"For to lining up the grommet flange (part number 9067) with the anterior gasket housing (part number 2134), make nice sure that corners balance! Especially. And the left plumb socket (part number 8660) shouldn't be in front of the ridge cap vent (part number 1852)! For connecting with three very nice #12 bolts behind lock washers and acorn nuts, start from outside and working your way in."
Another fun feature of this shed was that you had to have the arm length, and climbing skills, of an orangutan to put the roof together. The only way to get the roof panels attached was to set one in place, balance (belly down) on the top of a ladder, and reach forward as far as possible to screw the far end of the panel to the struts. You were not supposed to put any weight at all on the roof panels, which were made of sheet metal with the tensile strength of Reynolds Wrap. Because of the near-impossibility of assembling the roof while balancing horizontally on the top of a ladder without leaning on the panels, I left several dents in the roof from my hands, elbows, face, etc.
[image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons]
It was in this same room that I attempted to install a "floating floor." For those of you unfamiliar with this home furnishing innovation, it's a substitute for tile and hardwood, which are both notoriously difficult to install. "Floating floors" are strips of wood laminate, which lock together like Lego pieces. "It's a piece of cake," the guy at Home Depot told me. "A kid could do it."
Well, if that statement is correct, I'm unlikely ever to participate on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? The assembly procedure required you to put together strips of the laminate, and then use clamps to keep them square as you added further rows. After working on the project for several hours, I came to the conclusion that either the floor wasn't square or else one of my eyes was closer to the bridge of my nose than the other one, because every time I secured the clamp on one side of the room, the floor panels on the other side would pop out of square. I said many, many bad words during the course of that day. I finally did get the floor installed, though, and all I can say is: thank god for molding. Whoever invented molding is a genius. The guy at the lumber store looked at me a little oddly when I asked him if he had any eight-inch-thick molding, but whatever. Maybe it'll be a New Trend in Interior Decorating.
So, anyway, all of this has left me in awe of people who are actually good at construction. I mostly specialize in what my dad used to call "Do It To Yourself Projects." I'm also good at carrying around heavy objects, giving advice, and helping out with the pizza and beer afterwards. Just don't ask me to translate any directions written in Hindi.