Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happiness is Cape Henry in Your Rear View

The Restoration dept. has finally finished the Cape Henry gift shop renovations, five weeks behind schedule. We replaced the front door, some siding that had sun or termite damage, two outside lights, added an interior partition wall, hung twelve sheets of slatwall, and built an 8' by 10' storage shed with lights, insulation, shelves and a ramp.
None of the work was complex, so what took so long? Most of the extra time can be blamed on inefficient materials handling, while some was from the gift shop being open for normal operation during the renovation. When the department met with all parties in December of 2009, they were informed that the shop would be closed for two weeks in mid-January,2010. This would have allowed Restoration to use the shop as a depot for materials and tools, and allowed them to work past the 4:00 pm closing time. With the shop open, Restoration had to acquire only the materials they were going to use that day, and pause in their work to be respectful of visitors. Tools had to be loaded in the morning and offloaded in the evening because of the threat of inclement weather. With the siding taking up most of the usable extra space in the Mulebarn, Restoration could not stockpile much additional material, which meant a trip to Lowe's almost every morning. With a one to two hour trip to Lowe's every morning, plus loading the tools and then slugging through commuter traffic 1.5 to 2 hours , fast starts were not an option. In retrospect, given that there was no available lockable storage at the job site, renting a good size steel storage unit, about twenty feet long, would have made good sense. Hindsight really can be a bitch.

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