Fix St Louis issues DOUBLE and TRIPLE mask guidelines for home repairs

Not that I’m looking for sympathy, but COVID mask-wearing has really taken a toll on this old handyman. They fog up my glasses and block my peripheral vision, as homeowners point to all the strange places I need to poke my head into. A crash helmet would have been a better fashion accessory than a mask when my head met that protruding humidifier on a heating duct, that unexpectedly low header at the bottom of the basement stairs, or that low-hanging metal awning above ice-covered steps while I was looking down.

So, I was really anxious to get my 2 COVID shots, thinking I’d then be safe from both COVID and concussions. But the other day, while my head was poked in a toilet, I heard in the background an alarming Congressional hearing. They said that people who had taken 2 COVID shots now had to wear TWO masks, because based on no research whatsoever there might be a new, more dangerous strain of COVID on its way.

Startled by the news, I bumped my head again, this time on the rim of the toilet. Then I began to think — the CDC is doing its part, maybe Fix St Louis  should be doing more to protect OUR customers from the hazards of the home repair issues we wrestle with.

So as a public service, Fix St Louis  is issuing these new guidelines, that includes a new rating system for protecting homeowners from the most disgusting and, I dunno, maybe dangerous issues we encounter regularly in homes.

Caulk and Grout

This relatively low level hazard is generally found around bathtub ledges, around the perimeter of shower bases, but can also be found on the walls around tubs and showers. It’s caulk and grout that has turned brown, black, or is simply missing.

Given that Dr Steve’s medical training is somewhat minimal, I hesitate to outline the dangers, but I suspect you wouldn’t want to inhale it or eat it. What I CAN say for sure is that NOBODY wants to look at it, and that it usually means that water is getting into your walls and floors. So call Fix St Louis , take off your mask momentarily so our Customer Service Rep can hear what you are saying, and request a free estimate to fix it.

Kitchen Sink Cabinet

Dr Steve’s evolutionary biology training is also somewhat minimal, so you would need to check me on this. But I have a theory that most life forms on Earth today emerged from substances formed in the cabinets below kitchen sinks. All of the elements of life exist there — a warm, moist environment fed by dripping water from drain pipes, food particles that somehow evade the garbage disposal, and even boxes of powders and gels that might be appetizing to one species or another.

 Fix St Louis can stop the leaks, replace your garbage disposal, and otherwise seal out the water that has turned your cabinet into a swamp.

Toilet Wax Rings

Did you know that your toilet is sitting on a gooey wax ring that all your you-know-what passes through? And that it is the only thing that stands between your you-know-what and the rest of your house? And that if you ever see stains on the ceiling below you don’t need to wonder what it is, because you already know what?

So if you have problems with your toilet wax ring, and sooner or later everyone will, you ought to put on THREE masks after asking our Customer Service Rep for an estimate. Some like to take a FOURTH mask, tear it in half, wad it up, and stuff it up both of their nostrils, although like COVID this might be a particular problem for those with respiratory issues. In that case you might just want to place that fourth mask over your eyes.

Please understand that these mask recommendations only relate to home repair issues. For CDC mask guidelines, I’d suggest you check with them, perhaps as frequently as once per hour.

Meanwhile, we at  Fix St Louis  hope to bump into you soon, but not with our heads, and look forward to seeing your smiling faces again sometime in the near future!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

You call THAT a “Super Bowl”? HAH! I’ll show YOU a Super Bowl!

I look forward to Super Bowl Weekend each year, but not for the same reasons you do. My annual tradition is visiting a Home Depot during the game. There’s no one there but me, plus store clerks whose only job is to serve me personally. It’s the one day a year this old handyman can experience the glamorous life of that lone shopper you’ll see when you visit Plaza Frontenac.

But while your humble correspondent was not destined by fate to live in the lap of luxury, that does not mean Fix St Louis can’t share helpful ideas with those of you who do.

It’s true that a seat at the Super Bowl is a coveted luxury item. But what if I could show you an alternative Super Bowl seat that, at a Suggested Retail Price of about $10,000, costs much less than a scalped ticket, plus you can enjoy it throughout the year?

My hunt for a better Super Bowl led me to the Kohler showroom in Ladue where, to their great credit, I was greeted enthusiastically by consultants Annie, Elizabeth, Katie, and Megan, even though my handyman uniform must have suggested I wasn’t that lone shopper from Plaza Frontenac.

