Posted on March 24, 2015 in A La Carte Services, Spring, Summer, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

While the snow might be falling today, it is a good bet it won’t last for long.  It is time to start thinking about and getting scheduled for all the spring and summer repair work.  Winter takes a toll on homes and we have such a short time to get all the repairs done before the cold will be back.


A few things we like to focus on at Home Fridays are a full interior spring clean.  This includes carpets, windows (inside and out) and a deep cleaning that includes everything from the baseboards, the fridge to the barely used and dust filled guest room.


For the exterior we are looking at how the paints and decks look.  Seasonal maintenance work allows you to get the most out of your investment.  Annual deck maintenance is far less expensive then regularly replacing the deck.


Yard maintenance has been a big one this year.  With the light snow fall and a season of crazy wind, most yards are looking pretty bad.  The needles and leaves need to be cleaned up, the gutters cleaned, everything trimmed up and brought back to life.  Grass might need overseeing and definitely needs some fertilizer.  This is also a great time to think about replacing any plants that might not have made it through the winter.   Sprinkler startup is not that far away and with that weekly mowing and yard maintenance.  A new layer of bark dust or compost is a great way to punch up the yard and make it shine.


With the inside clean and the outside getting back in shape, time to start thinking about anything structural that might need attention.  Gutters falling, warped siding or trim boards  or roof inspections for anything else that may have failed during the winter.


So don’t delay – get a start on the season and don’t be left behind.  Some might call this summer, but we call it ‘repair season’.   If you need help with any of these items on your home please give us a call to schedule  (541)317-3088.


Posted on May 23, 2013 in Published Articles, Spring, Sunriver Scene, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

A recent column from the Sunriver Scene on deck maintenance by Shannon Bassett.


It is time to think about those decks! The sun is already out and the damage is evident fro a year or two of harsh weather. Snow, ice, freeze and heat; the weather cycle of Central Oregon does a number on our decks.  The best solution is to take care of the decks every year.

In one home the owner really does not want to spend the money on taking care of his deck.  As a result of ignoring the deck the boards are warping, the understructure is rotting and the entire thing will need to be replaced.  The cost of his annual ‘money saving’ will end up with a very expensive full deck replacement.

Another home owners decks looks great on the surface. But an inspection revealed a woodpecker home in the structure beneath.  Without an inspection, the entire deck could have collapsed at an inopportune time.  With the support beam replace, the deck is once again safe and ready for a summer of fun.

Steps for deck maintenance;

  1. Annual Inspection – Look at the surface for signs of rough wear ad tear. Inspect underneath the deck if accessible. Confirm the supports are in good conditions with no signs of rot or shifting. If boards are warping or cupping and the overall condition is poor, sanding is in order.  If the deck looks like it did last year and no signs of peeling stain or raw wood, you are in luck and can skp maintenance this year. Fading, peeling and signs of wear around heavy traffic areas?  Plan to wash the deck and apply stain. Compromised structure due to bird activity, rot or shifting should be looked at by a contractor for replacement.
  2. Timing – It is important to plan your deck projects when we are above freezing. While some of the stains are rated for colder temperatures, for the best results apply in warm but not hot or freezing weather. The second and MOST important timing is around the pollen bloom. It is critical to complete the deck project before or after the pollen bloom. If pollen is left on the deck and sealed (or get into the stain during application) it will create black dots throughout the deck.  This is pollen bloom and can only be removed through sanding.
  3. Wash – Remove the dirt, leaves and sap with a good scrubbing.  Many companies out there like to use a power washer.  This causes splintering in the wood and removes all the soft parts of the wood. You end up with an uneven rough surface.  This will cause issues when the stain is applied as the hard areas do not absorb the product as well and the finish will not last as long. The ‘less is more’ phrase can be used as a guideline when washing your deck.  Less harsh cleaners, less concentrated chemicals and less pressure washing.  Use Oxi-Clean or another good scrubbing cleaner, a brush and some elbow grease.  Then let the deck cry completely before moving on, typically 24-48 hours.
  4. Sanding – Remove any bad stain or peeling paint applications with a good sanding job across the entire deck. Sanding will also smooth out the surface by removing a small layer of the old gray wood of the deck. This process is often necessary when trying to bring back a neglected deck. I love the system used by Webfoot Painting which sucks in all the dust and doesn’t leave a mess behind in the yard or on the house.  Without a dustless sanding system you will need to plan a cleaning of the house after the decks are completed. Sanding is not necessary annually and wit a good annual or bi-annual stain application the sanding process can be eliminated.
  5. Apply Stain– The product used is key and to hold up you want something that penetrates the wood.  Anything that builds a film on the wood such as Thomas Water Sealer will not hold up in Central Oregon. They tend to chip, peel and dry out in our tough climate. A penetrating product such as Messmer’s UV Stain or Flood CWF-UV 5 Oil work well in our climate. The penetrating products are easier to maintain and with many decks are only necessary to apply every other year.  Of course location and sun exposure on the deck will be the deciding factor.

