September 19, 2010

How Much Can You Get Built in One Day?

Before you start a project, you inevitably want to know when you'll get done. It's often impossible to accurately project how much you'll get done each day, hence the constantly moving target. Finding an accurate way to forecast is the trick.

One morning last week, I passed a construction crew working on a roadside gazebo. The gazebo was completely framed and and they were getting ready to start siding and roofing. A rainstorm was projected for late that afternoon.

As I returned early that evening, it was clear that the builders had run out of time before the weather moved in ... the sides of the gazebo were sheathed and covered in Tyvek, but the roof had bare plywood exposed to the elements.

Leaving the roof uncovered was a tactical mistake, with the bare plywood soaking up water throughout the night. This set construction back. Half an hour spent covering the roof with a tarp - before the rain started - would have saved the time it took for the plywood to dry out.

Having the materials and tools on hand before you start working on a project will save untold hours in the long run, whether you're building a shed or working on your car.

(If you know that rain is due on the day of your shed-raising, make sure that you have a tarp on hand.)

Today was another day in point ...

All we had to do was remove four bolts to get on with our automotive project for the afternoon. Four simple bolts ... how long could that take?

The bolts were frozen, of course. A good soaking with WD-40 helped to free the first bolt. The second and third bolt snapped. The fourth bolt didn't want to give one way or the other.

Seeing that we'd already snapped two of the four bolts and the head of the fourth bolt was rapidly stripping, we set out in search of a locking pliers. The pliers could not be found, so a small saw was put to use. The saw made little progress, so we spent half an hour looking for Dremel parts. Two snapped cutter wheels later, the fourth bolt finally gave way.

Looking back at the project, we never expected to spend hours removing the bolts. If you had asked me how long it might take beforehand, I might have estimated fifteen minutes, max.

A neat and tidy, well-organized and well-stocked toolbox would have cut down the overall time by a drastic amount. Yet it always seems like the tool needed at any given moment had gone AWOL.

Yes kids, it is important to put the tools back into the toolbox ...

Posted by geekbooks at September 19, 2010 04:56 PM

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