D. Barrett Decorating - The Blog

Restarting with a new normal

When I wrote my last blog I had hoped, along with many of us, that things would be returning to normal by the start of September. Sadly it looks more like its going to regress again slightly and that the normality we all know is replaced with this "new normal." It's impacting all areas of our lives, jobs at risk, pubs and restaurants closing at 10pm, schools having to close when a case is reported, hospitality sectors not restarting, still no fans at football (thats really doing me in!) and delays in obtaining various stock for jobs and everyday life.  The next six months I hope will be the end of all this and things can go back to normal for everyones sake. I have changed my working practice to ensure I work within certain Covid guidelines. Hands are sanitised before starting, I remove all my waste, wipe down where I can and keep social distancing measures in place. Until we are told otherwise I will keep this going for both my own and my customers safety.

Anyway I touched upon restarting work with a bang and I think I've done that. Enquiries have been steady, currently booked up until Christmas barring week or two and have lots to be positive about. The subtle changes I made are working, I've still got a way to go as this pandemic has knocked me back a good 12 months despite only losing 5 months work wise but I can see the benefits. What i'm finding I am needing to plan a bit further ahead with regards to starting jobs, materials are still difficult to obtain and there has been a lot of juggling to ensure all jobs run to time. But this has also enabled me to be a step ahead and take it in my stride. 

Exterior season has ended for me now and I am booking up for next year, one job in particular I am chomping at the bit to get going on just disappointing I couldn't begin this year. I've taken on a lot more exterior work this year and barring the odd bit of bad weather it's gone very well, I've really enjoyed working on these jobs and I can see next year being the same and I hope the weather holds up for me again! Working outside brings it's own challenges that you don't have indoors, mainly working at height but also ensuring the conditions are right for painting. It's the main reason working outside in the winter isn't practical, with the cold damp mornings, temperatures not rising enough to dry off or dropping too quickly. Thats not to say you can't work outside, many paints are available to do so, but with the variables increased I choose not to. 

I also mentioned that I wanted to get down to Slough to do some more courses and I managed that last month taking a Advanced Airless course. It was really good to get tips and advice from someone who is respected and knowledgeable with spraying and I took away from that course so much coupled with a burning desire to spray more. So far the jobs haven't fell right for me so its continuing to practice at home and when it fits right I'll break it out. I'm fully aware that many sprayers out there will spray on almost every job regardless and thats good, myself the confidence is still not there regardless how many courses I take on and also a couple of customers didn't want me spraying in there property so I respected their wishes. It's an expensive game spraying, it's very easy to get drawn into buying more and more accessories for the machines and then upgrading the machines itself. I'm happy with the setup I have, would like a stage 5 HVLP instead of the stage 3 I have but its good enough for the time being. I've added a hopper on to my GX21 and a smaller hose so I can use that for woodwork. Next up is a whip hose and possibly a contractor pro gun. No, I need to stop or I'll be spending the kids Christmas fund!!