My "Honey do list" Project Story

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The Extended Project

The “Honey Do” list, every married man knows what this is and what it takes to complete. This is my story of completing one item contained on this long list of tasks assigned to me by the “boss” of the house, my wife.

My wife decided that she wanted our family room completely remodeled. I, of course, was assigned to complete this task. I thought to myself, I spent many years in construction prior to enlisting in the military, how hard can this project be? So, I took some measurements, drew up a few plans and with the wife’s approval settled on a final design. I planned on completing this project during an upcoming four day weekend. I planned to purchase the required materials after work on the day before the long weekend started, with an early start on demolition the morning the weekend started. The plan was to strip the room down to the bare studs on the first day, install new electrical, insulation, and drywall on day two. Complete the finishing of the drywall and start painting on day three and finish up the project and setup the furniture on the last day. But, as any husband who has attempted to complete project from a “honey do” list will tell you, nothing ever goes as planned. So, let me share what actually happened with this project.

I got home from work on the Thursday evening prior to the start of the four-day weekend, excited and ready to get started on this project. I changed out of my uniform, grabbed my list of required supplies and headed to the local home improvement store. I took my time looking through material, as to get the best product for the best price. I made my purchases and heading back home. Once back home with materials unloaded, I proceeded to lay out the demolition plan and made preparations for the next day.

Friday morning, the first day of my project, started early. A quick breakfast and then the work commenced. I grabbed my flat-bar and started tearing the paneling off the walls. To my dismay, underneath the paneling was quarter-inch plywood nailed the length of each stud at six inch intervals. This didn’t concern me to much at first, as the plywood was very old and brittle and broke off in large sections. It wasn’t until I started pulling the nails from the studs, that I realized that this process was going to take longer than I had originally planned. After a twelve hour day of demolition, I was only about halfway done. So far, this project was not going according to plan.

Day two started with my wife pointing out that I was behind schedule. Then I heard the words, “So I was thinking”. Of course, everyone knows what these means, a modification to the original design plan. My wife had decided that since the room was already tore apart, that we should also install new windows, doors and recessed lighting. So, back to the home improvement store I went. I purchased the new materials and returned home. I finished out the day by completing the demolition process.

I was in the middle of running new wiring, outlets and lighting Sunday morning, when it dawned on me, that I was going to need assistance hanging drywall on the ceiling. I called a close friend and made arrangements for him to come assist me the next day in the installation of the ceiling drywall, then returned to the task at hand. The installation of the new electrical, windows and doors took up the remainder of the third day. Sadly, by this time, I was majorly behind the planned schedule.

The last day of the planned timeline of the project, finds my friend and I hanging drywall on the ceiling. This takes to majority of the morning to complete. He offered to assist me with installing new insulation, where we find a section of rotted sill and studs that had to be replaced. This delayed the project even more. The end of this four-day weekend finds me with a room stripped down to the bare studs, the new wiring, lighting, doors and windows installed, and only half of the insulation replaced. There is still drywall to install, stairs to build and painting to be completed and my work schedule showing little room for spare time to complete this project in a timely manner.

It took just over four weeks to complete the remodeling of our family room. A project, I had attempted to complete over a four-day weekend. And, as anyone will tell you, when attempting to complete major items on your wife’s “honey do” list…It will take two to three times longer than planned, cost twice as much as budgeted, and in the end you will receive only one-quarter to one-half of the appreciation expected from a job “well-done”.

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