You just cannot make up for experience when it comes to quality and skills, they have to be honed over time and taught to the workforce so they can be fast tracked to the skill set required for the particular job in hand. This applies to the order in which the tasks are carried out, as well as technique.
When I started making garden room buildings (on my own initially) I brought my experiences as a general builder, quite naturally, to the workshop, what else could or should one do?
Sounds reasonable, sounds logical, but sometimes it was not just wrong, it was wholly inappropriate.
Plastering for example is a case in point. Experience and a few years at it spasmodically as a builder over the decades, had given me a fair amount of experience when added up together, so you would think I would have transited seamlessly to plastering our garden rooms but oh no no, not when you are as thick as a couple of your own scaffold battens!
I trestled out the building, started the plastering with the ceiling and then after it had been polished off I took the platform down and started on a couple of facing walls.
That is how it is normally done in houses, it made complete sense and it worked.
I did this for the first two years of making garden studios and rooms.
But what a Dipstick! What a Plonker, what a Turkey-brain!
Plastering ceilings is much more difficult than plastering walls of course, since you are plastering above you, you splash yourself easily as you flick water on the plaster as you trowel it off, your arms and shoulders ache as you continually hold the float above your head for an hour or even two sometimes, it is not an easy job.
Eventually, the 'turkey brain' writing this realised that it would be a lot easier to plaster the ceiling panel by panel, so after the penny dropped, this is how it has been done ever since, but with an additional tweak.
Once you plaster a wall or an upright panel, you soon find it is far too easy to load the plaster onto the trowel near the floor and then skim upwards but then you end up with thicker plaster nearer the floor, thinning to the correct thickness as you go higher. You apply it horizontally but then find again it is all to easily to make it too thick at the beginning of each stroke.
You must do both together, plus in curves, this balances it out but near the floor it is a lot more awkward and harder to be consistent.
So spin the panels to horizontal and raise the panels so the bottom edge is above knee height and now the whole panel is comfortably within reach. Why didn't I realise this before?
So now I get a much easier and a better job straight away, no re-applying and balancing skim thicknesses so much.
It just goes to show, experience is key but it can wrong-foot you when your work and circumstances change slightly.
So now I've adapted, I can teach the workforce from the start
Moral of the story:
Experience and skillsets are really important, but you never stop learning new twists.
Author: David Fowler