Editor's note: Barry Courter has a 25-year-old son who is a college graduate and a 20-year-old daughter who is a sophomore in college.
Q: Dad, we've always had you around to fix things at home, but now that we are on our own, what do we need to know about home maintenance?
A: Take care of a problem as soon as you discover it. Don't wait, hoping it will fix itself. An odd noise, a little bit of water where there should be none, an unusual smell are all clues that something is happening. Fix it yourself or find someone who can. Also, when buying tools, save up and buy quality. Both of these are lessons I'm still learning the hard -- and expensive -- way myself.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...