If you’re looking for a handyman who can turn his hand to anything, meet Aussie expat and Singapore handyman, Campbell Carey. From polishing flooring to plumbing and electrics, if you need a man who can, read on! With decades of experience as a marine teak decker, you’d be forgiven for wondering why Campbell might have “dumbed down” his career to providing Singapore handyman services. He explains why.
Why are you in Singapore?
I’m one of those husbands who’s following the clever wife. Luci’s a maritime lawyer, and was offered a position at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and a scholarship to do her masters there last year. I have a rather unusual background as a marine teak decker for super yachts, but I’m 50, my eyes are going, my knees are going, I’m just over it! Now I’m happy to get my hands dirty and just help with odd jobs around people’s homes.
How did you get started here?
I was none the wiser about what I was going to do. At first I was bored, and I just started fixing people’s stuff for the hell of it, then people began approaching me saying they needed help fixing pieces before handing their place back to their landlord; it really was word of mouth.
What can you help with?
I can prefabricate pieces and reinstall them for people moving out of their homes. Parquet flooring is also my strength, and I can help with damaged pieces. I’ve also just invested in a marble polisher, which is really great fun, and you get a good result from that. Then there’s electrics and plumbing; to be honest, I’m happy to help with anything – I like to get my hands dirty!
Apart from working on site projects, I love being stuck in my workshop all day, building my gear; that’s what I really enjoy. I’m about to start manufacturing high-quality outdoor furniture using my CNC (computer numerical control) equipment, and I’m finding inspiration for a new range in Singapore’s ultra-modern design. When you see my workshop you can tell I’m a bit of a tool junkie!
Hit us with it; how much do you charge?
As a general note I’d charge $50 per hour’s work. However, if the project moves into services such as buffing floors, the price does go up as I’m incorporating equipment that wears over time.
What do you enjoy about living in Singapore?
I love the cultural diversity here, the mix of architecture is amazing, and Singapore’s location in terms of travel is brilliant. We also enjoy going down to East Coast Park for satay, and I love watching our son Hamish learn to sail at the National Sailing Centre down at 5 Pipes.
I’ve been in the position before when I have months and months of contracts and you can’t get out of it. Now I have the ability to do this, and I’m loving this part of my life.
For more helpful tips head to our living in Singapore section.