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Wed, Oct. 16

Ask the Contractor: YCCA wants to share knowledge with consumers

Hi readers, happy July. I hope you are enjoying the summer.

This column is going to be a little different in that I am going to do some independent research. I use my professional experience through YCCA, personal experience with contactors and sometimes that thing called “gut feeling” to assist consumers and callers. Through this column, I want to hear from you.

What exactly is most important to you as a consumer dealing with construction and contractors? What would you like to have more knowledge on: construction complaints, the importance of contacts and how to protect yourself with a written contract, windows and window installations, difference in pavers and the importance of proper installation, energy sustainability, tree health, HVAC systems, manufactures, how to determine what system you should install?

Do you want a better understanding of the design and build process, the difference between an architect and a designer, when is an engineer needed, when do you need to pull a permit, what items do not require a permit?

Do you want to know about water? What’s in your drinking water, are water filtration systems good?

Do you want to know about the building process from ground up? When do you call in a structural engineer? What are current trends in building? How do warranties work? Should you purchase a home warranty? Handicap modifications, should you plan ahead if building a new home or are modifications relatively easy to add later? What is code and what is not? How do you compare bids? Are home inspections really necessary? Should you install solar? Are all construction materials equal? Do you understand common allowance and how do you manage them. If you are building a new home or doing a remodel do you want a cost-plus or a fixed contract? Do you want know about the mechanics lien laws? Do you think you want to be owner-builder? How important are construction deadlines? Do you understand the change order process and how it can affect the job schedule?

YCCA would like to set a series of talks/meetings/seminars based on your desire for more information. These classes will be no charge. YCCA wants to help home owners make their home a safe and comfortable living environment for the long term and answer your questions.

Many responsive and innovative products are emerging, and service providers are focusing their businesses on creating new homes and renovations that provide design flexibility, pleasing aesthetics, high function and usability for all people.

I would love to hear from you with your thoughts and areas of interest. We want to enhance your Wikipedia of information when it comes to construction. Please send me an e-mail: or call anytime 928-778-0040 and we can chat.

There is just too much conflicting information, and so many folks are relying on the internet. This is almost as bad as conflicting nutrition information: Don’t eat saturated fat. Eggs cause hypertension. Dairy is bad for you. Fish has high levels of mercury. Coffee is bad for you.

Keep in mind homebuilding has changed significantly over the past 50 years and more. Home building has evolved to a systematized process with many moving parts; however, it is still a craft and a valuable trade.

Today’s builders manage numerous construction materials and methods, coordinate many trade partners and suppliers, and deal with a variety of building codes and regulations. This complexity may distance homeowners from the actual building process, and can cause uncertainty about where they fit in.

In order to enlighten you as a homeowner, YCCA wants to share with you that your role in building is more important than ever. The homeowner is still, ultimately, a leader in the project. Through our series of classes YCCA wants to help you gain and understanding of various components and parts and pieces to construction.

Education is key, and we want to share our expertise with you. It pays to learn about the building process and gain an understanding and respect for the pace, phases, materials and people that manage a home’s construction.

As a professional organization YCCA is totally proud of our contractors and the industry. We want to partner with you and answer your quality questions.

Let’s get started. Send me your ideas, comments, questions and what you want from YCCA and we can form our first class series. This will be great fun. Looking forward to meeting all of you.

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s “Hammer Time” at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on KQNA 1130 AM, 99.9 FM, 95.5 FM or the web at Listen to Sandy to Mike talk about the construction industry, meet your local community partners and so much more. What a great way to start your weekend.

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