Must Know Safety Tips Next Time You Use a Ladder

There’s a moment when you’re at the top of a trembling ladder and you grip on for dear life. You then wonder, “Am I doing this right”? A ladder can often be something you must endure to get your high up tasks done. That’s why we’ve prepared a shortlist of precautions to keep in mind to help you next time you have to climb a ladder.

1. One Person at a Time

Two heads may be better than one, but using a ladder is a different story. Never have more than one person on a ladder at a time. It may be tempting to get multiple things done at once, but two different weights moving on one ladder can be very dangerous.

2. Avoid the Top 2 Steps

Sometimes you’re going to be tempted to climb higher to reach your project but you should avoid stepping on the top two steps of the ladder. Most ladders aren’t designed for you to be that high, and you also risk losing your balance. The safest place to do your work is from the middle steps of the ladder.

3. Keep 3 Points of Contact

The best way to secure yourself when climbing up or down a ladder is with three points of contact; two hands and at least one foot on the ladder at all times will help keep you secure and avoid failing. Another thing you want to avoid is overreaching. That will shift the weight on the ladder, leading to a higher risk of an accident.

4. The 4 to 1 Rule

When placing a ladder against a building, one of the best ways to ensure its stability is following this rule. Place the ladder one foot away from the building for every four feet of height. For example, if the ladder is resting 16 feet high, then you should place the bottom four feet away from the building.

If you follow these four easy rules, then you can minimize the risk of an injury. For more tips on ladder safety, take a look at the U.S. Department of Labor’s recommendations here. And of course, if ladders are still an object you want to avoid, no worries. We can send one of our Craftsmen and get the job taken care of for you.

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Home Resolutions to Strive for This New Year

Every January, lots of people sign up for the gym, promise to finish projects, or declare that this year is where they turn their life around. Although self-improvement is good, why not have some goals for your home this year, too? Below are areas to focus on that will improve your home and, by extension, how you operate within your home.

1. Make Your Home Safer

Family safety is always needed, but now is a perfect time to take the initiative on home protection. Home fire prevention is one crucial goal to complete for your home. Getting a fire extinguisher and updating detectors are easy ways to safeguard your house. Securing your home from intruders is another area to examine. Have a Craftsman install a door brace, a deadbolt, or even reinforce weak points in your entryways. They can even install a smart doorbell you may have seen a neighbor add. Take the time to make these updates, or have a Craftsman do it.

2. Clean and Organize Your Home

Something we are all probably struggling with, now that we are operating from home is keeping things organized and clean. Now is the perfect time to take all the clutter from the past year and finally get re-organized. Here you can find a list of places to start that will make a huge difference. Once it is all organized, another goal you can implement is creating a new weekly cleaning routine. Then you can stay on top of the clutter more consistently. You will have a home where you can focus on some of your other resolutions.

3. Update Your Kitchen / Bathroom

This home resolution is likely the most exciting. Take some time to upgrade either your kitchen or bathroom. You don’t have to do full renovations, either, to make a difference. A Craftsman can make just a few tweaks, and the whole room will feel fresh and new. A new coat of paint or a fixture upgrade are just some of the ways you can do something different for your home this year.

If tackle these resolutions, your home will be ready for the new year. A call to your local Ace Handyman Services can check most of these resolutions done in just one appointment. Don’t let a better home slip away from you this year.

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We All Dream of Being More Organized, Don’t We?

A new year is upon us… phew! 2020 may not have gone the way you wanted, but there is still so much potential to fulfill your goals in the upcoming year. To get a fresh start, get organized and clear out anything you don’t need anymore, make your home more peaceful, and set yourself up for an awesome year. 

Clean Out that Junk Drawer 

Yes, we all have one or even several of them. Maybe it’s your bathroom cabinet that’s a mess, the hall closet, or that drawer in the kitchen you can barely open. Empty the space completely and throw away any trash and unused items. Sort items in boxes, bins or use dividers—you can even bust out the label maker you’ve been waiting to use!  

Declutter your Desk or Workspace 

Whether you’re working from home or in an office, clean and organize your workspace. This will help you feel more productive and accomplished while working. Go through all your paperwork and throw away or shred documents you do not need. Refresh all your pens, scissors, tape, paperclips, etc. Install shelves so you can fully utilize your desk and create a perfect space to store and organize your work.  Not only will a refreshed and organized workspace help make you more productive, having a comfortable, new office space might be a great work-attitude adjustment, too! 

