Deal with DIY house enchancment tasks with the assistance of a ‘digital handyman’

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – Home improvement, especially home improvement, is really booming these days. When we are stuck at home, we all notice the tasks big and small that need to be done. But do you have the skills?

You could hire a handyman to look after them, but during these coronavirus times you may not feel like an extra person is coming to your home. So here is an alternative: a video cellphone person.

Fixer.com offers in-home cell phone person service in Chicago and virtual cell phone person service anywhere.

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Trusting your skills, CEO Mike Evans tells me, “We say homeowners can do more than they think and with a screwdriver and a coach they can do just about any job in their home.”

Mike says the video service receives a lot of calls when it comes to hanging something on a wall or taking something off a wall.

So I make a virtual visit and meet these two: “Hello, my name is Siri. Hey, I’m Eric”, Siri Vemuri and Eric Christophels introduce themselves.

These two want to do both: take something off and put something up.

“We want to replace the existing curtain rod with a new one we bought and we have a couple of questions about the process,” it said.

Paul Poweziak is Fixer’s lead trainer and will help replace the curtain rod.

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“Removing your old curtains should be pretty easy,” he tells them through a video streaming session. “Do you have a ladder on site?”

Eric says, “Yes.”

Siri says, “We have a ladder and a bar stool,” then jokingly adds, “Is that code?”

John seems concerned.

The project moves forward with Eric pulling down the curtain and then, following John’s instructions, taking down one of the old clamps and comparing it to the new one.

The mounting holes are almost identical. John says that’s good, but Siri is concerned because the bracket is shorter and the second screw hole is only half a hole.

John says to her, “I think you tried to save money on materials, but it’s just as safe.”

Siri asks, “I didn’t actually buy a cheap one?”

“No, I think it’s going to be fine,” says John.

John continues to provide tips and ideas while Eric and Siri follow his advice and ask questions as they go.

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Siri goes up the ladder, but the ladder is pointing the wrong way. John is concerned.

“I get a little nervous when Siri is on the ladder. Just because you should normally be working on a ladder in front of yourself and not working sideways or at an angle,” he says. “It makes me nervous.”

Siri replies, “I’m wrong on a ladder?” She turns the ladder over and goes back up.

Now Eric brings two screws, one from the old bracket and the other from the new one, close to the laptop camera so John can tell the difference. They look almost identical.

John tells them it’s okay to use the new ones and asks Siri, “Do you feel safer on the ladder?”

There is a long pause. “Sure,” says Siri.

The two outer curtain brackets are installed, the curtains go up, are level and look great. How a professional did the job.

The middle bracket is removed leaving anchors in the wall.

Eric asks, “If we decide to take it out, is there any trick to take it out?”

“Put in screws,” says John, “but not far enough to open the anchor. Then grab that screw with pliers.”

Eric climbs the ladder to try this out and it works perfectly.

“Look at this,” says Siri.

“It was super easy,” says Eric.

“Check out this magic,” exclaims Siri.

How much does this virtual service cost? Nothing for the first 5 minutes, then $ 15 for each additional 15 minutes.

Check out more stories from Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.

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