(Note: A short while back my husband posted this advice to a friend of his and, despite my bias, I thought it was a great idea! Feel free to share this, subtly and sweetly of course, with any husbands you may know… 😉 !)
An online friend recently bought his first house, and started to realize there was a lot involved in maintaining and repairing a house. He asked a group of guys what essential items/ oddball things they recommend having to make the going easier.
A very long list ensued, including (among other things) ladders, extension cords, air compressor, nail guns, cordless tools, lawnmowers, electrical tester, water pump pliers, shop vac, reciprocating saw, and a pickup truck.
I guess I should start by confessing: I have more tools than Home Depot. For 30 years I have run construction crews, and a lot of stuff has accumulated. But I am not always sure it is a good thing.
So, after several pages of silliness, I offered the following input:
Ok, so these guys have now spent several thousand of your dollars. Much more, if you count the truck.
I am gonna suggest that you need almost none of it.
If your goal is to have a nice shop, you need it. But if your goal is basic maintenance, you don’t.
So, here is my suggestion…
The total amount being suggested here is between $3000 and $5000, plus the truck.
Put that much money in a checking account, and don’t tell your wife. Contribute an additional $100 per month, because you MUST have a maintenance budget.
The first thing you are going to buy with money from your maintenance account is 2 six packs of beer. Don’t buy the cheap swill. This is not for you- this is to share with the local handyman on a purely social level. New to the neighborhood, get to know ‘ya…
Shortly after you get to know the handyman, ask him occasionally to borrow tools for basic repairs. This makes him feel important- he likes to help. Make sure you return the tools the same day, preferably in better condition then you got them. This makes him trust you.
Now, give your wife the handyman’s number.
Use the maintenance account to pay him whenever she calls him. If you play it right, she’ll think you are a hero because you are always prepared, and can handle the little things.
He won’t charge you much, because he likes you. You will NEVER spend all that money, and you will never have to lift a finger.
One more thing… Don’t call it your maintenance account. Call it your “I’m a freakin’ genius” account, and smile to yourself every time you use it.
The only thing buying a bunch of tools does is clutter your life, and give you more stuff to take care of, a much longer “honey do” list, and more stress and unfinished projects.
All this, plus you help boost the local economy! It’s a win/win, and certainly worth a shot!