As you may recall from one of our earlier postings, Susanne and the kids call me Mr. Fix It. It’s not that I need a name change as mine works quit well as it is. The fact is that I have had the good fortune while growing up of gaining some basic knowledge of the trades. I have had many jobs during and after high school and many of them were “hands on” type of positions where I had to use tools. I also rode a Harley (72 FLH) for about 10 years and tour that apart more than once in an effort to make it run and look better. Because of all this great “unqualified training” I get called upon to fix what breaks.
We still have family in Boston that we visit on a regular basis. One of the first things I do is stop by to see my mom (out of habit and necessity). Every visit I walk in the door and ask, “What’s broken now?” You see, my mom has a tendency to let things that break or that need mending to pile up until I get there. I’m sure those of you that are “handy” can relate.
When I flew back in from Boston last week, Susanne told me that I had to get my tools for some work she had planned for me. Hummm…Whats broken now? It seems that in the two days while I was away, our 20 month old daughter, Jacqueline, climbed out of her crib at 11:00pm the night earlier. That’s right…BOOM! Another infant proving Newton’s Laws of Gravity. Miss Jacqueline has lost her crib and gained a new bed compliments of Mr. Fix It. Now when she decides to take a fall in the middle of the night, it will only be about a foot down.
The average person can do most small home repairs. Renters and owners can take care of regular maintenance tasks such as changing your air filter monthly. As we Floridians know, if you don’t change your air condition filter regularly you are going to wake up one day with a hot house and possibly a frozen system. I will tackle just about any job but will usually ask someone for advise before I try fixing something I have never encountered before. Believe it or not, one of the best places where I find good advise is at the local Home Depot, Lowes or Ace Hardware stores. These stores typically hire people from the trades and often have them working in those departments. I often call the manufacture of a product and speak to the customer service people for help.
Don’t forget to check the internet. I’ve gone to manufactures websites to order “dealer only”products because the products were not available anywhere else. Most of the large hardware stores carry generic parts and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. So, always keep your receipts!
Below are a number of sites that are available to go to that may help you when you have small home repairs. Remember to ask a friend for referrals of contractors that they have used and are happy with. Always hire contractors for the bigger jobs and make sure that they are registered and licensed.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Do your homework. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see that the contractor you hire is credible.
- Always ask contractors you interview for references and always check those references.
- Never pay the entire bill upfront for services. Always keep some of the money (1/2 – 1/3) until the job is complete to your satisfaction.
- Stay ahead of regular maintenance tasks such as the air conditioning filters.
- If your new to the area and don’t know qualified contractors, ask a Realtor. Realtors are constantly in touch with qualified and proven contractors that they would gladly recommend.
Home Repair Websites:BuildersShare.com HouseBlogs.net CalFinder.com/blog Joe Quirk Email (561) 427-9326
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