|Posted by jrcrowther on June 2, 2013 at 7:50 AM|
Having bought a wooden garden house, it was delivered. I opened the large pack and beheld the hundreds of pieces of wood. I closed the pack and sighed. This was not in my area of expertise and the instruction book depressed me further. I hired a local man to erect this edifice, he being recommended by another from a local building firm. Duly, the man/boy came and arranged for the erection. "A day, no more", he said. He did come on the elected day and I left him to the shedding. Now here is where his expertise and intelligence parted company. He was straight in, wooden verticals being rapidly sighted and sited, soon a shell then a roof and then hammering and screwing. I was happy to see my haven for sunsets and gin and tonics on a summer afternoon go up so quickly. I marveled at his confidence. Rain interrupted the proceedings and he came back a week later to complete his task. This time there was much cutting of wood and the later appearance of two others. My wife began to have suspicions that something was not quite right. Anyway he finished and an inspection followed. The door was not right, the bottom lock had nothing to fit into, and in fact the base of the shed seemed vacant! "There was no piece", he said and scuttled away after being paid (a sum that was considerably less than the case where a professional shed erector would have charged). In fact there were many faults spotted in the next 45 minutes. My wife consulted the almost pristine instruction book and realised with a molten expletive that the man had forgotten to 'do' step one i.e. fit the hexagonal base. We had a shed without its base. Step one then forgotten and the rest of the construction, an alteration-botch. He was telephoned to appear this weekend, he did not. There are a few lessons here. Instruction books are for reading and assimilation, no matter what the proud expertise. Competence has to be manifested and checked (I left him to it without interference). Cheap labour is a risk. Recommendations are a risk. Main conclusion 'Get step one right'. I had a personal run-in with an erection of a free-standing IKEA kitchen unit, got step one wrong and only realised this after step 79 when I tried to close the door on the finished unit! Anyway the garden house is erected warts and all and some reparations are in order. Pity to have had this experience but yet another life-lesson.