Pro Handyman re-tools in the aftermath of the pandemic

by Mary Helen Darah

One might be surprised to learn that the “man” behind Pro Handyman Plus is actually a mother and a busy grandmother. Ginger Thompson used her knowledge and experience from working for a handyman contractor to start her own company. “The company I was working for was not doing well and decided to close their business,” recalled Thompson. “I was told on Christmas Eve day that I no longer had a job. My family was in construction, which gave me the courage to start a business. The previous owners instructed me to sell the furniture, which I did…to myself. I was also able to keep the phone line and the Pro Handyman name. I was quickly up and running. We have been in business for 18 years with many happy, repeat customers.”

Ginger Thompson

Things were running smoothly until that fateful day in March 2020. Pro Handyman Plus seemed to come to a standstill. “It was a dark time,” recalled Thompson. “People were deathly afraid of having people outside of their ‘bubble’ come into their home. When we did come to the house, they would sequester themselves from where my technicians were working, creating a work environment with no communication or feedback. It was also difficult for my technicians to go to places such as Lowes or Home Depot for supplies. They had to contend with long lines to make purchases for jobs. Getting materials was torturous and time-consuming. Workers were also nervous about being out and about. They tried to maintain their work and business while keeping themselves and their families safe. We found that unless it was electrical and plumbing that needed to be taken care of immediately, the phone was quiet. Only necessary repairs were in demand. There were no remodeling requests for our services during the pandemic.”
Thankfully Thompson is finding that the phone is ringing once again. “Things are starting to open for us,” she stated. “We have always had our repeat customers that call us but now we have people call who were waiting until they felt more comfortable. In fact, we are having an influx of calls. I think with everyone staying at home people were tired of looking at the same four walls. They now want to get things fixed that they hadn’t noticed previously.”
Currently, bathroom and kitchen remodels are in high demand. “I am hoping to expand my workforce in the near future,” said Thompson. “I am scheduling dates for about three weeks out. The housing market is booming. Customers are calling us to have us go through their to-do list to put their homes on the market during this time when homes are at premium, or they are fixing up a recently purchased property.”
Pro Handyman Plus offers numerous services including any type of carpentry, flooring, doors, roofing, electrical, plumbing, drywall, painting and tile. The company does not do basement waterproofing or heating and air-conditioning. “We can be found on Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau. When people call with their service needs, they speak directly with me,” she stated.
A few ideas from the Pro…
Update your kitchen or bathroom with a remodel. Even doing something as simple as a new coat of paint or installing new hardware on your cabinets will have a tremendous impact.
Check around your windows and doors to see if they need to be re-caulked.
Now is the perfect time to think about adding a deck or porch to enjoy outdoor fun.
Check your siding and foundation for damage from the harsh winter. Roofs also take a beating in the winter so visually check for curled or missing shingles.
Gutters need to be cleaned and installed correctly to let summer rain drain properly away from your home. Now is the perfect time to check the gutters and foundation.
Shutters can be added or painted to match a new front door to add curb appeal to your home.
Power washing your home is the simplest way to brighten it up. Most people clean the inside but ignore how dirty and dingy their home’s exterior is.
Thompson is quick to point out that there is no such thing as a small job and that every effort, even though not a large one, positively impacts your home. “Pro Handyman Plus will help with all your home improvement needs, large or small,” she stated. Thompson also recommends having a list before having someone come to do repairs. “If customers have a list they get more bang for their buck. It’s better to have us come once instead of multiple times,” she said. The company gives free estimates for their work and does a background check on their contractors. “If I don’t want them coming to my door, I wouldn’t send them to yours,” she stated.

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