Oh, I’m sure you think I’m a heartless teeth clenching tradesman that hates Christmas. Well, your wrong. I’m sensitive, really. I care about my family, I want them to receive the same treatment that my clients do when a job is done – including the same bill. I’m always willing to help out and offer free advice when the is a work bee. As long as I don’t have to work that day…and there’s food…and endless beverages.

Here is where it all gets messed up. Someone is talking to me about wanting to get some deck built, and after hearing all my suggestions and ideas, they ask me if I want to do the job. I say “sure, I can give you a quote”, upon which they say that being family I can cut them some kind of deal, right? Wrong. Here’s what happens next. I book the time and start the job. On day 2, I get a client that wants a job done and is willing to throw money at me as long as I show up ASAP. “Sorry, I’m working for family at half price, I can’t do the job.” Yeah, right! This handyman would be bent as screw-nails. Thankfully I do not work for family at half price and the preceding incident never happened. If I’m getting paid full rate, I don’t feel like it’s a vacation – it’s work. I also wouldn’t be tempted to bid on other jobs and ditch a family job for a better paying one.

O.k. I’ll keep my day job and help the outlaws on my weekend. But they don’t really want me, they want my tools. Remember I’m sensitive and this makes me feel like you like my hammer more than me. I swear that for every hour I’ve used my chainsaw there’s another 100 hours by a friend or family member. It’s not that I don’t want to bring my tools – actually I like watching family get tool envy when I unpack. Many of my favorite tools were gifts from family. “So, you actually use that sander I got for your birthday!” my wife said last month. What’s not so great is the impression it leaves my client when I’m half way through a job on Friday and I pack up all my tools as I leave for the weekend. Oh don’t worry Mr Client, I’ll be back on Monday. I promise.

Unfortunately there are people in my extended family that don’t quite understand why I say “No discounts for family”, but the truth is I would give them a break on the price in the end. I find it hard to charge family at all.

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