Storm Door: Love it or Lose it

A long time ago, when your humble correspondent was just a handy-boy, I watched a scene from the Wizard of Oz that both shaped and distorted my thinking. Remember when the tornado was coming, and Auntie Em and the farmhands ducked into the cellar from an outside hatch, and two mostly flat-lying doors closed behind them? It’s no wonder that when I first heard the term “storm doors,” I figured those must be them, right?

But later, I learned that “storm doors” are those flimsy half-glass/half-screen doors that are installed in front of other outside doors. Geez, what protection from a storm or tornado would THAT have provided to Auntie Em and the farmhands? Maybe that was the home improvement mistake made by the Wicked Witch of the East, which she paid for dearly by ending-up on the receiving end of a flying house.

So you have to wonder, how did these doors that don’t seem like they could withstand a toddler-pelting of marshmallow Peeps get to be known as “storm doors”? It’s a sad story, actually. Storm doors started out as the door-counterpart of the well-accepted storm WINDOW, which were separate window-type units installed outside of regular windows, to provide supplemental insulation to the ineffective single-pane windows of their time. But when windows transitioned from having a single pane of glass to an integrated double-pane, storm windows became obsolete.

Storm doors suddenly found themselves to be orphans like Dorothy, only without an Auntie Em as a fallback. They lost their entire storm-window family, and were rejected by doors that no longer had any use for their insulation properties.

So, storm doors plummeted into a gender-identity crisis, from which they’ve never fully recovered. Do they identify as providing extra insulation to doors that no longer need them? Do they identify as windows for the times the doors they cover just happen to be open? Or do they identify as door-sized screens that keep bugs out?

Now, I don’t want to be canceled for being a storm-door-a-phobe, but just between you and me, you don’t REALLY need to welcome storm doors into your home. You may be tiring of that blasted thing tripping you up when you bring-in groceries or Amazon packages, and further humiliating you immediately after someone yells “don’t let the storm door hit you on your way out.”

So if you want to LOSE your storm door, call us at Fix St Louis . Our highly trained surgeons will perform a Storm-Door-Ectomy, that includes restoring and painting the screw holes, unpainted areas, and other damage left behind.

On the other hand, you may justifiably LOVE your storm door, even if its helpful properties have no relationship whatsoever to any of the original reasons God invented them. Like these:

More Sunlight: if you have a front or other entry door in a dark area of your home, sure, you can open the door and pretend your storm door is a window. With the exception of large picture windows, it’s likely to be the widest and tallest window in your house.

More Fresh Air: Now THIS one is really a good idea. If you have a whole house fan on the ceiling of a hallway, turn it on, and open the entry door that has a storm door. Fresh air will come whooshing through your house, saving you air conditioning-running time and providing a gentle, fresh-smelling, and comfortable breeze, particularly on summer nights. Although you might want to think twice about doing this if your storm door leads to those exhaust fumes in your garage, or you live in Sauget, Illinois. (Incidentally, Fix St Louis  installs whole house fans, too).

Keeping Toto from Running Outside: Talk to your neighbors, buy girl scout cookies, or let your pet enjoy a ground-level view of the outside without them running out or away.

So always remember. Whether you want to fix, remove, or upgrade your storm door, as Dorothy herself would have said if she had ever left Kansas again — there’s no place like Fix St Louis .

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis

About Us

Fix St Louis  is the professional alternative to hiring “Chuck in a Truck” or “Pete in a Pick-up”. Our technicians have at least 10 years of experience, are bonded, insured, and show up at firm, scheduled times. We provide full customer service and guarantee our work for a year!

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

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

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.

Why is your handyman’s START DATE as UNCERTAIN as your COVID shot date?

You’re a busy person, and you keep a tight schedule. You make firm appointments with just about everyone — your doctor, hair dresser, pilates instructor, even your friends.

But when it comes to handymen and contractors, for some reason that’s a different story — you just hand over all control of your schedule to them. They say “yeah, it looks like we can start about 3 weeks from now, give or take.” Or, in the best case, “we’ll show-up a week from Tuesday, maybe sometime in the morning.”

And you go, “sure, I’ll just wait until the last minute to find out when you’re coming, then rearrange my appointments with everyone who is less important than you are, including my doctor, hair dresser, pilates instructor, and friends.”

Now, we at Fix St Louis  are the odd-handyman-out on this one. Unlike virtually everyone else, we propose and get your agreement to firm dates and times. And even more amazing given the level of dysfunction in our industry, we actually SHOW-UP at those firm dates and times — unless it’s obvious to everyone that it would be crazy to do that job in that weather.

So, we make your life easier by letting you schedule around our work. And we also give you confidence that, unlike some others, we will actually show-up.

So, why is Fix St Louis  just about the only one who does this? Here’s some reasons.

  • It’s more convenient to let your work date float. No, not more convenient to YOU, who has to keep rearranging your schedule — more convenient to THEM. So if any particular earlier job takes them longer than expected, they can just put you off, and go to your home when they are finished, knowing they’ll have continuous work days no matter what.
  • It’s a way for them to lock you into a commitment, while hoping a bigger job comes along in the meantime.
  • It’s easier than telling you to your face that they don’t want your stinking small job in the first place. If they run out of other jobs, MAYBE you’ll hear from them again. But if you DO catch-up with them, be prepared to hear a litany of excuses, often involving tragedies suffered by make-believe distant relatives.

Look, it’s understandable why you would put-up with the uncertainty of when you’ll get your COVID shot. But, there’s an easy fix for dealing with the uncertainty of a handyman’s start date. Call Fix St Louis .

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis

Start the Year by Finishing Your House. Your BIGGER House.

Congratulations, homeowners! After last year you are now the world’s leading expert on the limitations of your house.

There were more meals in the kitchen as restaurants and school cafeterias shut-down. There was more business and school work done from home, as you scrambled to find any space quiet enough, bright enough, and with enough cables and outlets to actually get anything done. There was more noise and less privacy with everyone home at the same time.

So you learned you could use a bigger house. But you’re NOT gonna move. That’s crazy talk.

But there’s good news. Inside your house is a hidden, bigger house. It’s lurking in all the space that is now unfinished or underutilized. Fix St Louis can help you put these spaces to work, making your house a whole lot bigger.

Office Space
Fix St Louis can convert just about any space in your house to make it suitable for business or school work. We can add electrical outlets, technology jacks, surface-mounted or recessed ceiling light fixtures, and spruce-up that wall behind your desk so that your co-workers can see you as an upstanding human being, and not a survivalist holed-up in a basement.

Recreational Space
Imagine if instead of that unfinished basement you had a cheerful playroom. Or an entertainment room with a big screen TV. Or a workshop. Fix St Louis can convert those dreary Soviet-style concrete walls and floors into clean, comfortable, and uplifting places.

Storage Spaces
As things seemed to get tighter and tighter with everyone home, you may have become more aware of the shelves, closets, and floorspace filled with stuff that is rarely used and in the way. Fix St Louis can build shelving in your garage, or even convert that space above your cars into a storage loft, complete with a pull-down ladder.

We can double the size of your clothes closets by installing a clothes rod at the top, and another immediately below. We can add shelves to any closet, removing clothes rods as necessary. And if you have a room that for some strange reason does not even HAVE a closet, we can build walls with a door to create one.

Hey, Fix St Louis has just showed you how to move to a new house, maybe 25% bigger, without moving at all! Well maybe just one move. Get up, find your cell phone that’s hidden under all that clutter, and call Fix St Louis!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis

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