There are some factors that I’ve used in assessing projects that I’d like to share. I call it the “P.A.T.C.H. System,” and it is made up of the following five factors: 1. P = Problem. Find out the problem, the extent of it and then start looking for what caused the damage. Is it a leaky roof? Is it ice damming? Was it a sudden tub overflow? Or has the problem been an ongoing one, something that has been leaking for years? Is it settling that is causing the problem, the cracks, the nail pops? Could it be vibration, especially where a neighborhood was very quiet and now a major highway has been put through, or the streets are now being used for heavy equipment and higher traffic volume, thus more noise and vibration cracks appearing? Is the problem new lumber that is warping and now putting stress on certain parts of the walls or ceilings? 2. A = Approach. I’m talking about how to deal with the problem. There may be several approaches, ways to deal with the problem and come to a satisfactory conclusion. The approach will depend on individual style and materials available, as well as the type and/or quality of the finished job. 3. T = Time. How much time does a project really take? Is there a timetable that can be established to determine if you’re making good time? How can you look at a project and figure how much time is involved? I’ll bring out different tips that I use in calculating hours and days. 4. C = Cost. How much do you charge? How do you come up with the figures? Do you charge by the hour, by the day or by the project? How do you ensure you will be paid? Do you figure materials and labor separately, and if so, why? 5. H = How. How was it put back together? Some other “how” factors to consider for future reference includes the following: How did I get the job? How did the customer hear about me? Was it radio, yard sign, Yellow Pages advertising, word of mouth? How much material was used? How did the project go (including were there any surprises)? How did the entire project turn out in the end? How was payment made?
Plaster Man's P.A.T.C.H. System
April 17, 2001