Hana's Handyman

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Authors: Tessie Bradford
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bathroom downstairs.”
    “I actually checked out your porch before I knocked. The brickwork is sound, except for that bottom step. The entire railing should be replaced though, not fixed; too many of the boards are rotting. Next?”
    “This way. Now, you’ll see the half-ass approach the previous owners took to renovations.” They walked into the spacious kitchen. “Who installs high-end walnut cupboards and granite countertops, brings in stainless steel appliances, but doesn’t replace the sink or update the plumbing?”
    “Someone who is long on money and short on brains?” he asked with a laugh as he got down on the floor and leaned into the cupboard under the sink. “Yep, these are original pipes, but they ran a new water line to the fridge for the ice maker and door dispenser.”
    Hana sucked in a giggle as she covertly checked out Sam’s ass. Despite his prone position, nothing was showing that shouldn’t be. His T-shirt remained securely tucked into his well-fitted jeans. She swallowed a couple of times before speaking.
    “Also, only three of the outlets in here work, so when I want toast or coffee, I have to unplug the microwave.”
    “This was an as-is sale.” It was a statement not a question. He stood and scribbled notes on his pad.
    “Yes, but I did my homework. I had three independent inspections performed; electrical, plumbing and structural.” She again offered her papers. For some reason, it was important to her that Sam understood she’d made a sound decision.
    “Hana, I wasn’t being negative, just thinking out loud.” He smiled but didn’t take her folder. “I promise I’ll go over all you have in there after I see things firsthand.”
    She nodded and led the way downstairs.
    “Wow, I wasn’t expecting this,” he said with surprise when she flipped on the lights.
    “I know, cool, isn’t it? This space is what sold the house to me.”
    Hana spent the bulk of her time on the lower level. The main room was large, bright due to perfectly placed lighting, and casual in décor. Eight people could comfortably perch on barstools around the wet bar, while others lounged in front of the big screen TV. Not that she had large groups of people over with any regularity, but when her kids and grandkids were in town, they had plenty of room to spread out in. A forty-gallon aquarium was the focal point in the corner next to her home office area.
    “Through here is the bathroom. The water’s shut off ‘cause the sink and shower fixtures drip and the toilet flushes on its own.”
    “That’s unique,” he commented while removing the top of the tank. Hana stepped out to give Sam space to assess the bathroom. When he was finished, he leaned against the doorframe and tapped the end of his pen against his chin. “I guarantee you have water damage down to the sub-floor and behind that crappy shower enclosure. My recommendation is to gut this room and start from scratch.”
    Dollar signs danced in Hana’s head. “Looking forward to hearing what that’s gonna cost,” she said with a sigh.
    “It may not be as bad as you’re imagining. I need to get some measurements in here and out front, look over your inspections then work up the numbers. It’s going to take an hour at least.”
    “I’ve got all day.”
    It was almost lunchtime when they finished. Not only was Hana impressed with Sam’s knowledge and thoroughness, she enjoyed talking with him. He was confident in his abilities without being pushy or conceited. He discussed the issues in depth and provided various alternatives while actually hearing and incorporating her thoughts and opinions. He had an easy manner and a wonderful sense of humor, and he wasn’t hard on the eyes, either.
    “When can you start, Sam?” she asked, picking up their empty coffee cups and taking them over to the sink.
    “Monday morning at eight if that works with your schedule.”
    “The biggest perk of being retired is that I’m the master of my own time

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