Author Topic: work crew strategies/resources  (Read 2790 times)

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work crew strategies/resources
« on: January 22, 2007, 02:57:02 PM »
Now that the walls are poured, I am ready to start framing.  I have a list of 20+ folks who have said they are ready and willing to help with framing (but not all at one time, of course).  Does anyone have any strategies or resources I can turn to to make the work efficient?  What are the best ways to organize the work parties?  This will be weekend efforts with 6 hours of work per day, I am guessing (hoping).

For reference, this is the Victoria's Cottage design with a daylight basement below on a sloping hillside on the Oregon coast.



  • Guest
Re: work crew strategies/resources
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 03:48:18 PM »
I wish I knew.

I'd think having a what order things need to be done in list would help.  

All the supplies laid on. A good idea of what tools you will need, so you can put out the word.

Requests for people to show up with real shoes, safety glasses, etc.

A handful of cloth nail aprons, brown jersey gloves, to give out.

A plan B for a rainy day--there may well be plenty to do, but only if you've thought about it ahead of time.

A stereo.

FOOD! (not to mention safe drinking water)  I once went to a bale raising where half the people who showed up were vegetarian, and Charley the Pig had given his life for the food that day.  Most had at least a taste, if only in honor of Charley, often saying "this is the first time I've had meat in over five years."
« Last Edit: January 22, 2007, 03:50:58 PM by Amanda_931 »


  • Guest
Re: work crew strategies/resources
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 04:47:12 PM »
You will be the job foreman/engineer/architect, and it seems that everybody wants to pound nails.

Make a list of people that have certain skills and divid up your crew under someone that knows what their doing.

Framing goes fast, so be aware of the measurements.

If you haven't done this before, maybe just have a couple of people show up to start with, till you figure what your doing.
You know too many cooks.......................
Good luck!

P.S. Had one guy that insisted on cutting every board by hand, then filing the edge, had to sneak the file away, then bury it.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2007, 04:49:07 PM by hunter63 »


  • Guest
Re: work crew strategies/resources
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2007, 05:34:13 PM »
I agree that too many cooks spoil the meal!  Think about what you want done and how many people would be ideal.  Have an idea of the skill level of most helping.  This is for your safety and everyone else's too!!

Also, have someone else (not a builder, maybe a friend or relative that wants to help but doesn't know a hammer from a screwdriver) and put them in charge of refreshments and food!  My wife did this every weekend for our help, and they loved the lunches she had set up.  Fresh fruit, yogurt, granola bars, bottled water and pop, sandwiches.  This helps bring them back next weekend too!!


  • Guest
Re: work crew strategies/resources
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2007, 06:12:44 PM »
For framing, it really isn't possible to teach someone everything they need to know on one job (or even four).  To be most efficient I would identify your more experienced and skilled helpers.  Meet with them and map out a strategy based on their skills and the resources available.  I personally think it is best to have one guy do the layout so studs "stack" over floor joists etc so there is efficient use of sheet goods.  I've seen many houses that the 16" oc starts at the end of the tape with no regard to previous or subsequent layouts.  It results in "bastard joints" in the drywall, and wastes subfloor, sheathing and siding.

With volunteers I would "line out" (not just the edge but the face as well) the studs/joists on the plate and rim and demonstrate the correct method of installation, including number of nails.  If you are using "I" joists there is a correct method of joining that is available from the supplier.  You don't want your "help" causing you more trouble by splitting the bottom cords or over/under nailing.

I would always try to have at least one experienced individual with any rookies tasked with anything besides hauling lumber.  Mistakes can be costly in time and money.

Make sure the skilled help has what they need, including water, tools, power cords, air hoses...  Encourage them to teach even though it will slow down the job.  Many skilled tradesmen can bust it out quickly but arn't great communicators/multi-taskers.  It took me a long time to learn how to best utilize my "help" and not be frustrated with questions.  I wanted to put my head down and "git er' done" but eventually I learned that my "help" got better faster if I slowed down and "splained" it to them.  

Now, my wife is one of the best employees I've ever had.   I am the WORST boss she's ever had though...   ;)


  • Guest
Re: work crew strategies/resources
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2007, 07:06:24 PM »
Maybe try to figure out ahead of time which category each volunteer fits into... those who will be in it for the long haul, and those who won't show up for a second day.

With the first group, it's worthwhile taking the time to explain how to read your plans, how to safely use the chopsaw, the nailing pattern for sheathing, etc.

But don't call on anyone from the second group until there's real grunt work to do...raising walls, lifting beams, or even just moving stacks of lumber and ply closer.


  • Guest
Re: work crew strategies/resources
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2007, 08:20:48 PM »
The more help you have, the less work you will do personally.  You will need to stay on top of things and work, after the fires are put out.

Things done wrong do not take twice as long.  They take 3 times as long.  1 to do it wrong - 1 to tear it apart - 1 to do it right - plus materials. :-/


  • Guest
Re: work crew strategies/resources
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2007, 07:46:06 PM »
I ditto pretty well all the above comments, in particular Glenn's formula for time to correct mistakes. Correction time also depends upon the stage when the error is detected. I get real nervous when too many unskilled folks volunteer to help. I'd want to limit the numbers of volunteers at a time so the work and errors don't get too far ahead of what I can check on. Then again you don't want people standing around bored because you can't direct them. Like Pathfinder stated; 16" instn't always 16"


  • Guest
Re: work crew strategies/resources
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2007, 03:39:41 PM »
Make sure your plans are ON SITE!
You might want to do a large schematic with measurements for each wall and post it so all can see.  
Name a "captain"-someone with some experience for each thing you have going on: cutting, measuring, nailing, etc.
Don't worry about you personally swinging a hammer on work day-make sure you know what's going on because Glenn and Don are right-mistakes cost time and money.
Have more tools than you think you will need.
Have more food than you think you will need.
Be prepared to be totally overstimulated at the end of the day!
Don't bring the beer cooler out until all the work is done!  [smiley=beer.gif]



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