Home Fire Prevention and What You Need to Know

Fire: It’s a horrible thought. But what would be worse, is not being prepared for it. Most people think having extinguishers and smoke detectors is enough, but it’s equally important where they are located and how they are mounted when building a fire prevention plan. At Ace Handyman Services, we can help you keep your family safe by making certain your current preventive tools are fully operational and helping you think through what you might be missing.

It’s interesting to know the history of fire prevention week-which always occurs the week of October 9th is rooted in a significant event that changed how Americans started thinking about prevention.

History of Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Taking preventative cautions with the right tools is one of the best ways to protect your home. Carbon monoxide and fire detectors are necessary for this. Place these on every level of your home, in every bedroom and right outside sleeping areas, including your basement. You must make sure these devices have functioning batteries. Testing your alarms monthly is highly recommended. These detectors also have a limited lifespan of 5 to 7 years, so make sure they are replaced when needed. Our Craftsman will get these properly installed for you to give your family peace of mind.

Fire Extinguishers

After your detectors are installed, a fire extinguisher is a next step in protecting your home. Extinguishers use a rating system to give you insight into how effective they are, for example, 5:B-C. The higher the number, the more powerful it is. The letters reflect the type of fire. A means fires that can be put out by water, B are fires from flammable liquids like grease, and C fires stem from electrical equipment. Getting a multi-purpose extinguisher that can range up to 40:B-C is highly recommended by experts. Once purchased, have a Craftsman install one in an easy to reach area for when emergencies arise. Make sure to do it soon before your turkey fryer makes its annual appearance this Thanksgiving.

Areas to Clean

Thousands of homes are destroyed due to a failure to clean out dryer vents and furnace filters. Lint filters need to be cleaned before and after every load of laundry and brushed every 6 months with a nylon brush. The vent pipe should be cleared out every 3 months as well. Furnace filters should also be replaced because after filtering out dust and other particles if it isn’t replaced, the furnace can overheat and start a fire. This should be done every 90 days, but if you have pets then every 60 days. In the midst of a busy schedule, it is easy to overlook these vital areas. If you need to, call a Craftsman to take the time and get it done for you.

Taking these precautions can be the difference in saving lives. We know your family’s safety is a serious matter. Reach out and one of our Craftsman will take the time to give you peace of mind.

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5 Home Projects to Prepare Your Home this Fall

AHS-fall-home-2020-blogAs fall draws near, the leaves begin to change and temperatures begin to drop. Everyone knows what fall looks like, but do you know how much it affects your home? If your home isn’t adequately prepared for the colder seasons, the oversights could cost anywhere from a minor headache to thousands of dollars. It’s time to tackle a few simple chores that’ll make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises. To ensure your home is ready for whatever the season brings, we at Ace Handyman Services have gathered a list of home maintenance projects you’ll want to take care of this fall. Our skilled Craftsmen can help you knock out whatever’s on your list.

1. Clean/Replace Your Gutters

Gutters are underrated in how they protect your home. Broken or leaky gutters can cause erosion at your foundation or flooding in your basement. So make sure they’re kept clean of leaves. If you notice your gutters are separating, cracked, rusting, or have holes then they’ll need to be repaired or replaced. Luckily, our Craftsmen will do the ladder work so you don’t have to.

2. Insulate Pipes

As you know from eighth-grade science class when water freezes it expands. If the water in your pipes freeze it could lead to bursting which could then results in major water damage. Insulating your pipes can ensure a trouble-free winter. Let our Craftsmen’s expertise take care of it for you.

3. Cover Gaps in Your Insulation

Autumn also brings the battle between your thermostat and cold weather. Cold air could be seeping into your home through cracks and gaps in your insulation causing your heating bill to rise. From there, our Craftsmen can identify and seal up those holes for you. If you want to learn more about home insulation, check out our article here.

4. Inspect Home Detectors

Fires and carbon monoxide poisoning affect thousands of households every year. Your family’s safety means everything. As you prepare for winter make sure your detectors are working and replace batteries if needed. If you do not have a fire or carbon monoxide detector, then have our Craftsman install them for you. Being prepared is your first line of defense in protecting your family’s comfort and safety.

5. Living Space Upgrades and Renovations

Between working from home, kids attending virtual school, and family holiday visits around the corner your home may need some small upgrades to accommodate. Luckily our Craftsmen can help with those decorative home upgrades. If you’re looking for ways to enhance family-school/work from home spaces, we have tips for you here.


Stay ahead of the game this fall and keep your home prepared. From small updates to larger maintenance tasks, whether you take on the whole list or choose just a few, let our Craftsmen help get your home ready for the upcoming seasons.


