Contractor Corner



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INSURANCE 101

Check policy, don’t take ‘no’ as an answer, be persistent,
get a contractor involved, never accept claim process errors,
know that you’re dealing with a corporate entity that makes money off of not paying out.
And remember Smokey Robinson’s mother gave him this advice: shop around.


Scenario:

It flooded in Colville. How many home owners knew that their pump houses, garages or basements would fill this year? How many chose to carry flood insurance on their home owner insurance policy? How many of you knew you would need it?


These sleuthing questions are posed to many of us right now as the year of 2017 has made record flooding in Stevens County. Calls...

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Good work ain’t cheap and cheap work ain’t good.
– Devon Stone, Construction Programs & Results


by Keith Wilder, CGP, CAPS


This is a monthly blog geared to help homeowners address building and maintenance issues. In my world, as a contractor and President of the Tri-County Home Builders Association, I see the need for an educational model on what excellence in building entails – namely to ensure a fair and quality product that is hassle and liability free. This month features why it costs so much to remodel, repair or build a new home.


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Why does it cost so much to remodel, repair or build a new home?
I get asked that question many times and every ...

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by Keith Wilder


This month features Universal Design, home building designed for usability, functionality and social inclusion.



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As Americans we plan for our future but we never plan to get old.


Scenario:

Molly and Jack were a young vibrant couple with two kids. They finally made it to a point in their lives where they could invest in their dream home: a three-story Rural Gothic house. What they don’t realize is that they’re going to grow old, or someone could encounter an injury leading to a possible temporary or permanent disability. I would like to recommend universal design to any new homeowner. Here’s why…

I try to utilize the concepts of universal design in every ...

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by Keith Wilder





This month’s feature is about the cost of a new home, from simple to extravagant.


If you live in the local area, you can also find this blog in the Silverado Express publication under my monthly column - "Contractor Corner."


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Every time people ask What’s the cost per square foot? I’d like to ask, What’s the cost per pound of a new car? There is such a range of prices in cars and it mostly depends on what features the buyer wants. Do you want stereo or XM? Automatic or manual? Rims or hub caps? These answers boil down to the buyer’s choices which, in turn, will drive the cost. Same with the housing industry… there&rsqu...

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by Keith Wilder, CAPS, CGP


Windows can be one of your home's most attractive features. Windows provide views, day lighting, ventilation and heat from the sun in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill by letting heat out.


Sounds like an anomaly: energy-efficient or repurposed? Isn’t repurposed/recycled supposed to help with energy usage somehow? In relation to the home-building business, repurposed windows generally do not have a place in the homeowner’s house.


Windows are wonderful in our homes, allowing light and fresh air indoors and the pleasure of viewing the outdoors, but windows can cost the homeowner a pretty penny if the facts ar...

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March 2016


By Keith Wilder, CAPS, CGP


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Older homes, drafts, insufficient insulation… all affect heating costs, yet the infiltration of fresh air is needed for a home to be habitable, especially health-wise.




After the 70’s, new homes left the blueprint designed to be tight. Homes were finally becoming thermally efficient. What some began to wonder, though, was whether they were habitable. It turns out that those heat-robbing drafts had a role in the ecosystem of the home: they provided fresh air to breathe.



Without realizing it, builders before the energy crisis had been installing an effective, albeit haphazard, ventilation systems. If you could afford the heating bills, it worked...

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February 2016


by Keith Wilder, CAPS, CGP






This is a monthly feature geared to help homeowners address building and maintenance issues, and it’s something I’ve envisioned publishing for a long time. In my world, as a contractor and President of the Tri-County Home Builders Association, I see the need for an educational model on what excellence in building entails – namely to ensure a fair and quality product that is hassle and liability free. This month features your local Home Builders Association and how they are serving you and the building industry.




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The development of conditions under which every American family can obtain good housing is a major o...

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January 2016


by Keith Wilder, CGP, CAPS


This month features knowing your homeowners insurance policy to prevent disappointment, frustration, and devaluation of your property.


Scenario:


Ann and Frank knew the storm was coming and that there was a possibility of damage, but what they didn’t know is if their insurance policy would cover all the reparation costs. After the storm and a phone call to the insurance agent, the couple found out that they only had a quarter of the losses covered on their policy. I would like to tell folks to know their homeowners insurance policy inside and out. Here’s why…



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Insurance is a rip-off until you need it, and when you need that is the wron...

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December 2015


by Keith Wilder, CGP, CAPS


This month features quality contractors and credentials.


Scenario: A Spokane couple bought a vacation home and wanted to fix it up. They hired a contractor who did not fulfill the criteria of quality building methods, including illegal wiring and plumbing. The ordeal ended up costing the couple double to fix the initial contractor’s substandard building practices. This example shows why homeowners should do their homework and check contractors’ credentials.



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Contractors who don’t know what they’re doing give all contractors a bad name. The fact is not all contractors are bad. Most are hard working and are trying to support th...

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November 2015


by Keith Wilder, CGP, CAPS





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This month features the importance of fall winterization and planning.





Scenario: Keith left a step ladder out before the snow season. Another time it was a $300 extension ladder, and yet once again he left an expensive tractor attachment out before the snow flew. All of these items sadly went to the dump because he had not conducted proper fall winterization methods. Yes, that Keith in this scenario is me and I would like to say, prepare your home for winter because…


Just as farmers till their fields in the fall to prepare for spring planting, so should homeowners prepare their homes for the winter months and plan ahead for spring building projec...

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