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What is a handyman ?

It would be unfair to label all handymen "a jack of all trades and master of none".

Most good handy men have at least one skill that they have learned by way of City & Guilds or 5 year apprenticeship. In my case, I am a time served (apprentice) carpenter.

Just as you may get bored with a particular track of music or choice of wallpaper, a handyman may have got bored with their chosen profession. Just as some people take on a second job because their normal working hours have been cut, a handyman may diversify in order to gain an advantage over his competitors. such as a carpenter gains a plastering skill so that he can build a stud wall and plaster it as well. One customer two jobs!

If you need your home re-wired then you would be wise to call in an N.E.C registered electrician. But if you just need to replace a couple of faulty power points, then a handyman will charge significantly less than the electrician, With the added bonus that the handyman will, in all probability, "turn up" to carry out that small job, whereas the electrician will probably say that he is full booked for the next six months!

Just for fun, ring a plumber and ask him to replace a toilet seat. If he says o.k and turns up to do the job, then you will have proved to yourself, beyond a shadow of doubt, that miracles are possible. You will then even start to believe that pigs can fly.

The mark of a good handyman is someone that would never be embarrassed to admit that a particular job is beyond his scope of expertise.

A handyman can be very useful even on a large project. For an instance, Suppose you were going to completely renovate an old house. You will need a bricklayer, carpenter, plasterer, plumber, tile'r, electrician, roofer and at least a couple of labourers.

But hang on a moment, if it is going to take two weeks for the plumber to arrive and install that new bathroom then you would have to wait until he has finished the job before inviting a tiler around for an estimate for the tiling! He may need two weeks notice before he can start and so the bathroom completion date is now around FIVE week away!

A handyman worth his salt would be a better option in that case. He could start the job of plumbing and once completed he could then tile the room straight away. That is a two/three week saving plus he would cost a lot less.

Suppose you booked a plumber to plumb the bathroom suite, he is going to start on the Monday and finish the next day. The tile'r is booked for the Wednesday. great plan. But what if the plumber over runs by one day! well the tile'r is not going to be happy and he will in all probability go off on a different job and may not return for week or so! If you had engaged a handyman for that bathroom project then the problem is solved,

Suppose the carpenter accidentally plunges a nail through a water pipe. are you really going to wait for him to contact you so that you can in turn find a plumber to sort the problem. if your handyman was on site, he would deal with the repair in his stride. A repair that could take a couple of days and a small fortune would be solved in less than half an hour and for a fraction of the cost of a call out.

Even if you have highly skilled tradesmen on site, a handyman is still a great person to have around. Many handymen are prepared to work on a "day-work" basis. If those tradesmen are going to be on site for a couple of weeks they are going to have materials delivered to the site at all times of the day. but they will not be always on hand to take delivery of those building blocks/plasterboards and tiles etc. Your handyman would know where the goods are to be placed for each job and more importantly he is experienced enough to check that the goods are in proper order.

Someone has to be responsible for the security of your building. Lets face it, a property undergoing a refurbishment is not only a prime target for thieves, the very persons employed on that site are just as capable of "removing" materials off site as a anyone else. A handyman knows how many plasterboards it takes to board a ceiling/wall or how many tiles are needed to tile a floor, he will know if  Someone is taking advantage of your absence of person or knowledge. someone on that site has to have overall responsibility for securing the site after a days work. A handyman is usually the first person on site in the morning and the last person to leave. It makes sense that he is going to be your agent as well as the dogs body. you need to be able to trust your handyman and so it follows that you should never engage a handyman without first checking his references or at least contacting a couple of his former customers. 

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© MMV Royston Allen

Plastering - Plumbing - Carpenter - Kitchen Fitter - Swansea - Neath - Port Talbot - Carmarthen - Cardiff