Saturday, 29 March 2014

It's All A Bit of a Muddle

The last thing that I feel like doing right now is writing this because to be writing implies that I have some form of structured and ordered thought process going on.  And that is probably the polar opposite of what is happening.  When we started this process (a week ago!) I thought that it would be something along the lines of 

  • Get some Builder Quotes
  • Pick a Builder
  • Pick a Kitchen
  • Pick a Bathroom
  • Pick Flooring
  • Get work done
  • Move In

Instead Builder 3 contradicts Builder 1, Builder 2 only wants to look at individual bits of work, Builder 3 doesn’t agree with something surveyor said, etc etc etc.  Anyway, today Dad (a structural engineer) and my Uncle (an architect) came to the house as we wanted advice on the kitchen.  Some things that I took for granted (and certainly not something that any one of the three builders contradicted) was the assumption that we could completely remove a bit of supporting wall that was remaining if we used a steel beam.  Eh no you can’t.  Not only that but there’s no guarantee we can even bring it back far enough to allow continuation of counter space.  To do that we will need to get an engineer in (Dad’s not set up for this sort of thing anymore) to check the foundations to see how things are down there and what minimum width of wall must be left to take the load that would be coming down through it.  

Our plan had been that we would get as much done as possible before moving in.  To me this makes perfect sense as it’s much easier to get work done on a house while it’s empty.  No furniture to protect/move around.  No mess to come home to in the evening.  No resident crossing path with builder etc.  However both Dad and Kieran thought it odd that we weren’t moving in as soon as the kitchen is ready.  Am I alone in thinking that it would make sense to get as much done as we can before moving in??

Something Kieran has asked me twice now is “what’s the timeline?”  I mean we don’t have one, we just want work done and then we’ll move in.  Now I’m thinking that we should treat this as a software project and the question really is “what are the project requirements?”   What are our requirements and once we have those we can come up with a work units and estimates (costs and time I guess).  So, what are our requirements?  We haven’t actually sat down and asked ourselves that.  But my initial thoughts would be “get as much work done as possible before we move in”.  That requirement then has to be broken down further.  I mean i think it makes sense but if somebody gave me a requirement at work which was “make me a system that does ABC” without actually telling me what exactly that system should do then I’d throw it right back at them.  Neither we, nor anybody else can plan this thing properly until we actually do a proper requirement gathering phase.  I just don’t think my  “get as much work done as possible before we move in” requirement is enough for us to further analyse the individual bits of work.  So, I guess that’s the next step…  this is definitely going to be  a longer and more complicated process that I expected.

Apologies for the nerdy work language above but putting it in this format may just help us (me at least!) figure out how we get to the next step :)

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