Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Project Planning

When I'm at my normal job I sometimes have the time to think about, design and research my next project.
Any idle time during the day you can find me getting out my little note pad and doing a rough sketch. Then scribbling down some notes at the bottom of the page making a semi materials list.

This leads to doing research and looking up pictures of similar projects to get ideas on what I want it to look like. On my piece of paper I add in any features and notes I find that I liked.
This point will determine if I want to proceed with the project or file it away for a later time.

If the project makes it this far, the next step is to draw different symmetrical views from every advantage point adding in as much and as many details as possible including the dimensions and a full detailed material list.
At this time I am almost ready to begin building.

A quick run to the barn to go over my inventory makes it where I can scratch off from the list what materials I have on hand leaving only what needs to be found, bought or bartered for. The goal for each project is to keep the cost below a hundred dollars. 

For the first week after everything is in place I will study the spot where the project will be built. I watch for the sun's path, shadows, shade, views, wind and drainage. I then paint an outline in red paint where the project will be placed. For another week every time I am outside I will pay close attention to where the red paint is to see if it will be in the correct location without causing conflict.
If anything is not spot on, I will go back to the drawing board and make the corrections.

The Solar Bath House is started and is about half way done. To apply all the principles above to this project, I started building it in my head and on paper over six months ago. Sometimes I have to wait and collect all the materials on the list causing it to string out much longer than expected.
Take the outdoor kitchen for instance. Everything is ready to go except the materials. I almost refuse to buy at retail cost so some items are harder to find on sale or discounted enough to make it worth the while. 

My little note book is filled with projects just waiting to come to life.  Right now I am working on a tool shed/work room and there are so many other projects just waiting.

The wife says I have a bad case of  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She calls it OCD, but I call it CDO.
I have to keep telling myself, "One at a time".                  


  1. MDR:

    i have struggled really hard to GAIN a bit of the kind of discipline you have. it has taken time and now when i begin a project, i have a vague idea of what i am going to do, start to finish.

    trust me, had i used your approach over my lifetime, i can see 1000's of instances where i would have come out better off.

    i read this with envy, kudos to you. when SHTF, you will be tip-top.

  2. MDR - we have really learned a lot from all of your previous posts and how you approach projects.

    and for that, all i can say, my friend, is thank you. thank you for putting all of this info out there for others to learn from.

    now if you don't get that solar bathroom finished soon so that i can see pics and get ideas - i am gonna' have to come down there and give you an *ss-kicking. and you know that i mean it!

    your friend,

    (p.s. - don't you owe me an email!)

  3. Jam - I don't know if I would call it discipline or just an obsession. LOL
    Even with this approach it seems like it never ends and more projects are building up.
    Thanks for the complement.

    Kymber - Thanks for the boost there my kind friend.
    Just wait, I have some really neat things I plan to do with it.
    I know, Tag I'm It...