They introduced me to the Kohler Numi (see video below). And, I must say, for a handyman like me, this was almost like looking at the very face of God. Let me tell you what this toilet does:

Does All the “Work” for You

When you approach this toilet, the toilet seat opens by itself, so you don’t have to do any “heavy lifting.” I can’t recall if it has built-in gender recognition to know how many lids and seats to lift. But I do recall that when you leave, the seat lowers itself, forever solving women’s biggest complaint about men. And I also remember that it has what I will call an “aiming light” on the INSIDE of the bowl, going a long way towards solving women’s SECOND biggest complaint about men.

Cleans “Down There” in Ways You Would Have Never Imagined

Maybe this is just a Euro thing this handyman will never understand, but it has a built-in bidet, and it points in TWO directions (don’t ask). But, that’s not all. This bidet has a BLOW DRYER! Geez, all they need to do is spray-on a final coat of hot wax and you’d have a complete car wash for your nether regions. Well, except for the guys at the end rubbing you down with rags.

Comfort & Entertainment (?!)

Oh no, we are not nearly done. Wouldn’t you enjoy built-in lighting on the side of the toilet, with the option of changing the light’s color? How about built-in speakers and Bluetooth technology that allow you to play music from a portable device? Not to mention a heated seat and a heated foot warmer, each with adjustable temperatures. You can even enter user profiles of up to six throne-sitters, each of whom can have different settings.

Yes, the Kohler Numi seems to be the next best thing to having someone else go to the bathroom for you.

So this year, make a point of sitting out the NFL Super Bowl. Instead, visit the Kohler showroom at 9929 Clayton Rd. Tell the consultants you would like to take a “test drive” on the Kohler Numi, although be aware that the other customers might find this disturbing.

And otherwise, if the less-than-Super Bowls in your house run, leak, don’t flush properly, or in other ways misbehave, just remember. We at Fix St Louis KNOW toilets. We spend half our working lives with our heads in them. I’m sure we can fix or replace yours.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

P.S. You can watch the best Super Bowl ad ever by clicking on the picture below. You’ll never see toilets and romance combined more seamlessly. Come to think of it, combined at all.

Could there be only 6 shopping days left before Christmas?

If you needed another reason to believe this year was different, here it is.

In days of yore, Fix St Louis was able to provide an extended “FIXmas Season,” offering you a couple of pre-holiday months to catch up on your home repairs before Christmas guests arrived.

But we just looked at our schedule and realized – yikes! — we’re now booking jobs into mid-December! We feel for those whose jobs in other industries have been hurt by all these lockdowns. But for Fix St Louis, more people at home has meant more people seeing things they want fixed in their homes.

How many “shopping days” are left before we can’t perform your repairs before Christmas? Hard to say, but it’s sure gonna come a lot earlier this year.

So, if you are planning to have Christmas guests, and want to get these repairs done beforehand, pick-up a phone RIGHT NOW, give us a call to set-up a free estimate, and do your best to garble through your face mask something intelligible to our customer service rep. Here are some of the more popular small jobs folks ask for this time of year:

— Bathroom Sinks: malfunctioning pop-up drain stoppers, leaky faucets, dripping pipe beneath sink.
— Doors: doors that don’t close/latch properly, off-track closet doors, weatherstripping.
— Doorbells: doorbells that haven’t worked for years, or don’t have video.
— Ceiling stains: Ominous yellow stains on downstairs ceilings that may be caused by the toilet above (yuck!).
— Garbage disposals: you’ll need a properly working one for those guest meals.

And while you’re at it, why not invite us over for a free estimate on larger projects you’ve been putting off, to kick-off after the holidays? Great way to get next year off to a great start.

So get in touch with us right away, when we still have slots on our schedule. Just a few more days for us to guarantee that our Fix St Louis home repair elves can beat your Christmas guests to your front door.

Merry FIXmas and Many Happy Repairs from Fix St Louis!
Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Could there be only 6 shopping days left before Christmas?

If you needed another reason to believe this year was different, here it is.

In days of yore, Fix St Louis was able to provide an extended “FIXmas Season,” offering you a couple of pre-holiday months to catch up on your home repairs before Christmas guests arrived.

But we just looked at our schedule and realized – yikes! — we’re now booking jobs into mid-December! We feel for those whose jobs in other industries have been hurt by all these lockdowns. But for Fix St Louis, more people at home has meant more people seeing things they want fixed in their homes.

How many “shopping days” are left before we can’t perform your repairs before Christmas? Hard to say, but it’s sure gonna come a lot earlier this year.

