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.

INEXPENSIVE HOME PROJECTS FOR SUMMER

Gutter CleaningEven in the best of times, most of us are operating on a tight budget, and, let’s face it—2020 hasn’t exactly presented us with the best of times. Thanks to COVID-19, social isolation, and general uncertainty about what tomorrow brings, we’re all trying to stretch a dollar further than ever before.

Brighter days lie ahead, but that doesn’t mean that things around our homes are going to wait for a more convenient time to wear out or to break down. Now, with the warmer, sunnier months at hand this is an ideal time to tackle those jobs you’ve been putting off for a while. Here is a list of several things that can be handled without having to spend a lot of money:

Clean your gutters. Mother Nature has had months to deposit dead leaves, dirt and other debris in them, where they decompose, hold stagnant run-off snowmelt and rain, and, over time, start to damage the gutter itself. Cleaning them out is not a pleasant job, but it can be done fairly quickly and efficiently.

Re-stain or seal your wood decks. Winter and water are not wood’s best friends, so providing your deck and wooden walkways with a layer of protection against the elements extends its life and adds to its natural beauty.

Power wash your home’s exterior. Pressure washing eliminates years of the unattractive build-up of mildew, soot, dirt and grime from your house’s exterior. It’s equally effective on brick, stucco, aluminum, steel and wood. It’s also a great way to prepare your home’s exterior for painting.

Mulch your lawn and garden. Experts recommend mulching right after spring planting. This helps control weeds, retain moisture, enrich soil nutrients and insulate plants from frost and heavy rains.

Repaint exterior trim, fascia and doors. These can all be painted easily without a huge outlay of time, effort or cost, and they have a big impact on your home’s appearance.

Repaint or replace your mailbox. This is another task that can be managed in a short amount of time. We don’t typically give a lot of thought to our mailbox’s appearance… it’s one of those things we look at every day without ever really looking at it. It may be time to give that reliable old thing a facelift.

Wash your windows. Yes, this is a task that nobody particularly likes to do. But it transforms both the exterior and brightens up your home’s interior.

These are all tasks that don’t require any specialized skills to accomplish—just a commitment of time and effort. And remember, too, that your local Ace Handyman Services office has half-day or full-day packages that allow you to bundle together several minor repair jobs in a single visit. Call and speak with the office manager who will listen carefully to your specific needs and help you put together a list of to-do items that one of their friendly and professional Craftsmen can tackle on your behalf.

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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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How We Work Safely in Your Home

Our Standards to Protect You and Our Craftsmen

Craftsman PPEIt’s your home – and you only want to do business with those who understand how to safely enter it, get work done, and leave it safely.
We understand how it is difficult to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and making your household run and be safe. State by state, the rules and regulations vary widely – we follow the local mandates and orders for the markets we serve and the guidelines of the CDC.

1. Get in touch with us and tell us what you need

Call us or book online –Within that call we will confirm the health of the Craftsman assigned to your job. Then we will review our safety protocols to ensure that you know how we will enter your home to do the work. (When the Craftsman enters your home, they will confirm the work to be completed and either get a verbal agreement on your estimate or confirmation via email).

2. We will enter your home and safely complete the work

Your Craftsman will don safety equipment and follow best practice health protocols set forth by the CDC that includes:
• Wearing a new face mask
• Wearing new shoe covers
• Wearing a new pair of disposable gloves
• Applying hand sanitizer on the front porch, and throughout the job
• Following CDC social distancing standards while in your home
• Using disinfectant solution to clean the area prior to the work

3. We will leave our work area fully sanitized and ready for you to enjoy

Once the work is complete, your Craftsman will get your approval on work completed and:
• Gather tools and parts to clear the work area
• Don a second pair of disposable gloves to disinfect the work area
• Thank you for letting us make life a little bit better in your home!

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Insulating Your Home’s Exterior for the Warm Summer Months Ahead

We tend to think of insulation as something we do to keep heat inside our homes, but the fact is, it’s nearly as important to keep “the cool” inside during the summer months. According to www.energy.gov, heat consistently flows from warmer to cooler—however it can manage it: through interior ceilings, walls and floors—wherever there is a difference in temperature. So, in summer’s soaring heat while your air conditioner is cranking away, the warmer outside air is like a persistent intruder, constantly looking for ways to break into your house.

