[Where to] Get it Fixed
Sometimes it's better to fix something you love than toss it. Be it that heirloom Madame Alexander doll, circa-1960 copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, or your grandparents' precious wedding photos. Luckily for you, we've scoured the city and surrounding areas and found the best places and services that specialize in fixing everything from china, vacuums, and bathtubs to '69 Mustangs, luggage, and sewing machines. Because even if it's broken, that doesn't mean it has to go.
Edited by Blake Miller
Written by Monica Jamouneau, Sarah Morse, and Katie Pfeiffer
Photographs by Chris Edwards (unless noted)
Illustrations by Eric Sturdevant
If you plan on soaking in your tub for a couple hours, it had better be clean and leak-proof. Brennan's Repair and Restoration (13538 Dansville Dr., Pineville; 704-544-0627; www.brennanrestoration.com ) provides refinishing services to bathtubs (as well as sinks, countertops, and tile). The staff can repair scratches, patch up cracks and chips, remove rust, plus refinish your porcelain tub to a smooth, glossy sheen while also restoring it to its natural color.
Offering repair services (shock work, suspension oil changes, etc.) on everything from your ten-speed Schwinn to more rugged mountain bikes, SouthPark Cycles (5121 South Blvd.; 704-522-7006; www.southparkcycles.com ) will fix your cycle regardless of whether it was purchased at the shop. Look to SouthPark Cycles, too, for brake work (tune-ups start at $80) or custom building a bike fit for you.
Store your boat this winter at American Marine (150 Marvin Rd., Fort Mill, SC; 704-361-9655; www.americanmarineservices.com ), which will not only keep your Boston Whaler safe from the Carolinas' notorious ice storms but also service it (think winterization and dewinterization services). Need custom upholstery, too? It has you covered (literally), and can perform other cosmetic repairs, including painting.
Trust Barbara Daniels at Custom Bindery & Specialties Inc. (1316 S. Tryon St.; 704-332-2195; www.custombindery.net ) to rebind, restore, and basically redo your tattered copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. She replaces old spines, refurbishes deteriorating leather, repairs fragile pages, and more.
Or try Peppi White, a true conservator of art. White can also rebind and restore your vintage books (think a circa-1818 Bible) at her South End studio, The Book Binding and Conservation Studio of Peppi White (1715 Hawkins St.; 704-338-1463).
Name just about any camera repair you can think of (cracked lens, faulty flash, etc.), and Southern Photo Technical Service (527 North Polk St., Pineville; 704-889-7040; www.southern-photo.com ) can fix it. It will repair digital and film cameras (i.e., Pentax, Canon, Fuji, etc.), camcorders, home audio equipment, and TVs.
All Out Chimney Sweep LLC (6427 Park South Dr.; 704-553-1908; www.alloutchimneysweep.com ) can make your chimney burn cleaner by cleaning masonry and prefabricated fireplaces, furnace flues, woodstoves, and more. Plus, it will repair cracking mortar joints, chimney tile, and brickwork. Better yet, it will also perform smoke testing to help determine if your chimney is having operational issues, which can cause smoke leaks.
Few places can restore a '56 ‘Vette, but Red Humphreys has fixed that and other vintage cars such as a '65 Dodge Dart, Willy's pickup circa 1941 (pictured, below), and the crème de la crème: a $250,000 1969 429 Mustang. At his shop, Red's Place (4905 Holly Vista Dr.; 704-509-6397; www.redsplacecustom.com ), your antique roadster will receive general maintenance (oil and filter change) or a complete restoration including sheet metal fabricating. (Sorry, no transmission or interior aesthetic work.)
The Clock Shop (4219-4 Providence Rd.; 704-770-0101; www.theclockshopnc.com ) provides interior repairs and exterior refinishing, as well as free assessments of damages. Minor repairs (broken hands) can be as little as $30, and most can be done while you wait. If your clock is an immovable hand-me-down Howard Miller grandfather clock, the shop will send someone to make a house call to repair the problem plus offer suggestions on how to keep it ticking for years to come.
