Home (Handyman) Consultants

Posted January 22nd, 2010 by tina

eNewsletters Building Relationships

Most people think a handyman is the guy who comes with a ladder to clean out their gutters, or I can replace a few broken tiles … or install a screen door. If you’re receiving my newsletter, I hope you know that at My Handyman we do so much more. This true story illustrates how we assume the role of home consultant for many of our customers. We’re able to leverage the experience gained from completing 1,000s of jobs each year.¬† After my newsletter went out yesterday, here’s what one customer emailed me … today.

“My husband and I reached an impasse when he said he wanted tile for the kitchen floor and I want cork. He doesn’t stand on it to the extent I do. Our kitchen floor is on a concrete slab, and the color scheme is black-and-white. I think we need new eyes on the subject.

I’d like to preface the project by saying I’d like someone as local as possible. When we had our cabinets refaced, Home Depot sent someone from almost 100 miles away, which seemed a bit far afield to go for help. I realize that availability of help for the task is also problematic. Can we talk?”

When I received Patti’s email shortly after 7am, I wanted to call right away but we have a rule that we don’t call until 8am, unless our technician is due to arrive earlier. Patti and I had a fun and productive conversation that I’d like to share. It shows how Mr Handyman can assist customers in evaluating different materials and possible solutions to ultimately help you get the desired results,

My Handyman Consulting by Phone

Patti was thrilled that I responded so quickly. I enjoy talking with customers and helping clarify what they need, and working through to find the best solution. It was also fun (after the fact) sharing my own story when my husband wanted carpeting on a slab for warmth, while I wanted tile in the finished basement so it would stand up to foot traffic.

  • Understanding the requirements
    • Patti said her biggest concern was standing on the floor. She believed cork would provide a cushion, and be more comfortable to stand on for extended periods of time.
    • Her husband¬† inwanted the floor to match the black-and-white decorating the their kitchen, and he had found a photo online showing exactly what he wanted.
    Armstrong Cushion Step

    Armstrong Cushion Step

  • Brainstorming on the phone:
    • My first ideas was creating a design that combined tile and cork, i.e. using cork where most standing occurs. Patti explained this wouldn’t work due to tile design her husband has picked out.
    • Next Patti mentioned using cork for cushioning, and linoleum over it with a tile design. I wasn’t comfortable with this approach as the linoleum would hide moisture problems (common with concrete slabs) plus duplicate cost for materials and labor.
    • Based on repairs to flooded basements, I was able to recommend a product like Armstrong’s Cushion Step (shown here). This is a vinyl flooring product with a nice cushion integrated. What’s great is the large selection of designs including tile (called stone), wood and “impressions.” It’s a wonderful product to use in basements where flooding is likely to occur as you simply remove the flooring, hose it off in the yard and reinstall it.
  • Follow Up Research
    • One of my favorite tasks running My Handyman is doing research for my customers … and sharing what I learn on this blog. It takes practice to pick the right search terms and here’s what I was able to learn:
      • Searching for “cork and colors”, I found you can get black cork. I called Patti back, and sent her the link so she can order samples. When we talked, it sounded like she’s really excited about the cushion vinyl as it sounds like it will be easier to maintain.
      • Having loaned my Cushion Step sample book out, I called B&C Floor Store to confirm the flooring I had recommended. Armstrong was correct, and Carol right away looked at her store display and told me Targett’s Fiber Floor has a tile design with black-and-white, so now I’ve got to pick up those samples for Patti.

Patti was comfortable with my sharing our morning dialog with all of you. Hope you remember to call us at Mr Handyman when you’re not sure how to proceed with one of your home projects. We’d love to help you!

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Comments (4)

PexJanuary 22nd, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Yeah! handyman indispensable right now

Radiant BarrierFebruary 21st, 2010 at 3:57 am

General contractors are invaluable to completing a project especially if you do not know how to complete 100% of it correctly yourself. Their network of connections can generally solve any problem.

BarryApril 11th, 2010 at 7:33 am

When you say you remove the flooring and just wash it off does that mean it is not glued down but loosely laid? If that is the case does the flooring not bubble? Other wise it seems like a great product.

tinaApril 11th, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Barry, You’re correct that the vinyl (comes in sheets 12 or 13 ft wide) floats with only a grid of double sided tape to hold it in place. You still need to prep the floor and remove old glue, etc or that will show through the new floor … but it is very easy to remove and reinstall.

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