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    Should You Buy a Used Appliance? Here Are Some Things to Consider – NBC4 Washington - March 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Maybe youre looking for a bargain or just dont need something brand new. The marketplace for used appliances is huge, with online selling platforms like eBay, Facebook and Craigslist making it easier than ever to shop around.

    But is it a good idea to buy used appliances? The answer: It depends. The experts at Consumer Reports can help with appliance-buying advice and the potential pitfalls to look out for when shopping the used market.

    CR says when it comes to secondhand appliances, skip yard sales and online sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Those types of sellers usually cant offer you a guarantee or warranty on appliances.

    Instead, hit a reputable local repair shop or used appliance store early and often to nab the best deals. You could save 50 percent or more, even if the appliance hasnt been used at all.

    Your best bets for buying used are washers, dryers, ranges and refrigerators. But no matter what youre shopping for, find out how old the appliance is so you can calculate how much life it has left and if its worth the price.

    If youre spending a couple of hundred dollars on a 10-year-old refrigerator with an average useful life of 12 years, you need to ask yourself if its worth it if youre only going to get two years out of it.

    The brand you buy often makes a difference, too. Data shows that some brands are more reliable than others. CRs surveys of thousands of members have found that LG, GE and Kenmore earn a rating of "good" or higher for the reliability of their fridges, ranges, washers and dryers.

    If you find something you love, CR says take a closer look before you buy. Plug in the machine. Look for any damage (including rust), check the buttons and knobs, do a smell check for mold and read the manual to make sure all the parts are included.

    Finally, dont be afraid to negotiate. You could end up saving even more. And CR says always find the manufacturers sticker and check to see if the appliance has been included in a safety recall. If the machine doesnt have a model number and serial sticker in place, skip it. It could have been recalled or scrapped and illegally salvaged.

    View post:
    Should You Buy a Used Appliance? Here Are Some Things to Consider - NBC4 Washington

    Somali American renters asked their Minnesota landlord to repair hazardous electrical problems. The property managers commented on the womens English… - March 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The hallway on the second floor of Jamilo Husseins apartment was always dark: The ceiling light, for some reason, didnt turn on. Then one night her children plugged their phone chargers into a nearby outlet, and the light began to flicker.

    My kids used to say we have a ghost in our home, Jamilo said.

    Jamilo has lived at the Pondview Townhomes in Woodbury for eight years with her husband and five children. She reported the strange, flickering light to Northstar Residential, the landlord, who sent a technician to change the lightbulb. I told them, Thats not the problem, the problem is electrical, Jamilo said.

    A flickering light may call to mind the evocative atmosphere of a horror film. But in a modern home, it may be a sign of an electrical hazard.

    Ever since a Northstar technician tried to fix the problem, Jamilo said, the light no longer turns on when her children charge their phones. The light still flickers, though, so the family still cannot use it.

    Pondview is home to a small, close-knit Somali community that has lived with a host of electrical and appliance problems for years, residents say. Lights flicker. Stoves do not work. At least three units have had waterleaking from the floor abovepool in a light fixture. Residents say they have reported the problems to the landlord, but many persist.

    On December 6, a fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom closet of a Pondview apartment and quickly spread to two adjoining units. No one was injured, but three families were forced to relocate. Theres no evidence that an electrical problem caused the Pondview fire. Residential electrical fires are rare, and the cause of the Pondview fire has yet to be determined by investigators. Nevertheless, the fire caused scared residents to come forward and speak out about electrical problems at the complex.

    Even before the December fire, several frustrated residents approached the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to discuss problems in their units and their landlords failures to address them. Since then, CAIR-MN has worked with residents to publicize their concerns, including allegations of racism.

    The landlords employees at the property, they say, treat maintenance requests with hostile dismissals and have blamed some tenant problems on a lack of English proficiency. One tenant reported that when she requested a repair, a company representative asked why she had so many children.

    In other cases, residents report that they have received bills for maintenance requests that should be paid by their landlords. Some charges are for hundreds of dollars.

    Sahan Journal heard accounts from 12 current and past residents from different Pondview units; four gave tours of their homes to demonstrate their housing problems. Sahan Journal also reviewed 10 years of inspection reports from the Washington County Community Development Agency, which documented numerous problems, including electrical deficiencies.

    Taken together, these accounts and reports indicate widespread and potentially hazardous electrical problems in the Pondview Townhomes.

    Pondview was built in 2004 by Duffy Development Company, which has developed and continues to own 23 properties including over 1,000 units in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Duffy, which is based in Minnetonka, still owns the property and manages it in-house through a related company, Northstar Residential.

    The Pondview complex comprises 40 units in 8 rowhouses standing just off Interstate 94 in Woodbury. By Jamilos informal count, Somali families live in 28 of these units.

    In a phone interview, Northstar president Jeff Von Feldt said the company was not aware of any large-scale electrical problem in the buildings. (Von Feldt is also the CEO of Duffy Development Company.)

    Von Feldt added that investigators have told him they are not looking at electrical problems as a cause of the December fire. In an email to Sahan Journal, Woodbury Fire Marshall Rick said that his office did not determine the immediate cause of the fire through a preliminary investigation. The case has been handed over to the Woodbury Police Department due to the nature of the possible cause of the fire, though he declined to elaborate.

    Whatever the cause of the December fire, it has alarmed residents, who feel a renewed urgency for Northstar to repair their homes.

    Jamilo immigrated to the United States from Mogadishu, Somalia, in the early 90s to escape the civil war. She lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for a time, and in Pennsylvania and Ohio after coming to the US. Eventually, she settled in Tennessee. She met her husband there, and they started a family.

    Back then, there was not a lot of Somali stores, Jamilo said of Tennessee. Finding halal meat was a particular struggle.

    But Minnesota already had a vibrant Somali community. I had family in Minnesota send me Somali clothes, she said, The culture is strong here.

    Minnesota also offered more jobs and better public schools. Family and friends encouraged them to move, and in 2013, they came to Minnesota.

    Jamilo had friends who lived at Pondview, so the family toured their apartment on a scouting trip to the state. The 1,000-square-foot, three-bedroom unit was already in poor condition back then, Jamilo said, but she didnt care. It was in their price rangethey pay $1,300 nowand the landlord promised to replace the musty carpets before they moved in.

