Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Do You Buy, Sell or Trade Gift Cards? | Main | Our Potential Dog (And Thoughts on Costs) »

August 04, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

when i remodeled my master bath in MI, i kept adding on projects for the current contractor to do since i didn't want to have to do the project later and the wall was open, etc..not the cheapest thing to do and the guy was a weasel in the end.

When can I borrow your new power washer! Ha!

Since this person was "a friend" of yours, did your wife maybe just trust that as a friend they'd give you a good price?

Why didn't your "friend" give you a decent price? Is this really a "friend" or more of an acquaintance?


I also read this and wondered how good a friend this was. I had a friend come over and help me prepare some plant beds in our backyard this spring. Fairly back-breaking work that took us a good four hours. The total cost was $0 since he was a friend but I expect to get a chance to repay the favor down the line.

He's a good enough friend. Not someone I hang out with regularly (though I see him often enough), but our wives are fairly friendly.

My best friend's husband is in construction, and I've had him do several projects for us- especially during these extremely slow times. For the big stuff, he has always given me an estimate- even encouraging me to get more estimates. Of course, we hired him because he had the best price, and I love to help a friend out if I can. I have to wonder what type of professional or friend would not give you an estimate and respect your decision to wait.

We just borrowed our friend's power washer and did our own deck. I have to admit we've had that power washer a lot longer than I ever wanted to store it!

I would say that getting an estimate is even MORE important from a friend than a stranger. If you miss the estimate, and get a back price from a stranger, then you are out some money you could have saved by getting a lower estimate somewhere else. But if you skip the estimate with a friend, and they give you a "unfair" total at the end, then you could lose a friend. I would much rather lose some money than a friend. But then again, like most have already said, what kind of friend doesn't give you a good price? ($150 to hose down a deck? What does he charge his "non-friend" clients?)

If you have a wood deck, you might want to re-think the entire concept of power-washing. In many cases, it does more harm than good. I own a power washer and from personal experience (I have many square feet of wood decking at our lake home), if you use the correct cleaners and brighteners, brushing and hosing are as effective, without damaging the wood. Lots of resources on this on the web. Long term, composite decking is my next move.

So when in the story did you apologize for flipping out and "hitting the roof"? Or for ridiculing your wife on the internet? The comment "(I'm still unclear how my wife let this happen, but I'm convinced I'll never know the actual events so I'm moving on with my life) ;-) " with the smile-y face is rude and derogatory.


So ... you must be his wife!...

Your wife needs to pick up a part-time job (or additional jobb, if she is currently employed), until she earns back the $150 she blew on this work.

Just kidding!

Friends work for beer and pizza. If the dude is working for cash he is an employee not a friend.

Oh, I wish it were as simple as getting two or three estimates and picking the best one. We've had a lot of work done on our house over the last two years (including full kitchen and bath remodels), and we've often been dumbfounded with how difficult it is manage contractors. We've even had some contractors come highly regarded by friends who still failed to meet expectations. It just seems as though we've had to watch their every step and be painfully explicit with our expectations (e.g., "Why yes, I did expect you to avoid smearing grout all over my wall!").

Are you being tongue in cheek? You "hit the roof", "had your wife call him the next day" and she "saw the error of her ways?"

I hope so. Otherwise it sounds as if you treat your wife like staff, and not very valued staff at that.

Maybe it was just the wording.

Home repairs are difficult, even when getting several estimates.

Suze (and NYB) --

1. Yes, I was upset at the situation. Is there a problem with that? Are you in any sort of relationship? Do you ever get upset about anything?

2. Yes, she called the next day. Again, what's the problem? If I had her stop a medical treatment of some sort so she could call him immediately, then I could see how you might be upset. But to call someone the next day isn't that big of a deal (btw, my wife doesn't need medical treatment -- I just used that as an extreme example that seemed appropriate based on your reactions.)

3. Talk about her mistake on the internet -- again, is this really a problem? No one knows who she is! Besides, I talk about all the stupid stuff I do, why not list a few problems others have?

4. She was harder on herself than I ever could be. She's a bigger saver than I am (which I've said several times), so when she realized she basically let the guy write a blank check, she was upset without me really having to say much (other than she should call him the next day to get it straightened out.)

5. I think you're reading waaaaay too much into this -- and looking to be negative. You may want to back down on the caffeine a bit.

I don't know FMF...walk away and maybe re-read your post again later or in a week or so. I have to agree with the comments about your tone (and I acknowledge tone is hard to "read" over the internet) and choice of words.

Jim's "joke" comment was making fun of the fact that your choice of words was a bit harsh. Sure, she may be kicking herself for her own behavior, but its not us that need to lighten sounded like a bit of a caveman. Just FYI.

Getting a friend to look into it. There are 2 side to this coin. With friends providing service, it is quite unlikely but possible that the friend might charge you a little higher than their lowest rate. Knowing its unlikely you'll get someone else to do a job.

On the other hand, if your friend screws up and it is a close friend, I found it quite hard to "give em a piece of your mind" i.e complaint especially if it is not that big but enough that it pokes you where it hurts.

FMF -- I've read you for a long time. Generally, I agree with you and I don't believe you are sexist or that you treat your wife disrespectfully. In general, you are extremely respectful toward her and that's why I was surprised to read this.

However, I agree, you might want to re-read this post in a week. It sticks out in its tone -- it just doesn't seem like you.

BTW -- I don't drink caffeine.

Suze --

I guess it's in the reading. I've re-read it several times and know the feeling I have behind it. It's fine. It's the same as all my other pieces.

Then I tried to read it with the most jaded/harsh view possible. It's still difficult for me to see what the big deal is, though I admit that different people read things differently. (It's the story of my life -- trying to make one thing say exactly what I want it to for several thousand readers each day.) Not much I can do about that.

In the end, I know me, what I meant, the details of the situation (which can't be put in even a few thousand words), my wife's part/reaction, etc., and I'm fine with it all -- and that is really what matters.

The post is fine as is, except the friend charging you $150. His "tone" and language regarding his wife does not seem out of line at all. Just stating the facts.

I wouldn't say having your wife call the guy to get things straightened out was bad, but "hitting the roof" over $150 seems out of line. I hope you weren't as a big a jerk to her as you make it sound.

Lucy! You got some 'splainin' to do!

First time poster:

I think the use of idioms and the casual tone has some people making a mountain out of a....well, out of air.

Hitting the roof: I read it as lost my cool, got upset. Nothing no one else here has done, and sometimes the letdowns from family and close friends in regards to expectations hits us harder than those of casual friends or strangers. So, it's easier to lose your cool with loved ones than others. Nothing to worry about. I am sure she has lost her cool with you before. Who hasn't?

The immediate following sentence, "I had her call him...", sounds harsher than it most likely is, since it follows a "harsh" sounding phrase. But again, it wasn't your fault you were in this mess, and since she is capable of "causing" this mess, she is capable of stopping further damage. It also is easy to interpret as "I assigned her the task of ...", which is not a partner's job to assign tasks but to agree on responsibilities. Some people seem to read that as you told her what to do and she did it, which sounds to them somewhat authoritarian. Not good, again, is a partner relationship.

I am curious...if this exact post had been written by a wife about a husband, with the same exact language, I wonder if people here would have been shocked at the tone or at the husband's lack of getting an estimate?

Robert --

Good points.

FYI, I had her call him because it's one of the household responsibilities she's in charge of. If it had to deal with taking out the trash, I would have written "so I took it out" since that's one of my jobs.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.