Woodworking, home improvements, and other DIY projects can be much more than quick and cheap home repairs, but as few people think about this, it often means they are unprepared when undertaking large and ambitious projects for their house or work.
And as you’d expect, the bigger the project, the more chance there is that something will go wrong. This can make any big task daunting, and if you’re doing work for a client or even a friend, there is always that niggling fear that disaster is about to strike. However, while mistakes are always possible, knowing how to approach your most ambitious project yet can mitigate common issues to ensure success.
Define What You’re Doing
All projects begin as an idea, and some might say they start as a dream begging to be fulfilled. While you might be able to see things clearly in your mind, you aren’t the only one who needs to know what this project entails.
With that in mind, you must define what you’re doing. This means creating project briefs and concept work that gives everyone an idea of what the project will look like upon completion.
The more thorough your definition, the easier it will be to visualise and eventually make the project a reality, whether you’re working on something small to keep around the house or developing a large piece for a client.
Outline a Plan
Once you have defined the project, you must work out an outline which includes essential bullet points of the various stages. These points will help you and your team stay on track and ensure you work through the project logically.
Some project contractors will try to do the easiest things first, so they may skip steps three and four to get to five. While this might seem like it saves time in the short term, it can also disrupt the rest of the project.
When making any plan, you must stick to it. There may be instances when you’re forced to adapt, but with a suitable project definition and outline, this is not as likely.
Inspiration is always a crucial component of a successful project. Many believe inspiration is only relevant for creative projects, like art, but woodworking and even DIY can all be considered creative. The practical element of project design and creation requires a careful and creative approach.
Your idea for this project must come from somewhere, even if you have received a request from a client. As the request is simply the bones of the project, you need to find inspiration to give it flesh and make it possible.
Previous projects, local work, or even something you have seen on TV or in films are all sources of inspiration and can help you create something unique for your client.
Collect The Right Tools
You cannot design and fulfil a successful project without the right tools. Most woodworking or lab-based designers should have a thorough supply of tools around their workshop, but if this is your first ever DIY project, you may need more than you think.
There could be a point when you realise you can’t take the project further without a specific tool you have neglected to purchase. This can delay the project, which could mean disaster if it is time sensitive. However, you may not want to purchase tools that you’ll never use, so buying a basic set and borrowing tools where you can is a possible solution.
Check Your Machinery
Another key factor to consider is the machinery you use for your projects. Properly working machinery can be the difference between a quick, simple, and efficient project and one that takes too long and results in subpar products.
Before beginning your project, check the machinery to make sure it works. You can also contact a hydraulic maintenance company to carry out more intensive tests for you, as this will be safer. These tests should highlight potential problems and will give you the chance to repair or replace parts before starting.
Organise Your Team
It doesn’t matter if you’re at home or in the workshop. Your ambitious project will require more bodies to help out. This team is crucial for the project’s success as it means you can work through everything quicker and have more confidence when managing heavy items or intricate designs.
You may have a group of people in mind. In many cases, these are your employees, but if you work alone most of the time, you may need to call in a few favours from friends or others you know within the industry. When you have assembled your team, show them the details and outline of the plan to ensure they know what you expect.
Timescales help keep the team on track throughout the project and can be vital considering ambitious projects are usually long-term. These types of projects feel like you have all the time in the world before the deadline creeps up, and you realise you don’t have anything to show for the time spent in the workshop.
You can refer to these timescales throughout the project to ensure you are progressing at the right pace. You may find that you’re moving quicker than expected, but this doesn’t mean you can slack off. Instead, continue the momentum so that you have extra time at the end of the project to make adjustments if necessary.
Don’t Ignore Other Perspectives
It’s easy to get tunnel vision about any project, and ambitious projects are often the biggest culprits. Whatever you’re doing, you have a vision. Once you feel like that vision is set, it’s challenging to change it regardless of the issues you encounter.
This is why seeking and listening to other perspectives is so vital. Your team members and even outsiders can offer their advice on how to overcome problems and improve the project. If you catch these options soon enough, you shouldn’t need to make too many substantial adjustments.
Consider Future Upgrades
Even though the project is finished doesn’t mean it’s finished. There are many modern examples of products and projects being futureproof, meaning they are capable of being upgraded to keep up with changing needs.
You should consider futureproofing your project, whether you’re working on technology or in your woodworking workshop. Of course, futureproofing these is markedly different, but it’s still useful to consider how you could maintain and improve the project, updating it gradually as the year progresses. With this versatility, you create something that will last longer, which improves sustainability and reduces unnecessary waste.
Don’t Rush Anything
When you are faced with a large project, especially if it’s your biggest project ever, there will come the point when you want to get to the end. This can happen a few weeks into the project and may even occur just as you’re about to reach the finish line.
And, because you want to get to the end, you get lazy. You start to rush. Your impatience becomes more important than the quality. Such an attitude can cause significant problems and means the completed project is unsuitable for the client.
There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious when approaching your project, but if you don’t approach it the right way, you may have a severe issue. The last thing you want is to encounter a problem you cannot overcome or use outdated and broken machinery. For your safety and the success of the project, you must remember these tips to guarantee a safe and high-quality result.