Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Easy Ways to Save Money: Repair What You Have!

A few weeks ago, I spray washed the patio and the patio furniture. (Spray washing is a must in the south, both the patio and the patio furniture get mold on them. Spray washing with a power washer is the only way to remove it.) I don't find it necessary to spray wash the patio every year, every other year seems to do fine. Same with the patio furniture. However, this year was the year to do both.

My patio furniture is wood. It has also been a bit rickety for the past few years. I wasn't sure it was going to survive the spray washing!  When I finished, this is what I had for one of the chairs.

Two of the slats that formed the seat fell off! In addition, the front piece disintegrated in front of me! Well, it is to be expected, wood doesn't last a long time in the humidity here. And, these chairs are 21 years old. (They have been repaired and repainted a few times over those 21 years.) Is it finally time to purchase new ones? Well, I was thinking it was (and getting excited about having new furniture!) That is, until I went back out an inspected both chairs after they dried. If repaired and repainted again, they could last another two to three years. I could hear my great- grandmothers saying to me "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without!" As much as I wanted new furniture, I resisted and decided to repair what I had instead. 

The first step was to replace what was missing. My husband cut some replacement pieces from extra wood we had left over from another project. These were simple straight cuts, nothing fancy or hard. While he was doing that, I decided the two slats that fell off when washing, could still be used. I used new finishing nails to reattached them back onto the chair. I am not sure they are sturdy enough to last three years, but if needed we will cut additional pieces at a later date and replace them. For now, the chairs are no longer rickety, the new pieces eliminated that. So, here is what we ended up with before painting.

It was now time to paint. (I had to paint the chairs in the garage because thunderstorms were forecasted for that evening. As you can see in the background, Molly was helping me.) I had some redwood stain that I purchased a few years ago at the home improvement store and never used. It was on sale and I knew I would use it some time in the future! Everything on our patio is wood and it all needs to be repainted every few years. I try very hard to have everything we need on hand for everyday living. When you determine the time to purchase items, you can wait until they go on sale. With just a bit of planning, you should never have to pay full price for anything! Anyway, here is what I purchased.

Two coats later, here are the wood chairs.

I also repainted the table between the chairs. That didn't need any repair, just repainting. That table is 20 years old. Next up is the steps to the hot tub. One of the sets of legs fell apart when I spray washed it!

Would I really like new patio furniture? Yes, I would!  While I do want new furniture, spending money to purchase it pains me! I simply can't do it while the furniture I have can be repaired to last just a few more years. Being frugal over the long term is more important then the few weeks of gratification you will get from the new furniture. As Dave Ramsey often says, "If you live like no one else, then later, you can live like no one else!"


  1. Nice Job! If you have checked out the prices of patio furniture lately you know you done good.

    1. I haven't checked out patio furniture prices! I guess I better save up - it make take 2 to 3 years just to save enough money!

      Thanks for the heads up!

  2. I've always preferred repairing to replacing, until the repairs cost more than new, of course. Good job.


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