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. 

Inspect and replace your engine air filter. Just unscrew or unclip the air filter box retainers and remove the old filter. Then hold a shop light behind the filter to see how much light passes through. If the filter blocks 50 percent of more of the light, replace the filter. If not, put it back in, secure the air filter box cover and keep driving. Get the full step-by-step on changing your air filter here. It’s one of the easier things you can do to fix up cars.
Generally the job of paid handyman is low status, a semi-skilled labor job. It's a less prestigious occupation than a specialist such as a plumber, electrician, or carpenter. With the emergence of large national chains, an effort is being made to change that perception, by emphasizing professionalism and the fact that a handyman is actually a technician with multiple skills and a wide range of knowledge. At the same time, unpaid homeowners skilled at repairs are valued for saving money. And handyman tools sometimes become useful in different places: for example, when a proper neurological drill was not available, an Australian doctor used a handyman's drill in 2009 to open a hole in the head of a 13-year-old boy to relieve pressure after a brain injury; the boy's life was saved.[11]

To illustrate, we divided the handyperson services listed on the table below into three groups, based on their charges for four hours of work. The lowest priced one-third of the companies would charge $239 on average for four hours of work, and they were “recommended” by 96 percent of their customers whom we surveyed (see our ratings tables for handyperson services for ratings). In contrast, the highest priced one-third would charge $445 on average for four hours of work and were “recommended” by only 59 percent of their surveyed customers. Just the opposite of what many consumers would assume.
Quick-setting drywall compound lets you finish small repairs and fill deep holes in minutes instead of waiting days for premixed joint compound to dry. The small boxes are available in most home centers and paint stores are also easier to store and more likely to get used up than large bags or buckets. Click here to learn how to hang drywall like a pro. Click here to buy drywall compound on Amazon now.
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.[12] The reporter concluded that "with few licensing requirements and standards for the industry, prices are all over the board."[12] One quote was ten times as large as another.[12] Further, the reporter concluded "A big corporate name is no guarantee of quality or speedy service."[12] One corporate firm took three weeks to fix a stuck door.[12] 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.[12] Customers liked handymen wearing hospital booties (to avoid tracking dirt in houses).[12] 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.[12] The reporter preferred the second worker, despite the fact that he "doesn't have a fancy van -- or carry proof of insurance".[12] 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,[20] 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.[20] Further, one can try out a new handyman with easy projects such as cleaning gutters to see how well they perform.[20]

Cracking grout in a newly tiled floor is a real letdown after all the work you put into it. The causes could range from a poor grout mix to a lack of expansion joints, to movement of the tiled surface. Although it might ultimately be necessary to stiffen the floor, you can first try using caulk as flexible grout. Find out more in this comprehensive article.


If you can see light creeping beneath exterior doors, air is also escaping. Grab a few packages of self-adhesive rubber foam weatherstripping and go to town, sealing any and all doors that lead outside. Weatherstripping already installed but you’re still suffering from a high gas bill? It might be time to replace the strips installed by the previous owners. Check out this handy tutorial on installing weatherstripping.
Ask about companies’ hourly labor rates and how many workers are included in the rates (some send two workers to every job). Also ask about minimum charges. Many handyperson services have minimums of two hours or more, and some tack on a half-hour of labor or more for travel time (most home services charge the same fees for travel time regardless of where customers live). If the jobs on your list can be done in an hour, don’t hire a company that charges a three-hour minimum. Because many handyperson services bill labor charges in one-hour increments, have a few optional jobs ready in case you need to fill up a worker’s hour.
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.
Two-part epoxy glue is rock-hard, fills huge gaps, bonds to almost anything and dries very quickly. Some brands now come with an applicator tip that automatically mixes the two parts so you can spread it like a regular glue, without mixing. It’s perfect for gluing irregular shapes and dissimilar materials to each other. Most epoxies set in five minutes, but you can buy quicker-setting types that allow you to just hold pieces in place for a minute, without any clamping. Pick up some epoxy glue on Amazon today.
Owning a home can be a dream come true, but the world of home ownership is more than just relaxing weekends on the deck and intimate evenings in front of the fireplace. It requires a commitment to keeping your private oasis safe and running smoothly. Making occasional repairs is part of the bargain, and even if you aren't a dedicated do-it-yourselfer (DIY), there are a few around-the-house fixes you should become familiar with. 

