It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like FiXmas

Could that really be THANKSGIVING coming up this Thursday?! Yikes!! Well, if you didn’t quite get around to fixing those things around the house, it’s not the end of the world. Your guests will only be around for a few hours, and may not even notice if you dim the lights, keep the TV turned on, and strategically place an attractive orange traffic cone to block your bedroom hallway.

But, it actually IS the END of the world if those things aren’t fixed in time for your overnight Christmas guests. Fortunately, it is now the BEGINNING of the FiXmas season. That’s the self-explanatory time of year to fix those little flaws in your house that, for some inexplicable reason, were perfectly acceptable for your family to live with, but unacceptable for those who are not nearly as close to you.

Where to begin? We at Fix St Louis suggest you start with the potentially yuckiest parts of your home, and there’s no substance that makes things yuckier than water. Look all around toilets, showers, tubs, and sinks for yuck, and see if they need to be re-caulked or if loose tiles need to be repaired. Same thing for kitchen sinks and backsplashes.

The next step is looking for 2nd Hand Yuck. Look at the ceilings that are directly below bathrooms. If there are stains there, get those leaks fixed, get that section of drywall section replaced if necessary, then sealed and painted so that it is invisible. Do you really want your guests to engage in a conversation of what yucky event caused that stain?

OK, that’s enough for now. After all, it’s only the First Day of FiXmas – let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But you might want to call us today to avoid the FiXmas rush!

Happy Holidays and Many Happy Repairs from Fix St Louis!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis

It’s time to reopen the investigation of your house

Seems like this year the Wednesday AFTER the Tuesday Presidential election should be designated a national holiday, celebrated by great relief if not joy. Perhaps a day to kick-off reconciliation with all those friends and relatives you’ve stopped talking to, in the hopes that by Thanksgiving or Christmas they might actually be welcome in your home once again.

So to get things started, Fix St Louis asks you to try this exercise in seeing things from THEIR point of view. Imagine what they’ll see when they visit your house over the holidays:

Guest Bathroom: Is the caulk along the perimeter of your tub ledge or shower base clean and white, without cracks or mildew? How about that grout and caulk between your wall tiles or slabs? Does the toilet stop running all by itself all of the time, or were you expecting THEM to jiggle the handle? Does your sink faucet or tub spout ever stop dripping? Does the sink pop-up drain ever completely pop-down?

Guest Bedroom: Does opening the bedroom door require two hands and a sharp tug to open, and a body slam to shut? Does the latch make a reassuring “click” when the door is closed, making them comfortable the door won’t unexpectedly swing open by itself? When you flip that switch, do the lights on the ceiling actually come on? Do those sliding closet doors slide and stay within their tracks?

First Impressions: Does your doorbell actually work? When you open that bi-fold door to store their coats, does it fall off its track and not completely shut? When they sit in your living room, do they see an ominous stain on the ceiling that gives them the creeps thinking about what caused it? Do cracks in your walls make them think you might be living on the New Madrid fault?

Yeah, maybe it does matter who is in the White House, but now’s the time to reopen the investigation of your OWN house. Let’s get these repairs underway now and maintain that high favorable rating among your guests.

Dr. Steve
Fix St Louis

Yes, handyman services HAVE been rigged against you

As someone who is out on the suburban streets of America every day, I can tell you there are a LOT of angry homeowners out there. They’re tired of the empty promises of handymen, contractors, plumbers, and electricians. They’re sick of waiting around their homes for hours on end waiting for them to show up. They’re frustrated when no one answers or returns their calls, and devastated when work is unfinished and they can’t get ahold of them.

The home repair system has been broken, and here’s why. Traditionally, the top 1% of customers, especially large commercial customers and large new home builders, have been stealing away the most professional of those who know how to fix homes, offering them the three most important things – jobs, jobs, and jobs.

And while I would not be so unkind as to say that many of the remaining folks available for you to choose from are ‘deplorable’, our recruitment efforts do suggest that about 25% of them have felony convictions. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Homeowners and those friends and neighbors who refer handymen to you don’t run the kinds of experience and background checks that the big companies who choose not to hire them do.

Fortunately there’s Fix St Louis, the only full service home repair company that competes against the big companies for the best, most professional technicians.

We’re the only one with a booth at job fairs at Ranken Technical College, that regularly makes presentations to their students, that picks the brains of faculty members regarding their most promising students, and that seeks out their alumni. And, we build upon Ranken’s rigid training in technical skills, people skills, and overall professionalism.

At Fix St Louis, we’re out to make the handyman industry great again. OK, OK. So maybe ‘great’ just for the first time.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis

Instapoll: Are your closet doors on the right track or wrong track?

