Problem solving is a very small specific branch of Trades Training. It is not a seminar; it is not a course on a task. It is simply how to do something more efficiently, more effectively or simply a detail of better building practice. The web is full of people showing how they do something or how they think it should be done. Some of that is insightful; most of it is just off the wall. Some gems of knowledge are lost in out-of-print magazines and books, or just never published widely.
Below you will find links to things I find useful that are each a response to a professional need, developed by professionals and often improved on by other professionals. All of them can be found through the Search Tab on this site, but here I have pulled out some of the most useful to highlight for the trades. Challenge me if you are looking to solve a new problem.
Just click on the Tape Measurers to follow the link
In 2007 the CSA standard for window and door installations began requiring end dams for header flashings – and the guys complained they didn’t know how to do that and they didn’t want to hire a sheet metal professional for such a small detail. So I went to work to video record how to fold an end-dam on site, even on top of the ladder if you had to. The video went viral before manufacturers invented plastic end caps for header flashings, but this is still one of the best ways to simply fold a seamless and watertight flashing dam on site, to the right measurents; no caulking.
We would like to think that roofing systems today are well thought out, easy to assemble and trouble free. And then there is the real world. We went to the manufacturers of roofing systems and roofing components to get a handle on what are some of the real world field problems that shouldn't be problems. The kind of things that you thought you had under control, but they still crop up occasionally. I hate to say that I still put this “avoiding problems” article forward even though it was originally written in the Fall of 2000. Something to be read by every new guy on your team.
Also written in the Fall of 2000, here is a summary of tile related problems that keep on coming up when people who are not formally trained in tilling think it is all so easy.