Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

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PlayingLife
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Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by PlayingLife » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:24 am

I have a bunch of odd jobs around the house where I'd rather hire someone to take care, to ensure the job gets done right. Here are some that come to mind....

1. Replace/fix radon fan on the roof which seems to be not running
2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house
4. Review the gutter situation on top of the roof as there is some heavy water coming down in certain areas, and I can't get on the roof due to height

Who would you go to for these sort of jobs? I guess people market themselves as general "handymen", and I should take a look around my area? Any advice is appreciated!

SimonJester
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by SimonJester » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:38 am

I prefer to do most of my own repair and maintenance work on my house as it saves me money and I learn new skills.

1) depends on the height of the roof and accessibility
2) I would definitely do myself
3) I would do this myself , just be sure to locate studs to drill into for mounting, and caulk the screw holes to prevent water seepage
4) sounds like this is too high for you so hire this out to a gutter specialist
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

ddurrett896
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by ddurrett896 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:21 am

PlayingLife wrote: 2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Off topic: Cheap disposable filters work without putting a strain on the unit like the thick paper ones.

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Hayden
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by Hayden » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:35 am

I think a good handyman is worth a lot. I am fortunate to have one at my current house, but never did find one at my previous house. I would definitely start the process of talking to neighbors and trying to locate a good one. I like knowing that if something urgent happened and I needed help quickly, I'd know who to call.

Rupert
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by Rupert » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:41 am

What sort of filter system are you talking about? You might want to get an HVAC company in to talk to you about that. Thicker filters can shorten the life of your unit because they put a greater strain on the system, and permanent filters can be difficult to clean.

FreeMarty
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by FreeMarty » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:15 am

I prefer to do most of my own repair and maintenance work on my house as it saves me money and I learn new skills.
As do I. And the number one reason why I do as much as I can is the (lack of) quality of work in my area. Most of the time, I end up having to fix what I paid someone else to do and it costs me even more ($ and headache) in the end. If you can find someone who is qualified, skilled, honest, etc. that can be a good option. If you do hire the job out, educate yourself on what is expected so you aren't taken. My son recently had his car looked at and it "needed" about $800 worth of repairs. I show up and ask them to show me these repairs and suddenly it becomes "future", "awareness" and the estimate drops to about $200.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:04 pm

PlayingLife wrote:2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Do you mean you just want to replace the current filter with a different filter of the same size or do you want to change the size of your filters (e.g. going from 1" thick filters to 5" thick filters)? For the former, that's more of a DIY task. For the later, you'd want a qualified HVAC company to do the work to be sure it's compatible with your existing system.

killjoy2012
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:10 pm

The problem with hiring a "general handyman" is, at best, they are generalists who try to do a bit of everything, but rarely excel at any one particular thing. There's also no certification or proof of capability short of word of mouth.

I'd favor hiring a couple more specialized tradesmen to handle your task list. You should be able to find a reputable roofing company that can tackle the fan replacement + gutter issues. I'd run your plan for #2 by an HVAC person, as 'better' filtration usually involves less flow, more back pressure, and often results in freezing up the A/C in the summertime. You need to ensure adequate flow is maintained. Your #3 is probably safe for the handyman.

runner3081
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by runner3081 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:15 pm

Rupert wrote:permanent filters can be difficult to clean.
I second this statement. Our last house had the permanent filters over the HVAC unit. I would much rather swap out the disposable filters each month than take the perm filters out, clean, let dry, etc every 6-months or so.

partner
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by partner » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:06 pm

PlayingLife wrote:I have a bunch of odd jobs around the house where I'd rather hire someone to take care, to ensure the job gets done right. Here are some that come to mind....

