“Oops! Sorry. I measured wrong. This board is too short. Won’t fit. But I checked it. It was my fault. Better cut another”.
“Oops! This board is too short, too. But I checked my measurement. I was right this time. You must have cut wrong!”
“Really? OK? Give it to me again.”
And that is how ordering building materials becomes a crap-shoot. If I measure everything up and add 10%, then I am doing what professional builders do. Mind you, I really should add 20% because pros also know how to measure everything up. I don’t. But when you cut three boards to get one correct one, that suggests ordering somewhere around 300% extra and no amount of measuring is going to be useful in that case. Gross and profligate incompetence simply adds up.
“Well, I am building a roof 20 by 24 so that is 480 square feet. Better give me at least 800 square feet.”
The building supply guy just looks at me strangely.
“I make mistakes.” He looks at me more. Squinting. “I make a lot of mistakes.”
He is dumbfounded.
“I work with my wife.”
“Oh, now I get it! Women, eh?”
I really want to leave it at that but I know it will come back to bite me. Somehow. His wife probably goes to yoga or bookclub with my wife. It just has to be that way.
“Well, it is not really all her fault. Not really. She measures and I cut. Her measuring is pretty bad but where she might get it right, I screw up the cut. Together, we’re hopeless”.
“You realize I have to tell this to the other guys who work here?”
“Yeah. I know.”
“Me, too. But think of it this way: I get two sheds. One I planned for, the other smaller one from the off-cuts. I call it building Matryoshka style”.