Real DIYers don't JUST read the instructions.

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  #1  
Old 12-17-16, 12:28 PM
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Real DIYers don't JUST read the instructions.

I suspect not everyone will agree with me, but that's OK.

I notice with regularity that questions are asked on this forum and someone says to read a manual or instructions. My initial reaction is usually, "Wow, why didn't someone think of that before". My broader reaction is often different, though: I wonder, is that the DIY spirit?

I think the answer is mostly no. When someone asks a question on this site I like to think the questioner wants to know why as well as what. If that's the case, the questioner should come away with knowledge as well as information. But, saying to read the manual doesn't add to the reader's knowledge beyond the obvious. It's like saying people shouldn't smoke because there's a warning on the package, not because you'll die.

This is not to say that manuals and instructions aren't important. Of course they are. But saying so routinely should be left to some other forum.

Feel free to pile on but don't forget to read this website's instructions first.
 
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Old 12-17-16, 12:48 PM
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Having seen literally hundreds of people post here, wondering where they went wrong, the first mistake they usually made was not FOLLOWING printed directions. Not understanding those instructions is kind of secondary... if people want to know why something is so, (like what do the instructions mean when they say _____), they can always ask.

More often than not, the directions are ignored or shortcuts are made, which leads to the "where did I go wrong" kind of questions. Thats why you always hear the caveat... always follow label directions.
 
  #3  
Old 12-17-16, 01:25 PM
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I can usually get more sense out of a everyday DIY lay person than those instructions written by someone with 9 degrees in Engineering. I mean really, it usually takes 3 times as long to put something together by the instructions provided sometimes because, more times than not, they leave out something that may be common sense to one person but is totally relevant to another.

Instructions are not always the best source of information when trying to do something you don't really understand to begin with. Just because you want a "flux core capacitor", doesn't mean you understand all there is to know about this thing to put it together with the instructions provided.
That is kinda an exaggerated example but some people are just not mechanically inclined & cant install a door knob..... with the provided instructions. Some people just simply don't read well. Sometimes you just need somebody on planet earth to explain it a little more better.
 
  #4  
Old 12-17-16, 01:29 PM
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I have to agree that far too many posters are asking questions they should have already answered from their owners manual. Knowing what level the poster is at, all thumbs to skilled along with have they or haven't they read the instructions is just part of long distance help. All part of getting everyone on the same page.

Bud
 
  #5  
Old 12-17-16, 02:40 PM
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But they also ignore the instructions we give and ignore the questions we ask.
 
  #6  
Old 12-17-16, 04:42 PM
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How many hundreds of post have we all seen on just flooring?
Vinyl strip flooring glued down on stairs, laminate ran through door ways with no transition stip.
Vinyl laid over louan underlayment.
All of which the manufactures install directions would be against.
 
  #7  
Old 12-18-16, 12:17 AM
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I frequently answer questions on petroleum products, synthetics, and adhesives so I'll explain my point simply in that regard. Questions come up frequently on things like the right oil for a mower or snow thrower. Someone will invariably respond that his mower manual says to use 10W-30 or his snow thrower manual says to use 5W-30. That's fine but does it add any value to the discussion? I just think it would be better to explain the circumstances where one type of oil would be used versus another instead of just regurgitating the opinion of someone else - in case the guy using the snow thrower moved to Key West.
 
  #8  
Old 12-18-16, 03:21 AM
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Directing the op to their instruction manual (IMO) is not the end of the advice they will receive, it is the beginning and in many cases a necessary one. Doing so has two distinct advantages. One, it helps us to understand what they know and two it tells us whether they have even tried to resolve their problem on their own. The old joke about reading the instructions is actually good advice, especially for a newbie.

Bud
 
  #9  
Old 12-18-16, 03:29 AM
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Tony P.
You might consider being a moderator. It's really no different than a member, but if you can give good advice, why not.
I grew up reading instructions, or ripping things apart and not be able to get them back together.

I volunteer here to help people interpret the instructions better (I hope), or save them about 10 trips to the hardware store.

It sounds like you can help people cut to the chase and that's good.
 
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