May 14, 2020
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First and foremost, thank you to so many of you who attended our YCCA Home Show.
Months ago, I started jumping with joy and excitement over the upcoming 43rd Annual Yavapai County Contractors Association Home and Garden Show, taking place this weekend May 19, 20, and 21st at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
We see them every day. Recently, there was a Facebook post on highway sign colors and I was not aware of why the signs are the colors they are, except I know orange is for construction!
I love reading about industry, home affordability and new construction products, but I also love reading mystery novels and watching the Hallmark Channel and listening to jazz.
I received an email from an avid reader: Sandy in a future “ask the contractor” column in The Daily Courier, would you discuss heat pumps — specifically ductless split systems?
Yes, we know that the construction industry is as busy and as hectic as ever. Yes, we know that project starts are at least four months out. So, if you happen to find someone who says they are licensed and they can start your job tomorrow, buyer BEWARE and BE AWARE!
“It’s not easy bein’ weed-free,” and with our wet winter, weed-free will hardly be the case. I phoned my landscaping buddies, and with a resounding agreement, they all affirmed applying pre-emergent.
Wind, winter, and e-mail hackers are on my list of unloved things oh yes one more…unlicensed entities. I discovered a very important roof warranty coverage detail in talking to Badger Roofing about a warranty item, and wanted to share this with everyone.
I see this statement posted on social media quite often — “I did a thing.” The “thing I did” at long last? Change my air filters — three of them!
Is it the cold windy, snowy, rainy weather that is producing calls for hot tubs? The consensus among the American public is that hot tubs are luxurious, but not necessary products for everyday life.
In the Daily Courier on March 14, 2023, the columnist Dr. Keith Roach answered a question about radon, and boy oh boy, did my phone blow up.
Allergy season is starting, and the snow is still hanging around. I guess spring wants so badly to spring into action.
Wow, this was the week for “Kitchen faucets gone wild.” “My kitchen faucet fell apart;” “my kitchen faucet is broken;” and “my kitchen faucet sprayer is stuck,” and the calls kept on coming in. Did the groundhog cause this?
I have had several questions in the past about heated driveways, and many of you know, I am not a fan of heated driveways. OK, you are hearing it firsthand, I am raring to go for a heated driveway.
Ok, I know we need the moisture, however, I am not liking Punxsutawney Phil, he may be cute, but I have had enough of his winter predictions. I have more bags of snowmelt in my garage than I do with shoes in my closet!
Hi, hope your week is going swimmingly great. I had a couple of calls this week about green building. Two families want to build sustainable and want to build green. What is green building? This question is so simple, but one that does not have any easy answer.
The calls are ringing with countertop questions. And I will do my best to offer some guidance. New countertops for a kitchen or bathroom can steal the show, and that can be a good thing or a distracting eyesore.
Match your tile selections to your lifestyle. Consider children and pets. Do you scrub and use bleach? How much time do you really want to devote to maintenance? Visiting local tile showrooms/design centers are great places to begin.
I have had two calls this week – carpet versus laminate wood flooring. I am going to start out by saying “Yikes!” With so many flooring choices and so little time (my column is due) this could be a thesis on flooring.
Hi my lovely readers. More snow on the way…..I stopped by Ewing Irrigation Thursday morning and purchased two additional bags of ice melt. A girl can never have enough ice melt….maybe ice melt is now in the same category as my shoes
With all of the wet weather we have had, I have noticed that “white chalky” substance on many of the area’s masonry walls and on homes throughout neighborhoods. So here is a little educational lesson on efflorescence.
Happy New Year! And remember it is never too late. Every day, people pass up opportunities to make a difference in our community. We can all do “something” and it doesn’t have to cost anything.
You all know I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, I also realize that it has been an extremely tough few years for many Americans, and our own community of families and friends and dreams are fading.
Well, winter has been here and will come again. Where oh where was my ice melt?
I am so excited. Guess what I bought myself as a Christmas present? It is smaller than a breadbox. It is not an animal …well maybe it could be an animal the way it chews. It is not vegetable, but it likes vegetables.
Sometimes I feel like I am failing to support the community and not being on every doorstep talking about how to hire contractors. I picture myself standing on a street corner with a sign “Hire Licensed Contractors” “Call Sandy At YCCA before your Hire.”
The Thanksgiving holiday above all others brings to my mind so many different thoughts. What is this holiday going to look like? In Thanksgivings past, I so remember the feast, the football, the family, the friends and our faith.
I have seen an increased number of calls relating to sewer backups over the past several months. The one thing these calls have had in common is…. The sewer backups were all rental properties.
It is going to happen sooner than later. Get ready for shivers, snowflakes and slush. According to the Farmers Almanac for the month of November here are the predictions for our region.
