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Sandy Griffis

Stories by Sandy

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Ask the Contractor: Window condensation a sign of indoor humidity

Why are our windows forming condensation, most always in the bathroom? Lucy and Paul, Prescott

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Ask the Contractor: Paint the fifth wall — the ceiling — for impact

The ceiling represents one-sixth of the space in a room

In all of the years that I’ve been writing ‘Ask the Contractor’ and answering questions from our community, never have I received a question about painting ceilings.

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Ask the Contractor: Construction industry offers well-paying careers

As the economy in Yavapai County recovers from the Great Recession — December 2007 – June 2009, with peak

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Ask the Contractor: HVAC tips for a comfy home, all summer long

We just purchased our first new home, and we are a bit concerned over the operation of our HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.

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Ask the Contractor: For floor remodeling, carpet, hardwood or other?

Hardwood flooring is the top request of homebuyers and renters when looking for a home

We are remodeling our home. I want carpet; my husband wants wood.

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Ask the contractor: Workshop offers training in rainwater harvesting

Did you know that one inch of rain on a 1,000-square-foot roof can yield roughly 600 gallons of water?

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Ask the contractor: Critters like to nibble landscaping

We are new to Prescott and “something” is eating our shrubs. We have never been faced with a plant-eating culprit and need some help.

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Ask the Contractor: New technology for septic tank drain fields, old timey remedy for hard water stains

We “heard through the grape vine” there is a new, environmentally friendly replacement to the traditional stone and pipe drain field.

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Ask the contractor: If it’s not in writing in a contract, it does not exist

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me repeat — and even refer to my earlier, annoying repetition of this statement: Do not start work or hand over any money without an executed contract.

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Ask the Contractor: Don’t bring bedbugs home with used furniture

We did what they say is a “big no no.”

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Ask the Contractor: Prune for safety and plant health, appearance

When your outdoor greenery looks sad or unkempt, you may consider employing your own handiwork, a landscaper or “an urban forester,” as Joshua Loveall, an arborist, describes his job.

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Ask the Contractor: A history of the hat that protects workers

The thermoplastic hard hat has become a symbol of construction and, over the years, has become a safety requirement on construction job sites.

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Ask the Contractor: Caution against ‘silent killer’

Our home has carbon monoxide monitors.

Ask the Contractor: Hot water heaters — to flush or not?

Here is the email we received this week: Hi, wondering what your recommendation is for maintenance of a water heater.

ASK THE CONTRACTOR: Sewage ejection ... not to the moon!

My wife and I are contemplating purchasing a hillside lot in Prescott for a new home.

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Ask the Contractor: A big building goal for 2018

While I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, I also realize that it has been an extremely tough year for many Americans, and our own community families and businessmen and women that hold the American dream near and dear.

Ask the Contractor: Words of wisdom on subject of septic

Concerns were abundant and plentiful, as they say with words of wisdom, a few weeks ago on the use of the garbage disposal this holiday season.

ASK THE CONTRACTOR: Plan on remodeling? Check for asbestos first

We just inherited a home from my parents that was built prior to 1970.

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ASK THE CONTRACTOR: Keep the disposal humming for the holidays

The holidays are a time to enjoy with family and friends and neighbors.

ASK THE CONTRACTOR: Is your crawl space sealed or vented?

With so many homes built into the hillsides here in Prescott and having a walk space under the house, we have an unfinished area, just dirt with plastic covering the dirt.

Ask the Contractor: Many reasons to give thanks this season

Let’s consider our good fortune and choose to be our best selves

This holiday above all others brings to mind different thoughts for all of us.

Column: Construction industry integral to local economy

We live and work in the silhouettes and outlines of Yavapai County-sized skyscrapers known as multi-story buildings; we travel through streets lined with homes and local businesses and buildings under construction.

Ask The Contractor: Don’t forget to factor in ‘cost-of-doing business’

Materials not the only cost when it comes to hiring someone to do home repairs

A homeowner called last week with a “sharing of information” and wanted to make me aware of a quoted price for work.

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Ask the Contractor: Problems with hard water, mechanic’s liens

Dishwasher film and spots likely due to hard water, not mechanical issue

We recently closed on a home and I cannot figure out what is going on with my dishwasher

Ask the Contractor: cleaning hacks, leaning tree, money

Cleaning tips, tree trimming, Recovery Fund

My husband likes to cook and spatter the grease on the walls and appliances and countertops surrounding the stove. Do you have any cleaning hacks that might help with quick removal?

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Ask The Contractor: Smoke alarms, planning ahead saves lives

Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8 through Oct. 14, 2017, is the longest running public health observance.

