Tips to Homeowners

Question: We recently purchased a new home. While the property was in escrow we bought new furniture at several stores. Most salesmen told us that delivery would take four to six weeks, which worked out well with our escrow period.

After several months, much of the material has been delivered. Some pieces arrived broken and some were not the same as ordered. Solving the problem has been hectic.

Answer: I have had the same problem with department stores, furniture chains and bar-and-stool outlets. It seems that many do not carry inventory. Therefore, when you order the merchandise, they in turn order from the manufacturer, who may be out of state or out of the country. The merchandise is usually delivered within the period promised. However, if errors occur, getting satisfaction can be time consuming and frustrating because the entire ordering procedure must be repeated.

The best advice I can give is to get specific delivery dates. If the promises are not kept, demand a refund. If you do not get the satisfaction you feel is due you, go to Small Claims Court. This will get their attention and may solve the problem in a timely manner.


Q: We recently had a small fire in our home that caused a great deal of smoke. Do you have any solutions for removing the smoky smell?

A: I suggest that first you wash the walls with trisodium phosphate (the commercial product is known as TSP) that can be purchased at your local supermarket.

Wash the walls with a solution of this product. If this does not entirely eliminate the odor, you can apply a white shellac. One brand name is Smokeguard which you can purchase at your local paint store. Dunn-Edwards also has a good, similar product. Don’t forfeit to have the drapes and curtains dry cleaned.