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home repairs

Quick Tip for Friday – get to know your local hardware store

Many hardware stores now provide sketch artists to help their customers recall the part they need.

Your smaller neighborhood hardware stores like Ace and True Value are amazing resources.  Getting familiar with them is a great idea for many reasons.

Shopping at these stores supports small business, most Ace and True Value stores are independent franchises, sometimes generations of family run businesses.

The service in your neighborhood hardware store is usually more personal than the big stores. Smaller store means smaller staff so you will tend to see the same faces and get to know one another. They are great at helping you find odd pieces, creative solutions and maybe even recommendations when you need to hire help.

In my experience the local hardware stores carry a better selection of small, harder to find replacement parts for drawers, closets, screens, door knobs, gate latches and so much more.

Many of us are all too familiar with how one ‘simple’ project ends up with multiple trips back to the store for more screws, bolts, nails, lumber, caulk, paint, potting soil, unexpected tools….any variety of things needed to complete the project. Shopping for the items you can pick up at True Value or Ace can be a big headache relief for those trips!

And the personal service can come in real handy when you don’t know the correct name of that thingymajig or doohickey needed to complete the project!!

 

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Categories: Checklist, DIY tips, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, organizing, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday – keep it until you are done

Whenever you are on a project, try not to throw out anything until the project is successfully completed.

Not only should you inventory all parts when opening a new item, whether it is an Ikea dresser or a ceiling fan, it is a good idea to keep everything until the project at hand is done!

Sometimes you get in the middle of a job and find something doesn’t fit or isn’t working. You may need to put the old item back together until you resolve the problem with the new one. Or you might need the original packaging to return or request a replacement something that didn’t fit like if should have. There are many examples I could give as to why, trust that I have learned this bit of advice the hard way. Keep everything until you have successfully completed your project!!

Categories: Checklist, DIY tips, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, Quick tip friday, random, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip Monday

This was a tip from someone else recently. Good advice is worth sharing so I was inspired to start writing my Quick Tips again.

Reader Jimmy commented on previous a post, Quick tip for Friday-Water saving tip-check your water bill “It is really important to monitor your drains and water outlet. I think it’s a good idea to have a plumber picked out before you actually need one.”  

It’s great advice and goes for other trades as well, such as electricians. Don’t wait till an emergency to be scrambling for help and get stuck using whoever is available rather than someone you know you can trust for the job!

Thanks for the good advice Jimmy!

Categories: helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, plumbing, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A little video

EnterTAYnment made this awesome promotional video recently for my business!

The Fix It Lass promotional video by EnterTAYnment

I plan to make several more videos with her as soon as I can make time in my schedule! She was so much fun to work with and I love what Taylor created for me!
Enjoy! And subscribe to her YouTube channel to get updates on our new ventures together!

Let me know what you think.

Categories: Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, marketing, Uncategorized, work I do | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Mother’s Day “Honey Do” List | DoItYourself.com

This is a great idea!

Mom will love it even if you are hiring someone else to help with these projects, it is still more personal than cut flowers.

Mother’s Day “Honey Do” List | DoItYourself.com.

 

  

Mother’s Day is coming up fast, and like most years, you’re probably worried about what to get her (or maybe you haven’t given it a thought yet). This year, try giving her your time instead of buying her the predictable flowers and chocolate. Set aside a day, or even just a few hours, to take care of things for her around the house and yard that she may not be able to accomplish herself. Not only will you be taking stress off her shoulders, but she’ll love getting to spend time with you as you accomplish each task. (And if you’re already an avid DIYer, chances are you already have the tools and won’t need to buy anything!)

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/mothers-day-honey-do-list#.U2gbCBBOXIU#ixzz30t1q1xCq

Be good to Mom’s!

Cass

 

Categories: DIY tips, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, organizing, painting, work I do | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Fix it up: How to hire general maintenance help – The Denver Post

Here is another nice write up about what to look for when hiring a handyperson.

Fix it up: How to hire general maintenance help – The Denver Post.

You love your home. But that leaky faucet, clogged gutter or cracked shower tile is driving you crazy. Who ya gonna call? A handyperson. This general practitioner of the home-repair industry is the go-to professional for jobs you don’t want to do, haven’t time to do or simply can’t do (and have no business attempting).

