August 2009

Ask The Handyman in St. Louis

August 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Why must air conditioners be vented, usually with a duct through a window? Refrigerators keep things cold with no vent to the outside.
Answer: Air conditioners must be vented out-doors to transfer the heat from one place to another. As a refrigerator cools its interior, it radiates heat into the room (usually from the back of the unit). That is why it is so important to keep the coils of the back of your refrigerator clean from dust and cobwebs. The unit will last a lot longer if properly cleaned and maintained. Air conditioners don’t really cool the air. They take the heat out of the air and displace it out through the vent.

We Can Even Repair What Your Husband “Fixed”

August 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Looks like Dr. Suess Plumbing was here!

It Looks Like Dr. Suess Plumbing Was Here!

We Make Your Space a Better Place!

August 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

We are a family based business operating in St. Louis Missouri for over 10 years. We’ve been married 28 years & have 3 children, 2 grandchildren, and 2 cats. Andy’s credentials include various certificates from Ranken Tech, as well as over 30 years experience in the maintenance industry, working at various high rise hotels as Chief Maintenance Engineer and St. Louis County Government Facilities. I had been in sales for the security industry. We started the St.Louis Handyman service in 1999.

A good referral for us would be any persons wanting to remodel their basement, kitchen, or bath, or anyone that needs a new furnace and/or air-conditioner or humidifier. Anyone who is selling his or her house might want to make it marketable. Anyone buying a house might want changes. In addition a great referral is anyone who has been broken into either by door or by window, anyone with termite damage, anyone with storm damage, anyone wanting to upsize, or downsize, or someone who simply wants to improve their living space.

A good example of how we helped a client profit from our expertise is Dr. Flynn. Dr. Flynn decided it was time for his growing family to move. What with 3 small children, and another on the way, his 3-bedroom ranch just was not enough space! First he had to sell the old house in St. Louis, which was in need of repairs. In order to make the house market ready, there were a number of problems that need to be addressed. Feeling a bit overwhelmed he called us, remembering one of his client’s referral. Here is a list of the handyman work we performed.
Replaced his condenser fan motor and recharged his a/c system.
Put in GFI’s in both bathrooms and kitchen.
Repaired bathroom plumbing in both bathrooms.
Fixed wrought iron fence & railing.
Replaced broken truss in roof of garage.
Patched and painted drywall in living room.
Repaired concrete walkway and driveway cracks.
We had the house market ready in two days! Dr. Flynn did not have to call a plumber, a carpenter, an HVAC company, a concrete company, or a welder! All he had to do was call Andy’s Home and Business Repair, a professional handyman service in St.Louis Missouri. In addition to saving him all that time and trouble, we were able to save him approximately $4,000.00. He was so happy with our result that he gave his sister our referral and also his father-in-law, who is a property manager in St. Louis County.

Who do you know that needs home repairs? Anyone buying or selling a house, anyone with burglary damage, storm damage, termite damage, or plumbing problems or related water damage, seniors who need work done, young professionals who don’t have time, or for when your not-so-handy husband “fixed” something, that could use our handyman services?


You will be so glad you did!


Our Latest Kitchenette

August 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Our Latest Kitchenette

