No more financing options

Credit card financing

As this is our first house, we have no equity yet, so we do not qualify for a home equity loan for the repairs. Instead, we have maxed-out two credit cards at a total of $16,000. With our credit limit reached, we have no more financing available for big projects.

We have decided to use our limited cash flow to:

  1. work on small projects ourselves
  2. save up for emergencies, and
  3. pay down our recovery debt over the next decade.

Working laundry

With the laundry room floor cured, I hook up the washer and dryer to the new water and HVAC connections. This is the first time we’ve had working laundry facilities in 7 1/2 months (since demolition began on June 25, 2013).

A washer and dryer sit in an unfinished basement laundry room.

On this same day, the plumber bills me for parts used to date: $1,190.61. This does not include labor. I will be billed for additional parts and labor when the job is complete.

Water pipes replaced

The plumber discovers that the refrigerator has been placed without a shut-off valve for the water / icemaker line, making it impossible to pull the fridge away from the wall without rupturing the line and spraying water everywhere.

Downstairs, this same water / icemaker line was installed with an illegal self-tapping saddle valve which pierces a main copper water pipe. These are not allowed in Minnesota (and a growing number of other states) because they are prone to leaks.

A saddle tap punctures a copper water pipe to feed a refrigerator. These are prone to leaks.
Water and ice dispenser on the front of a Frigidaire refrigerator.

The plumber begins replacing all of the faulty copper water pipes in the house with pex piping, piece by piece.

Blue and red Pex pipes interconnect with legacy copper pipes in a basement ceiling.

He also adds a proper water shut-off valve behind the refrigerator.

Most of the new plumbing work is readily visible in the open walls of the downstairs bathroom.

A new silcock shut-off valve is installed in the mechanical room (instead of in a ceiling access panel), but not hooked up to the water main yet.

Water heater dies

My 16 year old water heater tank begins leaking. I call my plumber to schedule an emergency replacement.

Water puddles around the base of a leaking water heater tank.

New water heater

A water heater typically lasts about 12 years, so the previous one had had a good life. It’s age was known before I bought the house, so no nefarious activity was involved. However, the timing of this replacement certainly adds to my financial burden: another $440.00 in parts.

AO Smith water heater installed in a basement with a drip pan.

Birthday fundraiser

Several friends organize a fundraiser party to coincide with my birthday. The event draws 96 people and raises approximately $3000.00.