Hi Team,

It honestly feels like November has been the most stressful and challenging month of my 35-year building career. For the last four weeks, nothing has gone our way!

November started out on a positive note with the Covid work restrictions finally being lifted and we still had two months before Christmas to get a heap of work done. However, day after day, nothing seemed to go to plan and in the last four weeks we have only achieved two weeks of actual productive work.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

When you are building a large basement in someone's backyard with very limited access there are a couple of things that can  dictate the difficulty of the whole exercise; the soil conditions and the weather. Unfortunately, we struck out on both counts! From day one of building the basement we have been on the back foot due to extremely wet ground conditions on the site. Then on top of this it has rained one or two days a week for the last 2 months.

Wet days have a compounding effect on a basement, so the rainier days you get the further you fall behind schedule and the harder it becomes to do each stage of the job. Added to this, the "post-covid economy" has presented difficulties we have never experienced before, such as.

  • Workers refusing to get vaccinated, so they cannot work.
  • A chronic shortage of tip trucks across Melbourne.
  • Unprecedented levels of demand for all materials and all tradesmen.
  • Rapid price increases for all building materials.
  • Poor decision-making by subcontractors.

"Persistence is stubbornness with a purpose." Josh Shipp

When nothing is going your way the only way to dig yourself out of a hole (literally) is through persistence. For me, persistence is staying positive when there is nothing to be positive about. Having the same conversation with a contractor dozens of times without losing your cool. Showing up early and staying back late even when you can't get any productive work done. Changing the job schedule dozens of times, day after day.

The only thing that has kept the Malvern basement construction moving forward over the last 2 months has been Lyle's persistence. His ability to just push, push, push until things slowly start to go our way. Thanks, Lyle, for being a Bulldog!!

"Persistence guarantees the results are inevitable." unknown

PS: I wrote this email a week ago, and sure enough as soon as I wrote it things started to go our way. Last week was the most productive and positive week on-site since the project started 5 months ago!!

Thanks for reading,
Stay dry & safe.

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