    In many ways, the move has been positive. Her husband found work, Jamilo has focused on their children, and the family has created a community with their neighbors.

    (One thing she misses about the South? Tennessee had better weather, she said with a laugh.)

    But the housing problems began almost immediately. When the family arrived to move in, they discovered the carpets had not been replaced. Jamilo tried for a year to get Northstar to swap them out. It took a note from her doctor that the carpet might be impacting her childrens health to get Northstar to act, she said.

    Over the years, the family also became concerned about the electrical problems, beginning with the flickering light. In December, Jamilo gave Sahan Journal a tour of her apartment and several others to show what she identified as some of the worst issues.

    Walking into Jamilos unit is like stepping from day into night. The windows are covered in heavy, colorful curtains to do what the windows cannot: keep out the cold. Glancing back at the front door, a crack between the door and the jamb lets in a wide ray of winter light. Jamilo said the family cannot use the living room in the winter because of the cold, even though the heat is on.

    A month after Jamilo showed her apartment to Sahan Journal, a Washington County housing inspection found that water leaking from the upstairs bathroom was pooling in the living room light fixture.

    Aside from these problems, the apartment looks like a modern single-family home, with an open floor plan. That day, her young son had a small trampoline set up in front of the living room TV, where he jumped while watching cartoons. Her high schoolage daughter sat at the dining room table doing homework.

    In the kitchen, Jamilo demonstrated her electric stove, where only three of the four burners worked. Above the stove, the fan is missing its cover, leaving bare blades exposed.

    On the upstairs landing, Jamilo demonstrated the light. When she flipped the switch, the light flashed, then went dark.

    Inside the breaker box (the main electric panel in the house), one breaker trips when the air conditioner fan turns on.

    The apartment also has extensive discoloration from mold and water damage. Yellow-orange splotches and dissolving particle board can be found inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Trim is rotting in the upstairs hallway, right outside the bathroom. A hole in the bathtub has been repaired with some kind of tape. Directly below it, on the living room ceiling, yellowed paint and drywall is peeling off around the light fixtures in palm-sized chunks.

    They dont want to repair anything, she said of the buildings management, Northstar.

    After finishing the tour of her home, Jamilo walked across the parking lot to another of Pondviews rowhouses, where her friend Fadima Ali lives.

    At Fadimas house, two boys shoved past their mother, laughing. A little girl sat on the couch, skeptically eyeing the journalist who had come into their home carrying a large, silver voice recorder. A teenage boy did homework at the dining room table, seemingly accustomed to the noise around him.

    Neither Fadima nor her husband Mohammad speak English, so Jamilo translated.

    Fadima also left Mogadishu for the United States during the civil war. She and Mohammad lived at Pondview for two years with their 10 children, aged 1 to 16. Several weeks after they spoke to Sahan Journal, they bought their own house and moved out of Pondview.

    During the visit, the family said they struggled to get Northstar to make basic repairs, even though they paid more than $2,000 a month in rent for a three-bedroom unit.

    Fadima said that the familys garage door would open by itself. Unlike Jamilos stove, where one burner wont turn on, one of the burners on Fadimas stove got extremely hot and occasionally sparked, she said.

    The problem that alarmed them the most, however, waited in the basement.

    Jamilo, Fadima, and Mohammad walked down a flight of stairs to a dark room. Aside from the light trickling in from upstairs, the only illumination came from the harsh glare of a phone and a computer screen, which glowed on the faces of two of Fadimas children. Otherwise, they sat in the dark.

    Mohammad pointed out a ceiling light fixture that housed the remains of a lightbulb. Fadima said that two weeks prior, it just exploded. Another light on the same circuit flickered when Mohammad turned it on.

    The other one did the same exact stuff before it exploded, one of their children said from somewhere in the dark. Fadima and Mohammad said the family reported the blowout weeks earlier, first to Northstars on-site property manager, then directly to the maintenance technician.

    Several days later, Jamilo brought Sahan Journal to her neighbor Farhiyo Maalins apartment, which is a mirror of her own. Jamilo and Farhiyo lived in the same Kenyan refugee camp for a time after fleeing Mogadishu, though they only met at Pondview.

    Utange Camp was better than here, Jamilo said, laughing.

    Farhiyo demonstrated her stovewhich got very hot, like Fadimasand her water heaterwhich didnt work properly and had to be turned off and on multiple times a day.

    Jamilo watched the community grow in the years after she moved in, beginning with Farhiyo, who arrived shortly after Jamilo. But few people stay at Pondview longer than they must. Almost all the neighbors who lived at Pondview when Jamilo came have since left.

    Still, the community is strong. Neighbors visit each other in the hospital when one falls ill. Many of their children attend the same school, so the parents exchange car rides. Jamilo knows English better than many of her neighbors, so she helps her friends read and write their mail.

    Though many of the families came from different regions and backgrounds in Somalia, she said, We are the same community and we help each other.

    While Sahan Journal visited Farhiyos apartment, several other neighbors came to talk about the problems in their own apartments. One of these women was Safiyo Yonis, who also shared her experiences at Pondview.

    Safiyo has lived in Pondview for five years with her seven children. She said her husband does not live with them because of the occupancy limits on their apartment.

    Safiyo was initially excited to move into Pondview. At three bedrooms, it was a larger apartment than the family had been living in, and the manager promised to paint and replace the carpets before they moved in. Again, though, Safiyo said they never did.

    Like Jamilo, Safiyo got a letter from her sons doctor explaining that the carpet might be impacting his health. When she showed it to the manager, she said, the manager told Safiyo she could move out if she wanted.

    As she was speaking, the evening call to prayer played over a speaker in the house. But Safiyo didnt stop talking until Jamilo gently scolded her, Safiyo!

    When the prayers were finished, Safiyo continued to explain how a heating coil on her electric stove catastrophically failed in her apartment last year.

    Safiyos 14-year-old son was cooking noodles on the stove. He walked away to sit with his mother at the table. We didnt see fire, didnt see anything, then all of a sudden, BOOM. Safiyo pantomimed an explosion with her hands.

    There was a loud crack, and a shower of sparks and hot water rained down in the kitchen, she said. In the aftermath, Safiyo found a hole in the bottom of the pot and a fissure that split the heating coil in two pieces.

