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From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three

Is there a handyman in the house?

So, I’m thinking I’m going to need to hire a really good handyman/woman to help Brandy finish our house on time. I’ve taken as much time off as I can afford in August to help, but my stupid busted foot still prevents me from being 100% functional and my skill set is no where near the same quality for the more technical projects anyway. There’s a bunch of little stuff I would love to be doing – spray painting the chimney, cutting and installing the “gingerbread” for the front gable, touching up all the remaining exposed wood trim pieces, painting the remaining rafters the 4 colors, staining the exposed undersides of the dormer framing or installing soffit, building and installing the shutters on the two tongue-side windows – but all of these projects (and many more I could be doing) all have one thing in common: a ladder and lots of time standing on both feet is required.

I go back to the orthopedist on the 5th of August (our 10th wedding anniversary incidentally!), and I’m fully expecting him to tell me I can finally start walking with full weight on my foot again while wearing the boot still. That would most certainly be an improvement from today’s uselessness, but it’s still not enough for me to feel confident climbing a 12ft+ ladder to reach the work areas I’ve just mentioned. Yes, there are some ground level projects I can work on as well – the actual shutter fabrication, prepping the reclaimed tin panels for the loft ceiling, refinishing all 4 reclaimed doors, resealing the beetle kill siding, adding the additional screws needed on a few places of the siding for more stability when traveling, etc – but even then the other items would still have to be done at some point, and Brandy is only one person. I’d say these days I think my usefulness (beyond part ordering and constantly repeating, “There’s no way you’re going to finish this alone,” both in my mind and out loud) is hovering around ten percent. If I can walk again that should bump me back into the 50% range again at least, but even then my 50% is about equivalent to Brandy’s 10% or less. We need help. Skilled help. And we’re willing to pay for it.

Can any one recommend someone local to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex who is genuinely skilled with general plumbing, electrical, carpentry, woodworking, etc that we could hire as part-time help for August, September, and possibly parts of October? We’ve had offers for free help periodically that, believe me, were greatly appreciated, but Brandy has had so many poor experiences in his professional life with unskilled labor of various stripes that he’s super duper particular about who he’s willing to work with because he doesn’t want to spend the majority of his time explaining or correcting the work of others. I thankfully know my limitations enough to not attempt anything I can’t do on my own with very little intervention (and even then my quality of work is sub par to his), but the reality is that were I not his wife I’m pretty sure he’d rather not have me muddling up his worksite either. lol 😜 The man’s pretty much a fine craftsman, whereas I’m a “chewing gum/baling wire/duct tape fixes everything” kind of gal. While he’s winging this as much as any other first time DIY home builder, he does have a point about needing help he knows he can trust to do the work right the first time without hand-holding, especially on tasks he himself is not an expert.

I can’t say precisely what all we’ll need help with since so much is played by ear each day, but since I leave 9/7 and won’t be allowed enough time to come back and help before it’s time to move the house, I really want to have someone reliable and skilled to help Brandy finish up. I’m going to create as specific a list as I can create for him to work off of, but since this is my first time building a house, too, I’m certain I’ll miss some things that are important. He’s got some goals set that he’s working toward – electrical complete this week, plumbing starts next week – but even with a detailed list of tasks to accomplish he still doesn’t have a clone or eight arms to get it all done himself. Hey, I ask Santa for those things each year so I can have some extra help at my job, and I’ve got no reason to expect the jolly fat man will suddenly come through for Brandy in July! lol No, it’s time to accept that we need professional help (no, not that kind, although some days…), so I’m putting out this APB for referrals.

Any suggestions? I’d thought about looking on Craigslist, but that can be very hit or miss. I’m honestly not sure I could call some company in the yellow pages and accurately describe what we need to secure individual contractors, and that sounds far too rich for our blood anyway. We still have a lot of big purchases left to make, and once again the crappy sale of the Big House has left our pocketbooks far thinner than expected. It’s going to be a tough job balancing purchases with paid help, but we are all ears for suggestions on how to get this done on time.

Thanks for any help you can send our way!! -Meg

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