Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Fan Tales

Spontaneous projects are a great way to feel good, but some can become a lot more than we bargained for. I have seen and heard of a lot of easy projects that became a real time challenge, created lots of trips, or failed completely. The stories and experiences are lessons towards becoming better and more efficient, hoping one day we will possess the knowledge and tools to do that quick job. But then there is reality. This story comes from a dear family member we will call Steve.

Steve’s favorite place to shop is a big box store. It’s exciting, inspiring, and thrilling to use the isles to pick your next project. And there it was, a new ceiling fan that takes only 5 minutes to install. All he needed was a screwdriver, ladder, and electrical tester. It was an easy afternoon project.

He gathered his tools and placed the ladder just so under the fixture. He opened the box. One minute in he’s trying to keep his cool about the instructions that were written in an English he could not understand. Three minutes in he realizes the blades were in the wrong place. Four minutes in the supplied screws were used in the wrong place. Five minutes in he went up the ladder and forgot why. So 5 minutes wasn’t quite enough. It wasn’t until about 2 days in that his optimism began to fade.

This happens to all of us. The best projects can be the ones unplanned, but they can also be the worst. I can say with experience that puttering around the house is a great way to unleash your inner fix-it. Tightening door hinge screws, messing with a door knob, putting a baseboard heat cover back on, or even weather stripping a door are great ways to feel good about getting something small done. And you can walk away half done and no one will know. But certain easy projects can get quickly complicated.

Steve’s handyman was just a phone call away, but a silly fan could not beat him. Between getting clipped by the blades when he was getting close to the motor to listen for a loose screw, or having the wrong electrical box that did not support a fan, or later thinking of a remote switch, or the 6 extra trips to the store; there are just those projects that require a bit more planning or farming out.

Talking to professionals or salespeople that specialize in your purchase can help fill the gaps for your project, reduce stress, pain, and multiple trips to the store. The big box stores are convenient, but they do not necessarily have the expertise to insure your project planning is complete. Seek answers and guidance though reading the package, or from friends, professionals, and the Internet. But be sure to validate the answers since there is also a lot of misinformation, deceptive marketing, and piecemeal information out there.

The big lesson for Steve is physical pain is temporary but a broken ego lasts forever. He did finish it, but did admit later that it would have been easier to tape the box to the ceiling.