Ever feel like the reno will NEVER get done?

Kitten1313October 28, 2013

And kind of stopped caring? :/

Our project started in June. Our contract stipulated the job to be finished by October 15, with penalties kicking in 2 weeks later.

There has been great progress made, the cabinets, countertops, sinks are all in. But I feel like we've been at this stage forever. I know they are doing stuff (window frames, baseboards, beams all made by hand) but I feel like there is so much more to do, I can't imagine it being done by Christmas.

I'm tired of looking at my appliances boxed up in the garage. But I've also kind of stopped caring. I just feel like it's never going to move forward. Ugh.

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This month marks the end of the 4th year of our DIY remodel project. We had serious "while we're at it" disease. You know - if we're going to put on a new addition, we should also add on to the bedroom "while we're at it" and we should add on to the kitchen "while we're at it". And the fact that we're the slowest DIYers in the world doesn't help.

But, we're almost done. (I keep saying that.) The kitchen is finished - except for the pulls, toekick, crown molding and back-splash. haha

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Kitten, we are on the same time frame. My kitchen, dining room, living room and family room were gutted June 3rd. Cabinets are going in, but we are behind you as countertops, etc. are still a couple weeks out. My appliances are waiting in the garage too. Fun times. Can. Not. Wait for this to be done. I hope your reno is everything you have hoped it will be!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:29PM
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I feel for you!
I am still waiting for our drawer resolution 18 months later..

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:34PM
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We're in the same boat. We started demo of our LR as part of our almost whole house remodel on June 22nd. We do have most of our kitchen done with cabinets, countertops and most appliances in (still waiting for electricians to hook up ovens and microwave drawer). We still have two layers of wallpaper to take down in the foyer and hallways and trim work throughout. We were originally going to do the master bath too, but after living through the hall bath and powder room remodel, we're going to wait a year. I'm so sick of having men working in my house. I just want them gone!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:14PM
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It's taking a long time...but there are penalties kicking in next week! I think that will get them very motivated and you should be using your new kitchen by Thanksgiving...Christmas at the latest.

You're just a little burned out right now, but I know you're going to get really excited, once you see the new kitchen! Maybe think of this as the seventh inning stretch...go do something fun and non-kitchen related for Halloween. You'll be amazed at how fast everything will fall into place :)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:35PM
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kitten I feel your pain. We gutted our entire house and added a suite for my mother to stay. Started June 15th and just now can start to see the light.

Counters came in today and the freshly painted walls are giving me renewed hope that we can be back in for Thanksgiving (we moved to a rental during reno.) Had my share of meltdowns, but we're nearing the end. Relax, take a breather, and before you know it you will be sipping hot toddies in your new kitchen! :)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Kitten: I have a feeling that the long lurkers will start coming out of the woodwork with this post....

I have seen some people on this forum who have been living with a bathroom as a kitchen for more than 14 months. It's amazing how many people have lived in crazy situations and are still living through it. I am on my third house in 1 year because of renovating and selling and I would never have thought I could have lived through this. But, it's amazing what "hope" will do for you. When I think I have lapsed into apathy, I try and remember that everything does matter. I sip my wine and try and refocus.

...and especially I try and never watch those shows where they re-do a whole house in a week. The logical side of my brain knows that many shortcuts happen on those shows, but the impatient side of my brain thinks "Why can't we move faster?"

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:07PM
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This is the funniest thread! We are DYI and my kitchen cabinets are scheduled to arrive on Wed. (yay!!). I laugh because it's taken 2 years to finally get to the point of ordering cabinets because of the "while we're at it". We have Christmas lighting company so we won't even start the kitchen for another 6 weeks. My cabinets will be stored in my living room because the garage will be filled with lights.

While I hope we can get cabinets hung by Christmas, it's probably not realistic, so at least I have GW and THIS thread to help me keep my sanity. Thank you!!

LIfe happens...better than the alternative.l

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:29PM
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I was there too! It does get better. We've been "done" for the most part for about 2 months. But I'm still clearing out the great room from all the kitchen stuff. Complicated by the utility closet redo, which is in the kitchen and had to be done to put away stuff, half of which is still on the floor. And also complicated by the fireplace redo, which I started because I want it working this fall, and I'm crazy (why on earth did I think this was a good time to learn how to tile?).

Plus I still have to get the slider situated. It needs something other than it's current old, broken vertical blinds. Not sure what. And the window is still naked. And the trash pull out needs to go in.

I was so desperate for SOMETHING to be -done- that I tore our the linen closet shelves and installed new adjustable wire shelving. Finished in a day and it felt SO GOOD! I highly recommend a similar mini project to keep your sanity and renew your faith that eventually the kitchen -will- be finished.

