There are only so many hours in a day; Most of us would not like to be working every single one of them if it can be helped. Unfortunately, for people in my line of work and others like it, that’s exactly what ends up happening. With the melting of the snow comes an eruption of projects that have been germinating over the cold winter months, waiting for the warmth of spring to burst forth. Construction is an inherently seasonal occupation, impacted inevitably by the weather. As such there are only so many days in a year when a roof can be stripped or a hole can be dug or a driveway paved. We can all pine for the temperate climes of California and Hawaii but our local climate is ever changing and unpredictable.
I don’t remember as a kid ever being told to stay inside. “It’s too hot”, or “it’s too cold”, are warnings that I hear uttered at the extremity of our seasons and many a day so damp or dismal we wouldn’t send our dogs out in it. Take a walk around your neighbourhood on days like these. I would bet you’ll see a multitude of workers who, like the mailman, haven’t the luxury of sitting indoors waiting for the sky to break.
There will come a time in the career of every contractor, construction worker and handyman when the weather just brings things to a complete halt; those of us who work both inside and out are often fortunate enough to have an inside job to do when the weather just won’t cooperate. The same can’t be said for landscapers, pavers, and roofers. Those unfortunate souls have to squeeze every hour out of every dry day, seven months of the year. In our locale it’s not unheard of to lose a month to rain, wind and heat, so 12 hour days and weekends become the norm.
When you’re planning your summer projects, the excitement is palpable. As soon as the mercury rises above zero you have visions of saws and hammers and heavy equipment pounding away, building and grading and then rolling away just in time for the grass to turn green so you can sit out and enjoy your new patio or pool. The excitement can quickly turn to disappointment when the crew finally knocks on the door on august 15th saying they’re ready to go. The harsh reality of it is, and this will come as no surprise to those who are involved in projects frequently, that unless you had your project booked last summer, it likely won’t be done in time to enjoy this summer. And if you are fortunate enough to get in early on the schedule don’t be angry when weather delays and project overruns start to pick away at the nice weather. Guaranteed the crews will work hard when they get there, evenings and weekends are almost a given, but the inevitable cleanup, lawn repairs and redecorating will certainly consume a weekend or two of the precious few of your summer.
It’s difficult to make everyone understand the realities of hiring a contractor, or being a contractor. If you can relate it to your job, try to wrap your mind around the paradox that is being a for-hire individual, regardless of the industry: the job you are working on is no more or less important than the one you did yesterday or the one you’ll do tomorrow, but that job is the most important job to the person you’re doing it for. Understand and be forgiving when timelines get strained. It’s often a symptom of the place we live and its varied weather. A good contractor will treat you like the only customer and make your dreams come true, but even the best contractor can’t change the weather.
Keep watching here each week for more household tips and renovation advice. I welcome your questions and comments. Send them to: Aboutthehouse@adamshomeservices.ca. For additional information about me and what’s going on in your community, please visit our website: www.adamshomeservices.ca. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and read past letters on our blog: adamshomeservices.blogspot.ca. And remember, whatever you do, do it well, because a job well done stays well done forever.