Broken Home


Handyman Wisdom:

Owning a 30+ year-old home is always an adventure. We fondly call ours the Money Pit because as soon as one thing is repaired the next thing breaks.

And though I’d like to say we are DIY-ers, that ship has long ago sailed. Given our dual-career lifestyle, biz travel, and adult-kid stuff, there are many projects that get put on the back burner.

Let me share a few:
• Screens with mosquito-sized holes in them that invite all bugs (no matter the season) into our home to bite us and buzz in our ears.

• Exterior siding with woodpecker damage. It seems the Northern Flickers want to live with us. And since we live in Colorado, those little Flickers are protected from any harm. (Not that we’d want to harm them, of course. Just relocate the li’l fellas.)

• Storage shed that houses junk we should have rid ourselves of long ago. Poor wood box-thingy is falling apart, and desperately needs nails, glue, and gosh knows what else to make it sturdy enough to hide our junk from the neighbors.

You get the picture. It ain’t pretty. Finding a reliable and reasonable handyman is akin to finding a good mate; most say they are what they really are not, deliver sporadically, and cost more than they are worth.

Until I found Bill. Bill is a true home technician who prides himself in taking each unattractive task and making it his point of pride. He communicates like a professional: in writing. He arrives on time or lets me know when he’s running late. He is meticulous and careful with our home.

AND, he is enthusiastic! When I give him yet another annoying task and apologize for its lameness, I look at him expecting a blank stare. Instead, he says, “Oh, this is interesting. I just love solving different problems. I’ll look at it and let you know how long I think it will take to get it done.”

And then he does it. Yes. He follows through. Time and time again.

Last visit I told him I was impressed with his attitude and his commitment to even the most mundane projects. He humbly smiled and said, “Thanks. In my mind, opportunity can often look a bit like hard work. And I’m not about to pass up an opportunity.”

Bam! Life lesson from our handyman. May we all look at life that way, right?

About Author

Sharon Vollman is Senior Vice President, Editorial Director of ISE magazine. She oversees all editorial processes and staff for ISE magazine, the ISE e-newsletter,, and leads the educational content development for ISE EXPO and several events. Vollman has created educational partnerships with the major communications and entertainment providers including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Cincinnati Bell. She has covered the telecom industry since 1996, when she joined OSP magazine as editor. Prior to that she worked in advertising with Ogilvy & Mather and CME. Vollman has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/advertising from the University of Iowa.

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