Examples of small jobs completed by Patrick the Handyman


A few examples of Jobs completed prior to or in 2012:

Patrick repaired all of the plumbing, installed the trim, built the custom cabinet, and managed the men to tile the floor and walls.

Patrick built a temporary paint room to allow the blue, quite, wall hung toilet, to be painted white.  This toilet had to cure for 30 days, so Patrick installed a temporary toilet.  The wall seal for this old toilet was no longer manufactured, so Patrick had to carve one himself.

See bathroom renovation for more info.

Eric and his men tiled this bathroom. 

Elmhurst, IL

Installed landscape lighting for a million dollar home in Naperville.  Used a mix of LED and Halogen lights.  For additional protection from the weather and theft, I mounted the expensive power controller / transformer on the inside of the garage and the dusk to dawn sensor on the outside.

Installed many ceiling fans.  One particular fan was not grounded via a manufactures defective design.  I made sure it was grounded when I installed it.

Fixed many toilets:  One toilet’s plumbing drain pipe was too big for the wax ring seal.  I made a custom wax ring to fit. 

Repaired many Bathroom exhaust fans:  To save the customer money, I replace the motor instead of replacing the entire exhaust fan assembly.  Many times when replacing the entire assembly, the new assembly is a different size then the old assembly.  Cutting a different size hole and patching where needed adds to the expense.  Replacing the motor eliminates this additional expense.

Tuned up many Air-conditional units: One customer has three units to cool his house.  All three had mice nesting in them and chewing on the wires.  I found this problem before the unit broke down and repaired the wires and installed the proper electrical connectors to keep the mice out.  The original installer failed to do this.

Copy and duplicate this hand rail.  Except make it fit the right side.

The customer needed a matching handrail for the other side of the stone staircase.

One of my teammates helped me accomplish this. 

Naperville, IL

Installed many electrical outlet circuits and lighting. Found a way to run a 20 amp circuit to a customers new wine cellar cooler installation without cutting open the multilevel ceiling, saving him lots of money and aggravation.

Repaired shed gates and fence gates with through bolts making them work better then originally installed.

Many kitchen and bathroom faucets installed:  Sometimes they are easy and sometimes they are a challenge. 

Laminated Floor Install: Here is a picture of a tricky area to install a laminated floor  properly.   A few tricks allowed this floor to lay properly inside of the closet.

Elmhurst, IL.  

Before:  This garage needed to be repaired with a very limited budget. It could not be torn down and rebuilt due to the new building codes.  It had water coming in through the below grade blocks from the driveway and the roof’s down spouts.  Note: Floor is 12” below grade.  Patrick was hired to work on this building, at a discount, when he had no other jobs to attend to.

1st: Dig up foundation and tuck point and power wash it and seal it with troll on rubber and protect with insulation.  

2nd: Remove broken electrical drop from broken building corner and install electrical drop onto newly installed post and run underground to stable wall area.

3rd: Route the entire gutter system to the back where we can install drainage.

4th: Did drainage from front corner to back of building.

5th: Remove all ceiling insulation from building and make sure building can vent properly.

6th: Replace rotted & leaking windows and doors.

7th: Power-wash entire building, tuck point, and apply the proper paint primer and paint to ensure the wall to be sealed.


Water no longer leaks into building.

It is now a usable building.

The electrical is now safe form a falling corner.

No more yucky mildew smell.

2015:  Still no water seeps through the sealed corner that I repaired. 

Note: Some licensed electric companies send a non-certified, non-licensed person out to do the electrical work.  This is an example of the work, I repair, due to these low paid untrained workers.  A single women taking care of her mom had lights installed by an electrical company.  A few months later, 1/4 of her electrical would not operate.  I trouble shoot and find they improperly connect five returns.  Under certain conditions, an improper connected return could cause electrical feed back and cause appliances to start on fire.  Workmanship like this is very upsetting.  I properly connect the returns and now all her electric works properly.   Select “Electrical Repair” for more electrical examples.

