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Who’s in charge of the maintenance at your house?
Old 11-03-2017, 09:22 AM   #1
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Who’s in charge of the maintenance at your house?

The small cape cod was over 60 years old when we bought It almost 20 years ago. It needed a lot of work but I loved the place anyway as it was afordable and it was ours. The door on the small detached garage was wooden and in dire need of replacement. With two us working we were lucky that funding for needed repairs was available. I don’t remember where we ordered the door but afterwards I noticed that the installer seemed to use any 60+ year old wood lying around to install the opener. I was not pleased but forgot it and moved on to other projects. It might have been a year later when the opener stopped working - there definitely was the smell of a burn electric circuit board and of course one of the pieces of old wood had snapped. Calls to Midnight Garage Doors (I kid you not) went unanswered. Eventually I gave up and took the opener apart, found the circuit board part number and ordered a new one. Her and I installed it, pressed the button and bam like Ali BaBa saying ‘Open Sesame’ the garage door opened. It was luck and there aren’t too many parts in a garage door opener. My FIL was not at all handy man -It must have registered to the Mrs that 1) we saved money! 2)garage doors and handyman stuff must be in Rays DNA.

Flash forward 20 years and I am at work and my SIL sends me an instant message. “You might not want to put the car in the garage when you come home tonight because Mrs. Ray says there is a wire sticking out of the garage...” The message relay was necessary because my phone was sitting in the charger at home. -Yeah it was one of those days. I come home to find that the “wire” was the steel cable that lifts the garage door and yes it is dangling on outside the garage door. Yikes. I have no idea what is wrong and I remember that the installer told me that the spring loaded bar across the top is under tension and can be dangerous. Ill learned today that spring was broken and all my garage door parts were plastic and undersized compared to what they were replaced with. I say to her “we need to call someone.” A quick dance through the Internet and the better business bureau and we find a reputable local garage door company. She refuses to call. It’s after 6 and the operator takes my information and I make an appointment for today. I learned earlier that the Mrs was blowing leaves and opened the garage door to get the blower and thats when it failed. So I am quick to point out “you broke the garage door.. and you wont call?” and says repairs are my purview. I think to myself Sweet Moses.

$799 later the offending spring and all the other moving parts on the Garage Door are replaced. My trusty metal steed is parked in the garage too.

The question for today does someone need ‘garage door DNA’ to call the Repairman?

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Old 11-03-2017, 10:24 AM   #2
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It's quite the story! I don't have any type of repair DNA, but I am the only one in my too large home on 5 acres, so I do it all. I have also done some pretty decent DIY projects and saved money. It's pretty easy to call a repairman, not as easy to swallow their charges!

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Who’s in charge of the maintenance at your house?
Old 11-03-2017, 10:42 AM   #3
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Who’s in charge of the maintenance at your house?

I don't have anybody else to nag about these tasks. I take care of maintenance, repairs, and upgrades (and clean, etc) at my house, and F does the same for himself at his house. Sure circumvents a lot of potential arguments, it seems to me. It turns out that I am not very "handy" at all. So when something like this happens, I just call my handyman, Will. How incredibly simple - - a no-brainer.

Will charged me $720 to install a garage door opener in my garage - - which has an extra tall garage door, and ceilings 15'-20' high. This was not really maintenance, but an upgrade since the garage had never had an opener beforehand. So, he had to build a sturdy wooden framework upon which to attach the heavy duty opener. He did a terrific job. It took him and his son all day to do it, in utterly brutal heat, and I think the job was well worth the money. I had him select and buy the correct opener for my garage, as part of the job since I had no idea what kind to get.

Honestly, the amount that I need to pay him each year for various little jobs is almost trivial. He charges a minimum of $60 to come over, so before I call him I usually wait until I have at least that much work for him. People make such a big effing deal out of doing maintenance and repairs. Pffft. All you need is a good handyman and to be marginally better off than broke, IMO.

(EDITED TO ADD: Yikes, reading this over, what I said sure sounds elitist! I didn't mean for it to sound that way at all. What I was trying to get across, is that a good handyman will do it right the first time, will buy the right parts, and may not even charge that much. And besides, there just isn't that much that needs to be done in most homes; it only seems like it because we let the tasks hang over our heads.)

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Old 11-03-2017, 10:43 AM   #4
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I think it helps to describe the nature of the problem when you have experience. Then the repairman is more likely to come with the proper tools and parts.

I also find that it is helpful to talk to them during the repair when you are knowledgeable.
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:09 AM   #5
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That would be me. I either take care of it myself (learning from years of DIY and home improvement shows ) or its me contacting an electrician, plumber or HVAC guy to get something taken care of beyond my skills and tools...
Whatever failures I have known, whatever errors I have committed, whatever follies I have witnessed in private and public life have been the consequence of action without thought... - Bernard Baruch
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:14 AM   #6
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If DH can fix it he will and if not I call the repairman.
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:58 AM   #7
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We talk to the repairman. In our old house the Bosch dishwasher packed it in.

