Improvising · Saving Money · Uncategorized

Shout Out To My Handyman

As I am sure I have mentioned a few times, Hubs and I live in an apartment.  Given that, we are not responsible for things that break, get damaged, stop working, etc.  We call the leasing office, they let maintenance know, and it gets repaired.  Sounds simple, right?  Well, in theory it is.  In theory.

In reality?  In reality it takes multiple calls to get them to answer the phone at the leasing office, or going down there in person to request the maintenance.  The leasing office girl always says “Okay, I’ll have him up soon!”  When it comes to repair promises I am either an eternal optimist or gullible is written on my ceiling.  I expect him any moment for the rest of the day.  And he never comes.

So… he’ll be here the following day.  Because I sleep like the dead and don’t wake to knocks on the door, I have to set my alarm and wake up before he starts work.  I don’t want to miss him if he knocks.  Most of the time that results in sitting here all day before he arrives in the afternoon, if I’m lucky.  Sometimes it takes another whole day.

By now, you’re probably wondering about the blog title.  My Handyman isn’t the apartment maintenance guy, it’s Hubs.  No one has ever taught him how to repair anything around the house.  When he was growing up, if something broke, his parents called someone to fix it.  Over the years, though, the combination of not wanting to call maintenance and wait and wait, and the sometimes immediate need for repair, has lead him to attempt some repairs himself.  And he’s darn good at it!

Okay, so the repair he did to the garbage disposal the other day didn’t really save us money, since maintenance would have fixed it for free.  But it DID save us time, and, you know… time is money.

His burgeoning repair skills have not been limited to things maintenance would repair, though.  For unknown reasons, we are extremely hard on vacuum cleaners.  In the first years of our apartment dwelling, we broke a few vacuums.  They just… stopped working.  After tossing and replacing a few {I told you were have not always been anything resembling frugal!}, Hubs decided it couldn’t hurt to take one apart and see if he could figure out what kept going wrong.  Turned out it just needed a belt, quick and easy fix.  A few years later we replaced it with a bagless vac and Hubs skills of taking it apart, clearing out clogs, replacing belts and other basic repairs have kept our current vacuum working as well as the day we bought it.  Based on our rate of replacing vacuums up to that point, he’s saved us a few hundred dollars on vacuums alone.

The point of this is to say that learning to do basic maintenance and simple repairs can save you both time and money.  Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend taking things apart and hoping for the best, since you might just make the situation worse.  But the library would be a great resource to find books to learn some basic maintenance and repair skills, and of course, the world wide web.  If it’s not on the internet, it doesn’t exist.  If a repair job is more than you feel comfortable attempting, by all means, call in a professional. Just consider first if it might be something you could handle on your own.

Since this blog has no photos, I’m going to add a photo of Beto and Ginger to make things more interesting.

 

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2 thoughts on “Shout Out To My Handyman

  1. I agree that learning to fix things can go a long way at saving you both time and money. With that said, I wouldn’t be so easy to deal with if I was leasing an apartment and they didn’t keep up their end of the lease agreement. When I was a renter (1989-2002), I used to send a certified letter to the office requesting the repair, and I would include pictures of what I needed to have done. If they didn’t respond, I would send a follow up letter letting them know that the repair was their responsibility and that if they didn’t respond to this in a timely manner, then I would fix it myself and take them to small claims court for reimbursement, or I would request that they reduce that months rent by the amount of the repair and get that permission in writing. These days you can probably send an email request for repair and request a follow up on where they are with it. Then as soon as my lease was up…I would move! 🙂 Can you tell I work with contracts all day? Lol!

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    1. We’ve been pretty fortunate that they do fix things that need to be fixed, they just don’t always do it as quickly as I’d like. lol. I’m notoriously impatient and, as my mom says, want things that need to be done, done yesterday. That about sums it up! Ha! Your comment is great advice though. If we ever move into another complex, I will be sure to do things that way, at least at first, to be sure things get taken care of as they should. I would never have thought to take care of it so carefully. Thank you so much for your comment, I super duper appreciate it!

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