Why FIX that?

We’ve had some accidents lately.  Don’t judge.

  1. Our mailbox was placed when we moved in and bought our house about 1998. (We rented it for a year.) It has rusted out at the ground level and is now totally supported by the bricks we’ve stacked around it.
  2. Our couch broke. One of the welds broke when Mark sat on it. In order to fix what is broken, we have to remove the covering either directly under the cushion, or turn it over and remove it from the bottom. Then we have to fix the weld, then recover the section. OR we could remove the springs entirely and replace it with plywood with a padded cover.

Which one do we fix?

Let’s look at the cost considerations:

Replace the mailbox…costs for new mailboxes go from $40-$400. Remove old mailbox, put in a new one. Fix mailbox, bolster it with a metal rod assembly and attach current support structure with wire. Which would look better?

Replace couch…costs for new couch go from $250-$2500. Finance the new couch and have the broken one picked up and disposed of. Fix couch, get plywood cut to correct dimensions, cover with batting and upholstery material, attach to couch, cover with cushions. Takes hours of time and care, costs for plywood, upholstery materials. Fixed couch shows no sign of being fixed to the casual looker.

Which one do you think we want to replace? Yup, the couch.

Why would we do that? It makes no financial sense. Because fixing something requires time and care and a place to work on large pieces of wood, we look at it as an impossibly long and complicated process. We’d RATHER NOT. We can slap-dash fix the mailbox, and it would take little time or effort, might last a little while longer, but regardless, it will look like crap. So effort, time and care are higher opportunity costs.  We do not want to pay for that cost. Fix it quickly–buy new or slap-dash. We are now sure of our priorities…minimum effort.

2 thoughts on “Why FIX that?

  1. I totally understand your priorities and the need for a quick fix. I’d also go with the couch because of the pain of it being broken outweighs the pain of having a messed up mailbox. Who cares? Maybe the mailman. But the couch? I bet you use it ALL the time.

    This is a perfect case to show why I like to fix things as they break. Otherwise, you risk having everything break at the same time. The stress, the money. Not worth it.


  2. I would probably go the same way as you. Couches wear out. Even if the interior of it is fixed, the fabric can be worn and it still doesn’t look great. Also, that’s a lot more work than just propping up the mailbox!


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