St. Louis Handyman on Civil Preparedness

August 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

How many of you out there have ever been effected by a power outage? Last year in St. Louis we had two major power outages within 6 months of each other, both lasted for several days. We have a power generator that is simple to power-up. It runs on gasoline. We also have a campers stove, so we could still cook. Above ground catastrophes are one thing, but what if we were to have a major earthquake? Would YOU know what to do? Here are a few civil preparedness tips that every home owner should know.
1) When a water line breaks and the water is gushing, look for the main shut-off valve. It will be the valve that is first out of the foundation, normally a 3/4″ to 1″ copper pipe. Clock-wise is “off”. If the handle is stuck, loosen the packing 1 turn with a crescent wrench and try again. If the water still does not shut off, open the lowest basement sink or hose bib and let it run down a drain. This will take the excessive water to a safe area.
2) When electrical wires short, ground out or burn, it is easy to panic.
Rule #1, grab a pair of leather gloves or rubber cleaning gloves and go to the mail panel. With your gloves on and your feet flat-footed, not leaning or touching anything, with one hand find the large breaker at the top of the electrical panel (normally marked MAIN) and switch it to the “off” position. On a fused panel, grab the fuse holder carrier and pull. At this point if you smell smoke or see fire or sparks, call 911. You might have an electrical fire in the wall.
3) Most importantly, lets talk about natural gas. We all know the smell. First of all, appliances, water heaters, furnaces, etc., are required by law to have a shut-off valve within reaching distance or the unit. Most shut-off valves are 1/4″ turn, ball type. Now if this valve breaks or the leak is before the appliance, go for the gas meter main. If there is an earthquake just go straight for the main. Take a good sized adjustable wrench and line up the rings to the off position. They may be hard to move so be ready to use force. You CAN do it! Air-out the interior of the house as fast as you can. And no matter how nervous you are DON”T light a cigarette.
These are a few potentially life saving tips, at no charge, just for reading my website. If you would like a power back-up generator for your house, just give us a call! Stay tuned for more helpful household tips from the best handyman in St. Louis. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

Easy Home Repairs From the Handyman in St. Louis

August 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Fix a loose door hinge. If the door is shaky, the hinge may be stripped. Spend a few dollars on a “stripped screw-hole repair kit.” Put the metal mesh in the hole, then insert a longer screw. You could save big bucks on new hardware, weather stripping, and even a new door frame later on.
Replace the central air/furnace filter. Make sure the filter is the correct size for the unit and that it isn’t clogged with dust. Regularly changing or cleaning the filter allows the unit to heat and cool your home more efficiently. Make sure to buy an upgraded “heppa” filter or double up on the regular ones for better filtration.
Replace traditional light bulbs with energy efficient ones, called compact fluorescent lighting. They’re more expensive, but can last up to 10 times longer than conventional bulbs. If you replace five light bulbs with CFL’s, you could save up to $60.00 a year.
Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s). Identify electrical outlets near kitchen or bathroom sinks and replace them with GFCI’s tp protect you and your family members from possible electrical shocks.
Replace an old shower head with a new energy-saving, low-flow one. Showers account for 17% of indoor household water use. A new shower head is good for both the environment and your water bills.
Replace you old “big gulp” toilet with a new water saving model.
Replace fence boards. Missing or damaged boards weaken a fence-and your relationship with the neighbors. Check the entire fence and note how many new boards you’ll need, as well as the height and width of each. Make sure to use galvanized screws that won’t rust.
Adjust your water heater temperature to 120*F. You’ll save money and still be able to clean your clothes and bathe without scalding yourself. Insulate your water heater with a water heater blanket. They come pre-cut and will help to keep the water hot, thus saving energy and money.
Keep your gutters and downspouts cleaned out to prevent interior water damage. Install a downspout extender out into the yard to disperse the rain water or install a barrel for collecting rainwater to use in your landscaping or garden.
These are just a few money and energy saving tips from the best handyman in St. Louis.
If any of these projects proves to be too much work, just call Andy’s Home and Business Repair for a free estimate!

St. Louis Handyman’s Tips on Un-sticking a Drawer

August 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

This is how to handle a solid wooden drawer that sticks: Slowly move it in and out to “feel” where it’s catching (on one side? along the bottom?). Or pull out the drawer and look for friction marks on the edge or bottom.
Set the drawer on a stable work surface. With 100-grit sandpaper wrapped around a wood block, smooth the sticking spot until some dust is created. Replace the drawer, slide to see if it’s no longer catching. If it is, repeat until the drawer glides freely.
To keep out the moisture that causes swelling and then sticking, seal the drawer, inside and out (though skipping the front), with a coat of polyurethane.
If the swelling is minor, you may be able to get away with just lubricating the drawer-no sanding required. To start, take the drawer completely out and set it on your work surface.
Run a bar of plain soap (like Ivory) or a candle, or a stick of paraffin-any of the three should work well-along the glide or glides on the bottom or sides of the drawer, and along any mating pieces inside the furniture. Also rub some on the edges of the drawer’s sides and bottom.
Replace drawer and move it in and out to work in the lubricant and be sure it’s fixed the problem.

