Fix-It Guide

Where to go for repairs, restoration and care of your home and treasured items within it

If you’ve ever seen the History Channel’s show American Restoration, you know that we’re in a collective reaching-back-to-our-roots moment right now. On the program you might see a collector looking to bring in a 1950s Coke cooler back to its glossy former glory. Although you might not need that exactly, fixing your 1950s-era couch, patching some drywall or restoring a picture frame might be on your list. We show you where to go.

Appliances

You need to: Fix a broken-down freezer, fridge, washer, stove, oven or other household workhorse.

American TV & Appliance
At American customers have one of two options: carry in smaller items like home and car audio systems, camcorders, computers, microwaves and TVs, or arrange to have a technician come to your home to check out your appliances, furniture and larger TVs. Either way customers will love the ease of American’s two Madison locations (east and west) and their informative website that even has a “Can we fix it?” link. Customers can use American even if they didn’t purchase the appliance from the megastore or it’s not under warranty anymore.
West: 2404 Beltline Hwy., 271-1000.
East: 5215 High Crossing Blvd., 271-1002.
americantv.com

Main Appliance Service (affiliated with Brothers Main)
The service arm of this local chain fixes Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Frigidaire and Electrolux appliances. Give them a call and a technician will be out within a day or two to diagnose the problem. Costs start at $95, which includes the trip cost plus a half-hour of labor. Charges can vary after that depending on the issue and cost of parts.
7968 Tree Ln. 833-4301, brothersmain.com

Clocks and Watches

You need to: Get a clock fixed or battery changed; have work done on a wristwatch.

Dykman’s Time Shop
This University Avenue business keeps time ticking for its customers. Bring in wall-mounted clocks for a battery change or if it’s mechanical, it may very well need an overhaul, says owner Glenn Gardner. That usually involves taking the clock apart, cleaning, polishing the wheels and pivots, and replacing the brass bearings when needed. Gardner also does house calls for grandfather clocks, which start at a minimum of $70.
2701 University Ave. 233-1444, dykmans.com

Frame Repair/Picture Hanging

You need to: Fix a broken picture or painting frame; replace glass in a frame; get assistance hanging frames in the home.

Monroe Street Framing
Although the bulk of their business is of course framing and matting, the Monroe Street folks are happy to help with frame and glass replacement as well as actually hanging frames so they don’t, well, fall and break.

“For hanging frames we can hang one or all in the home. We don’t hang from a wire but rather we put two hooks in the wall and two in the frame so it hangs nice and straight,” says owner Michelle Waldeck.
1901 Monroe St. 255-7330, monroestreetframing.com

Furniture repair/Refinishing

You need to: Fix a wood or metal furniture piece; replace upholstery, cushioning or springs; frame repair; refinish a piece.

Country Antiques
Paul Raymond, owner of Home and Office Upholstery likes Country Antiques because owner Bruce Erickson’s forte is refinishing and Raymond will occasionally use their services. Erickson also gives old furnishings new life by reworking them: “I’ve got some pieces for sale. If I can’t save the piece totally, I recycle parts of it when I can.”
2102 Atwood Ave. 249-2607.

Home & Office Upholstery
Broken arms and legs can be fixed on furnishings as well as cushions replaced and frames rebuilt. Owner Paul Raymond says cushion replacement is their most popular service: “I bet we do one of those a week.”

Customers can e-mail a photo to Raymond who can give a rough estimate of what the work will cost. Whether it needs new springs and padding or it’s a more complicated problem that requires channeling or button tufting, Raymond basically determines the hours and adds that to the price of fabric for the cost. Expect to wait a month for your piece.

If you’re in doubt that the furnishing can even be fixed, ask him about it anyway: “Nothing’s too far gone. We restored a chaise lounge that was in a garage that a tree had fallen on and it was smashed. But it was special piece as far as sentimental value and we were able to restore it.”
2307 Atwood Ave. 244-8761.  

Niemeyer Restoration
This fourth-generation business (their work is shown in the before/after photo, above) does antique restoration, custom finishing and furniture repair services for the home and office. Owners Bob and Craig Niemeyer do an exceptional job, notes Coni Marotz, owner of Iconi Interiors. “The [piece is] pristine when they are finished. If you really want something to look like new again, these are the guys. I had them do a mid-century modern piece for me and it turned out immaculate.”
634 Lewellen St., Marshall. 655-4949, niemeyerrestoration.com

Phil the Furniture Doctor
This twenty-five-year-old business does almost anything you’d need to repair your furniture: stripping and refinishing, regluing and rebuilding. The only thing they don’t do is reupholstering.
104 East Main St., Sun Prairie. 244-3222.

General Home Repairs

You need to: Fix drywall, various bathroom work (caulk, water damage repairs, tile installation/repair), general home jobs (crown molding, masonry/brick repair, carpentry) and more.

Mr. Handyman
This national franchise has an arm here owned by Ryan Tews. The full-service company pretty much does anything (seriously, check out their list online) in the home from yards to bathrooms.

“We can do anything on someone’s to-do list; no job is too small,” says Tews. “That might be anything from childproofing to drywall repair to a landscaping job.”

This fall Tews expects to do a lot of gutter work and power washing for customers. The company will give price estimates over the phone or can send a repairperson to your home for a free estimate.
395-3250. mrhandyman.com

Knives, Blades and Tools

You need to: Sharpen small hand tools and knives; repair a small engine.

Gratz & Baker Sharpening and Repair
This Sun Prairie business can sharpen a dulled edge on a chainsaw, kitchen knife, lawnmower, handsaw or trimmer. They’re also an authorized repair center for Menards, Sears and Ace Hardware (among others) for warranty work, so bring in anything with a small engine like a log splitter, lawnmower, weedeater or snowblower, says owner Kevin Baker. Prices are very affordable: sharpening starts at .50/square inch for kitchen knives and goes up to $9 for a lawnmower. Repair prices vary.
451 Linnerud Dr., Sun Prairie. 837-7197, sunprairiesmallenginerepair.com

Wisconsin Cutlery & Kitchen Supply
This shop caters to casual cooks and culinary professionals. Bring in garden tools and knives for sharpening (prices start at $3.50) and most can be sharpened while you wait.
3236B University Ave. 204-0560. wisconsincutlery.com

Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine.

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