Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. It varies and tends to run in streaks sometimes, but I really love doing kitchen and bath remodels. I work on commercial buildings as well as residential from condos to multi-million dollar mansions. I do a lot of drywall repair, plumbing, flooring (except carpet), electrical, doors, windows, and on and on.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Don't pay anything up front . If the contractor wants to be paid for materials when they are delivered, that's fine. At least you are in posession of the necessary materials at that point. You can also agree to pay weekly or so as the project moves along, but don't lay out advance funds and hope to see the person again.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. All the little tips of the trade that you learn from 24 years experience. I should write a book on being a handyman for handymen. Some of which I'm now passing off to my grandson ( hey, don't even think I'm old and feeble).
Secrets? Yeah. Don't try to do electrical work unless you really have experience. It's frightening some of the home owners work I've come across through the years.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I take pride in my work and try to do the job as well as if it were my own project. No cheap shortcuts.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love the variety of jobs. I don't get bored as there is always something at least slightly different with each new task.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Do you do small jobs? Yes I do lots of small jobs from changing light bulbs to fixing a faucet drip. I do large jobs too. Like the month long bath remodel where we moved walls to enlarge, moved and added water supply and drain lines, changed wiring locations, etc., etc. For small jobs I do have to charge a minimum, otherwise I spend all day driving around town and making minimum income.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I got laid off in 1987 when Gates moved their plant from Denver to Warrensburg, Ms. I had been doing some handyman work on the side and since I really wanted to work for myself, I just became a full time handyman and never looked back.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. When I first started in this business, things were pretty constant. Now days I see something new almost every week and the rate of change is accelerating. I can't do major repairs on furnaces, AC units or washing machines anymore if there is a circuit board involved because of the test equipment needed that would never pay for itself. Some of the new things being done with glass is mindboggling.