Pep talk needed

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DaisyDaisy
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon 4th Jan, 2021 2:40 pm
Location: Powys

Pep talk needed

Post by DaisyDaisy » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 1:04 pm

Unashamedly requesting encouragement.... almost exactly one year in to our project, I’m flagging.

Working full time on the renovation (took early retirement to do so), getting in a builder for the structural things (putting in the steels), specialists where needed (new stone mullions), learning what I think I can feasibly take on (pointing course was worth its weight in gold).... and so it goes on. Living in the renovation, pretty much all our household stuff is in storage so we are living with the minimum. I miss my books, I miss all these things that I thought made me me. I’m becoming ragged around the edges and have aged hugely this year. Find it pretty much impossible to take a day off, all I can see is jobs to do. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it, I’m just flagging, slowing down and feeling a bit lost.

The project is moving on, I can see that, but listing the jobs still to do is overwhelming. I know it’ll look lovely when it’s done, I’m just losing sight of that on a day to day basis.

I read so many threads on here, you all seem to have ‘been there, done that’. It’s hugely helpful- thank you. Please send wise words my way... how did you get through? Through not to ‘finished’, just to ‘finished enough’ to have a life as well as a renovation..... by the way, if anyone mentions they are still at it after 10/15... years, please just don’t!

Feltwell
Posts: 5838
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Feltwell » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 2:52 pm

I doubt you will find a single person on here who has not found themself flagging at some point - I certainly have, more than once.

Living in a building site *is* tough. Every job seems to affect multiple rooms, which makes it harder to have a space to live in. Easier said than done I know, but taking some time out can make you more productive as you're more focussed when you are there.

Do you have to live in the house? It makes it much harder. Is a rental for a few months a possibility, whilst you get some "whole house fundamentals" in (not sure what stage you're at - I'm thinking roofing, wiring, heating, hot water) and then try to focus on getting 1 or 2 rooms finished before you move back in? Or is a caravan in the garden an option? That can be almost cost neutral if you buy used & look after it, selling it on at the end.

Lastly, with lockdown easing, is a short break away a possibility? I've just come back from just 2 nights away with Mrs F without the kids - 1st time in 17 years! - and honestly it's made the world of difference.

malcolm
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by malcolm » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 3:34 pm

I find taking a break very helpful. I'm on a break at the moment as I was getting tired and everything was hard work. It wasn't until I tried to do something else instead that I realised how tired I was.

My place was in better condition than my previous rental before I even started. I've been doing it in sections so enough of the house is liveable at any one time.

Drayton
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon 9th Apr, 2012 11:11 pm

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Drayton » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 4:19 pm

What would you advise someone else if they said they'd been working solidly, physically and mentally - all that problem solving - for a year and were feeling tired and dispirited?

I suspect you'd suggest they take a break.

If you were going to work a year solid, this last one was probably the one for it. But now things are easier I'd suggest you take two weeks (at least) off completely. You'll need one just to start to unwind, the second one's to enjoy. Then when you get back to the house (not during the break) re-evaluate to see how to create some 'you' space, both actual home-type space and also time for doing stuff that isn't house related. A variety of suggestions are already in on the former.

It'll tend to feel like 'lost' time, but you might as well enjoy life as you live it, and you'll likely make up for it by being less tired and more enthusiastic.

I had builders for the main work and I'm now doing the supposedly more minor mends, decorating etc. But I can only work at a fraction of the speed I could 30 years ago or so (and then there's my back...) which can be frustrating. So's not to lose heart, or panic too much when I wake in the middle of the night, I am trying to concentrate on the positives of the things done, rather than what's still to do. I did find I was going into the New Year thinking 'but I've only properly finished (well, sort of...) one room - help!'. So heading for midnight I grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote down what I had actually done since I moved back in. The list was well down a second column on the A4 sheet, and I still missed things. Credit yourself your achievements.

a twig
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by a twig » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 5:06 pm

Completely agree - take a break.