One of the most severe “uninttended consequences” I have seen develop from the Federal Reserve raising the rates to battle inflation has been the creation of unlicensed construction companies.
Does your chimney/fireplace need a checkup? Now is the time. Do not wait!
They are back! On my six-mile walk two weeks ago, I noticed the “littles” are jumping around, and believe me it never is good to see young, tiny grasshoppers hatching and jumping around. Some of these “littles” look to be at least a half-inch long.
Fire Prevention Week is this week, Oct. 9-16. Did you know that Fire Prevention Week is on record as the longest-running public health observance? Fire Prevention needs to be practiced 365 days per year 24 hours per day!
We all know about the internet. What the internet does in an unprecedented way is to provide users with nearly inexhaustible sources of “evidence” and promise for even the most fringe beliefs that you or I can imagine.
It must be insurance-renewal time. It seems many homeowners are in the process of renewing their home insurance, and the question I am asked most often is what is the price per square foot to rebuild?
COVID-19 brought about changes with indoor air quality. We recently purchased a resale home and wonder if we have an issue with air quality. —Mark and Susan, Prescott Air quality has always been a concern for customers, even before COVID-19.
What is happening with recent or planned bathroom renovation projects? From the number of calls, I receive for bathroom projects I would say the bathroom(s) are a top room to renovate by both aesthetic and functional desires.
Because of the hillside terrain we have in Prescott, many homes have a sewage ejection system. Many folks purchasing a home that has a sewage ejection system are unaware of maintenance and why some homes have these systems.
We took a major leap and modernized our home hardwood floors, not laminate but hardwood. Everyone is telling us various ways to clean and maintain and we are confused. What is the best way to clean our hardwood floors. -Mike and Judy, Prescott.
Recently we had a paver driveway installed and would like tips on sealing the pavers. — Matt and Joanie, Prescott Valley
Where do I begin? Not a week goes by that I do not receive an e-mail(s), phone call(s) or note(s) in the mail, making a comment about my column or, for that fact, columns you that have saved and are stuffed in the kitchen drawer.
This week it is all about WATER! The most important water conservation device is you. Below are some helpful tips — on how easy it is to conserve water.
With all of our rain just wait... that “white chalky” substance will start to be seen on many of the area’s masonry walls and on homes throughout neighborhoods. So here is a little educational lesson on “efflorescence.”
I am forever grateful that my position as Executive Director of YCCA allows me to leave the office. Sometimes I leave the office for lunch. I always leave the office to go home, and I leave the office for meetings throughout Yavapai County. The best part of leaving the office are road trips.
How does anyone know what the future holds for our communities? The future is not some big secret. All the information for what is planned for Yavapai County is mapped out and spelled out and located in a document call the “General Plan.”
Water leaks are more common than you might think. At least three to four times per month I receive calls from homeowners that have a water leak. Not a major catastrophic water leak, but an undetected water leak in which their bill has increased dramatically.
It has started, the monsoons of course, and with the rains comes lightning. Since our monsoon season is upon us and with the dissipation of lightning, surge protection has become a much more complex and important issue because the value of electronic equipment in a typical home has increased enormously.
Guess what? It is monsoon time. According to Wikipedia, the monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation.
We have a solid wood front door and would like more light to shine in. We heard there is a company that can add view glass/decorative glass to an existing front door, and we figured if anyone knew it was YCCA. —Tom and Susie, Pinon Oaks
We are in a severe drought and new residents of Chino Valley. We thought we would ask for input on how to save water. Maybe share some helpful tips with your readers, and PS: we turn our water off when we brush our teeth – LOL. —Marge and Ed, Chino Valley
I am on my soapbox this week not nourishing hand soap, not body wash, not shampoo, but my improvised self-appointed, spontaneous platform! Change orders – Change orders – change orders – change orders – change orders. What else can I say?
Wow, I had several calls and emails about my plant hardiness zone column, so I thought I would stay in the landscape vortex this week.
We are leaving supply-chain issues behind this week. We are leaving material costs behind this week. We are leaving anything and everything related to construction behind this week. We are going to talk plant hardiness zones and tree watering. So put your hardhats away and let’s plant!
Some friends of mine changed the look of their dining room wall by adding wood accent. They sent a photo and oh my gosh — it is outrageously cool! Goodbye to boring walls and accent paint!
For those of you who know me, I am always the “glass is half-full” girl. I try to view situations and people in a positive and hopeful manner. I am not here today to be the half-empty glass girl; however, the construction materials shortage has blighted the construction industry throughout 2021 and into 2022.
Months ago, I started jumping with joy and excitement over the upcoming 42nd Annual Yavapai County Contractors Association Home and Garden Show, which was held April 29,30 and May 1 at Findlay Toyota Center.
