about andy fulenchek
Andy Fulenchek is a professional appliance repairman and is our resident expert.
Andy reviews appliance related articles for BuildFanatic to make sure we’re giving the most accurate, top notch advice for our readers.
Andy Fulenchek's work story
Andy Fulenchek owns Grace Appliance Repair in East Texas (www.GraceAppliance.com). With a decade of appliance repair experience, Andy is certainly comfortable inside an appliance.
Andy hasn’t always worked in appliance repair…
“Before starting my own business, I worked at a large bank as a banker… the corporate world. Professionally, I was quite miserable”.
At the time, Andy was a new Dad, a new home owner & as he explains it, completely oblivious to most home repairs. Having a plumbing issue in his new house, he needed to have a plumber come out to resolve it.
Andy blindly dialed the first plumber he could find who diagnosed the issue as a slab leak.
“The plumber, seeing me for what I was, a naive home owner in a bad spot, quoted me $6,000 to completely redo my entire plumbing system under my slab Not having the money, I called for a 2nd opinion. The second plumber quickly identified that it was in-fact NOT a leak at all. He cleared roots from my lines, charged me a fair rate and was on his way”
Andy remembers having 3 distinct thoughts that day:
1. The need to learn how to repair more of his own issues
2. Being grateful for the honest service he received
3. The realization that he, as a business owner, could offer better service than the initial plumber, by far
“I chose the name Grace Appliance more as a reminder to myself every time I picked up the phone. A reminder that security comes from God and not from a pay check. Starting my own business was just me putting that realization into practice.”
When asked how he learned appliance repair, Andy continued, explaining that:
“There are too many people and experiences to mention, that have shared their own time and expertise with me. Certainly a lot of self study and determination was needed, no doubt. Watching tons of YouTube videos, researching and reading blogs similar to www.buildfanatic.com, anyone can do it. You can absolutely learn enough through self-study to start your own business. The rest of the education happens on the job. The school of hard knocks!”
“Larry & Jordan from Abel Appliance in the North Dallas area for example. Again, I can’t recommend starting a business this way, but I remember calling my largest competitor in my area and saying something like: ‘Hey, I’m Andy. I don’t do compressors at the moment, but see that you guys do great work. Do you mind if I send you some compressor referrals?’. Larry (a good friend to this day) responded, ‘That sounds find… by the way, do you work on dishwashers? Because we don’t…’. This conversation turned into a decade long friendship. He kept me afloat my first year – just in his overflow of work!”
Grace Appliance has grown to include additional technicians and a dispatcher to assist with scheduling and other aspects of running his business.
Andy specializes in refrigeration, and is currently branching his business out to include commercial repairs & espresso/coffee equipment. With an education background, Andy also enjoys offering appliance related consultation services for application/software companies, blogs & repair websites. He also manages a YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/graceappliance) where he creates DIY focused videos for common appliance issues.