Great customer service – part 1

My family was recently discussing the great and not-so-great customer service that we have received from service companies over the years.  We decided it would help everyone out, including us, to make a list of the service companies in Northern Nevada that we have dealt with, in the last few years, that have great customer service.  At some point I will make a permanent page with all of the companies listed.

So, in no particular order:

Kawchack Pump & Well Service, Inc. – (775) 267-2150

When you are on a well and abruptly find out that you have no water at the house it becomes an emergency.  Both times we have had to call in an emergency they arrived quickly, were friendly and within a few hours we had running water again.   We would highly recommend them.

Dave Taylor Appliance Services   – (775) 782-7772

We have used this company to get our furnace serviced through the years.  When our furnace abruptly died one winter day it turned into an emergency.   This company was able to quickly replace our over 20-year-old furnace.  We are happy to say that we have had no problems since.

Tom Goldston Roofing   – (775) 790-2461

A few years ago we needed a new roof on our over 20-year-old house.  We got multiple quotes and we decided to go with this company.   They did a very good job and I was extra impressed when Tom was concerned that he found an old roofing nail on the driveway after the installation.

I know there are other companies, but these are the ones that came to my memory first.  I will post part 2 at a later date.

Are there any service companies in your area that give great service?

Heather

 

 

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Curtains made with Grommets

Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  I bought all of the material and the opinions are 100% mine.

When I started to setup the sewing/craft room I used a set of pink curtains I found in the garage.  Since I had painted the room a light green color the curtains gave a horrible tint to the room, but they at least covered the windows until I found a set of curtains I liked.

pink curtain

Temporary curtains

I didn’t find a set of curtains I liked, but I did see this package of Dritz Home Curtain Grommets, in Pewter, at a local fabric store.  I had never used them before and was willing to try.

grommets used

Dritz Home Curtain Grommets

Next, I had to find the material I wanted.  I happened to be in Walmart one day and saw this material for less than $3.00 per yard.  I bought four yards of the main material and four yards of the white material as the liner.

main material

Since I had never used the curtain grommets before I decided to cut a header and attach the grommets to it and then sew the header to the curtain.  I used a ruler and pen to mark the center of each grommet location and then used the pen to trace the template mark.

Note:  I also decided to stitch the two layers together on the template line so the curtain would not move while I was cutting out the circle.  This step wasn’t mentioned on the package or by the fabric store.

stitch on template

To cut out the circle I made a small cut in the middle and then worked my way out to the outer edge.  The cashier suggested that I cut the hole slightly inside the template mark which was a very good idea.

cutting circle

I followed the package instructions to install the grommets.

white header

To make sure that the edges of the curtains didn’t roll I top sewed about 1/4″ from the edge of the curtains after I had pinned and ironed the edge flat.

edge stitching

When the curtains were done I hung them up and found out that they were not as full as I wanted.

white curtain

Finished white curtains

So, I went back to Walmart and found that they were out of the white material, but I found a black material with the same pattern on clearance also.

black material

So, I bought a third package of the Dritz Home Curtain Grommet and made two curtains, which were half width that I hung on each side.

black and white curtain

Final curtains

I think they turned out really good and I would definitely make more of these curtains.

Some additional information:

– I saw similar packages of the curtain grommets at Walmart.  I think they were for a slightly different size curtain rod and I don’t know if they go together as easy as the Dritz Home package.

– I recently saw similar curtain grommets used to make a tote bag.  She used them as decoration and for the handles to go through.

– I used quilt weight material so I didn’t have to worry about the two layers of material being too thick for the curtain grommets.

– The package of curtain grommets says that the grommets can be removed with a flat screwdriver and that the curtain grommets should not be put through a washing machine, which is another reason I sewed the two layers of material together.

Leave a comment if you have any questions.

What project have you worked on lately?

Later – H

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I unclogged the bathroom sink!

The bathroom sink has been running slow for a few months.  I had tried to pull out the hair, etc using the end of a chopstick (it worked to pull out some of it), but I didn’t think it had much hair, etc still down the drain.

The husband suggested I clear out under the sink (ugh) and we pull the stopper out so we could get it really clean.

Well, I got the area under the sink cleared out, but he didn’t have a chance to work on it.  So… I did a Google search on how to get the stopper out.

Here is the link I used (photo 3 shows how to get the stopper out).

http://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/drain-repair/unclog-a-bathroom-sink-without-chemicals/view-all

I was shocked by how much hair, etc that I pulled out of the drain.

bathroom sink junk combined

After I got all of above out I wiped down the drain with a paper towel and put the stopper back in.

To get the drain even cleaner I then put 1/2 cup baking soda over the drain.  I poured a warmed mixture of 1 cup vinegar + 1 cup water over the baking soda and closed the drain for about 30 minutes.  After that the drain appeared to drain quickly.

I guess I need to add this task to my To Do List (maybe every six months, if not sooner).

What household task have you learned to do recently?

Later – H

Pioneer Telephone

Note: This is not a sponsored post – I just like the company (and a good deal).

I know most people use their cell phone for long distance (and that some people have even removed their land line), but it is not possible for us.  I do use the cell phone for long distance, but that is only when I am away from the house since we get rotten (cell phone calling) coverage at the house.  I was very happy when I could start texting people.

A few years ago we removed the long distance on our land line phone and started using the calling cards you could (at that time) find at Costco (2.9 cents per minute).  They worked great, but you had to dial the 1-800 number and then the pass code, etc.  So, it is definitely not as quick as just picking up the phone.  (Now it appears that Costco doesn’t even carry the calling cards.)

So, extended family members had signed up for Pioneer Telephone in the past so to be safe I signed up for them recently.  This way if someone picks up the phone and makes a call anywhere outside the local area (out of state and within the state) we will be charged a lower rate than we would be if we don’t have any long distance service on the phone number.  And, we are not charged anything if we don’t just pick up the phone and dial long distance.

So, if you or your extended family need a reliable long distance (in state and/or out of state) company then check into Pioneer Telephone.

http://longdistance.pioneertelephone.com/

Until later – H

 

Word of 2015 – Simplify – #2

If you saw a previous post  ‘Specials Words of 2015’ then you know that one of them is Simplify.

Here is the second project that I did that has simplified an area of my life (which in this case is the corner cabinet in the laundry room).

corner cabinet

We use the corner cabinet as an extra pantry area, but it was difficult to keep track of what was stored in there.  For years (and I do mean YEARS) I had a piece of paper taped to the inside of the cabinet with a semi-running list of what was inside.  I knew there had to be a better way.

Last fall, I found a roll of cork sheeting (on Clearance after school started) and cut a piece to fit the inside of the door.  One problem was it didn’t like to lay flat and the second one was I realized I couldn’t nail it to the door, but tape and glue would not make it stay.  So, that came down and I still needed a solution.

 

A few weeks ago, Hand Husband asked if I needed anything from Amazon since he wanted me to order something for him (and then we would qualify for the free shipping).  That is when I remembered seeing the

Fancy-Fix A4 Sized Weekly Planner Blackboard Sticker Memo Removable Vinyl Chalkboard Wall Sticker   

and

SuperChalks White Liquid Chalk Marker Pen (4mm Regular Tip)

I realized the A4 size should fit (or would be easy to cut down) and I liked the idea of liquid chalk (I hate using regular chalk, especially in dry Nevada).

Once they arrived it took me about 5 minutes to have three of the Blackboard Stickers installed.  It was tricky to get the Liquid Chalk Marker Pen to work at first, but then it went on neatly and dried pretty quickly.

corner cabinet, pantry list, organization

 

I also found an idea for a Pantry inventory sheet at Organized Home   Pantry Inventory

that used boxes and ‘/’ to show you have the item and ‘x’ to show when it was used to keep track of the inventory.  I thought that idea was brilliant!   (go check out the free printable at http://Organizedhome.com )

So, I will be taking everything out of the cupboard and writing it down on the sheets when they go back in.  Hopefully then we will be able to keep track of everything.

 

Now, to figure out how to do something similar with the regular pantry (which has bi-fold doors)…

How do you keep track of your pantry inventory?

Later – H

Word of 2015 – Simplify – #1

If you saw a previous post  ‘Specials Words of 2015’ then you know that one of them is Simplify.

