Sunday, August 08, 2010
Every Once in a While Things Go Your Way
As every homeowner knows, a house is a never-ending project list. Sometimes those projects are as simple as a twice-yearly cleaning of the gutters or replacing the furnace filters. Other times the projects are more complicated.
Recently, in anticipation of renting my house (which may or may not be happening depending on what I decide to do), I undertook a few medium-sized projects such as replacing a few light fixtures, regrouting some tile and replacing a faucet that whose handle had broken. In the replacement of the faucet, the handyman who was helping me out ran across a problem....in reconnecting the sink, a leak formed between the plumbing and the wall. This, in true older home form, led to a larger problem. It seems that the connection between the plastic of the p-trap and the metal drain pipe had corroded and could not be reconnected. This was beyond the scope of what my handyman could fix and he suggested calling a plumber. He gave me the name of a man he had used before and told me to call him.
Facing life without a bathroom sink in a one-bathroom house, I gulped (thinking of the cost for plumbers), did a quick mental calculation in my head (which involved the use of some negative balances) and called the number he'd given me. The next day, Ron the plumber came out to take a look and quoted me a price of $250. After picking myself up off the floor I smiled politely and asked how to contact him if I decided to go with him, thinking I'd get a few more quotes.
Ron smiled back and basically said, "Tell you what, since Bryan has sent so much business my way, I can give you a discount and go with $200." Still knowing this was a lot of money, but knowing how much plumbers charge an hour I decided to just go for it. I asked how it worked to book him....did I schedule now for a later date? I also explained that I didn't have the money right now and wouldn't for a few more weeks until payday (and even then it would mean eating top ramen and instant oatmeal for a month)....he said he could come out on Sunday and just send me a bill later.
So, today Ron and his co-worker James came out. They were in and out very quickly and the job was done thoroughly and cleanly. As they were leaving I asked Ron if he had my address so that he could send me an invoice.
He then said, "I do, and I think just with the cost of the part and gas to come out here it will come to about $20." I about fell over again! Making sure I'd heard him correctly I asked, "You aren't going to charge me for labor?" He repeated the line about Bryan sending him a lot of work and he said..."and clearly you needed help."
After they left and I shut the door I about broke down.
Sometimes, just sometimes in life, things go your way, praise the Lord.
Now, onto the rest of my honey-do list.