    Imagine if my son had been right there, she said.

    Safiyo said she threw away the damaged heating coil and pot. She reported the problem, but, after a month of waiting, she bought and installed a new heating coil herself.

    Just how common are electrical problems in rental units like Pondview? Sahan Journal asked Eric Hauge, the executive director of Home Line, a nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal advice and representation to tenants in Minnesota. The organization works with more than 1,000 households statewide each month, and Hauge said repairs are the most common issue on which they advise tenants.

    The organization does not track detailed data about specific repair issues. Households typically face multiple issues, so comparing the prevalence of different housing problems is difficult. But water damage, mold, bedbugs, and insufficient heat are among the most common complaints. Home Line does receive complaints about electrical and appliance problems, though they are not common things that we hear about, Hauge said.

    But government housing records suggest electrical and appliance problems are widespread at Pondview.

    Any unit subsidized through the federal Section 8 housing voucher programwhich provides rental assistance to low-income tenantsrequires an annual inspection. This process is meant to ensure that government-subsidized rentals meet the housing quality standards of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    Sahan Journal obtained 10 years worth of these inspections for the Pondview Townhomes from the Washington County Community Development Agency.

    Only 26 units were inspected each year, and officials redacted unit numbers and tenant names. But the reports echo tenant complaints.

    In January, Jamilo asked Washington County to conduct an emergency inspection, hoping to force Northstar to make repairs. The unit failed. The report lists nine reasons, including an inoperable stove burner, a malfunctioning water heater, and a ceiling falling in because of water leaking from above.

    One unit failed because water was leaking from the bathroom and pooling in the living room light fixture. One unit listed three appliances that didnt work: It actually failed because of a broken oven, which prompted the note, tenant advise [sic] it sparked then stopped working. Two other units listed inoperable stove burners.

    Others failed because of an inoperable light, an inoperable bathroom vent, or a fridge not cooling properly. And some failed for reasons that may have been caused by tenants, such as one report that reads, in part, looks like toothpaste put in electrical outlet.

    From 2010 to 2016, 3 out of 27 inspections failed because of electrical or appliance problems. From 2017 to 2019, 4 out of 13 inspections failed for these reasons. In 2020, 3 out of 4 did.

    Looking at all sources for failed inspectionsincluding things like mold and water damage30 percent of Pondview units failed Section 8 inspections between 2010 and 2020.

    In each instance, the unit eventually passed after a reinspection or after Northstar certified the repairs had been completed.

    Pondviews 30 percent HUD inspection failure rate appears to exceed the norms for other Section 8 rental units in the area, according to Ann Hoechst, the housing assistance and administrative services director for the Washington County Community Development Agency.

    Between 2 and 5 percent of Section 8 inspections fail in Washington County depending on the month, and across a landlords entire portfolio.

    A good failure rate for a normal year would be in the 5 percent range, Hoechst wrote by email.

    However, Hoechst added that high failure rates dont necessarily bother the agency. If the landlord will make repairs to meet HQSHUD housing quality standardsand the tenant is satisfied, then it is not a concern.

    Derrick Atkins is training director at the Minneapolis Electrical JATC Training Center, which trains union electrical apprentices. He currently serves on a panel of experts who help update the National Electric Code, which serves as the basis for electric codes in all 50 states.

    Sahan Journal shared the tenant accounts with Atkins, along with selections from the Section 8 inspection reports. He couldnt definitively diagnose the problems without more direct information, but he offered several possible causes for each issue.

    Its almost too broad to list everything, said Atkins.

    Some of the problems, however, were consistent with a loose neutral.

    Most homes get their electricity through two hot wires. The hot wires run through the house, providing either 120 or 240 volts of electricity to outlets and light fixtures, depending on whether one or both wires are connected. A third wire, the neutral, carries electricity back to the breaker box to complete the circuit. A fourth wire, the ground, is a failsafe in case of a short circuit.

    When the neutral wire is not securely connected to the lead in an outlet or light fixture (its loose), the wire may jostle, causing flickering lights as the wire connects and disconnects with the lead. It can also cause excess voltagewhich should be directed down the neutral wireto flow across the circuit. In extreme cases, the problem can cause lights and even televisions to blow out.

    Under state law, all electrical work in rental properties needs to be done by licensed electricians (or under their supervision). The president of Northstar said the company does not employ certified electricians.Yet residents report that Northstar employees have done electrical work in their homes.

    Loose neutrals have also been known to cause electric stoves to malfunction, Atkins said, though that is more likely a problem with the appliance itself.

    Jamilo recalled that a Northstar maintenance technician told her the flickering light in her apartment was caused by a loose neutral.

    Atkins pointed out that residential electrical fires are rare because modern homes have many failsafes built in to the wiring. Buildings constructed as recently as the Pondview Townhomeswhich were built in 2004would have been inspected to ensure these failsafes were present.

    Ive seen loose neutrals burn up, but it was contained in the electrical equipment. I have never seen a loose neutral cause a home fire, Atkins said. But, he added, Thats not to say it couldnt happen.

    Atkins repeated that hed need to see the wiring himself to identify potential issues. But his takeaway about electrical work was clear: It needs to be installed and maintained properly, and it sounds like this is not.

    The properties should be inspected by a licensed electrician immediately, Atkins recommended. Otherwise, You could, potentially, have a fire hazard.

    Under state law, all electrical work in rental properties needs to be done by licensed electricians (or under their supervision).

    Von Feldt, the president of Northstar, said the company does not employ certified electricians.

    Yet Jamilo and other residents reported that Northstar employees have done electrical work in their homes.

    Northstar Residential said by email, It is not uncommon in the property management industry to have maintenance technicians, not a contracted vendor, perform minor electrical work such as replacing light fixtures or outlets.

    Jamilo and other residents said they have reported problems to Northstar staffboth the on-site property manager and maintenance technicianswith inconsistent results. Residents say a new property manager who was hired last year has reacted to repair requests with hostility that residents characterized as racism.

    Once, when Jamilo went to the office to request repairs, the new manager complained that some of the residents didnt speak English, Jamilo said. Some of us dont speak English, yes, but we live here and we pay the rent, Jamilo replied.

