New Castle News

Josh Drespling

July 20, 2013

Josh Drespling: I didn’t ask for the job, but I’m getting my fix as a handyman

NEW CASTLE — Somehow, in some strange way, I have become a handyman.

With absolutely no effort on my part to fill the shoes of Mr. Fix-it, I have slid sideways into that role. It's not a role I was looking to fill or even a role that felt needed to be filled, but without even knowing it I have been fixing everything.

I'm more of the techy computer type guy. My job is mostly computer based and so is my leisure time. I'm the one who always get the call when somebody’s computer isn’t working or some other electronic device is acting up.

You may think all the fame and wealth I garner from these blogs for the New Castle News would afford me the luxury of calling up any and all contractors or repairmen and toss a heaping wad of money in their direction. However, that is hardly the case. I have slowly become adept at all these things out of necessity and the unwillingness to pay another person to do something I know that I can figure out.

For example, I just finished rebuilding a six-foot-tall stone wall that surrounds our deck. I did work on a couple masonry crews nearly 15 years ago and remembered some of the tricks and techniques. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but eventually I got into the groove and spent most of the last week covered in mortar. We now have a great new wall surrounding our deck that looks pretty darned good, if you ask me. The best part is it cost us only about $50 for the 10 bags of mortar mix I had to buy.

A few weeks ago, I got sick of having a weed whacker that would not run. Once again, I was not willing to plop down a wad of cash for a new one or have it repaired so I went to work on it. I tore the whole thing apart and somehow managed to return all the pieces to their correct place. Guess what? I now have a weed whacker that runs better than it did even when it was brand new! Total cost, $0.

A while back my wife wrecked her car. I got several estimates from auto body guys and even some friends in the business. They all were talking in the range of $2,000. That just wasn’t going to happen. I searched the county and found a car that was the same make and model that had all the parts I needed. I bought it for $600 and spent the next couple weeks rebuilding my wife’s car. She has been driving it for the last few months. I saved about $1,500 and learned the ins and outs of a Pontiac Grand AM.

In the past month I have tackled replacing our kitchen counter tops and refacing our kitchen cabinets. I also took on the challenge of replacing a window in our house. Despite a couple missteps with the window, it came out marvelous.  

I now have a whole list of to-do items thanks to my new found confidence in my DIY ability. Next week, I'm taking a couple days off work to make for a long weekend. I'm going to spend the weekend replacing the head gasket in my car. No, I have never done it before, but I have no fear and know I can figure it out. Most people are afraid to completely tear their car apart, but not me. I have no fear or maybe no idea of what I'm getting myself into.

If you happen to see me hitchhiking along the road next week, please stop and give me a ride, because I undoubtedly have destroyed my car and could really use a ride.


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Josh Drespling
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