From stuffed animals to sewing machines, screens to stained glass—and just about anything else—this guide will lead you to a local shop that can bring it back to life. Find new favorites or rediscover old standbys that are always worth a shoutout (hey, Kimmel!). These 62 handypeople and craftspeople will give a second chance to whatever it is you want to hold on to.
The fourth-generation quilter behind Marie Harnish Quilt Creations loves to label quilts, so in addition to replacing stitches, securing shredded sections, completing an unfinished heirloom, or taking off a row to remove damage beyond repair, she will embroider or print the quilt’s entire provenance on a swatch and attach it to the back. Whole obituaries and photos can go on a label. She once deconstructed an entire quilt to replace innards destroyed by a cleaning product.
Custom Time, 1586 E. 400 S, Lebanon, 317-508-8463, customtime.net
Time might be eternal, but a grandfather clock isn’t. It’s possibly the most delicate item in your house, believe it or not. Bill Moore has been repairing them for 42 years. He is one of Indiana’s few licensed and certified clock-makers (the certification program itself ended in 1989.) For three generations, his family has been fixing timepieces. The average grandfather clock repair takes 90 minutes to three and a half hours, and costs about $350.
Vamaco Tools and Equipment, 6718 E. 38th St., 317-632-2208
If you have a vintage workhorse made with metal parts instead of plastic, it’s worth a visit to Joseph Fowley at Vamaco Tools and Equipment to see if new parts exist. Either Joseph will do—father or son. The elder Fowley is 83, still at the bench repairing cordless drills, pressure washers, sanders, miter saws, and anything else you use to fix stuff at home. Vamaco is also an authorized repair shop for most top brands. Basics—new switches, fresh brushes—cost around $50 to $100 and take three days.
Select Sewing Machine, 2415 E. 65th St., 317-255-6332, selectsewingservice.com
Owners Karen and Jim Bennett see a steady stream of “traumas,” a machine with a garment stuck under the presser foot or knotted up around a needle. The service technicians—some have worked at the second-generation business for more than 35 years—can usually rescue a curtain or a school costume from ruin, so don’t try to yank it free. Plenty of bigger jobs come in from Butler Ballet and Beef & Boards, but a quick fix runs $35 and usually just requires oiling or resetting the tension. And that’s about all the Bennetts can do for an heirloom cabinet model—the parts aren’t available anymore.
Bulldog Glass and Mirror, 464 Southpoint Cir., Brownsburg, 317-858-7246, furniturefixindy.com
Seven years is just the beginning of the bad luck when it comes to broken mirrors. That little chip is often evidence of an invisible crack underneath the surface, and flaking silver that causes black spots is a lost cause unless it’s close enough to the edge to be cut off and repolished. But Bulldog can replace glass, including with the smoked looks often found behind bars, as well as the low-iron type salons use for maximum clarity. Owners Candice and Rob Staley, who installed the elevator mirrors at Hotel Carmichael in Carmel and can custom cut any shape, often surprise clients by uncovering a stamp on the back of an antique mirror that reveals exactly when and where it was made.
Carmel Custom Refinishing, 4275 W. 96th St., 317-872-3999, carmelcustomrefinishing.com
Most clients of Carmel Custom Refinishing have a rocking chair or a dining set that they’d like to maintain for future generations. But occasionally movers put a forklift through an armoire, and the 32-year-old business can handle that, too. And don’t toss out that chair with a wobbly turned leg—owner Jason Haggery can match an ornate design. Dresser refinishing runs $975 to $1,200; 60-inch tabletop refinishing, $1,000; chairs, $250 each. Turnaround time on a full dining room set is six to 10 weeks. Pickup, delivery, and shipping are available.
Lamps and Lampshades
Zionsville Lighting Center, by appointment only, 317-733-0233, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, those will burn out a lamp socket eventually. LED bulbs won’t. Zionsville Lighting Center swaps those out (along with bad and brittle wiring) in no time. The owners also convert showpieces purchased in Europe to American wiring. But no lamp is too ordinary to shine again. Lampshades can also be relined once the bulb burns through them, or re-covered with provided or special-ordered fabric.
Kasnak Restorations, 5505 N. County Rd. 1000 E, Brownsburg, 317-679-3650, kasnakrestorations.com
In more than 40 years, master craftspeople Bob and Leslie Kasnak of Kasnak Restorations have never turned down a job, whether the work came from Newfields, the SullivanMunce Cultural Center, or the proud owner of a late-19th-century steamer trunk. Those old travelers were built to last and are surprisingly tough, Bob says, so they usually just need a deep clean, new latches, and fresh leather handles, which run $450 to $850. He’s been known to use his own belt for the handles if it had the perfect age. More extensive damage to the wood is in good hands, too—Bob studied antique furniture restoration at the Smithsonian Institution and Winterthur Museum, handling Chippendale furniture valued at millions.