Don't let your PC woes frustrate you—make an appointment or simply walk in to Access Computer (708 Pineville Matthews Rd.; 704-542-7774; www.accesscomputer.net ). These computer wizards can get your HP desktop up and running by offering general maintenance and installations. Bonus: if your Dell laptop's gone dead but you're desperate for that business report saved on your desktop, Access can help with data retrieval even when you think you've lost your spreadsheet forever.
Doors & Windows
If that draft from your windowsill has you feeling frigid, reduce your heating bill and stay warm by having Matthew's Siding and Windows (622-C W. Roosevelt Blvd., Monroe; 704-291-9555; www.matthewssidingandwindows.com ) replace your ancient windows. Matthew's offers free estimates, plus it can install specialized windows with argon gas to control temperatures or glass panes that prevent the fading of drapes and carpets.
Not your window that's got you cold? Clark Hall Doors by Design (1440 S. Tryon St.; 704-987-0777; www.clarkhalldoors.com ) can repair and custom build exterior and interior doors in wrought iron, mahogany, oak, maple, cherry, walnut, and many more high-quality woods.
If it's your garage door that's busted, let Elite Garage Door Service Inc. (9611 Brookdale Dr.; 704-293-9558; www.elitegaragedoor.com ) fix broken springs, bent tracks, or broken electric door openers.
Whether it's a chipped Wedgewood server, cracked Rosenthal dessert plate, broken Waterford crystal stemware, or even your precious porcelain doll, father-and-son team Jack (Sr.) and Jack (Jr.) Marble of Precious Restorations Unlimited (1820 South Blvd.; 704-965-0074; www.preciousrestorations.net ) can help. The duo specializes in the repair and restoration of china, porcelain, and pottery but can also handle glass, ivory, and bone pieces.
Fitness & Sports Equipment
When you're dying to lose your love handles but your treadmill is on the fritz, call Superior Fitness Systems (8700 Pineville-Matthews Rd.; 704-542-1710; www.superiorfitness.com ). Superior's team can service your elliptical, StairMaster, or home gym by Precor, Torque, Symmetry, and more even after the warranty runs out.
If you prefer to shed the pounds on the tennis court, Don's Tennis Accessories (826 E. Morehead St.; 704-377-5999) will restring your Wilson, Yonex, or Prince with any type of string, from synthetic to gut, plus regrip it, all in the same day you brought it in.
Or walk off those lbs. by hitting the greens. The biggest on the East Coast when it comes to club repair, Carolina Custom Golf (4301-B Park Rd.; 704-525-2420; www.carolinagolf.com ) fixes your newest driver, your antique putter, and more. Take it in for metal or wood refinishing, iron regrooving, regripping, and reshafting.
A great hardwood floor can add a touch of class to any home, except when it's dented, scratched, or basically ruined. The licensed experts at AA Hardwood Floor Inc. (135 Cupped Oak Dr., Matthews; 704-893-0300) and Anthony's Flooring (2104 Bluestone Ct., Waxhaw; 704-765-3265) start by removing tough stains then moving to more serious repairs such as fixing buckled planks to refurbish the glossy woods throughout the home.
If you've been itching to get back to your stitching, but don't know where to take your busted Singer sewing machine, go to Charlotte Sewing Center (5113 South Blvd.; 704-525-9022; www.charlottesew.com ). Established in 1980 as Charlotte's first sewing machine store, this place can remedy any sewing equipment ailment, from faulty foot pedals to skipped stitches.
For specialized vacuum service on that $500 Dyson that's blowing more dust than sucking it, try G&S Vacuum Repair Service (2411 Central Ave.; 704-372-6406). Offering "bumper-to-bumper" repair, G&S fixes everything from cracked handles to stifled brush rolls.
But when your appliance problems go beyond hemming and cleaning, look to Charlotte Appliance Repair (401 Hawthorne Ln., Suite 110-186; 704-341-6181; www.charlotteappliancerepair.com ), which will service oodles of brand-name appliances (think Jenn-Air, Maytag, Whirlpool, Sub Zero) for ranges, fridges, dishwashers, and more.
(Bonus: you'll get a one-year parts-and-labor repair guarantee.) Or opt for Carolina Appliance Service (2500 Tensing Ct., Matthews; 704-847-0004; www.carolinaapplianceservice.com ), which first attempts to solve your problem via phone for free, then provides radio-dispatched, same-day repair service.
