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By Karen Maserjian Shan • For the Poughkeepsie Journal • December 2, 2008

Handyman takes care of odd jobs

Handyman Eric Amato of A Plus Handyman Services cleans gutters recently at a home on Spook Hill Road in Wappingers Falls. (Lee Ferris photos/Poughkeepsie Journal)

Forget the big home additions and long-running construction jobs.

As a handyman specializing in carpentry, Eric Amato works jobs he can complete in a month's time or less.

"The small jobs," said Amato, who owns A Plus Handyman Services in Hopewell Junction. "I like them."

From single window replacements, to gutter cleaning, drywall repair and other small home maintenance projects, Amato likes the fact his work varies according to his clients' needs and he doesn't have to wait to get paid for completed projects.

"I'm always looking for a challenge and I don't like to do the same thing all the time," he said.

There were approximately 47,900 construction laborers, including handymen, employed in New York in 2002, according to the state Department of Labor. In 2012 the figure is expected to rise by about 8,000 to 55,940.

Employment of construction laborers is expected to grow about as fast as the average (7 percent to 13 percent), with laborers who have specialized skills or are able to relocate near new construction projects finding the best opportunities.

Amato began working in construction as a teen and later apprenticed under experienced workers as part of a framing crew for home builders.

The work enabled him to hone his carpentry skills, but he found the routine nature of the jobs dissatisfying.

Eventually, he began his own business and offers carpentry services as well as light plumbing and electrical work.

"You get to be creative," Amato said of his jobs, many of which are physically demanding: "There's no charge for the workout," he said.

Hands-on nature

For Amato, there's also the appeal of the hands-on nature of the work, much of which requires the use of various carpentry tools.

Karen Maserjian Shan is a freelance writer. Reach her at mkshan@optonline. net.

Amato started out in the construction business as a teen and gained experience in woodwork through apprenticeships.