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Not So Handy?

July 30, 1989

A handyman may be the right person to replace washers, tighten hinges, replace switch plates and perform other tasks where a journeyman's skill is not needed. He is the wrong person to trust when safety or a considerable investment is involved.

The list of botched handyman jobs I have seen is enormous: showers that leak, crooked tile setting, electrical outlets not grounded, windows installed backwards, and on and on. These butchered jobs not only cost the homeowner more than he hoped to save by hiring a handyman but have an emotional price to that homeowner and to skilled, conscientious tradesmen who face hostility they have not earned.

A typical apprenticeship in a building trade lasts four years. Mastery can take a lifetime. Think of the work vehicle of a plumber, electrician or carpenter. It's loaded with the tools and specialized equipment he needs to do his work. How many handymen have this education and equipment for even one of the several trades they "practice"?

I have nothing against handymen as long as they stay within their realm of competence.

JAMES LOMAKO

Pasadena

Lomako is a general contractor.

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