1. Replace/fix radon fan on the roof which seems to be not running
The radon fan is generally not on the roof, its most likely in the attic. Sometimes very accessible, sometime not. They are easy to remove, just has rubber couplings. You can find replacements on the internet. I've done a couple.
I second the comment, its best to do yourself then you know the quality of work.

queso
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by queso » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:37 am

runner3081 wrote:
Rupert wrote:permanent filters can be difficult to clean.
I second this statement. Our last house had the permanent filters over the HVAC unit. I would much rather swap out the disposable filters each month than take the perm filters out, clean, let dry, etc every 6-months or so.
+1. Had those when we moved in and promptly removed them and use the same sizes in disposables from Costco. I keep them around as spares, but it's not worth the savings to me to try to clean those every month when Costco delivers the right size disposables right to my door in bulk packs.

mouses
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by mouses » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:39 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: 2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Off topic: Cheap disposable filters work without putting a strain on the unit like the thick paper ones.
However the thicker filters make a big difference if someone in the house has allergies.

rkhusky
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by rkhusky » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:41 am

mouses wrote:
ddurrett896 wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: 2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Off topic: Cheap disposable filters work without putting a strain on the unit like the thick paper ones.
However the thicker filters make a big difference if someone in the house has allergies.
+1. You could even go without filters to further unburden the blower. People install filters for a reason, it's an individual choice.

jadedfalcons
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by jadedfalcons » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:14 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: 2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Off topic: Cheap disposable filters work without putting a strain on the unit like the thick paper ones.
3M did a study years ago. Might be a biased study, but they showed that the airflow through their Filtrete filters was better than through the cheap fiberglass ones that are only good for slowing down kittens. I used to have the numbers around, it was a fair amount of difference.

JohnFiscal
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by JohnFiscal » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:24 pm

PlayingLife wrote:3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house
bit late to the game here, but I myself would hesitate to put holes in my vinyl siding. It is so thin, could be prone to tearing and leaking. I would go to the store and get a free-standing hose stand. This can be placed near the wall, or outside hedges, etc. There are simple ones and fancier ones. maybe $30 for a fancy one. Easy to stick into the ground (and easy to move later if necessary). Try Lowes, Home Depot, Target, Walmart,...

JohnFiscal
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by JohnFiscal » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:27 pm

PlayingLife wrote:4. Review the gutter situation on top of the roof as there is some heavy water coming down in certain areas, and I can't get on the roof due to height
and let me add, gutter installs never struck me as a DYI job. I know that some people have done this but the work is specialized, tricky and painstaking, and if done wrong could lead to damaging the boards up there through rotting, etc. But the potential is there to probably save a lot of money.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by Mudpuppy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:32 pm

jadedfalcons wrote:
ddurrett896 wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: 2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Off topic: Cheap disposable filters work without putting a strain on the unit like the thick paper ones.
3M did a study years ago. Might be a biased study, but they showed that the airflow through their Filtrete filters was better than through the cheap fiberglass ones that are only good for slowing down kittens. I used to have the numbers around, it was a fair amount of difference.
I use the Filtrete Red filters on my HVAC unit. It's not the most filtering, nor the least filtering, in the line. It's right in the middle, so balances both concerns (allergen filtering vs air flow). My thermostat also blinks "FILTER" at me if I forget to change the filter every 400 duty hours. I usually try to change it at around 250 duty hours though, as I can see evidence of airflow restriction (filter getting sucked upwards dramatically) when I let it go longer.

Momus
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by Momus » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:35 pm

I need a handyman too... Can they normally have the knowledge to fix garbage disposal? Switch on, but it doesn't turn on.

jadedfalcons
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by jadedfalcons » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:47 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
jadedfalcons wrote:
ddurrett896 wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: 2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Off topic: Cheap disposable filters work without putting a strain on the unit like the thick paper ones.
3M did a study years ago. Might be a biased study, but they showed that the airflow through their Filtrete filters was better than through the cheap fiberglass ones that are only good for slowing down kittens. I used to have the numbers around, it was a fair amount of difference.
I use the Filtrete Red filters on my HVAC unit. It's not the most filtering, nor the least filtering, in the line. It's right in the middle, so balances both concerns (allergen filtering vs air flow). My thermostat also blinks "FILTER" at me if I forget to change the filter every 400 duty hours. I usually try to change it at around 250 duty hours though, as I can see evidence of airflow restriction (filter getting sucked upwards dramatically) when I let it go longer.

I use a fancy one that's a step up from their purple ones.

Because, of all the idiotic things...

they shipped an order to a Sam's Club. 9 pallets, each pallet had 4 floor displays, each floor display had 9 four packs of these filters, 16x25x1.

Only problem is, the order was supposed to be for 8 pallets. So, the Sam's Club store refused to take the extra pallet (?!?!?!?), the truck driver called dispatch, they called 3M, 3M said it wasn't worth sending them back, so just find a place to get rid of them...

soooo...

the trucker driver gave them to me.

I'll be dead before I run out of filters.

jadedfalcons
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by jadedfalcons » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Momus wrote:I need a handyman too... Can they normally have the knowledge to fix garbage disposal? Switch on, but it doesn't turn on.
Did you hit the reset button on the bottom of the disposal?

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:49 pm

Momus wrote:I need a handyman too... Can they normally have the knowledge to fix garbage disposal? Switch on, but it doesn't turn on.
Something may have clogged it causing it to over-heat and flip the overheat switch. Did you look to see if you had a fuse switch-button (Or whatever it is called) on the unit? Also - most have an allen-wrench fitting on the bottom that allow you to twist the disposal around manually to loosen anything that may have been caught before pressing the switch to reset it - I don't consider myself that handy but when I called my plumber once when I had this problem he walked me through this process which worked (and kept him from coming to my house and charging me).

indexonlyplease
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by indexonlyplease » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:26 pm

PlayingLife wrote:I have a bunch of odd jobs around the house where I'd rather hire someone to take care, to ensure the job gets done right. Here are some that come to mind....

1. Replace/fix radon fan on the roof which seems to be not running
2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house
4. Review the gutter situation on top of the roof as there is some heavy water coming down in certain areas, and I can't get on the roof due to height

Who would you go to for these sort of jobs? I guess people market themselves as general "handymen", and I should take a look around my area? Any advice is appreciated!
My experience has been most handyman are very limited in what they can do. Also, most try to rip you off. So unless you can get a good recommandation from a really good friend that has used a handyman good luck. My last was the handyman came to my house to replace the rollers on my sliding glass door. Door was hard to open. He gave me a quote for $150.00. I said good do it. When he got done he wanted to charge me $450.00 because of some difficutly and very special wheels. Which is BS. So I gave him $150 cash and kicked him out of my house. He could of made more because I have a second door and other work.

So good luck finding someone. Protect yourself with written cost.

Alto Astral
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by Alto Astral » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:55 pm

1. i would call the radon company. I am guessing you already tested the levels using the government test pack?
2. Hvac person
3. General handyman
4. I have this issue. Happens near downspouts when t gets clogged with leaves or maple seeds. Cleaning the area usually fixes it. You may want to look into gutter covers if it ends up being that. A general handyman should be sufficient

simmias
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by simmias » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:06 pm

jadedfalcons wrote:
ddurrett896 wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: 2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Off topic: Cheap disposable filters work without putting a strain on the unit like the thick paper ones.
3M did a study years ago. Might be a biased study, but they showed that the airflow through their Filtrete filters was better than through the cheap fiberglass ones that are only good for slowing down kittens. I used to have the numbers around, it was a fair amount of difference.
This is purely anecdotal, but my unit burned out well before any of my neighbors' units (new construction, all had the same unit installed at the same time). The difference was I used higher quality filters than any of them. I will never use anything other than the cheap fiberglass filters going forward.

ralph124cf
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by ralph124cf » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:45 pm

JohnFiscal wrote:
PlayingLife wrote:3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house
bit late to the game here, but I myself would hesitate to put holes in my vinyl siding. It is so thin, could be prone to tearing and leaking. I would go to the store and get a free-standing hose stand. This can be placed near the wall, or outside hedges, etc. There are simple ones and fancier ones. maybe $30 for a fancy one. Easy to stick into the ground (and easy to move later if necessary). Try Lowes, Home Depot, Target, Walmart,...
$30 won't get you a good one. Go to eleyhosereels.com. They have really good metal ones, but nothing under $150.

