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Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 04:55 AM EDT

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Need A Windshield Replaced Or Fixed?

I Know A Guy...By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The windshield on my Jeep was cracked, so I wanted to replace it. A friend referred me to Felipe "Philip" Mendoza, who came over to my house today and did the job in about an hour. I called him up last week and told him what I needed, and gave him the make, model, and year of my Jeep. He let me know when he had obtained the replacement windshield, and we coordinated a date to do the replacement installation.

Philip did did a professional job for a very reasonable price. He has experience working in the US and is the son of a US military veteran who served many years in Panama. He also speaks perfect English. He can replace practically any vehicle glass, and he also repairs stone chips before they form cracks. You can contact Philip on his cell phone at 6796-2124.

Update: I just spoke to Philip and confirmed his cell phone number. It's 6796-2124. It's on, it's active, and it works. I also exchanged text messages with him. The first time I called it went to voice mail. So I sent a text message, and he called me back. Anyway, the number is right.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Carlos For Computer Related Stuff...

I Know A Guy...By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today via email: "In reviewing your "I know a guy" list I would like to suggest you include the below named individual as a reference contact for anyone needing assistance in the area of computer related hardware and software problems. I have used Carlos for the past couple of years and can attest to his competency and dependability. He has supported me in everything from restoration of total hard drive crashes to network setups and software upgrades. He lives in Panama City, his English is fluent, and he will show up at your residence or office on time. Carlos Chock, ph 6222-4040, mail cchock@gmail.com"

And There You Have It: Too often I hear nothing but bitches and complaints from people about poor service, poor communication, people who say one thing and then do something else, etc. If you would like to recommend someone who has done a good service for you in the past then fire away. However, this is intended to give a hand up to the little guy who's just fighting to make a living. If it's a regular company then don't bother because those guys can pay to advertise. Follow me?

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Get it Fixed in Panama - Repairs, Remodeling, Electrical, Plumbing, Cabinets and Wood, Installations, Ceramic Tiles, Roofs

I Know A Guy...By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I've been living in Panama now for more than 23 years and during that time I've completed dozens of home repair and remodeling jobs. I have developed a cadre of excellent home repair and construction workers capable of fixing most of the things that go wrong around your home. We can handle just about anything in a home or apartment in the area of Panama City, to include general repairs and maintenance as well as remodeling projects and builds. Here is a partial list of the work we can do for you;
  • Ceramic Floor and Wall Tiles: Removal of old, ugly, and chipped ceramic tiles. Replacement and installation of new tiles and grout in bathrooms, kitchens, and floors.

  • Residential Electrical: Things such as the installation or replacement of lamps and light switches, electrical outlets, ceiling fans, dimmers, and rewiring or upgrading circuits from the panel for areas of your home or apartment that might need a greater capacity.

  • Plumbing: Leaks in sinks and faucets, replacement or installation of fixtures in bathrooms and kitchen, replacement and installation of sinks and toilets, general residential plumbing.

  • Wood and Cabinets: Light repairs of existing doors for things like a door that "drags" on the floor, repair or replacement of door jams and frames, installation or upgrades of locks and doorknobs. Tear down and removal of old cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms, installation of new units. Installation and repair of wood in closets, doors, etc.

  • Painting and Wall Treatments: Resurfacing of walls, sanded down smooth, sealed, primed, and painted professionally. Meticulous cleanup after all jobs. Sealants or other specialized treatments applied when and where necessary.

  • Roofs and Leaks: We have a roof and leak repair specialist. We will find and fix any leak in any roof, guaranteed.

Materials Plus Labor: We will visit your home and conduct an initial inspection and evaluation of the work you want done, take measurements, take some photos, and use that information to develop an estimate which will include details for both materials and labor costs. The homeowner will pay the exact cost of materials used for the job (not a dime more) and all receipts will be provided for independent verification if desired. The labor cost for the work to be done will be agreed upon before work starts - no surprises or "jacking" the price later once work has started. Our prices are reasonable and on the local Panama standard, but with the added safety and security of oversight for quality, compliance, administration, and management.

On Time, On Target: We emphasize following through and simply doing what we say we will do. In Panama some unscrupulous people in the construction industry will promise the world in order to get the contract, but then they don't complete the work, do a shoddy job, or leave it half done and abandon the project, leaving the homeowner to clean up the mess. These are exactly the things that would drive me crazy when I was the guy trying to get the work done. I insist that my workers show up on time, as promised. We will haul away all debris, scrap materials, etc.

