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Adlen Robinson: My handyman husband has always come through
Adlen Robinson

My husband has always been a hard worker. I don’t just mean working hard at his “day” job — his “days off” are hardly ever that. Ever since we married and bought our first house back in 1990, Paul has always had numerous projects he is working on. 

Whether it is building a new deck, replacing a toilet (yes, he has done that twice), or putting in a trey ceiling in the basement, Paul is always working on something — usually several things at once.

I remember when we first married and he decided the deck on our house was way too small. He announced his plan to expand it. Since my father was not a handyman when I was growing up, this surprised me. 

“Do you know how to build a deck,” I asked. “Sure,” he said. 

Remember this was before the internet was a big thing — and just like how men typically don’t ask for directions or for assistance at the home improvement store, Paul was not about to ask anybody for directions about deck building. As with all projects to come — and there have probably been hundreds, he bought some wood, nails and tools, and started the project. After a few weeks, our new, bigger deck was finished.

Next up, Paul said he wanted to build a laundry room/storage room in the back of our garage, which was much bigger than a regular sized two-car garage. When I asked about the flooring, he said he planned on installing linoleum. 

“Do you know how to do that?” I asked. His answer was “sure.” You see the pattern.

Paul is not just handy when it comes to household projects, he has also saved us thousands of dollars over the years when it comes to car repairs. Of course there have been some things he has had to pay car mechanics to do — but trust me when I say if there is any possible way he can, he works on our cars. I love that both of our sons learned many of their dad’s car mechanic skills and have always worked on their own cars and trucks whenever possible.

In case you think I am saying Paul never made mistakes, I’m not. One time he decided to do a bit of a remodel in our kitchen. He explained to me what he wanted to do, and how he was going to bust out a wall and change some of the plumbing to move the dishwasher.

“You know how to do plumbing?” I asked. “Sure,” he said. 

Well, after a few hours of work, we had a big mess and then had no water in the kitchen. For two days. Having no water in the kitchen is never a good thing, but when you factor in having four very young children, it’s pretty much a nightmare. 

After finding a plumber and having him repair the problem, Paul continued with the remodel and there were no more glitches. I said, “Maybe you should leave plumbing to the professionals.” That didn’t stop him from learning how to do lots of plumbing projects — he even built a complete bathroom in our basement.

Probably the funniest example of one of his fixit-gone-wrong projects occurred when he decided to fix one of our television sets. This was long before flat screen TVs, so it was one of those big bulky sets. 

“You know how to repair televisions?” I asked. “Yep,” he said as he proceeded to take the back off of the television and began poking and prodding. 

An hour or so later, I was in the kitchen when he walked through the room carrying the now disassembled bulky television. We both laughed when he said it was going to the television graveyard.

Over the years, I learned to stop asking if he knew how to do things. I discovered, even when things didn’t work out exactly like he thought they would, he made the best of it. 

Are you wondering if there were things he never could do when it comes to handyman projects? He has installed countless ceiling fans during our marriage, but I put my foot down on many electrical projects. It terrified me to think of a mistake when it came to electricity.

A few years ago I also said “no” to him getting up on the roof to clean out our gutters. He wasn’t happy, but I found a great company who had reasonable rates and that’s who we use now.

Having a handyman husband is awesome. I know I am lucky and try to tell him how much I appreciate him and his efforts every day. I think he needs his own YouTube channel! 

South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at