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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
8:51 PM Mon, Aug. 20th

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Sandy Griffis

Stories by Sandy

Ask the Contractor: Construction or remodel? Get it in writing!

Seriously, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me repeat and let me refer to what I am sure seems to you my constant and annoying repetition of this particular statement:

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Ask the Contractor: Leathered granite is the future of kitchen countertops

Last week I made a delivery to a local countertop/cabinet businesses and in walking through the showroom, I ran my hand across a full-size kitchen island countertop displayed in a vignette and immediately said to the owner, “Oh, my gosh, what type of material is this?” I was told it was granite. I said, “Granite?” with disbelief and skepticism.

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Ask the Contractor: Random acts of kindness

The article in The Daily Courier on July 24, “A movement to end homelessness in Prescott,” made me realize that we are a movement of people creating events and random acts of kindness to spread hope, love, compassion and light.

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Ask the Contractor: Granite reigns for kitchen countertops

We are remodeling our kitchen and new countertops are planned. Of course, there is a little conflict between my husband and myself — he wants granite and I am thinking quartz. Sandy, help us make up our mind! Tom and Sheila, Prescott.

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Ask the Contractor: Insurance - replacement cost vs. market value

This past week several calls rang in from homeowners wanting to know what the cost per square foot is to rebuild.

Ask the Contractor: Mini-split heating, a/c growing in popularity

Not quite taking the market by storm, however, widespread popularity is rapidly gaining.

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Ask the Contractor: Pick paint carefully; each finish has purpose

July stated off with a thump and a whack as they say.

Ask the Contractor: Backbone to being ‘firewise’ is PAWUIC

Last week our column discussed defensible space and stressed that protecting your home from wildfire starts with you. Since wildfire is a real and an ever present danger, it is important for our readers to know about Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission (PAWUIC).

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Ask the Contractor: Protect against wildfire, be Firewise

We had a delightful rain this past weekend, however, with our continued dry conditions and lack of moisture our area still exhibits prime conditions for a fire.

Ask the Contractor: Asbestos ceilings? Who you gonna call?

This past week a call came in from a local Realtor who inquired about “popcorn” ceilings.

Ask the Contractor: It’s important: Hire licensed contractors

Each year, the Registrar of Contractors investigates thousands of complaints from consumers against unlicensed entities attempting to perform contracting work.

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Ask the Contractor: Don’t panic; a 20-day notice is not a lien

This week, four calls came in from homeowners receiving Preliminary 20 Day Notices in the mail.

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Ask the Contractor: Thanks for successful Home & Garden Show

After zipping up and turning out the lights and leaving the building, as they say, after the 40th Annual Yavapai County Contractors’ Association Home and Garden Show this past weekend, I knew exactly where I was going to go with my column.

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40th annual Home & Garden show is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 18-20

The 40th Annual Yavapai County Contractors Association Home and Garden Show will get underway this weekend at the Prescott Valley Event Center, 3201 North Main St.

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Composite material or real wood for decks?

We need to replace our wood deck and have been told by two contractors that we should consider composite material.

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Ask the Contractor: ‘Instant hot water’ saves water and money

Gosh, my heart is so proud, and our organization is so honored for the readers and supporters of our column.

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Ask the Contractor: New technology, methods help conserve water

Now that low-flow toilets, showerheads and faucets have gone mainstream, one might expect that home water usage would decline each year.

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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.

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Ask the Contractor: Hillside living may require sewage ejection system

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

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.

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