Many years ago, I built a single classroom Preschool for a very poor community without obtaining a cent in return. My income came from working on Mainframe Computer Systems and doing a community good. I then helped organize a five room Preschool and helped with writing the curriculum and lesson preparations and distributing the groceries collected for the children. All freely given services.

Some years later (1996), with my ministry service growing, I’d heard a millionaire was wanting to bulldoze a newly built house down, and upon requesting permission to take the house down piece by piece while serving as a church pastor, was granted permission. I came to see this was my real home construction apprenticeship, learning in a very hands-on experience, the building concepts in taking each board down and removing the nails. I bought a church building, converted it into a large four-bedroom, two-bathroom house, and then bought two houses, and used the reclaimed materials to remodel them, selling them to supplement my ministry income. Many people would stop to compliment my efforts for improving their little town.

Moving to the Oklahoma City Metroplex (2005) began a business, Ivan’s Handiwork, remodeling houses but also doing many handyman jobs. My philosophy was. “No job is too small; I’ll do it all”.

The Handyman service I provided, my handiwork, was performed to the best off my ability, never skimming. To me, the job had to be well done. If I ever said to my Dad, “It’s good enough”, he’d say, “..then do it again!” It was not to be done good enough. It had to be well done. My feeling often was that I loved construction work so much, I paid people to work for them. I was footing the bill for many of the client’s projects in three ways: Charging less than market rates; often failing to recover overhead costs from them; and forgoing the profit my family deserved while bearing the financial risks. My friend angrily told me one day that I was putting donated money on the client’s table unnecessarily. He said, “Not only are you to be fair to your customers, but you need to be fair to yourself and value your family better. This motivated me to become a better Professional Maintenance, Repairs and Remodeling small businessman.

All too often, handymen, who do great work, are driving beat up vehicles, work with malfunctioning tools, and can never seem to get their financial heads above the cesspool of poverty. All unnecessarily so. Too many handymen produce ballpark estimates which are inaccurate and can be very costly to themselves and often to their clients also.

Estimates are mostly very misunderstood. They are not to be wild ballpark guesses. Asking service professionals to give you a ballpark bid, is a disservice to them and yourself. Estimates are to be detailed calculated costs and charges. At, as a Professional Maintenance, Repairs and Remodeling small businessman we understand that estimating is not a wild, vague or sloppy guess. Capable professionals do not roughly estimate. We calculate costs. We figure the charges. It’s a timely process. We want to get it right! Not just for ourselves, but for you as our customer also. Our reputation is on the line. Your project is to be done with assured confidence and peace of mind to you as our customers. Whether giving a service to children in a poor community and being rewarded, or providing a professional service to my customers, I’m giving of my best, to reward myself, my family and you my customer.

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