Do ever start a project and then just plum run out of steam before you ever finish?
That’s what happened in last fall’s porch makeover. Before its slow transformation, it started off like this:
Then, after essential structural repairs and a few coats of paint, it looked like this:
Aaaand that’s pretty how much things stayed until this summer. But thanks to a dip in the temperature and new fall makeover challenge hosted by Thrift Diving, I finally felt inspired to finish this project!
Overwhelmed by your project list and not sure where to start? Here’s what I did to get going again.
Five Ways To Finish That Project
1. Choose the Simpler Option
This used to be our old porch light:
At the beginning of this makeover, I wanted to figure out a way to rewire this pendant lighting for porch use:
10 months later, I still hadn’t figured out a way. In the end, I decided to save myself the headache and go with a porch light of similar wiring and structure. Besides, knowing me, I’d probably smack my head on a pendant light anyway. In the end, I fell for this simple but sleek fixture from Lowe’s:
2. Start with the easiest tasks
Trimming the doors. I dreaded it.
Last October, I purchased two trim kits from Lowe’s thinking, “Cool, this kit will cover all my bases!”
But I quickly lost motivation when I realized that I also needed to remove the existing mouldings and somehow figure out how to repair the gaps in the frames left behind by the old screen doors.
Unsure of where to start, I asked our handyman for an estimate while he was here working on our laundry room makeover. Being the good and honest man that he is, he instead gave me the advice I needed to do the work myself.
Still a little overwhelmed, I started with the simplest task first which was prying the metal facing off of the woodwork and removing the old doorbell:
Next, I painted the trim and nailed it up. And because the old doorbell fell apart in my hands, I installed a new one.
FINALLY, saving the trickiest part for last, I went to work figuring out those gaps. It took a lot of careful measuring and even more improvisation, but in the end I was able to create the flush look I wanted. A fresh coat of paint covered up any remaining flaws.
3. Save Money with Online Tutorials
The only house number we have displayed are the teeny, tiny faded ones on our crooked mailbox. I had several clever options to choose from, but in the end, I decided to save money by painting our numbers directly on the front door.
In need of door numbers and have a steady hand?
I found this tutorial from Jones Design Company to be super helpful, especially since it came with a printable. The secret to success is in the chalk tracing:
Large address numbers at the hardware store can be upwards of $5 each. All these cost me was an hour’s time. 🙂
4. Poll for Advice
This blank space beside my doors has left me stumped.
Lately, whenever I get stumped, I take a picture of my quandary and poll my Facebook friends for ideas. The following options were suggested:
- Hang an old window
- Prop up an old door
- Hang a large wreath
- Prop up an old ladder and decorate seasonally
- Place a large pedestal and top with a plant
Lots of good options. I’ve decided I’ll either hang or prop something here. Perhaps a ladder. Or maybe a window. Decisions!
5. If All Else Fails, Hire Out
At the Smith house, simple projects are NEVER simple. In theory, we could have hung this swing ourselves…until we discovered that our unconventional ceiling beam configuration was beyond our skills. It was this swing that halted the porch makeover in the first place because I still wanted to save money and figure out the work myself.
However, after 10 months of watching this swing gather dust on the floor, I finally agreed to bring our handyman in to do the job. And we are all the safer for it.
Even though our porch makeover is not fully complete, this space is MUCH more inviting than it used to be. Mr. Smith and I love our evenings spent sitting on the porch swing, and every time I drive away I just have to look out the window and smile at our happy home as I pass.