Repairs and Renovations

A note of caution: some vendors may regard new residents, especially those of retirement age, as an opportunity to up-sell. Be careful of “free” offers to inspect everything.

Internet brokering services such as Task Rabbit (taskrabbit.com) and TAKL (takl.com) are excellent ways to hire short-term help such as lifting, furniture assembly, etc.

Renovations

Some renovations may require following certain procedures. Please consult with the management early in your planning, and read the Rules and Regulations. Please note especially that any construction or packing debris must be taken away, due to the limited capacity of our trash systems. See remarks below about turning off the water to your unit.

An Architectual Change Request (ACR) may be required as described in the Rules and Regulations.

Repairs

Interior repairs that do not involve structural considerations are handled by you as the homeowner in a normal manner for the most part. It may be difficult to get certain services, or providing them may require unusual skills, because of the nature of the building. Many small companies do not work in our building because their insurance will not cover it.

We therefore offer these remarks and suggestions for possible vendors, but we cannot guarantee the work of anyone. Please use your own due diligence. There are more choices than these, of course.

Note

Information becomes obsolete over time. If you find something has changed, or have a suggestion for another vendor, please email Paul Dubois (pfdubois@gmail.com).

Plumbing

Many plumbing repairs can be made by simply closing your own water valves. However, some repairs require shutting off your water to the whole unit, and it is not possible to do that on the spur of the moment.

Units are organized into vertical “stacks” that are connected to one shut-off valve below. To turn off water to your unit will turn off water for others in your stack; this requires a 48-hour notice except in an emergency. Please call the management company to make arrangements. They will post notices in the elevators and send warnings by email.

Note

Contrary to the discussion in the Rules and Regulations, it is NOT possible for you to turn off the water in an emergency, such as a burst pipe. You must call the management at (619) 589-6222.

Some plumbers familiar with our building are:

  • Fite Plumbing, (619) 784-1704
  • Perry Plumbing, (619) 472-2112

If your kitchen has not already been modified to run a water line to the refrigerator, you can have that done from the sink without a ACR form.

Heating / Air Conditioning

  • Jackson & Foster, (619) 567-3504
  • Hurn Mechanical, (619) 312-1924
  • Southcoast Heating & Air Conditioning, (760) 941-7000
  • Fire & Ice, (619) 561-8100

Thermostats

Upgrading to a modern thermostat can be a challenge. The old one may be hazardous waste; the originals had actual liquid mercury switches.

Jackson & Foster has a person who knows how to install a Nest thermostat on our heat pumps, which is more than you can say for Nest Support. The standard instructions on the Nest site do not work.

Resetting Your Heat Pump

If your cooling is not working, the first thing to find out is if others nearby are having the same problem. If so, call management, as it is a cooling tower issue.

If it is just your own unit with a problem, try a reset:

  1. Turn off the thermostat.
  2. Turn off the heat pump using the switch on the wall next to it.
  3. Turn off the circuit breaker to the heat pump.
  4. Turn all of them back on in reverse order: breaker, heat pump, thermostat.

Fireplaces

  • Absolute Duct and Chimney Cleaning, (619) 328-9733
  • Innovation Gas Fireplace, (619) 796-4419

You may wish to have the chimney inspected. There is no roof access but it is possible to use a camera to do this from below, at least as far as the chimney pipe goes.

Innovation Gas Fireplaces (sandiegogasfireplace.com) can renovate your fireplace. Rust can be painted over with a special paint. More modern ignitors can be provided that use a remote and electronic ignition.

Never burn anything in the fireplace. It is designed for gas only.

Cable and Satellite Television

Your HOA dues cover a basic level of cable service through Cox Communications (www.cox.com); should you wish a higher level of service your rate will be credited with the cost of the basic level. Contact Cox to set up an account.

Cable wiring within your unit is your responsibility. Unfortunately, getting someone to service that wiring is very difficult. Many contractors, including Cox itself, say their insurance will not permit them to work on our building. When the author of this document found someone to put a line into another bedroom, it appeared the person was basically not qualified – they did not have the kind of testing equipment actually needed. Luckily, there was an unused wire to a neighboring bedroom that could be moved, but it was just luck that it still worked.

The Board has been discussing changing this arrangement from time to time, since more and more people are streaming with an internet connection and do not want cable television.

As part of this process, the Board asks that you fill out an ACR for satellite dish installations. However, as long as the dish is not in a common area and not attached to the building (for example, sitting on your balcony), there will be no fee.

Internet

Cox offers very good broadband in a choice of speeds. If you are going to connect the cable TV this is an easy addition. There are other choices.

Phone

The phone wires may not be in the best of shape due to age. Your phone installer may have to use an alternate pair to find the best signal. This may present unknown challenges if using the phone lines for internet service.

A landline is not required to use the keypad-driven call service.

Locksmiths

  • Lynn’s Locksmith (619) 447-7447 Lynn’s can rekey to the master key, see Rekeying Your Unit).
  • De-Locks of San Diego, (619) 669-8680

General Handyman

  • Ready Real Estate Repair, (619) 722-0207
  • Joe Wolzen, (619) 204-2681

Screens

  • David Ifrid, Glenview Glass & Screen Inc, (619) 937-1552
  • Glass & Screens, Etc., (619) 697-8585