Royal Gallery of Rugs,12345 Old Meridian St., inside John Kirk Furniture, Carmel, 317-848-7847
Most handknotted rugs only need to be cleaned every 10 to 15 years, and Royal Gallery of Rugs will take care of popping out the furniture dents at the same time. (A high-quality, thin rug pad is a better choice than thick pads, which cause deeper dents.) Other common repairs include fixing the stitching around the edges or replacing the fringe—or just removing it altogether, a more modern choice. Those everyday fixes run about $200. For heavier jobs, like patching moth-chewn holes, replacing worn spots, cutting rugs down to a smaller size, and restoring color, owner Dave Farahan sends out the rug to a specialist. Cleaning, though, is done in house, by hand, in a way that will remove the odor or stain without damaging the wool.
Frost Upholstery, 4024 E. Michigan St., 317-353-1217, frostupholstery.com
Did any couch survive COVID without lumps? For nearly 50 years, Bessie Carter, with help from her sons, Gregory and Jeffrey, has been plumping cushions back up, usually by just steaming the foam and adding an extra layer of Dacron. The service costs less than $100 per cushion. Re-covering a standard skirted armchair with supplied fabric runs $600. Odors, though, are a tough ask. Try this: Cover the furniture with a sheet and place a bowl of white vinegar under it overnight. They offer free pickup and delivery in Indianapolis, with a one-day turnaround on cushions, a month on bigger projects.
Mike Billings Knife Sharpening, 1317 S. East St., 317-597-0126, mikebillingsknifesharpening.com
Funny thing about expensive kitchen knives—the owners are never the ones to damage them. It’s always someone else. But the owner of Mike Billings Knife Sharpening won’t judge. He’ll just fix those chips, dents, and broken tips by the time you’re ready to swing back around and pick up your blade. Rusty straight razors can be reborn, pocket knives repaired, and paper cutters made menacing again. He gives referrals for antiques restoration, but for the customer who just wants his Civil War sword to look good, Billings makes the cut.
A-1 Vacuum, 9235 Crawfordsville Rd., 317-347-0214
Whatever’s stuck in your Hoover’s hose, A-1 Vacuum owner Tony Stahl can usually free it for about $25 while you wait. Don’t be embarrassed, whatever it is—you won’t be the first person who has tried to vacuum up a dead mouse. Stahl will also tell you bluntly why he hates bagless models, and what the gold standard in vacuums really is: a classic Titan machine that was reissued in 2016.
Snodgrass & Davis Studio Fine Art Restoration, 2123 Boulevard Pl., 317-722-0343, snodgrass-davis.com
Let’s say you knock a piece of your mom’s beloved china off the rack and want it to be your little secret. Turn to Guy Davis. You don’t have to have every last shard—he can fill in a few small spaces. As long as you have the big pieces, Davis can cover your tracks by gluing, filling, coloring, and glazing. A simple break costs $80 to $120. Whatever you do, don’t try to glue it yourself. That just makes his job harder, and the cost higher.
Walker Restoration Bookbinding, 1920 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., 463-202-5519, walker-restoration-bookbinding-llc.business.site
Family Bibles and valuable books are the bulk of this small bindery’s business, with one of its oldest cases being a 1634 edition of the New Testament. “Someone had stuck some awful kind of cover on it. I made it look a whole lot more respectable,” recalls owner Teresa Walker. A simple book repair could cost $50, but most jobs average between $200 and $400. A large family Bible could run upward of $1,000. More intensive projects might take months, as certain steps need drying time.
Where can I donate books?
Indy Reads(1066 Virginia Ave., 317-384-1496, indyreads.org)
accepts donations of new and gently used books the first Friday of every month from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Check the donation guidelines on the website before you head in, though. It’s also possible to sell a book here on consignment.
Leather Clothing, Wedding Dresses, Vintage Lace and Beading
Alex’s Tailor Shop, 5858 E. 82nd St., 317-594-8982, alexstailorshop.com
Sonia Garcia and her sister, Luz, have more than two decades of experience sewing and tailoring all types of clothing, including leather, wedding gowns, and dresses with vintage lace and beading, all notoriously tricky to work with. “We do magic,” Sonia says. “People laugh when I say that.” She recalls a bride and her mother coming in just a few weeks before the wedding, crying because another tailor had cut the front part of the dress too short. “When they picked it up, they cried again, from relief.” A simple hem starts at $12; more complex alterations scale up from there, depending on the garment.
