Are you losing the Cold War?

It’s been awhile since we’ve felt threatened by the former Soviet Union, yet today’s temperatures feel like we’ve been exiled to Siberia. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit – it’s actually a balmy day here compared to 27º below zero in Siberia as I write this. But STILL, this is AMERICA where all of us get to live like oligarchs in dachas, not prisoners in labor camps.

So if your house is a bit chilly right now, it’s only because you’re not fully exercising your rights endowed by your Creator to life, liberty, and the pursuit of comfort. Or something that means about the same thing, according to this particular Constitutional scholar. So, let’s rat-out the Soviet-style saboteurs in your home and bring them to justice:

Windows

If you have any gaps at the top or bottom of your windows that are letting in cold air, Fix St Louis can eliminate them. We can realign misaligned windows, replace faulty “window balances” that create jams, and add weatherstripping. If you’ve got old-timey windows that have a single pane of glass, the kind often accompanied by separate storm windows, we can bring you into the late 20th century with new windows that have 2 panes of glass and an insulating space in between.

Doors

If you have cold air coming in from the sides or top of your door, Fix St Louis can replace your weatherstripping. If the cold air is sneaking in from the bottom, we can replace that broken door sweep at the bottom of your door, and maybe adjust or replace your threshold. We can also realign misaligned doors and repair rotted door jambs and trim.

Attic

If the ceiling on your highest floor feels cold, it may be making your whole house cold. We can add insulation to your attic to keep that cold air away from that ceiling. You’ll want to check to make sure you’ve got at least 9″ of that fluffy stuff on the floor of your attic, which yields an insulating value of ‘R-30.’ (Don’t feel bad – I don’t know what the ’30’ means either).

Furnace

Fix St Louis is not in the business of selling furnaces, so this will be just another handyman’s opinion. From the ads you hear on the radio, you’d almost think the purpose of buying a furnace is to become ‘efficient’, not comfortable. But the basics are that your furnace needs to be reliable, the right size for your house, and have blowers that function properly. There are also some variations on blower features that may or may not make a difference. Personally, I’m skeptical that the highest efficiency furnaces (e.g. 95%) ever pay for themselves anymore given their higher cost, more parts that can break, and lower recent costs of petroleum.

It’s a shame that most of what our kids know about the Soviet Union they learned from Yakov Smirnoff’s show in Branson, and frightening to think about future generations now that Yakov’s theater features Acrobats of China. So, let’s just do our best to keep the torch of liberty lit and our pilot lights glowing.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Do Your Windows Need Obedience Training?

When you give a command to a dog (or spouse), you don’t necessarily expect it to obey without years of careful training. But not so when it comes to your windows. When you try to open and shut them, you have a right to be treated like an alpha dog (or alpha spouse).

There are 5 commands every window should obey without giving you any lip:

  1. Open! – Does you window slide open easily, without fighting with you every inch of the way?
  2. Stay! – When you lift open your window, does it stay in place or does it impersonate an 18th Century French guillotine?
  3. Shut! – When you close it, does it shut all the way, without any sunlight peaking in from above or below?
  4. Tilt! – If you have sliding switches at both ends of the top of the sash, do they slide easily, still have unbroken tips at their ends that poke into the window jamb so they actually DO something, and allow the window to tip toward you without the sash falling out of its track and dropping on your foot?
  5. Lock! – When it’s closed, can you easily flip or rotate that little lock on the sash, or do you have to slam the window sashes up and down until it fits into the slot?

You know, many homeowners call us thinking they need all new windows, until we tell them their existing windows can be repaired. Think of the savings!

So, if any of your windows cannot comply with the simple commands above, call the window whisperers at Fix St Louis. Who says you can’t re-teach your old windows their old tricks?

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Not to brag, but we’re even better than THEY are at Home Openers

Sure, the Redbirds just won their home opener against last year’s World Series Champs but, hey, we’re talking about the Chicago Cubs for crying out loud. On the other hand, we at Fix St Louis work on home openers just about every day, and we have never been defeated. Not once.

Doorbells

Once upon a time, front doors had all kinds of uses. They were a place to bend down and pick-up newspapers, Yellow Pages, and milk that came in glass bottles, and to greet overly-friendly Fuller Brush Men, encyclopedia salesmen, and Avon ladies. But these days, people seem to forget they even HAVE front doors. They always enter through the garage. And, they’re so frightened by what they watch on the 10 o’clock news that when the doorbell rings they hide behind furniture, lest the possible ax murderer outside spot them through the window.

But let’s face it, people. Unless you own a dog, you NEED a working doorbell. Or you’ll never meet your neighbors. Or, the kids next door. Or your neighbors’ kids selling cookies and unwanted magazine subscriptions for fundraisers. Or that grubby man with missing teeth who comes around each year to sell mulch.

The state of doorbells that we at Fix St Louis see every day is nothing less than shocking. I swear, about half of them don’t seem to work at all, or the plastic button is cracked open, exposing a teeny-weeny light bulb. Some houses confront you with a wide array of choices, including a non-working intercom station with a button that may or may not be a doorbell. Or a large control panel with the Nu-Tone brand name that looks like it was ripped off the set of Disney’s Carousel of Progress and includes a blender, an AM radio, and can spin 45 RPM vinyl records. BTW, nothing on that control panel works either.

Give us a call, and you will learn how easy and inexpensive it is to get your doorbell working again. Usually we can use the existing wires, but the new wireless models work great, too. We can even install integrated video cameras so you can remotely see who’s at your door, with the small downside that so can the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies who like to keep tabs on who you’ve been meeting.