Only other thing that worked for me was to really focus on getting critical living areas finished. Getting a bedroom and a bathroom fully done, so at the end of the day I could leave all my work clothes in a pile in the hall, get clean in a beautiful bathroom l, then clean PJs on and going to sleep in a finished bedroom with clean bedding does wonders for your mental state.

Every morning you wake up to “finished success”.

I then did kitchen so I could get back to enjoying meal prep, then dining room so we had somewhere decent to eat and occasionally entertain.

I changed to that method as the first two rooms I finished were spare rooms - completing them made no positive impact on my day to day whatsoever - hence change of approach

Drayton
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon 9th Apr, 2012 11:11 pm

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Drayton » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 6:42 pm

And it sounds as though you might have been forgetting the crucial PP kitkat pauses for reflection...?

DaisyDaisy
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon 4th Jan, 2021 2:40 pm
Location: Powys

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by DaisyDaisy » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 7:58 pm

Well thank you, lovely people. You are, of course, all completely right. You’ve picked up on that fear of time off as ‘lost’..... but clearly that’s the thing to do. I shall feel righteous basking in the ‘permission’ of PP forum members. Thank you.

We have plentiful hot water thanks to a sizeable new boiler and system - hot shower, restorative. We’ve weathered the worst of the building site stage (ish) and as we now have steels and beams to make our bedroom we will concentrate on that to a real and complete finish - good idea, sounds simple but so grateful to get the tip.... can’t see the wood for the trees, here. It’s like camping... except with bills :D

November saw our replacement stone mullions go in... so we’ve had the delight of temporary Perspex windows all through the winter (actually so much better than what was there before, it was fairly ok) in two weeks time our long awaited beautiful new narrow profile metal framed windows go in (it’s an old school and these reflect the original - except they won’t leak heat out or water in!), we’ve got to finish stripping back the last couple of stone window surrounds before then (externally still mercifully untouched, but internally... many, many layers of paint - and on one a carefully applied double layer of wood chip - no, I don’t know, either ). After this push it’ll be time for a break.

I’ll send you a postcard.

malcolm
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by malcolm » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 8:21 pm

Sounds like you are doing a nice job. One other thing I've found useful is to keep a blog on the internet. It's only to share progress with family and friends, but I've found it very useful myself. When I think I've not been achieving anything I can have a look and remind myself of all the things I did and then forgot. Posts on a forum would work and it would be interesting to see what you are up to.

Gothichome
Posts: 221
Joined: Sun 13th Jan, 2019 12:35 am

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Gothichome » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 9:06 pm

My suggestion to you:

Throw the list away
Every once and a while sit back with a bottle of wine in a comfy chair and smile at your accomplishments and progress
Have friends over for a meal and brag about the work you have done. Just try to keep the plaster dust off the plates.
Lastly, don’t fuss the details till you have to

It sounds like your at the point were all four suggestions may apply. And remember I’d took decades for your home to get into the state it is in, it may take a lot of time to bring it back to your vision.

MatthewC
Posts: 1643
Joined: Wed 18th Aug, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Central/South England
Contact:

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by MatthewC » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 9:15 pm

malcolm wrote:
Sun 6th Jun, 2021 8:21 pm
Sounds like you are doing a nice job. One other thing I've found useful is to keep a blog on the internet. It's only to share progress with family and friends, but I've found it very useful myself. When I think I've not been achieving anything I can have a look and remind myself of all the things I did and then forgot. Posts on a forum would work and it would be interesting to see what you are up to.
I did a blog on the internet - it's still there and it has been helpful to me as a good record when question what I actually did etc (See http://houseintheenchantedforest.blogspot.com/)

As regards doing things when you flag, I found that a decent list of the next few things to be done was helpful. It stops you allowing weeks to slide past when you manage just one thing but could have done three or four.

Having said that, I have to confess that there is no way I could now do what I did ten years ago on this house. After just an hour's work I feel tired and think "time for a cup of tea"...