Leon Tailoring, 809 N. Delaware St., 317-634-8559, leontailoring.com
Every mover and shaker in the state has patronized this Mom-and-Pop business at one time or another, according to a former Indiana governor. Founded by European immigrants, Leon Tailoring has been a downtown fixture for more than a century. The shop offers repairs and alterations on men’s and women’s clothing of all types, including sweaters with frays and holes, which can be particularly tricky. They will even alter sweaters that are too large. This is also the place for custom-made suits.
Kimmel Shoe Repair, 733 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-255-0740, 1327 S. Rangeline Rd., Carmel, 317-846-9996; kimmelshoerepair.com
“We save soles everyday but Sunday” is the motto of this family-owned business offering the full spectrum of repairs. Founded in 1942 and originally located in the basement of L.S. Ayres, Kimmel Shoe Repair now serves two locations (and the family running it these days is the Tomasellos). In the spring, summer, and fall, service takes about a week, but winter turnaround times may be up to a month. Thank punishing rock salt—and the rush to spiff up shoes for the winter holidays.
Greenfield Shoe Repair, 70 McClannon Dr., Greenfield, 317-477-7463
If your suitcase has gotten into too many brawls with baggage carriers, Valdonero Martinez can fix the stitching, zippers, leather, and more in his small shop. For more than nine years, he’s been extending the lives of shoes, boots, and handbags as well.
Stuffed Animals and Dolls
Indiana Doll Hospital, 679 W. 375 N, Greenfield, 317-326-2229, dollrepairlady.com
Has a timeworn teddy or childhood doll seen better days? Carol Ratliffe has decades of experience transforming worn old friends back to like-new, huggable condition. When one client’s mom fled Germany during World War II, she could only bring the head of her favorite doll. At the Indiana Doll Hospital, she got a whole new body, complete with a period-appropriate outfit. “They took it to the nursing home for her birthday, and she cried,” Ratliffe says. A head-to-toe restoration starts at $110, and typically takes a while, since Ratliffe is both the sole proprietor and a perfectionist. “It won’t go home unless I love it, and it’s display-worthy.”
Pictures to Digital, 1717 E. 116th St., Carmel, 317-607-4984, picturestodigital.com
Finally ready to restore that photograph of your grandparents’ wedding or digitize those shoeboxes full of prints? Owner John Moeller does bulk scanning of slides and negatives, videotape conversion, and digital restoration of photographs and documents. Average prices are around $50, and jobs take a week or two. When a former Marine needed a high-quality photo of his time in the service for an event in his hometown, Moeller was able to clean up a 1949 image well enough to enlarge on a banner.
Handbags and Equestrian Accessories
Ron’s Shoe Repair, 8512 Westfield Rd., 317-255-6370
This father-and-son shop, which once removed barbecue sauce from the Christian Louboutins of an IndyCar driver, repairs and restores purses and equestrian gear, including replacing zippers and buckles, rebuilding straps, and reconditioning the leather. Most repairs wind up costing between $30 and $40, but can reach 10 times that in unusually time-consuming cases.
Watches and Jewelry
Rudy’s Watch and Jewelry Repair, 124 E. Northfield Dr., Ste. G., Brownsburg, 317-293-6698, rudyswatchandjewelryrepair.com
When the tick tock stops, the founder of this independent shop, Rudolph Hollein, will draw on his extensive education in Germany, arguably the land of clocks, to get it started again. Revive your retro wristwatch with its inventory of vintage parts. Services also include jewelry resizing and remounting.
Camden Stained Glass, 5345 Winthrop Ave., 317-426-5427, camdenstainedglass.com
Got a craftsman-style built-in hutch or a Tiffany lamp from a flea market needing repair? “We can find a close match for just about every glass,” says owner Kevin Phillips. Historic glass can be a challenge, since the chemical composition of today’s glass is different. But you’ve got your best shot with Camden. Back in 2019, the team restored the stained glass of Holy Cross Church on Oriental Street, taking the original panes apart, repairing them, and releading them. A true craft, stained-glass repair can take anywhere from six to eight weeks.
