Friday, August 13, 2010

Project Management 101 #1 Planning


A couple of weeks ago friends lost their cabin in a fire due to spontaneous combustion from paint rags. They escaped without injury and without anything else. We sympathized but I start thinking about "tinder" around our place. I've cleared scrap wood from near the house and also fire smarted, removed the trees downhill of the house. But there's also paint, boat gas, grease, propane, bear spray and camp fuel around. I decided to build a safe storehouse. An opportunity to demonstrate my professional project management skills.


My plans started with the four 8' long treated garden ties lying under the porch. I had used the same posts for my extraordinarily successful boat shed so the architectural theme was set. I headed off to the lumber yard to pick up some 2X4s and at the counter they asked how long and how many? Quickly I decided the shed would be 5' X 7' (real planners do this sort of thing on the fly all the time) and ordered up a bunch of 12 footers. I also bought lag bolts to assemble the frame, the brilliance of this would only become obvious later. On my return home I cut my lumber into 7 and 5 foot pieces. Then I drew up my plan.

Two frames, a front and a rear, would be prepared and installed on site. I could then add the side framing and the shed would come together. I measured and drilled holes for the lag bolts and began the assembly. I completed one frame and was getting the second ready when I noticed I had built a right side and not a front. My shed was now going to 7' X 5'. I quickly removed all the lag bolts and built a front and a back.

During this process I wondered how big are my jerry cans and how many do I have to store? I pulled out one can from under the porch and discovered a 3' deep shed would be fine while my eight jerry cans would nicely fit the 7' width. My plan was complete. Well, at least for now.

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