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5 Tips to Enhance Your Work-from-Home Space

Working from home can sound like a dream, but without the proper space to focus it can quickly shape into a daytime nightmare. During times like this, you or your family must maintain a productive routine. This is why we’re sharing some best practices for this new reality. Here are five ways to enhance your work-from-home space to help maintain a balance between work and family life, while all in one place.

1. Separate Workspace from Home Space

Create a specific area for you or your children to work that is dedicated to productivity. Having that separate area will psychologically tell your brain that this space is for work only. You can do this by working on a desk, or if you don’t have space, a foldable table. This will also come in handy when work is done at the end of the day. You can keep your job relegated to that space and enjoy relaxing with family in your home.

2. Avoid Distractions

When creating this separate space, you want to make it as distraction-free as possible. Make sure your desk is not facing the TV. Face a blank wall if you need to. Now, if you have lots of family or kids running around, communicating with them on when not to disturb is very important. You can do this by creating a visual “Do not Disturb” cue. Some examples of this include installing smart hue lights that indicate when you are busy, closing your doors, or putting on headphones. Plan and talk with your family on how best they can respect your time.

3. Add Shelving

When arranging your home, you might not have planned on needing a home office, leaving little square footage for it. Taking a tip from New York City, if you can’t build out then build up. Installing shelves over your workspace will allow you to fit more work items and give you more options to stay organized. You can add bins for documents, hooks for chargers, or containers for supplies. You can also get creative and install boards for notes or place décor to spruce up the blank wall you are staring at.

4. Install a Door

Home OfficeThis option does in fact incur a cost, however, it also adds value to your home. If you have created a work space but desperately need a quiet area to concentrate or take calls, adding a door to that space is a great way to accomplish that goal. While French doors are beautiful and let in light, they may not provide enough privacy if there are other family members around. On the other hand, if members of your household aren’t the type to stand at the door, staring at you through the glass, or mouthing words to you like a bad game of Charades, installing French doors to an area can create the perfect work-from-home space you need. As an alternative, a pocket door, that tucks neatly into the wall may be the right solution for converting a smaller area of your home to an ideal work space.

5. Hire a Professional

Another way to get your home acclimated for spending more time at home and accommodating all of the newness we’ve adjusted to, is by hiring a professional. Whether you’re looking to convert a bedroom into an office, hang up shelves, install doors, or finish your basement, getting the right person for the job is critical in making the space work for you and your situation. At Ace Handyman Services, formerly Handyman Matters, we make sure we take your individual project into consideration and send the Craftsman that is most qualified to perform that service and complete the job to your satisfaction.


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If you follow these tips, you will have a home office that works for you in your home. Not only will it make that morning commute from the bedroom a lot more pleasant, but it will also provide a comfortable space for you to focus during work hours along with the ability to separate yourself physically and mentally from work during your off hours.

HOW DO WE DEAL WITH HOUSEHOLD EMERGENCIES DURING THE COVID 19 CRISIS?

CM Putting on MaskIt’s safe to say that 2020 has not turned out the way any of us had envisioned it would when we celebrated its arrival this past New Year’s Eve.

Most Americans were aware of the coronavirus as the old year ended, but at that point, it seemed a distant and vague overseas threat, somebody else’s problem that would be fixed before it impacted us personally. Yet now, almost halfway through the year, we’ve seen our world turned upside down, and we find ourselves taking precautions and living a far different day-to-day existence than most of us could ever have imagined.

Although we manage around sometimes inconvenient precautions, challenges still come with life. Sometimes a window gets broken; a tree collapses on the roof or across the driveway; the water heater stops working; the back-yard fence topples in a wind storm, and the dog can’t be outside unattended; there’s a sudden water leak under the dishwasher?

These aren’t things you can’t simply wait out—they need immediate attention. So, where do you turn?
Well, a good first call to make would be to your local Ace Handyman Services office. Many of our locations have been able to tackle jobs like the ones listed above in the last few weeks; of course, it all depends on the restrictions and social distancing practices in your area. But please know that Ace Handyman Services follows rigorous social distancing and precautions to keep both our Customers and our Craftsmen safe. Our Craftsmen strictly follow company guidelines that comply with CDC Regulations when it comes to entering and leaving your home.

You can always speak with the location’s Office Manager to share your concerns, and see if it is possible to schedule a Craftsmen to come handle it. Ace Handyman Services is committed to helping you help your home, now, as well as whenever we get back to “normal…” whatever that may look like!

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Preparing Your Yard and Garden For Spring

While much has changed in the world just since we entered 2020, Mother Nature marches on. Winter is receding and spring is upon us, which is great news all around. And that means there are all kinds of preparations we need to be making in our yards and gardens as we welcome in warmer, longer days.


With the danger of frost past, it’s time to rake up fallen leaves and debris from flower beds and around the base of trees and shrubbery. Prune back dead and scraggly limbs to keep plants healthier and looking better.


