By Brian Swartz
Weekly Staff Editor
ORONO — Whatever the type of improvements or repairs a homeowner needs done, One Stop Home Repair can handle the project, according to owner Howard Whelden Sr.
He opened One Stop Home Repair in 1980 at his Forest Avenue home “here in Orono” and relocated the business to 90 Stillwater Ave., Orono, in 2003 “for the location, mostly for the visibility for traffic.” An experienced builder, Whelden designed his company to be “that full-service home-service company” for residential properties.
“The concept was, I started a handyman service,” he explained. “The homeowner could have one company meet all their needs.”
By focusing on customer service, One Stop Home Repair has grown substantially since the days when Whelden was a sole handyman. Today the company’s 13 experienced employees “do all phases of home repair,” including carpentry, electrical, heating and plumbing, and natural gas conversion, Whelden said. He employs a master electrician, and his son, Howard Whelden Jr., is licensed to do natural gas conversions.
The company remodels kitchens and bathrooms, builds additions, and repairs or replaces shingle and metal roofs. Other services include painting, installing dry wall, and installing siding, doors and windows. The company performs many maintenance-related services, such as power washing and general maintenance.
For customers experiencing electrical or plumbing problems, 24-hour emergency service is available.
“We are mostly a residential service company,” he said. Operating with six service trucks, his employees cover typically a 50-mile radius of the greater Bangor area, he said.
“Our service trucks are set up like a rolling shop, fully stocked with parts and tools so we can get right to work and get the job done,” he said.
No matter how minor or major a particular project’s complexity, One Stop Home Repair “can do the job for you,” Whelden said. With each particular project, “everything is under our management,” he noted, explaining that “we control the workers’ schedules. This means our customers aren’t waiting for an electrician or a plumber to arrive some time during the day, because we set the schedules. We know when we will be there, and we let our customers know that,” he said.
“Because we are all working together, the job coordination can be good,” Whelden said. “There’s a team atmosphere here; we’re focused on pleasing our customers.”
After a project has been completed, a One Stop Home Repair representative contacts the customer to make sure the homeowner is happy with it, Whelden said. The customer will be contacted again six months later to make sure that no issues have arisen, he indicated.
Among the home-improvement services offered by One Stop Home Repair is the Green Energy Barrier, a thin aluminum foil developed by NASA to insulate the interior of an astronaut’s space suit. A Green Energy Barrier can reflect back into a home up to 95 percent of the heat escaping into the attic in winter.
During the summer, a Green Energy Barrier can reflect up to an equivalent percentage of attic heat, keeping the warm air in the attic and not letting the sun-caused heat displace the cooler household air supplied by an air conditioner.
Before installing a Green Energy Barrier, “we visit a customer’s home” to perform “an energy analysis,” Whelden said. This test, which involves using blower doors and thermal imaging cameras, helps determine where energy losses are occurring. Based on this information, a One Stop Home Repair specialist can determine where to place a Green Energy Barrier.
It can be installed over existing insulation or set in place during a remodeling project, Whelden indicated. “Our customers are very pleased with our product,” he said.
One Stop Home Repair also sells and installs see-through In’flector window insulators, which are placed in a window or skylight and, depending on the season, reversed to keep the hot sunlight out or the warm interior air in. In’flector panels are installed on the One Stop Home Repair office windows; hardly inhibiting good views of the outdoors, the panels reflect sunlight and prevent it from raising interior temperatures.
Sometimes while working in a home, “we’ve found problems that the customer didn’t know they had,” Whelden said. He cited discovering an improperly vented attic where moisture had built up behind sheetrock and had caused black mold to grow.
“We caught that problem and corrected it,” Whelden said. “The customer was very happy; they didn’t know about the black mold.”
Another attic had “many bats” living in it. The homeowner wanted them evicted, so One Stop Home Repair installed a system that let the bats escape at dusk, but unable to re-enter the attic at dawn. “They found some place else to live,” Whelden said.
“Anybody can call for a free attic inspection,” he noted.
“Our sales have been consistent for the last six years in this economy,” Whelden said. “We’re a preferred service provider for insurance companies to do restoration and repair for water damage, fire damage.”
For information about One Stop Home Repair, call 866-5690, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to http://mainehomerepair.com. Stop by the company’s booth during the Bangor Daily News Man Expo, slated to take place Friday through Sunday, Sept. 27-29, at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.