For More Electrical Examples click here.

Note:  Some plumbing houses have one licensed plumber.  The other workers are not licensed.  Also: My experience is that some licensed tradesman can not think past what they were trained to do.  Such that a solution as described here would be very difficult for this type of person.

A single women paid a plumber to install a toilet.  She called me a month later to install “grab arms” onto the toilet.  I saw the toilet was not secure.  She hired me to remove the toilet and see what the problem was.  The flange that allows the toilet to be “bolted” was damaged.  I customized a steel bent washer thing to allow a bolt to catch.  Her toilet is now secure without hundreds of dollars in plumbing fees.

For More Plumbing Examples Click Here:

Patrick remodels a Small Bath room:  Click here to view.

Patrick Remodels a Shower Room:  Click here to view.

A church group meeting in a home finds there furnace will not operate and they may need to cancel todays meetings.  I immediately drive out and service their furnace.  Within about 30 minutes I find the electrical problem.  I find a wire was “opened” due to poor installation (the wires were not properly restrained when the furnace was installed allowing the wire to rub).  I repair the wire, correctly restrained them, and the meetings were able to continue.

Click here for an example of Attic Duct work insulation:

Click here for an example of turning an office & bedroom space into a garage:

Security was a concern for a retired person.  She felt that being aware of who is on her property would increase her security.  So we installed 9 motion detecting cameras with night vision and our surveillance teammate supplied the surveillance system.  I also installed motion detector lighting and LED lighting that stayed on from dusk to dawn.  Please keep in mind this is a low income neighborhood.  Her budget would not allow running the electric on the interior of the overhangs.  From the yard/street. The exterior conduit is not seen.  When it is in her budget, we will cover this with aluminum fascia and it will look great.

I washed this house in July 2015, the stain siding still looks great.  I believe I stained this house in 2010.

Stain house: The house left was incorrectly solid stained.  The person before me “sprayed” the stain onto the house without brushing the stain into the wood.  Never ever do this.  We had to sand (some times scrape) the entire house.  Thats over 2000 square feet.  I only patched the cracks.  It was not in her budget for us to replace the siding or patch the siding to make it look perfect.  We applied 3 coats to the patched areas and 2 coats to the entire house. 

Below is an example of a bathroom exhaust fan exhausting into the attic.  This customer had two fans exhausting into the eave about 3 feet form the eave vents.  The moisture that doesn’t escape will allow mildew to grow onto the wood (see black area below), eventually rotting the wood.  Randy and I worked as a team to route these exhaust out of the eaves.  The fans and duct work can not be seen because they are under the insulation to keep the exhaust from condensing and water dripping into the bathroom.

Example of many repairs being made for the same customer:

A busy married couple with 3 kids hired me to repair many things:

The garage shifted and the garage door no longer would close.  I made adjustments to get it to work again. 

A hinge on a kitchen cabinet double hinged door broke.  I contacted the manufacturer and learned the hinge was replaced with a different one with different hole locations.  To install new hinges, I filled the current drilled holes and accurately drilled new holes for the new hinges. 

Her furnace’s electronic air-filter was broken and could not be fixed.  A new one was not in her budget, so I converted her electronic air-filter cabinet into a media filter cabinet and supplied her with a 4” merv 10 media filter to keep her air and furnace clean. 

While doing this, I noticed the HVAC service people who install the humidifier connected the drain to the sewer.  This means that sewer gas can get pulled through this drain line and pushed throughout the home.  Not good.  I also notice that sewer water/slug, when it flooded in the streets, moved into this line.  I proposed to install a condensate pump and close up the sewer line.   

The fascia next to her chimney was rotting.  I found the chimney flashing was poorly installed.  So I left this repair to my roofer Randy.  I inspected the attic for any water damage and found her bathroom exhaust was venting into the attic.  So John, one of our carpenters, and I replaced the facia board with quality treated lumbar and matched the color.  I wrote up a proposal to fix the bathroom venting and explained the future attic damage that will result if this is not corrected.  I also noticed all of her attic vents were painted 80% closed.  I was able to open most of them and had to replace a few others. 