Blackmore and Buckner, 9750 E. 150th St., Unit 1700, Noblesville, 317-263-0707, tectaamerica.com
Being of a certain age has its perks. The slate on older Indianapolis homes is a stone material that doesn’t wear away as easily as asphalt shingles, says Matthew Cole, vice president of business development. “Slate is much more of a specialty and difficult to work with, but it will last hundreds of years.” Falling trees tend to be what takes out a slate roof. Started in 1919, Blackmore and Buckner merged with the largest roofing company in the U.S., but the Noblesville outpost still retains that local feel. They never contract out work, and the family still oversees much of the operation.
Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans
Zionsville Lighting Center, by appointment only, 317-733-0233, email@example.com
This respected shop restores chandeliers and antique pieces, as well as new high-end fixtures—as long as they can be brought into the shop. (They don’t handle onsite repairs, but can dispatch a trusted electrician.) One Old Northside homeowner brought in the parts of a deconstructed chandelier, but didn’t even know what it was supposed to look like. With 35 years of experience, owners John Spurgeon and Tim Overmyer were able to figure it out—a 3-foot-by-4-foot design with 12 arms and tiers of prisms.
N-Hance, 1601 Country Club Rd., 317-273-8500, nhance.com
White kitchens are everywhere, but wood grains are experiencing a revival, notes owner Kevin Jones. N-Hance can color-match your wood cabinets and add a colorless polyurethane for protection. Or just opt for new hinges, knobs, and handles, which in itself can freshen up your kitchen. Jobs start at $1,500 and one business day, depending on kitchen size.
Suzette’s Tub Saver, 5610 S. Concord St., 317-710-3228
Owner Suzette Dewey has been repairing and resurfacing tubs, including old-fashioned cast-iron clawfoot tubs, for 25 years. Whether your tub has chipped or faded over time, or both, reglazing is a simple solution. That’s true whether your tub is finished in classic vitreous china, glazing, or porcelain. “Once reglazed, they look new again and can last another 20 years,” she says. Repair time can take one to two days and prices range from $225 to $850 on average, based on the tub’s condition and what supplies Dewey needs.
Midwest Floor Restore, 1361 Madison Ave., 317-636-9316, midwestfloorrestore.com
If you have a classic floor in your home, wear and tear is no longer an issue. Midwest Floor Restore specializes in stone floors like granite, travertine, terrazzo marble, and polished concrete. Polishing can wear away, and staining and grout tend to be porous, making these pieces discolor over time. Pricing varies depending on square footage, the condition of the floor, and what it’s made of.
Fireplaces and Woodstoves
Ely Stokes, 4720 N. Keystone Ave., 317-259-4084, elystokesfireplace.com
The first certified chimney sweeps in Indianapolis, Ely Stokes has been in business since 1977. The showroom has been a North Keystone Avenue fixture for decades. The logo, with a top-hat-tipping gentleman, isn’t just for show. “My dad would wear the top hat and coattails to job sites,” says co-owner Stephanie Brinkley. Ely Stokes restores masonry and chimneys, and they can build you a new fireplace, too. Repairs can run from $200 all the way up to $10,000.
Metalwork and Railings
Schouten Metalcraft in Pendleton, by appointment only, 317-546-2639
While period-specific fixtures can look great, today’s building codes often don’t play nice with them. “A 4-inch gap is the max on any railing on a second-floor stairway,” notes owner Paul Schouten, whose expertise extends back to his ancestors in the Netherlands. Schouten spends much of his time updating older railings to modern codes. He recommends maintaining and repairing any exterior wrought iron, rather than replacing it. “It handles the elements better than carbon-steel railings, which just rust away.”
Heartwood Enterprises, 3317 W. 96th St., 317-872-0756, indydoors.com
Little-known fact: Doorframes tend to sag as the house settles. But Heartwood Enterprises has been perking up these old beauties since 1989. They also replace older handles, and help ensure doors seal properly by adding new copper weatherstripping. They can fix antique locks, as long as they’re not a mortise style, since parts are exceedingly scarce. Repair jobs can take from a few hours to a full day.
Sharon D. Battista Painting Conservation, 5430 N. New Jersey St., 317-989-2133, sdbattista.com
Battista regularly repairs punctures, tears, cracks, flaking paint, and discolored layers from even the most fragile paintings. She strictly adheres to the American Institute of Conservation’s Code of Ethics, which requires that the work is documented and photographed. “Having been in business for 35 years, I have worked on an amazing variety of paintings,” says Battista.
