By Tim Faller. A one-person crew is the most misunderstood part of the lead carpenter system. Here are a few facts.

Fact #1: When people are added to a crew, the production per dollar spent always drops. Interaction, instr-uction, and supervision all take time away from production.

Fact #2: Two people do not always get the work done twice as fast.

Fact #3: Many tasks on a remodeling job require more than one person. But a lot of tasks that typically use two or more people can actually be done with one.

Here are a few guidelines for scheduling one-person crews:

First, use the minimum number of people needed to get a task done safely. Limit the crew to one person whenever possible.

When you do have more than one person working on a job, develop habits and skills to increase everyone's production per dollar spent. Lists, schedules, goals, and daily planning are a few ways to get organized.

Arrange a schedule so that the crew changes as the task changes. A one-person crew from start to finish makes sense for jobs like window or kitchen and bath replacements. For larger jobs, have a lead work alone at the beginning of the job, add a laborer for demolition and a carpenter for framing, and then the lead can finish up alone.

--Tim Faller, Field Training Services,