A few answers, but more questions in response to last week's column. One good question: How have your experiences been with such services as Angie’s List, Porch.com and HomeAdvisor? Here's your chance to rate the services that rate others' services.
First, about that column last week.
Charlotte resident Bob Southern said he wanted fellow readers to know about Piedmont Tool and Plumbing Supply. He'd had no luck finding a faucet handle for his 1960s tub and shower until he discovered the specialty shop on Wilkinson Boulevard in Charlotte. The helpful folks recognized the worn and corroded part, had it in stock, and fixed his problem for only $14.
Are there similar specialty sources out there, I wondered in that column, that those of us who own homes would appreciate knowing about in the middle of our repair projects? Say, when we're trying to fix a washing machine that quit halfway through the rinse cycle?
Bob Connor of Sherrills Ford said he turns to D&L Parts Company in Hickory, an appliance parts store, when he needs a reliable appliance repairman. The store has never let him down. “(I have) always ended up with a top notch repairman who has also been reliable.”
D&L has locations in Charlotte and Rock Hill, as well as in other cities across the Carolinas. There might be one near you.
And I meant to write last week how helpful it is when one small business recommends another, or suggests a dependable service person. Bob Southern discovered Piedmont at the recommendation of the clerks at a Ferguson showroom. LightStyles, where my wife used to work, would send customers with particularly tough issues to Desco, the electrical supplies shop in Mooresville.
At our house, we really appreciate that that.
We needed to have some tile flooring replaced. We knew the job might pose special problems, because it was a problem floor. Solid, but frustratingly uneven. We wanted to deal with a small, local floor gallery, with someone who could walk us through all the possible solutions.
The gallery owner helped us weigh the flooring options – and recommended a small granite countertop shop not far from the gallery. The granite shop was a terrific find.
The flooring gallery owner and her tile installer also recommended a plumber. They said he'd handle everything in a timely manner at a reasonable price. Indeed, he did.
The plumber gave me a handful of his cards – which I passed along to the granite shop owner. Hey, maybe somebody else getting a sink installed would appreciate the name of a good plumber.
Anyway, as I said, readers offered more questions than answers.
Yvonne Bradey is looking for 1980s-look cabinet hinges. Not antique, which might be easier to find, but something a few decades old. Any ideas, beyond a broad online search? Let me know and I'll share the information.
Norman Sawyer is trying to find a reliable residential roofer in the Matthews area. He got a couple of leads from neighbors. One company was defunct; another left a serious flaw that went undetected. Any ideas?
Several readers wondered if I'd used services like Angie's List, Porch.com or HomeAdvisor. The answer is no, although I do turn to HOCOA, a local company, when I'm seeking hands-on experts to comment for columns.
Do you use those services? For what types of jobs? Would you recommend them?
Allen Norwood: firstname.lastname@example.org