The Domino Effect

Paul Morrone |

By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA

Home improvement projects function similar to the domino effect, once you start one project, the completion of that one leads to another, and another, and another. When I moved into during March of 2013 the house I bought was what I considered to be ‘turn key,’ at least that’s what I thought. A lot of the things that I wasn’t looking for when I bought the house were things that I have always had and didn’t know I was going to miss until I didn’t have them. For example, the first rainy day reminded me that having automatic garage door openers was as necessary as hot water. A week later that box was checked. The first domino had fallen.

Over the past few years we have done several projects, both large and small. From bathroom remodels to yardwork and pretty much everything in between (luckily, no kitchen remodel!). It leaves me scratching my head about what I thought ‘turn key’ meant at the time. Maybe I was naive, maybe I was uniformed, but it turns out that a homeowner’s work is never done. The most recent project was replacing our front walkway, which had been a bugaboo of mine since I moved in. I talked to a mason that had done work for my parents in the past and asked him to come by to look at the walkway to give me a price. He said he would be by in the morning and I agreed to meet him then.

At 8am my doorbell rang and when I opened it I saw there was a truck already parked on my lawn with some of his guys ripping up my existing walkway. Somewhat surprised and admittedly a little embarrassed, I realized I was getting a new walkway whether I was ready for it or not. I quickly gave up on the idea of asking for a quote and telling them to stop and decided just to roll with it and see what happened next. Jill was equally surprised when she got home from work that day to see that the entire walkway was ripped up and the space was already prepped with crushed stone ready for the new pavers.

Every time I look outside I couldn’t be happier that we went through with it. With a fresh coat of paint, a new driveway and walkway I’m hoping that not much more needs to get done anytime soon. The front of the house looks entirely new, and decades younger. Unfortunately, I’m hesitant to believe that is the case as something else will creep up and we’ll be at it again.

Tracking #: 1-824179