With the arrival of spring and warm sunny days comes the time when we all move our attention (and free time) outdoors. Hiking, exploring, and mountain biking for some, and yard clean up, garden maintenance, and home projects for others. I think most of us find ourselves somewhere in between the two. At Webfoot this means the phones are ringing and our estimators are very busy meeting the new wave of Webfoot customers. Here's a couple helpful tips I employ to ensure my exterior projects stay on schedule and get checked off by the end of the summer season.
1.) Start early with planning. Set goals for what you want to get accomplished and then put plans in place to ensure there success. You've heard of mapping objectives A to B, well we prefer B to A. Start with the end in mind and work backwards to understand key steps and critical timelines. When complete, this should give you a total project timeline which you can now place on calendar with the key objectives/dates you identified. If your project involves hiring contractors, do not wait until you're ready to start the project to start reaching out to contractors. In general tradesmen are very busy as a result of an improving economy and a short supply of quality companies. The longer you wait and the greater the need to start right now, the more you will pay.
2.) Work the plan. There's a known scuba diving saying, "Plan your dive, dive your plan." Same is true for, well, everything! Once you've put the time into planning, stick to the plan and avoid reactionary, free-styling that wastes time and energy. Don't get distracted by side projects that will present themselves along the way (my personal Kryptonite). Focus on the task at hand and completing that task. You'll feel a great sense of accomplishment when you do, rather than failure when you open up 3 other projects that weren't on your list. If working with a contractor, this means doing your part the make the project successful. For example with painting, make sure you have your colors tested and approved well before the contractor arrives. Also make sure you've addressed concerns and potential problems you see before you have a team of people there at your doorstep.
3.) Be flexible. We always say, "Part of the plan is that the plan is going to change." It doesn't mean that your planning failed or was a waste of time. Often times until you perform the steps of planning, you can't know all the potential pitfalls. The point is, no amount of planning can cover all the unknowns. You'll need to consider possible contingencies and alternatives, and be willing to accept when things don't go according to plan- it's part of the plan!
Hopefully these few tips can help you crush your seasonal projects so when summer is in full swing, you can sit back and enjoy :) Cheers!