Tips from an Indianapolis handyman on home maintenance

Tips from an Indianapolis handyman on home maintenance

After seven years working for a major hardware retailer, Elden Foltz made the jump to owning a handyman business in 1996.

His father was also a handyman, and Foltz says his hardware store knowledge translates to better customer satisfaction.

Super Handyman Service customers appreciate his know-how; their reviews have earned the company Super Service Awards in 2007 and 2008.

When it comes to preventive maintenance, what should homeowners be looking for?

There are a variety of different things. The biggest thing we see a lot of is rotted cedar siding and cedar boards on the corners and bottoms of the house, and rotted wood around garage doors and windows. That's something we're constantly replacing; usually in homes that are about 7 to 10 years old.

It could be prevented by adding paint to keep the integrity of the wood and caulking the areas where water can seep into, especially in areas like window wells. For the cost of a gallon of paint and some caulk, you can save thousands of dollars.

To check your home's exterior wood, take a screwdriver or a pen and press it into the wood on the corners where the siding meets or anywhere where water could be settling in a window well or a sill plate. If it goes into the wood, the wood is rotted and you're going to have to replace it.

You should also check the paint. A lot of times we see where a lawn maintenance service has struck the wood with a weed wacker and chipped the paint, exposing the bare wood. You want to get that painted over and protected immediately. If you don't, the wood will start to rot.

Another thing you want to check is the concrete or stone around your house for missing concrete or cracks, which rodents or pests can use to get into your house.

You can take a regular caulk gun and some concrete caulk and fill in any cracks or crevices and around the joints of the house. That will help prevent pests from entering and it will prevent water damage from moisture or mold.

We charge hourly rates for the majority of the stuff we do, but we also do a lot of flat-fee work. I don't think customers should wait until they have a bunch of small jobs piled up before they call us.

For example, for hanging a new light fixture, it's a flat fee that can range from $45 to $125 for fixtures over 15 feet high. For something like emergency plumbing, it'd be a $150 minimum. We've done things as small as changing light bulbs to the biggest project we've done, which was a $64,000 complete structural renovation.

And anything we install or repair is covered for workmanship for one year.


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