The Five Categories Of Handymanlyness
Bruce W. Maki,
I wrote this many years ago to explain the "Skill
Level" that I assign to most articles on HammerZone.com. Yet
this also helps explain the progression of skills and types
of DIY projects that many people undergo as the tackle more
home improvement projects.
Category 1: Basic Edition. Knows when to leave things alone and call somebody
else. Can handle himself with screwdrivers, pliers, and hammer. Often
shies away from the noisier and more dangerous power tools, but may be
comfortable with gentler tools like drills. Lots of people have no
desire to advance beyond Category 1, and that's perfectly fine, because
contractors need these folks for their customers.
Category 2: Going Places. Learning
and yearning for more fix-and-repair projects. Looks at each
repair as a challenge. May even dream of major things, like
building a deck or garage. Probably the most dangerous type
of handyman, as he believes everything is easy and within his
grasp. Handle with caution to avoid bruised egos and missing
digits. Best to work up from basement remodelings and garden
sheds. Hey, nobody can start at the top.
Category 3: Building Up Skills.
Has a good enough understanding of home improvements to be able
to figure out new problems without dashing to the refrigerator,
grabbing a beer and hiding behind the TV set. Has developed
a reputation with friends and relatives as a good handyman.
Knows when to seek advice on something complicated. Has remodeled
a few rooms, basements, porches, but is not quite ready for prime
Category 4: Bitten By The Bug.
A compulsive handyman, he loves to tinker and repair things and
sometimes fixes them better than new. Able to handle almost
any project, but takes plenty of time to make sure everything
is just right. Would never consider buying a new house because
he would rather have the adventure of building his own or remodeling
a fixer-upper. People routinely ask him for advice on home improvement
matters. Has done some major projects, like building a garage,
addition, or seriously participated in building a house. Has
seen numerous ways to do things and is able to customize those
experiences for each unusual situation. May have some work experience
in construction or maintenance, or have considered those trades
as possible employment.
Category 5: Para-Professional.
Experienced enough that he can make money, possibly even make
a living, doing handyman or construction work. Knows not only
how things are built, but knows how to build things quickly.
Has a serious set of tools, many of which are time-saver tools
(e.g. air nailers) and precision tools. Has seriously considered
becoming a home builder or contractor. Able to instruct others in
home improvement topics.
Return To Editorials...