Specialists As Required: If our guys can't do it, then we will bring in the right person to get the job done for you professionally. If your project needs an air conditioning technician, for example, we will get the guy and have the job done for you as part of the larger project.

"Get It Fixed" in Panama: Chances are good that sooner or later some little thing will break around your home. Or, you might want to do some kind of a larger repair or remodeling project. If so, please contact us via email at getitfixed@panama-guide.com or give us a call at 6614-0451, and "Get It Fixed" now.

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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AC Express for Air Conditioner Repair or Maintenance

I Know A Guy... Update: 30 March 2010: The 12,000 BTU Samsung split air conditioner in my office started acting up again. It would run for awhile, then it seemed like something would "heat up" and it would turn itself off, after about 45 minutes. I called my good friends at AC Express and they were there within 20 minutes. They swapped out a capacitor (which they had in the truck) and I'm good to go. These guys do all of the repair and maintenance work on the AC units in my home and office. They know what they are doing, they're competent, fair, fast, and reasonably priced.

The hot and humid tropical Panamanian climate can be hard on buildings, structures, machines, and appliances. Regular maintenance is important, especially for air conditioning units, and it can mean the difference between having to pay a small fee for upkeep now, or a lot of money later to replace a damaged or destroyed unit when it finally breaks down. People have a tendency to forget about or ignore their air conditioning units as long as they keep working, and once they go "kaput" then the lack of air conditioning constitutes an immediate emergency. The tropical and humid climate is very tough on air conditioning units, which work hard all day long to keep your working and living spaces comfortable. Experts recommend regular cleaning and maintenance every three months for frequently used units, and every six months for infrequently used units. Cleaning your A/C units regularly makes sense for several reasons: it extends the useful life of the unit, increases efficiency, reduces electrical consumption, and improves air quality which can prevent allergies and diseases. If you wish to quote the service of maintenance or repair for you A/C units, contact AC EXPRESS today and start breathing cleaner air. AC EXPRESS, S.A. Tel. 270-0233 Cel. 6112-0339 or 65858483 Email acexpanama@gmail.com (Editor's Comment: these are the guys that keep the split AC units in my home and office running. Tell then "Mr. Don" sent you...)

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Need An Air Conditioner Repairman or Installation?

I Know A Guy... By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I would like to recommend a person who recently did some work for me to repair a Samsung 18,000 BTU split airconditioner in my office. I had another couple of guys working on this system and they didn't know what the hell they were doing. They had me buy and replace a fan motor that was not broken, and basically left me hanging with a partially disassembled split AC that still was not working. Then someone recommended Alexander Marrugo. He does all kinds of work, particularly with welding, building aluminum doors, and general construction. He came over with an air conditioning specialist and they spent the entire afternoon yesterday and most of the morning today trouble shooting my busted split AC unit. It turns out the other guys who were here before at some point inverted two wires, and with those two wires inverted on the outside unit there was no way it was going to work. The other guys had disassembled the outside compressor to clean it and apparently at some point they inverted these two wires when they were putting it back together. Duh. Then they could not get the unit to run so they started swapping out parts (that were not actually broken) and they were never able to get the unit functioning. They went away frustrated, and my AC unit stayed broke. These new guys came over and they were able to identify the problem, fix it, buy and install the required replacement parts, and get me running again. Alexander's cell phone number is 6733-5963 and you should be aware he does not speak a whole lot of English, so you might want to have someone standing by who can translate, provide directions, or what have you. But honest guys who know what they are doing with air conditioning repair are worth their weight in gold, and sooner or later here in Panama you're going to be needing their services, even just for regular maintenance, cleaning, general upkeep, installation, or repair.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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A Recommendation for Casa Egeo

I Know A Guy...

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today via email: "I seem to recall Don suggesting that if you have a good service experience with someone let others know (could have Panama Guide article, not sure). Over the past two years I have called Casa Egeo (236-4445) several times about our gas water heater. It's a Titan model and I am not overly impressed with it but the service that Casa Egeo provides has been EXCELLENT. This morning is typical: I called at 10am and they said they would arrive between 2-3pm. They arrived about 1:45pm and it took the guy less than a minute to diagnose the problem. He fixed it and did not charge me anything! That is not the first time they have not charged. Maybe it is still on warranty but it is two years old now. Jim" Thanks, Jim. As a matter of fact my gas hot water heater has been acting up lately...