You don’t want to hire just anyone. Like a housekeeper, caregiver or babysitter, a handyman has access to your home. The right one is more than just a guy, or gal, with a tool box. It’s someone with whom you may build a long-term trusting relationship.

Heather Bays, a single parent living in Lowry, found her current handyman by asking a friend who is a real estate agent for a recommendation. Most recently, she had him replace an 8-foot-by-10-foot backyard planter.

“The referral from my friend was key,” says Bays. “I want someone I know and trust to have used this person before and be satisfied with the work.”

Word of mouth is still the favored way to find a pro. But instead of swapping info over the backyard fence, many of us head online, using neighborhood social networks such as Nextdoor.com. After all, if someone you know has used a particular handyman, odds are he won’t disappear overnight.

When he wanted to remodel the kitchen in his 1928 Spanish bungalow, Hilltop resident John Sunderland turned to Craigslist. His approach: Place a notice in the Gigs section under “Labor.”

Sunderland carefully laid out the project, noting that he need an “experienced carpenter” and asked for three references with phone numbers. Of the four responses, only one provided the information he asked for. Impeccable references scored him the job.

After a test “job” replacing two kitchen windows went well, Sunderland hired him for the rest of the kitchen redo and plans to have him drywall the garage ceiling.

A handyman for nine years, Buddy Hendrickson says he appreciates clients who let him know their expectations. “It’s all about the right fit. Someone is letting me into their home and I respect that,” he says.

Online services such as HomeAdvisor.com (formerly Service Magic) or Angie’s List match homeowners with qualified service professionals and include user reviews. While Angie’s List charges users to search listings, Denver-based HomeAdvisor’s ProFinder is free. Listed professionals pay a membership fee and must pass a financial and background check.

Robert Schreiber, a handyman with HomeAdvisor, works on the framing of a door at a job site in Denver.

Robert Schreiber, a handyman with HomeAdvisor, works on the framing of a door at a job site in Denver. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Once you have a few names, it’s time to narrow the field. After an initial phone interview, arrange for an in-home walk-through. Have a list of things you want done and a time frame.

“Some handymen may be booked out weeks in advance. Others won’t work on weekends,” says Hendrickson. Expect an estimate within a day.

Charlene Andrisen’s trick? She “interviews” their tool box.

“At that first meeting I ask about what tools they use, look at their tool box and even casually walk out and check out their truck,” says Andrisen, who owns several rental properties. “Is everything neat or a trash pile of cigarette butts and candy wrappers? That’s a good clue as to the type of job they’ll do.”

“Home projects are so emotional,” says Brooke Gabbert of HomeAdvisor. “To find someone who respects both you and your home and with whom you are comfortable takes educating yourself.”

That means laying out your project list in detail and asking questions. The most critical: What are your skills? Is this job something you have done before?

That’s the question Barbara Schmidt wishes she had asked. The retired accountant needed indoor-outdoor carpet replaced on her garage steps and the sliding doors in the bedroom trimmed because of new, thicker carpet.

The two-man team she found through an online service did a decent job on the steps, but the doors were a mess. “They cut one shorter than the other and didn’t install a floor track because they were uncomfortable doing it,” she says.

Schmidt found a new handyman whose mother-in-law lived across the street. “He took one look and knew the door was too short, so trimmed the other one to match. I still may need to buy new doors, but for now they work,” Schmidt says. “He did a great job, and, more important, I know where he lives.”

What to ask

Whatare your areas of expertise?

Is this a project that requires a licensed specialist (such as an electrician)?

Do you have references?

Can I call them?

Do you charge by the hour or by the job?

Is there a fee for you to come to my home and give an initial quote?

Do you bill trip charges, either to my home or to pick up supplies?

Do you have a local address?

What is your availability?

Do you warrant your work? If so, for how long?

Do you have insurance?

Will you haul away trash and old materials when finished?

Will you put our agreement in writing?

Popular jobs

A maintenance worker was the No. 1 service request in Denver for January through March 2014, according to HomeAdvisor.com. The average project cost for the metro area as reported by homeowners is $367 (the national average is $526). The five most-requested jobs:

Install, repair or replace plumbing fixtures

Install electrical switches, outlets or fixtures

Paint, varnish or stain exteriors

Repair or service an appliance

Categories: Checklist, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Quick tip for Friday-Water saving tip-check your water bill

How closely to you check your water bill?

