How To Become The Handiest Handyman

According to the reality TV show All American Handyman, “a true ‘handyman’ is one who has a wide range of skills ranging from repair work to complete build outs, from odd jobs to serious construction.” The word itself implies a double meaning about 1) someone who is good with their hands and also, 2) readily on hand. Most of these odd-job persons can at least prove their skills through occasional domestic repairs and minor renovations.

Feeling Handy?

Let’s take a little personality quiz (yes or no):
1. I like to impress my spouse.
2. I am thrifty.
3. I like to express creativity.
4. I like to expend my energy usefully.
5. I enjoy feeling capable.
6. I enjoy being independently dependable.
7. I am slightly stubborn.
8. I like tools.
9. I am a problem solver.
10. I am passionate about doing my own work.

If the majority of your answers were “yes,” then becoming a handyman is your key to opening many doors to satisfactory life progress! Wherever you fall in the range, from a jack of all trades to a do-it-yourselfer, even learning a “handful” of skills will still leave you glad of the result of your efforts.

However, without the proper approach you may just create potentially worse problems than you originally intended. For example:

FRANKENSTEIN

Frankenstein

Tools for mending body parts: Effective? Perhaps. Creative? Double thumbs up. Please the spouse? Not sure about that one…

TIM “THE TOOLMAN” TAYLOR

Tim The Toolman Taylor

All you need is “more power,” right? This accident-prone know-it-all definitely fits the stereotype for liking tools but doesn’t get points for dependability.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS

Edward Scissorhands

Inclined to think that one tool can fix all? No matter your gentle touch, you will create problems if that’s your approach. Just ask Edward. Plus, having hands helps when it comes to being handy.

BOB THE BUILDER

Bob the Builder

“Can we build it? Yes we can!” He’s cute, but c’mon, he’s an animated character! Things just work out for Bob in ways they never would in the real world, especially with talking tractors to “get the job done.”

Hands On

So what should be our process of learning how to become the handiest handyman?

BE OBSERVANT
Take time to watch and listen
Be open to others’ ideas
Consider finding a mentor
Watch shows
ThisOldHouse.com, YouTube.com
Search for problems around your own home
Find the source of your leaks & problems
Swallow your pride
Join in-store workshops

DO RESEARCH
Take time to read
Don’t overlook the manuals, labels, & instructions
Check your solution with at least 3 different sources
How-to for Dummies, FamilyHandyman.com, ehow.com
Talk with family and friends for their experience & advice
Call your local shop for some pointers
Get to know your tool-belt & box
Figure out what tools are best for what job
Consider renting more costly, minimal use tools

GET EXPERIENCE
Find projects
Start small and easy
Thoroughly review your project before tampering
Examples: How to paint, install windows, install interior doors, install molding and trim, lay tile, build a pathway with pavers, build shelves
Give yourself ample time (not “MORE POWER!”)
First time round complications
Be exact with your measurements
No guestimating!
Explore professional direction
Try vocational school/apprenticing
Volunteer
Join programs like Habitat for Humanity
Free exposure to a wide range of trades

Then make your handiwork look like a masterpiece by spiffying up your workplace. And with everything all nice and cleaned up, you really have NAILED IT!

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