Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Unexpectedly Finding a Handyman

An email conversation with my friend Catie reminded me of some rather good news that I meant to share - I might have found a carpenter for my cabin!

I can't remember if I have written about this before, but there is some work that needs to be done at my little cabin in the woods. One of the main things that has to happen soon is getting my shed rebuilt or replaced. My cabin doesn't have a garage, naturally, but it does have a fairly large storage shed. (8' x 12' approximately.) Anyway, the shed has.... problems. For one thing, the roof leaks, badly. It has rotted out so not only do the shingles need replacing, but so does the decking, the roof trusses and some of the rafters. I have taken a home repair class on shingling and so forth and am fairly confident I could do the work myself, except for the fact that I can't figure out how to get up there. There is a enough rot that I would be nervous about it supporting my weight, and the angle means you couldn't reach everything from a ladder. It's been a bit of a problem for awhile, but then came the bees...

Yes, bees. They began nesting in the walls, making it even less likely I was going to get up on that roof without a solid plan. Mice then infiltrated it, (and my lawnmower,) leaving me with quite a mess. Still, I was dealing with it... until a storm this winter blew my doors off. Literally. Both doors were blown completely off the hinges. Actually, I should say that both doors began to rot and then a big storm blew them off. My neighbor (bless his heart) saw the problem and came over and screwed them onto the shed. That isn't to say he fixed them, he just used big drywall screws and screwed them directly onto the shed. The last time I was there I was too discouraged by the whole thing to get out my electric drill and unscrew the screws to see the full extent of the damage.

Now, here's the kicker - this little cabin is deep in the middle of nowhere. Since I don't live there, I have no idea who to call for repairs. This is beyond my scope, really. Because I don't have a phone up there, I don't even have a local phone book. Besides, even if I did, their phone book is only about a half inch think and covers half the county. (I saw it once in the library.) Most of the people up there do their own work, or they know someone who knows someone, you know? The largest city is almost 40 minutes away. Frankly, I've been putting my head in the sand about this - I didn't know what to do, so I've been putting it out of my mind. And then...

Working at my part time job last week I started chatting with a coworker I had never met before. Somehow the subject of vacation places came up and he mentioned he had just bought a couple to refurbish and sell. Turns out he is a builder and his cottages are on a lake just a few minutes away from my cabin! He said he is going to be spending the summer up there working on them, but he'd be happy to pick up some extra work and he is very reasonable! Well, I won't know about the reasonable part until he gives me a quote, but still - just having the name and phone number of a builder up in that area is a huge relief!! I don't know that I can afford to have the work done, what with getting my house painted and all, but I might look into it, just to see. If he is reasonable, I would love to have that shed repaired or replaced. What a weight that would be off my mind!


Photo of a shed (not mine, btw) by: Pete Zarria

5 comments:

Kari said...

I would also price out buying a shed from Home Depot or something. Although I think they are quite pricey and I don't know the ins and outs of getting them to be you know stable structures. Heavy Duty plastic is what I've seen in there.

Might just even be a temporary fix if you can't afford the fix or replacement of a real shed. I'm not sure entirely.

Good new though to know someone now, what a relief.

I'm a head in the sand type of girl so I know what you are talking about.

Miss M said...

Finding a decent contractor is the most stressful experience around. Half are crooks and most don't know what they are doing. I hope this new handyman works out for you, I would hate to deal with bees and mice too!

Dawn said...

kari - I have been looking at them, at Menards, Lowes and Home Depot. You are right - they are pretty pricey. On top of that, I don't know exactly how I would get it there. It is at least an hour away from all those stores. I need a fairly large one too, because I have a 10' kayak that has to go in there... sigh...

Miss M - Agreed! Which is why I hope that this will work out okay. We'll see. My fingers are crossed!

Fit Wallet said...

Finding a contractor is hard work! It's great that you found a guy willing to do a smaller (by comparison) job. I'm having trouble getting people to call me back about a fairly large (for me) job.

Dawn said...

Fit Wallet - You know, I always think of a contractor as someone who manages a team of workers - who "contracts work out." If you were building a house it would be the guy who would hire the plumbers and electricians and so on. I've just found a builder/handyman. Hopefully he will be able to do all the work himself. I hope you find someone who can help with your project too!