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.
Risk: The range hood sucks cooking fumes up and out of the kitchen. As grease splatters, it builds up and clogs the filter in the underside of the hood, keeping the fan from working as it should. This could cause your smoke alarm to go off, attract fruit flies, and leave potentially harmful pollutants from your gas or electric range lingering in the air. And if you have to replace the motor, it will cost around $200.
As a homeowner, your greatest fear is that some unnoticed issue — a clogged gutter, a cracked foundation or a leaky roof — will snowball into a catastrophic fail that costs you thousands of dollars. Lucky for us, we invested in a home warranty that covers most of the major homeowning headaches, but not all of them. The ceiling leak is paid for, but if something goes wrong with the sewer line or air conditioner unit outside, that's our problem. Our big, expensive problem.
Upholstery shops charge almost $200 to fix tears in your seats. You can do it yourself in a few hours with a vinyl and leather repair kit (less than $20) from any auto parts store. You’ll have to practice a bit to get the right color mix and it might not be a perfect match when you’re done, but it’s a heck of a lot better than driving around with torn seats. Start by gluing reinforcing fabric onto the underside of the torn vinyl or leather. Then mix the heat-set filler to match your fabric color and apply it to the tear. Next, find a textured mat that most closely resembles the texture of your vinyl or leather and place it onto the liquid filler. Heat the patching tool with a clothes iron and press it onto the textured mat. Remove the patching tool, but leave the textured mat in place until the patch cools. Then peel it off. Get the full story on repairing leather here.

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.


Roll up your sleeves and take a few minutes to master five home repairs that you can do yourself without dangerous tools or complicated instructions. Even though spending a few hours regularly on DIY home maintenance and repairs may never become your hobby of choice, knowing how to perform a few simple fixes will keep your costs down and help get the work done on your schedule instead of your contractor's.
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.
If you can’t see any telltale flow marks, and since the stain is fairly small, look at the underside of the roof for ‘shiners.’ A shiner is a nail that missed the framing member, in this case when the carpenter nailed the roof sheathing to the rafters. Moisture that escapes into the cold attic from the rooms below often condenses on cold nails. Sometimes you can spot this if you climb up into your attic on a cold night. The nails will look white because they’re frosted. When the attic heats up a bit during the day, the frost melts and drips, then the nails frost up at night again and so on. The solution is to simply clip the nail with a side-cutting pliers.
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.
Avoid companies that require large deposits or payment in advance. If your job requires a lot of materials, and the company is responsible for buying them, it’s reasonable for it to ask you to put up a deposit against these expenses. Otherwise, arrange to pay for all work only when the job is done. This arrangement gives you leverage in making sure the work is done properly, and it’s another reason why a fixed-price arrangement works in your favor: A set fee means a company can’t charge for additional hours if it has to take extra time to correct errors.
It's a little awkward, so we'll get straight to the point: This Monday we humbly ask you to defend Wikipedia's independence. We depend on donations averaging about $16.36. But 98% of our readers in the U.S. are not responding to our messages, and time is running out to help in 2018. If everyone reading this gave $2.75, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. The price of your Monday coffee is all we need. When we made Wikipedia a non-profit, people warned us we'd regret it. But if Wikipedia were commercial, it would be a great loss. Wikipedia unites all of us who love knowledge: contributors, readers and the donors who keep us thriving. The heart and soul of Wikipedia is a community of people working to bring you unlimited access to reliable information. Please take a minute to help us keep Wikipedia growing. Thank you.
Check for cracked housings on plastic roof vents and broken seams on metal ones. You might be tempted to throw caulk at the problem, but that solution won’t last long. There’s really no fix other than replacing the damaged vents. Also look for pulled or missing nails at the base’s bottom edge. Replace them with rubber-washered screws. In most cases, you can remove nails under the shingles on both sides of the vent to pull it free. There will be nails across the top of the vent too. Usually you can also work those loose without removing shingles. Screw the bottom in place with rubber-washered screws. Squeeze out a bead of caulk beneath the shingles on both sides of the vent to hold the shingles down and to add a water barrier. That’s much easier than renailing the shingles.

Don’t fall for a shingle shakedown! Not all local handyman services have your best interests in mind.  Instead of repairing damaged roofing or siding, they recommend a full replacement, which doesn’t always make financial sense. At Brothers Services, we believe in treating people fairly and making sure you know your options, including affordable ways to extend the life of your roofing and siding.


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]
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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.
When you use the Handy app or website, you’ll be connected with local handyman professionals who can take care of this work for you. In addition to freeing up your time for the more important things in life, booking a handyman through the Handy platform will give you the security of knowing that things are being handled by an expert. If the sight of a hammer or screwdriver fills you with anxiety and you’d rather leave things to a professional, the Handy platform is ready to help.
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.
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