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Pardon Our Dust – Counting the Cost

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Dear Friend,

Once we agreed on the vision for our bathroom remodel project, our next task was to do the math to determine how much we were willing and able to spend. Since it was a DYI project, and I had developed extensive skills in construction over the years (often through trial and error), we felt we could achieve significant cost savings without sacrificing quality. Among the “cost” factors we included in our calculations were materials and supplies such as tile, mortar, lumber, drywall, and paint. We also researched and added the cost of a new vanity, countertop, light fixture, faucets, shower head, and shower doors. Lastly, we included the cost of the plumber’s services that we would contract to install the shower pan and redesign the plumbing for the shower head and faucets. Read on to see how well we did at counting the costs! Blessings,

Verdun Woods

The Thriving Marriage Coach

The Counting Mandate

While addressing a group of followers interested in enrolling in his Masterclass management training program, Jesus used two great object lessons to encourage them to seriously consider the commitment required if they hoped to complete what they started. The first analogy relates to our home improvement project. In Luke 14:28-29, he warns his enthusiastic prospective students:

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.”

This practical advice certainly applies to any building project, whether new construction or remodeling an existing facility. Despite the natural excitement that accompanies building bright shiny objects, it is essential to diligently and accurately count the cost of the project before you embark upon the task. The landscape of many cities and communities, large or small, is dotted with unfinished construction projects which are, at best, eyesores and, at worse, major safety hazards.

Beyond the shame and ridicule that must be endured by onlookers, there is also the tremendous waste and financial loss of resources allocated to the work that never got completed. According to Solomon, it is better not to make a commitment or vow than to make one and fail to keep it. Counting the cost helps ensure you honor this important principle, whether in matters of finances or relationships. Hidden Costs

Although we thought we did a thorough job identifying and estimating costs for our project, there were a few things we failed to account for — some small and others subtle, but “large.” The “small” items included masonry nails and screws, paint brushes, tape, roller pans, buckets to mix mortar and grout, insulation, and small plumbing supplies for the sink and toilet connections. The “large” items included the matching towel racks and toilet paper dispenser, new window blinds, vanity mirror, and the plumbing supplies for the shower pan, drain, and pipes (somehow missed in the plumber’s handwritten quote on his business card).

Perhaps the largest “hidden” cost is what is often termed “opportunity costs” — mainly associated with the hours I personally committed to the project. While I always assumed I could perform most tasks more cost effectively than contracting out the work, there were some things that took me much longer to complete than a paid contractor. And often, my hourly rate as a paid consultant (which was often shifted to work on the remodel project) was almost twice as much as the rate I could have paid a contractor. So I was doing home improvement work myself that “cost” me twice the amount I could have paid someone else to do! Benefits Versus Costs

The key lesson I learned was that sometimes the benefits of getting help from others outweigh the costs of doing things myself. In the long run, it actually saves time and money! If you think you might need help in that DYI “home” improvement project in your relationship, CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE 30-minute preview call (a $75.00 value!) and make sure you are diligently and accurately counting the cost!

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