Garage Door Openers

Scary, but true. The average homeowner is never more than one step away from a barbaric world in which they’d have to stop their car on the driveway in the rain, step out of the car, walk to the garage door, pull it up, walk back to their car, drive in, then reach up and pull the garage door down again. The HORROR!

We at Fix St Louis can do a number of things to help. We replace garage door openers, as well as their light bulbs. We can install a dedicated electrical outlet nearby so it conforms to building codes, and eliminate that extension cord tacked to the ceiling that you know is all wrong. And, we can install keypads outside that open the garage door, so that when you unlock the door to your house inside, no one needs a key, not even kids who might lose it. That means you can toss that fake rock in your yard that has a compartment for a key, and that is often so conspicuous that it fools no one. Not even woodpeckers scared by fake plastic owls. Who, truth be told, really don’t fall for that trick anymore, either.

And, oh yeah, we can change your door locks, too.

Just think about how far we’ve come in America with our home openers. Only 100 years ago nobody in St Louis even locked their doors. It must be true — I heard it at Disney’s Carousel of Progress.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

How We Can Save You From International Embarrassment

There’s a video that went “viral” this week, but absolutely no one is seeing the big picture. Fix St Louis is here to fix this.

Please take a moment to watch this < 1 minute video of a BBC interview of a professor, who unsuccessfully tries to "keep calm and carry on" while discussing the impeachment of the South Korean President. It's OK - go ahead, I'll wait.

Our forensic team here at Fix St Louis has now studied this video frame-by-frame and made a remarkable discovery. This professor, who lives in South Korea, actually DID push the button on his doorknob to lock the door. But, his door wasn’t really closed or locked because the door wasn’t properly aligned – the latch on the door was not lined up with the hole in the strike plate on the door frame.

Unfortunately for him, there is no such thing as “Fix South Korea.” Because if there were, he could have repaired this seemingly trivial problem before it morphed into a personal global catastrophe. So now, no matter how good an expert, researcher, or teacher he will ever be, this professor will NEVER be known for anything else.

Of course, there are a lot of other things Fix St Louis can do for doors like this, most of which are more about being irritated than embarrassed. Doors that rub against their outside frames. Doors that rub against new carpet. Doors that require a full body slam to shut. Loose or broken door knobs, detaching hinges – you’d be amazed at how many silly things can go wrong with a dumb interior door.

We can even perform a “door-ectomy”, removing doors and leaving a finished open archway. They’re great for highly indispensable people, like her:

Please learn from this cautionary tale that a bad door can shut you out of life’s otherwise open opportunities. And, what’d ya say we get this done now, before your next BBC interview.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Door Wars: The Triathlon EVERYONE Can Participate In

doorIf you spent Super Sunday sitting on a couch for hours, consuming large quantities of salted snacks, dip, and adult beverages, while watching Super Athletes compete, you may be feeling an urge to get up and get some exercise. But, it’s cold outside. And, let’s face it, you’re not exactly an IronMan or IronLady type who likes to wear yourself out by jogging, swimming, or biking.

That’s why Fix St Louis is proud to introduce the Door Triathlon, an indoor event in which even the most couch-potatoed homeowner can be a winner.

There are 3 stages of competition:

  1. Tug-of-Door: Go around to every door in your house. Make a note of every door that’s hard to open or close. Maybe it’s because the door edges are rubbing against the door frame, or the bottom of the door is rubbing against the carpet.
  1. Grand Slam: Next, a second round of going door-to-door. This time, make a note of all the doors that won’t close that last inch or two without a full body slam. And, that includes doors that close pretty easily, but just don’t make that final reassuring click to tell you the door is fully closed and won’t open without a turn of the knob.
  2. Punch Wall: One more round, but this time, don’t look at the doors, but at the walls the doors swing into. See any suspicious punched-in areas with contours that resemble the closest doorknob?

That’s a winner!  You may resume your seated position on the couch, preferably one with a phone within arm’s length. To claim your medal, call Fix St Louis. We can fix every door problem you found, so you can nail your next Door Triathlon.

Did that Downpour and Cold Air Get Into Your House?

Is it just me, or does it feel like someone up there just doesn’t like us, and is putting St. Louis through a test? First there was that massive rain storm that landed us on the front page of the national news. And now there’s this cold air blast.

Are your windows and doors keeping up? Did they keep all that water out? Any of that cold air coming into your house from around their edges or at the bottom?

Most homeowners are flummoxed by these problems because they can’t figure out who to call to fix them. There’s water involved, but not the kind that interests a plumber. There’s cold air coming in, but not the kind of thing you’d call a heating & air conditioning company for. And you might be avoiding calling a window & door company, afraid they might try to sell you on replacing ALL your windows & doors (BTW, you’d be right).

Yup, you guessed it. This is just the kind of thing you’d want to call Fix St. Louis for. We know all kinds of tricks to seal out water and cold air so they don’t enter your house. We can replace or add weatherstripping and door sweeps. We can adjust or replace the thresholds underneath doors. We can realign doors to remove gaps that might be letting cold air in. We can repair the holes and rot that often appear at the bottom of the door jambs. We can add insulation. And, if your situation is REALLY hopeless, or you just want better windows and doors, we can handle that, too.

There’s plenty of winter left, followed by lots of Spring showers. So, there’s no better time of year to get your home all sealed up.

Invite Fix St Louis into your home, and keep rain and cold out.