I've finally arrived at a mental place where I'm able to deal with the remaining kitchen clutter. It takes time, it's a traumatic process that uproots your life for months. Don't let things go just because you hit the will. Make a list of what is left and arrange it by responsible party. Then cross stuff off as it's done. It takes so much less energy when you don't have to remember it all and can just pull out a list for whoever is there. And you can watch the lists get smaller, and smaller, ...

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:34PM
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I can so relate to just wanting workmen out of your house. Sitting here watching The Voice with the friends with whom we've taken up residence because there's still stuff to do in our new condo that makes it impossible forums to move in yet.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:53PM
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Wait, this project is supposed to end?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 12:29AM
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We are building a new house that is months behind schedule, it seems like it will never be done. I feel your pain. But I know that at some point it will be done and we will be looking back in a finished home and barely remember this. It gets better :)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:25AM
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Lol! Ours took 3 full months of workers here and living in basement and I couldn't stand it. We still have a ton of cleaning and rearranging to do, light fixtures to choose, and of course...backsplash. But at least we are using the kitchen and the men are gone!
Having no workers in your house is the best feeling! Ours weren't unpleasant or anything, there's just nothing like getting your space back to yourself

You'll get there soon you're in good company here, all can relate. Hang in there!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:51AM
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I can also empathize! Our kitchen remodel started in early May, and it's still not done! [Note this is not DIY, except for pulls, paint, and things like that.] At this point, it's the small details like light fixtures, crown, toekick, paint, pulls. Luckily the backsplash went in a few weeks ago (I was forced to pick awhile ago since it needed to be done to install the hood). However, I also have lost momentum in making decisions -- I'm so tired of it all, I don't feel the urgency right now.... I've had the paint for 3 weeks and I just can't get motivated.... I'm stuck picking light fixtures...... ugh....

I also had the "while we're at it" syndrome, some was part of the plan, some wasn't. The kitchen remodel started 2 years ago because appliances were starting to fail, and we wanted to get the cooktop off the island. Since we were removing the cabinets, then of course we had to re-do the entire first floor wood (refinish wood), and since I wanted to replace the carpet in 2 rooms with wood at some point, I thought why not just replace the entire first floor with new wider planks (that was PAINFUL living with no kitchen and just a futon for weeks - with 2 young kids!). While we're at that, the baseboards/casing/crown/etc. should be replaced (larger), and then the den door should be replaced with 15-lite french doors (scheduled this week!). And that got me thinking about replacing all the door hardware (to ORB), then I"m thinking now's a good time to replace the interior doors to solid core (to avoid re-doing the casing later). It honestly never ends -- I considered re-doing the stairs (to wood and new railings) but figured that's a good future project that can be done later. My sanity cannot take another project right now!

I'm also in the same boat as williamsem where I have stuff all over the house, waiting to go through and be either tossed, donated, or found a home -- it's everywhere! The good thing about having Thanksgiving here is that it will force me to get through it all by then.

It does help me to know others are in the same boat, or were in the same boat and survived - misery loves company!! You are not alone! Every once in awhile I think back to living in that chaos just to enjoy the fact that that part is over.... Now, If I could just get the molding guy to come do all the molding work! Crossing my fingers next week!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:31AM
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You have a lot of company. The cabinets were ordered in January and 99% of the work was completed on the kitchen in June. Only about 10 days ago did the revised DW panel get installed. In the adjacent FR, all is done except for artwork and decor. Similarly, in the newly relocated DR the chandy just got hung, but decor (new WT, art) is still awaiting. It's always something. The reno process started with foundation work about 18 months ago. The garage is half filled with construction stuff/debris and old furniture..

The good thing is, while the final details will take a lot of time, the major work will soon be over for you.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:08AM
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IâÂÂve lost track of how many YEARS this kitchen has been âÂÂin the worksâ for us. I know IâÂÂve been posting to this forum since at least 2010, probably 2009.

The problem was finding a layout. After working through what seemed like a million possibilities, in a tough scenario, we came up with something we thought would work...then I posted our idea here. Well, by the time the critiques were in and the dust settled, I simply gave up. LOL We lived with half a kitchen for another year. Then a few weeks ago I got home and found that hubby had taken down ALL of our cabinets and literally tore down the wall between the kitchen and family room saying, âÂÂOk, now we HAVE to do somethingâÂÂ. Our âÂÂnewâ simple layout will work fine for us.

HavenâÂÂt ordered cabinets yet, however we did find granite slabs we love which we bought and our fabricator is warehousing for us.

By the way, the new open family room/kitchen concept was a good choice -- it looks great open like this.

We will finish this kitchen before Thanksgiving, I just canâÂÂt say WHICH Thanksgiving!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:10AM
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We started our reno in March 2011 and it was about 95% finished in March 2012, a lot of it DIY. The 5% is still incomplete, although the kitchen is functioning well. DH started another project which took him over a year, and that's finally done, so maybe soon, I'll get those final little things finished. Hang in there, you'll enjoy it when it's the reno is over.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Holly- Kay

I can relate. Our cabs were torn out May 20th. By the end of September my bs was in but I am STILL waiting for my window treatments to be installed.

