Our microwave crapped out on us the other day. At first this seemed like a slight nuisance. I make a lot of meals from scratch and if I was reheating something I could use the oven, toaster oven, or stovetop. The microwave though proved the old adage that you don't miss something until it's gone. Having never installed one before, I wanted to know everything about it before heading to the store.
To start, I created a note in the "Home Projects" notebook of Evernote. You can see this in the upper left of the screenshot below. This is where I collect all the things about my house that need done. My brother-in-law does me one better and includes not only the projects, but he's measured the rooms in his house and knows how much paint is needed if he's painting a room. Well done Mike.
As with most home improvement projects, I begin by leaving all assumptions aside. I hate being at the store and not knowing if I need this or that piece. To start, I noted the dimensions of the Old Microwave and of the Opening. I thought that over the stove microwaves were all the same size, but wanted to have the dimensions handy when I was at the store. Then I needed to know the steps of installing one. I appreciate the customer service at our local Lowes, but I think I can save the $100 and figure out the installation myself.
I watched a Youtube Instructions clip - and saved the link in my note so I could watch it again - and found out that these types of microwaves mount using a bracket attached to the wall and require two adults to lift it in place. I had my wife help me remove the old one and afterwards she said she wouldn't be any help installing the new one, it was too heavy. In my note I included a mailto:[email protected] link. This let me email him for help installing it.
After knowing what to do, I needed to pick out a unit. I got on the Lowes, Menards, and Amazon sites to compare prices. It seemed like all the microwaves were about the same size and wattage. This section wasn't that helpful in the store, but doing the research ahead of time did focus my attention toward the two differentiating factors, price and interface.
Two days after removing the old one I had installed the new one. Watching the video a second time helped with having all my tools on hand and the instructions for lifting it in place were also spot on.
As helpful as Evernote was for this, I hope I don't need to do it again. In the last two years we've replaced a microwave, dishwasher, air-conditioner, and stove in our current house.