Eco-Friendly Landscaping Strategies

August 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Save some green this season with these budget and eco-friendly landscaping strategies from the St. Louis Handyman….
Use a rain barrel to collect water for your lawn and outdoor plants.
Ditch old gas guzzling outdoor power equipment for battery operated or manual gear.
Choose solar powered landscape lighting over electricity-draining illumination.
Incorporate more hardscaping features into outdoor spaces to reduce your watering and mowing requirements.
Build a raised garden bed to grow your own fresh produce.
And always call the St. Louis Handyman for any of your “handy” projects!

Discovering Real Value

August 8, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Normally, I’m a hit-and-run shopper, but that behavior changes when I roam the aisles of my local hardware store or home improvement center. It’s fascinating to leisurely browse the seemingly infinite selection of merchandise, from flat washers to fancy faucets. But aside from being sucked in by this hypnotic consumer kaleidoscope, my first priority is to find the ideal products for my project. Whether it’s a tube of caulk, a box of screws or a new cordless drill, they command my attention and respect- and ultimately my hard-earned cash.
Understanding value is the key to making a wise purchase and controlling that cash. The value of an item is not the same as what it costs. That old adage “you get what you pay for” may be true in general, but it doesn’t address value. The most expensive item isn’t necessarily the best for your situation, and the least expensive item isn’t necessarily the worst. Real value means striking a balance between the cost of an item and how well it fulfills your actual needs. Value depends on priorities. Take paint, for example. High quality paint is typically easier to apply, provides better coverage and is more durable than lesser quality products. It also costs more-sometimes MUCH more-and that’s when you need to decide what’s important. How often are you willing to tolerate doing it? If your answer is “nor often, and not much,” the best paint value for you might be $60.00 a gallon. But if you like to paint and are on a tight budget, you might find $10.00 a gallon paint perfectly acceptable. That’s why manufacturers offer choices.
My advice for purchasing home-improvement products is to determine your needs and then buy the best that your budget allows. Maintaining your investment in your home will pay you in quality of life dividends while you live in it and provide a greater return when you sell it. Don’t be discouraged if your budget limits you to less-flashy but solid products; they’ll still provide years of reliable service. A sensible, middle-or-the-road approach might seem boring, but it will keep you on the road to economic stability rather than driving you into a financial ditch. Look for the best value and you’ll never go wrong. And don’t forget to savor your shopping experience.

Handyman in St. Louis on Understanding Wood Finish

August 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

When you’re painting or staining wood that has been exposed to sunlight and rain, nothing is more important than good preparation. Cutting corners here will lead to short-lived results no matter how well you do everything else. For paint or stain to bond well, the surface should be clean and all loose paint should be removed. The easiest methods for eliminating dirt, dust and debris are pressure washing and scrubbing with a stiff broom and hose. Loose paint can be removed by pressure washing, scraping or sanding. Although pressure washing is easiest, it’s less effective at removing paint that still partially adheres to the surface. Areas that have turned gray are evidence that the wood’s surface fibers have deteriorated. Pressure washing or scraping can partially remove these fibers, but for optimal results you should sand the area (by hand or with a power sander) to expose the fresh wood underneath. Sanding also feathers the edges of any remaining paint that’s stuck to the wood, making your paint job look better. It’s a lot of work, and most people don’t do it. But the extra effort is worthwhile for achieving long-lasting results. If you’re simply reapplying stain (on a deck for example), cleaning is usually all that’s necessary, even if the wood has turned gray. Let the wood dry after cleaning; then apply a fresh coat of stain. Painted surfaces need more preparation. After cleaning and removing all the loose paint, apply primer followed by one or more coats of paint. Oil-based primer is best for gray areas because it penetrates the deterioration better than latex (water-based) and bonds better to the fresh wood underneath. You can apply acrylic latex paint over the primer. If all this sounds like too much work for you to handle, just call the best handyman in St. Louis (Andy’s Home and Business Repair) for a free estimate. And remember, “FOR QUALITY SERVICE BEYOND COMPARE CALL ANDY’S HOME AND BUSINESS REPAIR, AND DON’T FORGET TO LOOK FOR THE PANDA BEAR!”

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