Randy’s Toy Shop, 165 N. 9th St., Noblesville, 317-776-2220, randystoyshop.com
If you’re a sucker for antique toys and need a few wheels tightened and painted, dents repaired, or a windup key replaced, you might want to make a stop here. A retired diesel mechanic, Randy Ibey began collecting antique toys and soon grew to love restoring them, as well as the boxes they came in. With expertise in paint matching and aging and custom parts fabrication, Ibey is a repair whiz, but he also sells vintage toys on consignment.
Model Trains, RC, and Ride-On Vehicles
HobbyTown Indianapolis, 8265 Center Run Dr., 317-845-4106, hobbytown.com
HobbyTown is both nostalgic and futuristic, catering to enthusiasts of trains, models, and vehicles. The starting price for repairs on ride-ons is $50; everything else starts at $25. “My favorite jobs are the ones that can be a little more challenging, so I can better understand the products we work with,” says one of the owners, Dustin Collins. “For instance, I had one oddball repair recently, on a kid’s Power Wheels vehicle with a controller. The customer wanted us to switch out the electronics to make it faster.”
Textiles and Ceramics
Easter Conservation Services, 1134 E. 54th St., Ste. J, 317-396-0885, easterconservation.com
Jean Easter has led her own conservation business since 2001. She devotes much of her time to rejuvenating textiles, whether that’s a tapestry, a piece of art, vintage draperies, or an upholstered footstool. Repair of ceramics is also in her repertoire. Pricing can be hard to determine with certainty at the outset. Some items respond well to minimal techniques, while others wind up needing a more comprehensive process, explains Easter. But each piece is given a condition report, and the price is determined from there. The most common repair she sees is the result of artwork falling due to incorrect hardware.
Doc Pinball, 285 W. 200 N, Greenfield, 317-326-3533, docpinball.com
Mark Wagner received his electronics training in the military. He later opened up Doc Pinball, where he fixes and restores coin-operated amusement machines. Mark’s son, Jason, began following in his father’s footsteps at 14, and it’s his full-time job now. “I can even recall being a toddler, sitting and ‘testing’ equipment,” he says. “I guess you could say it’s in my blood.”
Snodgrass & Davis Studio Fine Art Restoration, 2123 Boulevard Pl., 317-722-0343, snodgrass-davis.com
Snodgrass & Davis Studio offers an array of art restoration services, but can be a particularly valuable resource with a niche specialty, like restoring historic documents, renewing fire- or water-damaged items—and fixing rare, collectible figurines. “There are two price ranges,” says owner Guy Davis. “One is if the husband has tried to repair it and left old glue on it. The other is if the wife brings it in with clean breaks.” The latter range is $150–$250. The other can cost up to $450.
Affordable HiFi in SoBro, by appointment only, 317-209-5838, affordablehifiaudio.com
After being dethroned by cassette tapes and then compact discs, the vinyl record once seemed bound for extinction. And now … Taylor Swift’s Midnights came out in four vinyl versions. Keeping those platters spinning is the mission of John Sheets. He tackles everything from “the least expensive turntables to ones that cost more than my car.” His hourly rate is $65; house calls are an additional $70. Many turntable problems, he says, are caused by faulty cables, which are almost always due to age or mice. Sheets originally wanted to call his business The Needle Exchange, but then wryly adds, “That name was taken.”
TVs, VCRs, and Stereos
Circuit Square TV, 9613 College Ave., 317-844-4000
Circuit Square TV is a family business, but the timeline wasn’t typical. Mark Greenspan started it 45 years ago, and then his parents joined him after they retired. Circuit Square repairs TVs, VCRs, and stereos, starting at $35. They can take three to four weeks, longer than in the past due to supply issues with parts. Greenspan says that the most common problems he sees are due to clumsiness—an item’s been dropped.
Roberts, 220 E. St. Clair St., 317-707-6193, robertscamera.com
Roberts Camera is one of the largest photo specialty stores in the country. This third-generation business repairs cameras, as well as individual lenses and video equipment. All repairs take at least three weeks. Roberts hasn’t seen a loss of business since phone photos became ubiquitous. Employee Meredith Reinker actually refers to the mobile phone as the “gateway drug.” Phones pique interest in photography, and people upgrade, she explains. “This especially happens during life episodes like marriage, a new baby, or a dream vacation.”
How can I get rid of my castoff electronics?
It’s against the law to toss electronics into your regular trash. The city hosts recycling days for anything with a cord, as long as it works. Broken electronics can be dropped off on the first, second, or third Saturdays of each month, but locations differ. Go to indy.gov/activity/electronics-recycling-sites for details.
