Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Owned By Owners Manual

In concept most things should be relatively easy to assemble and install.  A night-stand has three walls and two drawers.  Connect the three walls (plus top & bottom), slide in the drawers and viola! Right?  Well maybe not.  Though I have a rather long list of items in ten years of marriage that have been successfully put together and/or installed, the percentage of those that went smoothly and without issue is VERY minuscule.

When I first started my handyman career I often wondered if it was just me and my inexperience or if everyone had the same basic woes with their projects?  One MAIN factor kept sticking out like a sore thumb.  The OWNERS MANUAL!  Who is in charge of writing and illustrating these things?  I am convinced that the people whose job it is to produce these "instructions" to us have NEVER actually put the product together or installed it.  And I believe that SHOULD be a requirement!

Case in point on Sunday night earlier this week, I set about to install a new light fixture above our Kitchen table.  In concept, it should be easy.  Turn off the breaker, connect the electrical, attach the mounting bracket, connect the fixture to the bracket, screw everything tight (including the light bulbs), turn circuit breaker back on and flip on the wall switch.  I have installed four ceiling fans with quadruple the amount of parts and heavier components so surely this will be just as simple as I've described!

But you, the reader, know better.  You know it didn't go well because (A) it never goes well and you've personally experienced this too not to mention (B) I don't normally blog or rant about great experiences.  To save you a novel, this OWNERS MANUAL not only failed to show the proper order that all the components were supposed to be put in, they never once tell you to connect the electrical wires LAST.  I had to learn by trial and error (each time disconnecting the entire apparatus) fixing the issue, reordering the parts, reconnecting the wires, finding a new issue, disconnecting, fixing, reconnecting...well you get the picture.  I am a smart enough person that IF any kind of clear instruction had been inserted into the manual, this could have ALL been prevented!

DIY TIP:  Any time you are hanging a light that has a rope or chain-type mount, connect the electrical last so that when you screw the brackets into place it won't twist your electrical wires into pretzel shapes.

COMMENT: I want to hear from you.  Feel free to tell me about either how awesome your handyman experiences are or how relatable this post is due to your similar troubles!