3 Key Conveniences for a Happy Construction Team

Except two weeks of vacation, the construction schedule has most of the construction happening on weekends. We all have day jobs -- so my construction team, consisting mostly of my three sons and my wife, donate their weekends to the cause. I have been taking every Friday off in the month of June to prepare the construction site, and to get whatever I can get started.

Long and hot days make for tired and sore bodies. Out in the great outdoors it is difficult to have the conveniences of home - but we try.

1. Comfortable Sleeping arrangements
Nothing is more dangerous is tired workers. I set out to ensure we could provide the best under the circumstance. I am fortunate in that I had a headstart. I had previously built a small one room bunkie which can accommodate 2 -3 people, and a gazebo.

In the gazebo I have semi-permanently (for the summer construction season) pitched a 3 - 4 person tent. I furnished it with comfy mattresses, pillows and sleeping bags.

The bunkie has a futon for two and a small loft with a single mattress. Both come with pillows and blankets.

2. Private Toilet Facilities
There is an outhouse with a composting toilet. Composting toilets although taller than conventional toilets have the same features once you climb on to them.

3. Washing Capabilities
For full body washes (aka showers and baths) the facility is found just over the edge of the dock. Combined with a ecologically positive bar of soap and bottle of shampoo, the lake makes for effective if not a bit cool wash-down. As it has been very hot and humid I haven't been hearing any complaints!

In the interim and for times when a bit of touch-up is required - like when my wife insists we wash our hands before meals, we use wipes. They work very effective, and they are great for getting the insect repellent off just before climbing in the very welcome bed and sleeping bag each night.

4. Good Food & Drink
Food and drink is probably the easiest. We simply use a BBQ and carry our food up to the cottage for the weekend in a cooler. Our BBQ comes with a side burner so making coffee or tea or boiling water to wash dishes is very easy.

Keeping drinks and food is a bit of a problem beyond a few days as the ice pack are really being taxed in the hot weather. However, we retrieved a refrigerated cooler from storage and have plugged that in to the generator during the day. The 'boosted' cooler seems to keep things just a bit cooler. It only runs when we have the generator on to power our construction tools but for the past two weekends that has been pretty consistently from 9am to 7pm each day, with short spots for lunch and supper.

We keep the booster cooler with drinks and a big water jug right at the construction site, within easy reach for anyone to crack open a cool one.

...and regarding the 'Cool ones', beer is strictly for the after-supper celebration of a fine day's work, and to help ease the pain of those long under-exercised but now overused muscles. We use drinks with great electrolyte balance, like the most commonly recognized Gatorade.