Birth of a Handyman

-Jay Hathaway

My wife and I fulfilled a big part of the American dream this past May—we bought our first home. We had previously been living in an apartment that was roomy, but still way too small for a family of five (we have three children). We trudged our way through the many challenges of home-purchasing, such as securing a loan approval, the agonizing process of looking at homes and finding the right place, making an offer, hiring an inspector, doing a land survey for flood insurance, finding the right insurance agent, waiting for appraisal, and finally, going to close. Sounds exhausting, right? It is. But it is well worth it, because when we inserted the key into our new door, the next phase of life as we know it had begun. All was perfect.

Well, perhaps not so much. We found a nice deal on a house because I was willing to do some work on it. You see, I’ve always been able to get by with limited handyman knowledge. After all, living in an apartment came with its very own maintenance man, so my worries were minimal. But I convinced myself that if work should need to be done, I would be the man to step in and take care of business. And so, I set to work on the things that needed done. The primary issue was flooring. The previous owners had three dogs, and a lot of carpet was…“defiled” by them. I tore all of the old carpet out of almost every room (it is a two-story house), and my wife and I decided to go with some nice laminate flooring. At this point, I began to realize that I was lacking something vitally important in handy work—tools! Sure, I had wrenches and screwdrivers, but the job that I was getting myself into required some more specialized apparatuses. Off to the store I went.

I cannot even begin to list all of the purchases I made during the two-month process of fixing the new place up, but I will tell you that the money I spent rivaled our closing costs. Tools, and especially power tools, can get pricey, but if one shops smartly, good deals can be found. Homeowners will find that the use for these tools usually arises more often than expected, too, so they are worthwhile purchases. I use my Black and Decker power drill and drill bits on a weekly basis. Members of Time To Save can shop with the BIC Warehouse, and find great deals on Black and Decker, and many other vital household items. In the process, BIC will put up to 3% cash back from your purchase into your Time To Save account, so you can build up your savings, as well as your home. There are few things as satisfying as working on one’s own home, and saving money in the process.

The zenith of my arrival as a handyman came when I drilled the last screw into my son’s new wooden play set (yeah, one of those big ones) a few weeks ago. I had taken a pile of undrilled wood planks, a few bags of hardware, several thousand screws, and some building plans, and I had made them into something my son will remember for the rest of his life. I puffed my chest, nodded to myself in satisfaction, and proudly watched the little man on his new swing. The Handyman had arrived.

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