Oh, the joys of being a homeowner. Having talked in the very last post about how having a small house reduces the number of things that can go wrong, and the cost of repairs, we have had a plumbing disaster.

Disaster strikes!

Ok, disaster is probably overstating it, but I discovered a stain on the downstairs ceiling in our hallway, which soon began dripping water. It’s not below our bathroom, so no leaks from the bath seal or anything like that, and I couldn’t find any evidence of water coming from the upstairs radiator.

So plumbers were called, floorboards were cut, and it turns out the person who put the pipes in for our central heating has used the wrong type of pipe under our bedroom floor. It can’t take the heat and has swollen and cracked at the joint, causing a leak. It’s obviously been doing it a while, as for the whole two years we have lived here our boiler has frequently lost pressure and had to be refilled. We never could find the problem to deal with it before, but now we know. It’s going to take a day and about £350 to fix, providing it’s just the one 3 metre length of pipe that’s wrong. The plumbers won’t know if any more of the pipe work needs changing until they take some more floorboards up to have a look.

I’m not looking forward to the hassle of having it fixed next week. I need to move a load of furniture, so the place will be upside down (more than usual!), which is a pain with two young children running around. I’m also going to have to spend the day dissuading my 3 year old from ‘helping’, as she’s quite keen to have a turn with the circular saw!

How does this affect our finances?

At around £350, the cost is of repairs is less than the £600 excess on our home insurance policy, so it will all be coming out of our pocket. That feels like a lot of money at the moment, particularly having just spent £200 to get the car through an MOT, but it’s manageable.  I’m feeling thankful that we can afford to deal with problems like this without too much stress.  I know that’s not the case for everybody, and was certainly not the case for my single mum growing up. A problem of several hundred pounds would have wiped out a couple of years of her carefully gathered savings.

I’m not sure by how much this will affect the overpayments. We have an emergency fund, so I will probably aim to put aside £350 this month as normal, and then gradually build up the emergency fund again with the little bits and pieces we can save each month.

Oh well, we’ll keep plodding on. Onwards and downwards!