Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Fall cleaning and home repairs were at the top of my “to do” list, both of which I had to rely on others to fulfill.  Cleaning was an issue.  Social media offers with a discount first time price.  I have tried a few.  The workers want to do the quickest job with the least amount of effort.   I decide on Keen Green Cleaning Service.  Eco-friendly and bring their own cleaning products.  Although they are located in the Bronx, they service the other boroughs as well as areas of New Jersey and Westchester County.  Looks like they were given the best janitorial awards in the Bronx.  Let’s see how they handle my home in Queens. 

I chose the two hour deal.  I can wash my dishes and vacuum that one rug in the living room.   With two cats and not being allergic to either the cats or dust, flying fur builds up not to mention that Dust “R” Us has a totally free service that includes delivery.   

What do you look for when choosing a company?  Do you want Eco-friendly if they provide the products?  Would you rather provide your own products?  Do you need to provide the vacuum, broom, mop or any other items?  Keep in mind that you really don’t want to have a company take cleaning utensils from one house to another.   Will there be any communication issue between you and the workers in explaining what needs to be done and not done?  Even after providing Amazon Local with my charge card, one company wanted my charge card in case the time ran over.  You already agreed on the price and time. Do not use that company. 

With a description of what the company will do, make your own list of what you want done in the amount of time agreed to beginning with priorities. 

How did it go?  Only a smell of “clean” was detected.  I didn’t have to open all the windows as I had to do in the past.  I walked around in my bare feet to test out the floors and nothing stuck to them (Dirt is drawn to the sweat in my feet).  It turns out that they make their own products.  Do they work?  Check online to find out how to make your own household products.  “Elbow grease” helps as well. 

Lance Andrade is the owner of Keen Green Cleaning company and an environmental enthusiast. He was introduced to the green aspect in early 2013, changing his life and putting him on a “mission to help expand green businesses for the sake of our environment and our world.” This is his first green business.  Lance sees it as a “business that could benefit the occupant’s health and our Mother Earth at the same time.”  Well, I’m a happy camper. 

Having a bad experience with Sears regarding replacement vinyl windows both with the salesman and price ($1000 per window?), I turned to HomeAdvisor for assistance. Reliable Remodelers was one of the companies listed. “Reliable” is defined as able to be trusted to do or provide what is needed and able to be believed.  Were they?

Owner John Malanka visited my home to both check out the windows and make his sales pitch.  My neighbor came over to listen as he and many of the house owners on the block are always looking to improve and get the best prices.  John also brought a small sized sample of the window that I basically requested.  He brought a brochure of NorthEast Windows to view the description as well as taking a quick measurement in order to determine the price.   Let’s just say it was less than half the price that Sears quoted. 

John does not to the work but gives it to an employee who will then take it over and supervise.  As stairs are a difficulty for me and where most of the windows were being done, I said that I needed to have someone else to accompany.   I do not allow strangers to go where I am an unable to see them. 
With the contract agreed upon, the next step was having the supervising employee measure as well as assessing if there was any extra work needed in the replacements.  Windows now had to be built.  They tell me that windows are not stocked.   No middle man…less on price.  Smart idea.

Price was scheduled with three payments: deposit, supervisor’s visit, final payment when completed.  I have become skeptic with so many scams, etc.  On the day of installation, they arrived only a bit early as I waited for someone who would be accompanying them upstairs.  In the meantime, there was one window to be done not downstairs.  I think it’s been here since the house was built. 

With everything seemingly completed, I later asked my neighbor to check it out.  He found a small hole in one of the screens.  It wasn’t until about a week later that this got done and with much annoyance as the accompaniment request was being ignored and the twice 6pm appointment arrived at 8:45 telling me that he was told, “Any time after 7pm”.   I had called the office at 7 to find out what was going on.  Tim said that he would get back with me.  Nothing.  At 8pm I called and a different person said that she would find out and get back with me.  Nothing.  The responsibility was not on the owner, who makes the assumption that his employee is doing a good job.  Yes, all was finally done and does look good…but with much insistence.  Reliable?

Changing the subject to the Mets bets.  Chicago was to send Lagunita’s Beer and Giordano’s pizza on one bet.  Got some of the pizza sent to me to review.  Deep dish pizza sent frozen.  Loved the crust, lots of cheese and comes with extra tomato sauce.  Probably better if gotten at one of their franchises.  Will have to try a similar one from Queens.   Doing a beer tasting and will report when I have gotten through each of the samples. 

Now that the Mets lost the World Series, cheesecake will be sent to the Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City.  DeBlasio is to send Junior’s Cheesecake to represent authentic New York cheesecake.  Junior’s has the hype and money for public relations but certainly not the best.  There are two cheesecake companies here in Queens; La Cheesecake and Cascon.  Will follow up on this one.

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