As we transition from winter into spring, now would be a perfect time to look at ways to keep the refreshing cool air from escaping your home, replaced by the baking temperatures of summer.

Caulking and weatherstripping are two easy and effective air-sealing techniques. Caulking fills cracks and openings around stationary elements such as window frames, while weatherstripping addresses and seals components that move, such as doors and operable windows.

Your home probably already has double-pane windows, but if not, this would be an excellent time to install the low-emissivity types. Window-tinting, particularly on west- and south-facing panes can also assist in both keeping warm air outside in the summer and cold air outside in the winter.

An equally effective means of insulating your home is to plant shrubbery or trees in front of those same west- and south-facing windows. Of course, the challenge there is that it will take a few years for these to grow tall enough to do the job; but when they are fully matured, greenery provides not only efficient protection against heat- and coolant-loss, it lends beauty to your home, as well. So even while you employ other, more immediate means of keeping your house’s temperature moderated, consider these longer-term gardening measures, as well.

Perhaps the biggest culprit when it comes to energy-loss (warm or cold) is your attic. Attics can be black holes, sucking up heat in the winter months, and hoarding cooler air in warmer ones. The reasons for this can be numerous—the space is unfinished, there are gaps around pipes, flues, exhaust fans, recessed lighting, or, over time, there’s been damage to your roof. The best way of determining how to fix this particular problem is to conduct an energy-audit.

That’s a project that will likely have to be postponed in this current climate of social distancing. However, the other measures can easily be accomplished right now. You probably have the extra time on hand to undertake projects such as new window installation, caulking, weatherstripping and tree-planting. But if not, Ace Handyman Services is ready and equipped to tackle these challenges for you. Our craftsmen are following stringent guidelines during these uncertain times, working with face masks and gloves, and focusing on exterior projects that will keep you and your family at a safe and respectful distance, all while bringing helpful to your home!

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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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PUTTING TOGETHER THAT OUTDOOR SPRING TO-DO LIST

We’re in that transitional time of year where it isn’t done being winter, but it’s not quite spring yet, either. Daylight and warmer temperatures are in short supply, making it a challenge to get motivated to do anything–even just scheduling a craftsman to paint that dingy entryway, repair that loose step, fix that dripping kitchen faucet or any of the other annoying little problems you’ve been conveniently ignoring for a while now.

But shake off those late-winter blahs… there are a couple of reasons why right now is the best time to get those repair projects tackled.

First of all, summer is a time for fun and recreation. Maybe you’ve got some vacation trips planned; maybe you’ll have friends and family visiting. You want to be at the pool or on the golf course, not dodging tools, paint, tarps, and workmen every which way you turn. And you want your guests to see your home at its absolute best, with everything in top working order and looking great.

Secondly, summer is generally the peak time for home repair demands. If you wait until May or June to call to schedule cabinet installation, painting, bathroom caulking, sink replacement, changing out old light fixtures, or any other job you’ve been putting off, you may find yourself waiting a lot longer than you’d planned before that reliable, trusted handyman company has an opening in their schedule.

The late winter/early spring months are traditionally slower times across the home repair and remodel industry, so arranging for a craftsman in March or early April is likely going to yield much faster results. It’s also possible that you’ll find there are great deals to be had by booking in this slower time of year.

Ace Handyman Services works hard to be the go-to repair company of choice, and they’ve come up with a couple of customer-friendly packages that people are finding especially appealing during these gloomy, not-quite spring, not-yet-done-being winter days.

Take a few minutes to check out the offers page for your local Ace Handyman Services office. Year-round, they offer Half-Day and Full-Day Deals that allow you to put together a to-do list of things you most want to tackle around your home. But there are often additional deals to be had this time of year. Check out our website or give the office a call where the friendly TEAM Coordinator who answers the phone will be happy to listen to your needs and to help you arrive at an arrangement best suited to your individual needs and wishes.

Let us help you love your home in the best, most efficient way possible.

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