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Where do you find help for small jobs around the house?

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  • Where do you find help for small jobs around the house?

    A contractor is appropriate for large jobs like a remodel. They'll charge thousands for the job and that's fine. A handyman is appropriate for medium size jobs like installing a ramp. They may charge $300 - $800 per day depending on the situation. That's fine too. After all, it's just once in a while.

    But what about small jobs around the house on an ongoing basis like moving stuff, organizing, cleaning, and just upkeep in general? We'd go broke paying such handyman prices on a daily basis (few times a month). What do people do for that level of help?

  • #2
    I have a younger fellow that comes once a week to cut the grass and do yardwork. After he takes care of that he works on things that I have already made preparations for. He's still going to school and I'm flexible as to what days he comes so it works for both of us. I also pay him well and he gets a lot of experience with many different disciplines.

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    • #3
      I pay 2 people $80 to clean for 90 min-2 hours once a month. They are a find, as most people in this area feel they are worth $125-$150. The man, who is a very hard worker, will do small things I've collected during the month line putting a box on a high shelf, installing a new toilet seat, or whatever. Last week he got inspired to wash down the outdoor patio, of his own initiative.

      There are 2 guys I call for occasional small repairs who do not need it to be an all day, or even half day job, although I have history with them of paying for several large jobs. Whenever I need a short list of repairs done one comes and I tack on whatever small tasks have accumulated that I just cannot do, usually involving moving heavy objects. The guy I like best charges $50/hour but he works fast.

      Finding people who are comfortable with this arrangement (and are also good and fast) has been hit and miss, but I hope I finally have an adequate list to call on. Ideally I would find a teen in the neighborhood happy to do small things, but I have not easily met the neighbors. My favorite USPS postman brings all packages to the door just because he likes to feel helpful. Folks like that cheer me up.

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      • #4
        I end up asking friends, family or the neighbors. Fortunately my best friend is very handy around the house.
        T12 Complete since 1982. TiLite Tx

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        • #5
          I only ask friends to help with stuff that's very quick and simple, and without getting dirty.

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          • #6
            I have handy man I pay

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rustyjames View Post
              I only ask friends to help with stuff that's very quick and simple, and without getting dirty.
              Agree, don’t want to wear out friendships. I’ve been paying neighborhood fellow to do yard / lawn for about 15 years. Also, pay someone to come in and clean and grocery shop. At 41 years post SCI it’s hard but practical to get some help with things I used to do for myself in the chair.

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              • #8
                I tried local high schools, but they won't even help young adults obtain valuable work experience. When I was in high school in '79 they maintained a little index card box with names, phone numbers, and work description. Simply thumbed through it and took it from there.

                I tried local colleges, but had zero luck with that as well, as the high school kids who did not work became college students who did not work.

                I had a little success with a local Boy Scout troop, though they were a bit young and not too skilled, though it was not their fault.

                I currently use my landscaper crew boss on his day off (Sunday), but it is not enough to get something done, especially things requiring dry weather outside. He does do excellent work, even with wheelchair repairs, such as bearing changes. Does require supervision for more complicated things, which is difficult for areas I cannot access. In the wintertime he does my snow removal as well, as he has a snowblower and has several clients.

                All in all, I budget about 2500-3000/yr (approximately 250/mo) for these things. This does not include tasks requiring skilled persons, such as boiler/generator maintenance, etc. ($), etc. ($).

                It is the one thing that has led me to question whether being a home owner is worth it, as simple things such as a little caulk here and there, if not done, can lead to essentially catastrophic repair costs down the road.

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                • #9
                  I pay a handyman. He’s not fast but he’s super thorough and responsible. I have also put jobs up on the student job board at the local university and gotten a good response and folks who have done at least good and in some cases exceptional work. I have found OTs tend to have long lists of who does what where and how much it will cost.

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                  • #10
                    It's easy enough to find good help at top dollar. For occasional work you're probably better off finding the best handyman and paying accordingly. Problem is when it's more than occasional work. It's cost prohibitive to hire the best so you hire someone at a lower price point. Inevitable they need supervision. But they resent being micromanaged. Therein lies the problem. Finding that balance between price and capability.

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                    • #11
                      We've had lots of helpers over the years. On occasion had to "ghost" one or two. We've had two cleaning ladies for 10 years who come biweekly, but are totally willing to add other chores like window washing, overhauling/organizing a spare bedroom/storage room, etc. We pay them well even when they say 'no charge for that'.
                      We don't have a good record for wheelchair repairs and have to call a DME who charges about $90 just for appearing. We're unable to do our own stuff anymore.
                      Not easy to find an overall handyman so suggest excellent pay if you do.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by triumph View Post
                        We don't have a good record for wheelchair repairs and have to call a DME who charges about $90 just for appearing. We're unable to do our own stuff anymore..
                        Yikes! that is a shame. I am fortunate to have a bike repair guy in our valley who works from his van and comes to the house. His fees are reasonable. i can still do my basic maintenance, but when there is something other than wheel repair I want from him, I look for a video on youtube and show that to him. It is not unusual for me to roll out to lend advice, as he often thinks he knows when he does not. He takes advice well, though, so only a bit of time lost.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tetracyclone View Post
                          It is not unusual for me to roll out to lend advice, as he often thinks he knows when he does not. He takes advice well, though, so only a bit of time lost.
                          You're lucky. Many people who need instruction let their pride get in the way of accepting it.

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                          • #14
                            I have a cleaning lady and either she or her husband (or her kids!) happily do additional jobs as needed for the same rate as cleaning.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by August West View Post
                              You're lucky. Many people who need instruction let their pride get in the way of accepting it.
                              Too true! Those people drive me crazy.

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