Summer is almost here, the weather is fine, and calls to our Asheville handyman service are picking back up! As an essential business, we're still open during the COVID-19 shutdown, although of course we're practicing safety precautions.
Luckily I already have a pretty good mask:
As calls have picked up, we've been getting a lot of service requests from people who really need a plumber or an electrician, not a handyman.
So when do you need a licensed specialist?
For electrical work, a good rule of thumb is that most handymen are willing to make changes that happen at the electrical box. The best example of this is swapping out one light fixture for another, like I did for this customer.
Here's another view of that room - I've always liked that unusual chandelier. It sure was tricky to hang... there were lots of extra connection points to the ceiling.
For plumbing, most handymen can make repairs on the "downstream" side of the shut-off valve. In other words, we can swap out kitchen faucets, replace sinks, and repair toilets.
You need a licensed plumber or electrician when you're going to be working upstream of the shut-off valve (for plumbing) or outside of the electrical box (for electricians).
So you'll need an electrician if you want to put a light fixture where there isn't one right now, or if you're having mysterious problems with your lights, that aren't fixed by changing the bulb.
And if you have a plumbing leak, or if you want to install a new bathroom where there aren't any fixtures now, you need a plumber.
By the way, there's one more repair that usually requires a plumber: repairing a leaking hose bib. That's because these are often installed without shut-off valves in the line behind them, which is a shame considering that even frost-free bibs are easy to damage if you leave your hose connected during a cold snap.
I think a lot of people are disappointed when they call us and we have to refer them onward, because they think licensed technicians are more expensive. But using an unlicensed repairman can be expensive in other ways. It's just too easy to make a mistake that could burn your house down or flood your living room.
And here's an insider secret: it doesn't always cost more to use a specialist.
The trick is to find an electrician or plumber in Asheville who will take on small jobs. Fortunately I have a free gift for you, courtesy of my wife Faith.
She keeps a little book of all the local tradesmen that have been recommended to us by our customers over the years, and now it's available free of charge.
This includes the best electrician we know of in Asheville, as well as the one plumber we trust to work on our parents' homes.
All we ask in return is that you sign up for our (occasional) newsletter.
Here's the link to sign up:
And if you decide you still need a handyman instead of a plumber or electrician, be sure to come back and contact us to schedule an appointment.