Half-done projects?
Emily Hurley
November 20, 2013
Do you have any half-done projects around the house? What are they? Tell us about it and get re-motivated to get them finished!

Share your experience! (Photos encouraged)

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happyasaclam
Yes! Too many to count and almost all are ideas I found here on Houzz. Most are projects are for the grandkid's rooms. I have most of the items I need to finish them, but not the time!
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 11:09AM
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PRO
Wallace Remodeling, Inc.
We often see homeowners approaching their remodels in piecemeal fashion. It may not be the best approach to completing their projects and will usually end up costing more money. It can really drive a project beyond budget when construction in one area needs to be partially deconstructed to move on with remodeling another area of your home. It may be worthwhile to consult with an industry professional who has insight on how your remodeling project or projects could be most efficiently approached.

One way we work with clients who have lots of work that needs to be done, but only want to focus on one part of their home for a current project, is communication and pre-planning on their future project. We recently completed a horizontal addition to a home where the homeowner plans on eventually adding a kitchen to the new living area. We designed the space and constructed it in regard to framing, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc. so that everything is in place for us to come back and build her kitchen when she is ready.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Elyn's Library
At this point in time, about 2/3's of the house is a half-done project. Planning is already completed right up to and including where furniture and lamps are going to go (probably ;)). We had begun remodeling to make the house more "Accessible" since we had decided to retire here, when husband had a fall at work and broke his leg.

That was over a year ago. We are now getting back to where we left off and hubby now agrees with many of the accessibility changes I had suggested when we started the project.

Exterior is all upgraded - new roofing, siding, windows and we are safely enclosed and weatherized for winter weather. After the holidays we will get back to work on the interior.
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 2:15PM
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PRO
On the Spot Furniture Revival llc
Last year I hired someone to install a laminate floor because I was too busy to do it myself. During the summer, I noticed peaked areas of my floor that had heaved up 1.5". I took some 1/4 round pieces off to see that the "contractor" had installed all the floor right to the edge of the framing of the walls. Two pieces of laminate are broke, in the middle of the floor. I am still trying to motivate myself to replace the boards and cut the floor away from the walls. This is why I never hire anyone to do work I can do myself.
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 2:27PM
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jdforney
Lots of part done projects around the house. We are great at starting projects & then not finishing them. I have a notebook filled with all the punch list things to do. For example- we had new energy efficient windows installed over a year ago. I painted the downstairs windows within a week. The upstairs windows are still bare wood. It's not that I have to get on a ladder outside b/c the exterior side is aluminum clad. I only need to paint the inside. Since blinds or curtains cover the windows, it's easy for me to ignore. Ugh. Another example: we broke the dishwasher handle off the panel door. We need to replace the handle. From a year ago. Just haven't picked out a new handle. In. A. Year. Another example: we tiled the kitchen backsplash in January of this year. Still haven't sealed the grout. I could go on, but I think everyone gets my point.

So I'll just keep looking, but not really seeing, the projects & decide to read my Southern Living to figure out what cookies to bake :)
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Judiwithani
Yes! I can' t keep up with it all. Have what I need to get the job done, except time. Planning forever to stain a concrete floor. Need some good help. Wish some of the Houzzers DIYs
lived close by. Totally understand where On the Spot Furniture Revival is coming from. One of the reasons I'm in this situation is because of faulty contracture help.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 3:39PM
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chookchook2
Loads. Painting is the most obvious one as this winter was too wet to finish the painting. Then there are all the jobs waiting for hubby!
    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Monica Ellison
A few months ago I removed the window blinds in the living room. The holes in the window frame still needs to be patched and painted.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 4:03PM
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dondegrace0417
When it comes to project punch lists my mom taught me something. About every other month she goes around the house and completes the projects that take about 1 yr and 5 minutes. You know what I'm talking about. Everytime you grab that door handle and feel it's still loose and all you have to do is tighten the screws. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to go around the house and do the little things. Then the big things don't seem to be so big.
4 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 4:14PM
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solincia
Haha... Yes! I started taking down the wallpaper in the unused upstairs hall bathroom... It's a little more extensive than I can handle so I'm procrastinating on calling in a pro. I also still need to put a second coat of paint in the foyer and do some touch ups on the trim. I swore I wouldn't start anymore projects until those are done--but I just built a new table leaf since we're hosting thanksgiving, but that is completed!
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 6:23PM
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rubyloves2shop
Hahahahahahahaha no creative mind is ever done! I will change, rearrange, undo, and make new even what I thought I was finished with.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 20, 2013 at 9:27PM
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witch06
All my radiators are half-done projects... I've got so much work renovating the whole house that I keep painting the radiators for an unknown future = as soon as I'm finished with everything else. Strange enough to see some rooms completely painted, & decorated but with ugly radiators waiting for a new coat of paint. Work in progress ;)
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 12:42AM
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PRO
ASVInteriors
This is the last room in the house and thus has been like this for, um, seven years..... They say the cobbler is always the least well heeled!
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 12:45AM
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Jeannie
Jean.
We bought an older house as a renovation project to prevent my [previously builder] husband getting bored in retirement. Every room needed work - enough to keep him happy for a year or two. Then he was diagnosed with osteo sarcoma and first lost his left hand, then part of his skull, and now part of his lung, plus he's dropped to under 100 pounds. So, no prizes for guessing that every room is still in need of renovation, except the en-suite, which had to be redesigned for him with no bath, but a large walk in shower instead. We have both put this old place in the too hard basket. Sometimes what seemed like a good idea at the time, in hindsight can turn out to be the worst decision you've ever made. For us it will be easier to sell this and buy a new ready built. Less stress, less work, but not so much fun.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 6:11AM
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PRO
Daybreak Workroom LLC
I live in one, lol. That's the price you pay when you opt for "pay as you go".

