Is there ANYTHING Oprah can’t do? Well, yes.

So now the latest thing is Oprah should run for President because, well, because she’s Oprah. You can almost imagine her packing her Cabinet with real and kind-of doctors, like Dr Phil and Dr Oz. And yet, it seems unlikely she’d anoint THIS faux doctor, Dr Steve, even though I’d be only one who knew anything at all about REAL cabinets. That’s because, unlike Oprah, we at Fix St Louis must live in the REAL world.

Unlike Oprah, when things break we can’t just go out and buy all of our customers’ new houses. When our customers have broken toilets, no amount of Oprah-empathy is going to get those toilets to heal themselves. You also can’t fix a toilet by reading an Oprah-promoted bestseller that suggests that, if you think enough positive thoughts about that toilet, there are laws of attraction that will deliver the fixed toilet you’ve always yearned for.

So, let me humbly offer this partial list of home repair items that Oprah (and possibly, you) really can’t, won’t, and maybe shouldn’t even try to take on – those that might be best left to the REAL PROFESSIONALS at Fix St Louis, even though we don’t happen to be REAL DOCTORS.

  • Fix that window that drops like a guillotine when you let go.
  • Install a ceiling fan in a room without wiring on the ceiling.
  • Make a running toilet stop.
  • Repair that difficult door that doesn’t quite click shut.
  • Deal with that ominous water stain on your ceiling that you’re trying not to think about.
  • Replace the rotted boards on your deck floor.
  • Get that doorbell to work.
  • Replace that dirty, cracked, once-white goop around your tub ledge or shower base.
  • Repair a light fixture that’s at the top of a vaulted ceiling.
  • Get rid of those dings on your walls.

Hey, maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe Oprah’s long-term partner relationship is all about things like having someone always there to unclog her toilets. Still, if she didn’t have Stedman, she’d need Fix St Louis.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

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

Fixtures we have changed on high

On Christmas morning, many St Louis families will be gathering in their Family or Great Rooms to open presents and celebrate the holidays. And, it’s a pretty safe bet that when they look toward the heavens, nobody is going to see a bright star in the East or anywhere else, because they’ll be indoors and it will be daytime.

But it’s also a safe bet that those in rooms with vaulted ceilings will see one or more burned-out bulbs. Part of the reason is that, as far as we know, no one has ever granted light bulbs the gift of eternal life. But the bigger reason is that many builders don’t have on their staffs so much as one Wise Man to ask the question of how in the world a homebuyer is going to change light bulbs that are 18 feet off the ground.

While we at Fix St Louis are quite humble about the contributions we make to mankind, and for good reason, we must confess that on this one very worldly issue we can function somewhat like your personal savior. For instance, we would guess you don’t own a step ladder tall enough so that you could touch a vaulted ceiling. We do. We would also guess that you are not crazy enough to climb to the top of said ladder to do something as trivial as change a light bulb. We are.

And while we’re up there, we can do other useful things. Like replace your old light fixture with a new one. Or add can lights whether or not there’s electricity up there. Or install or replace a ceiling fan. Or maybe even replace those standard light bulbs with new-tech ones that, while never the same each time you visit a hardware store, always claim to last much longer, so you won’t have to call us as often to change your bulbs.

You might want to think of Fix St Louis as your home repair angels who can slip the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of your ceiling. No, actually even better. Angels won’t repair your toilets!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

On the 12th day of FiXmas my handyman fixed for me…

On the 12th day of FiXmas my handyman fixed for me…

12 toilets running
11 walls a cracking
10 drains a leaking
9 pictures hanging
8 lights a blinking
7 storm doors slamming
6 tiles a laying
5 wax toilet ringssss………
4 falling shelves
3 French doors
2 slow-draining tubs
and an off-track door on a pantryyyy………

WOW is all I can say. That FiXmas classic never fails to bring to a tear to this old handyman’s eyes. Well, we’re well into the FiXmas season, so:

Grab that to-do list, checking it twice.
Get those repairs done now, take our advice.
Christmas guests are coming to town.

Merry Christmas and Many Happy Repairs from Fix St Louis!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like FiXmas

The tell-tale signs are all around us. Your favorite radio station just switched to Christmas music, Schnucks is pushing whole turkeys. Furniture stores are running semi-annual going-out-of-business sales.

This can only mean one thing – the FiXmas season is upon us. Sure, it’s the season of gratitude, joy, goodwill to men, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda. But as you count your blessings, is it a crime to count among them a house that’s in good shape for you and your guests to enjoy?

So, it’s time for making a list and checking it twice, no time to remodel, so let’s keep it concise. Here’s our TOP TEN list for the simplest, most guest-noticeable repairs this FiXmas season.

  1. Get that doorbell to work to avoid a bad 1st impression.
  2. Replace discolored caulk around tubs and showers.
  3. Make that door fully “click” when closed.
  4. Get bi-fold and sliding closet doors back on their tracks.
  5. Remove ominous stains from your ceiling, and fix the leak above it while you’re at it.
  6. Keep that toilet from continuing to run.
  7. Patch those cracks in your walls.
  8. Stop the dripping from your bathroom sink and tub faucets.
  9. Replace or fix that missing or broken pop-up stopper in your bathroom sink.
  10. Make sure something happens in guest rooms when light switches are flipped.

The holiday season may be mostly about giving to others, but a house that’s in good shape is BOTH a gift to yourself AND a gift to your guests. Now, THAT’s the FiXmas spirit.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

The Guests are Coming! The Guests are Coming!

(Loosely based on “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Listen ye homeowners and you shall hear,
That the holidays are drawing near.
Soon Thanksgiving, then December twenty-five;
Hardly a homeowner is now alive,
Who’s not dreading guest visits this year.
Guests will arrive by land, and some by air,
Only to find their host’s home in disrepair.
Causing said host’s reputation permanent harm,
Across every St Louis subdivision, complex or farm.
But, our handymen stand ready to take that daytime ride,
Throughout the greater St Louis countryside.
We’ll correct doors and windows that misbehave,
Toilets that run will be trained to “stay.”
It’s one-stop shopping for home repairs,
and guests’ll never know we just got outta there.
Guests make you anxious? We can restore calm,
To every St Louis subdivision, complex or farm.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100