, The Biggest Mistakes People Make Building a Wood Fence, Building Wrestling

People build fences everyday and most are built correctly but most could also be built a little better. By applying the little known tips below you can build a fence that will last longer and look better.

You start a fence by making holes spaced about every 8 feet apart for the 4x4x8′ treated posts. These holes should be dug 2 feet deep with a post hole digger. Most people stop right there with a cylinder shaped hole since digging these holes is the most strenuous part of fence building. To ensure the post is well anchored the fence installer should use the post hole digger at an angle around the whole diameter of this hole to make a ball shaped anchor at the bottom of the cylinder. A post hole dug in this manner is much more secure and stable.

Another mistake people make is not realizing the fact that wood never sticks to concrete. Drive by any concrete job and you will notice they use wood forms to frame the concrete held up by nails and wood stakes. The next day the concrete workers take the nails out and these wood forms just fall off of the concrete. Another problem is bugs and water in the soil can deteriorate the wood posts. To prevent these problems the fence builder should put black roof tar on the bottom two feet of the fence post that enters the ground. This will prevent the post from rotting and enables the concrete to stick to the posts.

After the posts are leveled and set you should allow them to dry for one whole day before nailing on them. If you start nailing on them before the concrete is completely set you will knock the posts out of level.

Many people build a fence with only two rails to nail their fence slats to. To build a secure fence that will last for years, three rails should be used. The top rail should be placed on the top of the fence posts lying in a horizontal position. The fence slats should not be installed more than 8″ above this top rail. If so they will tend to twist and turn with age. The bottom rail shouldn’t be more than 8″ above the bottom of the fence slats for the same reason. The center rail should be placed evenly between the top and bottom rails. Although the top rail is placed in the horizontal position the middle and bottom rail should be placed vertically. This will prevent these rails from warping and makes a far better looking and stronger fence.

Ask any roofer about water drainage and he will tell you that water always goes in one direction – and that is down. He is almost correct but he doesn’t understand the lip or linger factor. There is one instance where water can and will travel up, and every fence builder should be aware of. This is also the reason why fascia boards almost always rot and warp.

Have you ever walked by a house with wood siding or a wood fence and noticed the bottom of the painted wood is bubbling and rotten? The paint or wood sealer should have protected the wood from moisture to prevent it from rotting however the installers weren’t aware of the lip or linger factor.

Many contractors never seal the bottom lip of the wood. Over the years as water drains down the face of the wood it lingers on the exposed bottom lip and begins to soak up into the wood causing it to rot.

If you want to water seal or paint your new fence, always be certain to coat the top and bottom lip.

, Team Building With Scavenger Hunts, Building Wrestling

You Can Use a Scavenger Hunt to Strengthen and Build Your Team

Being successful in the workplace requires contributions from everyone on the team. A strong team is important to meet company goals and function more efficiently in the workplace. This is why it is important for a team of employees to perform just as they are named, as a team. There are many ways to develop and build a team atmosphere in the workplace. One great way is to sponsor a team scavenger hunt.

What is a Scavenger Hunt?

I am sure you know what a scavenger hunt is, but to refresh your memory, it is merely a challenge to find specific items within a specific set of boundaries. A list of items is given to each team and they are to find the items and return them by a specific deadline. The team that returns with the most items found from their list in the designated time is the winner. Scavenger hunts can be done on an individual basis with one winner or, for the purposes of team-building, can be done in teams. They are a fun way to get your team mates to work together.

Have the Scavenger Hunt In the Office or Outside the Office to Build the Team

You can make the hunt business related by selecting items that relate to your business or market or you can make it more fun and select random items that will be more difficult to find. If you have time to do the scavenger hunt outside of the office it can be even more fun and more challenging.

