Kyle has been working at Fixer since September of 2019. Kyle recently participated in our project management rotation where he oversaw larger scale projects for our customers. Yes, we do big projects upon request in Chicagoland! Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got a project that goes beyond our typical service offerings.
Kyle shares what makes Fixer unique and the coolest projects he’s worked on, including one that involved meatballs!
How did you get into being a handyperson and working at Fixer?
I grew up in a house where my dad fixed everything. I didn’t know there were repair people. My wife is a teacher. For many years she had me fixing things for her coworkers in exchange for pizza and beer. After getting laid off from being a sales manager for 9 years, I decided to try something completely different and make a career of it.
What have you learned since starting at Fixer?
Good companies exist! Lots of people hate the company they work for but either like or need the pay so they put up with the company. Fixer is a company that is continually trying to create a positive and cooperative workplace. It’s not perfect, but both sides are trying to learn and that is better than the majority of places out there. Then there is some plumbing stuff.
What have you learned during the project management rotation?
It’s been a reminder that communication is key—before the project, during the project, and after the project. We make sure we know exactly what the customer wants. We make sure the customer knows what they are getting before the project. I communicate with the team during the project to make sure it is going as expected and communicate to the customer if there are any changes. I follow up with the customer at the end to ensure they are completely satisfied.
What’s the coolest big project you’ve worked on?
I have done a lot of decks this summer. Nothing is cooler than seeing a deck that is stained well. We had a few decks this summer that came out spectacular. As soon as we finished, I really just wanted to run to the store, grab a few cold beverages, and sit on those decks, relaxing and enjoying the summer. ????
What makes Fixer unique on these bigger projects compared to other contractors?
We show up. As scheduled. On time. Ready to work. I know, that sounds so simple and basic. Yet, it is the biggest frustration and complaint in the home repair and renovation industry. I have personally hired several contractors to do work and constantly run into difficulty getting people to show up on time and ready to work. I currently have a subcontractor who is six weeks behind.
How does project management at Fixer work?
1. A customer inquires about getting something fixed.
2. We determine if it would take more or less than 16 “Fixer hours.” If it takes more than one person – two days or two people in 1 day, it gets classified as a “big job.”
Side note! What we call a Big Job at Fixer isn’t all that big by industry standards, but it’s certainly bigger than our average fix. We excel at the jobs that are too small for many general contractors, and too big for your average handyperson — and we can deliver with all the typical Fixer perks, like working with Fixers like Kyle!
3. All of our big job inquiries get a free, on-site consultation. Since we bid them as fixed price jobs, we need to be sure there are no surprises in order to be as accurate as possible.
4. Then, we write a bid based on the consultation. If the customer accepts the bid, we get to work.
5. Project managers see the project through from start to finish, ensuring customer satisfaction.
What’s your favorite kind of handyperson problem to solve?
I really enjoy working with electrical issues. It’s like trying to solve a logic puzzle or a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces of the box missing. It’s great because the fix is black and white—it works or it doesn’t. Electrical problems can be really challenging to figure out, but they’re a fun challenge for me. I also really enjoy woodworking jobs. I have always enjoyed the medium and appreciated a quality finished woodwork job.
What do you think people should know about working at Fixer?
Fixer is a great place to build your skills, both interpersonal and technical. You get lots of experience working with customers and projects of all different varieties. You’re surrounded by other Fixers to literally “call upon” if you need help or advice.
Tell us about a favorite memory working at Fixer so far.
At one time, we offered emergency service (at an emergency rate). An interior designer hired two of us (at the higher emergency rate) to hang artwork in a condo. The interior designer was hilarious and had an intense flair for words. After hanging numerous pieces of artwork worth more than I’ll make in my lifetime, she ordered us some food to eat. We ate small bites here or there while we worked. After finishing all of the hanging, she insisted that we finish eating her meatballs. She did not want us to clock off the job and (playfully) threatened to give us a one star review if we didn’t finish the meatballs. So we opened our Fixer app, added the task, and took before, during and after photos of the plate of meatballs. Easiest and most enjoyable task I have done to date. ????
When you’re not busy Fixing things, what do you enjoy?
HAHAHA. “Not busy.” I have a wife and three kids (ages 5,3, and 1). I am constantly with them playing, cooking, or cleaning up after them. I also maintain my real estate license and I am a landlord. I try to get outdoors as much as possible. I love being in the woods, walking, fishing, hunting, and camping.