So, if you are planning to have Christmas guests, and want to get these repairs done beforehand, pick-up a phone RIGHT NOW, give us a call to set-up a free estimate, and do your best to garble through your face mask something intelligible to our customer service rep. Here are some of the more popular small jobs folks ask for this time of year:

— Bathroom Sinks: malfunctioning pop-up drain stoppers, leaky faucets, dripping pipe beneath sink.
— Doors: doors that don’t close/latch properly, off-track closet doors, weatherstripping.
— Doorbells: doorbells that haven’t worked for years, or don’t have video.
— Ceiling stains: Ominous yellow stains on downstairs ceilings that may be caused by the toilet above (yuck!).
— Garbage disposals: you’ll need a properly working one for those guest meals.

And while you’re at it, why not invite us over for a free estimate on larger projects you’ve been putting off, to kick-off after the holidays? Great way to get next year off to a great start.

So get in touch with us right away, when we still have slots on our schedule. Just a few more days for us to guarantee that our Fix St Louis home repair elves can beat your Christmas guests to your front door.

Merry FIXmas and Many Happy Repairs from Fix St Louis!
Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Bathe Responsibly During the Lockdown

The image of Missouri either got a big boost OR took a big hit last week, depending how you look at it. On one hand, photos from a pool party at the Lake of the Ozarks went viral, showing us to be a fun-loving bunch, and it might have offset those uncool Branson-area billboards featuring the Baldknobbers. But, unfortunately, after the pool party ended, the partiers returned home and went viral themselves.

Lake of the Ozarks Pool Party
Lake of the Ozarks Pool Party

So now we’re all being treated like a classroom where the entire class must be punished for the misbehavior of a few. In this case, the principal is your “County Executive,” who you maybe never even had heard of, and has job responsibilities you probably never understood. That is, until you learned of those unlimited powers to completely control your day-to-day life.

As punishment, we may now be held in detention even longer, delaying when we can send our kids back to school, go to restaurants that are financially viable, and go to bars to re-enact scenes from the Lake of the Ozarks, except without being waist deep in pool water.

As your humble handymen, we at Fix St Louis don’t think it’s our place to make you suffer through yet another one of those overwrought, hand-wringing expressions of sadness and lectures that are now filling your inbox, from folks you never did business with, making you wonder how they got your email address in the first place. But as a public service, just in case the pool partiers’ mistake was that they simply didn’t know of any good options to communal bathing, we would like to share with you what’s available in social distance-compliant bathtubs-for-one.

Alcove Tub

If the name “al-COVE” immediately makes you think of “Party Cove” at Lake of the Ozarks, you may not be ready for today’s lesson. These bathtubs, the most common of all tubs, are almost always 5′ long and are surrounded by 3 walls that form an alcove. Since the tub’s all hemmed-in by walls, there’s not much you can do to upgrade the tub, but you CAN make dramatic changes to those 3 walls, aka the “tub surround.” Wall tiles have gotten a lot more interesting these days. And, if you really hate the dirty and disintegrating grout between the tiles, you can replace the tiled walls with panels of “Onyx,” which is the new cultured marble. Also, if you have separate hot and cold faucet handles, we can change those to a single lever faucet. Fix St Louis can make these upgrades for you.

Alcove Tub
Alcove Tub

Drop-In Tub

If its name makes you think these tubs are for people like you, who want their friends to just come on over, drop-in, and join them in the tub, we can assure you that what happens at Fix St Louis stays in Fix St Louis. Actually, these are tubs that are carefully lowered, NOT dropped, into a platform that we can build for you. Typically, the sides and top ledges of these platforms are made of tiles or that Onyx stuff we mentioned above. Of course, you’ll need a larger than normal bathroom to pull this off, usually a master bathroom.

Drop-In Tub
Drop-In Tub

Standalone Tub

Then, there’s this tub that needs neither to be wedged-in nor dropped in. In the past, most of these tubs had legs, like those “clawfoot” tubs featuring a large bird claw grasping a ball — pretty creepy if you think too much about it. Newer versions come in all kinds of cool shapes, and often don’t have legs. Fix St Louis can install these, too.

Clawfoot Tub
Clawfoot Tub
Other Standalone Tub
Other Standalone Tub

Whirlpool Tubs

Sometimes referred to as Jacuzzi’s, which is actually a brand name, these are tubs that have jets that shoot-out hot water from the sides. Now I know that a lot of folks really like them, and we handymen are not exactly known for our appreciation of luxury items, but given the quality of the “massage” you’re gonna get from a whirlpool tub, your money might be better spent at Massage Envy/Deluxe/Whatever or for a boiling pot filled with round stones from your backyard.

