Out with the Old, In with the New (annoying jobs around the house…)

Around this time of year, people’s minds turn to practicalities after all the frivolity of the festive season

I always get a load of asks re. cleaners, repairers and stuff to do with going away in January and today is no different – this morning I got one about cleaners (see FAQs), three related to house repairs and one to do with going away – a pretty typical postbag for the first ‘real’ day back (though I’ve been ‘back’ for some time, chiz…)

Firstly Debra asks about burglar alarm engineers. A guess a burglar alarm going wrong is one of those pesky things that unless it’s actually causing a nuisance gets put off. I have no idea of any specialist electricians, so I’m asking here for recommendations.

In fact I don’t have any suggestions for any of these today – they’re all quite specific.

Like Jerry’s TV aerial, which, being the wrong side of the hill for Crystal Palace is very tall indeed. It’s swivelled round so it can’t get half the channels any more, but understandably IMHO he doesn’t fancy clambering onto the roof to try to fix it. He needs an engineer who can turn it to the right angle as he’s apparently missing the Channel Four News.

The felt on Maria’s shed roof blew off in the last storm. Once again, she doesn’t fancy climbing up to fix it but thinks it might be a bit too small a job to bother companies with. I disagree – it’s a job that needs doing, someone will do it – but how do you find someone good? Suggestions, please.

Finally, Dave needs to go into hospital for an operation but is worrying about his furry Best Friend while he’s in there. He doesn’t just want any kennels – he wants a Phantophile Recommended kennels. I have never had a dog, so I can’t help but I know a bunch of you will have ideas of a classy establishment Fido can visit…


18 Comments to “Out with the Old, In with the New (annoying jobs around the house…)”

  1. Jon says:

    Happy New Year all.

    Would be keen to hear the recommendations for alarm engineers. Our alarm is only about three years old but has an undiagnosed fault the advice so far has been to rip it out and start again with a wireless one [sigh]. Anyway, enough of my problems.

    For what it’s worth, if you’re looking for a new system or general security advice, Bill at Lockmaster1 is very reliable and couteous (and local).

  2. Pat Goodall says:


    We use a guy called Colin for our burglar alarm, which he fitted a couple of years ago. He is very reliable and reasonably priced. Never had an issues with either the alarm or installation, plus he offers an annual maintenance check for about £50. Not sure where you are based but could be worth giving him a call

    C F M Security Services

    01322 341320

    cheers Pat

  3. Daveh48 says:

    Hi Jerry,

    I’ve always used Greenwich Specialist Audio & Visual who are located at 127 Trafalgar Road for aerial and satellite problems.

    It’s a funny looking little shop that never looks like it’s open so ring the door bell or contact them on 020 8858 9160.


  4. Dazza says:

    Dave, I don’t know of any kennels myself, but give Kristel at pawsforcaring.co.uk a shout. I’m sure she would have loads of recommendations/Ideas

    Email – contact@pawsforcaring.co.uk
    Telephone – 020 8265 9366
    Mobile – 07802 530 161

  5. Peter says:

    For aerial installations, try Steve’s Colour Centre at 167 Deptford High Street, tel 02836 241 615 . I have used him a few times over many years.

  6. Esther says:

    I’ve been reading the relevant posts with the hope I would find a recommended handyman for small jobs around the house. It seems that all these recommendations are for specific jobs though.

    If anyone could recommend someone good for small jobs like putting up shelves or hanging curtain rails, that would be much appreciated.


  7. BobbyT says:

    Well I actually work for Channel 4 News so wouldn’t want Jerry to miss out! I’ve used ‘The Aerial Man’ a couple of times. 020 8312 3947. Good service on both occasions.

  8. Gwladys Street says:

    My aerial never received a satisfactory signal- so I bit the bullet and subscribed to virgin for TV only a couple of years ago. No problems now

  9. Ewan says:

    I’ve used Cats, Dogs and Peace of Mind for many years to look after my cats when I’m away. They are completely reliable, great value compared to a Kennels and for the pet they get to stay where they are most comfortable. Home.


  10. Jack Cross says:

    Actually, Gwladys, there is a problem – you have to give Murdoch your money….

  11. Thanks Dazza for your recommendation. Dave has been in touch and we’re hoping to help out or at least find someone for his furry friend.

  12. Sophie says:

    We use the lovely Steve at Meridian Cats to wait hand and paw on the boss of the house when we’re away for a night or two. Longer than that, we get a friend to stay. No kennels for Madam.

  13. Bugs says:

    Er… Jack Cross, before you bash Gwladys too hard for the hate crime of being a Murdoch contributor; Virgin Media was owned by Branson (Murdoch with a toothy grin?) and is now owned by Liberty Global a US quoted company

  14. Eleanor Rigby says:

    Can anyone help with a Window Cleaner for SE10? I’m looking for an old-fashioned window cleaner who does not use a long hose for the upstairs or downstairs windows. The last company left my hallway very wet using this method.

  15. Jon says:

    For window cleaning we use RAW who are pretty efficient and reliable. They use water-fed poles – not sure if that’s what you’re objecting to though? The height of most houses in our road means ladders are not really an option for a one-man service.

  16. Aidan says:

    Would also recommend Greenwich Specialist Audio & Visual for the aerial.

    For pet care we use Amber, http://amberspetsittingservices.com/, who works at Blackheath Vets and offers a dog boarding service.

    Anyone know of a reliable tradesman who would be willing to replace a smallnumber of slate roof tiles?

  17. David says:

    With regard to the aerial, one other option would be to get a small satellite dish installed (i had an old sky one already in place and used that without modification) and buy an appropriate freesat box then you can get freesat which is free and has all mostly the same channels as freeview and about 10 in HD.

    This is how i get around the need for a tall aerial and if carefully sited satellite dishes can be fairly unintrusive. it does require the satellite dish and freesat box but maybe its worth considering.

  18. Brenda says:

    Esther. I was recommended a general tradesman through another website when I bought my house. His name is Peter and his number is 07989 049068. I had a really long list of jobs to be done and he came round and did them all charging me a very reasonable daily rate rather than pricing for each job like another guy tried. Will use him time and again as reliable and honest.

    Also peter would be able to fix the shed roof. He fixed my fence. Not much he doesnt do.

    I have also used the Aerial Man on 020 8312 3947. Reliable.