Getting a plan and start building

Third iteration Getting a plan.

We known that we are allowed to build and we have an assumption that we can afford it.

The next questions that should be solved are: What is the time frame? And when should we start building.
The plan was to do the most by our selves. The plan is simple

  • Remove the old shed 2 weeks.
  • Brick layering 1 month
  • Carpenters work  1 month
  • Garden reconstruction 2 weeks.

This means a total of 3 month work.  The quality is fixed for us and we also wanted to fixed the time. The time is more or less fixed because at an certain moment you want to finnish. I hate projects of a year or longer. So with these assumption we found out we want needed help if we want to meet the deadline. We need specialist to help us. We asked a carpenter and a bricklayer to help us. Both we asked what do you think of our assumptions and are you able to help us.  The bricklayer has 40 years of experience and said it could be done in less then 2 weeks. The carpenter with 25 years of experience said between 6 and 8 weeks. Both said that we had to help them to keep the amount of hours low. (Both get paid by the hour).  Because I know both persons for a long time we made a deal with a handshake. TRUST (value people)  We had a shared understanding of what my vision is (the prototype and the drawing) With an handshake and an estimation in weeks I went home with a smile. With my neighbor we made the agreement that he should do all the non technical stuff, like carrying all the stuff to the garden  and I will do all the technical stuff. Again with a handshake.

Iteration successful with an agreement (my plan).

Iteration number four: starting to build

Everything was perfect. We had an agreement, we were  allowed, we had the money. Nothing can go wrong. But it can go wrong. We planned it to start early in 2010. During Christmas (2009 ) my neighbor fell while playing soccer with his grand child. He broke his hip. So If everything was postponed 3 months  The facts is that  surgeons can makes mistakes so he was operated 3 times and it took until the end of summer before he was recovered. After this negative delay we had positive delay. I was becoming father for the second time. That means from experience, It impacts the available time for a job like this. So it got postponed again.

Iteration four failed.

Iteration number five : Starting to build, again. 

In the summer 2012 we planned to start again. My daughter is then almost a year  and she is doing great.  My neighbor is healthy so we started.IMG_2900

In the first two weeks we removed the shed from me and my neighbor. We put the new concrete floor on top of the old concrete floor to make it stronger to hold the mansion. The bricklayer came and build all the walls in two weeks. My neighbor and I could help a lot and everything went fine and within the estimation of hours. We requested to build the brick wall instead of the wooden wall so we changed the “plan” a little back to the original brick wall idea. It took 2 additional days but that was not a problem. All the bricklaying was done in 2 and half week. Perfect.

everything still ok

It was time to get started with all the wood. Unlucky I had injured my shoulder badly. It slowed me down. The carpenter worked hard and there was a very interesting thing that was going on. He used the prototype and the drawing just for imagination.  He was very experienced and told me drawings are nice but this is the real world and that world changes.

It became a way of living: wakeup, go to work, come back home and go to work in the garden until late in the evening and go to sleep. Next day same patern. The idea was to finish in 8 weeks. At the end it was 8 weeks but with an huge amount of hours for my but it was done. I was committed to get it done.

Iteration 5 : done

Iteration number six : finishing . 

The mansion is finished now with even electricity and water.  I call it done but the garden is not that pretty anymore. In the next month we will see how nature survived it.


When I look back there are so many similarities with building the mansion with building software.

  1. You need good people.
  2. You need a clear vision of the future
  3. fun
  4. commitment.
  5. Things will change

I was writing this while sitting on the porch.  For me is physical work great to get my brain relaxed.


About pascaldufour

Passionate Agile Tester
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