    Fadima said she and her husband repeatedly tried to report problems to the manager. Neither speaks English, so they took their children to translate.The manager yelled at them and their children, Fadima recalled. They stopped reporting problems, Fadima said, because they were scared of the manager.

    She reminded the manager about the electrical problems (which she had already reported) and said she was worried they were dangerous. She was screaming, and she told me Dont come to my office, Jamilo said.

    Speaking through a translator, Fadima said she and her husband repeatedly tried to report the problems in their apartment to the manager. Neither speaks English, so they took their children to translate.

    The manager yelled at them and their children, Fadima recalled. They stopped reporting problems months before they left Pondview, Fadima said, because they were scared of the manager.

    Speaking through a translator, Farhiyo said that when she reported a washing machine breakdown last year, the manager told her to go to a laundromat. Farhiyo said that wasnt an option: She had to watch her children and couldnt take everyone to the laundromat. She said she needed her washing machine fixed.

    Read more here:
    Somali American renters asked their Minnesota landlord to repair hazardous electrical problems. The property managers commented on the womens English...

    What to look for when buying used appliances – WFMYNews2.com - March 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Consumer Reports says skip the online marketplaces and go for a sale that has a guarantee or warranty.

    GREENSBORO, N.C. Maybe youre looking for a bargain or just dont need something brand new. The marketplace for used appliances is huge, with online selling platforms like eBay, Facebook, and Craigslist making it easier than ever to shop around. Is it a good idea to buy used appliances? The answer: It depends. The experts at Consumer Reports can help with appliance-buying advice and the potential pitfalls to look out for when shopping the used market.

    CR says when it comes to secondhand appliances, skip yard sales and online sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Those types of sellers usually cant offer you a guarantee or warranty on appliances.

    Instead, hit a reputable local repair shop or used-appliance store early and often to nab the best deals. You could save 50 percent or more, even if the appliance hasnt been used at all.

    Your best bets for buying used are washers, dryers, ranges, and refrigerators. But no matter what youre shopping for, find out how old the appliance is so you can calculate how much life it has left and if its worth the price.

    If youre spending a couple hundred dollars on a 10-year-old refrigerator with an average useful life of 12 years, you need to ask yourself if its worth it if youre only going to get two years out of it.

    The brand you buy often makes a difference, too. Data shows that some brands are more reliable than others. CRs surveys of thousands of members has found that LG, GE, and Kenmore earn a rating of Good or higher for the reliability of their fridges, ranges, washers, and dryers.

    If you find something you love, CR says take a closer look before you buy. Plug in the machine. Look for any damage, including rust, check the buttons and knobs, do a smell check for mold, and read the manual to make sure all the parts are included.

    Finally, dont be afraid to negotiate. You could end up saving even more. And CR says always find the manufacturers sticker and check to see if the appliance has been included in a safety recall. If the machine doesnt have a model number and serial sticker in place, skip it. It could have been recalled or scrapped and illegally salvaged.

    Excerpt from:
    What to look for when buying used appliances - WFMYNews2.com

    49 Tips for Finding the Perfect Repair in Dallas – D Magazine - March 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A Leaning Limestone TurretArchitectural Stone Company, 1900 Preston Rd., Ste. 267-100, Plano | 214-207-3956

    A turret needs someone with a bit of history to look after it. Mark Johnson, who presides over Architectural Stone Company, is a fourth-generation mason, so he certainly qualifies. He can also handle the custom design and installation of flooring, faades, flagstones, and fountains.

    If your slate or clay tile has been hit from above, go to this specialty firm. They have shops all over the country, but the company is still a family-run operation overseen by three generations of Hunters from right here.

    John Green and his crew can make that silver surface look like new. So if your Sub-Zero has taken a tough swipe, dont cry, Wolf!

    Brent Hull

    Elizabeth Lavin

    You could do a lot worse than hiring the guy who restored windows at the Texas Capitol. Lets rephrase: you cannot do better than Brent Hull, who has built a national following while rebuilding and restoring wooden windows for almost 30 years.

    When nine tornadoes ripped through the heart of North Dallas in late 2019, First Onsite (formerly Interstate Restoration) crews deployed to more than a dozen businesses and schools to assess and begin remediating the damage. Thats the kind of cleanup work the Fort Worth-based company, which expanded into Dallas in 2016, specializes in: big messes like crime scenes, industrial accidents, floods, and environmental disasters. They send crews into vulnerable areas before hurricanes and help businesses navigate complex loss recovery processes. If its the kind of disaster you cant plan for, theyve got a plan.

    When Tonia Tomlin founded Sorted Out, in 2004, she was one of five professional organizers in the city. Seventeen years later, she has a crew of 11 and is hiring even more. Through virtual consultations or hygienic hands-on visits, theyll help declutter your home or office and simplify your life. Moving or remodeling? They can help with that, too. And if you think youre one of the chronically disorganized, beyond salvation, think again. Tomlin and her team have developed a specialized process to bring order to those with ADHD and ADD, using color coding and labeling systems to help focus the effort.

    Its leaking. Its algae-infested. Its unsightly. Whatever the problem with your cement pond, they can fix it (or even install a new one, if thats your most wonderful getaway pandemic wish).

    If your historic Craftsman needs some TLC, youll find what you need, from shiplap to lap-and-gap, #105 drop to the elusive #117 double-teardrop siding.

    Your vintage Italian crystal chandelier seems to be missing a few pendants, and the bronze dor finish is scuffed. Send it here, and its La Dolce Vita again.

    Before you get out the jackhammer, its worth checking to see if you simply need a patented polyurethane foam injection to lift and level all things whomperjawed.

    Located in an easy-to-miss single-story building tucked behind Baylor University Medical Center, Veiga Knife Sales & Sharpening has been caring for the tools of the citys top chefs and butchers since it opened, in the 1950s. Theresa Veiga runs the shop, where you can find yourself in a 20-minute conversation about the fine distinction between Japanese and German steelwork and craftsmanship. Your best blades will be brought back to life the old-fashioned way: by hand on whetstone.

    Louis Gloria

    Elizabeth Lavin

    For European-style gilding, glazing, painting, faux finishing, marbleizing, and Venetian plasters, turn to Louis Gloria. The first-generation American learned at the knee of his Italian father, who painted frescoes in Italy.