When your Rolex goes tick, tick, boom!, bring it to Lions Jewelers (Phillips Place, 6809-D Phillips Place Ct., 704-556-7747; Ballantyne Village—14825 John J. Delaney Dr.; 704-567-4737; www.lionsjewelers.com ) where a certified tech can fix old batteries and broken faces, replace gaskets and crystal, and do more. If your ticker isn't the prob, Ballantyne Jewelers (12335 N. Community House Rd.; 704-341-4242; www.ballantynejewelers.com ) and Morrison Smith (705 Providence Rd.; 704-332-1605; www.morrisonsmith.com ) can work magic with sizing (wedding band is too tight), shortening (charm bracelet is too big), and broken chains (David Yurman necklace is broken).
Whether it's your vintage Tiffany lamp or sweeping foyer chandelier that needs rewiring, The Lamp Gallery (8042 Providence Rd.; 704-341-8223; www.thelampgalleryinc.com ) can repair and restore your antique French vase turned light fixture to its original looks. Basic rewiring starts at $15 plus costs for additional parts, and can be completed in as little time as one day. Plus, if the repair doesn't hold up for a year, the company will fix it again free
The next time your John Deere putters out mid-mow, bring it to Roberts Small Engine Repair (5427 N. Sharon Amity Rd.; 704-556-1222), which can repair everything from push or riding mowers to Weedwackers and trimmers. Or try Pawtuckett Small Engine Repair (8210 Moores Chapel Rd.; 704-391-8104), which can fix a broken belt or repair more serious engine or transmission issues.
If your leather love seat shows its wear with nasty scrapes, wine stains, or basic wear-and-tear, it might be time to try Leather Magic Inc. (1396 Walkup Ave., Monroe; 704-283-5078; www.leathermagic.com ). Simply send a sample of the color of the sofa, chair, etc. to the company and it will create a custom dye, which you can apply to your scratched-up cowhide recliner to restore it to its original rich hue. And while Leather Goods won't perform the service itself, it offers a technical support "hot line" (800-232-4092) where leather experts can walk you through the restoration of your furniture.
For more than thirty years, Murphy's Lock and Key Shop (2633 Bay St.; 704-373-0562) has been repairing almost any kind of lock: residential, industrial, and commercial (sorry, no cars). It'll cost you around $60 plus labor, but the fee is well worth the small-town-like service as owner Terry Murphy does all the repair work himself.
If your Hartman suitcase has seen better days, Sharon Luggage (8000 Arrowridge Blvd.; 704-522-0155; www.sharonluggage.com ) will repair your luggage even if you didn't buy it at that store. From restitches, fixing broken handles and wheels, zipper repairs, and fabric patching, most jobs are done on site, with some sent back to the manufacturer for a $15 shipping fee. You can also breathe a sigh of relief if you misplaced your duffle-bag key in transit—the store can undo the lock for you.
When you depart BD's Cycles (8625 Castlebay Dr.; 704-607-9153, www.bdscycles.com ) with your newly painted Harley, you also leave with a warranty that lasts as long as you own your bike. In addition to custom paint jobs, BD's also offers bodywork such as tank stretches, and its reliable staff can fix dents and holes in steel and plastic.
Bring your vintage viola in need of serious rehab to The Violin Shoppe Inc. (2112 E. Seventh St.; 704-373-0551; www.theviolinshoppe.net ). From neglected heirlooms to bows dying to be rehaired, the shop offers complete restoration services for all violin and viola family instruments.
If your baby Steinway isn't singing so sweetly of late, look to A 440 Piano Service (7701 Gayle Ave.; 704-563-8230; www.a440piano.com ) where registered piano technician Joseph Gotta (he's fixed the ivory keys for the likes of Tori Amos) can tune it up plus provide voicing.