You should know that Fix St Louis hears lots of stories about how excited people were when they first got a whirlpool after spending lots of money, used it only once or twice, then 2 years later, feeling guilty for not having used it since, found it no longer worked because of lack of use. Now, there’s nothing at all wrong with oversized tubs in general, but you might consider whether getting one that also shoots out hot water is worth having another motorized appliance in your house that will eventually fail.

Whirlpool Tub
Whirlpool Tub

Walk-In Tubs

These are bathtubs with doors, mostly for older folks and others who have trouble lifting-up their leg to clear the top of the tub. Maybe there’s a walk-in tub salesperson out there who wants to correct me, but I don’t get the sense that these ever took off, and I think I can guess two reasons why. First, the investment may never pay off for an elderly person with this leg problem because, pardon the expression, they’re just one step away from having to move someplace else because of mobility issues. And second, if you have to wait for all the water to drain out before leaving the tub, aren’t you going to get the chills?

Walk-In Tub
Walk-In Tub

OK class, so please resist the temptation to bathe with others until your all-powerful County Executive releases us from detention. And, if you simply MUST have a bath time companion, try a rubber ducky.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Drain the Cesspool! Bring the Super Bowl to St Louis!

Don’t mind me, please go right ahead to your Super Bowl parties this weekend. Your humble correspondent is saving his energy for a bigger celebration coming as soon as later this year, when a Super Bowl may come to St Louis, courtesy of the federal government.

You see, for decades there have been federal regulations that have forced manufacturers to make toilets work using decreasing amounts of water. And by saying “work” I am being generous, attested to by the presence of a plunger next to just about every toilet Fix St Louis sees nowadays. I dunno, it’s pretty easy to imagine we’re dealing here with a bureaucracy run by know-it-all Ivy League elites, who think they know best about everything, including how to dispose of our waste — and also think theirs doesn’t stink. But, maybe they sincerely believe they’re on a noble mission rather than a power grab to control our every movement, if you’ll pardon the expression.

After all, there are some places in the country, like California, where voters might actually LIKE these blasted water-stingy toilets. Water seems to be scarce there, although it may be by choice. Many live in deserts, and voters have put in place lawmakers who have placed additional restrictions on water usage, halted construction of new reservoirs, and diverted fresh water into the ocean on behalf of fish no one has ever heard of, much less eaten.

But, there are other places, like St Louis, where people have a more water-friendly attitude, who even endure thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooded basements to get the water they need. If I did my middle school math correctly, every INCH of rain we get in the greater St Louis area provides enough water to flush the toilet of every man, woman, and child 10x per day for 9 years.

If Californians really like these toilets, or even want to regulate them down to the point where they operate on their own SPIT, that’s fine with me. But if St Louis has the water to provide our toilets with enough to do the job without harming others, that should be fine with Californians and everyone else.

If we’re going to be stuck with these low water-capacity toilets, at least you can count on Fix St Louis to fix them. We can solve all the problems they come with by repairing, replacing, and adjusting all of a toilet’s components, whether it is leaking, suffocating from lack of water, or it’s running and won’t stop.

But, we’re excited by the prospect of a new “Super Bowl”, well-functioning toilet coming to town as early as this year. Maybe the type of toilet Americans enjoyed in the 1950’s, a 6-7 gallon tank that unleashes a gusher that takes everything down with it, except for an occasional ashtray the kids threw in – but nobody even has those things hanging around anymore. If America can send a man to the Moon, surely we can send a you-know-what to a sewer lateral.

The reason for our optimism here at Fix St Louis is that the President recently ordered the EPA to review relaxing water regulations on toilets, claiming “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water.” Geez, I don’t know what happens in public rest rooms a billionaire might visit, but the ones I go to don’t have toilets that need to be primed like water well pumps. Nevertheless, I welcome the President’s initiative in what I hope blossoms into a growing “poop-ulist” movement.

Look, I’m just a humble handyman, who can’t match the soaring rhetoric of a Martin Luther King Jr. But I, too, have a dream, when an American can attend a cocktail party at Martha Stewart’s, use the hall bathroom, close the lid, flush, then walk away confidently without ever looking back. Some may say I’m a dreamer, but apparently I’m not the only one.

But until that glorious day arrives, we at Fix St Louis will proudly continue to fix your toilets. Don’t worry about us, we’ll still have plenty of other work to do.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100