    Russell Weiss started his company in 1979. He and his team can address all manner of chimney problems, including leaks that roofers cant find. Its a five-step, two-trip process. The joke around his office: roofers 0, Russell 300.

    Say goodbye to the crap you dont really need. Have the rest organized and all stored in plastic bins. These folks offer some sanity.

    Giovanni Primo emigrated from Italy and started this business in 1930. Now Mark Marynick and Porter Fuqua (son of noted architect Wilson) carry the mantle of one of the few plaster companies in the country. Call them for capitals, coffered ceilings, and crown moldings.

    For high-end workwhether pickling, glazing, fuming, antiquing, or gildingyou need a real pro. If your high-gloss ceilings need a bit more gloss, look no further.

    Dallas weather means at least one trunk-rattling windstorm a year. So why not call a tree service that will mill that newfound wood for you and turn it into a George Nakashima-inspired dining table or countertop or mantel? Maybe a bed or a cutting board or a fence. The soul of the tree lives on, as JDs website says. (Unless you just want a stack of firewood. They can do that, too.)

    Tony Casazza is a congenial New York transplant who will oftentimes show up the same day you call him and, while wearing his Bluetooth earpiece, will tell you a story about his mom while he gets your washeror dryer or stove or refrigeratorback in working action.

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    49 Tips for Finding the Perfect Repair in Dallas - D Magazine

    COVID-19 VACCINE COMMUNITY CLINIC this Thursday at Church of the Living God | Texarkana Today – TXK Today - March 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

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    College Hill Drug and Medical, in collaboration with the Twin Cities Ministerial Alliance and the Miller County Office of Emergency Management, will be hosting a COVID-19 Vaccine Community Clinic.

    WHEN THE CLINIC WILL OCCUR

    Thursday, March 11th

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    The necessary paperwork is available to be picked up in advance at College Hill Drug and Medical.

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    COVID-19 VACCINE COMMUNITY CLINIC this Thursday at Church of the Living God | Texarkana Today - TXK Today

    Cinch Home Services Expands Presence In The P&C Insurance Industry Through New Partnership With John M. Glover Insurance Agency – Insurance News Net - March 9, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    BOCA RATON, Fla., March 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Cinch Home Services (Cinch), the nation's leading provider of home service solutions, has partnered with John M. Glover (JMG) Insurance Agency, one of the nation's top 100 independent insurance agencies. Powered by Cinch's industry leading solutions tailored for the property & casualty (P&C) insurance market, JMG can bundle Cinch home protection plans with its existing home insurance policies to ensure complete coverage for their customer's most valuable assets.

    Home protection plans cover the cost to repair or replace major systems and appliances from normal wear and tear not covered by a home insurance policy. Nearly half of Americans would have trouble paying $400 for an unexpected expense such as a broken appliance, according to a report from The Federal Reserve, making home protection plan coverage extremely valuable. Independent insurance agents are well-suited to provide customer value by explaining and offering the benefits of a home protection plan alongside a home insurance policy.

    "JMG understands that consumers want protection from unexpected home repair expenses not covered by their insurance, as well as access to home services professionals to fix the everyday things that can go wrong in the home," said Steve Upshaw, CEO of Cinch. "The Cinch team continues to leave no stone unturned in our journey to simplify home ownership, and we couldn't be more excited to work with JMG to make this a reality for their current and future policyholders."

    With a commitment to providing superior customer service, JMG has served residents of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey for over 100 years, offering a diverse range of personal, commercial and specialty insurance products. Through this agreement with Cinch, JMG's personal line clients will enjoy access to the largest suite of home service solutions that provide coverage for critical systems and appliances, backed by 24/7 customer service and the industry's only 180-day service guarantee.

    "In searching for the right home service plan provider, we have found Cinch to be a natural fit in our sales process, helping our agents bundle more policies that result in increased customer loyalty and retention. Working together, we are confident in our ability to deliver unparalleled home protection and peace of mind for our customers," said John Forlivio, president and CEO of JMG.

    Building upon recent partnerships with industry disruptors Kin Insurance and GloveBox, the JMG partnership is the latest milestone in Cinch's expansion into the P&C insurance space, cementing its position as a leader in the $425 billion home services marketplace.

    To learn more about Cinch, please visit http://www.cinchhomeservices.com or the company's Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube pages. All consumer questions should be directed to [emailprotected].

    About Cinch Home ServicesCinch Home Services is the leading home services company that makes it easy for everyone to enjoy their home to the fullest, regardless of whether they own or rent. Building upon 40 years of proven experience, Cinch uses smart, modern tools and an award-winning customer support network to remove the guesswork around preventing, diagnosing, and solving a wide variety of home-related issues. Cinch partners with expert technicians nationwide to provide unmatched service and value and continues to make strides with digital-forward strategies, platforms and initiatives that are modernizing home management services to address today's customer needs. Cinch strives to exceed owners, renters, real estate professionals and partners' expectations, every time. Cinch Home Services, a member company of The Cross Country Group, is headquartered in Boca Raton, FL. To learn more, visit http://www.cinchhomeservices.com and follow on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

    About John M. Glover (JMG) Insurance AgencyThe John M. Glover Agency has been servicing the insurance needs of the Fairfield County area since 1916. Since then, we have continued to grow and expand the North-East. The agency was built on the principles of providing superior customer service and quality insurance solutions for our customers, and we work hard to uphold these values today. As an independent agent, John M. Glover Agency works closely with numerous insurance companies that have proven their reliability, stability, and performance over the years. Through our partnerships with these carriers, we are dedicated to getting you the best insurance products and services available today to protect you, your family, and your business.

    View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cinch-home-services-expands-presence-in-the-pc-insurance-industry-through-new-partnership-with-john-m-glover-insurance-agency-301240049.html

    SOURCE Cinch Home Services

    The rest is here:
    Cinch Home Services Expands Presence In The P&C Insurance Industry Through New Partnership With John M. Glover Insurance Agency - Insurance News Net

    See Whos Been Nominated As Havertowns Best Businesses – Patch.com - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    HAVERTOWN, PA It may have been a tough year for some local businesses. But, in Havertown, that hasn't stopped you from honoring your favorites.