Maybe I missed it, but with all the campaign promises made this season, I don’t recall a SINGLE candidate promising to fix that closet door in your house that is falling off its tracks. Can you believe it?

That’s too bad, because that would probably give you more day-to-day satisfaction, and at much less cost, than either a wall OR free college tuition for all of your children and pets. It’s no wonder two-thirds of the country thinks the nation is on the wrong track – perhaps the candidates are LOOKING at the wrong track.

For all you closet door junkies out there, you should know that there are three key demographic groups. The ‘swingers’ are the standard closet doors that swing open and shut. They tend to be ignored by homeowners because they rarely cause problems other than an occasional need for realignment between the latch and the striker plate, or rubbing against the side jambs and flooring. We at Fix St Louis know how to rein-in these unruly swingers.

The ‘sliders’ are the closet doors with those heavy door slabs that slide left and right, bypassing each other. These doors are somewhat less predictable than the swingers, as they sometimes fall off their tracks. Some even develop their own unauthorized in-and-out swing, jumping the surly bonds of door guides attached to the floor. We at Fix St Louis can keep these sliders sliding.

Then, there are the doors that think they’re the hippest of them all – the ‘bi-folders’. These are the doors with the accordion-type moves, with each door split and hinged in the middle. But not only can these doors fall off their tracks, they can also get hopelessly stuck in really awkward, partially expanded positions. Yep, Fix St Louis can bring these doors back into the fold, too.

Hmmm. So, maybe the federal government DOESN’T need to do every stinkin’ thing for us. Maybe we DON’T need a federal agency regulating closet doors after all.

No, that’s just crazy talk. But, remember…. when it comes to closet doors, nobody has a better track record than Fix St Louis.

Dr. Steve
Fix St Louis

The OTHER debate featuring hot air, smoke & slime

Well, last night’s debate was quite the spectacle. But it was not the only current debate featuring hot air, smoke, slime, and the possibility of coughing.

The other debate is about the hood duct above your cooktop. Is it OK to have one that just recirculates filtered exhaust back into the kitchen, or do you need one that sends that exhaust into a duct and out of the house?

For a lot of folks, it doesn’t matter where exhaust goes. Between microwaving and trips to McDonald’s, preparing the typical American meal doesn’t require loud sizzles, billows of smoke, and ear-splitting smoke detector alarms, unless the food preparer has really, really screwed-up big time.

On the other hand, there are folks who really love to fry because of taste or ethnic preferences, like traditional Chinese and Indian dishes. For some of this cooking, sending all that smoke outside is an absolute must, not an option.

We have good news for those who cook that way. Whatever appliance or cabinet is mounted above your cooktop now, we have a reasonably-priced option to fit in a duct, and run the exhaust out through the roof or the side of the house.

Sometimes we run the duct straight up, passing through the inside of that over-the-range cabinet. Or, behind the wall. Sometimes we continue its run sideways along the top of the cabinet, while other times we’ll run it through a new or existing soffit. We even know how to install a hood over an island, and then run the duct through the ceiling.

The point is, we can run that exhaust to the outside in just about any situation, and your head will not sizzle, burst into flames, and generate billows of smoke from sticker shock when you hear the price.

Just because our politicians spend all their time (and our money) in smoke-filled rooms, doesn’t mean you have to. Give us a call, and let us help you fry with the eagles!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis

We’re Your Ally in the Government’s War on Toilets

It’s been sad to watch the decline of American civilization during my lifetime. I’m referring, of course, to the diminishing quality of the American toilet. And it’s all the government’s fault.

You see, back in 1979 reacting to limited fresh water supplies on the West Coast (only), our all-wise federal government surveyed the planet for solutions. Overlooking the, oh, 97% or so of the world’s water now sitting in our oceans ripe for desalinization, they broke into our bathrooms, pointed one finger at us and another at our toilet tanks and scolded, “Aha! You greedy Americans, how can you be using up to 7 gallons of water in your toilets while 3rd world countries are still digging holes in the ground?”

Since then, the feds have forced toilet manufacturers to reduce their tank capacities by more than 3/4 to a piddly 1.6 gallons today. And since water is to a toilet what electricity is to a light bulb, you can understand why we get so many calls from you guys to fix your toilets – toilets whose effectiveness have never been better than marginal at best. And why divas from Barbra Streisand to Beyoncé now specify 7 gallon tanks in their dressing room contracts (just kidding, I think).

Well, WE at Fix St Louis, at least, are NOT in the tank for the federal government. So, bring us your running toilets, your limp handles, your washed out washers, your leaky fittings, your flappy flappers, and your half-full or half-empty tanks (depending on your disposition).

We’ll be right there with you until we have defeated the DC toilet tyrants. Until you can fire-off a flush heard ’round the world, and unleash a 7 gallon gusher worthy of a free people!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis