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Should Auld Home Maint’nance Be Forgot?

Last night, they played that song again that – truth be told – NOBODY knows the lyrics to, particularly after one too many ‘cups of kindness,’ if you know what I mean. Best I can tell, the first line is in the form of a question. Should we forget our old friendships? The implied answer is ‘no.’

OK, so you might not expect your handyman to be a scholar of late 18th century Scottish drinking songs set to poetry. But, we at Fix St Louis DO pride ourselves on being experts on things people would rather FORGET. All the broken, yucky, cracked, deteriorated, stuck, leaking, stuffed, and falling things around their house that we at Fix St Louis fix.

So to kick-off this new year, here are some ideas to transition your house to things that once fixed, stay fixed so you can more-or-less forget about future maintenance or repairs:

1. Decks – Whose crazy idea was it anyway to attach something that looks like Huck Finn’s raft to the side of our houses? A structure made of wood that needs to be stained every couple of years? Let’s stop the madness. Next time you have your deck repaired, ask us to stain it with Sherwin Williams solid color elastomeric coating, which lasts as long as house paint. Or replace the boards with composite materials that, these days, now look even better than wood and last ‘forever.’

2. Exterior Trim – If you look closely at the bottom of the side trim on the outside of your doors, or around your outdoor window ledges, you are likely to see rotted wood. That’s because water tends to pool-up in those places, then is wicked into the wood. The answer is to buck what passes as wisdom today and “go UN-natural.” We can patch those areas with the same plastic-type material used for auto body repairs, and in many cases replace the rotted boards with solid plastic-based materials. Sure, the rest of your house may someday fade away, but at least those parts will outlast the Cahokia Mounds!

3. Toilets – Don’t get me started. Oh, was I the one who brought this up? We are a 1st world country with 3rd world toilets only because our betters in Washington seem to think that anything that isn’t regulated doesn’t belong in the utopia they’re kindly creating for us. Water is the power supply for toilets, and our government keeps limiting it – THAT’s why toilets now fail so often. So now there’s a toilet plunger next to every toilet, when in the past there never was, and Fix St Louis customers need to have us on speed dial. And, it’s not just toilets, it’s all your water-based devices and appliances as you can read here. We’ll keep fixing your toilets, but maybe people need to start driving around with bumper stickers that read “I flush and I vote.”

4. Flooring – The good news about solid hardwood flooring is that it can always be sanded and re-stained. The bad news is that it needs to be. We strongly discourage people from installing hardwood in bathrooms because sooner or later a leak will damage it, and somewhat less strongly discourage it for kitchens for similar reasons. We’re also not thrilled with any laminate or engineered wood flooring for kitchens and baths that contains fibers inside that might absorb water and puff-out like a sponge. The most practical, best looking surfaces for these rooms these days are ceramic or porcelain tiles. Vinyl tiles and sheet vinyl have traditionally been considered to be cheap-looking, but we’ve been kinda impressed lately with what’s now being offered under the rubric “luxury vinyl tile.” I know, I know, it sounds like a joke. Like calling something a “luxury sow’s ear.” But they’re doing impressive things these days with graphics and texture, and if you keep an open mind, it might be just right for you, and very economical.

Well, I suppose if you were looking for life-changing advice to start-off the new year that would make you a better, kinder, more effective, problem-free, pain-free, or better-looking person you now realize you came to the wrong place. So, maybe Fix St Louis can’t help you make the world a better place, but making your home a place where you can every once in a while forget about maintenance is at least a start. Right? Of course, right.

Happy New Year!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis