The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Home Improvement Formula

I was inspired to write about a formula because of the amazingly complex formula presented in this blog. My formula is much simpler. Actually, I shouldn't call it "my formula" because I didn't come up with it. Now that I think about it, I have no idea who did. But I heard it at my dinner party a couple of nights ago.

John Doe was there, you already know that. Also there was a couple, we'll call them Jack and Jill. Jack and Jill bought a house about two years ago that was close to being condemned. They have worked on this house non-stop for the last two years, and they're still not done. They finally, finally, put up drywall, but they still don't have their floors in on the second and third storeys, and when it rains, the water comes right in from the plethora of leaks in the roof.

As you might guess, Jack and Jill are familiar with home improvement. If you've been reading my blog, you know I am too. Naturally, conversation turned towards our various house projects during dinner. Jack said that he was looking forward to the time when he and Jill would be working on "weekend projects," like mine. He described a "weekend project" like this: you buy the materials during the week; you work on the project on Saturday; you spend Sunday cleaning up. I started laughing the hearty laugh of someone who's heard something ridiculous as images of the floor I just put in danced like sugar plums in my head. I said something along the lines of, "Jack, things rarely go according to plan. For instnace, blah blah blah" I told him about the floor in the back room.

That's when it happened. Jill told me the formula. It was so true, so stunning, so revolutionary, that I'm still in the process of absorbing it. I spent a good part of last night just thinking of how profound it is.

Okay, enough already, I've drawn it out as long as possible. Drum roll, please.....

When embarking on a home improvement project, you will pay twice as much as you thought you would and spend three times as much time, or you will spend twice as much time and pay three times as much. You get to choose.

That's the part that kills me, at the end: You get to choose. You get to choose. You get to choose. That's some deep shit right there.


  • So the faster you work, the more you pay? That seems counter-intuitive. How about this one... there are three aspects of home improvement: cost, time, and quality. Any one project can have two of the aspects, but not all three. So, if you want good quality and low cost, it will take you a long time to do it. If you want good quality in a short amount of time, you'll have to pay out the nose. If you want the project done fast and for very little money, the quality will suffer. It's an old maxim, but it holds true for so many situations.

    By Blogger Dan, at 10:11 AM, July 01, 2004  

  • I think what my formula was getting at was that in order to cut time, you have to increase man power--increasing manpower increases cost. Or you can cut manpower, thereby decreasing cost but increasing time. For instance, my floor. I could have hired someone else to do it, and it would have been done in a few hours of actual work time, but it would have cost me a lot more. I chose to save the money but to devote all of my own time to it. This is basically a version of the triangle you were talking about, only assuming the quality is always important, so you must trade off cost or time....and you get to choose which.

    By Blogger Oz, at 11:38 AM, July 01, 2004  

  • But what if you were to employ the help of a magical leprechaun? How would that change the formula. You musn't forget the magical leprechaun contingency.

    By Blogger Dan, at 12:47 PM, July 01, 2004  

  • Hello -> Ozzilyn Bean <- I just wanted to let you know that this post was an interesting read and well presented. Just my two cents.

    Quality of Life Improvement

    By Anonymous Self Improvement, at 1:18 AM, November 05, 2005  

  • Hello -> Ozzilyn Bean <- I just wanted to let you know that this post was an interesting read and well presented. Just my two cents.

    Emotional and Mental Self Improvement

    By Anonymous Recursive Self Improvement, at 1:00 AM, November 06, 2005  

  • Hello -> Ozzilyn Bean <- I just wanted to let you know that this post was an interesting read and well presented. Just my two cents.

    Improve Quality Of Life

    By Anonymous Emotional and Mental Self Improvement, at 8:44 PM, November 06, 2005  

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