Here is the first project that I did that has simplified an area of my life (which in this case is in our hall closet).

Inside our hall closet we had two baskets (on the shelf above my head) which contain the winter gloves, winter scarves, winter hats, gloves, rain poncho, baseball caps, etc.  Also, the flashlight is kept on that shelf or the one above, which I can’t reach (have I stated that Handy Husband is taller than me and can reach a lot farther up than me?).

inside hall closet door

 

This last summer I added one Command hook to the inside of the hall closet for our summer hats since they would get buried in the baskets (along with the gloves, etc).

 

 

 

 

The other day I bought an over the door multiple shoe organizer, but didn’t want it to be ‘over the door’.  I also bought a package of Command hooks.

filled inside closet door

 

After I hung the multiple shoe organizer up I loaded it with the light items that we would use the most (including the small flashlight).

It is now so easy to grab a pair of winter gloves when I am pulling my coat out of the closet.

Where do you keep your winter gloves, etc?

Later – H

New LG washing machine

Well, the new LG washing machine arrived at the beginning of December, but it didn’t come with LG water inlet hoses. The delivery people connected it to the water inlet hoses we had and started it up (empty) as a test before they left.  Pepper was freaking out!  We hadn’t had a working washing machine for almost a month and the last noises from the laundry room were when the last washing machine was dying (loud, horrible noises).  Pepper was trying to climb up on my lap while I was typing on the laptop!.  (Note: A 60+ pound Golden Retriever doesn’t fit especially when I am trying to balance a laptop computer on it also.)

So, we did a few loads of laundry, but the LG turns the water on and off so fast that we have had water hammering (it makes all of the house water pipes shake in the house) even after I turned down the amount of water coming in.

I did some searching and found out the LG water inlet hoses have to be used (per the manual).  So, I called LG and the water hoses are on order (and probably won’t be here until January).  I also went searching on the Home Depot site and found out there are water hammering arresters that are for going on the back of the washing machine so I bought two of those.

So, for now I am back to doing laundry at the laundry mat and waiting for the LG water inlet hoses to arrive.

I am hoping the problems go away once the new hoses and arresters are installed. I will update when it is back working.

I never realized how much I miss having a working washing machine.

Later – H

 

 

 

Dead front load washing machine

Well, this was going to be a post about how handy husband and I fixed our 12 year old Kenmore Front load washing machine.  One night a couple of weeks ago when it was near the end of the final spin cycle it abruptly made HORRIBLE sounds (turns out the tub was swinging around and hitting the side of the walls and front of the washer).  When handy husband and I took off the back we found that one of the shocks was broken.

So, I did a Google search on the model number and found out that RepairClinic.com had the shocks and a video that showed it was pretty easy to replace.  So, I ordered the parts and we waited.  While I was gone for a few days handy husband got the old shocks out (he said it was pretty easy) so all we would have to do was put the new ones in and start using it again.

The new shocks went in pretty easy and I tested out the machine by rinsing and spinning out a few towels.  It was semi-louder than I remembered, but we thought it was okay.  So, then I decided to wash the towels and a couple of pairs of jeans.  It sounded fine until it got to the end of the spin cycle.  I heard this HORRIBLE noise from the other end of the house.  I went running for the laundry room to turn it off.  I came upon Pepper (the Golden Retriever) in the dining room with her ears pulled back and running for the hall (which she has never been allowed to go down).

We first thought the washer was somehow unbalanced (which was weird since it was never unbalanced before).  So, we added foam between the tub and the sides, but it still was making horrible noises.  (The way Pepper was acting [ears back and wanting to leave the house] should have told us that it was making horrible noises before we could hear it.)

I did a YouTube search and found a video on how to take apart our washing machine.  They discusses that the ‘spider’ which is inside the tub breaks.  Uh, oh.  Between that video and a comment from a friend we decided that was what was wrong.  Since the spider is part of the drum it is very expensive to fix.

So, I went searching (Consumer Reports, Google, etc) and found out that Home Depot had the LG 4.0 Cu. ft. washer (WM3050CW) on Black Friday sale for $579 ($220 off).  To be safe I ordered the 3 year protection plan for $80 (it says they will replace the unit if it is a Lemon).

