A retired master carpenter and master painter
"> Fool.com: Home Repairs (Fribble) October 5, 2000

Fribble Home Repairs

A retired master carpenter and master painter

October 5, 2000

Home repairs can be rewarding to the mind, body, and soul. Picking up a hammer, saw and nails and doing the work that needs to be done to make your home into a palace can make your wife or husband appreciate you much more. That in itself strengthens any marriage or relationship.

To start, go to your local home improvement center and buy a book on how to do it yourself. Read it carefully and learn such tidbits as the difference between a finish hammer and a framing hammer.

You'll also want to find out the answer to one of the two age-old questions that every beginning carpenter is asked by the wise old master: "Can you please go find me a skyhook?" Or: "Can you get me a metric Phillips head screwdriver?" (There is no such thing as a skyhook or metric Phillips head screwdriver.)

Once you're past that hurdle and on to building your first project, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you saved yourself quite a chunk of change. The average carpenter makes about $25 an hour where I live -- more for really detailed work. And have you ever tried to get someone to fix a squeaky door or a stuck window? It usually takes quite a while for them to get there.

So run, don't walk -- get that book, read it, buy some good hand tools and tackle that project that has been in the "to do" jar forever.

Just remember: When you really, really get stuck -- know when it is time to call a professional.