But we knew it would be like this when we built the house and moved in. We had good, basic architectural plans, and sound electrical, and plumbing systems. We've interpreted a very basic, 4 bedroom/3 bath home very differently and have done the finish work in accordance with that. And, as funds became available.

Sometimes it's discouraging. Other times it's liberating. Mostly, though, it has been fun. We sometimes argue about what is to be done, but we always come to a consensus and we've never been blindsided by cost overruns.

We're under no illusions that our unique interpretation of a 4 BR/3 bath. home is an "investment". It's simply the home we want to live in. It works for us. We joke that the next owner will likely gut/demolish the entire thing to erect their monument to their dream. But it won't matter one whit once their check clears the bank.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 9:36AM
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suzannefb
Many uncompleted jobs in our home too. My biggest heartbreak is the 11 ft wall desk unit that I had custom made to fit a specific space. I was smuggly satisfied with myself for shopping around and finding an Amish company to create a piece to my exact directions. What I FORGOT was that many Amish cabinet makers do not deal with electrical issues. As a consequence, when I began installing the unit, I discovered that it covered all of my outlets and speaker wires. The beautiful cabinet has been sitting in the space, unfinished while I try to find an electrician who has the time to move the outlets, light up the cabinet and then install. UGH! The piece has been sitting, underutilized, for over a year!!
    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 9:59AM
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smartin1
Feeling better now, knowing I'm not the only one with half finished projects. Mine mostly include painting things...cabinets, fireplace, railings, etc. I get things primed then have a hard time getting back to them. Remotivated now, so thanks for the lift!
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 10:04AM
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PRO
Daybreak Workroom LLC
smartin1, just so you don't feel too bad know that after 22 yrs. there are still primed things awaiting finish coats. As Mum used to say, "it will be there when you feel like doing it". :)
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 10:16AM
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gail1979
It can be overwhelming, so I try to limit myself to one room at a time. Or one project at a time. (For example, I replaced all the baseboards in my house recently). Because of this I would say all of my projects are at least 95% finished.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 10:36AM
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S. Thomas Kutch
Our whole house renovation is now going on the 6th year. The first year was going smoothly, paying (my salary) as we went.. We are doing all the work ourselves. Then the economy went south, then an ongoing healthy issue got worse.............kind of getting use to the exposed studs and plywood sub flooring...........don't tell my wife I said that.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 10:41AM
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PRO
Daybreak Workroom LLC
I also want to add that when you DIY and you have something called "work" in addition, it's hard to be motivated to come home and pick up a paintbrush. Esp. after dinner.

It's important to know your daily rhythms. When are you most "jazzed" to get something done? And it's important to leave a project ready for the next step! It's much more rewarding to apply coat #1 of finish paint than it is to fill and sand the woodwork. Get the really basic stuff done so you can do something that will "really look different" when you're finished! Filling and sanding SUCKED. BORING and messy. But, once that was finished the sealing shellac was OK, and so was the priming! sanding/tacking off? easy-peasy. Final coats? a blast, because it only looked better.

Breaking work into "bite size portions" is really important. And that's the thing most DIY literature never mentions... . But it's the key to getting things done and done well. It takes a long time to do something nicely and properly. Uh... that's why professionals cost what they do!
    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Jan Smith
I call it the 'remodel domino effect'. We start a major project and then find something that needs to be fixed before we can continue. That often leads to structural/plumbing/electrical work that we didn't expect. THEN we figure that as long as the floor/wall/ceiling is opened up or torn down we might as well change or replace it. Meanwhile, the original project is still undone. For some reason our idea of retirement was to buy a turn-of-the-century country craftsman and try to restore it.
4 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 10:59AM
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iluvdiy
Oh so many of you are making me feel so much more "normal", LOL! I dream of the day when I don't have other intervening obligations (like working) so that I can get to all my incomplete projects. My husband is impatient but many of the tasks depend on my skills. For the most part, I am the designer, framer, sheetrock hanger, tile installer, cabinet maker, trim carpenter, seamtress, upholsterer, etc. He does heavy digging and lifting, helps assemble walls, etc., paints, and is pretty good at some plumbing and electrical. Even when we hire pros to help, they don't always show up and/or finish the job satisfactorily. I thrive on the creative aspects of the entire process and really do like to do the work. Yes, I constantly bite off more than I can chew, but I think I would die if someone took away all of my tools and materials. It is just "what I do". To love me is to put up with some projects still on the wait list and to appreciate all that HAS been accomplished.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Luciana
Oh, our house was totally gutted and renovated - to quite a high standard (I'm well-known as a slave-driver!). It's almost a year since we've moved in, everything works great, the house was evaluated to almost 3 times the price we bought it for, however - and this is a big however - we are still missing a wall. Or better said , we are missing a cover for pipes and wires in my den and it's becoming embarrassing; I even posted a dilemma on Houzz about it: http://www.houzz.com/discussions/654561/Office-space-vs-access--to-wires-pipes---

My problem is finding a carpenter / joiner / cabinet maker who is not afraid to work with me and do what I want, not what s/he thinks is easiest. So far no luck, but what I'd like to show you today is what I've done over time trying to cover the problem (and probably made it worse).
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 21, 2013 at 12:52PM
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yoboseiyo
all of them.


uhm. *big grin*
    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Christelle
lol lol omg i bought my house 2 years ago need a lot of repair and i have my share of half projects hidden behind a curtain lol lol ASV interior your post make me laugh because i have the exact same bath in same state too and this is the only one we have not dealt with at all :) thank you for this post it make me feel so normal now :)
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 2:21PM
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