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Pardon Our Dust – Working Conditions

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Dear Friend,

Working conditions refers to the work environment and other circumstances affecting one’s ability to perform a job or task. Whether the work is being done indoors or outdoors could positively or negatively impact a worker’s effectiveness.

Extreme weather conditions such as heat, cold and humidity might also determine how long or how safely the work can be done. Other factors to consider include exposure to unpleasant odors or noxious fumes, physical space in which to maneuver, and working around machinery with moving parts.

Keep reading to see what types of working conditions I encountered and how I handled them.


Verdun Woods

The Thriving Marriage Coach

Tight Spaces

Our home was built in the early 1970’s. Though considered an average-sized space nearly fifty years ago, our master bathroom would be deemed relatively small by today’s standards. The floor dimension was less than 45-square feet, with a standard 8-foot ceiling. It included a shower stall, toilet, and custom-made vanity, countertop and mirror. The original ceiling in the shower stall had a drop-down soffit, which reduced the height to six-and-a-half feet.

During the demolition phase, I removed the soffit, which enabled me to access the attic area and increased the height of the shower stall. I also dismantled the vanity and countertop, removed the mirror, and disconnected the toilet, placing it in the bedroom area just outside the entrance to the bathroom door. Despite “gutting out” the entire area, the working space remained tight due to the addition of ladders, tools, materials, and supplies.

Once the plumber finished his part, allowing me to gut the space, my next task was to install a ventilation fan and a recessed shower ceiling light fixture, neither of which previously existed. Adding the electric wiring to connect these new devices required me to access the attic through the open ceiling area in the shower stall. This portion of the attic was unfinished in a steeply pitched section of the roof, creating an extremely limited crawl space for me to run wiring, install the fan, and vent the duct work. The combination of extreme heat, itchy fiberglass insulation, lack of flooring, and poor lighting presented some very challenging working conditions!

Breathing Room

The demolition and new construction work also created lots of dust, both inside and outside of the bathroom area. Removal of the toilet allowed some unpleasant odors from the sewer line to seep into the room. Additional fumes from paint, epoxy and other sealants also invaded the working space. Before and after installing and properly venting the fan, I had to open the window and wear face masks to avoid inhaling the dust and allow me to breathe. Given the volatile nature of winters in Northeast Florida, I was sometimes exposed to extremes of cold, heat, or humidity depending on the time of day that I worked.

The Work Bench

Much of my project required measuring and cutting various materials such as wood, drywall, tile, natural stone, cement board, and metal. Since my outdoor tool shed doubled as a storage facility, I got creative and used an old glass-top patio table as my work bench. During rainy days, I moved to an indoor set-up on our enclosed sun porch using an assortment of surfaces for my work bench. Suffice it to say that this make-shift working environment was less than ideal.

Creativity and Flexibility

A key lesson I learned from these working conditions was the importance of being creative and flexible when engaging in any “home” improvement project. This is especially true when still occupying a space in the midst of remodeling it. While dealing with the stress of dust, fumes, cramped spaces, and temperature extremes during a relationship makeover, many couples struggle to maintain a healthy balance of mutual trust and harmony. Take a minute and CLICK HERE to schedule your FREE 30-minute preview to learn how to be creative and flexible as you maneuver tight spaces and find breathing room while developing a marriage that THRIVES.

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