Scope of Work

This is a (short) tale of two properties. Each quite different from the other, yet both needy in the way old buildings tend to be. The volume of work that each place needs feels similar yet the demands of the work feel very different most of the time.

The Island property needs things in broad swaths. Mowing, painting, roofing… The minutia involved gets down to a mid-level rather than fine detail. In part because the property is so big that you can’t, for instance, weed the garden like you would an urban lot. There are five fruit trees to mow around, a few shrubs to tend… The mainland property is 100% cultivated and, if allowed to, could take 30 hours a week to keep looking tip-top. It looks merely good.

Part of why the Island feels easier to tend to is that we don’t live there full time, and even though there are interdependencies within projects (like the things that need doing before the house can be rented again), those things are not in our face 16-hours a day every day, and other people are paid to do some of the tasks. On the mainland we’re in month seven of the kitchen remodel that we’re living in daily. And while we’ve added to the scope of work, things like windows are affected by supply chain problems and will see us into month eight. We will both be very pleased to move back into the kitchen, not to mention the rest of the house.

So, while the Island takes lots of physical work, it’s macro in scope. It doesn’t take as much time to see where the sheetrock needs to be installed in the lower barn, and then execute the plan. On the mainland, where we are in micro mode, the interdependencies are intense, the contractors extremely busy (aka not available when needed), and the pace glacial (hence high frustration at times). This is opposite of what I thought it would be… Big Property:Big Energy Input. Small Property:Small Energy Input. There’s always something to do!!

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