200501scl Handymen

Anthony Cabral, left, and Edoardo Tipton, of Ace Handyman Services install ceramic tiles during a kitchen remodeling project in Wakefield.

It’s that time of year when the days are growing longer, warmer and sunnier, and the great outdoors beckon. It’s also the time of year when a few steps out the door are a reminder of the tolls of winter: a porch that needs to be sanded and stained, a fence that needs to be painted, patio tiles that need to be replaced.

While these tasks may be an easy fix for some, not everyone is blessed with the necessary craftsmanship to do them well. Fortunately for these folks, local outlets like Ace Handyman Services are only a phone call — and a few miles — away, ready to take on any and all projects.

Formerly known as “Handyman Matters,” established in 2010  by Louis Paiva, Handyman Services was acquired by Ace Hardware in September; Paiva remains the owner of the franchise. Headquartered at 7610 Post Road in North Kingstown, this service features a fleet of about six craftsmen, many of whom have been in the business for decades, and who respond to calls all over the state.

“There’s not much we don’t do,” Paiva said. “Our main focus lately has been kitchens and bathrooms.”

He noted those are two of the top five projects popular this time of year, along with work related to fencing, deck and stair repairs, plus seemingly smaller tasks like cleaning gutters.

“This is a time of year to start thinking about the exteriors,” Paiva said.

For anyone in need of a little inspiration, PANTONE selected Classic Blue (19-4052) as the Color of the Year, an annual designation. In describing this choice, PANTONE says it is “a timeless and enduring blue hue … elegant in its simplicity, [and] suggestive of the sky at dusk.” The color, they continue, is restful, brings a sense of peace and tranquility, offers refuge, aids concentration, attracts clarity, re-centers thoughts, and has the potential to foster resilience.  

And for those less concerned with color, who prefer bringing out the texture of the natural wood on their patios and fencing, Consumer Reports recently reviewed 28 solid, semi-transparent and clear wood stains to determine which ones endure best (the full report can be found on their website). The best stains, they say, should last three to five years on a deck, and even longer on siding and fencing.

Consumer Reports determined that the best solid wood stains are Behr Deckplus Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain; Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Solid Deck & Siding; Cabot Solid Color Acrylic Siding Stain; and Olympic Elite Advanced Stain and Sealant in One Solid. The best semi-transparent wood stain, they say, is Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain & Sealer.

These choices can seem never ending and a bit overwhelming. Luckily, companies like Handyman Services exist to help people begin this process, and see it through to completion.

Tammy Maloney has worked with Paiva for seven years, and said a lot of her job is answering messages and getting back to people straightaway. “In our day to day lives, we like when people follow-up,” she said, noting this is part of the work culture at Handyman Services.

“We make an appointment and we’re there when we say we’re going to be there,” she said. “We pride ourselves on that.”

Paiva agreed, adding: “Once we start a job, we man it until it’s over.”

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