It All Started With The Dishwasher

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Well, in the life and times of the Simple Steward, and really for all of us, there will be moments when frugality is not defined by what would seem to be within our control.

In the past, I have written about thriftiness and maintenance as a way of life, especially when our eyes are opened to the grandeur of all the blessings God has showered upon us. Out of love for him, we want to take care of his possessions as our way of thanking him for all the wonderful ways he blesses our lives. So recently, when my husband thought it was time to replace our dishwasher, I sat on my Frugal Fence and thought, “Is it broken? If it’s broken, can it be fixed?” My husband is very handy, but he still maintained that nothing lasts forever and eleven years is a pretty good run for a dishwasher, so I relented.

Naturally, we spent time charging through consumer magazines and Internet reviews before we made our decision. The winning model appeared to have all the bells and whistles we had become accustomed to with our previous machine as well as convincing us that it would be “ultra quiet.” Since our kitchen and family room are basically one big room, this was definitely a selling point for us.

As much as I would love to write a glowing review of the new dishwasher, I am not able to do that because at the time of this writing it has not yet been installed. When my husband pulled out the old dishwasher, he found that the floor was damp and it looked like there was some water damage to the drywall as well. No problem for my handy man! He removed the dishwasher, cleaned up the mess and tried to determine the source of the leak. However, as he went along, he started to find more damage and a suspicious black substance – mold! Now we were nervous. Thinking we might be in over our heads, we placed that foreboding call to our insurance company.

The woman we talked to about filing a claim was very reassuring, and let us know that we could withdraw our claim at any time if the damages did not exceed our deductible. This was very important to us because we want to maintain the integrity of our policy and we don’t want our rates increased by entering a claim for every little thing.

The mold remediation team was at our home within the hour, pulled out everything that was damaged and treated all affected areas. Industrial fans were set up and a dehumidifier ran for three days until their meters gave the o.k. that everything was dry. An adjuster came out and made the assessment of the damages so that everything can be restored.

I write about this to point out a very important lesson that we learned through this experience that applies to any do-it-yourselfers out there. I have full faith and confidence in my husband’s abilities to install a dishwasher and even in his ability to refurbish damage to cabinets and flooring as a result of a leaky faucet or water line.

However, mold is another story! It was noteworthy to learn that there are times when we have to bite the proverbial thrifty bullet and allow the professionals to step in.

The adjuster went so far as to tell us that if we tried to sell our home in the future and this event came to light through the inspection process, it could affect the sale if my husband had fixed it himself. Since we’ve had professional, licensed contractors take care of the mold for us, we now have a letter to certify we went through the remediation process and the house has been given a clean bill of health. We also have peace of mind that our home is safe for our family again.

And, just maybe getting a new dishwasher was God’s way of tapping us on the shoulder to help us be thankful for so many other things. He’s always looking out for us!

“Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name; Rely on the mighty LORD;
constantly seek his face.” 1 Chronicles 16: 8 & 11

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