We hired a handyman

In the Before-Times, we had some rotting wood.  One of the side doors to the garage was rotting.  Our shed had seen better days.  Some of the boards in our deck needed replacing.

And also, we do not particularly enjoy painting.  We have all (minus DC2) put in time painting this deck of ours over the years and it’s just not our favorite way to spend a weekend.

One of my colleagues had mentioned that he had a handy-man he liked who would do ANYTHING, no matter how small the job.  Mostly he was always pushing doing unlicensed plumbing at less than cost.  (Looking him up online, there’s a DUI, so perhaps he was previously licensed.)  But he always did a reasonably good job (better than my colleague could do anyway) and was pretty cheap.

And so when DH complained about wood rot, I kept saying, look, there’s no need for you to do this yourself if you don’t want to.  We are rich.  Let us hire this guy my colleague recommended.

So we started with the door and he did a great job and it wasn’t too expensive.  Half up front to buy parts, half after to pay for labor.  Then he and his crew basically refaced our entire shed– they just built a shed-like structure around the original walls.  Both of these things look great to my untrained eye, and DH was also pleased.  Those two items cost $2434.50 according to my records.

Then we called them back later after it stopped raining (in the After-Times) and they replaced boards in the deck and repainted it.  That has cost $1125.75– last time we had professional painters come out to just paint it was $600, and when we did a back of the envelope including the cost of the boards, we were expecting another $600 in parts and labor for that, so this seems pretty reasonable.  DH communicated outside with him masked up but the handyman (and high school daughter and other crew person) without masks. : /  I still think this was less risky than a trip to Home Depot would have been, though maybe a bit more risky than if we’d been able to do curbside with the wood, but some of those boards were pretty long so we’d probably have had to rent a truck.  And it’s good to spread money around locally?

The wood replacing is better than DH’s attempts (though probably equally good compared with the board we replaced with DH’s dad many years back.)  The deck paint job isn’t as even as we’d like, but they also didn’t stain our walls like we do.  DH may repaint a couple of the boards where half the board seems to have more coats than the other half.  (We could call them back to fix it, but it seems unnecessary.  Plus it keeps raining.)

It is definitely nice being able to outsource jobs that you don’t want to do.

Do you have a handy-person you like to use?  What kinds of things do you outsource?

12 Responses to “We hired a handyman”

  1. EB Says:

    Yes! he lives a couple of blocks down, he grew up around here and he knows the quirks these old bungalows and stucco four-squares all have, his parents live nearby, AND he knows all the best tradesmen for when it’s something that needs a license (or is a big paint job, which he does not do and for which our eyesight no longer results in a good job). When we got to the age when going up on a ladder above a cement alleyway or sidewalk didn’t seem like a good idea, we started having him do jobs that involve climbing on a ladder. He is also better than we are at rough carpentry (built and installed a new gangway gate, replaced rotted back stairway, etc). He is also very good at suggesting low-cost alternatives to what we thought were going to be expensive jobs. This still leaves plenty of fix-it jobs for us to do ourselves.

    He is why we don’t think seriously about moving to an apartment (yet).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That sounds wonderful!

    • CG Says:

      Wow! Wish we had someone like that. I end up doing a lot of the small jobs because I don’t know who to call, and the ones I can’t do because they require power tools just get left undone. We have people to call for big jobs like remodeling our kitchen but not for things like fixing our fence.

  2. middle_class Says:

    When we were younger and renters, we did a ton of stuff ourselves. Now that we own a house, we are too tired or unable to do as much. A good handyman is hard to find. We like our current one though.

  3. Miser Mom Says:

    Late to the conversation around here. When we were getting our old home ready for sale, we interviewed a bunch of contractors and finally found a pair of guys we really like. The did things like replace a kitchen floor, hire a roofer for a leaky roof and fix the ceiling under it themselves. When we moved to the new home, there were things I couldn’t do — parging basement walls, removing tanks, installing a kitchen vent fan (there’d been NONE when we moved in) . . . and this summer, they’ll be coming back to do a couple of other random things (install grab bars and stair rails, replace a rusted pipe, knock a hole in a southern wall to install a window). I love doing certain things myself, but I also really, really love having these go-to guys.

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I’d sure like to but labor costs out here are outrageous for pretty much everything substantial enough that we’d feel a benefit in if we traded money for time and frustration.

    We also have philosophical differences. PiC has projects he’d like get done but as a perfectionist he can’t fathom hiring someone to do a job that isn’t as good as what he would do. I would rather get the job done reasonably well without having to invest all my time either doing it or listening to someone doing it and needing many multiples of time to get it done Just So. I am not a perfectionist.

    • SP Says:

      Pretty much this. T enjoys the projects and is meticulous and able to do most things. We did hire some gardening help now and then, and a bit more when we put in the landscaping about 2 years ago. Other than that, we hire pros when pros are needed, but I can’t imagine a situation where a handyman would be called in.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    The CEO of Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Pizza hut donated more than $440,000 to Trump’s reelection campaign.


  6. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Postcards to voters was out of addresses today (probably lots of us feeling like we have to do something!) so I got 40 addresses from http://www.votefwd.org and DH and I split them up. Now I need more stamps and envelopes!

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