?Job Possibility?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by 3girls, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    SE PA, zone 6b
    I was just reading the thread by Wanderingoak about a Contractor vent.

    I would think that there would be a great market for a Handyman that could do many small jobs for people who cannot. The world is full of singles who haven't the skills or strength to fix things. I do know that at least one builder in the country has started franchising a handyman service in conjunction with his contracting business. I saw something about this on HGTV, I believe.

    I am a single woman, now 70 yo, and often need some small help. I have been very blessed to find a pair of young men who will work on weekends. They have installed my greenhouse, trimmed some trees, built some nursery beds. They will rent a posthole digger and put in all my corner posts for some fence I want to build. I have a chicken house to build and some rabbit cages and shelter to put together. I had a bunch of piles of manure, leaf mulch and sand to move around, so we rented a bobcat and got it all spread out. These guys are innovative, seem to catch my vision, and make it happen. I can even leave them alone to do their work.

    I pay these guys--one $20/hr and the other $15/hr. Yea, I know it is expensive, but they are helping me get to the place, where I can maintain and operate this place on my own. I wish I had done this on the WA state property. I'd have been money ahead.

    I would think if someone were strong and handy, that they could find plenty of work doing this kind of stuff. I think you would need to do some research about liability insurance, and be careful about pricing your work. It would probably take a little while to build the business, but once the word gets out that you are dependable, cheerful, knowledgeable, and can catch the vision--you'll have all you can do and then some!

  2. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    May 9, 2004
    Zone 8a, AZ
    Sandi you are right that would be a good business. ;My brother in Tucson did that for years and just worked the small jobs with one of his sons and himself. In tucson a contractors license is expensive and difficult to obtain compared to here in montana where anyone can get on for like 75 bucks! my brother finally reached a point where he was not only killing himself but also spent his first time in court over a really big job for some very rich folks and had to give back part of his earnings. He decided after that to go and get a regular job and only do small side jobs on weekend , this is working out much better and no insurance costs either! It is really hard for these guys if they are good at what they do and honest to boot.

  3. Snugglebunny

    Snugglebunny Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    It's not a new concept. My grandfather, one of the last true old-style "Pepridge Fahm" commercial type New Englanders, made his living doing such things right up until he was bedridden 6 years ago. Many people came to his funeral almost 2 years ago saying he gave the best-quality, honest work at a reasonable price, going out of his way for people.

    My Dad, though he's made his living as a machinist, often supplimented his income doing such work for friends, family, etc in exchange for whatever they'd give him. Once he did work for a man who owned a pick-your-own farm, and took three blueberry bushes in exchange for his work. Those bushes served my family well for many, many years. (a little TOO well...my mom had more blueberries than she knew what to do with!) My dad's brother is a painter-wallpaper hanger who often does the same thing.

    Doing what you can, when you can, for whatever you'll get was a trademark of New Englanders where I grew up. I am very sad that the idea is not more common these days.
  4. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I would LOVE to find a general handyman! There are so many things that I just don't have the tools/strength/time to do--but they're not terribly difficult things. I don't need a professional who's spent his whole life perfecting the art of mudding sheetrock; I just need someone who knows how to patch a hole --not perfect, just done. I don't need a carpenter who can build a million-dollar home; I just need someone to screen in my back porch. Don't need a landscaper--just someone to trim one tree for me. The list goes on and on...
  5. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2003
    That's why I've been looking for someone who'll trade a few weeks of handyman labor for room and board - we just don't have anybody in my area who'd do good and reliable handyman work, and what with all the retirees here, there's so much need for it. If I remember right, the last man who was available for this kind of work has retired comfortably after putting several kids through college on his wages. We're short of plumbers and electricians too, and of people who do minor construction.
    Folks need help with everything from raking pine needles away from houses and hauling them off to getting a deck built or a roof repaired... a man I know was looking for someone who'd dig a ditch for his new phone line and then fill it in again - he ended up having to do it himself, elderly and with heart problems and all. I don't think that a handyman with a decent attitude would run out of jobs here for years to come!
  6. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2003
    Western WA
    My 3 sons all did that kind of work while they were in school. They had more work than they could handle just by word of mouth. We also have a friend now who is making a living doing odd jobs and small building projects. He's never short of work either.