TV than it was to fix it. Especially since we had a spare tv not being used.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Got the insulation blown in today

fortunately we had an offsite today so I got to leave a little later. Because of that I was here when they showed up and was able to catch the fact that they did not have the baffels I had requested when they originally wrote the order. Baffels are just a shield (in this case Styrofoam) that keeps the air intake vents (in our case under the roof) from being blocked by the insulation.

The total cost was alot less than I expected. I had gone to a couple of websites that ask what is the size of your house and what material you want used and it would give us estimates of 3-4K dollars. But the place we used it only cost us $1282. I will keep a look at our electric bill over the next couple of months to see if I can figure out that the ROI would tentatively be.

Some more numbers on our roof

A quick recap: Back in May we had to have our roof replace. Fortunatly it was all covered by insurance so all we had to pay was the deductable and upgrades (replaced the turbines with power vents and redid gutters).

The old roof used an organic material that was in style back in the 80's because it was environmentally friendly but was very expensive. I bring that up because the insurance paid to put the roof back to its original state so they paid up to what it would cost to replace the organic material. Instead of opting for the organics we went with an impact resistant material (which I think is a very wise decision living in an area where hail is common). The cost ended up about the same so we did not have to pay extra there. But I wondered if the cost would have been worth it.

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: because we used impact resistant materials we got a 30% discount on our home owners insurance - which worked out to about $404 a year (the flip side is that right after our claim was filled our insurance went up $189 a year ). So best case we are saving $404 a year, worst case we are saving $215 a year. Now normal roofing material cost about $85 a square, impact resistant materials cost $164 a square. It took 45 squares to redo our roof so the cost difference worked out to be $3555. I am only concerned with difference because that is what I would have had to pay if the roof used plain materials originally.

Now to figure out if it was worth it or not we need to figure out ROI (return on investment). The basis of ROI is that if you invest money on something that will generate revenue how long will it take to get your money back (and thus start showing a true profit). As you can tell there was alot of numbers above to work with.
Best case I am saving $404 a year. Worst case I am saving $215. So considering the difference ($3555) my ROI would by 8.8 years best case and 16.53 years worst case. After that the savings are money in the bank.

One thing the numbers don't show is longevity. That is since I used a impact resistant material then if there is a hail storm it will be less likely that the roof will be damaged thus needing another costly repair (hence the good discount).

But either way the numbers definitly show that if we had to pay for it ourselves, and we had the money, it would be better to buy the more durable materials.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Went to a Birthday Party today

We went to a birthday party today of the now 4 year old daughter of one of Nate's playmates (from the mother's day out group). Nate and Lexi had alot of fun of the party and lots of photo's got uploaded to our photo gallery.

We found out that Lexi knew how to say cupcake. I had to change Lexi's diaper and when we came out all the other kids were eating cupcakes. Lexi saw this and looked at me and said "uhcakes" I took her over to Chris and she gave Lexi some frosting and as soon as she tasted it she looked up at Chris and said "Please". So we got alot of pics of her eating a cupcake too (fortunatly one of the mothers had a spare disposable bib).