    Whether it's the restaurant that made special accommodations for your takeout, the shop that opened early so you could pick up curbside, the pizzeria that went out of its way to deliver to your home or the hardware store owner that offered you invaluable advice when a repairman wasn't available we want to hear about the businesses that have impacted your life this year in Havertown.

    Below are the nominees so far, along with a comment from the person who nominated them. If you'd like to put in a good word for your own favorite Havertown and Haverford business, follow the link above. We will be accepting nominations through Dec. 10

    All Brands Appliance and Computer Services 2517 Hirst Terrace, Havertown

    "If you have a computer problem or a problem with an appliance, All Brands can fix it. I've used All Brands for both. They're trustworthy and provide excellent service. I would highly recommend them."

    "Frank LeVeque has been in the appliance repair business for over 40 years and his younger son, Andrew, has recently joined him in the business. They provide prompt, courteous service to customers in Delaware County as well as surrounding counties, too. When customers call, Frank will ask them what their problem is with their appliance or computer and many times he can help them fix the problem over the phone. Customers appreciate this service."

    The Bead Garden 2122 E Darby Road, Havertown

    "As a bead shop, The Bead Garden is a mecca for local bead artists to gather and enjoy their craft or to take classes or simply enjoy browsing and picking up supplies for their next creation. When the pandemic hit, small 'nonessential' businesses like the Bead Garden were forced to close for business. What the owner did during this time was to make and donate masks when supplies were short, helping our essential health care workers protect themselves. Tina Freels then began to respond to individuals' requests for masks and provided porch pick up. She has been working long hard hours sewing away making masks that people now come to her shop to pick up. As the seasons changed, and the holidays are upon us, Tina continues to make masks for people in the local communities. Her hard work not only provides a needed commodity in our area, she has also saved her business through this hard work."

    "In spite of months of work making masks (in addition to the upkeep of her store), Tina always has a welcoming smile and an offer to help every customer. No matter what your level of expertise in jewelry making, Tina is willing to offer advice and appropriate products. The Bead Garden is welcoming to interested tweens and teens who want to learn. She also does repairs on your 'special' jewelry pieces. She is a very experienced beader and teacher, and I will be so happy to see the time when she is able to resume classes and spend her time teaching and creating beaded 'pretties' exclusively. She is the only employee and works countless hours. Tina is "the best" and her store reflects it."

    "Friendly atmosphere, great place to shop."

    "Tina Freels the owner is hardworking, gives back to the community and offers a wide array of beads, supplies, masks and offers repairs. She holds classes and is an asset to the community."

    "This bead store is chock-full of a variety of beads on display, accessories and supplies. The owner Tina is always available for support or suggestions. The store has a warm, friendly atmosphere. Repairs are accepted along with your creative desires."

    "Tina, the owner, and her staff are very helpful, knowledgeable and lovely helpful, knowledgeable, and lovely to deal with."

    Brick and Brew 2138 Darby Road, Havertown

    "Brick and Brew is a charming, friendly neighborhood restaurant. The employees are welcoming, warm, and efficient. The food is fantastic and the drinks are even better! We are so lucky to have Brick and Brew walking distance from our home."

    Cenzo's Pizzeria 1619 Darby Road, Havertown

    "We always have a good experience at Cenzo's. The staff is pleasant & efficient. Our favorite is the White Special on Sicilian crust."

    "Best pie around! Excellent service! Reasonable prices!"

    The Crossbar 2225 Darby Road, Havertown

    "A local pub/restaurant that was fortunate to have ample outdoor seating while weather cooperates, keeping patrons distanced and able to have someplace to go in these troubled times. Staff is very friendly."

    "A rare gem for soccer fans and people looking for a neighborly hang."

    "Friendly staff, good pub food, beer selection."

    "Excellent service, friendly bartenders, small but easy menu, neighborhood gem."

    Crust 2415 W Darby Road, Havertown

    "Awesome Detroit pizza!"

    Cute Little Nails & Spa 2120 Darby Road, Havertown

    "Andy and Ann are the best. Makes you feel at home. Truly recommend this place for your nails."

    Dynamic Image Hair Salon 28 Brookline Blvd. #3802, Havertown

    "Debbie and her wonderful staff treat everyone with so much kindness and respect. I always feel so welcome and they are working very hard to keep everyone safe during this trying time. So many precautions are taken each time. The atmosphere is warm and very friendly and it makes me always want to come back!!"

    "Everyone at the salon is very pleasant and welcoming. They are careful to observe the pandemic protocols. I feel safe. It is easy to make an appointment. Debbie and her staff are terrific!"

    "It puts me in a good mood when I'm here cause the conversation is interesting. Debbie and the girls are truly caring."

    Fisher's Ace Hardware 1305 West Chester Pike, Havertown

    "It was open at the beginning of Covid when everything else is shutting down. They were there when we needed them for every little household thing."

    Havertown Grille 2409 W Darby Road, Havertown

    "Great breakfast and lunch menu with fabulous selections. Everyone is kind and friendly from owner, servers and cooks. Exceptionally clean!"

    The Hearth 1901 Darby Rd, Havertown

    "Great food & personable staff."

    Jacob Low Hardware 1231 West Chester Pike, Havertown

    "Always goes out of way to be helpful:whether repairing a broken window or screen, putting batteries in a light or clock, helping to find the right size screw or bolt even though only 1 was needed; always pleasant and accommodating; prices are a lot cheaper than the larger than hardware stores"

    "Owner very personable, knowledgeable and helpful!"

    Kettle 1 Brookline Blvd, Havertown

    "Wonderful workers & owners. The food & costumer service is outstanding."

    Learning Express of Havertown 1305 West Chester Pike, Store #23 Manoa Shopping Center, Havertown

    "Great service, very helpful staff, competitive prices, excellent selection. This store and their associates are always willing to go above and beyond to help their customers select the right gift or toy for boys or girls. We like to support this local business versus shopping on-line because of the many "extras" they offer in addition to their quality merchandise, such as free gift wrapping, free customization, curbside pick-up, phone orders, and more."

