Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Is this the best you can do?

           There is an old adage that says "Do the best you can with what you have". This becomes an amusing enigma when the best you can is faced with the worst you've ever seen. Fear not, simplify. Let's take the example of a patch of rotten wood on the house. We aren't talking rocket surgery here anyone can fix it I am proof of that. Sure, it make take you longer than someone you pay to do it but if you have the time and basic tools to invest it makes sense to try. First check out the scope of the job and balance that with the time available to you to dedicate to its completion. Things to consider are will you be doing this in spare time or do you have full time to dedicate to it. Full time is considered a job and is not considered breaks for TV, BBQ, playing with the dog, being a proper dad, handling honey do's or anything else. Also consider any assistance required. If your help is there to drink the beer you bought for helping or talk fishing or girls or whatever then this is not help and is an option best discarded. If your help is a guy you know who also knows how to do the work you have in front of you then you are ahead of the game and have become his/her help. Reward them appropriately by providing everything needed and pitching in where you can. If your help is just an equally unskilled but willing aide reconsider your relationship. Are they willing to follow your direction or are they headstrong and apt to try to take control? 3 guys can do the same job 3 different ways and the job can be done well. 2 guys trying to do the same job at the same time 2 different ways will be lucky to get it done at all.
            Rotten wood repair is pretty much a matter of reverse assembly followed by reassembly. But this must be with an eye toward correcting the circumstances which caused it in the first place. For instance if it is rotten siding in a place where wooden siding is always going to rot then perhaps wood siding is a bad choice for this spot and another material should be selected but that is another subject for another day. Maybe rain runoff had splashed back and ruined the bottom. If that is the case then gutters just became a part of the project. At this point you can choose to split it up into seperate projects but you can't choose to put them too far apart on your schedule. The main thing to think about going in is that you really have two problems. You have the problem and you have the problem which caused the problem and fixing the problem means fixing both problems. Got it? Good. If not you will always have the problem and putting up new wood just to watch it rot means you never really fixed anything you simply slowed down the cycle of decay.
         Granted, not every situation is caused by a problem in your control since some things have to be considered plain old fashioned maintenance. There are environmental issues that take their toll. Some places are hot, humid, muggy, and buggy. You can employ proper pest control practices to mitigate the bugs but you can't control nature all you can do there is use the proper material for the job. There are places that are extremes from scorching to fridgid and those will take a toll no matter what the scale of your diligence to upkeep. The key here is to stay on top of it. Every Spring you take care of what the previous Summer and Winter have dealt you. That way you can enjoy Fall football and raking leaves without worrying.