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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
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Sandy Griffis

Stories by Sandy

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Ask the Contractor: Heated driveway carries cost but melts snow

Last week we received a call from a homeowner who was interested in installing a heated driveway.

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Ask the Contractor: Unlicensed contractors can face stiff penalties

Contracting without a license can have a variety of negative consequences for the person or persons who engage in it.

Ask the Contractor: Make right choice when melting ice, snow

We are approaching our winter weather, and from experience our weather can take a toll on more than just our cars and our attitudes. Concrete walks, driveway, steps all take a pounding from the elements and the deicing chemicals that we apply.

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Ask the Contractor: It’s not too early to winterize your home

We recently moved to Yavapai County from Maine and are not sure what to expect for winter preparation here in the “desert.”

Ask the Contractor: Universal Design fits everyone’s needs

We were out the other evening and heard the term universal design being discussed at a table.

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Ask the Contractor: Worker shortage makes patience important

Not a week goes by when I do not receive calls from contractors near and far looking for employees.

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Ask The Contractor: Into the canyon and back: A survivor’s tale

You know I love construction and the industry. This column has to do with building heart, soul, determination, endurance and girl grit.

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Ask the Contractor: Educating yourself on septic systems

We recently purchased a lot in unincorporated Yavapai County and will be installing a septic system.

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Ask the Contractor: Trees benefit from pruning, but do it right

We just bought a lovely home; however, it has been badly neglected with yard care, maintenance and upkeep....

Little grasshoppers can become big problem

Ask the Contractor

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

Ask the Contractor: YCCA shows commitment, pride in community

A glimpse in the rearview mirror may look distant to some and unfamiliar to others, but the dusty dirt road from 1961’s Home Builders Association as it morphed into the YCCA of today remains compacted with years of industry pride, commitment, collaboration and a modern sheen, paved with the sweat of four generations.

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Ask the Contractor: Protecting your electronics during monsoon season

With our monsoon season upon us and 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.

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.

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