What would Miss/Mr Manners do?

dee104November 21, 2006

Help! So hard resisting the demolition urge! I'm being very tempted to surrender my house in need of repairs in the hands of my recent BF. He's pointed out that he's one of those "gifted" ones...you know, the handyman type.

So, my question to you is: is this too soon, I mean to jump on the opportunity after only two months into a relationship ?

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More detail, please! Is it an odd project or two or a big remodel? Have you seen his work? Will you pay him as a professional craftsman or is he offering free labor? Who will pay for materials?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Been there, done that, paid for everybody's dang tee shirt...

I would be wary of an offer like this:
not only might you find yourself with a mechanic's & materialman's lien against your home (surprise!), but you'll also be in the position of owing him a favor, a big one.

"If it sounds too good to be true..."

Just be careful.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Hi all, and thanks for taking the time to answer.

Guess I got carried away by mentioning "demolition" (wishful thinking, more than anything :)

However, the "job" would include a sink removal/reinstallation and flooring in the attic. (Of course, I am prepared to pay for materials; it's the right thing to do).
He's not a contractor, nor making a living from it. It's more like "ok, let me fix this and that for you" type of thing, coming a little early and unexpected for me.
Maybe I should just relax and offer a barter (I know he wants to paint in his house and I could help w/that)or just go and hire a pro until we become more comfortable with being a couple.

Sylvia, yours sounds like a horror story; guess I'm gonna end up completely paranoid, since it's all falling on my head too fast: my new life in US, my new house, and now my new-BF (a potential Dr Jeckil/Mr Hide in disguise :)

Have all a nice holiday, untill we'll talk again.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 4:37PM
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If you allow your new BF to do this, you will feel (or he may cause you to feel) obligated to continue the relationship regardless of your true feelings/opinions about it along the way. Small work is easily understood as simple courtesy -- a small "gift", if you will. The bigger the task the more confusing it can become. Its in the same catagory as an inappropriately large gift early in a relationship. Your acceptance of the gift implies acceptance of the giver. It has always been so. However, unlike other gifts, improvements to your house cannot be returned to the giver if things go south.

I like to keep relationships and economics separate until there's definite clarity about the relationship. There's nothing worse than having an ex become a pain because they think the've been taken advantage of. Having a has-been thinking you "owe" them something can be disastrous.

You're the only one that knows where this relationship is at. Be careful. Be considerate of yourself, as well as him.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 6:24PM
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My BF just recently had this type of thing happen. 'He' walks into her life and, after years of having to handle everything herself (her ex was useless) all of the sudden he is there taking care of her, cooking her dinner, fixing things in the house. Seemed like Mr. Perfect. Three months later he is not cooking dinner but asking "what's for dinner", leaving his tools piled up inside the front door, and starting projects but not finishing them.

In the meantime she realizes that he is not really Mr. Right but feels obligated to him because he has done alot for her. Sticky situation. She has tried to cut it off a few times but always feels bad for him and doesn't do it.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 11:20AM
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Sorry to learn this. Feeling "bad" for someone is a terrible reason to maintain a relationship. "Feeling obligated" is a poor reason to keep on keeping on.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 6:09PM
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Dee, I would be very wary of anyone who considers himself a gifted craftsman. I have met many men who consider themselves experts at home repair whose work remind me more of "Tim the Tool-Man Taylor". I hope you get that reference.

I like your idea of bartering with him (you help me with the demolition, I will help you paint your living room). But give him a small, easily fixable job to do first and then you determine if he is truly gifted.

Do you have any handyman type repairs that need to be done around the house? This time of year, re-caulking is usually on the list. Let him tackle small jobs like that and see how he does.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 3:34PM
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Asolo, you're right; I need to look from this prospective too.
Thanks again to everybody who helped w/this issue.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 3:50PM
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Blahhhh! I'm cursed! I just found out that one of my sewer pipes (on my property) is now collapsed. Sweet, old, charming home, what other disasters are you holding for me, at this Christmas time?!...

Needless to say, since my sewer clogged, the BF flushed himself away from sight...Must have been my fought, for missing to shower :)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 9:49AM
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...And, the poem of the day:

Thanksgiving has been proclamed The Doom Day,
As my sewer pipe outside gave away.
I'm plunging and fuming, but try to keep cool
As bursting #1/#2 are forming a pool.
I'm plunging in the morning, I'm plunging in the night,
Waiting for plumbers to price this mess right.
I feel the curse on my head is not over,
I miss my potty and my lovely shower...

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 9:21AM
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That was a great poem, I'll hasten to say.
What a mess to have happened on Thanksgiving Day!
No water in the loo, or with which to shampoo,
Just under the house, where's it's making a stew.
The plumbers are crafting your bill with great care,
"Cause they know soon St. Nick will have his bill to share!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 5:09PM
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The fact that you came here to post your question means you have reservations about this as the offer is making you uncomfortable. Go with your gut feeling.

Unsolicited offers of "help" usually will have strings attached and you may find yourself locked into a realtionship that is not right for you.

Do you trust this person to be left alone in your home unsupervised where he may have access to your personal papers, your computer, your personal items?

I've even heard of boyfriends rigging up listening devices to someone they wanted to spy on. I wouldn't be letting someone I've only known two months be tearing up my attic flooring.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 1:28PM
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