Paintings & Frames
No home is a museum, so the paintings hanging in your dining room might start to look a little worn over the years. Luckily Coffey and Thompson (1412-C E. Fourth St.; 704-375-7232, www.coffeyandthompson.com ) restores and renews all artwork from traditional to abstract. Bring these experts a seemingly unfixable malady—such as a torn canvas—and they can affix a separate canvas to the back of it for support, in addition to doing surface repairs. Or, if your painting is looking a little faded, a simple cleaning and revarnishing of both the art and the frame can make your weathered reproduction look new again.
But if the frame on the oil painting in your dining room is looking a bit dated, give it a boost at Studio Shop Art Restoration and Conservation (307 N. Caswell Rd.; 704-375-9121), where enthusiastic experts can recarve, recast, or refinish frames, as well as restore just about anything on paper.
If your aging photos need a makeover, head to Phil Aull Studio (215 Providence Rd.; 704-332-2211; www.philaullportraits.com ) where Aull and his team can restore decades-old images (some even 100 years old) that are faded, mutilated, aged, or cracked. Better yet—Aull can also blow up your restored image.
Even pool tables need some TLC after years of wear. The American Billiard Company (1430 E. Fourth St.; 704-333-0041; www.americanbilliards.net ) will not only set up (or take down) your pool table, but it will also re-cover it with new high-quality wool or wool/nylon cloth; refinish rails, aprons, frames, or legs; and restore antique tables. Plus, bring your cues here for tip replacement and repair, and peruse the store's offerings of other billiards accessories and game tables.
Did that night at the gala wreak havoc on your Jimmy Choos? Broken heels, unsightly scuffs, and thinning soles are no problem for the shoe specialists at Myers Park Shoe Repair (1043 Providence Rd.; 704-375-6370), where twenty-three years of experience guarantees a job well done. At Belk Shoe Repair (4400 Sharon Rd.; 704-364-0220) expect a large selection of professional shoe repair services including bridal dyes and re-stitching, as well as a variety of helpful items like shoeshine kits and shoe trees. (Heel replacement starts at $7 and sole replacement at $20 for the average women's shoe.)
Stained Glass Windows
Fix the crack in your stained glass window by taking it to Glassworks Stained Glass Studios (10625 Texland Blvd., No. 600; 704-519-4881), which will repair damaged glass in your home, or you can bring it in for fixing. Glassworks also produces, designs, and installs stained glass if you want to add a little color to your home.
When you can't last any longer without hearing Justin Timberlake sing his sweet tunes loud and clear on your home stereo, go to one of Queen City's (800-365-6665; www.queencitytv.com for locations) fifteen storefronts. The shops will repair broken audio equipment by Sony, Toshiba, Infinity, and more.
Need to get rid of that month-old wine stain on your carpet but don't want to lug home a bulky carpet cleaner? Advanced Carpet Cleaning and Fabric Care (3410 Little Hope Rd.; 704-525-8484) will clean your wall-to-wall carpet and rugs. For your more expensive Persians or Orientals, look to Persian Rug House of Pineville (312 Main St., Pineville; 704-889-2454; www.persianrughouse.net ) where professionals not only can clean by hand your coveted Indian rug but also restore your weathered piece (including discoloration remedies) to its original luster.
When stains or tears in your furniture have you frazzled, it might be time to re-upholster. Benfield's Upholstery (3817 Louisiana Ave.; 704-393-3028) and Abagail's Fabrics and Terry's Upholstery Service (500 Dalton Ave. B; 704-375-0902) can breathe new life (and style!) into your favorite La-Z-Boy with a simple recovering.
Keep repositioning the wastebasket to cover that ugly area of cracked bathroom tile? The Tile and Marble Gallery (20830 Torrence Chapel Rd., Cornelius; 704-892-2442; www.tileandmarblegallery.com ) carries everything from your basic tumbled tile to lavish glass variations and mosaics. With a vast selection of tile, in-store designers can help you match the broken tile in your kitchen in order
to replace it.
Is your grandmother's 1920s high-back chair getting a bit rickety? Take it to Crosland Studio (118 East Kingston Ave.; 704-332-3032) where identical twins Bob (pictured, left) and Dick Fuller repair, refinish, and restore all types of wooden and antique furniture. In business for thirty-one years, these brothers also specialize in repairing antiques and heirlooms (they recently refinished an eleven-foot, two-hundred-year-old sideboard for the Charlotte City Club).