Andy Hinds has been pounding nails into wood ever since he was a kid and gives his father the credit for passing along the carpentry skills. In a recent Atlantic article, Hinds reminisces about helping to build the family cabin in Montana:
Dad built walls and sidewalks, installed woodstoves, laid tile, added electrical circuits and plumbing fixtures, fixed furnaces, and, at the cabin, ten years after it was first built, contrived an indoor plumbing system featuring an elaborate pump rig that sent the waste up the mountain to a septic tank. His only training in construction and mechanical work had been summer jobs on the railroad and growing up in a time and place where men didn’t own things they couldn’t fix.
Now he’s a writer and stay-at-home dad of twin girls. But he still falls back on his skills and takes the occasional carpentry or contractor job. He’s noticed something interesting: If there’s a man in the home when he shows up, a list of excuses usually comes up.
Hinds divides those excuses into three categories: the awkward and self-deprecating guy who apologizes for his lack of knowledge; the man who claims he is too busy to do the work himself, and the man who thinks handyman tasks are beneath him.
“When working with female clients, I’ve rarely noticed any signs of chagrin at having to pay someone to do manual labor,” he wrote. “But the expectation that men should be able to perform the traditionally ‘masculine’ work around the house still exists, to some extent, even if the social infrastructure doesn’t; and sometimes the discomfort it causes is evident in conversations I have with men who hire me.”
By investing in a kit which has detailed full sized blue prints (where every last board is shown on the plans), as well as explicit instructions covering every step of the process, lack of knowledge is taken off the table.
Too busy? You and a couple of buddies can construct a two car garage over a weekend, and still have time to catch the Sunday afternoon game and celebrate with a few cold ones. No building goes up as quickly as pole buildings can and do!
Handyman tasks – the pride of having constructed a beautiful new building will more than outweigh the “having to do it yourself”.
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