Computers and Printers
A+ Affordable Computer Doctor, 549 Fleming St., 317-938-7711, indycomputerdoctor.com
Steve Freeze once taught computer technology. Twenty-five years ago, he gave those chops to the public, opening A+ with his late wife. Freeze cures problematic laptops, desktops, and any printer besides 3-D, making repairs at residences and places of business. Failing hard drives are always an issue, he reports. But by replacing those with a solid-state drive, he can almost always save the day. When asked if people still use printers, he has a ready answer: “Every package has a label on it.”
CPR Cell Phone Repair, 5971 E. 82nd St., 317-842-2000, cellphonerepair.com
CPR resuscitates just about any phone: Motorola, Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, and LG. Average repair prices are $89–$220 for an iPhone, $210–$319 for a Samsung Note, and $150–$250 for a Motorola. The typical repair takes less than two hours if parts are in stock. Spokesman Matthew Burton says that CPR sees broken screens all day, every day, adding that many repairs could be avoided if everyone would protect their phone with an outer case.
Sports and Hobbies
Brass and woodwind instruments
Musicians’ Repair and Sales, 332 N. Capitol Ave., 317-635-6274, musiciansrepair.com
This family-run shop, opened in 1948 by Maurice Oldham and eventually handed down to his son, services all brass instruments, as well as woodwinds. As the oldest music store in Indianapolis, there aren’t many problems that Musicians’ Repair hasn’t seen and conquered. Head in to replace your sax neck cork, have a missing water key soldered on, or for help with anything else that’s keeping you from making beautiful music.
Arthur’s Music Store, 931 Shelby St., 317-638-3524, arthursmusic.com
With a rich 70-year history, Arthur’s Music Store has been a fundamental part of Indianapolis. Linda Osborne and Amy England, daughter and granddaughter of the original owners, now run the shop. The repair department can do everything, from basic cleaning and restringing to crack repair and electronic fixes. You won’t be waiting long; basic services are finished in two days and more repairs are finished within the week. England recalls the most memorable customization on a guitar. “A collector asked us to recreate the iconic red guitar played at the dance scene in Back to the Future. He even got the original cast to sign it.”
IRC Pro Shop at Indianapolis Racquet Club, 8249 Dean Rd., 317-712-3099, indyracquetclub.com
Voted the best tennis pro shop in the nation by the Tennis Industry Association, the IRC Pro Shop has a solid reputation. Opened in 1965, IRC will restring and regrip your racquets within two business days, so you’ll get to your next straight set faster. You can also take advantage of its Frequent Stringer Program to earn credit toward future repairs.
Barbara Martin Piano Service, 5425 W. 71st St., 317-293-3410, barbaramartinpiano.com
They do way more than tune a piano. Scratched Steinways and square grands with sticky keys are no problem for the mother-and-daughter duo that runs this long-beloved service shop. They even provide full restoration services on vintage pianos; the cost will vary based on size and condition.
Indy Drum Pro, 6305 English Ave., 317-289-3492, indydrumpro.com
Yes, drums are made to take a beating. But Indy Drum Pro knows how to treat them with care when they’ve taken one too many. Damaged bearing edges, stripped cymbal stands, and cracked cymbals are no match for their team of drummers and technicians. Have a vintage kit? Take it in to be restored.
Tackle Service Center, 246 E. Washington St., Mooresville, 317-831-2400
Anything that has to do with fishing, including fly fishing, the folks here can handle. The team will cheerfully and speedily fix a broken fishing rod, replace the tips and guides, provide a new cork handle, and will even repair trolling motors. They may request you bring in your equipment before providing a quote.
Bicycle Garage Indy, 242 E. Market St., 317-612-3099, bgindy.com
It would be hard to name a wheeled challenge that the team at Bicycle Garage Indy has not faced. Same-day repairs include flat tires, gear adjustments, and wheel repairs. More complex repairs, like bent handlebars or accident damage, require an appointment, but many are completed on the same day. The shop’s regular customers include local commuters and delivery folks. The shop services all types of bicycles and “sometimes, things that are not bicycles,” says sales manager Sean Hawk. Unicycle? Scooter? Tricycle? Bring it by. (They’ll take a look at e-bikes, but in some cases the electric variety can’t be serviced.) And when it’s finally time to upgrade, Hawk will have your back. “We had one customer who used to ride a bike that was so old. Eventually we sold him a new cargo bike for his deliveries. We don’t see him often anymore,” he laughs.
