Depending on where you live, national averages can seem like a steal. Rene Artale’s four-bedroom house near Newcastle, in Westchester County, N.Y., suffered some damage during a storm last winter. A tree fell in the yard, damaging her fence, arbor and retaining wall. And heavy snow caused her roof to leak. The repair bills just kept piling up. Removing the tree, $3,800. Repairing the wall, $4,000. Fixing the roof, $3,800. Fixing the picket fence, $2,800. “It’s obscene,” Ms. Artale, 47, said.
When vinyl windows and doors don’t operate smoothly, it’s usually because gunk has built up in the channels. But sometimes even clean windows and doors can bind. Try spraying dry PTFE spray lubricant on the contact points and wiping it off with a rag. Don’t use oil lubricants; they can attract dirt, and some can damage the vinyl. Make sure to keep your windows clean all year long with these pro tips.
How well do the franchise chains perform? One Wall Street Journal reporting team did an informal assessment by hiring handymen all over the United States and asking them to fix a wide range of problems, from a relatively routine leaky faucet to a sticky door. The reporter concluded that "with few licensing requirements and standards for the industry, prices are all over the board." One quote was ten times as large as another. Further, the reporter concluded "A big corporate name is no guarantee of quality or speedy service." One corporate firm took three weeks to fix a stuck door. Service varied from spotty to good, with complaints about unreturned phone calls, service people standing on dining room chairs, leaving holes between wood planking, but liked getting multiple jobs done instead of just one. Customers liked handymen wearing hospital booties (to avoid tracking dirt in houses). The reporter chronicled one experience with repairing a water-damaged ceiling. A franchise firm fixed it for $1,530; a second (non-franchise local handyman) fixed a similar ceiling for $125. The reporter preferred the second worker, despite the fact that he "doesn't have a fancy van -- or carry proof of insurance". Tips for selecting a good handyman include: ask questions, get written estimates on company stationery, make sure handymen guarantee their work, pay with credit cards or checks because this provides an additional record of each transaction, check references and licenses, review feedback about the contractors from Internet sites. To find a competent worker, one can seek referrals from local sources such as a school or church or office park, to see if a staff handyman does projects on the side, as well as ask friends for referrals; a general contractor might have workers who do projects on the side as well. Further, one can try out a new handyman with easy projects such as cleaning gutters to see how well they perform.
If you have a wallpaper seam that’s coming apart, reactivate the paste around the gap with a rag soaked in warm water. Hold the rag over the area for a minute or two, and then carefully open the gap a little larger so you’ll have more room for the sealer. Squeeze seam sealer (white glue works in a pinch) into the gap, and press the paper to the wall with a roller. Clean off the excess sealer with a sponge.
Professionals offering handyman services through Handy come with a wealth of skill and experience. This means that you can book a versatile handyman who can take care of a variety of jobs at the time that's best for you. Rather than spending your Saturday morning trying to find studs in your walls or questioning whether you can trust the guy at the hardware store to give you good advice, why not use the Handy platform to hire a handyman who can deal with everything? Whether you need urgent help for home repairs, or just a few odd jobs taken care of, using Handy to book a general contractor or handyman can help you save both time and money.
Though it can seem intimidating, installing your own batting installation can be easy, and take just a few hours if you isolate the need to a few key spaces. Have a drafty attic? Start there. Concerned about a freezing crawl space? Throw on your work jeans and get to work. These insulating spaces will instantly feel warmer and you’ll notice the savings on your next heating bill. Read how to install insulation here.
