Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 14 seconds
As a sustainability nut in the remodeling world, I often learn lessons the hard way. This recent example reminded me again that as counter intuitive as it seems replacing old parts is the best practice when the budget is tight.
I am often asked to reuse existing parts in order to keep the budget to a minimum. I get it, it’s intuitive that reusing old components will save money. What if that tightly held belief was not true? Say it ain’t so, Joe.
Suppose I said that it won’t save you money?
I just experienced another a classic example of why we like to donate the old and use the new whenever possible. The old sink had a fairly new faucet. It was a three-hole sink and we were transitioning to an under mount sink in granite, which only needed a single hole. The components of the old sink seemed reasonable to reuse in the long run, so we installed it. We ended up wasting our most precious resource: time! I say this because:
- It took two additional trips to the supply house.
- We had to buy replacement parts
- The removal and replacement cost is time (which is really money).
What are the odds of that old parts will wear out prematurely or will be problematic? We had to modify a base plate for the old faucet to work. Who wants old components installed in a new sink anyway?
Case study 2: Can a fella save a buck?
Recently, we were tasked with replacing a flooded bathroom floor in a rental. One of the parameters was that we had to reuse the old toilet. Months later, we had to return and deal with a secondary flood. The toilet was a strong candidate for the flood, but so were the shutoff valve, and the reused supply line. In the end, we replaced the shutoff valve, the supply line, and the toilet. Did the risk outweigh the reward? For me, it sure as hell did.
Next time, if it is that important to save a buck, then you can take the risk for us. My fingers are tired of being crossed. No more Levco warranty on used components. Oh, that feels good to say. I suppose it takes a few times to burn an indelible memory in my brain. There, done.
These lessons were learned the hard way
I also want to be sure everyone understands that we can only warranty the new stuff. The reality is that the client was not charged for the extra parts or work, the company had to absorb it. This is what the learning process is all about.
Don’t get me wrong, we will still gladly install used components, antique parts, and sentimental things, knowing that they will require more time and need special care. But as a professional remodeler, it is my job to educate my clients about the hidden costs associated with doing so.
Donate it whole, live and learn
My final thought on the subject is that donating the entire component to a local reuse center would have been a better option. The sink with the strainer basket and the garbage disposal flange would have been more valuable to someone. As we say, “live and learn.”
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261
If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.