Winter can be particularly hard on your lawn. Some areas of turf may be damaged from shoveling, plowing or the application of ice-removing salt. Rake away the top layer of dead grass and also remove any areas of turf that have died, so that you can plant new seed or install new sod in those patchy areas. Remember that grass seed and sod also require fertilization and consistent watering until they’ve taken firm root in the underlying ground.


Wind, snow and ice may have left their mark on your fencing, trellises and railings, as well. This may require as little care as a good scrubbing with some hot soapy water or bleach; or perhaps more extensive repair might be needed, if wood has become rotted, or posts are loose in their foundations. This is also an ideal time to sand down fencing and re-stain it or give it a fresh coat of paint, so that it looks as good as your newly greened and budded grass, trees and flowers.


Your deck and patio furniture are probably due for a good power wash, even if they’ve remained under cover during the winter months. Also, check all concrete and paved surfaces for crumbling, sinkage or swelling. Just as potholes seem to spring up in streets every year, your sidewalks and porches can suffer from similar deterioration. Patching or replacing may be in order.


Sound like a lot to do? While some people enjoy undertaking these kinds of hands-on gardening and restoration projects, others may find it more convenient to arrange for some assistance in getting your yard and your home’s exterior looking its best for summer.


Your local Ace Handyman Services office has qualified craftsmen standing by to help out with these and other jobs that might need tackling around your home and yard. We are taking extra precautions these days to maintain social distancing and to complete all tasks in the same expert, professional manner that we’ve become known for, without putting you or you family at risk. Give us a call and speak to a friendly staff member who can listen carefully and figure out how to best serve your needs.


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Franchise Owners – Learn more about us

One of the cornerstones of Ace Handyman Services, dating well back to the company’s start as Handyman Matters in 1998, is that every Franchise Owner is a member of the community he or she serves. It’s our belief that, in order to truly understand the needs and concerns of our customers, we must be fellow citizens in the same world and experience the same things they encounter.


Our Franchise Owners:
• Live and work in the community they serve.
• Hire employees from the community and area they serve.
• Are small business owners.


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From the corporate office all the way down to each individually-owned location, the credo has been that in addition to serving the needs of our clients, we want to give back to the community in which we live and do business. If we find and can address a need, that benefits us all and makes everyone stronger.


Brett Jeffreys, our Fort Worth Ace Handyman Services owner since 2010, regularly demonstrates his dedication to both customers and community. His office has been the recipient of The Super Service Award from Angie’s List every year that he’s been with them. Brett and his family are also strong supporters of Camp Impact, a non-profit organization in Arlington and Grand Prairie TX dedicated to providing local homeless and underprivileged youth with an opportunity to attend a summer camp.


In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Erin Woods opened a Handyman Matters—now Ace Handyman Services—location in 2003 with her father Bob McRedmond. In 2019, Erin’s husband Bill Woods joined the Ace family by opening another office in the Lancaster and York areas. Erin’s office was awarded The Simply the Best – Handyman distinction in 2017, a title voted on by readers of Harrisburg Magazine. Erin is an active member of her community’s Rotary Club, and among the ways she gives back to her community is through Operation Christmas Shoebox Packing, an event in which families fill shoebox-sized boxes with toys, trinkets and basic necessity items such as toothbrushes, and distributed to those in need.


Stacy Huston, owner of our Park Cities, TX location, celebrated her tenth year anniversary as a Handyman Matters/Ace Handyman Services franchise owner by organizing her team to help build a greenhouse for Vogel Alcove, a Dallas-based organization that helps to ensure that homeless families with children have a home, a self-sufficient family, and a foundation for success.


As we currently face the threat of a worldwide pandemic and all of the uncertainty and fear it brings, it becomes more important than ever that we need to band together to get through this crisis as quickly and as safely as possible. It’s with Brett, Erin, Stacy and other people leading the way in their individual communities that we will face this challenge and then get back to our former day-to-day routines and helping to better the lives of everyone around us.


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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ACE HANDYMAN SERVICES

With the exciting announcement that Ace Hardware and Handyman Matters have joined forces to enable the latter to become Ace Handyman Services, some questions have arisen, as well. READ MORE> Specifically, what does the future hold for this new collaboration? What changes may be coming?

The short answer is that everyone can expect the same great service and results they have experienced from both of these brands in the past. From a client viewpoint, the only change is that there’s now an added synergy, making it even easier for our loyal customers to bring improvements and enhancements to their homes.

What about the changes?

Ace Hardware customers who have been asking the company to launch in-house home-improvement services will now be able to take advantage of Handyman Matters’ ability to provide 1, 162 different home repair jobs. Handyman Matters customers will be able to utilize professional craftsmen who have access to Ace’s wide range of products and tools. This is what you might call a win/win/win scenario!

