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This weekend was jam-packed with projects dotted all over the house: entryway touch-ups, more kitchen cabinet door hanging, garage fixes, and even a little yard work mixed in (my allergies have yet to forgive me, but for the first time ever, I actually enjoyed mowing the yard. Only took four years.). I guess when you’ve got a to-do list as long as I do and a limited amount of time to get them done, you pick up motivation where you can to just keep working wherever you happen to be standing. More on each of those as the week progresses, but I wanted to share something I learned over the weekend that you may find super useful:
When in doubt, ask for a discount. Do it. Just ASK.
Let’s back up a tiny bit: remember this little catastrophe-turned-good-news over the winter?
Quick recap: I wake up one random morning and notice a slight mildewy odor and drip in my unfinished master bath; after simply touching the valve (heck, grazing it even) where the drip is coming from, the damn thing breaks off in my hand and water goes spraying across the room. It was like being stuck in a bad Ben Stiller movie (in that I’m comically soaked from head to toe in less than thirty seconds while water pours into my newly repainted laundry room, and my feeble attempts to jam the valve back on seem hopeless, irritating, and really not all that funny). Once I’d managed to stop the monsoon, shut off the water to the house, and get a plumber over to check for a possible frozen pipe situation, I learned that I was in the clear. No busted pipe, just a re-tightening of the valve needed. But of course, I still had a gaping hole in my garage ceiling thanks to getting rid of the hanging, wet drywall panel (we chose to just yank it down off of the old, rusted nails rather than dry it out and re-attach it).
And that brings us to present day. After more than sufficient time to let things air out (aka pure laziness & an unwillingness to do anything until it warmed up in the uninsulated garage), I asked dear ol’ Dad if we could use his truck to pick up some replacement drywall. And that’s how we found ourselves at Lowes on Sunday morning.
We needed a full panel at almost exactly ten feet, but drywall panels come in 8- and 12-foot lengths (the width for both is the same: 4 feet). Either would have been fine; the ceiling in the garage is somewhat poorly textured and we wouldn’t really need to be doing a perfect patch job by any means; the rest of the ceiling leaves a lot to be desired, so the name of the game is simply to fill the gaping hole. So without much debate, we just chose a single 12-foot piece (the cheaper choice of buying one versus two panels).
After getting the panel onto the cart though, we noticed that there was some noticeable damage to one side in several different spots (it was probably the top piece that was strapped to an entire stack; the plastic straps used to keep an entire set of drywall panels together when they are being delivered to home improvement stores are both strong and flexible, but will usually dig deep grooves into the side of whichever piece is on top). It wasn’t exactly a deal-breaker for us, and we didn’t really require a pristine piece for the already-poorly-drywalled garage ceiling. But still: noticeably damaged areas, and we’d be using nearly the entire panel. Plus, it would also mean hauling down another 12-foot piece if we chose to put this one back… and honestly, who would do that for a garage ceiling? Not me, and definitely not my dad.
Then, he asked the best question of the day: since this piece was damaged, and more than likely not going to appeal to many other customers who would almost always want a completely intact piece, could we just get this one at a discounted price and take off their hands? (Such givers, we are – a truly selfless act.)
Without hesitation, they agreed. And that’s how I wound up with a sweet little discount off of my supplies for the day.
Moral of the story: the worst they can say is no. All it takes sometimes is just to utter the words to save a few bucks, so if you’re on a budget DIY project like I am (and isn’t everyone?), just go for it. After a few more yeses, the savings will start to add up, and then boom: you’ve got enough for a six pack of the latest seasonal from the local brewery. Or in Dad’s case, a free meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
See what I did there? That’s called repurposing. And everyone likes free stuff (what, isn’t that how money works? in units of free meals or bar tabs?).
Have you ever gotten some unexpected discounts? Do tell.