Friday, June 08, 2007

Oh help me, Rhonda.

I'm not even sure I'm ready to talk about this yet, since my annoyance is still extra fresh, but perhaps you peeps know what I'm talking about and can offer a "Been there, Finny - he's an ass." or an "Oh yeah? Wait till I tell you what happened when we did our bathroom!" story to make me feel like less of a retard.

Story goes, Bubba buys us a very pretty screen door custom built to mimic the lines of our craftsman style front door. It arrives and it is very nice. He primes it and babies it and buffs it and makes me wish for a second that I am the screen door.

Then I call a "handyman" to come install it. He arrives (two hours late) and proceeds to be a complete ass until I finally cut him off at the five (FIVE!) hour mark and ask him to leave.

Yessir, please leave. So that I can cuddle the remains of my beautiful door which now has a screw broken off in one of it's pilot holes and scuffs all over the formerly bright white primer. Please leave so that I don't swipe your jigsaw off the workbench and slice you a new one. Please leave before I have to be carted off for beheading an enormous "handyman" on the front porch of my house with his own tape measure (this can be done, I'm sure of it.).

Yes, people, it is true. I hired an outside source, once again, to do a job that we didn't feel we were skilled enough to handle lest we destroy a perfectly beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

"No," we said, "let us hire a professional so that the job gets done right."

and furthermore, "just like the door's instructions explicitly recommend that we do."

Well, as it turns out, Bubba or I could probably put on a "handyman" polo shirt, slap a label on the Prius and go around town touting our "Craftsman for Hire" status just as much as the alleged "handymen" in our area, because it clearly takes ZERO competence to claim such a fact.

My summation of "handyman" requirements based on my recent experience with so-called handy men is as follows:
  • You must be large. Not just normal "large", but suspiciously "large" with the ability to sweat without doing more than shifting your body weight to your left foot.
  • You must be able to complain, at length, about all topics that are of no importance to your clients. These may include but are not limited to: your work hours, when you ate lunch, when you last slept, how many times you've done this before and *never* had this happen, the crappiness of the materials your client has provided for you to install.
  • You must act like you know everything when in fact you know nothing.
  • Take forever to complete the most simple of tasks. Ex: setting up a workbench should take no less than thirty full minutes.
  • Act surprised when clients ask you to turn off the saw and go home when it's 10pm, you've been there since five and the job still isn't close to done.
The cringe factor on this project has been intense. And because of this poignant reminder of how much I did not cringe when Bubba and I picked up after our last contractor did stupid things, we are now resuming Boss status around our house and doing this project ourselves.

So we don't have the tools to bore a 5/8 hole for the latch? There's an OSH close by and they're used to seeing us half a dozen times in one day, which should give us just enough time to figure out the tool we need, buy it and successfully destroy it.

So we don't know, exactly, how to mount and hang a door? We DO know how to log on to the Internet and that is where Bob Vila lives. And THAT is a man who can install a door.

Either way, I'd rather spend an entire Sunday staring at my sexy Bubba while he wrinkles his brow and goes, "I don't know baby, what do you think?" as we attempt to manhandle this door into place than ever bring another "handyman" into our house.

If this is successful, we'll be able to add, "door hanging" to our list of DIY skills. Thanks to our last two bouts with contractors, we can also claim; wiring outlets, installing can light fixtures, installing a gas oven, mounting an overhead microwave, piping water to a fridge, installing baseboards, wiring and installing under cabinet lights, wiring and installing ambient lights, wall texturing, painting of all varieties and wood sealing as "skills we possess."

Stay tuned...


  1. Good lord.
    I think you should add pronunciation of the word vehicle as "veeHICle" to your list (that's how these types say it in my experience.) Our subcontractor's electrician took 6 hours to install a new fan in our bathroom. The job had been estimated at 20 minutes. At one point he had been in his truck so long that I went out to check that he hadn't died of a heart attack or been mauled by wolves in our driveway. I fell asleep on the couch waiting for him to leave. At midnight.

  2. Oh my. You always make me laugh, but that wasn't really a funny post. (Well, there were a few times I chuckled, like when you wished you were the door.) I'm sorry that you have a bad time with contractors and handymen. We've only had one who ran off with money that he hadn't earned and possibly with some of our tools.

    Good luck with the door.

  3. Yikes. Well, with that list of already completed projects, I'd say you're much more qualified than any so-called handyman. Che vergogna, veramente! I hope you guys treated yourself to a nice dinner or something!

  4. Oh I am so sorry you had this happen. And yes, it was our bathroom that got wrecked by a dimwit handyman. We should have sent him home after my husband had to tell him how to hang the drywall. The horror, the horror.

    You need to run the Henry Coe/Hunter's Point 10K next year.

  5. Well, actually, it is Hunter's Hollow, hunter's point would make me run faster, though.

  6. As a Realtor, I'm always on the look out for a decent, trustworthy handyman. and let me tell you, they are NOT easy to find. My company has a directory of people we feel good about reccomending for their services and we've gone through like 5 different handymen since i've been in the biz (2.5 years). they always get taken off for doing crazy shit. so i feel your pain. my only recommendation would be that you make sure to hire one who's also a licensed contractor. they have insurance that you can sue when they screw up.

  7. I understand. I recently went through hellish time myself with painters. I'm now trying to convince my hubby that we can find someone somewhere out-there that we can trust to install laminate wood floors so I don't get roped into DIY with him.

  8. Oh noooo...I so shouldn't have just read that! We're taking ownership of our new home late next week. The new home that doesn't yet have a fridge, range, above-range microwave, garage door opener, swinging screen door on the front door, a deck, a lawn, get the idea!

    Not to mention I'll want to replace the contractor-low-budget dishwasher at some point, and ditto for the kitchen sink + faucet.

    And I was just telling my bf that I bet WE could learn to do some of this stuff - that we're not stupid, we just aren't educated on these things!

    My folks are coming down the week after closing - dad's going to run gas for the dual fuel range, and hopefully he'll SHOW US how to run more electrical outlets (my bf is all like "just let him do it and we'll appreciate the work!" LOL).

    I KNOW we're goint to have to hire an outside source to get some of this stuff done, but I was being all sun-shiny about how smoothly that would go! Thanks for the touch of reality! ;-)

  9. So, did this get fixed this weekend? I am so bummed for you Fin.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.