Sunday, January 26, 2014

Setting home repair/maintenance priorities

Update: We can get both trees removed and hauled away for $3,000 using a crane. There would also be some landscaping costs to create and repair the access path for the crane. Still less than the other estimate and the wood would be hauled away which is what we prefer (that was an additional cost with the other estimate).

I don't remember if I mentioned that, when I was outside right before our vacation convincing the neighbor's tree removal crew to remove the fallen tree from our property, I happened to look at a 100+ foot tree down in the woods and noticed a deep, long woodpecker cavity in its trunk. I had our arborist out to let me know how risky it was and we found another tree nearby that has significant rot around the base. Both are "moderate" risk of falling - whatever that means LOL. We feel we need to take both down to protect our house and our neighbor's house. The arborist's company wants nearly $4,000 to take both down, remove the brushy branches and stack the cut up trunks. Hmmm - time for a second bid. To be honest I have full faith in the first company that they would remove the trees very safely as they took down a similar one in the woods a few years ago.

Today we walked around in the woods to assess the damage done by the neighbor's tree removal to a retaining wall and relatively useless fence. We decided to have a go at removing the fence ourselves but I don't know if we can rebuild the retaining wall. I certainly can't lift the granite blocks. There is some trash (a tire, metal trash can, plastic seed trays, etc. behind the fence. The previous owners chucked things there instead of paying for removal. I'll be happy to have it all cleaned up but we haven't made it a priority as it is out of sight. We'll start the next good weather weekend.

Inside there are no urgent projects so everything is on hold until we find out what the trees are going to cost us. As you know, I'd rather spend the money on travel anyway!

I did get some great bargains at the grocery store & CVS today along with a discount on a gasoline gift card. I can't make up the cost of tree maintenance but every bit helps.


  1. It can cost some money to take down those big trees, but you sure as heck don't want to risk a tree or even a big branch falling on your house. I might suggest trying Angie's list -- we saved $1000 post-Sandy by using their top-rated person instead of the guy recommended by a neighbor.

  2. We had a very large ponderosa pine taken down last year. It needed a boon to come in and get. Plus we had part of a very large oak removed. It cost $1500. I was very pleased with their work. This year we are hoping to take out 2 more pines right up against our house. Again a boon will be needed as they are probabably 100 feet . It will be @ $3000. Iam going to go for it although it will reduce our EF greatly. But it needs to be done.
    It's hard to pay when it seems like an extra, but I think in the long run we will be happy about it.

  3. I totally agree that potentially dangerous trees have to come down and want to hire a crew that will do it safely. We have had to remove 7 large old trees (a poplar, sugar maple and 5 white pines) while living in this house and spent a lot of money on trimming and treating others. Usually I go with the same firm but this time I am getting a bid from another before making a decision as the cost is so high although understandable.

  4. Juhli, I would definitely get a second opinion. $4K seems outrageous for two trees. Here in the Pacific NW w are surrounded by VERY tall hemlocks and cedars (some of them "widow makers") so we have had to take some down. We have never paid more than $1000 for two trees. Now they don't cut the trees up into firewood and stack them or anything, but that could also be done for a lot less than that additional $3K. Rosy

    1. I agree it is high and they are in a very awkward place with lots of other trees close by and can't just be cut down. The one we had down previously had to be limbed and then cut down in sections. I'm getting another opinion and price this afternoon though.

  5. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  6. It would be interesting, though, to know what the arborist meant by "moderate" risk for falling. That word is just too ambiguous. It's just right that you opted for a second opinion - must have felt good to know you saved $1000 instead of going all in. Good call on that!
    Billy Quaid @

  7. Great home repair tips. Can't wait for winter to pass so I can start working on home improvement!