May 2013

Andy The Handyman in St. Louis Does Fences, Decks, Patios and MORE!

May 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Caveat Emptor

May 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“CHUCK AND HIS TRUCK” IS BACK! It’s That Time of The Year Again for him to show up after that Last Storm that took your customer’s Roof!

Every spring here in STL we can expect harsh weather, tornadoes, rain, hail and straight line winds that bring wreck and despair to home owners everywhere. Roofs blown off, fences knocked down, hail damage to roofs, siding and broken windows are just some of the damage these spring storms bring along with a lot of other unwanted guests as well, the construction trade “Storm Chasers”!

Never has the terms “Caveat Emptor”, “buyers beware” meant as much as it does in this case! When that first contractor comes knocking at your door promising you a new roof by the end of the week and don’t worry about the deductible! Red flags need to be popping up all around you because more than likely you have just met “Chuck and his truck”!

Just who is Chuck by the way? Chuck is the guy that
1) His company solicits business door to door and shows up right after storm damage has occurred.
2) He offers you a way to not have to pay your insurance deductible. (Insurance fraud.)
3) His contract is vague and does not state exact dollar amounts and are encouraged to be signed prior to meeting with your insurance adjuster
4) He usually doesn’t provide evidence of having insurance or a construction license number.
5) He makes you are responsible for obtaining the proper building permit.
6) Unmarked vehicles or a vehicle with only a magnet that states the company name.
7) No local references are available.
8) Offers a price that seems too good to be true.
9) Uses a PO Box as their address.
10) Out of area license plates and/or driver’s licenses.

Not educating yourself or your customer base about who “Chuck” is can have serious consequences for both you and your customers. In the construction industry, the term “storm chasers” are those that travel to areas affected by storms and approach those in need of assistance with repairs to be done quickly for cash up-front in exchange for those quick repairs.

The important thing for homeowners to be on the watch for is Chuck offering to act as the sole contact between the homeowner and the insurance company! That is a receipt for disaster right from the start. If a homeowner signs documents authorizing a storm chaser to act as sole contact with an insurance company, their insurance settlement check may be made out to the storm chaser, not the home owner.

Two things just happened, the homeowner relinquishing the right to withhold payment if work is not completed in the manner that was agreed to and Chuck is now free to use inferior materials or has “split” leaving the job incomplete since he has already got his money and the customer is left holding the bag!

In that same vein most of the time Chuck doesn’t even carry required insurance coverage, leaving the homeowner at risk and if a roofer is injured while working on your customer’s home their medical bills may become the responsibility of the home owner.

Most roofing materials have warranties to protect the homeowner but warranties are void if the roofing was installed incorrectly. If you deal with a storm chaser that has no permanent address, what do you do if the product they installed malfunctions before the end of its intended lifespan?

You have a reputation to uphold and will likely do everything you can to rectify the situation if something goes wrong with a product down the road but Chuck doesn’t care about warranties just how fast he can get out of town.
Storm chasers can be detrimental to your local economy and to us all. Storm chasers cut corners on things like insurance and materials, often making them the cheapest contractor to work with. It makes it difficult for legitimate contractors to have market share, causing us to go out of business. What’s your take on this issue?

Cute Little Vanity

May 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

How to Build a Fire Pit

May 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Lets Build A Simple Fire Pit….that doesn’t explode!

Choose a location for your fire pit that isn’t close to trees, buildings or anything that could catch fire from a spark. A level location is best, but the design can accommodate a slight slope as well. Be sure there aren’t any underground wires, cable or pipes in your chosen location. Call 811 before you dig!!! Also, check with your city hall about fire pit ordinances in your community you may be prohibited by law from having an in-ground pit.
Drive a stake into the ground where you want to put the fire pit. Tie a piece of string to the stake and cut it at half the distance of the diameter (radius) of your intended pit size away from the stake.
Scribe a circle all around the stake and mark the line with spray paint. Remove the grass inside the circle and dig out the hole to a depth of about 1 foot (keep the sides as straight as possible).
Pour in about 4 inches of pea gravel. If your fire pit is on a slope you can level the bottom out by adding more pea gravel to one side. The pea gravel will help the fire pit drain. Use the level to help you.
Add about 3 inches of sand on top of the pea gravel – the sand will help prevent any fire from spreading to roots under your pit.
Place your first row of bricks inside the pit on top of the sand. They will be anywhere from 0-2 inches higher than grass level. Stack the next row of bricks on top.
Dry stack the pavers to make it easy to replace any that might break. Don’t use adhesive to hold the pavers together; it can melt and give off fumes that could be toxic.
Fill it with some nice wood, and enjoy…….

Who Does The Best Custom Painting? Andy Does! That’s Faux Sure!

May 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Is Your Patio Ready to Party?

May 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Why Move? Improve!

May 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Is Your Deck Summer Ready?

May 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment