Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Hitting The Wall


Notice anything about our site lately? Like, our eternally slow progress and general lack of projects in the queu? I think it’s official: We hit another wall. A big one.

Brick wall

If I had to guess, I’d say we hit the wall the day our master bathroom was finished. Since that day, our motivation has been at an all-time low. So has our bank account, but that’s never stopped us before so I can’t fully blame finances for our sleepy weekends and extra couch time. There’s plenty of cheap projects we could be doing, such as skim coating and repairing the walls in the upstairs bedrooms, painting the fence, painting the hallway, planting some flowers, restoring exterior woodwork in prep for a paint job… you get the point. But our sense of urgency is gone. We don’t make plans throughout the week so that we can jump into projects early Saturday morning. I don’t find myself daydreaming about plaster quiet as often as I used to. I guess the honeymoon phase is over, and that passion and first-crush house lust has passed. We’ve grown accustomed to the house the way it is now; we’ve begun to accept it’s many flaws instead of dreaming up ways to fix them. Which is good, I guess. But it definitely takes a toll on our progress. Now that we’re not embarrassed to live amidst construction and chaos, we’re not motivated to make big changes.

Not that I’m not enjoying our new pace. It’s nice to have a life, and more to talk about than the paint in your hair or the latest developments in tile installation. But it’s a little sad to have lost the enthusiasm we once had. I have a week of vacation looming in front of me, and not one new and exciting project lined up that I’m raring to finish. That just feels…. wrong! It’s also pretty boring for all of you reading, since there’s no news to report.

Any pointers from the old-timers out there who have been doing this for years? Is the flame gone for good?

My big tip for those of you looking to start a fixer-upper project… start smaller than 2,200 sq. ft :)

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

heather had this to say on 06.21.07:

I loved reading your post because it is something I could have written myself (and probably have written some variation, several times). What year are you in your restoration process? I started having those feelings around year 3.

You WILL get the desire back and tackle new projects, but it will never be that burning house lust that you had in the beginning. At least that is the way it has worked in our case.

Once you get your house “livable” and you get very comfortable with the “pause” – and the time period between projects starts to get longer – it is really hard to get geared up for the next BIG project, or even small one. I think it is because you know just how much work, time and money it is going to cost. And, it’s not so exciting (or fun) any more. It starts to feel like “work” and one more thing you have to do.

The next phase is resentment. At least it was for me. Then you start feeling guilty because you aren’t blogging about the house. Pretty soon that passes and you may realize it was been over a month since you last posted.

We have settled into a few house projects a year and take long breaks in between. It has been good because we have more balance in our lives (and little more $ in the bank)! You’ll enjoy working on the house when you do, but you’ll also really enjoy NOT working on the house.

Maybe it is different for other people, but once that house lust wears off it is pretty much gone.

Leslie had this to say on 06.21.07:

Well, as someone who is on my 4th fixer-upper, I’d probably put it in the same context as my dad describes my parents’ 49 year long marriage: When asked how long he’s been married, he says something along the lines of “27 wonderful years… 14 that were just ok, and 8 that just really sucked.”

The general point is that you’re going ot have your highs and lows, projects that you trudge through like an endless series of root canals and projects that you can’t wait to work on when you get up or come home. At some point in the future you’ll spend 45 minutes taking care of something that you’ve simply lived with for however long, you’ll see what a huge difference it makes, you’ll sit back and go, “now why didn’t I do that sooner?!?” and it will light a fire under you to start going again.

I actually think that it’s healthy to just kick back on a regular basis. I know of too many folks who have zero life outside of working on their house. Nothing’s worth that!

Greg had this to say on 06.21.07:

I say, take a break, and don’t feel bad about it. Either you’ll get sick of looking at the unfinished spaces and you’ll get back in to it because you have no choice, or you’ll get the passion back. Either way, things will get done. Enjoy the down time while it’s there.

merideth had this to say on 06.22.07:

i’m telling you…get a wii and you’ll have something to blame the wall on ;)

Alan had this to say on 06.22.07:

Get this stuff done before you have children, if you are planning on having children. After that, the time you have to do these projects will drop tremedously, not to mention you have to make sure everything is in working order and safe. I speak from experience.


John had this to say on 06.22.07:

Great post, this is exactly how I’ve felt since we had the Devil Queen appraised. Since Big Brother isn’t breathing down our neck, frankly, there is a lot of crap I just don’t give a damn about doing at the moment. After years of this, sitting around drinking beer and scotch after work while watching whatever Netflix sent is pretty hard to beat.

My recommendation is, enjoy your time off and do somethings you really like. Then, in a few weeks, pick some small project to do and do it. I find that once I force my self to start something, the urge to continue on to other things becomes irresistable.

Patricia W. had this to say on 06.23.07:

It looks like lots of DIY-ers have slowed down (at least the ones I follow closely).

I know I certainly have and haven’t blogged about anything house-related. In fact, when it comes to my house, I sound like a broken record. skip, skip, skip…

I’m in school, and have my money earmarked to pay my annual house taxes (I have no mortgage). Oh yeah, I bought a new digital camera too. I hadn’t spent a dime since moving into this house on any type of goody for myself (in almost 2 years, a record!). If an item wasn’t for the house, I didn’t buy it. Period. Once taxes are paid, I’ll be back in the saddle, getting things done bit by bit in ultra slow motion.

You guys have done some amazing stuff over the past couple of years that I’ve been following and you deserve to take time off. I think your house looks wonderful.

Jocelyn had this to say on 06.23.07:

Well, we’e been at this for about 6 years and after a BIG project, we usually wind down a bit. Right now, we are still working on things, but it seems alot slower and my enthusiasm for posting every minute detail is waning a bit.

My experience is wax and wane. I’ve read that most people peter out after about 5 years.

I know we will keep working on our house, but doing so every single weekend now seems like too much. I am willing to have things take longer to be happier.

Hopefully you will find your happy medium. You’re younger than us too so maybe you’ll bounce back faster than we do!

Mindy had this to say on 06.24.07:

Thanks guys – it’s nice to hear everyone chime in with suggestions and reassurance that we haven’t turned into couch ornaments for good. We just got back from a weekend camping trip in the mountains of West Virginia, and I have to say I’m really “feeling it” all of a sudden. Maybe 3 days away from drywall dust is long enough to clear your head? On the 6-hour drive home, we decided to make a list of all the projects left to tackle, big and small, to get the house to our first goal (normal, liveable, nice – without the hot tub, 13 extra closets, and dream restoration porch we dream of someday having). And to our surprise, we really don’t have that much more to do. We were shocked at how short our list was!

Now that I have it all down on paper, in small little bites, I think it might be easier to start knocking things off the list. We’ll see how it goes with my upcoming week of free time!

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