05272017Sat
Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

Food & Wine

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists


Blanche Shaheen/Special to the Town Crier
Ghraybeh shortbread cookies use sweet-tasting ghee in lieu of butter.

 

When Americans think of the shortbread cookie, they often imagine the traditional Scottish cookies, shaped like oblong rectangles and ...

Readmore

Loading...

Your Health

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food


Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maureen...

Readmore

Loading...

Your Home

Healing art: Restoration 'doctor' preserves damaged objects

Healing art: Restoration 'doctor' preserves damaged objects


Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Art restorer Rho Brown performs delicate preservation work in her Los Altos studio, above. Once fully restored, below left, it’s difficult to tell which cherub was previously missing its head. Brown’s studio conta...

Readmore

Loading...

On The Road

American muscle in the modern age: Bolting to Blackhawk in the Chrysler 300S

American muscle in the modern age: Bolting to Blackhawk in the Chrysler 300S


Photo by Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier; Bottom Right Photo courtesy of Chrysler
The Andersons recently drove the new Chrysler 300S to Danville’s Blackhawk Museum, where they saw “The Spirit of the Old West” exhibition.

 

When you have a p...

Readmore

Loading...

Senior Lifestyles

Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life

Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life


RAMYA KRISHNA/TOWN CRIER
Doreta Strotman performs the classics with her signature jazz-style improvisations at Los Altos Grill Sunday evenings. The Mountain View resident has been playing since the age of 4.

Sunday evenings, Doreta Strotman’s job is to...

Readmore

Loading...

Wedding To Remember

Ring options on Main Street range from traditional to unorthodox

Ring options on Main Street range from traditional to unorthodox


 

With nine fine-jewelry retailers concentrated along the Main Street corridor, downtown Los Altos offers a wealth of options for engagement and wedding ring shoppers. From one end of Main to the other, the choices range from the traditional to t...

Readmore

Loading...

Your Kids

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards


 

Providing local students with a tangible outdoor learning experience, the Living Classroom program aims to support a new generation of students who are excited about the environment.

The Living Classroom serves 9,000 students locally in the Los ...

Readmore

Loading...

Back to School

Loading...

Home Preservation Services there to provide maintenance when busy homeowners cannot


Steve Spratt's Los Altos-based Home Preservation Services takes care of routine chores to keep houses in tip-top shape.

Working professionals have busy schedules as it is. Add children and there's barely enough time to take out the trash, much less clean gutters, fix a leaky roof or repair a broken furnace.

What is a busy Los Altos homeowner to do when the routine chores of house maintenance eat away at what little free time is left?

That's where Steve Spratt steps in. Spratt started out as a builder but realized there was a demand from busy homeowners for help with home maintenance. More local residents are turning to Spratt to help keep their homes in top condition, as well as free up some of their time; about a third of his customer base is in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Spratt's Los Altos-based company, Home Preservation Services, offers a comprehensive preventive system designed to preserve the appearance, life and value of a home, according to the company's Web site.

"Home Preservation Services provides homeowners with a turnkey solution to maintaining their homes," Spratt said. "Turnkey means all the necessary recurring things that need to be done to keep a home from deteriorating."

A technical service crew does the work needed to keep clients' homes properly maintained, hitting all the areas that, if not properly maintained, can create headaches - from toilets to water heaters and roofs.

"Our guys are all background-checked and screened," Spratt said. "They are good people as well as very skilled. Clients get to know and trust them."

Home Preservation Services offers a 260-point program custom-designed for each home. With the initial inspection, small repairs are made. Screened professional referrals are provided for larger repairs and upgrades. A maintenance program is tailored for each home, with unique problems identified and an action plan created to perpetually maintain the home.

The basic program is four visits a year from a maintenance team. The annual fee for the service amounts to about $1 per square foot per year, depending on the home, Spratt explained.

Charlotte Epstein of Palo Alto has been a Home Preservation Services client since the company's beginnings more than a decade ago. Spratt was a general contractor on the remodeling of her home. When she learned he was starting a new home maintenance company, she thought the service sounded like a great idea.

"They do the stuff you're supposed to do for your house if you are really diligent and organized," Epstein said.

The grime under the refrigerator that needs to be cleaned, halogen light bulbs that need changing, or the heater filters covered in lint, Home Preservation Services has got it covered, Epstein explained.

A crew comes to the Epstein home on a quarterly basis and does routine maintenance, as well as seasonally appropriate work, like cleaning out the gutters before the winter rains.

"We've been using them since they started," Epstein said. "We're satisfied."

The company also provides a 24-hour emergency service. Technicians are on call to fix problems any hour of day or night.

For new homes and old, Home Preservation Services is keeping local homeowners looking good.

For more information, log on to www.homepreservation.com.

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos