sticker shock

We finally got our tax rebate check (can you tell we waited until the last minute to file?) but it’s hard to get excited about it when my last Visa bill was double that amount.

I can justify a multi-page statement when we’re talking tubs and appliances and high-end natural stone. But I take it personally when I have to shell out for something that either a) isn’t going to be visible in the room, or b) costs more than its weight in solid gold.

The June issue of This Old House magazine ran the results of a reader poll revealing the top three most surprisingly expensive home purchases. I forget what number one* was, but I wholeheartedly back number three: faucets. Who knew that a regular, non-diamond-encrusted bathroom tap cost hundreds of dollars? (The second-place slot, I recall, was occupied by window treatments, so visitors can expect to find our house by the lovely newspaper shades for at least a few more years).

It would be one thing to throw our money, literally, down the toilet. If only! But no, there’s the flushing system (tack on a few hundred more), the sold-separately seat ($19.41), and today I found out that in order to get a handle that matches the rest of our hardware, I have to pony up another $38.85.

We are not talking bells and whistles here—these are straight-up, functional components that, on their best days, risk being splattered by a multitude of bodily fluids. And if I go for the upgrade, one thing’s for sure: I’m going to have to clean them

* ED: I looked it up. No. 1 is kitchen cabinets (God help us).

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3 responses to “sticker shock

  1. Ahh…the joys of discovering how awfully expensive plumbing fixtures are! That’s when the reality of renovations really sink in with most folks. Nice site, keep up the good work.

  2. Love your site! It may seem like a crazily long process, and you may have visions of beating your hubby over the head with your new (and quite fabulous) faucet, but once it’s all finished, it will be the prettiest home on the block!
    (And if not, I’ve got some Prozac and the number of a great therapist.)

  3. Thanks for the compliments! In retrospect, I should have been a plumber. Or a contractor. I’ve considered applying for a part time job at Lowe’s just for the discount.

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