Thursday, November 17, 2011

Scope Creep

We've all taken on projects that end up being a lot bigger than originally anticipated. At work we call this phenomenon "scope creep". At home it's called "Oh for the love of God, what now?"

For being the one who's been complaining, cajoling and -- dare I say -- nagging about the carpeting for years, it's ironic that the JB suddenly got cold feet now that the engineered compressed resin and fiber board planks started meeting the subfloor.

Sure, he thinks the master closet looks great. But now that I'm crossing the threshold and expanding into the bedroom, he's having second thoughts. Last night he suggested waiting until after the holidays.

There are a couple fundamental issues at play here.

One is that we're having difficulty agreeing upon the orientation of the faux wood planks. Should they go North/South or East/West? For JB this is nothing more than a simple aesthetic decision. I'm having trouble explaining to him that this decision impacts where in the room we start laying planks, how much cutting and waste there will be and whether we can make the layout flow from one area to another without seams.

Another issue is that this project is forcing us to make decisions we aren't (more specifically, he isn't) prepared to make. For example, there's a vanity in our master bedroom which we rarely use. Since we only have the one bathroom we don't want to get rid of it completely. You know, in case of a Bridesmaids style Brazilian food emergency. But it's much larger than it needs to be and it's made of that cheap, tacky cabinetry that construction contractors use to cut costs.

We've often discussed removing it and now we have to make a decision: do we wrap the new flooring around it, or do we yank it out now? Sure, we can agree to disagree, but that won't get the job done.

Then there's the havoc such a project wreaks in the rest of the house when an entire room needs to be emptied to pull up the carpeting and install the flooring. This is also exposing a secondary problem which has always been present in our relationship since the first day we moved in together twelve years ago.

Stuff. Together we have too much stuff. Normally it's packed into nooks and crannies or stacked precariously in the back of closets waiting to avalanche down and smother the poor soul who's only mistake was hesitating longer than the maximum two seconds required to safely open and close the closet door.

Normally all of our stuff is not in our face and can be blissfully ignored. Domestic harmony reigns. But now it's scattered around the general living quarters like an episode of Hoarders.

As every conceivable surface is now covered with stuff, we're having to use our stuff as the surface for other stuff. Last night we ate spaghetti on a stack of board games we never play, many still in the shrink-wrap. That's how I know we have two different versions of Cranium. (Regular and "Primo Edition".)

I'm hoping this project will prompt us to shed some of this stuff before JB has a nervous breakdown in the process.


  1. My in-laws have this great thing where they thrown ONE thing away per day. It's brilliant as they try to downsize. It doesn't feel like work, no one is doing copious amounts of cajoling to get x, y and z done and think about it - in a year you toss almost 400 items.

    I can't help you w the flooring decision. Sorry. :)

  2. Well, if you're gonna do it, you need to just bite the bullet and do it. Which sucks, and which is exactly why I have yet to tile my kitchen back splash.

    Oh, and I think you are supposed to lay the wood floor parallel with the longest dimension of the room.