So your daughter is getting old enough to crawl and you don’t have a) spindles on your staircase or b) skills or c) time to develop (b) so you can install (a). You want: a handyman. Simple. The process works like this:
1) Identify a need: Spindles, banister
2) Look in phonebook (because you’re old-fashioned and the Internet just doesn’t work for this kind of thing) under “construction.” Find lots of people.
3) Call three of them. Get firm commitments for them to come out and give you an estimate.
4) On the appointed day, wait.
5) Repeat Step 4.
6) Repeat Step 2.
7) Repeat Step 3, choosing three different contractors.
8) Repeat Step 4.
9) As you begin to repeat Step 2, get a call from the first of the second batch of contractors. Make a firm commitment for him to come right over.
10) Repeat Step 4.
11) Repeat Step 1: Baby helmet, knee & elbow pads, gym mats.
This process works for all kind of skilled people. Say you want an engineer to come assess your drainage and foundation needs. You can do the exact same thing. Say you need a painter. A landscaper. A babysitter. Anyone, really. This exercise really builds your appointment-making abilities. What it does not build is your house.
Somewhere these guys are working up a really great condo complex or something, and they’re consulting on foundations and watching each others’ kids and putting mulch around the yew trees and building staircases and kitchen cabinets up and down the hillsides while the radiant-heated tile floors glow in the setting sun and the newly-hung light fixtures glint off the pristine birchwood banisters and spindles on the baby-safe staircases that lead ever upward to brand-new, tastefully colored rooms where people sleep adrift on seas of pleasant dreams.