Ms. Artale in Westchester has a plan to fix the problem. Neither she nor her husband, Andy, 41, a program analyst, may ever learn how to repair a fence. But that won’t be the case with their 9-year-old son, Matteo. “When my son gets a little older, I’m going to apprentice him out to someone — for real,” she said. “It’s ridiculous that my husband and I don’t know how to do anything.”

Perhaps the most perplexing repairs facing a home-owner are broken or damaged things. In today's era of built-in obsolescence for many products, it is often more convenient to replace something rather than attempt to repair it. A repairman is faced with the tasks of accurately identifying the problem, then finding the materials, supplies, tools and skills necessary to sufficiently effect the repair. Some things, such as broken windows, appliances or furniture can be carried to a repair shop, but there are many repairs that can be performed easily enough, such as patching holes in plaster and drywall, cleaning stains, repairing cracked windows and their screens, or replacing a broken electrical switch or outlet. Other repairs may have some urgency, such as a broken water pipes, broken doors, latches or windows, or a leaky roof or water tank, and this factor can certainly justify calling for professional help. A home handyman may become adept at dealing with such immediate repairs, to avoid further damage or loss, until a professional can be summoned.
Everything was simply unforgettable! I responded to an ad for Black Friday Special: name your price for the job with no reasonable offer refused! I emailed the company letting them know I wanted some rotten wood replaced on the window dormer and a ceiling repaired and painted. Mike said he would trust what and wanted and the price of $400.00. The carpenter and the painter arrived early. Mike arrived shortly and went over what needed to be done. I had purchased treated lumber so Mike purchased with receipt the correct wood. The carpenter quickly saw that more rotten wood had to be replaced than anticipated. The carpenter had to do wood cutting to frame and restore the dormer as well as insulate, caulk and prime the untreated wood. Needless to say, the handyman special turned out to be a skillful carpentry job. Mike, nevertheless kept the price at $400.00, which also included the plaster repair for the ceiling as well as painting the entire ceiling. I had been told in the past by two contractors that the ceiling job was complicated. Mike and his painter made the job uncomplicated and the result was simply great!
There’s nothing worse than starting a sink or toilet repair only to find that the shutoff valve won’t shut off. Some shutoff valves are easy to replace. For those that aren’t, turn off the main water valve, remove the packing nut, and then unscrew the stem and take it to the hardware store to find a replacement washer. Clean any grit out of the valve body and pop on the new washer. The valve will work like new.
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