We started our living room remodeling just as the kitchen was being finished and DH threw my plans out the window when he fell in love with a sofa that didn't fit my vision. The room was painted for my original vision and I am now to worn out to consider having our painter redo it.

Because the living room vision changed and I moved my existing library chairs into the living room and I now have to also redo the library so my living room is about 75% done and the library will be at about the half way mark after the chairs are delivered tomorrow.

Then onto the master bedroom, bathroom, and guest bathroom when we finish those projects.

This whole thing started with me wanting a refrigerator that was larger than a 32 inch model and wound up being a total rehab thanks to the dreaded "while we're at it" disease.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Penalty for work running late??? Please tell me more!! I love that idea.

Our whole-house gut reno was supposed to be finished July 15. I just submitted 3 pages of punch list stuff to my contractor, who responded by saying he's not making any money on this job and "can no longer afford to work for free." ð³

I'm so very weary.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 3:44PM
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Duplicate post 2

This post was edited by buildinva on Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 15:50

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Duplicate post

This post was edited by buildinva on Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 15:49

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Well, you won't get someone volunteering a penalty for work running late - it's either in your contract or it's not.

As for punch-list items, if they're really punch-list items (the kind that don't affect you day-to-day, like a missing outlet cover), they wouldn't likely trigger the penalty anyway.

Your contractor's comment about "working for free" is the reason i think retainers should be more than 10%. Too often, the balance isn't enough to interest the contractor in finishing the project.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 3:51PM
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LOL... I started reno on our 1953 ranch the day we moved in 29 years ago, and can honestly say I'm still working on it

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Hmmm...such a rosy picture everyone has painted - I can't wait! I agree the "while you're at it" disease is contagious and terminal. My demo doesn't start until next week - back in January I had high hopes of being complete by the holidays, unfortunately, I don't think I specified a year or which holidays. My KD has a pretty aggressive schedule laid out, but i think I'll be in chaos for a while.

At least I have my cabs ordered, granite selected, fridge and oven in the garage - since July (I was over-zealous and ready to get started). Range and hood will be ordered this weekend, as will the faucet, and toilet and sink for the 1/2 bath. Pulls and knobs are next. Need to order the MW and DW. Paint after that. Whew...it never ends.

But...I am so, so glad I found this sight as I was planning. I have learned a ton and and gotten great feedback. I'm sure I would have been far more weary if I did not have such like-minded folks available to share stories and opinions.

Kitten - you can do it. We're cheering you on!!!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 7:53PM
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IâÂÂm having a pretty nice morning, but the lady whose kitchen IâÂÂm remodeling apparently isnâÂÂt. Wearing her housecoat, slippers, and bed-head, she bumbles into the dining area and wrenches a cup of coffee from the pot without so much as a âÂÂGood morningâ or even a glance in my direction. The kitchen becomes noticeably cooler. IâÂÂve got enough experience with women to know when not to say anything and this is definitely one of those times. If feel like an intruder on my own jobsite.

Later when her husband takes a smoke break in the garage, he clues me in. âÂÂSheâÂÂs sick of having this house torn up. ItâÂÂs been 5 weeks.â There we have it. Confirmation of my initial and instant diagnosis, a classic case of remodeling fatigue. IâÂÂve seen this many times before and have experienced it personally with my wife of 32 years. If you Google it, youâÂÂll get several hits.

In fairness to myself, I havenâÂÂt had their kitchen torn up for 5 weeks. The dufuss âÂÂcontractorâ they hired to set cabinets and build countertops used 4 of the 5 weeks in question. This is the guy that didnâÂÂt know to use a filler strip where a cabinet meets a wall to provide enough clearance so the drawer wonâÂÂt strike the door casing when you open it.

Of course you canâÂÂt just pull this 6â run of cabinets, install the filler, and call it good. After you do that, youâÂÂve got to reset the 3â cabinet to the right of the stove opening and every upper cabinet has to be reset too. This takes time, looks like you havenâÂÂt done much work at the end of the day, and that feeds remodeling fatigue.