The bathroom downstairs was no longer used due to a leaky toilet and yucky shower pan.   I removed the toilet, repaired the tile, and reinstalled the toilet to stop the leaking.  I cleaned the terrazzo shower pan with a powered wire brush and stone cleaner.  The bathroom was once again put into service.

The customer got carried away and asked me to paint the upstairs bathroom.  She wanted a “flat” look.  Knowing I need to be carful not to use the wrong paint due to possibly creating mold and mildew issues, I used the special moisture resistant bathroom paint by Benjamin Moore.  This “flat” look paint is designed not to grow mold and mildew in a bathroom environment.

This is an example of a painted closed attic vent.  This will cause less air to circulate through your attic causing moisture to be trapped and causing wood rot. 

Note: An unqualified painter can cause your roof structure to rot away.  Sometimes the simplest things can cause great financial pain.

Example of not wanting to spend the money to replace the entire floor.  I removed the toilet, removed the bad mortar and putty, and re-installed the old tiles that the owner saved.

As soon as the grout get dirty, it will match.

A single parent recently had her bath tub caulked.  It started falling off and needed her bath tub caulked again.  Before caulking tile or acrylic, the best thing to do is to Prime the caulk area with a special chemical (not found in hardware stores) to make sure the caulk will adhere to the tile and tub.  So I removed all of the old caulk and correctly primed and caulked the tube.

A handicap senior drives his car through his garage wall. The garage floor is about 18” hirer then the ground.   Being embarrassed, he wants the car out of the yard and back in the garage now.    I retrieved materials and build a ramp and drove the car back into the garage in about 3 hours time. Driving up a wood ramp with snow on the tires was challenging. 

A widower needed new windows.  Her old windows no longer opened.  She said she planned on living for another 30 years.  So I suggested no maintenance high insulated windows.  We had one of our window teammates install them BUT she wanted real oak casing.  So my job was to match the wood looking vinyl with the real oak casing.  We had the window factory rep out to solve a problem and he couldn’t believe how well I matched his windows.  I noticed the customer needed more space so I also custom built a matching corner shelf to support a lamp.  See Pictures below:

Note: These pictures were taken four years after the installation.  The outside picture was taken when snow was falling explaining the white spots.  We supported the windows from below and above.  These windows a triple glazed with a center R-10 rating.  They are warmer then a her solid 2 inch wood doors.

Oak looking vinyl windows: This is a great example of a high quality, triple glazed, gas insulated, replacement window, rated at R-10 insulation factor (center of glass) that can look like light Oak wood.  The wood trim/casing is real Oak wood.  I matched the real oak with the high quality, reinforced, oak looking vinyl window sash and jamb.  After about 4 years, no problems.  Easy to operate (especially for a person with arthritic hands), easy to clean, no maintenance, one of highest energy savers, windows on the market today.  The window treatments allow the customer to raise and lower from bottom up or top down.  She loves them.

A married couple, both work, three kids in high school, had their kitchen cabinet drawers falling down.  The cabinets were quality but the supports were badly designed and made of weak plastic.  I replaced the plastic supports with the plastic supports factory sent them.  I could see that the drawers would just break again and asked them to allow a few extra man hours to allow me to customize a support system that would take a pounding hammer to break it.  They agreed.  I saved them from spending hard earned money on new kitchen cabinets.  The draws will continue to work for their entire lifetime.

A single women had a pull down, fold up, ladder leading to her attic.  It was breaking and needed to be replaced.  It was a special size not available.  She hired me to repair it and says she now feels very secure when climbing it.  I made special aluminum plates to wrap the damage wood to give it more strength then it had before.  Saving her money and especially saving her time trying to find a pull down that would fit.