So, the washing machine is on back order so we are without a washing machine until December 3rd.  I am hoping we only have a few more trips to the laundry mat before it arrives and right now I am so happy that I don’t live too far from the laundry mat.

What appliance have you had to replace recently?

Later – H

 

I fixed the dishwasher! (updated)

Update: I found out this morning that EveryAppliancePart.wordpress.com blog mentioned my post and linked to it.  Here it is if you want to see.

http://everyappliancepart.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/dirty-water-in-your-dishwasher-after-the-cycle-clean-out-your-air-gap/

Also, I realized I didn’t mention the YouTube video I had found so I added the link.  Note: I didn’t watch past the point where it stated what a ‘drain air gap’ was and that I needed to clean it out.

So, this morning I was being super productive – listening to the television, making Gluten Free Waffles (which I just realized I haven’t posted the recipe for yet, but I will), cooking bacon in the oven and emptying the dishwasher all at the same time.  Sounds pretty good, right?  Well, it would have been IF I had checked the bottom of the dishwasher before I emptied it and put the dishes away.

Note to self: Check the bottom of the dishwasher before emptying it.

dishwasher, drain air gap, repair

 

See, the dishwasher was filled with dirty water (and the amount in this photo was after I had scooped most of it out) – yuck!  So, now I had problems: not working dishwasher, a sink of dirty dishes AND I didn’t know which dishes sitting in the cupboards had just come out of the dishwasher!

So, I pulled out the dishwasher booklet and saw a note about cleaning the ‘drain air gap’ – I didn’t even know what that was or where it was.  Do you know what it is??

drain air gap, dishwasher, repair

 

So, I did a Google search which brought up a YouTube video.  I was surprised to find out it was the ‘thing’ that is next to the kitchen faucet.  (So, that is what it is and what it’s job is – I learned something new today!)

YouTube video I had found:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmG2JXQL858

 

 

Ours hadn’t been cleaned in a while (per the husband tonight).  The metal part easily pulled off, but the plastic part had hard water build up on it and was difficult to snap the top part off, but I got it.  (I used vinegar / baking soda to help clean some of the crud off.)

drain air gap, dishwasher, repair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was shocked how much junk was inside of it!  (This photo looks like a bug, but it really was small pieces all stuck together.)

drain air gap, dishwasher, repair

 

After I cleaned out the ‘drain air gap’ and scooped out all of the dirty water I ran a quick wash and prayed it would not have any dirty water in the bottom when the cycle was finished.  I was doing the happy dance when the bottom of the dishwasher was empty when I opened it!

 

So, I have done multiple loads of dishes today – I at least knew the blue dishes had not been used lately so they were skipped.  I still have a sink full of dishes, but I am almost back to where I started this morning.

So, I am guessing I saved a couple of hundred dollars and a call to the plumber.

Do you have a Drain Air Gap (sounds like they are not required in all areas)?  When was the last time you cleaned it??

Later – H

 

 

Cost of the Master (shower) bathroom upgrade

I was talking to an extended family member the other day about the Master (shower) bathroom upgrade blog post.

https://acreativeengineerinnevada.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/master-shower-bathroom-upgrade/

and I realized that I didn’t say how much we spent on it.

a) American Standard toilet – about $270 with tax  (we had it delivered to the local Home Depot so we could inspect it before it came home)

b) Toilet Seat – We had already bought the seat for our old toilet in that bathroom.  So, I guess it cost $0.00 for this upgrade.

c) Wax ring – I ordered the one off the Home Depot website at the same time as the toilet.  It was about $6.00

d) Flooring – A box of the flooring costs about $53.00

I will use that amount even though the ‘cost’ of the front bathroom flooring was really twice that since we needed one piece from this box to finish that floor (which really makes this bathroom flooring free).

e) Paint – We had a 1/2 gallon of the paint sitting in the garage so it was good to put some of it to use anyways.  So, the cost of the paint in this remodel was $0.00

So, the total cost for this bathroom upgrade (not counting our time and labor) was about $330.00

I think that was definitely worth it to get a bathroom that saves water, has a new floor and is what we wanted.

Later – H