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Cell Number for Alvaro the Mechanic (Write It Down)

I Know A Guy...

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received via email: "Dear Don, You recommended Alvaro some time ago and he did a fine job for me. Can you advise me how to contact him.He worked for different garages last year and I lost track. Thanks in advance for your help. mvg / with kind regards , Gunter" Sure. You can contact Alvaro at 6438-8000. For anyone that doesn't know, Alvaro has been my car mechanic for years. Eventually, whatever you're driving is going to need a set of brakes, tuneup, or something. Alvaro is bilingual, honest, and fair - a rare combination for auto mechanics in Panama or anywhere else. And, he will come to you or your broken down car where ever it happens to die. I just blindly toss him my keys and forget about it - he comes back with receipts for parts and a bill for his time. When you call him (and eventually you probably will) tell him I said "hi"...

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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A Recommendation for a Plumber in Boquete

I Know A Guy...

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - In response to yesterday's article about a plumber in Panama City, I received this: "Up here in Boquete there is an American Plumber, who is really, really knowledgeable and quite affordable. We have used him several times in a consulting role, and he was fantastic. I highly recommend him. His name is Scott Yates and his cell is – 6663-3612. Cheers, John Kamps." So, there you have it, and thanks for the recommendation. Let's see, if I remember right the two primary rules of thumb plumbers have to keep in mind are "stuff" flows downhill" and "don't chew your fingernails," right? For what it's worth.

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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A Recommendation For A Plumber

I Know A Guy...

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This was posted on the Viviendo En Panama Yahoo! email group this morning: "After so many dealings in "juego vivo" I just wanted to give a recommendation for someone who does great work. Fausto Avila is a plumber who knows what he is doing, shows up on- time and is reasonably priced. His number is 277-6555." If you have had a good experience with a service provider such as a plumber, electrician, or anything like this, please either send it to one of the groups or to me directly. Thanks.

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Managing Your Own Reconstruction Project

I Know A Guy...

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Have you ever done a "do it yourself" remodel on an apartment in Panama City. That's what I'm doing right now. I've got one construction guy who is acting as a foreman, bringing in the particular specialists we need to do things like install air conditioners, gas lines, electrical, cabinets, etc. He and his crew are doing all of the construction and mechanical, stuff like welding, pouring cement, ripping up old floors, knocking down walls - all of the heavy lifting. Once all of the parts and pieces are in their proper place then we shift to the fit and finish - paint, fixtures, lamps and lighting, decoration and details. If you can manage this kind of thing yourself you can save thousands of dollars and still be very involved in the decision making process - things like choosing higher quality "hidden" details like wall sockets. The difference is 100% higher cost - the "good" ones cost about $2.00 per, while the cheap Chinese (crap) ones cost about $1.00, so the total cost of putting quality fixtures in the entire house goes up by exactly one buck, multiplied by the total number of outlets in the entire house (what, maybe 15?). (more)

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For Construction and Apartment Remodeling...

I Know A Guy...

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I just got to work doing a major overhaul of the apartment we bought. The first thing I had to do was remove a spiral staircase (dangerous for a toddler) and have it replaced with a normal cement staircase. Well let me tell you that the guy I hired to do this job has been kicking ass since day one. I handed him 60% down to cover materials and the stuff started showing up in less than an hour. The only thing holding him back are the noise restrictions in the complex. They can only work from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon, and then from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm, and no major noise on Sundays. He and his crew have been working like beavers on crack and when he's done I'm going to be giving him a resounding recommendation, assuming that he keeps going like he has been so far. But, you can't have him until I'm done...so you'll have to wait. Ha!

Copyright 2007 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Introducing the new "I Know A Guy" Category

I Know A Guy...

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - In Panama one of the most important things you accumulate over time are contacts, especially for people to do "stuff." Usually it's little things that are both incredibly handy and indispensable - like a guy with a pickup truck and a helper to move some furniture. Or even a better example would be all of the postings I've put up for the world's best car mechanic, Alvaro. I would like to see this category used by everyone for both recommendations and warnings, but if we're going to get into that territory there has to be some minor rules... (more)

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