To do a scavenger hunt in the office, spend a day (possibly on the weekend prior to the event) and hide certain items (or find existing items) all over the office building. Be sure and put them all into a list. You can make it more challenging by adding very specific items on the list, like a paperclip that has a red piece of string tied to it. If you have a tub of paperclips that people go to when they need more, place the string tied paperclip at the bottom of the tub, so it is not easily noticed when glancing in the bin. If there are plants in your office you can put small items, like small glass beads or maybe a push pin into the dirt at the base of the plant. Be sure to be specific on the list of what you are looking for. If you want them to find the glass bead that is in the dirt, list “a dirt covered clear glass bead”. This will make them look for a specific item.

Guidelines for the Team Building Scavenger Hunt

Prior to starting the scavenger hunt, be sure to lay out some general guidelines. Make sure they know what the boundaries are that they should look in. Make sure they understand that the idea is to work as a team to gather the items on their list. You can add additional rules and requirements to force the groups to work together as a team, i.e. everyone must stick together, etc.

Choosing Teams for the Scavenger Hunt

As you begin the scavenger hunt, you may want to assign people to the teams they will be working with. This gives you the opportunity to break up any office clicks that may be in place or to put certain people together that need to grow into a more cohesive team. You can also choose to put participants who are already close on opposite teams to allow them to get to know the other people that are working in their office but that they do not often communicate with. Your teams should be chosen based on your objectives for the scavenger hunt.

Each team will have to decide their strategies and how they will be working together to get the scavenger hunt completed. Regardless of their strategy, they will have to work together to come up with a plan and to execute the task.

Choosing Prizes for your Team Building Scavenger Hunt

You may decide to tell the participants what the prize will be, or to make it more intriguing, do not tell them. Just tell them that they will really like the prize that the winning team receives. The mystery will probably make them work harder towards winning.

The prize for the scavenger hunt should be thought about carefully. You have to make sure that it is something that is desired by the majority of the office staff. It is virtually impossible to please every person with the prize but you can definitely come up with something that most will enjoy. It may be a pizza party that they Management staff throws for them. If it is possible, paid time off is always a great reward. You could offer the winning team a half day off with pay. If time off is not something that is workable due to workload or other reasons, consider other options, like a signed certificate of completion. This should be signed by people that are high up in the company, not just their immediate supervisors. This will hold more meaning if the upper management staff has a part in their recognition. A great reward for all of the participants may be in order as well. You should not tell the teams that they will all be rewarded prior to the finish of the scavenger hunt. This will work as a work against you because it will unmotivate them. If they know they will all be rewarded then they will surely not put as much effort into the task.

Debriefing the Scavenger Hunt

Without any additional input, the activity itself will serve to bond the team together in a fun way that carries over into their work. But you may also wish to have the teams debrief some of the behaviors that take place during the scavenger hunt. While the scavenger hunt is in process, take a look at how the employees are relating to each other. You will definitely be able to see the leadership possibilities in certain employees. You will also see which employees follow directions the best. Many strengths and weaknesses may be revealed and the management staff can make full use of the information that is gained from this exercise. Some strategies and behaviors will be more successful than others.

To bring out these points you might want to have a basic team debrief right after the scavenger hunt is finished. Ask the participants to discuss some of the following questions:

  • What happened?
  • What were the results? Why?
  • What was successful? What could have been done better?
  • What strengths of individuals were discovered? What skills and strengths were not fully utilized?
  • How could you offset or overcome any weaknesses?
  • What could have been done differently?
  • What did you learn about others in the team?
  • How can what you learned about each other be helpful in the workplace?

Benefits of a Scavenger Hunt for Team-Building

Holding an office scavenger hunt is a great idea. Not only will it be a fun break from the day to day responsibilities, but it will provide them the opportunity to practice team work. There are benefits for the participants as well as the management staff. The management staff will be able to observe and to recognize traits in their employees that they may not have realized without the scavenger hunt. The task is office friendly and fun for everyone that is involved.

Need some Ideas?

You can get ideas for specific scavenger hunts from CreativeScavengerHunts.com