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BARGAINS / GERI COOK

Service Specials

July 02, 1993|GERI COOK

Charges are cut on work such as interior design, car detailing and home repairs.

As the retailers mark down prices to attract buyers, some of the service people are doing the same. In checking with several services on my referral list, quite a few have followed the trend of the times and are giving the consumer an even better break.

Over the last four years, I have been recommending and using an interior design firm, Brooks & Associates, for price and quality. My regular modus operandi in researching service-oriented firms is background checks, comparative prices and a verbal or written recommendation from five recent clients. If possible, I try the service myself.

With Brooks & Associates, and Mary Brooks in particular, clients put their recommendations in writing.

Drucilla Young of Woodland Hills writes: "She's practical, saves me time and money and achieves the decorating results I couldn't achieve on my own . . . goes above and beyond the call of duty."

Some bargain hunters believe that using the services of a decorator is an expensive luxury, which is not necessarily true. A professional can often save you money when you take into account the costly mistakes that can occur with amateurs at the helm, the 40% decorator's discount, plus entry to showrooms that are off-limits to the public.

During July, Brooks has a "godfather offer"--a problem-solving consultation for $55, which is about half the going rate.

Brooks & Associates, (818) 780-6559.

Rave reviews have been coming in for a car detailer who offers a quality job at a bargain price. Beau Braun's Detail Time will pamper your car at home or the office for about 25% to 30% less than many other similar services.

The $60 mini-detail consists of wash, wax, cleaning windows inside and out, and vacuuming the interior. Showroom-quality detail, which includes the mini-detail services plus the application of a chemical cleaner/polish, a glaze to correct paint that has oxidized and reconditioning of the interior, including a shampoo for the carpeting, is $95.

Detail Time, (818) 594-7399.

For 14 years, Teddie Kessie and her daughter, Karen, have operated The End Result, a free referral service for repairs or work needed to be done around the home. They do not charge the consumer but receive a small fee from the trades person. To qualify for their referral list, a potential worker must have the proper licenses, references, a background check and a lengthy personal interview.

The End Result's list of workers includes carpenters, landscapers, shelf-liners, carpet layers, electricians, masons, dog-walkers, house-sitters, chimney sweeps, handymen and general contractors.

Most of the tradespeople are lowering their fees these days, which Teddie Kessie said she encourages. At her suggestion, a carpenter, who was charging $25 an hour and moaning about the lack of customers, lowered his rate to $18 and business started booming.

The End Result, (818) 784-1572.

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