This weekend, I took a visual inventory of all the unfinished projects around my house. I'm hoping it will be a more powerful motivator than a to-do list. Because, oh, three, four, six years later, simply writing these projects on a piece of paper is clearly not working.
It's not so much the money. Many of these projects require minimal expense in terms of materials. Rather, time is the biggest deterrent. My husband is a handy guy who loves working around the house, but with kids and a full-time job, he rarely has a second to spare.
So you'd think he'd embrace my suggestion to just bite the bullet and hire a handyman. Nope: "What?! I'm not paying some guy for something I can do myself, and do much better."
Sweetie, love you to death, but I can guarantee you the handyman would do a much better job than the guy who is not finishing these 10 Home Improvement Projects AT ALL!
1. Holes in walls
The grout in our upstairs bathtub wore away, causing water to cascade through the walls and kitchen ceiling, creating a mushy mess that we had to cut out. We fixed the grout with some caulk to stop the leaking, but we've been living with this lovely view of pipes and cobwebs for about a year now.
2. Exposed drywall
Behold the spot in our second-floor hallway, directly below where my husband was installing wood floor in the upstairs loft, until he stepped between the rafters and came crashing down, legs a dangling and all. A lot of expletives marked that event. At least I'm not looking at a hole anymore.
3. Missing doorknobs
This one wouldn't be missing if I hadn't had to "borrow" it to replace the one on my son's bedroom door, after he managed to yank and destroy it when he was 3. Oh, those crazy toddlers with superhuman strength. He's 7 years old now.
4. Old windows
Pretty, huh? Not only is the sill of our bedroom window completely rotted out from leaky gutter water pouring in throughout the years, but the lifting mechanism of our double-hung windows from the protozoa era broke long ago. I use this handy-dandy closet pole to prop it up so I don't suffocate on humid nights. I'm getting more depressed by the minute.
5. Missing deck boards
I won't tell you how much we spent on our new deck, made from Brazilian hardwood and cedar railings comparable to what you'd find in the Hamptons, because you'd say we're insane. And I do believe we are. So at the very least we could complete the darn thing, since it's more valuable than both our cars, my engagement ring, or four-year tuition to numerous universities. Combined.
6. Missing walkway
My vision for the walkway to my beautiful, overpriced new deck: Rough-cut bluestone bordered with river rocks, adorned with ceramic planters bursting with hydrangea and purple geraniums. It's good that I have a vision because I'm sure that's all it will be for a long, long time.
7. Weeds taking over the lawn
This is the worst part of my lawn. The nicest part has more weeds mixed in to lessen the amount of brown. At this point, we've pretty much given up with the fertilizer and re-seeding efforts. Time to tear the whole sucker up and start from scratch.
8. Missing shingles
Cedar houses are beautiful, but they require lots of maintenance, which is why in my next homeowner life I'll beg, borrow, and steal to install those cement-based shingles that look like real wood but need replacing never. They are expensive, so for now, we're stuck with a patch job.
9. Painting the exterior
The good news: We finally found the perfect shade of gray. We even bought all the paint, which has been sitting unopened in the basement for about a year and a half now. The bad news ...
10. Garden mess
Here's the thing: When you have holes in your ceiling, rotting windows, no pretty walkway, missing shingles, and a patchwork mosaic on the side of your house, there is no point in planting pansies. Remember that old saying about putting perfume on a pig?
Is my disaster of a house anything like yours? What unfinished projects are living on forever in your home?