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 16201 Whittier Blvd. Whittier, CA 90603

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Dear Maintenance Men: King Palms, deadbolts and more

Dear Maintenance Men: I am about to undertake a landscape rehab project at my building. My problem is that I have a 25-foot King Palm in the way. Can this palm be moved? I’ve also heard that landscape companies will pay for good-sized palms or at least remove the tree for free. Is this true?

- John

 

Dear John: Good question. We contacted a couple of local tree and palm experts in our area. They said King Palms do not travel well and if they are laid down on their sides for transport, they have a low survival rate. For that reason most tree companies will not pay for or remove a King Palms for free. The cost of hiring a crane truck and crew for transplant, most likely will be more than the palm is worth. If it were us, we would try to find a way to include the palm in our new landscape plans or pay for a tree removal service.

Dear Maintenance Men:

I have a funny problem with the automatic vehicle gate at an apartment building we manage. It gets stuck open at odd times for no reason. I have sent the handyman to repair the gate, but he found nothing wrong with it.

- Manual

Our favorite handymans answer your questions

by: L'Ecuyer & Alvarez, Buffalo Maintenance, April 30, 2013

Dear Manual:

Double check all the gate systems are working properly. Chances are the problem might be a stuck remote control unit in one of the resident’s car. What happens is the control button is stuck on and when the resident comes home, the gate opens automatically and chances are they are parking close to the gate. When they leave the property and get out of range of the gate receiver, the gate returns to normal operation. Finding the defective remote control unit will require a bit of detective work. You will want to determine the range of the controller, and then talk to the owners of the cars parked within the range. Another possibility may be that the remote receiver is failing. The gate will open when cars exit by driving over the gate “loops”, but will be unable to re-enter with their remote control units. The receiver is located near the gate motor assembly and can easily be replaced.

 

Dear Maintenance Men:

I am in the process of installing new dead bolt locks on a number of doors at my building. These doors have never been drilled for dead bolts before. The problem I’m running into is how to line up where to drill for the latch plate in the door frame. Do you have any good tricks for getting this done?

- Ken

 

Dear Ken:

Indeed we do. Lip stick or shoe polish is the answer. After the dead bolt lock is installed in the door and with the door open, extend the bolt. Now, dab the end of the bolt with lip stick or shoe polish and return the bolt to the unlocked position. Close the door and attempt to lock or extend the bolt into the frame. Open the door and on the frame should be the exact location of the latch bolt hole. Using a one-inch wood bit; bore a hole 1.5 inches deep to complete the installation. Another method is to cut a one-inch thick dowel rod three inches long, insert a small finish nail into the end of the dowel rod, and be sure to center the nail. Cut the head of the nail off. With

the dead bolt lock removed from the door, insert the dowel rod into the latch hole in the door with the nail end facing out. Close the door and with your finger, push the dowel rod into the doorframe. Pull the rod out and your drilling site is marked exactly. One last item, if you are doing a number of doors, it may be worth purchasing a doorknob drilling jig. It will contain all the tools needed for professional door lock drilling and installation. The kit typically costs between $50 for a home improvement store kit and up to $400 for a professional kit. The $50 kit if fine if only have a couple of doors to drill, however, if you have a lot of dead bolts to install, the professional kit is worth the money in the time and frustration it saves.

 

Please send us your Maintenance Questions!!!

 

To see your maintenance question in the “Dear Maintenance Men:” column, please send submission to: Questions@BuffaloMaintenance.com

Please “Like” us on Facebook.com/BuffaloMaintenance

 

Bio:

 

Please call: Buffalo Maintenance, Inc for maintenance work or consultation. JLE Property Management, Inc for management service or consultation

Frankie Alvarez at 714 956-8371

Jerry L’Ecuyer at 714 778-0480

CA contractor lic: #797645, EPA

Real Estate lic. #: 01460075

Certified Renovation Company

Websites: www.BuffaloMaintenance.com & www.ContactJLE.com

 www.Facebook.com/BuffaloMaintenance

Expert, local advice: Your questions answered.

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