A senior’s downspouts and fascia were badly installed and the fascia was falling off.  Her door bell didn’t work.  She is living on Social Security and could not afford to replace fascia and down spouts with new.  So I reused the old fascia and down spouts that had fallen off and only replaced two pieces of damaged facia.   I added a few pieces of down spout to have them drain correctly and I tested and replaced her door bell.  A year later, after a wind storm, her fascia was blown off the corner of her garage. After inspection, I found the garage rafters were rotted at the end due to a bad drip edge install.  So I installed “cripples”  and re-installed the fascia. 

A single mom with an older home wants to keep the old windows.  I suggest a particular type of storm window would look best on her “old” looking house and it was built stronger then the others.  Fortunately, even though the windows were the “same”, I measured every window, and guess what, they all had slightly different dimensions.  Every window needed to be a different size to fit properly.  I theorized that this is why some of the old storm windows fell out before she owned the house (the past installer ordered them all the same size).  I also repaired some of the wood work and properly caulked the window woodwork to stop any further damage to the woodwork.  Randy also repair her facia board up on a high steep roof.

A retired women and her son didn’t want to loose space by installing a “pure” water filter system in the kitchen cabinet area so I installed it above her utility sink.  I made two “shelf boxes” to support the tank and the water dispenser to allow the installation.  I called her to followup and she said she now has good tasting coffee.

A busy couple wanted their floor to get clean.  After a number of attempts to clean it they gave me a call.  I explained to them it looked as if the floor was never waxed.  I explained it was vinyl  and the dirt staining could not be cleaned.  Being a “color through” floor, the staining dirt could be “strip” away (similar to sanding).  So I rented a scrubber and scrubbed away the top layer of the tile and then waxed it.  You can see the difference in the picture even before I waxed it.

Patrick rebuilds a shop outbuilding and replaces the energy guzzling furnace with a sealed burner radiant furnace.  The new furnace is the shinny thing in the corner.  It reduces the loss of space and heats up the shop by 1 degree every 10 minutes.  The thermostat has a 5 degree differential to save energy and avoid short cycling.

With help from my carpenter, we cut holes in the walls and installed replacement windows.  See the windows in the picture.  The customer was able to acquired no glare lighting for free and had us install it.  We wired the lighting to have three levels of lighting (Level 1 = only the middle lamp lights; Level 2 = only the two outer lamps light;

Level 3 = all the lamps light.) 

A Married couple just purchased a new home and hired me to repair their sump pumps, trim their interior doors to keep them from dragging on the carpet, caulk the bath tubs and kitchen, and to repair their sliding door locking mechanism.  This locking mechanism was a three point automatic latching device.  I learned the manufacturer closed the business but I searched and found a replacement mechanism.  I removed the existing mechanism and found it was badly bent in two locations.  I installed the new mechanism and found it only latched in 1 of 3 locations.  I spent 1 hour trouble shooting the latching problem and discovered the door jam was not plum & square.  So instead of removing the entire door, door trim and door jam, I worked the latch plate in the direction needed to mate with the latching mechanism.  I believe this saved them about $1000.00 .

A customer emailed me the picture on the right.  She hit the garage door.  When I arrived at the job, I realized the garage door bottom panel was bent in the middle and about 2” pushed outward (not shown in picture).  So I figured what the heck, I’m here, why not try to straighten the door (In the past, I also did vehicle body work).  To my amazement, I was able to straighten the bottom panel with only a little bit of wrinkle in the steel skin (centered in this photo).  Not so visible in this low res photo.  I saved them about $800.00 .

The customer has old high quality “roped coiled spring” Pella windows.  Pella wanted $500.00 to fix each window.  She gave me a call and told me she really like her Pella windows and could not afford to buy new ones.  So I told her it would take me a few hours of work to find out if I could fix them at a charge of $125.00.  She agreed.  I took apart the Pella unit and figured I could fix them at about $200.00 each.   Her total cost was 7 x $200.00 = $1400.00 total.  So she saved $300.00 per window x 7 = $2100.00 savings.

