It’s raining outside.
Let’s face it, you don’t want to do any outdoor housework today. If you already had plans to do some work, you are now having second thoughts. And trust me, you are not alone. There are reasons why people tend to postpone outdoor DIY activities during unfavourable weather.
Aside from the apparent health risks such as catching a cold or slipping and injuring yourself, there are jobs that just simply cannot be finished in the rain/snow; who is going to try to paint a fence in the rain?
So what can we do during rainy days aside from cursing or praying for the rain to stop before the sun goes down?
I say this is the perfect time to plan your work.
Sounds simple and trivial? Well you’ll be surprised as to how many people do not plan their DIY projects ahead.
I’m not talking about the overall scope of a project, such as “let’s fix up the fence on the weekend!” or “let’s build a new dog house for Sparky”. Everyone can plan these broad activities in advance. However, I am talking about planning ahead for these activities in detail.
What tools do you need to finish these jobs? Have you thought about whether there might be underground utilities where you plan to erect a fence? Do you have a blue print for the dog house you plan to build? Have you considered safety gears?
These are important questions that seems so obvious that we tend to neglect them and just dive right into the projects. The last thing anyone wants when they start working is to realize they don’t have a measuring tape or a pen or a hammer. Now time is wasted while scavenging for a measuring tape. This happens in construction more often than you think. How many times have you drove by any construction site and you see 7 people standing around talking and not doing anything? It’s true that they may be on their break, but more often than not, a lack of foresight leads to stand-by time (trust me, I’m in the construction industry).
So how should go ahead and plan? Through my experiences, I find the best way to plan ahead is to walk through a project in your mind break it down step by step. Stop and think about what might happen in every step and jot down what you may need to complete that step. For example, if I am erecting a fence, I would break down the project into 4 steps:
2. Digging post holes
3. Erecting posts and panels
4. Painting and finish work
Now I would plan each of these steps in detail. I would think about the problems I would encounter and what I need to finish these steps before moving on to the next. Doing all this may sound tedious, but a project that finishes smoothly and without a problem will save you both money and time.