Tech advised us that it would cost too much to fix and besides the parts sometimes took longer to arrive.

Asked him what he would buy. And then we followed his advice. Sears or Whirlpool low end was his recommendation at that time. We followed it. Unit was still working just fine when we moved nine years later.
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:45 PM   #8
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Since passing of DW, I am chief cook, bottle washer and all around handyman. Before that was master of dense packing dishwasher and general handyman. Nowadays dense packing of dishwasher is not needed.
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:04 PM   #9
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Installing a GDO is not that hard - if you can turn a screwdriver and follow instructions that's about all the skill that is needed.

I've also replaced springs - this is also pretty easy, but you do need to keep your wits about you. People on the internet will tell you it's insanely dangerous, but it's no more dangerous than driving 60 mph down the interstate with opposing traffic going 60 mph in the opposite direction. Stay in your lane and you're fine, drift a few feet over and it's not going to be pretty.
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:10 PM   #10
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Yours is a bit of a silly question.

Like everything else around here, who is in charge of house maintenance is whoever DW says is in charge of house maintenance, which usually means me.
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Like everything else around here, who is in charge of house maintenance is whoever DW says is in charge of house maintenance, which usually means me.
That's pretty much the way it works around here too.

I am in charge of and responsible for anything mechanical, electrical or structural. She is in charge of anything involving decor or appearance. Which is generally good since not only her, but most of the family, agrees that I have little if any sense of decor or appearance. You know, barely advanced from a caveman.

When we first got married I had owned the house (not this one) for a bit over two years and used the middle bedroom because it had dark paneling in it and I worked shift work. Those who have worked shifts and had to sleep during the day know this is a good thing. I also had room-darkening shades and those were taped to the window framing to keep any daylight from sneaking in.

When the subject of the dark paneling came up her complaint was that "It looks like a cave in there!"

I said "Yeah, isn't it great?"

Apparently that was NOT the proper response....
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:29 PM   #12
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We have shared duties... but most of the stuff involving wiring or plumbing falls on DH. I do some painting, a LOT of yard work, and the seasonal stuff like washing the window screens, washing the heater filter, etc.

We only hire if it's absolutely necessary. As we age we'll be hiring more... but DH is trying to get the stuff that will be harder later, done now. He's just finished installing 3 windows on the 2nd floor (we purchased scaffolding for this.) We have 2 more windows then we'll be done with all the ladder tasks.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:49 PM   #13
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At our house, all she needs to do is threaten to call the repair man and I jump into action. I fix almost everything myself, it's a source of pride, and she knows it. I've loaded my own garage door spring (and even though "they" said I would kill myself doing it, I somehow survived). Electrical, plumbing, whatever. I did get guys to spread concrete for a 500 square foot slab, but only because it would set before I could finish it myself. And if it requires some expensive equipment that I don't have, I'll hire it out. But it's not that hard to do most repairs, especially with youtube to guide you, lol!
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Old 11-03-2017, 06:18 PM   #14
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I do.

I'm a single, female, retired mechanical engineer with a house in MI and a condo in FL. I've posted numerous threads about various projects I've done (fixing my leaky dishwasher, fixing a dead flat screen TV I salvaged from my neighbor's trash, etc.) I've also fixed my garage door opener numerous times over the years (swapping out circuit boards, fixing worn-out parts, etc.), replacing the food disposal, toilet mechanisms, etc. I recently removed and regrouted the tile in my condo bath.

Due to snowbirding and extensive travel, I now hire out the lawn mowing and snow removal tasks at my house, although I still trim the hedges, etc.

Years ago, my then-BF and I did tons of home remodeling/repair projects -- remodeling the bathrooms, paneling the garage, etc. (We planned and executed the projects together. I did the plumbing and electrical; he was better at painting and grunt work. LOL)

As time marches on, I'm finding I'm losing interest in doing these things (as I've also been doing them for friends, as well as Sis & BIL). This may also partly be due to my dilettante nature.

I think I might be happier if I could hire it done, but how to find a reasonably-priced and reliable handyperson who will do a decent job is a mystery. 'Til then, I guess it'll be me....with supplemental training provided by the University of YouTube.

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Old 11-03-2017, 06:22 PM   #15
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I hear you on the University of Youtube!
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Old 11-03-2017, 06:41 PM   #16
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YouTube is a wonderful invention. I am constantly amazed that someone has taken the trouble to film themselves fixing the exact thing that I am about to tackle.
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:05 PM   #17
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:22 PM   #18
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The last time I called out a repairman, I still had to fix the problem after he left. So, I try to fix most things without a of of "help".
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:10 PM   #19
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Me, myself and I. Usually have quite the crew working on things. Many hands and all that!
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:01 PM   #20
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I do what I can. A garage door is not something I would tackle. There's a line (and it's not that fine of a line) between being able to do things and knowing when it's too dangerous or expensive if messed up. It is good though to have enough knowledge to know when work is being done correctly if you're not the one actually doing it.

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