Home repair referrals in Minneapolis please.
September 20, 2009 4:56 PM   Subscribe

I need a referral to a plumber in Minneapolis who can do a good job replacing my 1930 toilet. Also need a roof repair, sidewalk, and tree removal.

I'm home on leave and as usual I find my home in disrepair after two years away.

I own a 1930 tudor duplex with the original bathroom fixtures and tile (both wall and floor). It has the old wall-mounted toilet tank, which has a hairline crack and is leaking. I am going to look for a replacement tank tomorrow. If I cannot find one, I will have to replace the entire toilet. After doing some preliminary internet research it appears that plumbing has changed quite a bit in the last 80 years and any replacing can damage walls, floors and aesthetics.

I need a recommendation for an experienced Minneapolis/St. Paul plumber who can either replace the tank or install a new toilet and not turn my bathroom into a disaster zone.

My roof also sustained some damage due from the recent tornadoes. The insurer says the damage is not enough to exceed the deductible. Still it has to be repaired in spots. I need an honest roof person.

I have to put in a sidewalk around my house, going from the front steps around through the backyard to the garage. I was thinking of those poured concrete pieces that look like stones. It is a job that I am not prepared to do on my own.

And lastly, there is a large tree on the property line in front of my house that is beginning to grow into my wrought iron fence. It must be removed. I hold no hope of the owner of the other property taking care of the problem.

All of this has to be done in the next four weeks before I deploy once again for another year.
posted by Juicylicious to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Toilets are pretty cheap; you may be able to get a rebate from the city if you're junking an old high-flow toilet with the new 1.6 gal models.

Replacing a toilet isn't rocket science; it's pretty basic plumbing. With a good pipe wrench, you could almost do it yourself.
posted by musofire at 5:18 PM on September 20, 2009

I have access to Angies List so mefimail in case you want someone in greater proximity. For the tree I would suggest S & S Tree Service since they rescued, pruned, and cabled an old sugar maple tree for me. Plumbing has been hit or miss for me but taking a look Randy Lane & Sons, Zell Plumbing and Norblom Plumbing seem to be highly rated on Angies List.
posted by jadepearl at 6:06 PM on September 20, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions.

Replacing 1930s plumbing with modern plumbing nearly is rocket science. The pipes are not the same diameters. The toilet bases are much smaller now (meaning the floor tile will suffer). The water pipes come through the wall several inches higher than now (meaning damaged wall tiles. Plus, the tank is wall hung. It's not easy.
posted by Juicylicious at 6:40 PM on September 20, 2009

The roofer of choice for old houses in St. Paul seems to be Garlock-French. We had a minor repair recently and it did take a while to get someone out to do the work, so this may not work with your timeframe.

Concrete work: Hage is expensive but they do a great job. (I don't know that they're *more* expensive than other firms, I just remember being surprised at how much concrete work cost.)
posted by lakeroon at 6:40 PM on September 20, 2009

I don't mean to be contradictory about "modern plumbing nearly is rocket science" but it's a shame to get hosed by a plumber needlessly.

I'd talk to the people at your local hardware store about the toilet. Bring pictures. They should be able to sell you any adapters you'll need. The cold water returns can be replaced with that flexi-mesh steel piping instead of modifying the position of the pipes. I changed out a toilet from the 20's without the problems you're describing.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:53 PM on September 20, 2009

I've got an old wall-mounted tank toilet. They sit up higher than most modern toilets, so the tile near the top, and the mounting holes, are going to be exposed. Putting a new toilet is cake; it will be the tile /grout work that you'll have to see about. On the other hand, if your tile is white, with "natural" or off-white grout, you might be able to just smooth in some pre-mixed grout into the holes in the tiles and it won't be too noticeable - my parents did that in the house I grew up in, and I only noticed it last year.
posted by notsnot at 9:00 PM on September 20, 2009

My neighbor is a general contractor. He does solid roof work, won't overcharge you, and will likely provide the same quality of service as a more expensive contractor. Company profile / contact info can be found here; no website though. He doesn't have the advertising budget that some of the larger companies in the area have; he works mostly on word-of-mouth recommendations. If nothing else it's nice to have a second opinion even if you choose to go with a different company.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:52 AM on September 21, 2009

My neighbors and I have used homesweethome renovations () for some siding and roof work. They also do general contracting, but I'm not sure about plumbing. I was very pleased with their budget friendly, professional, and quick service.
posted by Malla at 2:49 PM on September 21, 2009

Oops, link didn't work: hshremodeling.com.
posted by Malla at 2:49 PM on September 21, 2009

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