Organize your Garage 

You may have to dedicate a weekend day for this task, but it sure will make the difference you need for the New Year. Pull everything out that’s in the way and create zones for items that can be trashed or recycled. Then think vertical—putting in some cabinets and overhead storage are all options to getting a clutter-free zone. Put your least-used items on the top shelves and store items you want easy access to in the middle, so you have easy access. And when you’re done, you may actually have room to park your car – what a concept! 

These three ways to make your dream of being more organized are a great start to kick off 2021. And if you’d like some assistance in installing storage, shelves and creating vertical organization, your local Ace Handyman Services office is always willing to step in and make your dream a reality of becoming more organized in 2021.   

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Start the New Year off with Some Quick Home Improvement Projects

The holidays are in full swing, and with them, the most challenging year we’ve ever had to face. It’s likely that with sheltering at home, your house saw more wear and tear in 2020 than in any other year up until now. This would be a great time to do a quick assessment of the things around your place that could use a touch-up or some repair.

Consider replacing door and cabinet hardware.  This is a quick and inexpensive way to give your kitchen, bathroom and other areas a facelift with new door handles, locksets and cabinetry hardware.

If you haven’t already installed programmable thermostats, it’s time to consider making the change.  This improvement project enables homeowners to customize heating and cooling to suit their needs and save as much as 10% on heating bills in the process.

And speaking of saving money on heating, how well insulated is your house?  Consider engaging the services of a home energy auditor to determine just exactly where your greatest heat loss is occurring.  The average cost of a professional audit is just around $400, but it can easily pay off in the long run.  Or check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s website for tips on how to conduct your own audit, if you’d prefer to avoid paying a professional to do the job for you. Your attic is the most likely culprit, but the seams around doors and windows are possible causes, as well.  Applying some caulking or installing weatherstripping can go long way toward keeping in the heat in winter and the cooler air in summer.

Insulating your attic is a considerably and more expensive project, of course, but well worth it in the long run.  It will lower your energy bill 5 to 10 percent each month.

Are you looking to refurbish a room or two without spending a lot?  Crown molding is a great way to give a room a facelift without a lot of time and trouble.  You might also consider refurbishing a door with a fresh coat of paint, changing out the knobs, or even adding a bit of molding to give it a sense of dimension.

These are just a few suggestions for a mid-winter home upgrade.  Most can be accomplished in a day or less.  And if your own craft skills aren’t quite up to the challenge, remember that you can always call your local Ace Handyman Services office to arrange for a visit from a helpful, courteous and professional Craftsman to help you love your home just a little bit more in 2021!

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Enter the New Year with a New Front Door

The warm feeling of coming home from a long day or the excitement of guests visiting all begins at your home’s entrance. The front door is the first thing people see when they arrive at your house. So, as you enter the new year, think about the ways you can enhance your doorway to create a lasting impression for your guests.

For a simple update, try a new color. Bold red is a classic, but you can also experiment with a deep blue, forest green, or even a bright yellow. A pop of color will help your doorway stand out and make your home look unique. Our Craftsman will detach the door, professionally paint it the color of your choice, and then rehang it.  The results will be clean, elegant, and inviting.

The trim around your front door provides another opportunity to revitalize your entryway. Consider having a Craftsman paint the trim an accent color that complements the color of the door itself. Another option is to replace your current trim with a more decorative molding to give it a more dramatic look.

Aging or rusted hardware, fixtures or house numbers on your front door can easily be replaced for a quick, simple improvement. Small changes make a big difference.   If the job is bigger than these enhancement ideas, then look into replacing the door itself. A big change may be what you need to enter the new year. Our Craftsman can expertly hang a new front door.

No matter what level of renovation you plan on using to spruce up your doorway, our Craftsman are happy to take care of it for you. With just one call and an update, your front door can make a wonderful first impression.

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Easy Bathroom Upgrades for the Holidays

Having your home filled with friends and family is a sign of the holidays. And one room you’ll definitely want to make sure looks great for your guests is the bathroom. A full bathroom remodel takes a lot of work and money and can be frustrating, so rather than adding stress to the end of the year, here are a few simple ways to give it a great facelift:

1. Give Your Sink a New Coat

Being stuck with an outdated sink will definitely dampen the look of your bathroom. Luckily, a few cosmetic changes can give it a new life. For example, if you have a ceramic sink in an aged pastel color, then call a Craftsman to apply ceramic epoxy to give it a fresh white finish. For an additional touch, have your Craftsman paint your vanity a bold new color to add a beautiful contrast to your bathroom.

