Friday, July 29, 2011

Facts, Figures & Decisions

Today was the last day for getting into the office early this week, and naturally, I'm a bit tired. So this morning as I'm getting ready for work I get an email saying there's something wrong with the granite for the kitchen and we need to change the size of the kitchen island and I need to make a decision and call the vendor TODAY.

It seems there is some very deep scratching on the granite slab and we'll need to trim the counter overhang for the seating area by 4" to avoid it. The email made the issue sound so much more dreadful than it was; it was an oversized island counter to begin with, so trimming off 4" will still leave us with generous surface area.

We should expect the counters to be installed on Monday or Tuesday next week. I must have misunderstood the builder the other morning when I thought they were being stalled this week. I tell you, the 6:30–7:30am hour is not a good time for me to be making important phone calls.

Thankfully, the rest of the day has been fairly mellow (except the regular elevated noise levels in the neighborhood). I got lots done at the office today, stopped at the produce stand on my way home from a half-day of work (LOVE summer work hours), and got a couple quotes for how much renting a moving truck and driving it ourselves would be.

The Penske website seemed to be pretty thorough in helping me decide what size truck and equipment we might need, so I'll use those numbers for my budgeting. Even though we could probably fit everything into a 12' truck the cross-country one-way rental for the 16' truck is the same rate, so if we go with this option I'll use the 16' truck.

Actually I'm a little torn here. On the one hand, the 16' truck would help ease some stress with regard to having enough space. On the other hand, if we know we're getting a larger truck, we might be less motivated to get rid of things before we move. And there are some things in this house I've been waiting years for the right moment to get rid of.

Well, that doesn't sound right. I haven't been waiting for the right moment to get rid of these items—if it were up to me, we would have bid farewell to them long before now. It's been more about waiting for the right moment to gently nudge someone else into getting rid of some things. *ahem*

So yeah, I still want to place a premium on getting rid of all our second- and third-generation hand-me-downs (most are gone, but there are a few hangers on) and the "assembly required" furniture that has seen better times.

Anyhow. The trucks. So given the choice, at the same cost I'd probably get the 16' truck. It'll cost roughly $1800 for cross-country one-way rental and includes unlimited mileage. The truck gets 6–10 miles to the gallon, so we should plan $1,100–1,800 for fuel. So, we're looking at $2,900–3,800 to drive the truck ourselves.

Now, the 16' truck is also capable of towing Roo, which would put the cats up in the cab with us. I honestly don't think there's enough room in the cab to pursue that option, but space issues for the cats aside, the math just doesn't really hold either.

The cost to rent the car carrier (can't use a car dolly with an all-wheel drive car) was about $400. The other day I calculated that if we drive Roo, gas will be about $400; so that's a wash as far as expenses go. But towing Roo would add to the load on the truck engine and we'd see an increase in fuel costs there. And then you've also got the added stress of pulling a trailer, which isn't so bad if you're just driving, but when we've got to navigate cities/towns and pull in and out of parking lots, neither one of us will like being behind the wheel.

About the only real benefit is in not putting the miles on Roo. So if we do end up driving a moving truck, we'll also be driving Roo.

Now, the overall cost of the truck was about what I had anticipated spending to get our things to North Carolina. And it's actually not far off from the $2,800–3,100 quotes for moving containers I got a week ago. All things considered, if they really are priced comparably, the containers seem like the better option to me. At least the less headache inducing option.

Based on what I've learned so far, I think we'll be using a moving container company and driving Roo. I'll need to dig a little more into the container companies. I could still change my mind. Say, if we can't find a reputable container company in that price range. If it turns out that the "good" companies are in the $5,800–6,000 range, like PODS, then we'll rent a truck.

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