Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Unhandy Handyman

       Yeah! That's me in the title. I can freely admit that my aptitude is totally lacking when it comes to handyman efforts. I don't know which way to turn the wrench! I never found a board that I could cut straight I accept that characteristic and can live quite happily with it.

       However, my wife has a completely different perspective. Whenever anything needs repair, she immediately thinks of self repair and gets into high gear. . And her repair man is me.

        On Tuesday the central vacuum motor quickly slowed down and stopped . The motor had burned out. So my wife quickly thinks that old Red can rapidly instal a new motor in no time flat. My wife is the manager, shopper and  supervisor of the whole project. It just works better that way. First, she phones all businesses that sell electric motors and gets a price. Then she wonders about gaskets, seals or whatever on the top and bottom of the motor and phones everybody back again. Now the motor prices varied widely and the advice on the seals...gaskets varies again so that sets her off on more research. Then what about the black rubber hose that connects the exhaust to the motor. This rubber hose seems to be attached with 14 kinds of super glue and it will not come off so that  it can be attached to the new motor.

      Now three separate trips are made to figure out  a solution to the gaskets and hose connector to the new motor. Finally, these problems are solved and then she can order the new motor. I am her "backer upper" on the solution to these problems as I am the handy man whose going to take all this apart and put it back together again. She does not trust my ability and she has very good reasons to not trust my mechanical aptitude.

      Why not just call the repair man and have something done fast and dirty. Solution proposed, and work done, and away we go! My wife isn't made that way. She has to fix things herself. She doesn't trust repair men and thinks they will always over charge her. So the unhandy handyman is always called into service.

     So after much research and trial and error the motor will be replaced and run better than ever. You can see that I have a pile of connected parts and a tangle of tools. All of this will pass.

    I'm not asking for sympathy. I certainly hope you appreciate my ineptitude and get a chuckle out of it. If you want to feel sorry for somebody, you can feel sorry for my wife who has to put up with me and is driven to fix all of her own problems independently


  1. Haha! Too funny, and I can see it and hear it all.
    Time is money...wonder if you factored in the "cost" of the running around and efforts on your part, if it would add up to more than the cost of calling a qualified repairman/gal?
    Do you have Angie's List services in your area? We signed up for it here upon buying our house. Figured we were going to need some help at some point (kitchen reno here we come!) and my fiance is much like Red - extremely well meaning and game to make the effort, but admittedly not the handiest guy out there. We decided to get a membership in a service online that is rated by customers - you get to rate your services and see how others rate them too. The companies rated have NO control over what's said about them. They all get a grade and you can read all the comments/explanations as to why customers rated the way they did.
    Good for you for slogging through the experience, but again, sometimes it truly pays to get an expert in for the job...

  2. Hahaha! Too funny.
    Ever try to calculate the cost of all the calling, running around and efforts of the non-experts vs. the cost of actually hiring someone to fix things?
    I have a feeling that in some cases, esp. for the handy-challenged, it may prove better to just pay someone at times to do the job.
    Do you have Angie's List in your area? It's a fabulous service that provides ratings on all kinds of services and companies, from dentists and doctors to plumbers and electricians. We got a membership when we bought our house, figuring at some point we'd need help with things that were a little over our heads (kitchen reno here we come!).
    Sometimes it is true that "time is money". And sometimes it's also true - as Red Green always reminds us - that "if the women can't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy". :)

  3. LOL I love your wife's theory, I'm the same way and end up cashing in favors quite often. You see my unhandy handy man lives 3 hours away... his response is call someone and put it on the card, eventually I do and it's now cost him double... oops! lol Mind you my solutions have worked out a few times, I took the plumbing out from under my kitchen sink and that worked, I painted my house myself, we took down a well (he was a huge help with that one) BUT a year and a half later I still have to get the ceiling and part of the wall and the floor fixed where the wall came down. I taped one wall, next time I'll just call someone as I've discovered I detest taping! Isn't life fun and interesting? lol