JW were very prompt to reply to our initial quote request in which we described using the master shower caused water to pour down the HVAC return duct and was collecting within the walls and causing water damage on the first floor and in the basement ceiling. We also reached out to see if they could resolve a water issue in a corner of the basement that had become oversaturated during the heavy DC rains this summer causing heavy mold within the insulation and a few rotted studs (in addition to moldy drywall). Josh quickly scheduled a time to come out and take a look at the situation and provided great upfront information regarding what he thought the issue might be (initially believed a ripped rubber liner in the shower), price estimate, and description of the teams they use to work on projects. He estimated 2 workers over 3-4 days for $5,952.00 to $7,936.00 dependent on the severity of the issue and materials required. Once we scheduled the work, Cesar was out on time (a little early every day) from Monday through midday Wednesday. On site Cesar let me know the issue actually seemed to be bad grouting and caulking from the original house flippers. He offered to re-grout the entire shower and re-caulk, then test the shower instead of tearing up the stone tile on the floor. The next day we tested the shower for 10-15 minutes and no leak! Luckily for us the issue was smaller than expected which saved us a lot of hassle and money and I'm glad he opted to try that before blindly tearing up the shower. Beyond the high quality of work in general, a few things stood out in my mind as to how customer-oriented JW is: 1) Cesar constantly checked in if he wanted our opinion on things before moving forward. 2) Within the main leak area, he sprayed anti-fungal solution to prevent residual build up. 3) In the basement leak area, they sprayed base-level drylock to help prevent further issues. 4) We had plans to paint the areas they worked on so we didn't require they to repaint but it was offered to us. When they learned we planned on painting, they primed the area so it was ready for us when we got to painting it. 5) The cleanup crew collected all leftover materials and some extra left by the original flippers. Overall the project came in under budget and under timeline. We were exceptionally pleased with JW and will continue to use them as we need services like theirs.
There's no national standard or regulation for handymen. Licensing and regulation vary by state. New Jersey, for example, requires handymen who work for a profit to register with the state and carry insurance. California requires handymen to carry a license from the State Contractors License Board to work on any project that exceeds $500 in labor and material costs. Find out before you hire the handyman if he or she has the skills needed to complete your project.
In 2009, there were national handyman service firms which handle such nationwide tasks as public relations, marketing, advertising, and signage, but sell specific territories to franchise owners. A franchise contract typically gives a franchise owner the exclusive right to take service calls within a given geographical area. The websites of these firms put possible customers in touch with local owners, which have handymen and trucks. Customers call the local numbers. Typically these firms charge around $100/hour, although fees vary by locality and time of year. In many parts of the world, there are professional handyman firms that do small home or commercial projects which claim possible advantages such as having workers who are insured and licensed. Their branch offices schedule service appointments for full-time and part-time handymen to visit and make repairs, and sometimes coordinate with sub-contractors.
How to DIY it: Gently tug the loose part of the carpet to find the point where it’s still attached. Snip it off as close to the backing as possible and save it. Use painter’s tape to surround the repair area. Squeeze a heavy bead of carpet seam sealer (about $6 at home centers) into the run. Then fill in the hole with the saved fiber, using a screwdriver to press it into the sealer bit by bit until the area looks like the surrounding carpet (below).
How to DIY it: You should already be emptying the lint trap before every load of laundry. To do a thorough cleaning of the dryer and its vent duct system, unplug the machine (and turn off the gas valve if it has one). Pry off the access panel on the front (try a putty knife covered with duct tape to prevent scratching) and vacuum around the motor and heating element (above). Then carefully disconnect the vent duct tubing from the back of the dryer and use a dryer vent brush (about $10 at home centers; look for one that also cleans refrigerator coils) to pull out any accumulated lint. Aim to do this at least once a year.
At Home Handyman Services provides a variety of services such as maintenance, safety and convenience modifications for people who choose to remain independent in their own homes. Our goal is to assist seniors and their families with maintaining a safe and comfortable living environment. Our carefully screened service providers can help with the following:
When a home is sold, inspections are performed that may reveal environmental hazards such as radon gas in the basement or water supply or friable asbestos materials (both of which can cause lung cancer), peeling or disturbed lead paint (a risk to children and pregnant women), in-ground heating oil tanks that may contaminate ground water, or mold that can cause problems for those with asthma or allergies. Typically the buyer or mortgage lender will require these conditions to be repaired before allowing the purchase to close. An entire industry of environmental remediation contractors has developed to help home owners resolve these types of problems.
When you purchase handyman services through the Handy platform, it’s hard to know every detail and requirement up front. That’s why it always helps to have a handyman service professional who is able to react and respond to your job’s needs, whatever they might be. It turns out, when you’ve done as many handyman tasks and home repair jobs as the handyman professionals on the Handy platform, you get pretty adaptable. We’re confident that we’ll be able to connect you with a handyman whose skills suit both your needs and your budget.