The 42nd Annual Yavapai County Contractors Association Home and Garden Show is here! April 29 to 30 and May 1 at the Findlay Toyota Center Prescott Valley. You will not want to miss this great event and we want to see your smiling faces. It has been two years since we have had our three-day home show.
Did you now that too much lint in a clothes dryer system is like laundry-room kindling? Maintaining a clean dryer vent can prevent tragedy and property loss. Dryer fires are one of the leading causes of residential structure fires in the United States.
“Sandy, should we build now?” “What is happening with materials?” “The subcontractor is telling me it is a year before they can even start our job.” “The subcontractor wants 50% down payment.”
These past few weeks I have been receiving a mountain of calls from homeowners wanting to know what the cost per square foot is to rebuild. They were all in the process of renewing their insurance. This is a common question and one whose answer is based on the complexity inherent in the construction industry.
Sandy, we know of the construction supply chain challenges. I heard you recently at a community gathering talk about the problems with contractors not wanting to install homeowner purchased items. The information that you shared I totally get and you convinced me to return the toilets I purchased and contract for material and labor with a plumber. Thanks for educating me and I am asking that you share this with the universe. Tom, Prescott Valley.
I have a lot of dust in my home. My home has different temperatures in the rooms. My energy bills are high. And the calls keep coming in. Here are some easy indicators that you might have an air duct issue...
I attended a water focus group for the Town of Prescott Valley last week and water conservation was discussed. Several participants indicated they conserve water by collecting the water from kitchen and bath faucets while waiting for the hot water to flow through the pipes.
Last week was the excitement of going to two Home Depot locations in search of my newly ordered patio cushions. New cushions on furniture (Check) Old torn, dirty cushions ready for the trash (Check). Twelve cushions will not fit at once into the trash receptacle.
What a joyous time I had this past Saturday at Home Depot – both Prescott Valley and Prescott. We all have patio furniture, right? The patio furniture sits outside day and night, in the wind, the rain and the snow; 24/7 as they say.
Q: We recently moved to Prescott from Chicago. My husband wants a heated driveway, and I would rather have a snow blower — more fun and less expensive. Oh Sandy, help! Luis and Peg, Prescott.
COVID-19’s long tentacles have touched every single area of our lives; our offices, local businesses and our homes are no exception. We have contemplated whether the art on our walls is Zoom-worthy. We have bought ergonomic desk chairs, as crashing on the couch with your laptop is comfortable for only so long.
Good morning my lovelies. This week’s column is going to be a “catchall.” Just as I typed the words catchall, I wondered about that phrase. I went to Merriam-Webster...
Our column this week is a “catch-all” from various phone calls and questions. The majority of calls this past week were centered around indoor air quality. Interest in indoor air health at home was a small stream before the COVID-19 pandemic and now seems to be at an all-time high, with a keen awareness on all matters related to indoor air quality.
Seriously, everyone — if you are buying a resale home, please verify that there are permits for that structure.
Good grief, after a short period of stabilization, lumber prices are on the rise again. Lumber prices have caused the price of an average new single-family home to increase by more than $18,600, according to estimates by the National Association of Home Builders.
While the construction industry has weathered the coronavirus pandemic better than other industries, such as retail and hospitality, it has not been smooth sailing either.
The lyrics from the classic 1945 melody, “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!” romanticize the magic of soft, white flakes that glisten as they fall across the landscape. The beauty of this snowy blanket fades, however, when people must confront the white accumulation on driveways and sidewalks.
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 of families and friends and dreams are fading.
You have decided to remodel the shower and bathroom in the master bedroom of your recently purchased 12-year-old home.
It happened. Three emergency calls to the YCCA over the Thanksgiving holiday. Five in 2020 and five in 2019. “Sandy, our garbage disposal is clogged,” is how the phone call starts.
I was told by an HVAC company that we needed to install an ERV ventilation system in our home to maintain good air quality. What is wrong with my air quality and why do we need an ERV system? — Walt and Kathy, Prescott
Oh my gosh — what a week it has been for phone calls — all I can say is CONTRACT CONTRACT CONTRACT DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS and DO NOT BE INTIMITATED!
The Thanksgiving holiday, above all others, brings to my mind so many different thoughts. What is this holiday going to look like? In Thanksgivings past, I so remember the feast, the football, the family, the friends, and our faith.
We have an asphalt driveway that seems to be losing is “luster.” The home is 12 years old, what can we do to put a “new face” on the driveway — we live in Williamson Valley.
Energy efficiency — how many times have we talked about those words? We have discovered along the way and have come to the inescapable conclusion there’s so much more to making homes better than just saving energy.
What type of HVAC air filter should we purchase? How often should we change out filters? We have just relocated to Yavapai County from Idaho, and we did not have a furnace or air conditioner. We visited a local hardware store, to look at filters and there are so many filters to select. Help.
