Living With Technology / Simplifying home maintenance
It’s always the responsibility of the adults to keep a home in good working order. As a child, I never understood what it took to do this, although I do remember being part of repairs that included electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, painting and more.
But today’s homes are far more complex than the ones I grew up in. Between the electronics that run air conditioners, refrigerators, swimming pools, computer networks, and televisions, much maintenance requires skills that the typical homeowner can’t do themselves.
Given all of the systems in a home, it’s virtually impossible to keep up with everything in your home. Especially keeping track of scheduled maintenance on appliances and equipment you didn’t buy and probably don’t have the owner’s manual.
Enter Hinged. This is a Westport-based company that uses technology to automate and ease not only scheduled maintenance, but emergency services.
It starts with Hinged creating a free home profile. The come to your home and record the various items in your home, including make, model and serial number. Your stove, refrigerator, air conditioner, pool pump, etc.
With that information, they can know when maintenance is needed or, in the case of an emergency, quickly connect you with a qualified person who can service the item(s).
And because Hinged already knows what you have in your home, the service provider can usually come with the right parts to fix the problem in a single trip.
Best of all, once the home inventory is completed, any service calls can be scheduled online, either through a web browser or on a smartphone or tablet.
Hinged goes even further by ensuring that the service providers it sends have been qualified by Hinged. You pay Hinged when the work is done to your satisfaction (and they pay the service provider). If there are any issues with the service provider, Hinged will work with both you and the service provider. Hinged provides insurance for the service provider’s work and, when the service is completed, becomes part of your home’s profile.
All of this is provided at no cost to the homeowner. Service providers pay Hinged a commission on their work to provide marketing and back office services, such as payment processing. Given that most service providers are small businesses, this can be a valuable service to them.
Hinged started in Fairfield county and has recently expanded to Westchester county. Bill Green, Co-Founder of Hinged says that they are nearing 1,000 Hinged homes.
Beyond just home maintenance, Hinged is gathering data on usage, helping customers to predict when maintenance will be necessary in order to make scheduling easier and prevent more expensive failures.
As homes become more complex, having the ability to know what’s in your home and have a stable of qualified providers who can ensure your home provides you with years of enjoyment sounds like a great way to simplify the management of homes that are becoming more complex every year. For more information, go to www.hinged.com.
Mark Mathias is a 35+ year information technology executive and a resident of Westport. His columns can be read on the internet at http://blog.mathias.org. He can be contacted at living