Flyfisher
Posts: 9925
Joined: Sat 14th Oct, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Flyfisher » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 9:36 pm

DaisyDaisy wrote:
Sun 6th Jun, 2021 1:04 pm
..... by the way, if anyone mentions they are still at it after 10/15... years, please just don’t!
Ah, er, hmm, ok,

In that case I'll just say I'm now working on our last room (well, apart from a small bathroom) but don't look at the year I joined this wonderful forum :roll: :lol:

Feltwell
Posts: 5838
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Feltwell » Sun 6th Jun, 2021 10:45 pm

DaisyDaisy wrote:
Sun 6th Jun, 2021 7:58 pm
in two weeks time our long awaited beautiful new narrow profile metal framed windows go in
Do let me know what you've gone for and how pleased you are with the end result. I'm contemplating metal framed for some french windows - currently trying to decide between aluminium (look pretty good but not totally convincing up close, however quite a bit cheaper than steel and they have a thermal break) or steel (the real deal, but expensive, no thermal break, hence I question if condensation will be an issue).

When I say steel I don't mean genuine Crittall, they're hugely expensive and from what I can see much the same as other cheaper brands of steel windows & doors.

RBailey
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu 1st Aug, 2019 7:25 am
Location: Rutland

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by RBailey » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 8:41 am

Keep it up, you will get there.


I find switching gears can be a good change.
I was getting burn out doing interiors (Plaster / wiring / floors / decorating) so after finishing the most recent room I have started working on the drive (ground work / brick laying / concrete).
A change is as good (nearly) as a rest, it has revitalized me mentally, although my back doesn't quite agree :lol:

DaisyDaisy wrote:
Sun 6th Jun, 2021 1:04 pm
The project is moving on, I can see that, but listing the jobs still to do is overwhelming. I know it’ll look lovely when it’s done, I’m just losing sight of that on a day to day basis.
I understand a list can be overwhelming, and lists in general can be a bit like marmite.
I'm a lover of lists, the joy of crossing out tasks shows that progress is actually being made. (I may have even been known to add jobs on just to cross them off.)
I use lists with lots of sub tasks (and the odd Ghantt chart) to help me, I find it helps a lot with the planning and the sub tasks means a lot of crossing jobs off the list.
The bank holiday we went to the brother in law and spent it building a shed. He had "designed and planned it" but not a single list or sketch. Daily trips to the builders merchant shows how Pxxx Poor Planning Prevents Proper Performance.

Keep it up.

Cheers,
Richard B.

DaisyDaisy
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon 4th Jan, 2021 2:40 pm
Location: Powys

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by DaisyDaisy » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 8:54 am

Will do - I’ll try to get my head round adding photos to a post so you can see - mind you, we are almost ‘neighbours’, so you could come and have a look. While we are Powys, we’re only a few miles from the Shropshire border.

We’ve opted for the aluminium thermally broken powder coated - really narrow frame which was the clincher.

Feeling up and raring to go after yesterday’s low.... thanks to all.

Daisy

paulc
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat 22nd Oct, 2016 7:05 pm

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by paulc » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 10:06 am

RBailey wrote:
Mon 7th Jun, 2021 8:41 am
I have started working on the drive (ground work / brick laying / concrete).
Been waiting for Jewsons to pull their collective fingers out and deliver the materials for my driveway. It was supposed to be a Wednesday delivery, but they didn't bother to tell me that it had been rescheduled for Monday <grrr>.. So spent the weekend boarding out the loft instead. At least I can get to the water tank and fix a foghorn of a ballcock when I get the inclination to "do" plumbing.
Now on year six of the refurbishment/renovation of this property. The list of jobs that need doing seems to keep on increasing every time I start one.
Doing the driveway has necessitated installing a soakaway for a flat roof, and a second one will be required for the drive itself. Exposed some heavily spalled bricks during the digging out exercise that will require replacement, and then there is some repointing that will need doing in that area...

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