Extreme Billiards Indy, 9529 Corporation Dr., 317-436-8072, extremebilliardsindy.com
In business for more than 25 years, Extreme Billiards takes the game of pool seriously. Its team has extensive experience in helping clients maintain their billiards tables and accessories in top playing condition, and looking beautiful, too. The team here has expertise in table releveling, bumper replacement, wood refinishing, and felt re-covering.
Vail’s Classic Cars, 2633 W. Main St., Greenfield, 317-462-7705, vailsclassics.com
Who doesn’t love seeing a fully restored classic car coming down the street? It’s even more fun to be driving one. And if yours needs an extra dose of tender loving care these days, head to Vail’s Classic Cars. Specializing in classic Ford models, especially Mustangs, the shop has been restoring and repairing pieces of Americana since 1985. One of its more recent projects is a 1967 Ford Mustang convertible. “That car is getting a full restore done on it,” says owner Ron Vail, whose clients include several of the Indiana Pacers. “After the paint is finished, we will be putting this car back together to make it exactly like the customer wants it.”
Violin Shop of Old Carmel, 1121 S. Rangeline Rd., Carmel, 317-818-2326
Self-described as a shop that unites American tradition with European expertise, the Violin Shop of Old Carmel handles the servicing of most orchestral string instruments. Tuning, chin-rest and shoulder-rest fitting, and restringing are the most common requests, but more services are available. They even deftly handle foreign instruments, recently making a large, damaged Taiwanese cello as good as new.
Fairway Custom Golf, 12500 Brooks School Rd., Fishers, 317-842-0017, fairwaycustomgolf.co
Keeping golf clubs in peak condition is more time consuming than some may think. Fairway Custom Golf provides new club heads and shafts or grips. They will even adjust the swing weight and loft and lie of your club. Did we mention the custom wedge grinding and paint fill?
Harley-Davidson of Indianapolis, 12400 Reynolds Dr., Fishers, 317-203-8474, hdofindy.com
The service experts at Harley-Davidson of Indianapolis have been fixing problems with Hogs for 42 years. While they will only service Harley-Davidson bikes, they will tackle any problem, including brake repairs, chain replacement, and even full rebuilds. Free pickup and delivery is offered as long as you live within 10 miles of the shop. Farther out? A modest fee of $70 to $140 is required.
Snyder’s Concrete Statues, 7570 State Rd. 46, Greensburg, 812-663-5041
Rick Snyder and his son, Elliott, work together to lovingly restore weathered outdoor statues. So whether it’s a deer family, a gnome, or a bird bath that needs mending, they’ll replace broken horns, heal chipped ears, and repaint. Timing for job completion is running about two weeks. Rick emphasizes that their pricing is based on their motto that “getting it fixed should be cheaper than a new one.” But if you want to add, say, a garden fairy to your collection, they can accommodate you on that, too.
Garden Paths and Patios
Precision Outdoors, 317-691-8663, precision-outdoors.com
Repairing a cracked or uneven garden path or patio can take from several hours to four or five days, depending on how extensive the damage is. Prices run the gamut, too, wholly dependent on size of the area and materials used. Options are concrete ($15 per foot), sand concrete ($25 per foot), pavers ($45 per foot), and tile or stone ($60–$70 per foot). According to managing partner and founder Caleb Harbert (who began his career at the age of 10 as “the local lawn care kid”), damage is often caused by cutting corners at the get-go. “People scrimp on the foundation, then the patio or pathway degrades over time. The ultimate result is settling and cracking.”
Pate’s Pool Service and Supply, 5016 E. 62nd St., 317-541-1300, patespoolservice.com
Pate’s repairs pumps, heaters, liners—everything poolwise except for the concrete around it. (Caleb at Precision Outdoors can help you out there.) The average repair takes an hour or two, according to spokesman Daniel Schumann. Labor generally is between $200 and $300, while equipment usually runs from $500 to $1,500. The most frequent pain point, Schumann says, is pumps that leak, make noise, or just stop pumping. Pate’s installs winter safety covers, which will help keep problems from cropping up in the first place. And the company is in the process of branching out into hot tub servicing.
Richard Warren Indianapolis Fence Company, 3909 Aloda St., 317-893-6465, topfencecompanyindianapolis.com
When you have a damaged fence, time is a big factor, especially if you have kids or pets. One of Richard Warren’s priorities is building flexibility into his schedule, so if you need your repair quickly, he can accommodate you. He fixes any kind of fence, both commercial and residential. Generally, repairs take about a day. Fallen tree limbs take the biggest toll on fences, with drunken drivers a close second, says Warren. This is a true family business: Warren’s dad and his brother join a few other employees in doing repair work, while his mom manages the front office.