    Mark Anthony Paisano's Pizza & Catering 105 W Eagle Road, Havertown

    "I order pizza from Paisano's a couple times a month. I'm always greeted with a warm smile and pleasant conversation. Very rarely do I ever wait longer than 15-20 minutes for my food. I've grown to build a relationship with the owner and a few of the employees that work at this pizza place. Normally when I'm ordering food from Paisano's, it is on a Friday night during their busiest time and I have my two children with me. You'd never know this though due to the way they treat me. It always feels like I'm their only customer and the most important customer due to their phenomenal customer service. The owner and employees now know me and my children by name.The food that Paisanos serves is always delicious. I've never had a bad meal from there. You can tell that a whole lotta love goes into their dishes. If you've never been to Paisano's, it is 100% worth checking it out!"

    RejuvaNew You Spa 28 W. Eagle Road, Suite 203, Havertown

    "Paula is fantastic. Makes me feel like family. A very trying year for me as everybody has during this pandemic."

    More:
    See Whos Been Nominated As Havertowns Best Businesses - Patch.com

    Beth Acquaire: Thirty years of development and growth – Marketscreener.com - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Acquire and her sons.*Photo taken prior to COVID-19

    According to Beth Acquaire's three sons, she can fix anything. 'I guess that's my hidden talent,' she jokes. It's not surprising then that Acquaire oversees gas distribution and appliance repair for more than 130 municipalities in central and northern New Jersey as PSE&G's senior director for Gas Field Operations North.

    Fixing things and ensuring everything runs smoothly is a talent that has served Acquaire well since she joined the company 33 years ago.

    'I had two job offers right out of college. PSEG just felt like the right fit,' explains the Butler, New Jersey, native and the third generation in her family to work for the company.

    Finding new opportunities to expand her skills

    *Photo taken prior to COVID-19.

    Acquaire's first role was in Customer Operations, where she worked for 10 years as a supervisor in both the meter reading department and collection department and in the 24/7 Customer Inquiry Center. Feeling ready for a change, she looked into Gas Operations which, at the time, was just starting to enter the air conditioning replacement and repair business.

    'It was so exciting - it was a growing business with so much energy,' she said. 'That's where I wanted to work.'

    She became one of only two women working at that time on the Appliance Service team.

    'It was a big transition,' she said, 'especially because my female counterpart was in a different region and we didn't interact much.'

    But she made it work, even attending school in the evening to get certified in plumbing and heating, as well as her MBA and is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

    'I wanted people to know that I wanted to learn the work,' she said.

    Acquaire left Gas Operations for a time, taking a rotational assignment in internal auditing.

    'It gave me a whole new perspective on the company and a new avenue for networking.'

    When she came back to Gas Operations, she moved into the dispatching department.

    'There are so many different areas within PSEG and opportunities to try something new and different.'

    Her recommendation: Take on a role that excites you and that you can grow into.

    Creating a culture of support and inclusion

    Photo taken in 2006

    Looking back over her three decades at PSEG, Acquaire sees a huge and welcome shift in the growing level of support among and for women. Three years ago, Acquaire was the founding member of Pursuing Opportunities for Women in Energy Resources (POWER) in Gas Operations. The group has since expanded to an enterprise-wide Employee Business Resource Group.

    Last year, POWER focused on professional development, helping members craft elevator pitches, hone their interview skills and tell their own personal and professional stories. This year, the focus is on empowering relationships through mentoring, with nearly 50 mentorships already in place.

    POWER also takes time to give back to local nonprofits such as Home Front, a group focused on ending homelessness, and Habitat for Humanity, which works to provide affordable housing around the world.

    Now that her sons are grown, Acquaire says, 'POWER is my baby - I love the opportunity to build the network and relationships with the other members.'

    Looking back

    Since joining PSEG in 1987, Acquaire hasn't regretted her choice, or any of the opportunities or roles she has had.

    'Every day is different,' she said. 'You are always busy, always learning. That's what makes PSEG great.'

    For more information on career opportunities at PSEG, please visit jobs.pseg.com.

    LikeLoading...

    Disclaimer

    PSEG - Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. published this content on 10 December 2020 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 10 December 2020 17:44:05 UTC

    More:
    Beth Acquaire: Thirty years of development and growth - Marketscreener.com

    On a roll: For some Chattanooga businesses, demand for what they do is at fever pitch – Chattanooga Times Free Press - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The pandemic temporarily knocked the wheels out from under Adrienne Cooper's idea for an adults-only roller lounge in Chattanooga, but now her distinctive line of skates is selling fast enough to make her head spin.

    "Skates, inline skates, skateboards, bikes, anybody on wheels is more relevant than ever as people are trying to be outdoors as much as possible," says Cooper, who launched her Moonlight Roller brand in March 2019.

    Cooper's initial business plan was to open up a roller rink that combined the social aspects of a bar with the fun of roller skating. On the verge of signing a lease when the pandemic hit, she quickly pivoted to online skate sales. She developed a line of funky, cool, comfortable skates called Moon Boots and dropped her first batch of 1,500 on Instagram in May.

    "They sold out," Cooper says. "You would not believe the look on my face I was on Instagram Live with people watching my jaw drop to the floor."

    Now, as quickly as the skates come into her Chattanooga warehouse from a manufacturer in China, they are gone, says Cooper, who moved here from Illinois for college in 2013, did a stint in the Navy, and then returned to town in 2018.

    "For the foreseeable future, we'll place as large an order as we can 10,000 to 18,000 pairs of skates and we get them in at a rate of 4,000 a shipment every 20 days," Cooper says.

    The business has showed up in a Vogue magazine article about reclaiming the joy of roller skating, and Netflix has called about featuring her products in a show in development.

    "I still kind of can't believe it," Cooper says. "It's a very surreal feeling."

    While the pandemic has delivered body blows to industries including travel, lodging, dining and entertainment, the crisis has also dropped an avalanche of demand for other businesses.

    Moonlight Roller tapped into a big appetite for outdoor and sporting equipment, which has driven up sales of everything from bikes to kayaks and camping gear. According to industry analytics group NPD, sales of bikes were up 63% year-over-year in June 2020.

    Closer to home, furniture stores have scrambled to keep up with demand as people working and attending school from their couches and kitchen tables grow weary of their furnishings at the same time they've saved money on travel and dining out.

    "These families went a whole summer with kids not having as many activities, people at home on a daily basis, mom and dad working from home," says Michael Turner, the owner of Huck and Peck furniture store in Chattanooga. "They're saying, 'We've been talking about getting a new sofa for 3 or 8 or 10 years maybe we can get it now.'"

