My wife and I had an understanding before we decided to live together: I would make room for her warehouse of tools and she would allow me a complete floor to ceiling room for my books. After 11 blissful years, I have a library with over 5 thousand books including 300 volumes of Playboy Magazines, several first editions comic books. She has a basement, a garage, and a storage area for her tools.
I grew up in a construction business. My father was a general contractor. When I graduated from college, I wanted nothing to do with any type of construction work. I refused to even own a hammer. All that changed when I met my wife. Her garage was packed with tools and I knew she enjoyed using them.
Because my wife can handle a hammer better than most men, we saved money with repairs around the house. Coupled with experience from my construction years, we tackled a few household projects. We replaced electrical outlets, painted rooms, replaced door frames and sealed cracks in the basement block.
We decided to invest in real estate rental property and hired a management firm to oversee our investment. Once we realized the cost of having someone else manage our rental units, we quickly grabbed hammers, rulers, squares, electrical testers, paint brushes and pipe wrenches and went to work.
The first year we replaced our property management company we saved 10-15 thousand dollars. Even though our days are filled with sanding walls, repairing drywall, hanging fans, etc., we saved enough from our repair bills alone in this tight economy for a profitable balance sheet.
While some contractors (men mostly) frown when my wife directs their work with considerable competence and knowledge, over the years we noticed a change in the landscape which was once dominated by men. More women are entering the construction fields.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s February issue women are outpacing men in graduating from college and they have better employment prospects.
In 2016 we took a carpentry class at the local trade school. The class was a mixture of men and women. The women did not shy away from any of the hands-on instruction and were as capable as the men students.
We also participated in classes at Home Depot, www.HomeDepot.com.
How much money did we save? Here are some examples.
1 .Replaced leaky faucet in tub, saved $490 for plumber, faucet and washer.
2. Repaired and painted walls in rental unit saved $3500.
3. Replaced electric plugs in the kitchen electrician $200 each 6 outlets equals $1200.
4. My wife replaced 10 door locks for rental units saving $35 hour from a handyman.
5,We replaced a door for $25. Original cost of the solid wood door: $1,000.
Handyman work is not just a man’s job. It can be a couple’s job and with the benefits of savings.