Lawn Mowers and Snow Blowers
Sharpmower, 317-340-3637, sharpmower.com
Sharpmower services residential lawn equipment, snow blowers, and wood chippers with small gasoline engines. The business makes house calls; indeed, that’s its norm. A repair typically takes about an hour on site. “We try to do repairs as fast as possible,” says spokesperson Kevin DeWitt. The complaint they hear all the time is simply, “It won’t start!” It’s easier to prevent problems than to correct them, so Sharpmower offers a simultaneous tuneup for lawnmowers and snowblowers in November, with a guarantee that the mower will start the following spring. Pro tip: Never leave a mower sitting all winter with fuel still in the tank.
Fountains and Ponds
Aquatic Services of Indiana, 17903 Sun Park Dr., Westfield, 317-889-6363
Electric motors and aquatic environments don’t always mix well. Damage to fountains and ponds can also be caused by critters, in particular muskrats. Aquatic Services’s specialists are trained through the Office of Indiana State Chemist. Their team not only repairs broken fountains and ponds, but they maintain them, so they stay clean and in good working condition. Aquatic Services also has a winterization program to protect your fountain when the cold comes. They will take it to their facility, where it can hibernate in climate-controlled conditions until it’s time to put it back into action.
Sullivan Hardware & Garden, 6955 N. Keystone Ave., 317-255-9230; 4838 N. Pennsylvania St., 317-924-4050; sullivanhardware.com
What is a screen’s enemy No. 1? Pets, says Mark Brown, who oversees screen repair at Sullivan’s, an Indy mainstay since the 1940s. If your screen has had a run-in with a surly tabby or terrier, Brown can replace it within the existing frame or build a whole new frame. The average cost of a repair is $20 to $25, and, come the spring rush, will take a week to 10 days. That wait is due to the volume of repairs. The actual fixing usually only takes 20 minutes.
What about plants and trees?
They’re part of the reason we like to be outdoors in the first place. And while they can’t technically be repaired, even those without a green thumb can take life-saving measures with help from the Purdue Plant Doctor (purdueplantdoctor.com). Just enter the name of your tree, shrub, or houseplant and its “symptoms,” and get actionable information.
If It is Broken, Don’t Fix It
As much as we’re all about upcycling and reducing waste, sometimes a repair just doesn’t make any sense. Unless you’re handy enough to do the repair yourself, remember the half rule. Consumer experts often advise that if it’s going to cost more than 50 percent of the value to fix it, you’re better off replacing it with a new one.
“When something breaks, take a deep breath and think logically, not emotionally,” advises Naomi Bechtold, a Purdue Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management. “Doing a little consumer research can help you make an informed decision.” That is especially true when it comes to these six types of products.
Small issues like a broken door handle or cracked rotating plate probably aren’t a big deal to fix. However, operational malfunctions may be more trouble to repair than they’re worth, especially if your unit is more than five years old, and you’ll need to have someone wrestle it out of its built-in home above the stove.
Swapping out a joystick is one thing. Overhauling a serious hardware issue is another. A repair may buy you some time, but for serious gamers, upgrading is usually the way to go.
If the structural bones of the boat are still good, your trusty vessel may be worth holding onto. However, if you don’t love it like you used to, or don’t see yourself using it as much going forward, it may be time to bail out. Just make sure to disclose any needed repairs and potential safety issues to prospective buyers.
Countertop mainstays like coffeemakers, waffle irons, and air fryers that cost less than $100 to begin with are easy to replace, especially if you can wait for a sale. Exceptions include pricey stand mixers and high-end espresso machines, although you may be hard-pressed to source replacement parts and service on those.
Once a fridge or dishwasher conks out, you’re on a slippery slope if it’s not under warranty. If possible, try to time your purchase with the best times for sales on new appliances: Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Black Friday. And keep an open mind about brand names. “A well-known brand is not necessarily going to be the best value or have the best reputation,” Bechtold adds.
Had an accident, but the vehicle’s not totaled? Get your insurance company’s advice about how the damage, even if fixed, might affect the resale value of the car. Low inventory and high interest rates can make purchasing a new car unappealing right now, but it may be well worth it to bite the bullet for safety and peace of mind.
Edited by Christina Vercelletto
Written by Megan Fernandez, Jayde Leary, Amy Lynch, Michelle Mastro, Emily Udell, and Niko Vercelletto
Photography by Tony Valainis