A customer wants his windows trim sanded and painted.  He does’t like the look of aluminum trim.  I have special tools for this.  It took 80 man hours at $25.00 per hour.  Thats $2000.00 labor cost plus the materials to sand and prime and paint the window trim and the garage door. 

My customer purchased a house with an “all house fan exhaust” connected to the ceiling leading into the attic.  She keeps the air-conditioner on all summer and had no need for it.  It was ugly.  I advised her to have it removed because it looses energy and it moves moisture into the attic.  I built a framed insulated attic door in it’s place and paint it to match the ceiling.  

A customer wanted an attic roof exhaust installed.  I had randy install the roof fan and I ran the electrical.  I wired it to turn on when the heat reached over 110 degrees in the attic and I also wired it to a switch in the house to allow it to be turned on by the customer.  I showed the customer, if they burn something in the kitchen, they can open the attic door and turn on the exhaust fan and exhaust the burnt air.  They liked the idea so much they had me also install a vent that could be opened to move hot air out of the house during the summer.

My customer wanted to install gutter leaf & stem protection but didn’t know which product was the best.  I showed my customer the product I thought would work best.  See Picture.  When I install them, I remove and re-install the gutter fasteners to make sure the leaf & stem guard pitch is correct.  These units have a coating on them to keep the leafs from sticking.  They have small holes to keep out stems and maple tree seeds.  They have a soft seal on the inside to allow movement when we have freeze and thaw.  I tie together the corners to add strength.

This is an example of the less expensive gutter leaf protectors.  The Maple seeds get stuck into the holes in the guard.  They make the house look less attractive.  They eventually fall into the gutter.  

This is an example of a neighbor who has the less expensive gutter leaf protectors.  The maple tree seeds get stuck and he needs to clean out the corners so water doesn’t back up and rot his facia and soffit. 

After suffering from a stroke, a senior needed special custom grab bars to utilize her daughters bathroom and to allow her to get into her daughters tub while visiting on weekends.  We decided purchase and mount grab bars onto the toilet seat to allow mom to use the toilet.  To be able to utilize the tub, mom needs a grab bar that would stick out into the tub area about 10”.  Such that, the customer has a choice to mount a specially made “obstructive” grab bar (that would be in the way for the non-handicap person) onto her new tile or she can have me design and build a custom bracket to allow her to slide a grab bar into when her mom is visiting, and remove it when mom is away.

Patrick re-built this shop installing a Circuit Breaker sub-panel to allow more circuits.  The outlets you see on the wall are of different capabilities and capacities allowing any type of machine to be plugged in.  The lighting are wired to allow 3 levels of brightness.  With a combination of two light switches, the customer can chose to light one bulb, two bulb or three bulbs on the light fixtures.

This is an example of a new circuit breaker box we installed.  On this job, we moved the electrical drop into the garage because it was in the bathroom above the sink (a very unsafe place and against code).  From here, we could easily add 3 more circuits to the kitchen, wire the garage, outdoor security lights, the shower room, the sewing room, and the outdoor outlets.

A busy married man wants to add electrical outlets onto his garage walls.  He has a limited budget, So I install additional outlets.  I use rounded edge boxes and covers for surface mounting electrical.  After I complete the job, I test the system to find the system was not grounded.  Grounding protects from electrocution if a device fails.  The original electrical contractor never installed the ground.  So I installed a proper ground.

This is an aluminum housing (not cheep plastic) low wattage (60 watts) high light output, dusk to dawn light.  This light lights up her back yard all night long.  The bulb needs to be changed every 2 to 3 years.  Strings of round white LED lights are used to inexpensively light up the perimeter of the house.  I am working on ideas to make this option look better all year round.

Serving Local communities: Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Oak Brook Terrace, Lombard, Villa Park, Hillside, Berkeley, Westmont, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, and NorthLake.