An old, rusty, metal shed that had sat in the backyard for over twenty years, needed to be replaced. The bent and nearly broken door sounded like nails on a chalkboard whenever it was moved along its track. Dart and I agreed it was time to let the old thing go.
First we did the techno-savvy thing and researched the sheds we liked online. Okay, Dart researched the sheds he liked, and showed me the ones he came up with. And, as you know, I am fully compliant, and submissive, and subservient. So, anything my husband wants is fine by me.
Anyway… The shed we agreed on was this gorgeous thing that looked like a little house. Well, kind of. The manufacturer, “TKO” (an alias) out of Canada, provided details of the product leaving no question unanswered, complete with a presentation of how to put the whole thing together. The two people in the video assembling it never even broke a sweat. The fact they were building it indoors, and she wore a scarf that never moved, should have been a heads up. But, hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?
After deciding that we want this shed (we’ll call it TK), we began the process of purchasing it. Surprise, surprise. They won’t sell it directly to us. A major department store in the US is the sole distributor of this product. I won’t name names, but the major department store rhymes with Tears.
We went in to find the model TK we wanted, but they didn’t have one set up. The rep positively gushed about what a fantastic wood/plastic composite shed this was, and the price could not be beat. We agreed, after all, we’d done the research. Since we’re ordering it, and planning on assembling it ourselves, the only real drawback would be if we needed to order replacement parts. He told us that could take a while, so he suggested we order such things through TKO, rather than Tears. We nodded. A word to the wise is sufficient. Taking a deep breath, we ordered the shed, on faith that it was everything the website, and the Tears rep, claimed.
Three weeks later, the boxes arrived.
This is the time to open each, and every one of these boxes, and take an inventory of every single item.
First, the instruction manual. In today’s world, we do not have “Tab A into Slot B” type instructions. No. Now, it’s “Part MODFL connects to MODF9 with SC14.” And that is my interpretation, because there are very few actual words in this forty-six page book. It is ALL diagrams. Here's an example.
So, after lengthy discussions regarding the placement of the floor onto the foundation we’d built, and dodging the thunderstorms (Florida, remember?), it did take a while, but once we determined which pieces were needed for the floor, we began our project.
We moved along at a brisk pace. And by brisk, I mean we could only work on the weekends, and then only when the sky wasn’t shooting lightning bolts at us.
I’ll admit, I grew more than a little frustrated, and irritated as this thing was being put together. Dart is a stubborn man who feels a bit chaffed at being told that he might be wrong. (I know, right?) So, for me, being a stickler for the instructions, had the misfortune of explaining that TKO did not agree with him on a couple of assemblage points. He eventually agreed with TKO. Not with me, of course, but with TKO.
A good three weekends went by of hard work, sweat, mutual frustration, cursing, occasional blood, and then we unpacked this…
Yes, we should have inventoried the boxes. Yes, the corners are very, very, important. Yes, the entire project came to a standstill.
Following the Tears rep’s original advice, we tried to order through TKO. They sent us back to Tears, where it was explained to us (via email) that the part we need is on backorder. Of course it is. It’s part of the wall. What company would keep extra inventory of such non-important things like wall slats? ARGH!
In the four weeks and two days it took to get the replacement part, the floor had started to warp. We placed cinderblocks to counteract the bend, but it was going to be a struggle.
We had tried to ignore the giggles from the neighbors, who had decided that we weren’t going to ever finish the thing. It grew to be quite the embarrassment.
After the parts did arrive, we took time off from work and dedicated ourselves to finishing it. Once again, Dart and the TKO manual disagreed. I was adamant that Dart was doing it wrong. However, it turned out he was right. The diagram showed the little guy backwards, to indicate the work was being done inside. You’d have to see it, but, yes, I apologized.
The shed, now complete, was worth all of the hard work and effort.
I’d like to see that young woman with the immovable scarf who helped assemble it indoors on the video, come to Florida and try it. It’s safe to say that, at the very least, her scarf would move. She would also be drenched in sweat, cursing like a sailor, and threatening to shove the instruction manual where the sun don’t shine.