We lived in a disposable world—until the economy tanked. Suddenly it seemed smarter than ever to repair instead of replace. Herein, craftsmen and techies who can reupholster that Empire settee, remake your Maytag, rev up an old turntable, save your sole and more.
by Maria Hess
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Anything At All
Tired of complicated instructions that come with ready-to-assemble furniture? New Castle’s Joseph Verdi can translate. Verdi’s specialty is assembling furniture—or fixing furniture you tried to assemble—but he can also build window treatments and assemble exercise equipment. “If it came in a box, even if there are a million pieces, I can assemble it,” he says. Planning a move? Verdi can disassemble anything, too. A licensed member of The Professional Assemblers Network, he’s taught himself the assembly game. “Years ago I delivered ready-to-assemble furniture to both commercial and residential customers,” he says. “Many of these customers asked if I would do the assembly myself, and I happily obliged.” Verdi found a niche, but he’s prospered through word of mouth. He has assembled massive entertainment centers and elliptical machines. “I haven’t been stumped yet.” Here’s something you don’t hear much. Verdi loves his job. “It’s my passion. I love meeting new people every day.” Contact Verdi at expertfurnitureassembly.com, or (215) 389-0515.
These days, appliance repairmen fix every digital and non-digital appliance imaginable—washers, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers. Rule of thumb: If the price to repair is more than 50 percent of what you paid for the appliance, replace it. Here’s the kicker: There are no free estimates in the appliance repair business, so you won’t know what a repair will cost, and you’ll be charged for every service call. The staffers at the shops listed here will discuss repair issues by phone, before they send a tech. They can’t give you a quote, but they can estimate how long the repair might take. Consider the hourly rate, usually about $85, before deciding to repair or trash. All repair technicians who work with refrigerants must be certified in proper refrigerant handling. Certification is not mandated for other techs, though many seek credentials from the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, as well as The Professional Service Association. See: Action Appliance Service 31492 Careys Drive, Millsboro, 934-0422; Aero Appliance Repair 414 Sophers Row, Magnolia, 335-3083; Boulevard Appliance Sales & ServiceInc. 601 Federal St., Milton, 684-5650; Ed’s Refrigeration & Appliance Repair 1039 N. Pine St., Wilmington, 655-4335; Hackers Service 2273 S. State St., Dover, 697-3134; Hawkins & Sons 400 New Road, Wilmington, 998-1010; John’s Maytag Home Appliance Center 3309 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, 792-2333; Kulhanek’s Appliance 2239 Wheatleys Pond Road, Smyrna, 653-8660; Millman’s Appliance & Electronic Center 18920 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-6215; Delmarva Refrigeration Heating & Air Conditioning 504 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Delmar, 846-2727; Middletown Appliance 211 E. Main St., Middletown, 653-7355