Ask the Contractor: Ceiling fans, exhaust fans both useful

Ceiling fans help cool ­— and heat ­— home more efficiently

Since Philip Diehl’s invention of the first electric ceiling fan in 1882, ceiling fans have evolved to become the most widely used and efficient cooling systems.

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Ask the Contractor: Be sure to hire licensed contractors

Homeowners pay the price when they don’t rely on licensed help

Our neighbors recently hired an unlicensed contractor to remodel their bath. Now all I am hearing about are problems and the unlicensed guy wants all of his money and says he is going to sue.

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Ask the Contractor: Contract agreements should be clear, detailed

Obtain a change order for every adjustment

This past week I met with two families with contract issues.

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Ask the Contractor: Your paint questions answered

We are considering painting the exterior of our home and the painter wants to use a Sherwin-Williams product called Duration.

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Ask the Contractor: Beware of roof repair scams

Reputable roofers aren’t usually door-to-door salesmen

We have been subject to three door-to-door salesmen trolling through our neighborhood telling us we have hail damage and they were offering their roofing repair services and offering to call our insurance agent for us.

Ask the Contractor: Year-round deck care provides hours of enjoyment

We just moved to Cottonwood from Ohio and are thrilled with the outdoor living.

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Ask the Contractor: Don’t need Superman to crack large boulders

With the entire world of knowledge just a few mouse-clicks away, it has never been easier than it is right now to learn something new and unexpected every day and I expanded my learning horizon this past week when I had a conversation with a homeowner about removing large boulders from their property without equipment access.

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Ask the Contractor: Grasshoppers a fascinating nuisance

On my 5-mile walks this past weekend I noticed the “littles” are jumping around and believe me, it never is good to see young, tiny grasshoppers hatching and jumping around.

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Ask the Contractor: A primer on homeowners insurance

With the recent fires and floods that occurred in our county, we have received several insurance questions.

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Ask the Contractor: All about stainless steel sinks

Once a stainless steel sink is scratched, it stays scratched, so use protective rubber grids

We have a stainless steel sink and the bottom has been scratched from pots and pans. Are lower gauge stainless sinks harder than higher gauge stainless and can the scratches be removed?

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Ask The Contractor: Pros outweigh cons of composite sinks

Good morning. Our column last week on knowing where your property pins are, generated quite a few phone calls that uncovered encroachments from fences to garages and even a spa pad.

Ask the Contractor: Get future home surveyed before you buy

So, you think you know everything there is to know about the legal description of your property.

Ask the Contractor: Don’t forget to sign a contract

Written contract is required for all home improvement projects over $1,000

This past week there were three calls from homeowners with issues pertaining to work and guess what? There were no contracts!

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Ask the Contractor: Mosquito 101

With the monsoons approaching, that means standing and pooling water and that means mosquitos.

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Ask the Contractor: Porcelain pavers are frost-proof, flexible

They come in various sizes and are easily installed

Our neighbors installed porcelain pavers on their patio and before we “take the leap” could you share additional information on this product.

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Ask the Contractor: Food Zone Certified quartz is available

I have heard there is a brand of Quartz countertop material called Quantra and supposedly this brand of quartz is Food Zone Certified where other companies that manufacture quartz materials are not Food Zone Certified. Are you aware of this?

Ask the Contractor: Top ways to prep your home for monsoon

Season begins in mid-June

According to WIKIPEDIA, the monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea.

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Ask the Contractor: You’ve got paint questions? We’ve got answers

Cleaning walls, peeling paint, chain-link fence fix and more

Our column last week on paintbrushes drew a “million” questions on other paint topics. Well maybe not quite a million, but would you believe a gazillion or a truckload? OK, a few. Here they are:

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Ask the Contractor: A brush is not always a brush

Paint brushes come in a variety of types, sizes

We (my husband) is going to attempt a DIY project — painting the kitchen and living room of our home.

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Ask The Contractor: Annual YCCA Home show wrap up

After zipping up and turning out the lights and leaving the building on the 39th annual YCCA Home and Garden Show this past weekend, I knew exactly where I was going to go with our column.

Ask The Contractor: Pick windows carefully; visit Home Show

We just purchased a home and the windows are not in the best shape.

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YCCA Home and Garden Show is May 19-21

The 39th annual Yavapai County Contractors Association Home and Garden Show is COMING SOON, May 19-21 at the Prescott Valley Event Center.

Ask the Contractor: Landscape improvements provide good ROI

Verify your contractor has a license

We are in the process of doing some upgrades in our home, and curious as to the return on investment for outdoor projects.

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