I was working at a clients place in Mosman when a plumber pulled up. Without even looking at the job he had to do, he grabbed two wrenches and a rag and dashed inside.
I looked down at the tools I had spread around me. It looked like an explosion at a Bunnings.
Being a handyman has a tremendous variety of work, which is why I like the trade so much. BUT each type of job has a required range of tools: woodworking tools, painting tools, plastering tools, tiling tools etc. As a result, handymen need many more tools than a regular specialist tradesman.
So when my quote comes to you please bear in mind, a lot of that money goes into overheads ... such as tools.
PS. If you have a painter or handyman with ALL the gear click here and I'd be happy to help.
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)
I’ve just come from quoting at a restaurant. The owner needed some tiling done. He had a large sheet of ‘tile’ that needed to be cut neatly into 8 correctly sized new tiles, which would then be glued over the place where old tiles had fallen off. This, like most Handyman jobs, required time, tools and knowledge.
He must have told me 5 times how quick and easy the job would be, forgetting that I had to effectively 'build' 8 tiles. Maybe he thought he could hypnotize me into agreeing, so I would give a low quote.
After years of practice I have a general idea of how long most jobs should take ... but I'm often wrong. 'Unforeseen circumstances' crop up a lot. And because I give a fixed written quote (rather than an hourly rate) my clients don't have to worry about me taking a bit longer.
Not surprisingly my quote didn't fit into the restaurant owners fantasy time scale so we parted ways.
But I’ve kept his number in case I ever need to tell my mechanic or dentist or accountant how long they should take to do their jobs.
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?
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