Help creating Best Practices Manual


NevinF
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We're looking for someone to help us create a company Best Practices Manual. Need details and 3D views along with step by step instructions for different parts of a project. A company called Hammer and Hand has made available a document very much like we want, but our procedures vary from theirs. http://hammerandhand.com/best-practices/manual/ 

I've attached two examples that I've made. I've found that to get the 3D view of this type of cutaway details I had to use a lot of polyline solids.

We are a design/build company in Northern California. We use Chief all the time, just don't have the manpower to dedicate to this project.

We are happy to pay well for good work.

 

Floor Framing.pdf

Window installation.pdf

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14 hours ago, NevinF said:

We're looking for someone to help us create a company Best Practices Manual. Need details and 3D views along with step by step instructions for different parts of a project. A company called Hammer and Hand has made available a document very much like we want, but our procedures vary from theirs. http://hammerandhand.com/best-practices/manual/ 

I've attached two examples that I've made. I've found that to get the 3D view of this type of cutaway details I had to use a lot of polyline solids.

We are a design/build company in Northern California. We use Chief all the time, just don't have the manpower to dedicate to this project.

We are happy to pay well for good work.

 

Floor Framing.pdf

Window installation.pdf

 

I have had extensive experience in the preparation and writing of technical documentation within the building industry. Just wondering why you feel the need to prepare your own installation instructions when these are already provided by the product manufacturers. Why not just incorporate their documentation into your own internal reference manual/binder. If you prepare your own you run the risk of conflicting those of the manufacturer and their warranties. You would also need to ensure that your instructions do not conflict with code compliances. You would be potentially assuming a significant degree of liability, keep in mind that you can't just blanket waiver yourself out of this.

 

Use their documentation and then focus your part on quality related practices such as proper supervision, inspections and training.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

I have had extensive experience in the preparation and writing of technical documentation within the building industry. Just wondering why you feel the need to prepare your own installation instructions when these are already provided by the product manufacturers. Why not just incorporate their documentation into your own internal reference manual/binder. If you prepare your own you run the risk of conflicting those of the manufacturer and their warranties. You would also need to ensure that your instructions do not conflict with code compliances. You would be potentially assuming a significant degree of liability, keep in mind that you can't just blanket waiver yourself out of this.

 

Use their documentation and then focus your part on quality related practices such as proper supervision, inspections and training.

Thanks Graham. Good points, and we can certainly do that for some items. But there are a lot of things that we need to specify for our guys just exactly how we do it here at our company. No window installation guide mentions the importance of perfectly aligning multiple windows in a bank. Or something like foundation layout or fascia installation, for example. Of course a journeyman carpenter knows how to install fascia, but what about new guys just learning the trade? Or even experienced carpenters coming from another company. This is to explain to them our current method of installation, our quality level, etc, etc. It is intended to speed the learning curve for new learners as well as get experienced carpenters on board with our company standards, and will also serve as a marketing piece to the client. When considering our company vs. a competitor a document like this brings confidence and assurance knowing we have a plan and a process for ensuring predictable results.

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How will it make the client feel better about hiring your company, knowing you are hiring "guys just learning the trade" to work on their house?

I would heed Graham's advice... AND, also hire better quality workers.  To put together an "A" team, you need to hire "A" players.

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36 minutes ago, NevinF said:

Thanks Graham. Good points, and we can certainly do that for some items. But there are a lot of things that we need to specify for our guys just exactly how we do it here at our company. No window installation guide mentions the importance of perfectly aligning multiple windows in a bank. Or something like foundation layout or fascia installation, for example. Of course a journeyman carpenter knows how to install fascia, but what about new guys just learning the trade? Or even experienced carpenters coming from another company. This is to explain to them our current method of installation, our quality level, etc, etc. It is intended to speed the learning curve for new learners as well as get experienced carpenters on board with our company standards, and will also serve as a marketing piece to the client. When considering our company vs. a competitor a document like this brings confidence and assurance knowing we have a plan and a process for ensuring predictable results.

 

Through your comments it sounds to me that your concern is mostly related to quality of workmanship. If you utilize the manufacturers installation procedures you can always add an additional cover page to address those important procedural elements. Something as simple as a point/bullet type list "Check to ensure Windows are as per order", "Confirm rough-in window openings are correctly sized", "Banked windows shall be properly aligned to adjacent windows within the bank".

 

Something such as this should provide your clients with the assurance that you have the right quality control procedures in place to ensure the greatest degree quality of workmanship and adherence to the official manufacturers installation instructions. 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, parkwest said:

To put together an "A" team, you need to hire "A" players.

We hire for character and train for skill. "A" players are not born, they're trained. Where do you propose these "better quality workers" get their experience/training? Also, our foremen are currently the best carpenters I've ever met in our area, but there is often more than one correct way to do something. 

 

7 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

Through your comments it sounds to me that your concern is mostly related to quality of workmanship. If you utilize the manufacturers installation procedures you can always add an additional cover page to address those important procedural elements. Something as simple as a point/bullet type list "Check to ensure Windows are as per order", "Confirm rough-in window openings are correctly sized", "Banked windows shall be properly aligned to adjacent windows within the bank".

 

Something such as this should provide your clients with the assurance that you have the right quality control procedures in place to ensure the greatest degree quality of workmanship and adherence to the official manufacturers installation instructions. 

I appreciate this advice Graham. I think you're right and will certainly do something down this line whenever possible and for those items that have such an installation instruction.

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16 hours ago, Robert_N said:

I am vetting potential designers of a project in Del Norte county and would like to get info on your builds/designs in Del Norte. Can you send that info to me?

Hi Robert,

Unfortunately, we don't build that far north. We are in the Eureka area. Humboldt County.

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Hello Nevin,

 

I am not available to help but I applaud your desire to make a handbook similar to the Hammer and Hand manual. I saw that manual last year and thought it was an awesome idea. The more we can systematize our processes the better work we can do without as much head scratching and time wasting.

 

Regards,

Alan (with the scratched up scalp) Lehman

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6 hours ago, Gawdzira said:

I am not available to help but I applaud your desire to make a handbook similar to the Hammer and Hand manual. I saw that manual last year and thought it was an awesome idea. The more we can systematize our processes the better work we can do without as much head scratching and time wasting.

 

Exactly Alan. And until we as an industry can figure out a way to develop people, we'll never solve the labor shortage issue everyone is crying about.

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BTW Nevin... I think you are Spot On for the character and then training... I taught for 21 years and the students coming with the best character always did the best and that was the most difficult thing to impart, more so in upper grades than elementary as the students in elementary are open to character education more than older students... with exceptions of course. As a potential client I want character first... in myself and everyone I deal with.

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