When my jaw is propped open while heâÂÂs performing my root canal, I may get fatigued, but I donâÂÂt get short with my dentist. He didnâÂÂt bite on that olive pit and split my tooth. Well I didnâÂÂt hire and give a fat down payment to a guy who couldnâÂÂt set cabinets, build countertops, or install flooring without taking cabinets out of level. So why is the guy who is saving your butt from your previous decisions suddenly persona non grata? IâÂÂd love to ask this question, but know better. You donâÂÂt stay married for over thirty years and have great customer reviews without the ability to hold your tongue.
The only cure is to finish the job right. I donâÂÂt tell my dentist how to do his job even though itâÂÂs my mouth, and IâÂÂll not have you rush me even though itâÂÂs your home. I know youâÂÂre sick of me and having your space unusable and messy, but thereâÂÂs only one way out of this that will make both of us happy in the long run and thatâÂÂs stay the course. WeâÂÂll get through this and youâÂÂll love me again, I promise.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Haha - too funny Trebruchet. Always good to see the other side. Btw - I love my KD. We work well together. I push the envelope and she keeps me grounded in reality.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 11:06PM
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Oh my gosh, you guys are cracking me up!

I never heard of the "while we're at it" syndrome, but yes, we have caught it too! Though that's not really the hold up here. And we've begun quietly keeping a "while we're at it list" until the kitchen is done - we don't want the contractor to get distracted!!!

I'm not angry. Even though some personal issues caused the contractor to be away, that is not entirely unexpected when it's 2 guys doing all the work. They do beautiful work. and even though they are quite behind and know it, they are not taking any short cuts to get caught up. I appreciate that integrity and artistic sentiment.

The penalty clause we included is quite stiff, but it's more of a scare tactic to keep them on track (how's that working out?!). We certainly won't enforce it at the earliest possible date, if at all. We like the guy, we love his work, and honestly, it's in a part of the house that doesn't interfere with our day to day lives, and I have a fully functioning kitchen in the meantime. Clearly, not much to complain about. Just tired. And impatient.

Glad to see I'm not alone here. We can cheer each other on. Since all of my major decisions are made, I haven't been on here as much and don't have a lot of time just to peruse (though I do when I can). I'm afraid if and when it's time for the reveal, nobody will care! :D

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Count me in with those who find this thread hilarious. We are in almost month 18 of our unexpected renovation, and too have suffered from "while we are at it" syndrome. We are closing in on the end, I think?? But just yesterday I drove the hour and a half one way to go pick up yet another (the last until we do the table and benches?) piece of raw lumber since we discovered the night before that we didn't have enough long material for the continuous stiles on the last cabinet. I'm one of those that will miss the cabinet maker - he has been at our house nearly every day all day since April.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Welllll.... I think I hold the record for the LONGEST remodel on GW. Found this site in 2009 while doing research and have had the "while we're at it" syndrome ever since!
Doesn't help matters that we had major "life" interventions four times during this process, economy pushed the DIY DH into 14 hour working days, six days a week, so it happens, but I can actually SEE the light at the end of the tunnel!
Hang in there, I would love to be faced with your timeline, but I know that when an individual is GIVEN a certain time, it can be overwhelming when it goes beyond.
Hopefully, you will look up and see things moving quickly, to the point you need them to slow down. Sending positive vibes your way!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 6:09PM
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Definitely! Ours started last year, actual date unknown. I think I've blocked it out. In the middle of our simple update, we decided to expand, and then a leak stopped any momentum we had, and now it's a whole house reno.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 8:17PM
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GREAT post- love all the comments
Especially trebruchet & ctycdm

My Reno ended(in my mind) as soon as the sink was installed. I missed running water in the kitchen for so long everything else faded into the background. I was so fatigued that only a year and one half later I can now deal with the back splash.
I love my sink and I love running water. Yes I am simple minded.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 8:22PM
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I feel a bit like a spoiled brat when I read some of the comments here.

Dh and I decided to build a whole new house mid November last year. Since then, we found a foreman for our project, a company to provide us with logs for our home and a design for it that we modified heavily (this is a log house), bought property and sold our existing home. We broke ground in mid June of this year, and hope to be living in it before Christmas. Am I impatient? Completely. But I need to remember that I'm not *living* with the hassle that you who are doing remodels are. And - this has been a relatively short and fast project, I guess.

I'm ashamed of my impatience, but...I still want to be in our new house!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Oh, please. Don't feel like a spoiled brat. These are ALL rich people problems we are dealing with. It's taking sooooo long for my custom kitchen to get finished. waahhh! (foot stomp). It's a kitchen forum, not a soup kitchen. We're allowed to complain about our RPPs. It's all contextual. ;)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Thanks. I feel better now.

Although sometimes I do feel a bit like a spoiled brat when I mention - not in a bragging way, I hope - our granite countertops to people that I know have old, beat up laminate. Our house really isn't high end, either, compared to some I read about here...

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Month 26 about to start.... *Deep cleansing breath and Sigh........*

(is it time to push yet?)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Thanks for articulating what I've known for years. As a kitchen remodeling contractor, I know I'm not in the construction business, I'm in the fashion business.

A slab of edge banded melamine makes an inexpensive and sanitary countertop. Fortunately for me, edge banded melamine isn't in style.

Let us not forget, everything here is a 1st world problem.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:41AM
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