Welcome - This blog was created to discuss the common questions and topics concerning the start-up and ongoing operations of A Brush with Kindness and Aging in Place

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Choosing Your Scope of Work for ABWK

When ABWK first began in the Twin Cities our work scope was simple. We provided homeowners in our community with basic exterior repair and painting. Since we did not have many resources but had a lot of donated paint and abundance of volunteers, offering basic exterior work were became an easy way for us to quickly begin serving more families.

Providing this simple service proved to be a great benefit to our community as well. Our home painting made a big visual impact.  Transforming the exterior of a home with a new coat of paint brought volunteers great satisfaction; it restored the pride of our homeowner families and gave our affiliate a big marketing bang in the neighborhood and in the media.

Still, many other homes we saw needed extensive exterior and interior renovation.  Replacing porch/decks, roofing, siding, doors, ramps and windows on the exterior was a common need.  Also, replacing flooring, installing smoke detectors, railings drywall repair on the interior was a common need as well.  However, in the early stages of your program, it is easy to get overwhelmed with work scope on homes that need a great deal of renovation services. In most cases, you will want to avoid these homes in the near future.  Even in some cases when you are ready to tackle bigger projects, you will sometimes need to reject homes because the home is too far gone and/or the homeowner's ability to continue to care for it is in significant question.

For the first few years of our program, we kept our focus primarily on minor exterior repairs and painting.  We gradually increased our work scope over several years.  However, we did make exceptions when resources (materials and labor) became available or were able to partner with another group to get work accomplished.  Being flexible in work scope helped us to grow the program more quickly and built our reputation in the community as we were able to expand our services.

Also, a significant growth area for our program has been partnering with homeowner families who provide the entire labor for a project. Families do the work themselves or know people who can donate labor. We provide materials (purchased, donated and restore materials) and follow up to make sure the work is completed. This has been a great way to serve more families at a reduced cost for the affiliate.

Financial resources are the obvious hurdle to the growth of your program. Your ability to raise private sponsorships or find public dollars will determine how quickly your program can significantly expand its work scope.

However, the need for minor exterior repairs (soffit, facia, decking, siding and window/glass) and a fresh coat of paint is of itself a huge need in most communities and will fill a much needed gap in services. Whatever work scope you choose for your program, A Brush with Kindness will help enhance your affiliate’s reputation, impact and influence in your community. Home Repair Aging in Place

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