To fix a squeaky floor under carpet, locate the floor joists with a stud finder, then drive in a trim head screw through the carpet, pad and subfloor, and right into the floor joist. Be sure the top inch of the screw doesn’t have threads or the subfloor won’t suck down tight to the joist. We like trim screws because screws with larger heads pull down and pucker the carpet. If that happens, back out the screw and drive it back down. Keep adding screws until the squeak stops. Try these other squeaky floor fixes.
If you have a small remodeling job or other work difficult to describe over the phone, you might be able to obtain fixed-price quotes without having to set up a bunch of appointments by emailing photos of the work area along with a detailed description of the work—the majority of the handyperson services we surveyed use email to correspond with clients.

Do you have icicles forming on your nose while you're inside? Perhaps you need home heating and air conditioning help. Learn all about different heating systems including radiant heating, baseboard heating and more. (But when there's so much hot air in your house, you could fry an egg on the floor, please let us help you find a repair guy.) See All Heating & Cooling

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.


Live in a condo or co-op in the city, and your monthly maintenance fee may be large enough to make you envy the owner of a single-family home. But that regular common charge means that you get to live in ignorant bliss about what it costs to keep a property functioning. You may never know when the gutters get cleaned, who gets hired to do the work or even how much the job costs. None of the details are your problem because the work just gets done whether you’re paying attention or not.


Two-part epoxy glue is rock-hard, fills huge gaps, bonds to almost anything and dries very quickly. Some brands now come with an applicator tip that automatically mixes the two parts so you can spread it like a regular glue, without mixing. It’s perfect for gluing irregular shapes and dissimilar materials to each other. Most epoxies set in five minutes, but you can buy quicker-setting types that allow you to just hold pieces in place for a minute, without any clamping. Pick up some epoxy glue on Amazon today.

Even if you have a number of odd jobs for which you don’t expect to obtain fixed-price quotes, you might be surprised if you try. Our mystery shoppers called a dozen handyperson services and asked each to quote a fixed price for a list of tasks: replacing a chandelier with a customer-supplied new one; replacing the washers in a kitchen faucet; replacing a toilet seat; weather-stripping two doors; replacing the hinges on four cabinet doors; and re-caulking a bathtub. Of the 12 companies contacted—

So last year, Mr. Hark and Mr. Larivee, who works in digital marketing, sold their condo and moved to a four-bedroom house, also in West Orange. They now have to mow their lawn and shovel their driveway when it snows, but when they had a drainage problem in the backyard, they got to choose their contractor and schedule the job based on when it made the most financial sense for them.


Two-part filler has to be mixed and it doesn’t rinse off with water, so it’s not as user friendly as other fillers. However, it’s much tougher and a much better choice for any hole bigger than a nail head, especially outdoors. And it’s not just for wood?you can patch metal, fiberglass?even concrete. Here’s another option for wood filler. Buy some wood filler on Amazon now.
You may qualify if all of the following apply to your household:A child under six resides in your home or spends at least six hours per week in  your home on a regular basis You have owned and lived in your home for more than one yearYour home was built before 1978You live in one of these city neighborhoods:Bond Hill, Westend, Over-The-Rhine, Mt. Auburn, CUF, Corryville, Madisonville, Avondale, South Cumminsville, North and South Fairmount, West, East and Lower Price Hill, Walnut Hills, Evanston Northside or Carthage 

When stuff breaks, we fix it. Our home repair contractors can save you the time and money it would otherwise cost to find and install a replacement for your broken fixtures and household items. We believe in a convenient, one-call solution where one call can get one of our house repair contractors on the way to fixing whatever you need fixed. Our professional repair services are backed by our Done Right Guarantee.
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.
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 drafting an agreement, err on the side of being too specific. If a new French door is to be installed and painted, the agreement should stipulate the type of door, where it will be purchased, who will purchase it, whether it will be primed and painted and how many coats, the lockset that will be installed, whether the doorway will be weather-stripped, and that it will properly clear carpet or rugs when opened. Include language that work areas will be left broom clean, and, if possible, make material disposal part of the company’s job.
Workers often have strong backgrounds in some areas—say, carpentry—and know enough to do small jobs related to other trades. If your list primarily consists of projects related to one type of work, ask prospective companies if they have workers with expertise in that area. We get scads of complaints from consumers who hire jacks-of-all-trades but get workers who don’t have the knowledge or skill to complete work satisfactorily.
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