Regardless of personality type, prior work experience or educational background, every insulation installer has it in them to learn two valuable skillsets to improve their square metre output. These two key elements are: a methodical and systematic approach, complemented by the ability to adapt to changes or unforeseen aspects of the insulation install itself.
A Note on Safety
A methodical approach does not detract from the fact that you may need to alternate between tasks that have risks associated with manual handling such as repetitive strain injury (RSI). An example of this could be switching between doing walls and ceilings to avoid excessive strain from doing the entire ceiling install in one go.
Having a Methodical Approach
First and foremost, this is required during the install itself, but also throughout every aspect of the day. Loading the truck needs to be done effectively. Tools like ladders need to be readily accessible as they might be amongst the first things needed at the building site. Upon arriving on site and preparing to unload, the methodical approach motto has to be: get the truck as close as possible to the final destination of the insulation. This might be something simple like asking the electrician to move their work vehicle. It may also be a case of backing up a narrow driveway, which although costing you a couple of minutes, can pay dividends by lowering the overall time it takes to get the Pink Batts to where they have to go.
As mentioned earlier, this systematic approach is vitally important when carrying out the actual installation work itself. The key here is to reduce as much as reasonably possible the need to back track. Back tracking, which usually consists of leaving something half done, can take a number of forms, but every installer has to find what works out best for them individually. Using insulation offcuts effectively is a good habit to get into, as although it may slow you down initially it will save you time when it comes to cleaning up scraps at the end of the job.
The Ability to Adapt on the Job
There are always unknowns on construction sites and despite a methodical approach being both valuable and necessary, it should not overshadow the need to adapt to changes in approach where needed. If you tend to be somewhat over-systematic, practise asking yourself these critical questions: Is there a better way? Is there a more efficient or effective way to carry out the task I am doing right now? There is a difference between stopping to reflect as a means of procrastination as opposed to pausing for a moment to re-evaluate the best insulation approach. The former costs you time and money, whilst the latter improves your overall insulation results over the course of a day.
Generally speaking: keep moving, stay mobile. Don’t stop to think, you are not performing an operation – you’re insulating! Pink Batts on walls is money in your pocket, batts in bags is not.