    His business is up over last year, but there's a catch, says Turner, who opened his store on West 31st Street 5 years ago. The pandemic has bogged down supply chains at the source, and slowed shipping at just the moment demand is soaring, he says.

    "We've definitely had to explain to people why things are going to take longer," he says. "They need to get on it now if they come in tomorrow and something is sold, it may be January, February, even March before we get it again."

    At Southern Champion Tray, widespread demand for to-go dining has dramatically altered the market for the paper products the 93-year-old manufacturer churns out, says Sarah Williams, director of sales.

    "Things like carryout containers, we can't make them fast enough," Williams says. "To-go drink holders, there was a national shortage of those for a while if we had millions of them, we could have sold them at one point."

    Meanwhile, demand for paper plates and the red-checked open food trays that typically hold hot dogs or fries has tanked, along with the appetite for boxes for big sheet cakes that feed people at large gatherings, Williams says.

    "Right now, everyone needs covered, closed containers they can stack," she says. "We've done a lot of pivoting in terms of moving employees to different equipment, trying to streamline as much as we can."

    Their client mix has changed, too, Williams adds. "Catering is not a big thing now," she says. "People are not doing the corporate Christmas parties."

    Southern Champion Tray is in a good position because it's versatile, producing a broad mix of products that serves a variety of sectors spanning bakery and food service, she says. But that doesn't make planning in this environment any easier.

    "What I keep telling our customers is there is no forecasting tools for COVID," Williams says. "Just when you think you have a plan, it changes again."

    For Stoney Standridge, planning during the pandemic has meant planning to be busy. His appliance repair business has run nonstop since people started staying home and using their dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances all day, every day.

    "I would say we've got 30% busier because of the pandemic," says Standridge, who launched his business in 2016 after spending 22 years with another appliance repair outfit. "We've got so busy I've had to hire someone to answer the phone."

    When the shutdowns first hit, Standridge was inundated with calls from folks who had been postponing appliance repair. Home all day, they finally had the chance to hang out and let him into the house, Standridge says.

    "The first two months of COVID, business probably doubled," says Standridge, whose repair business covers a region that spans from his home base of Ducktown, Tennessee, to Blue Ridge, Georgia, and points in between.

    He had already added a new employee in February to help keep up with the demand for repair work in his growing business, but he's had to add two more since then. As with so many other booming businesses, his biggest problem now is getting the parts he needs to do the work, Standridge says.

    "Parts are not being made, or manufacturers are behind," he says. "That's my biggest thing is trying to track down parts."

    There's also a sense of sadness that his business is thriving while so many others are suffering, Standridge adds.

    "Our business, we have been blessed, and you hate for people to have problems," he says.

    At Huck and Peck, Turner says he struggles with the same conflicting emotions. He and his customers are weathering the pandemic well so far, and that just isn't the case for so many people, he says.

    "This is not the folks who have suffered from job loss," he says. "This is not an easy moment for the service industry."

    For the founder of Moonlight Roller, the fast and timely switch from planning a roller lounge where people gathered to selling skates online probably saved her a world of financial heartache, she says. She had raised $10,000 in a Kickstarter campaign and over $100,000 from three investors, and she's already been able to pay it all back and take sole control of her company.

    "Had we signed [the lease], I'd be bankrupt right now," Cooper says. "I think about that all the time."

    Before COVID hit, Cooper had developed a mobile business hosting pop-up skate parties and renting skates at venues including Bonnaroo and Comic Con in Atlanta, and every single event fell through.

    She did host a pop-up event on Halloween, and she'll get back to those earlier plans for a skate lounge and mobile business, but in the meantime, she has hired 11 employees since June.

    "We're so slammed with roller skates that we don't have the time anyway," she says.

    READ MORE

    *Might as well: Entrepreneurs across the country are going for it, anticipating better days ahead

    *Wear it out: Local businesses expand their brands through smart, fun swag

    *Changing clothes: Pandemic frays small businesses built around getting dressed

    Visit link:
    On a roll: For some Chattanooga businesses, demand for what they do is at fever pitch - Chattanooga Times Free Press

    Fix, or Toss? The Right to Repair Movement Gains Ground – The New York Times - October 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Extending the life of a product even relatively briefly can have significant benefits, according to Nathan Proctor, who leads the right-to-repair campaign at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy group. If Americans would extend the life of their cellphones by one year, for instance, it would be the climate-saving equivalent of taking 636,000 cars off the road, or about the amount of passenger vehicles registered in the state of New Mexico.

    Right to repair advocates like Ms. Gordon-Byrne and Mr. Proctor highlight recent strides in the automotive industry. In next months election, Massachusetts will have a question on the ballot designed to ensure that drivers will continue to be able to have local repair shops not just authorized dealers work on their cars as they become more automated and manufacturers control access to that data.

    That measure is designed to build on a 2012 bill in the state that required carmakers to provide independent repair shops with access to the diagnostic tools that had been available only to dealerships.

    The new measure, known as Question 1 on the ballot, has met resistance.

    If Question 1 passes in Massachusetts, anyone could access the most personal data stored in your vehicle, says the narrator in one advertisement. The campaign against the measure talks about the risks of hacking, identity theft and cyberstalking as part of a multimillion-dollar advertising spend by a group called Coalition for Safe and Secure Data, a manufacturer-backed organization that is fighting the question in November.

    Conor Yunits, a spokesman for the coalition, said it sees the new measure as unnecessary: Massachusetts is already the only state that has a right to repair law on the books. The technology they care about telematics is already covered by the existing law. In our view, this is an attempt by national auto parts chains to get access to more consumer data.

    Manufacturers have considerable influence over the standards to which their products are made, said Mark Schaffer, a consultant on the life cycle of electronics. According to a 2017 report that he wrote, thats because major manufacturers sit on the panels that set guidelines for things like environmental impact. As a result, he said, tougher standards can be difficult to achieve.

    As a whole, the industry needs to raise the floor on repairability, Mr. Schaffer said. Thats probably not going to happen until there is a legal requirement at a state or at a national level.

    See the article here:
    Fix, or Toss? The Right to Repair Movement Gains Ground - The New York Times

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