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Thompson: Check house now for repairs

POSTED: April 9, 2008 5:01 a.m.

My friend Tracy Tesmer has a great piece of advice. He recommends that homeowners do an outside inspection of their home every several months. Why? Because it’s cheaper to fix things when they’re smaller than when they get bigger. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Another friend of mine was sitting at home one evening when his lights blinked and then all of a sudden a number of his electrical appliances stopped working. He called an electrician to figure out what happened. It turned out that because of the drought, his underground power cables serving his house had begun sinking. This caused his meter base attached to his house to pull away. I’ll spare you the technical discussion, but bottom line is his neutral broke and a number of outlets in his house went to 240 Volts instead of 120 Volts and destroyed a number of his electrical appliances. If my friend had just done an inspection of his house, he would have seen the meter base being pulled away and had the problem fixed before it cost him thousands of dollars.

This tip is for the guys. Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14. This is less than a month away. If you haven’t started planning anything for your significant other, do it today! And this year try and be creative. Do something unexpected. (Women, feel free to cut my column out and put it next to your husband’s chair).

Do you have any Christmas tree sap left on your hardwood floors? Try WD-40 before using the harsher chemicals.

There’s a new product out called "GripTwist." It’s basically a bendable wire with a rubber covering. You use the GripTwist to tie things down or hold them together. It beats the heck out of using rope. With the GripTwist, you don’t have to try and remember all of the different knots. Just wrap the ends of the product together. They come in a number of sizes and cost around $10. If your local hardware store doesn’t carry them, you can find them at Amazon.

Make sure that you have your credit card company’s phone number pre-programmed into your cell phone. Why? Because sooner or later you’re going to lose your card and then you’ll thank me!

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.



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