Handyman - And other work

I didn't read the "How the find a handyman" thread because I do the type of thing I would hire a handyman to do. Don't know how to find a handyman. My neighbor, a woman, had a neighborhood handyman she had do various things. She was happy with his work. I talked to him once when he was doing something for her, about putting gutters on my garage. He wasn't too enthusiastic about it, so I didn't press him for a quote, Don't think it was his forte. I decided to put up gutters the next year. Wife complaining about how she couldn't plant flowers by the garage, and I'd get some water in the garage after heavy rains. So I asked my wife to get the handyman's phone number. Path of least resistance. Meaning easiest. Wife is friendly with neighbor and plants flowers for her sometimes. The neighbor gave my wife some excuse about not having the number handy, and never came up with it. Wife didn't want to press her after asking twice. Anyway, looks like some people hold their handyman close. No big deal, I called my brother and we did the gutters. But everybody can't do that.
Now I don't want to knock handymen, but I always get a "pro" when it's "handyman" work I can't or don't want to do. I called in a pro HVAC guy to fix my furnace after I took a light stab and was stumped. When I had my Tramco lift system pump replaced by a guy who knew my Tramco lift system. Had putting in a new electric service done a pro electrician. Had my furnace and A/C put in by a pro HVAC installer. Had a cracked Anderson thermopane replaced by a window pro. If I didn't want to do the garage gutters myself I would have had that bid by gutter pros. Didn't bother me not getting that handyman's number. I'm going to put on a new garage door this summer. If I don't do that myself with my son helping, I'll have a garage door pro do it. When I had my roof done it was by a guy whose crew I saw working on the way home from work. They looked good, so I pulled over and one of them dropped me a card. Except for finding the Tramco plumber, who was the third guy to come out and the only one who knew what he was talking about, all the rest were first bids. I'm happy with all the work. All were fairly priced. I fancy myself good at detecting flim-flammers and I'm not one to nickel and dime. There are plenty of "pros" with the tools and experience. I used servicemagic to find the HVAC and window guys. Roofer on a work site. Electrician in a local newspaper. I *never* have work done where a pure salesman is in the mix. Big outfits have too much overhead for you to get a decent price.
What got me on this was tuckpointing. My last house was a big brick 2-flat. The 2 sides with rough brick were getting bad. I put up a couple 40 footers, ladder jacks and a plank. Colored the mortar, and went to work, starting high. Did 6' x10', a plank's worth, and gave up. I just can't look at a brick wall all day. Figured I would take me at least 2-3 weeks looking at bricks. Had no problem being confined in boiler mud and steam drums cleaning tubes, but a brick wall defeats me. My wife is Polish and found a Polish crew of pro tuckpointers in the Polish newspaper. This was in Chicago. They did the entire job, including the front face brick in 2 1/2 days for about $1800 as I recall. Long time ago, maybe '78. Did a good job too. A couple years after I moved into this bungalow my son was 15 and eager to turn 16 and get a car. The 2 rough walls needed tuckpointing badly. I showed him how to mix mortar and point, said I'd pay him $600 and he jumped to it. He was a little fearful of going on the roof to do the chimney so I told him I'd do that. I never did. It just got worse and nags me every time I look at it. You could see 1" gaps all over. About 3 o'clock today the dogs started barking and the doorbell rang. Figured I'd have to chase somebody away. A little guy with a smile and a heavy Polish accent was there. Had a red van with ladders on top. He said he was a bricklayer and tuckpointer and my chimney needed tuckpointing. "How much?" "$150" "When can you do it?" "Now." "Are you going to tarp around the chimney?" "Yes. I have tarp." "Do it." I got him a bucket of water, turned on inside faucet for the hose, and found the hose nozzle and put it on. De-winterization.. He did the rest. Two and half hours later it was done, nicely. I gave him $175. I want him to look at my face brick and sills later. My wife came home from work and walked around to the back. I had put a lawn chair there to give the guy some company. Besides, he's 54 and working alone. Real nice day too. She spotted the ladders, then him. He put a ladder on each side of the chimney. Smart. I never thought of that. Had to think a bit before I figured it out. "Where did you find him?" "He found me." Sometimes you get lucky.
--Vic
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You just made numerous people really, really jealous. e all hope to be so lucky. Nice read...
Joe
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In typed:

Perhaps, but ... there's no reason to shout!
HTH,
Twayne`
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