Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Remember the Seven P's


First off, when it comes to renovating an old home (or an extremely run-down property) you can plan to be surprised.  That’s part of the adventure.  If you anticipate everything flowing in a predictable way, the unexpecteds will create more uneasiness than necessary.  You need a plan, and be ready to work it, but I’ll encourage you to remember that there will be hiccups.

It happens a few times a month; I hit the jobsite, ready to start the day, without a solid plan.  I'll kick things off  by making coffee before really deciding exactly what I'd do that day.  It's kind of fun to wing it once in a while.

However, planning things out is what I prefer and defiantly the most productive way to go.  Prior proper planning prevents painfully poor performance.  It's the best, safest, and most efficient way to push through a rehab.  I have a schedule in the form of a step-by-step plan of attack and how I exactly take on my project each day is oftentimes dictated by priorities of security, safety, basic construction sequencing, and weather.  On a daily basis, I like making a short list of ten things that I want to get done during a typical work day.  When I'm really on the ball I'll write down that list on an index card the day before.  And making the most of my day includes having material loaded on my truck with tools & equipment ready to go too.   

If you've ever seen any episodes of Renovation Realities on the DIY network, you may have an idea about what I'm getting at.  On this show, the renovators oftentimes wake up, make breakfast or coffee, and then they're ready to start.  However, how often do they get side tracked right at the beginning with other stuff before they really get down to business?    Answer: All the time.  One of them has to run the kids over to grandmas or they have to hit the box store to buy the material.  Maybe they need to go borrow a step ladder or empty the kitchen cabinets and move the appliances.  Like I said before, sometimes it's fun to show up and see what happens, but when you have a limited amount of time to work with, you need to consider the value of being a little more proactive.  If you're re-doing your kitchen, clean out those cabinets ahead of time.  Move the fridge to somewhere else the night before.  Figure out what you need and stock the garage or another room indoors.  And make time to do some research and take a few notes before it's time to start.  The internet is an awesome tool for today's DIY rehabbers.   

If you're a do-it-yourselfer and you want to make the most of your limited hours, then plan ahead.  Get the easy things out the way before the days when you need to really get down and dirty with your work.  Most of you DIYers have a couple days of the week that are your prime times to work.  It could be a weekend or another two or three day break from your paying gig.  You're really going to want to make the most of this time.  Get your game plan in mind and make your list before it’s go-time.  Make an effort to have what you'll need before you need it.  Think about getting in and out of building supply store(s) any time prior to the morning for your on-site action.  Then you can haul the material inside and get some rest before you attack things fresh in the morning.  Not only will this be more productive, it will make your rehabbing more enjoyable.
So remember the 7 P's, plan your work, and work your plan.  This won't eliminate all the unexpected challenges, but it will help to minimize them and it'll put you in a better frame of mind for the bumps in the renovation road.