Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Tales from the Renovation Track: When Common Sense Should Prevail

Wo-Built: Tales from the Renovation Track: When Common Sense Should Prevail, by Janice Bell, Bell RenovationsCollage: construction, people at work, occupations, women, workers
Credits: MS Office ClipArt - j0285914

We are continuing our publication of a series of articles from our contributor Janice Bell – her experiences the renovation field. Almost a year ago we started to publish her Tales from the Renovation Track, and today we are posting a new installment of her series.

Part 12 - When Common Sense Should Prevail
There are times in the construction/renovation field that common sense should decide which direction to take.

#1 - For example, a gal I know is a manager in her family's fencing business. They weld and coat wrought iron railings, chain link fencing etc. She was at the sales desk one day when a customer inquired about perimeter fencing using a 4 foot high chain link fence.

After my friend wrote down the lineal feet required for a quote, the customer then asked about the strips one can purchase to wind through the chain links. "Well, we carry that product too!", my friend replied, "But it is an expensive accessory to purchase and I would recommend that you forego it in this case."

But as Murphy's Law would have it, this customer was quite insistent. My friend listened and listened some more and maintained her suggestion. The conversation was becoming quite strained.

"Why are you so set on the purchase of these strips for this four foot high fence?" my friend asked.

"Well, we want them for privacy from the neighbours", came the answer.

Without batting an eye, my friend replied, "Well, what happens if your neighbour stands up?"

#2 - Another time, I was called in to replace water-stained ceiling tiles. My customer told me she wanted the ceiling removed and all of the tiles replaced and re-trimmed. Because she was a repeat customer, and trusted me, she asked me to lock up as she was on her way out. I was there to measure and draw up a purchase list, when I got the idea to try this sealing primer I had out in the van. The first coat soaked up into the tile and the ugly stain was still there, albeit a bit lighter. I dry brushed out the edges of the wet paint, as it was a slightly different shade of white from the tiles.

This primer dries quite fast, so away I went with a second coat applied much more liberally. But the stain was still visible even though it was a mere shadow of its former self. It took longer for the second coat to dry, but when it finally did I coated it once more. Shazamm! It worked!

When my customer returned from lunch, I calmly informed her that I had fixed her ceiling while she was gone. She looked up and could scarcely believe her eyes. I told her how I had painted out the stains, and that even though I had in effect worked my way out of a job, it saved her a lot of money and mess. She was so impressed: I managed to get a lot of future jobs from her out of that one!

Happy Renovating!

Janice Bell
Bell Renovating
2010 © Janice Bell

Tales from the Renovation Track: One Woman’s Experiences of Being a Renovator
Part 1: All in All
Part 2: Weld on Fire
Part 3: They Were Nailed
Part 4: It Pays to Be Honest
Part 5: Rural Renos
Part 6: Messy Is Costly
Part 7: Door Hell
Part 8: Just Where Do I Stop?
Part 9: Dressing for the Trades

Part 10: Very Painterly
Part 11a: Tricks of the Trade: Recaulking bathtubs / Placing peel and stick tiles
Part 11b: Tricks of the Trade: Wheelbarrows / Cutting a plastic pipe
Part 11c: Tricks of the Trade: Drywall mud / Admixtures
Part 12: When Common Sense Should Prevail

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