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Pandemic peaks interest in virtual handyman service

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Posted at 6:07 AM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 07:35:48-04

BALTIMORE — A new service brings a handyman to your home, but it doesn't have to be in-person.

Homeowners looking to tackle DIY (do-it-yourself) projects no longer have to rely on YouTube videos. Fixer.com virtually connects consumers with professionals who can walk them through tasks including hanging pictures, TVs, and repairing drywall, doors, electrical, fixing toilets, and faucets.

Mike Evans, CEO of Fixer.com, said the service began as in-person, but with the pandemic, plans changed.

“Since we already had a training center and we're into training our handy people, it wasn't that much of a shift to switch from that to educating consumers through video consults,” Evans said.

And for the most part, homeowners don’t need special tools.

“It turns out that with a coach and a screw driver, you can fix about 80 percent of the things in your home by yourself,” said Evans.

John Poweziak, lead trainer at Fixer.com, instructed WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii on how to install a light fixture.

Poweziak helped her come up with alternative solutions when the screws didn’t fit properly and electrical wires needed to be stripped without the right tool.

“Needle nose pliers. Toward the inner part of it, there's a little cutting mechanism,” said Poweziak.

After a lot of maneuvering and twisting, 50 minutes later the light was installed and operating.

More complex projects may require a real professional in your home, however, for most things, Evans said Fixer.com can save consumers the fees technicians charge for just walking through the door, and give homeowners confidence in their ability to make repairs on their own.

“It’s more affordable than bringing somebody into your home. It's more efficient than going on YouTube, so I think people are really going to continue to use this for a long time,” Evans said.

Depending on where you live, consumers can request an in-person visit with a Fixer professional. A video consult can be done from anywhere.

The first 5 minutes are free and then it's $15 for every 15 minutes after that. Evans said most calls don't go over 15 minutes.

Consumers can schedule online by clicking here, or texting (312) 216-5999 to get started.