• Claire Marie

Scope Creep, Overwhelm and Time Suck

Before you start reading this article, you might want to read or re-read this article. I did and there's a lot in it that I was going to mention here - now I won't have to.


When we bought our house nearly 21 years ago, I never dreamed we would still be working on it and making changes to it this many years later, yet here we are. Then COVID came along. Like so many others, we realized we needed to do some maintenance and repair type things to the house, along with just making it more enjoyable to be at home. We took advantage of the opportunity to get our finances into a position where we could put a new roof on the house and replace some windows. It also gave us some other ideas of changes we could finally make to the house that we had wanted to do many years before.


Taking our own advice, we created a budget with lots of contingency. Then we broke our budget down into three phases, prioritizing things that were most important.


Phase I is done and we came in under budget, but not by much. That right there was an amazing discovery and a minor miracle.


On the other hand, one piece of Phase II was estimated about $10k short and has incurred a LOT of scope creep. The scope creep is not entirely unwarranted but has put Phase III is on indefinite hold. Thankfully, we both still have jobs, and we are able to pay for some things as we go along with a lot of DIY stuff (most of which is actually Jeffrey Walter doing it).


So, let's talk about that scope creep. There are two types. The first is caused by unforeseen issues and the second is caused by plan changes. For example, the HVAC folks didn't do things the way you thought they would, so you have to do your insulation completely different than first planned, which ended up costing more - that's the first type. The second type can be described this way - "Oh, I have an idea. Why don't we move the laundry room to the new utility room, turn the old laundry room into a pantry and build a whole new kitchen in the addition?" That was SO not in the original budget.


All that brings on a whole other set of issues and overwhelm. I never knew there were so many different brands of kitchen cabinets, not to mention styles and finishes. Then there are the appliances and countertops and backsplashes and sinks and faucets and flooring and OMG, how many different design layouts can one person create? I mean, really! I think I have redesigned our kitchen at least 48 times - that's how many CAD files have "kitchen" in the name - so far. (Talk about time suck.)


Then there's the overwhelm caused by trying to figure out what has to be done first. You know the wiring and plumbing have to be done before the sheetrock goes up, so you start there. But wait, you have to figure out where all the appliances will go so you know where the wiring and plumbing go. But wait, you have to figure which appliances you want which also affects the wiring and plumbing. But wait, most of the appliance manufacturers don't make that specific appliance you thought you wanted, so what will you choose instead? But wait, you can't put the stove there, because it really should be on an outside wall. But wait, the refrigerators would look really cool where you thought you were going to put the stove. But wait, the refrigerators can't go there because you're moving the dryer vent. But wait, the sink just doesn't look right there. But wait...


You get the idea. It is overwhelming to try to figure all this stuff out, so what do you do now? Why of course, you get on YouTube and start watching videos on kitchen design. And there goes more time suck. There's a lot of time suck involved in remodeling - I never realized I could spend 2 hours looking at kitchen cabinet displays not to mention the hours of research involved in picking appliances, but it's easier than you think.


So, one day (and hopefully sooner rather than later), I'll be able to share more about the remodel. For now, enjoy the photos below of phase I and the beginnings of phase II.


Have you had experience with scope creep, time suck and/or overwhelm? Have you ever remodeled all or part of your home? How did your budget fare?


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