The Blog by Ellen Wags

a lifestyle blog for real mamas. featuring family-friendly home decor, casual mama style, and stuff to keep your kids entertained. 

One Room Challenge – Week FIVE

Let’s talk project delays.

We skipped a blogging week. We are behind schedule. That’s really the just of this blog, but let’s get into it.

hello from the disaster zone.

The Inevitable Aspect of DIY

Listen to me. If you are about to embark on your first DIY project, there is something you need to know.

Are you ready?

You’re going to get off schedule.


Okay, really, don’t panic.

Every single project we have done in our home has taken longer than we expected. Matt and I are working parents of two little ones with extracurricular activities. The DIY work is squeezed into the cracks of our day-to-day lives. If you have little ones, you know those cracks are small.

An unexpected issue we have run into with this project is weather delays. I promise you, it did not rain for an entire MONTH (maybe more?) here in Alabama. Then, the week the framing was complete and it is time to paint, RAIN. RAIN ALL DAY. You can’t paint wet wood. So. That’s been fun.

How to Handle Project Delays

First, take a deep breath. Is your space still liveable? Are you able to meet your family’s basic needs with the space as is?

If the answer is yes – you know what? It is not a big deal that you’re ‘behind’. Ultimately, a deadline is just an arbitrary date that it would be nice to have your project done by.

What if you have an event planned for the completion of the project?

Consider hiring out tasks to help get it done, or pull back the scope of the project to make sure your space is usable for the event. Make a list of the most important aspects and tackle those first. You can do this!

Current Project Status

We hustled our booties off and got the covered area painted this week.

I’m talking painting after putting the girls to bed, before my client photography sessions, taking shifts while entertaining kids, literally any spare moment we could find.

paint before you put everything into place. painting individual cut pickets is a pain-in-the-you-know-what.

love, the wagners that want you to learn from our mistakes

The framing for the porch is painted, and (as I type) Matt is installing the channeling for the screen. You can see a bit of it in the first two photos above.

It’s the home stretch for the hard part y’all. HALLELUJAH.

Decor is going to be crunched, but I will pull it together before reveal week. You can see a bit of the tape that I used to help visualize the sizing of our (yet to arrive) outdoor rug.

Remaining To-Do List

  • Paint framing on uncovered portion of porch, the stairs, and the doors (in progress)
  • Install screen into painted frame (in progress)
  • Install screen door and get hardware
  • Replace outdoor fans and lighting
  • Furniture and rug
  • Make screened in area cozy
  • Landscape surrounding area (possibly delayed until spring)
  • Update the uncovered portion to a grill zone (possibly delayed until spring)
I figured I would give y’all a good look at the mess. It ain’t pretty y’all.

Y’all wish us luck! Have you ever dealt with delays on DIY projects? Were you able to finish by your deadline?

Fall 2022 One Room Challenge Hub

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6 / Week 7 / Week 8

My husband and I are updating our back porch to a cozy, family-friendly screened-in area! We are updating the porch layout, repainting the new framing, installing the screened-in elements and a screened door, replacing fixtures, and updating the decor to better flow with the interior of our home.

You can learn all about the bi-annual One Room Challenge here, and see all guest participants projects here! Happy DIY-ing!

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