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Wed, Nov. 20

Column: Make sure contractor bids have all required information

Yavapai County Contractors Association (YCCA) is a professional association representing licensed, bonded and insured contractors, suppliers, distributors and business entities. Welcome to the debut of "Ask the Contractor," a column for all of your construction, building, sustainability and basic equipment questions. Question: I have received bids for work and every contractor seems to write their proposal differently. Some are just handwritten on a sheet of paper; some say "proposal"; some contracts are 10-12 pages long and have a boilerplate of information. What should be included in a contract to protect me as the homeowner?-Ed in DeweyAnswer (by the Yavapai County Contractors Association): This so often is the basis for issues and problems. Arizona statutory law requires that all construction contracts over $1,000 contain at a minimum the following:• The name and business address of the contractor• The contractor's license number• The name and mailing address of the owner• The jobsite address or legal description• The date the owner and contractor signed the construction contract• The estimated date of completion of the work• A description of the work to be performed• The total dollar amount to be paid to the contractor for all the work, including all taxes• The dollar amount of any advance deposit paid or scheduled to be paid to the contractor by the owner• The dollar amount and stage of construction for any progress payments to be made to the contractor• Specific information, prominently displayed, explaining how to file a written complaint with the Registrar of Contractors.It is also important to ask for copies of liability insurance and workers comp coverage Question: I have noticed a few loose singles on the roof. How often should I have my roof inspected?-Shirley in Prescott ValleyAnswer (by Greg Barstad, owner, Granite Basin Roofing): The types of products used on roofs today typically remain in good condition for decades. However, unusual weather such as hail or high winds can create problems that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. A damaged roof can lead to leaks, mold and costly repairs. A roof inspection determines the integrity and lifespan of a roof. Checking a roof every two to four years is sufficient, unless there is unusual weather or you notice water spots on your ceilings and walls, or if you see any sagging, broken, curled or missing shingles or missing flashing. These are all indicators that the roof possibly needs repair. It is also good to check your attic for any noticeable signs of water damage, visible holes or light penetration - again, these are signs your roof should be inspected.Question: If I have already installed solar power in my home and have received a rebate, can I still get rebates for a solar water heater?-Jennifer in Prescott ValleyAnswer (by Keith Riggs, owner, RED Plumbing): Yes, you can. There are different programs available from the state, federal government and APS for solar power and solar water heaters. You qualify for each installation and energy-saving device under separate rebate programs.Question: I want to paint the interior of my home, and I am so confused by all the color paint chips to select from, and I feel intimidated because I know I am not good with colors. Is there a service that can help me select the proper colors? How much does this cost?-Shari in PrescottAnswer (by Janet Bussell-Eriksson, president and senior designer, Bussell Interiors): What you have described is the need to consult with an interior designer. Not only are interior designers trained in the many facets and uses of color, but they are also trained in the psychology of color. Many design firms offer color palette services and the price varies depending upon the number of colors, number of rooms, etc. On average, for the selection of three colors, the rate is $35. Many firms include an in-home consultation that would last approximately a half-hour. Discounts are often given for multiple rooms and whole house projects. Interior designers are also experts in selecting exterior colors and finishes. Submit your questions and concerns to ycca@cableone.net and watch for your answer in the real estate section of the Daily Courier every Friday. YCCA, your local trusted referral source, can be reached at 778-0040 or www.ycca.org.
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