Discuss with a partner three common repairs or home improvements people do in and around their apartments or houses (e.g., kitchen cabinets, roofing, siding, etc.).
- The walls need to be repainted because there are stains and holes in different places.
- The kitchen table needs fixing because a part is broken.
- The kitchen cabinets need to be refinished because they are scratched.
“on the fritz” = broken, not working
“We need to get the air conditioning repaired because it’s been on the fritz for three weeks.”
“clean as a whistle” = perfectly clean
“Wow! Your bedroom is clean as a whistle.”
A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.
Dave: Hi Randall. [ Hi ] Come on in.
Randall: Uh, yeah, I stopped by to see if you were still looking for a roommate to share your house.
Dave: Yeap. I sure am. Ever since I cut back on my working hours to go to school, I’ve been really strapped for cash.
Dave: Hey, let me show you the place. Uh, here’s the living room.
Randall: Oh. It looks like you could use a new carpet . . . and those stains?
Dave: Well. I’ve had a few problems with some former roommates. I know it needs to be cleaned, but I just don’t have the money to do it right now.
Randall: Oh. And what about the kitchen?
Dave: Right this way. Look. It’s completely furnished with all the latest appliances, except . . .
Dave: Well, the refrigerator door is broken . . . a little bit . . . and it won’t shut all the way. It needs fixing, but don’t worry. I’ve just improvised by pushing a box against it to keep it shut.
Randall: Hmm. Great.
Dave: Ah. It isn’t that bad.
Randall: Well how about the bathroom?
Dave: Well . . .
Randall: No, no. Don’t tell me. The toilet is clogged or the sink has a few leaks.
Dave: No, those work fine, but, uh, the tile in the shower needs to be replaced, and the window needs fixing.
Randall: Let me see. The tile . . . what? The window? Where’s the window pane?
Dave: Well, that’s another slight problem. I’ve put up a piece of cardboard to keep out the [ Hmmm ] rain and snow , and if it gets a little cold, you can always turn up the heat. Well, you used to until the central heating went out. [Oh boy.]
Randall: Hey, I think I’ve seen enough. I can’t believe you’ve survived under these conditions.
Dave: So what do you think? You really can’t beat a place like this for $450 a month. So it has a few problems, but we can fix those.
Randall: Uh, no thank you. I think I’ve seen enough.
Vocabulary and Sample Sentences
- share (verb): use together
– My son didn’t want to share his toys.
- be strapped for cash (idiom): have little money
– I’d love to help you, but I’m strapped for cash this month.
- furnished (adjective): having furniture and appliances
– I’m looking for a furnished apartment.
- appliances (noun): electronic devices often used in the kitchen including the stove, microwave, blender, dishwasher,and refrigerator
– This store sells excellent appliances.
- improvise (verb): to use another way of doing something to accomplish your goal
– I didn’t have the right brushes to paint the living room, so I had to improvise.
- window pane (noun): the glass part of the window
– The window pane in the bedroom needs replacing.
- beat (verb): be better than
– I’ve looked around the best prices on paint, and this store beats any other place around.