The Return of the Handyman

Remember that show “Home Improvement” in the 90’s? The grunting uber-male handy man who could fix just about anything or at least make a made-for-TV attempt at it? The early 90’s saw a giant leap in the whole handyman/husband for hire industry as people wanted work done but without the cost associated with hiring a “professional”. It was great while it lasted, employing semi retired or unemployed skilled labor, everything from carpenters to the guy down the block with HVAC training to come in and get the job done without breaking the bank. You could hire someone with a construction management degree to oversee something as small as a little basement renovation and they would be happy for the work.

The 2000’s ground that little niche to a halt as the middle class suddenly seemed to be rolling in more disposable cash then they had been in a very long time, and believe me, people were ready to spend, hiring big companies for small jobs and not really concerning themselves with the cost. If you wanted something done, you called the best- companies with recognized brands and prestigious reputations- to get whatever you needed built, fixed or refurbished.

Then reality came crashing down as suddenly as Wall St. did and suddenly the cost-friendly handyman is back in fashion. With the loss of countless businesses of all sizes and few new jobs available, the husband for hire industry is once again becoming a major player in how we spend our money on things like home maintenance, repair, and renovation.

Though this is a huge hit for those formerly holding high paying jobs, this new economic reality is a boon for consumers as it makes skilled labor available at a lower cost for jobs that may previously have been deemed “too small to bother with.”

Don’t believe me? Check out any local newspaper and you’ll see a massive increase in those “services for hire” classified ads. We’re definitely back to the days that would make that 90’s TV handyman grunt with pride, and if you can, take advantage of it because there aren’t necessarily many opportunities to have a someone with a full blown construction management degree, a professional floor layer or person with university level HVAC training come into your home without the expensive company name behind them to jack up the cost. It won’t last long, so enjoy it.

Crystal is an account coordinator with Location3 Media. Her personal blog discusses travel, health, fitness, and finance.

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