I’ve just been alerted to a possible handyman job from an online job registry.
A guy wants a handyman to renovate a bathroom ... completely ... in 7 days. It will need demolition, full waterproofing, full tiling, carpentry and plumbing.
Not counting demolition, that's 4 skilled trades – one of which (plumbing) is illegal to carry out by anyone but a fully licensed plumber.
We handymen pride ourselves in having a wide skill set, but this is ridiculous! A big part of being a Mosman handyman in is knowing when to say NO. I tried to give this guy my opinion but I think I have to pay to reply!
Maybe he thinks he’ll save money. He won’t. A good handyman will tell our friend to use specialist tradesmen. A bad handyman will have a go and do a very bad job.
I hope he goes for the former.
(PS. If this sounds like you and your name is Luke I’m talking to you)
Q: How can you find the best handyman for your needs?
A: 1. Check references, either personal or on the Handyman’s website.
2. Check his website. If a 5 year old can make one for free why not your Handyman (or his 5 year old)?
3. Meet the Handyman and talk. Most of us can decide within a few minutes if we are happy to have this person in our home ... or if we have a niggling doubt.
4. If you have a niggling doubt find someone else.
5. Make sure the handyman is comfortable with the jobs you want done. Few of us are experts at everything. A good Handyman will tell you what he can AND can't do.
I’m in Bunnings a lot and I often overhear conversations – OK I snoop. It always amuses me when I hear customers asking the sales assistants ‘how’ to do something as if they were talking to a qualified tradesman.
A lot of people (my wife included) think sales staff should be experts in their field. But it’s been my experience that you don’t get experts by paying minimum retail wage.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Some of the sales staff are very good … at their jobs. The paint mixing guys have a real eye and skill for matching a faded sample chip from someones wall.
But can they scrape, sand, wash, fill, bind, prime and paint an ancient window sill? Probably not because they are SELLING stuff, they are not USING stuff.
PS> Additional thought: Bunnings is basically Coles for hardware. Would you ask a Coles shop assistant how to cook a meal using their grocery items?
New Years resolutions or personal commitments? Whatever. I've been bugged by late and sloppy tradesmen for years so I've resolved to be different with HomeRite Handyman Services. Here's how ...
1. I will arrange an exact time (not a range) to visit you.
2. I will arrive on time.
3. If I am delayed I will contact you.
4. I will take the time to get a clear understanding of your job and discuss options with you.
5. I will give you a fixed, written quote.
6. At the end of each day I will clean up after myself.
7. At the end of each day I will tell you of my progress.
8. If anything changes I will tell you and discuss options.
9. I will be respectful of you, your family, pets, neighbours and property.
10. I will complete the jobs as quoted even if this takes me longer than expected.
Mosman houses tend to be older so many have sash windows (those old double hung windows where each panel slides up and down). Sash windows were invented in the 17th century in Holland … or France … or England - take your pick.
The beauty of a sash window is that it is designed from the beginning to be repairable. The flexible cords will eventually break so access is made easy.
My oldest sash window repair must have been close to 130 years old. Apart from the cord, all the parts were still working well. It’s hard to imagine a building product today that will still be working perfectly in 13 years time, let alone 130.
It's boxing day and still full of the spirit of yesterdays Christmas, I stopped to help 2 women with a flat tire.
It didn't take me long and the ladies were very grateful. They had just moved into a new home around the corner from mine.
One of the neat things about being a Handyman is that you can use a basic knowledge of tools to help people who really get stuck.
I thought no more about it until I arrived home later in the day to find a bottle of wine as a thankyou gift!
That's a pretty nice way to end the year isn't it?
I just had a ‘discussion‘ with the irate neighbour of a client. The clients house is on a very busy main road in Mosman. Parking there consists of indicating for about 30 seconds, slowing down a bit, then at the last minute swerving off the road and onto the grass median in front of the houses.
I made the mistake of parking in front of the neighbours house not my clients. Or should I say, I made the mistake of being the 10th person to park in front of the neighbours house.
OK fair enough. But it did make me think. Providing parking for tradesmen and handymen if at all possible is a good idea. It’s considerate and will help the job move more smoothly. But perhaps more importantly tricky access will actually turn a lot of good tradies off quoting.
On a recent flyer drop I avoided a strip of homes for just this reason!
Conversely a client who moved her car early every morning so I could use the driveway got my super-delux-platinum service.
1. He’s the handyman who promises the world.
2. He's the handyman who says ‘don’t worry Love’ a lot.
3. He's the handyman who doesn’t listen.
4. He's the handyman who doesn’t look.
5. He's the handyman who can't give you a fixed quote.
6. He's the handyman who is very cheap.
7. He's the handyman who can’t provide any references.
8. He's the handyman who makes you feel uncomfortable.
9. Like this unexpected extra point, he charges a bit extra because you live in Mosman or the Lower North Shore.
When people ask me this I tell; them I don’t have one.
What you really want to know is how much your job will cost to do/fix.
I once hired an electrician who had the cheapest hourly rate in Mosman. Guess what? He was also the slowest in Mosman … and not very good either. I spent the whole time looking at my watch.
It's far better to get me (or any tradie) to quote upfront in writing. That way you know exactly what the job will cost and you can say yes or no, then relax.
You are welcome to use my blog posts - in their entirety or as "quotes".