One way we can become more efficient with our daily planning and goal setting is having a work area that's ready! Why would having a work area ready make you more efficient? Think about it, if you have an area that's clean and clear of un-used materials, strategically placed access to get you up and down quickly. As well as not having to wait on anyone to finish up their work so you can get started. This allows you to focus on the task at hand and not worry about clearing a path first. You can set your daily goals without worrying about changing the plan only one hour later because the work area was not ready. It's like the "hurry up and wait" scenario, where you start off working, have to wait, then told by your boss to hurry up and get it done all because the prerequisite work had not been completed or it takes you an hour to get material to and from due to poor access or clutter around your workstation.
Ensuring your work area is ready everyday is nothing more than creating a daily routine of checks.
These three simple checks will ensure your work area is ready.
If everything checks out, then the last thing to verify is everyone that is scheduled to be in the area tomorrow will be there, and make sure the right amount of workers for the given space and task is sufficient. Creating a daily process checking these three items will help start your day off right.
Every job has its challenges, variables, constraints etc. But why do we take something simple and make it hard? I'm not saying Construction is easy, but the challenge is not the job itself. I feel the challenges come from poor planning or lack of communication. Think back to the worst job you've been on. What made it tough?
Was it: any of the below?
Whatever reason you can think of, most construction problems are poor planning, poor communication or both.
It's easy to fail on a good job with a bad team. However, if you have a good team on a bad job you can be successful. It’s the people that make a difference! If you're willing to talk to one another, ask questions, receive feedback or collaborate as a group you can get through any design, long leeds or sequencing issue. Yes! You can make a difference, even if you're not in a supervisory role. Trust and confide in the people around you to make it happen, don't let a bad supervisor bring you down! Plow your own path, plan your own work, and communicate your needs to be successful.
For me, I have found that a 26" spread is the sweet spot for SCC placement; the flow seems to be perfect, as well as not needing to foam-fill every gap in the formwork. In fact a hole up to 13/16" will spew out for a second where you have time to shove a small rock, rag or something similar to stop the leak. Typically you will foam large continuous gaps along the bottom of the forms where it seats on the footing, along the bulkheads if the reinforcing penetrates and laps out or unused tie holes. But as far as the smaller one's the paste will leak but if you're not pouring a pea-gravel SCC mix with a 30" spread, you don't have to spend a lot of time filling every quarter inch hole.
However the mud will flow, I have had success pouring core walls with the SCC traveling as far as 73', around and through connected double reinforced 10" wall's. Which were placed from the bottom up using a wall port, the mix was pea-gravel the spread was 26", total yardage was 145 CY; the truck spacing was 6 minute splits. We had the first three trucks on-site before we started placing; the important part of pouring from the bottom up is not waiting! You risk losing being able to use the port and the pour if the concrete sits and sets while waiting for concrete trucks to show up.
So if the only access is from the bottom up and its only 50 total yards, then its better to have all the trucks back to back and start placing once the last truck is batched to ensure a continuous pour. If it's going to be a 100+ yards then having a secondary port to be used as back up placed at a higher level on the wall, in case you have any problems you can go to the secondary port.
Check out this week's guest blog by Shawn Langston, on the importance of routine maintenance!
Often, when checking out a home you’re considering to buy, everything looks like it’s in spit-spot condition for presentation. Or it appears that way. It’s worth recognizing that while everything may look good, there may be some long term problems you aren’t seeing. That’s the reality of owning a home however – there are always things to look out for and to be aware of. Here’s four of the most key things to think about and routinely look for as a house buyer or owner.
1. Foundation Repair
a. Unfortunately, a lot of houses will come with foundation problems and you’d never know it until after you’ve paid for the house and it’s just gotten worse. Fixing them isn’t really something you can do by yourself always – but it’s something you can be on the lookout for. Cracks in the walls and the floor are a good place to start. There are multiple reasons that someone may need foundation repair, the easiest to spot being changes in weather and seasons or trees and tree roots, so when those things happen, start being on the lookout.
2. Carpet Fitting/Replacement
a. I’ve written on this before – ruining carpet is a really easy thing to do. A lot of times, you may even have a house with carpet that wasn’t cut right. You’ll find it wrinkled up against the wall and allowing liquids to seep down from the wall and get under your carpet. This unfortunately makes way for an uncleansed mess that can create mold under the carpet and sometimes on the bottom of the wall. After you fix that and make sure your carpet is correctly installed, it’s a good idea to keep it clean so nothing becomes permanent and stains the carpet over time. More problems people have had with carpets include wrong padding, low quality carpet, and more.
3. Flooding Sprinklers
a. If you’re having sprinkler issues, I would recommend fixing them as soon as you find out about them. Essentially, you don’t want your lawn flooded, which can happen if the sprinklers are installed at a bad angle and if your lawn is on some kind of a slant which you may not know about. You should be able to notice this when water begins to build up around one spot, or your grass becomes a lot more muddy and hard to walk on. Also, if they’re too high out of the ground, there’s a chance of breaking them with the lawn mower. Not good stuff.
4. Immediate Safety Hazards
a. Hanging wires, uncovered electrical outlets, broken stairs… get these fixed! There are a million safety hazards that come with owning a house – houses stay safe by being aware and recognizing problems as soon as they are found! If you don’t notice them at other people’s houses, then they are probably doing a good job of housekeeping. Routine maintenance on things like this are 100% necessary to take care of ASAP!
So be aware. Not taking care of current problems make them into long term problems, which obviously cause a lot of long term pain. If you take care of what you have, not only will the resale value go up but it will keep you and your housemates in comfortable and safe living conditions.
Shawn Langston currently resides in Boise, ID with his wife and two dogs. He works full time as a physical therapist and spends a lot of his free time freelance writing for websites about home improvement and outdoor adventuring (hiking in Idaho is wonderful, as well as skiing in the winter months).
Typically when you hear the words "SCC" (self consolidating concrete) you think cost, leaks and formwork pressure. To only be used in areas with too much congestion so there is no way around it, slab to beam walls or simply as a last resort. I feel SCC is one of the greatest resources out there for concrete construction! Yes, cost and form pressures are concerns, but you have to look at the possible benefits; time savings, manpower and astethetics. All of which can save you time and money.
Why I love SCC?
What do you think about pouring core walls with heavy congested steel at 3:00 PM on a Friday? Typically you're thinking, "WOW we're going to be here all night!"
It’s hard for construction hands to find the time to keep up with what’s going on in the industry outside their company. With tough schedules, unknown hours, and limited training, how can they keep up with the latest in their field of work? With social media you can join, follow, and like specific groups to keep up on information that pertains to your industry, by only dedicating twenty minutes a day. So why is social media important for field hands to engage in?
Here are my top four reasons social media is important for field hands.
I know it's hard to find time, but I want you to be on top of your game! Don’t get left behind. I hate to see workers who are out there everyday, giving a hundred percent for the company, leaving no time for personal growth, and watching them get further and further behind. Do yourself a favor and start connecting now. Create a Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook account and get started today. If you’re just getting started, click the links below and connect with me. It's never too late to start!
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