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Recovering From a Failed Home Project
By Robert Kempe
Everyone has a home project haunting them from their past. The objective
was to upgrade their existing home, but it just didnt turn out the
way they originally envisioned. When this happens, what do you do now? I
always smile and say Punt! In the real world we cant punt,
but we do have choices. One solution is to make it a work of modern art or
the more common decision is to fix the problem and finish as planned.
Lets assume you have all the correct tools and are skilled on how to
use them. If you are having problems using your tools, you might want to
find a contractor to fix your project. So what was the original problem that
caused your project to fail? I can answer that in a few short words for a
large majority of failed projects, lack of correct pre-planning. The really
comical thought is that to discover the problem on your failed project is
the same process as doing a proper pre-plan.
The purpose of this article is to explain a concept so we will use an extremely
simple problem, however the process will work on all types and sizes of projects.
You just installed a new sink in your master bathroom. The color and texture
and size are all correct but for some reason it just doesnt line up
with the existing countertop and wobbles from end to end. Along the way you
must have forgotten a step or took a shortcut to have caused this. The way
to fix this problem is obviously to pull the sink out and figure out how
to install it correctly. Before you do this, do a work breakdown structure
(WBS). This is a common pre-plan task all good managers working on high dollar
projects use. This is a practice that also applies to home projects and is
a useful way to find your fix. A WBS is exactly as it states, your work broken
down and itemized creating a structure and path to follow.
Start at the top of your paper pad and state your objective. In our example
we will use Install a new sink. Then we divide that objective
into deliverables. In the sink example I write; purchase the sink, remove
the old sink, prepare countertop, and prepare plumbing. Next we have to further
divide these again into assignments. Assignments are action items or tasks.
The following is how I would write this using our example of the new sink.
Install The New Sink
Lay the sink in the cutout
Anchor the sink
Hook up plumbing
Purchase the sink
Gather existing sink dimensions
Window shop stores for new sinks
Decide on new sink that fits dimensions
Shop for best price
Remove Old Sink
Turn off the water source
Unhook all plumbing
Release sink anchors attached to countertop
Make sure the countertop will support the new sink
If necessary install additional support
Make sure cutout will accept new sink
Adjust cutout if necessary
Make a clean surface on which to rest the new sink on
Measure the sink drain and faucet connections
Record existing plumbing dimensions
Prepare plumbing to accept new sink connections
Proper length of pipe
Have Teflon tape available for plumbing re-install
Now we have our tasks. Reading through our example, I see that I did not
measure the proper length of the plumbing drain pipe causing the sink to
wobble and not fit securely. This is a very simple example but it illustrates
the concept that a proper pre-plan and diagnosis will allow you to accomplish
a correct fix instead of a fix that just hides the actual problem. Applying
this concept to your more difficult projects around the house will help identify
the possible problems and solutions before you even start.
If you find this information useful you should visit the site
m where you will find lots of interesting articles related to this topic
provided by Robert Kempe.
Robert Kempe has 15+ years in industrial construction and industrial engineered
manufacturing as a project manager and a part time home inspector. Through
his experience he has been able to simplify and make sense of home building
and designing in what looks to be a complete chaotic project and decision
making process. His articles will guide you through the most difficult decisions
and make it a positive uplifting experience.