Ralph

daveydoo
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by daveydoo » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:56 pm

PlayingLife wrote:
1. Replace/fix radon fan on the roof which seems to be not running
2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house
4. Review the gutter situation on top of the roof as there is some heavy water coming down in certain areas, and I can't get on the roof due to height
In order:

1. Not a "handyman." Might ask an HVAC person (see below). I assume that there's a ft^3 per minute criterion for this

2. I agree with getting an HVAC expert opinion. There are "thick" filters that impede flow a lot less than a filthy "thin" filter; they're deeply pleated so most of the "thickness" is just increased surface area, right? Our old furnace took thin ones and the new furnace takes the thick ones -- same circulation rate. Avoid the electrostatic "permanent" ones, imo -- they "attract" the particulates, but not like an actual "filter."

3. Handyman or anyone -- just so they don't hit pipe or wire, and patch to avoid water intrusion.

4. Search "Gutter cleaning" -- someone who will get up on a 20' ladder for $100 or 200. This is almost always downspout plugged at the gutter line -- especially if you have trees overhead.

2comma
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by 2comma » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:06 pm

SimonJester wrote:I prefer to do most of my own repair and maintenance work on my house as it saves me money and I learn new skills.

1) depends on the height of the roof and accessibility
2) I would definitely do myself
3) I would do this myself , just be sure to locate studs to drill into for mounting, and caulk the screw holes to prevent water seepage
4) sounds like this is too high for you so hire this out to a gutter specialist
Me too, I have horrible luck finding good help and no idea how to find an above average surgeon. I've collected quite a nice collection of tools and skills over the years and with youtube videos you can learn almost anything.

I think the answers above are spot on. I suspect the radon fan replacement is going to be a simple fan replacement in the attic and a handyman that knows just a little about electric should be able do that (that's not what roofers do) and certainly the hose rack (and a disposall BTW). I'll second a bit of worry about restricting too much airflow thru the hvac - the evaporator was designed with proper airflow in mind - starve it and you'll have expensive problems. I hire gutter specialists, they do it all day, they've got the right equipment, it's a very competitive business so it's not that expensive (but I did have water leaking around the top of my window trim inside the house because they had put a screw to hold a gutter bracket too low that I had to raise and plug the hole). I also learned it was cheaper to purchase and have a garage door installed from a company than it was for me to buy one at a big box store and install it myself.

Since you don't have the inclination I'd spend some time looking for a good handyman, maybe try them out on some simple jobs first and then do some thinking about whether a generalized or a specialized skillset is needed for the job.
If I am stupid I will pay.

mouses
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by mouses » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:27 pm

simmias wrote:
jadedfalcons wrote:
ddurrett896 wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: 2. Install a quality filter system on our furnance, replacing the cheap disposable filters that are down there now (already bought the proper filter)
Off topic: Cheap disposable filters work without putting a strain on the unit like the thick paper ones.
3M did a study years ago. Might be a biased study, but they showed that the airflow through their Filtrete filters was better than through the cheap fiberglass ones that are only good for slowing down kittens. I used to have the numbers around, it was a fair amount of difference.
This is purely anecdotal, but my unit burned out well before any of my neighbors' units (new construction, all had the same unit installed at the same time). The difference was I used higher quality filters than any of them. I will never use anything other than the cheap fiberglass filters going forward.
The new AC company gave me the horror story of stressing my very old system last year, so I let them put in one of those useless filters. Within a day, the cat and I, both of whom have asthma, were hacking our lungs out. Back to the Filtrete filters, which had caused no trouble for years.

JohnFiscal
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Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

Post by JohnFiscal » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:06 am

ralph124cf wrote:
JohnFiscal wrote:
PlayingLife wrote:3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house
bit late to the game here, but I myself would hesitate to put holes in my vinyl siding. It is so thin, could be prone to tearing and leaking. I would go to the store and get a free-standing hose stand. This can be placed near the wall, or outside hedges, etc. There are simple ones and fancier ones. maybe $30 for a fancy one. Easy to stick into the ground (and easy to move later if necessary). Try Lowes, Home Depot, Target, Walmart,...
$30 won't get you a good one. Go to eleyhosereels.com. They have really good metal ones, but nothing under $150.

Ralph
I'm thinking that the OP wanted like a 5 buck hose holder on the wall. Not a "reel". A free standing hose holder like this from Home Depot is pretty nice and less than $30, http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay- ... /100658095

ETA: I see that I did pay about $39 for the fancier one: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay- ... /100659463

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