Reading the comparison information regarding USAGE may be the surest way to look for bigger problems.

Are you taking shorter showers and still paying more?  We get accustomed to the prices of everything increasing, do you forgot to look how much water you are actually using and not just how much you are paying?

Save Water graphic

Increases in consumption can indicate a need to change habits, update appliances or serve as a warning for leaks in the household.

Put into practice the water saving tips we hear all the time (if you are not already doing so):

  • Take shorter showers
  • Don’t run the water while brushing your teeth
  • Run only full loads of dishwasher or washing machine
  • Reduce watering days for lawns etc to 1 or 2 days a week

If you don’t see enough change in consumption for the next billing cycle it may be a good idea to check  for leaks or consider updating water using appliances such as dishwashers, toilets, washing machines, etc.

Categories: helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Repairing a sprinkler line

Follow up to my last post where I very easily fixed a watering system problem, because sometimes a leak in a watering system is more complicated than a screw off sprinkler head.  For one thing, not all sprinkler heads attach that easily.  🙂

A break or hole in the line can be more challenging, to discover and to repair.

In this case there was damage caused to one of the pipes leading from one nozzle to the other. It was a pretty good-sized hole and a substantial leak. Luckily being  in between two small rose plants bordering the space between the lawn and sidewalk made it quickly noticed by the homeowner.

However, there was only a small area to work with without disturbing the plants, as the 2 roses were only a few feet apart and that was a bit challenging.

broken sprinkler line and not a lot of room to work

broken sprinkler line and not a lot of room to work

Typically this repair is done by cutting out the broken section and replacing it with a larger diameter piece, but it takes a little room to work so you can cut, then get a good seal and apply the glue without a bunch of dirt getting in the line. I was in the neighborhood of my favorite hardware store, Kurt True Value, so I dashed over there for supplies.

I saw this and decided it just might be the answer to the cramped condition I was working with and I was back out the door!

Fix kit I found at my favorite hardware store.

Fix kit I found at my favorite hardware store.

As you can see I didn’t even have to make the hole any larger to complete repair. I cleared as much dirt as possible from the line with my shop vac and snapped the repair coupling over the existing line. Per the instructions I also sealed the seams with PVC glue but I was impressed with the seal even without it.

worked great!

worked great!

I did repair months ago and it is still holding strong!

Categories: DIY tips, gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick Tip Friday- Water saving tip – Check your sprinklers

We are in a drought here in California. A phrase I have been hearing my entire life, but I still take it seriously and try not to be wasteful.

I will be posting water saving tips as often as I can through the spring and summer months.

My water saving advice today is related specifically to sprinklers or watering systems and it is very simple.

Watch when your sprinklers or watering systems run to check for needed repairs or adjustments.

A few years back a neighbor told me about a broken sprinkler she happened to see because our sprinklers ran the same time she left for work everyday. We never happened to see it. Since then I try to check things out twice a year and it paid off this year. We ran a check on the watering system in the backyard recently and discovered a leak that could have gone undetected for a very long time.

As you can see in the pictures there was no obvious problem besides the puddle. Timing and location might have kept us from noticing this puddle for quite some time.  There was a crack in a sprinkler head below the surface we w0uldn’t  know about until we watched our system running to check for possible adjustments in spray pattern or timing.

It was a easy fix to replace the sprinkler head (it just screws off/on) and no more water is being wasted watering our pavers instead of the grass.

sprinkler head sprinkler head2

Take a few minutes to check out your watering system regularly , it’s worth it!

 

 

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, outdoors, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to properly fill a nail hole. | The Art of Doing Stuff

I know it has been a very long time since I have written my own blog post, it’s one of the few drawbacks to the wonderfulness of having business going really well and my customers keeping me busy fixing, building and improving stuff!
When I saw this post from The Art of Doing Stuff  (seriously, if you don’t follow her already, start now!) I knew it had to be my next post instead of my own original content.

How to properly fill a nail hole. | The Art of Doing Stuff.

It’s too good not to share and I have been wanting to write about NOT using things like toothpaste to fill nail holes. Honestly, who came up with that idea in the first place??

Thanks to Karen for always being so informative, witty and fun!

 

Categories: DIY tips, do it anyway, hanging pictures, hanging shelves, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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