A Lesson Learned: How I Saved $4,000

Do you like when you feel dumb? Of course you don’t, nobody does. Well, it’s hard not to feel dumb when you have 0 knowledge of a subject and you’re speaking with someone who specializes in said subject. You can sit there, nod your head and say “uh huh” a million times but you still won’t have a darn clue what’s going on.

This is what it feels like when receiving a quote on a project. And in this case, the project was plumbing related. Hold on to your seats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

One of my units was having some major water issues, there was no cold water whatsoever. The unit was just about ready to be rented out until I realized this concern…and winter was right around the corner. Queue the seasonal panic of frozen pipes.

1. It’s already tough enough to find a plumber that will show up, but

2. It’s also tough to find one that is reliable

Let me explain.

I hired a plumber in the past to do a simple job, just some basic maintenance and everything went A okay. So, this lead me to hire him again. It seemed like a good rule of thumb was to keep hiring workers that have a proven track record…makes sense, right?


The plumber showed up to take look and did his basics of trial and error to see what the issue might be. He followed the maze of pipes running underneath the floor in the basement, spent some time in the crawl spaces, and narrowed it down to exactly what he thought the problem was.

“Well Steve, as you can see here this pipe comes out of this line, runs all the way over here, crosses over underneath this wall, shoots over to this crawl space, meets with this hot water pipe, crosses over a line, and runs all the way back to here….and THAT’S why you’re not getting any cold water.”

Buddy, you might as well have been speaking Swahili. I have NO idea what you just said.

The next thing he said, however, was as clear as day.

“It’s going to run you about $4,000.”

This is me.

All I could think to say was, “Yeah, let me get back to you on that…”… so I took the time to think it over. I couldn’t believe that was the price. I couldn’t friggen believe it. But, I had no other option, right? Winter was right around the corner and I had to get this place ready, right?

I called him back and set up the appointment…however, and this was truly a blessing, he never showed up. In fact, I didn’t hear from him for over a week until he left me a voice mail one day saying that he had a bad injury and ended up in the hospital, he was very sorry he didn’t call but he was still interested in the job.

Funny thing is…while he was MIA for that week I had a family friend come by to take a quick look and justify the $4,000 job.

Brace yourselves. This is WILD.

The family friend comes by. He walks in, takes a quick look at the apartment and then heads to the basement. He flashes his light on the main line where the water breaks off to each apartment. Keep in mind, each line for each apartment has a faucet to turn on and off for emergencies. (Something like this) He goes over, turns the faucet into the On position and….GUESS WHAT?!

Cold water flushes into the apartment. Problem. Solved. With the turn of a faucet.

$4,000 SAVED.

A Lesson Learned. ALWAYS Get a Second Opinion.

Please let me hear your stories, I think we all have at least one. Share below!

3 thoughts on “A Lesson Learned: How I Saved $4,000

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