Home improvement projects.
I've come to realize a few universal constants when tackling any kind of project at home:
- The amount of time estimated to complete the project only cover 25% of the project. The remaining 75% will eat into the rest of your day and will remind you of all the bad words you learned on the school playground. (Note: This ratio is even more pronounced if the project involves something that can't be spread out over multiple days, like fixing a toilet.)
- You may only think you need a few tools ... you may even have directions that list the required tools for the job, but these will never be enough. Without fail, you will make at least 20 more trips to the garage to get additional tools you thought were unnecessary. (Note: Beware of bringing the entire toolbox to prevent this. It will just mean that the project will suddenly require a garden hose or the spare tire out of your trunk.)
- Trying to DIY (do it yourself for those not "in the know") will reveal all kinds of quirky stuff about your house or your possessions. If you had someone else deal with it, you would still be blissfully ignorant. (Note: Refer to Tom Hanks in "The Money Pit.")