With 4600 locations across the United States, there is an Ace Hardware Store located within 15 minutes of 75% of all U.S. Households. Each carries an impressive range of products, including exclusive deals with a number of manufacturers such as Benjamin Moore Paints, Oakbrook Collection, Home Plus and many more. Combine that with Handyman Matters, recipient of Newsweek’s Best Customer Service Award for the past two years, with 57 franchise locations in 23 states, and it quickly becomes a no-brainer: This new collaboration aims to Bring Helpful to Your Home. It’s a natural fit between two companies that have long shared a similar set of values and practices: Doing right by our customers and treating their homes with respect and care.

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HOME REPAIR AND UPGRADE PROJECTS TO CONSIDER IN THE WINTERTIME

January…  It’s that quiet, cold month that follows noisy, activity-filled November and December, when everybody’s thoughts and energies are directed toward holiday preparations, welcoming guests, and simply enjoying everything the season has to offer.

But after New Year’s, company has gone, decorations have been stored away, and chilly, bleak January is underway.  You’re looking at several more months of snow and blustery weather still ahead.  It’s the perfect time to tackle a handful of those indoor repair and remodel projects you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, now.

How long have you been thinking your bathroom was due for a facelift?  Perhaps you’ve been contemplating installing a new vanity; maybe changing out the sink and bathtub fixtures; replacing the caulking or re-grouting around the tub and tiles.

How about the kitchen?  Is it time to install a new backsplash?  Upgrade cabinet doors?  Maybe your work areas could use some better lighting?

Winter Home Repair ProjectsOther wintertime projects to consider are updating baseboard trim, installing a ceiling fan, replacing stair balusters, upgrading lighting fixtures or replacing your fireplace’s mantel.

These are just a handful of the relatively non-intrusive upgrading and remodeling jobs that can easily be undertaken in the winter months.  All can be accomplished in a day or two with minimal disruption to you and your family’s regular routine, and they yield great results.

Remember, your local Handyman Matters office has friendly and professional craftsmen available to assist with these and any other remodeling and repair projects you’ve been considering, whether in January or any other time of the year.

During that time of year when the days are shortest and the nights their coldest, you can make a room or two in your house feel brand new!

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HANDYMAN MATTERS IS BECOMING ACE HANDYMAN SERVICES?

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In the last few months, you’ve probably heard the great news about Handyman Matters becoming Ace Handyman Services.  This transition should be completed during the first quarter of 2020.

You may be asking yourself, “As a Handyman Matters customer what can I expect through this process and this name change?”  The good—no, the great—news is that you can expect the same professional service, convenience in scheduling, high-quality workmanship and superior communication you have become accustomed to with Handyman Matters.

Beyond that, cosmetically, we will update our name and branding to match more closely to that of Ace Hardware. We’ll be creating a synergy so that we are more easily recognized and aligned.

Ultimately, this will make it even easier for us to help you love your home. We will continue to aim high and seek to exceed your expectations. Our steadfast commitment to being your Home Ally is as strong as ever.

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WHAT IS AN ‘ON MY WAY’ TEXT NOTIFICATION, AND WHY DO I WANT ONE?

(Handyman Matters’) communication is just what you’d want to feel comfortable that the job is planned, will happen, and is on-target because the service provider is “on the way.”

-Excerpted from a posted customer review of the Denver North Metro Handyman Matters location

So, what is this “On My Way” feature?

Think about some of your past experiences waiting for a service person to show up at your home… There’s a certain amount of anxiety and frustration associated with these visits.  When will they get here?  Will they be on time?  Why haven’t they called? Have they forgotten about me?

The “On My Way” feature is designed to eliminate those concerns.

When a Handyman Matters craftsman is dispatched to your home, he hits a button which sends a message to the customer alerting them to the fact that he is en route.  A link is included in this message that allows the customer to see the route the craftsman is taking, his planned arrival time, his photo and a short bio.

“There are a number of reasons we like to provide this service,” says Kim Hobden, TEAM Coordinator in the Denver office.  “It’s beneficial for both the customer and for us to be in consistent communication, from when we call the night before the job to make sure everything is on track, all the way to the moment the job has been completed.  On my WayThat way, there are no unexpected glitches, and everybody has the same level of expectations.  For the customers, it reduces their anxiety and it provides a sense of security when they can click on a link and see not only when to expect their craftsman, but what he looks like.  They know they are letting the right person into their home.”

Kim goes on to add, “We’re constantly working to improve the standards and expectations people have of the home improvement industry.  And it gives our customers the assurance that we are partnering with them to make their home a nicer, safer place.”

Here’s an excerpt from another posted review of the same location:

Handyman Matters provides an exceptional level of customer service.  I am especially appreciative of the text alerts (and) “day before” voicemails from the technician… The picture and the personal biography is also a fun feature.

                                                                                -Kirstin O.

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