YCCA has been receiving numerous phone calls asking about the amounts of deposits requested in construction and remodeling contracts. While there are no statutes or contractor regulations that deal with deposits, there are several things of which the homeowner should be aware.
Yes, as you start to read my column this morning, between sips of coffee or green tea, I am just saying it out loud, working in the construction industry this past year and one-half has been an endless battle between pleasing the client and facing so many external challenges, and I know I am speaking on behalf of every contractor and supplier on the planet.
Attempting something new this week and have asked Tim and Jackie Santos, owners and interior designers at Prescott Interior Design Group, to join me. Read on as Tim and Jackie help us to better navigate the somewhat daunting task of choosing and using colors in our homes.
As I was cleaning the kitchen floor last weekend, and looking at the grout it made me ask myself a question — what is grout?
We are building a new home in Prescott Valley, and we would like advice on modular cabinets vs. custom kitchen cabinets. — Kathy & Lewis, Prescott Valley
There is an ongoing funny within the industry that when an industry partner calls, I always say “hi how is my favorite landscaper,” or my favorite builder, or my favorite road guy or my favorite painter, etc.
With all the wet weather we have had, just wait until that “white chalky” substance will start to be seen on many of the area’s masonry walls and on homes throughout neighborhoods. So here is a little educational lesson on Efflorescence.
Our column today is all about Did You Know?
This week it is all about WATER! The most important water conservation device is you. Below are some helpful tips — on how easy it is to conserve water.
It is time for new countertops in our home. We have no idea where to start. Looking for advice. — Leah and Ed, Cottonwood, AZ.
Hi YCCA. We just relocated to Yavapai County from Minnesota and need to remodel our home. Finding a contractor is like looking for a needle in a haystack, as they say. What are your thoughts? — Lucy and Ed
The monsoons have brought hundreds of phone calls and, I kid you not – hundreds! I am going to sound like a broken record, let me repeat, and let me refer to what seems like my constant and probably annoying repetition of this statement: Do not start work or hand over any money without an executed and agreed upon contract!
To the readers of my column — thank you for your sweet comments, for your suggestions and sending in your questions and, most of all, being loyal readers.
Friends, it has been a week of laughter, smiles, hugs, and tears. Attending emotional events for two wonderful human beings that contributed so much to our community and are and always will be a legend forever.
Was it a breeze? Was it a gale? Was it a squall? One thing for sure there were gusts of wind!
Not a week goes by that I do not receive calls asking what the square-foot price is to build a home.
Help. Our home is five years old and the cultured marble countertops are turning yellow.
Throughout the years I have received so many precious calls from our citizens such as “Where should I purchase tires?” “How do I get my dog to stop barking?” “I need a seamstress.” “What day do they pick up my trash?” “How thick is a piece of rebar?” (I had to Google the answer to that question for the homeowner) “where is my GFCI located?” “How close can I set my scaffolding to a power line?”
The Thanksgiving holiday above all others brings to my mind so many different thoughts.
We all know construction is up; seeing the construction vehicles on the highways is one sure sign and the other one…calls to my office with the question “is this Blue Stake?” I thought it would be good for a “refresher” column on the process in Arizona called, “Arizona 811.”
This past week there were five phone calls relating to “water hammers.” Read on for Water Hammer 101. A water hammer is a specific plumbing noise, not a generic name for pipe clatter.
A concern about COVID-19 spreading through the air has prompted businesses and homeowners to put portable air purifiers into a room. I have noticed many shops now have portable air filters blowing, and I have even been looking at mini air filters to put in my office.
First and foremost — your phone calls, your adorable emails and surprise visits to the office over these past couple of weeks in response to my columns about my work week exertion, grinding and anything but drudgery made me feel like the most adored girl on the planet.
COVID-19 has brought forward new terms such as social distancing and parkletts. Takeout meals have become popular and Zoom meetings are a way of life.
I had so much fun sharing my week with you last week, I am going to do it again. So here was my week at the 50-foot level: 72 emails, 81 phone calls from community citizens from Prescott to Prescott Valley to Camp Verde, Bench Ranch, Cottonwood, Flagstaff and Chino Valley.
So here was my week: 93 e-mails, 64 phone calls from community citizens from Prescott to Prescott Valley to Camp Verde, American Ranch, Cornville and Black Canyon City, four Zoom meetings, ...
The sweltering, baking, roasting and blistering hot weather sure did bring out the calls for air conditioning (AC) service repairs.
This past week was five days of calls for window condensation. We know that window condensation can be a real pain in the glass!
Sandy: We are looking for new countertops and last week on your radio show, we heard the term ‘ultra compact surfaces. What is the difference between ultra compact surface material and solid surface countertop material? Joy and Ed, Prescott.