2. New Fixtures

One practical way to upgrade the design of your bathroom is to install new light fixtures. A new set of fixtures will add a level of detail that you’ll appreciate every day. Lights aren’t the only fixtures you can upgrade—swap out your faucets for something chic. If you really want to make your bathroom feel like a spa, upgrade your showerhead to a modern spa head. Once our Craftsman installs these fixture upgrades, you will have a new escape right in your home.

3. Accent Tile

Re-doing the tiles in your bathroom is costly and time-consuming. Instead, opt to add accent tiles. Adding the accent will give your walls dimension and make them more appealing. You can add them in the shower or even over the sink. The best part is it can be done by a Craftsman in a short amount of time, giving you an impressive bathroom just in time for the holidays.

Don’t let the prospect of a full remodel discourage you. Creating a bathroom you’re proud of is just a few upgrades away with the help of one of our Craftsmen.

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Winterize Your Home

Whether you love colder weather or dread it every year, winter is approaching. With it, comes harsher conditions that can wear on your home inside and out. This year is a perfect opportunity to be proactive and not let these projects slip by. The following list includes steps you can take right away to protect ready your house for winter.

Update Your Mudroom

Snow and boots can decimate your home’s cleanliness. This year, prevent the mess before it begins by updating your mudroom. Have a craftsman build you a bench with cubbies to help your family get ready and store away shoes or clutter. For further use, have them install a shelf system to organize boots, coats, mail, and all other life clutter. You can also get a drip station installed for all the water that melts from those daily snow treks. This often overlooked area, once improved, will be of great use in your home.

Check Your Water Heater

There are a lot of pieces involved in preparing your water heater for winter. First, make sure that the temperature is set to no more than 120°F. Lowering this temperature a few degrees can save you money. Then check the pressure relief valve to extend the longevity of the heater. Also, make sure to flush the system to clear out any buildup of sediments. Making sure your water heater is fully operational before heading into winter is not something you want to miss.

Install or Upgrade Your Thermostat

Modern-day thermostats have so many more features than adjusting the temperature. They are much more efficient in regulating temperatures without putting as much strain on your HVAC systems. In fact, take a look here for additional reasons why upgrading a thermostat will bring many benefits to your home.

Weatherstrip Your Doors and Doors

Indoor heating is precious during the winter. If your doors are not properly stripped for winter, your warm air and money will slip away. Windows also need to be sealed to keep the warm air inside. Get our Craftsmen to properly strip all your doors and seal your windows to keep your home cozy and your electric bills from rising.

Replace Your Furnace Filter

There are many reasons why you should replace your filter on a consistent basis. One of the most important is your family’s safety. Home fires destroy thousands of homes each year, and an unchecked filter can expose you to danger. Make sure you or a Craftsman take care of replacing your filters. For other ways to prevent home fires, check out our blog here.

For many, winter is about celebrating holidays and an opportunity to spend time with family. Get these tasks done in advance so they don’t infringe on your time. You can also give our Craftsmen a call to get their expertise on what your home needs for this season. Once they have worked their magic, you can simply appreciate your home.

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Importance of Upgrading Your Thermostat

Woman adjusting temperature on a programmable thermostat

New features in technology create so much ease and efficiency in our lives, and your home is no exception. Especially with winter and holidays coming up, ease and efficiency are always welcome. This is why upgrading your thermostat to a smart one will bring so many great benefits to your home.

Safer for You and The Environment

Many traditional thermostats have a needle to give us the temperature. What you may not know is that the needle is adjusted by mercury, a dangerous substance that can lead to many health issues. A smart thermostat doesn’t use mercury and is all around eco-friendlier, making them the best solution.

Easier to Use

We have all struggled to try to read the needle, questioning its credibility and then surgically adjusting the setting to where we want it. Newer thermostats use dials, screens, or even phone apps. At night, this becomes especially useful as they have lights to help you see or to avoid fumbling in the dark while you adjust from your app.

Saves You Money

Additionally, smart thermostats are more efficient in many ways. They can learn and adjust the temperature much more efficiently than traditional thermostats. This puts less strain on your HVAC system, extending its life. This also means less energy is being used, saving you money on your electrical bill. They also feature zoning capabilities that can adjust to different areas of your home. Also, with connectivity to your phone, you can turn the thermostat off remotely when you are out of town, or even when you are away for a bit and forgot to do it before leaving the house.

These great features are easily available to you, so there is no reason to be subjected to a traditional thermostat. This is just one of the things our Craftsman can take care of for you to get your home prepared this winter. For more ideas on what to do to prepare your home for the colder season, take a look here. Then give your local Ace Handyman Services a call and we will take care of the rest.

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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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