For 20 years, Jason Chambers toiled in the coating industry, working as a regional manager for Sherwin-Williams.
But while he knew what he did was important for the company and his job was filled with responsibilities, he wanted a change.
He was never able to be “on vacation” with his family, as he was always looking at his phone and answering emails and texts, he said.
“I couldn’t be a dad or the husband that I needed to be,” said Chambers, who is married with two children. “But I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”
The Indiana native had been transferred to Washington state from St. Louis by the company in 2019.
Time for a change
His familiarity with the construction sector led him to explore operating an Ace Handyman Services franchise.
“I knew that in the handyman industry, people didn’t know where to go for help,” Chambers said. “After doing my own research, I decided to purchase a franchise for Ace Handyman Services.”
In September 2019, Ace Hardware purchased a company called Handyman Matters based in Denver, Colorado, which was a franchiser of home repair, maintenance and improvement services. It took the model nationwide.
“Obviously Ace rebranded it. They’re very scrutinizing with who they work with,” he said.
Chambers started looking into launching an Ace Handyman Services franchise in April last year.
There was no franchisee in the Tri-Cities until Chambers dived in.
“I created my LLC on June 30, 2022, acquiring the rights to all of the Tri-Cities,” he said. “We went live Feb. 6.”
Despite sharing the “Ace” name, his franchise is not tied into the Griggs family’s enterprise that owns and operates the Ace Hardware stores in the Tri-Cities. Still, Chambers reached out to Charles and Charlie Grigg to make sure they were OK with what he was doing.
With the Ace name, Chambers hopes to build on the established brand.
“A lot of credit goes to the Griggs family, and rightfully so,” said Chambers. “I want to show them that actions speak louder than words. I want to protect that Ace name and enhance it.”
The results, Chambers said, have been great so far.
“If you look on the Google reviews, it can tell our story. It boils down to having the right employees,” he said.
Customer service focus
Here’s how the service works: Customers can go to the Ace Handyman Services website at acehandymanservices.com/offices/tri-cities-washington to schedule a job or get an estimate. Or they can call 509-219-0029 and talk to someone.
“About 95% of what we do is schedule and estimate over the phone,” Chambers said. “But some people will text a photo of what they need done to our number.”
The service is for those needing to complete small projects that they don’t have time to do, or maybe can’t physically do.
Chambers employs five full-time craftsmen, whom he says have a combined 45 to 50 years of experience.
“My guys are awesome,” he said. “We had a slew of applicants for these jobs.”
Chambers holds a team meeting every two weeks to listen and talk about what’s working and what’s not.
“Our motto is to bring ethics and integrity to home improvement. It’s working,” he said.
Chambers said if a customer schedules an appointment, his people contact that client the night before to confirm.
And there’s no waiting in a six-hour window for that craftsman to show up.
“We say we’ll be there at 8, we’re there at 8,” he said. “I try to think through the lens of a customer. By the time they come to us, they really want something fixed as soon as possible.”
While his team has tackled some bigger jobs such as remodels, Chambers wants to keep things simple.
“We’re really staying in the handyman home repair area,” he said. “Things like door repair, holes in drywall, a window seal that needs fixing. The smaller jobs are a niche need.”
The company’s most popular services are smaller projects that involve doors, floors, bathrooms, painting, fencing, drywall and carpentry.
The company also offers several service packages:
- A half- or full-day package, in which a customer can get items checked off a to-do list.
- A mount a TV package to have a television wall-mounted and wired up.
- A pet door package, in which a craftsman will create a door which enables the pet to go in and out of the house.
- A kitchen fire safety package, allowing a craftsman to set up safety systems in the kitchen.
While Chambers’ craftsmen are busy fixing things for appreciative clients, he’s out in the public trying to get the word out about his company.
He does that by introducing himself at service clubs, events and reaching out to real estate agencies.
“Word is getting out about us, week by week,” he said. “But there are people who have no idea we exist.”
Chambers is also diving in to help the community. His company donates $10 from each job to the Children’s Miracle Network.
It ties in to what he’s doing with his company.
“What we do improves people’s lives. And I see that every day,” he said. “I get people telling me, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you for answering your phone.’ It’s a simple thing, but people appreciate that.
“We handle what some people can’t handle. Our team gets satisfaction. It makes a big impact on my team,” Chambers said. “I would never have imagined just how important it is what we do. What we do, it’s a relief for people.”
Ace Handyman Services: 7325 W. Deschutes Ave., Suite B, Kennewick; 509-219-0029; acehandymanservices.com/offices/tri-cities-washington.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.