The secret to a successful and good looking deck is annual attention.  If ignored you will be facing a much bigger and more expensive problem.  So keep your annual maintenance up, the cost down and enjoy wonderful summers on your beautiful deck for years to come.

To get help with your home call me, the Caretaking Commander, at Home Fridays. I have been buying, renovating and managing residential and commercial properties for over 20 years. My locally-based company, Home Fridays (homefridays. com), offers professional home management and concierge services to vacation home owners. You can reach me at 541/317-3088 or shannon@homefridays. com



Posted on May 21, 2013 in A La Carte Services, Spring by ShannonNo Comments »

It seems we are hunting for working internet around these parts…

It has been a crazy month around Home Fridays as we try and fix everything that is broken and get ready for the first big weekend of the season.

One entire area of town has been getting an internet and cable television overhaul.  So each and every home  that has cable tv or internet needs a 2 hour service visit.  To top it off they will only schedule 4 appointments a day.  We have been rushing around town getting that taken care of.

Meanwhile in another area the phone lines are down due to construction or… who knows.  What happens when you loose a phone line? For starters your alarm will start going off, sending alerts about the trouble.  So now we have the phone company out trying to fix all the phones in that area.

Hot tubs – now is the time to start them up for that first weekend.  Oh, wait did the forecaster really say snow?  Now the calls start coming in about what we are going to do about the snow since the sprinklers are already running…never fear we will get it handled!

Imagine coming here for the first big weekend of the summer and having your entire weekend ruined with no tv or internet and nothing but cold bad weather.  While we can’t fix the weather, we can take care of all the other items!


Painting a home is a big investment and not something anyone wants to take lightly. An exterior paint job might hold up for 10 years or more in some parts of the country, but in Central Oregon that is not the case. With our extreme temperature swings we are lucky to get 5 years out of a really great paint job. As a result of the temperature changes the siding and trim are constantly expanding and contracting. Failing paint and exposed wood is often the result. Wood left exposed will rot, warp or cup. Once the damage is done, the only recourse is replacing the boards. The best prevention is a good paint job and regular maintenance.

The condition of the house is the best guide for when you need to paint. “The intense sun exposure Central Oregon homes receive is the main reason for paint fading. This is seen predominantly on the western and southern exposures and most noticeable with darker colors” according to Gavin Hepp of Webfoot Painting. When paint is applied during cold weather, wet conditions or with the wrong product it will fail more quickly. A single coat may have looked great when the house was first painted, but will not hold up for long and may expose the wood below to potential damage. The key to protecting your home is to find a good painting contractor and keep the exterior in tip-top shape.

Signs that it is time to paint your home;

  • Fading and discoloration
  • Bubbling and cracking of paint
  • Heavy traffic areas with peeling and chipping paint
  • Cracking and shrinking caulk leaving exposed areas around the trim and siding
  • Exposed areas of wood trim or siding

Finding the right contractor;

While price is a determining factor, it clearly should not be the only criteria. Getting recommendations from neighbors and the SROA vendor list are a great place to start. The following steps will help evaluate your painting contractors;

  1. Confirm the painter is licensed and insured. You can look up the status of a Construction Contractors Board (CCB) license and confirm no complaints have been filed against the contractor using
  2. How much time does the contractor spend in evaluating your job and getting to know what you are looking for?  By spending time with the painter you can make sure you have a mutual understanding on the scope. Rushing through a bid process will lead to misunderstandings in the future and possibly a ‘rushed’ painting job as well.
  3. Look at their portfolio and talk to other customers. Make sure you are comfortable with the work they have done in the past and other owners are happy.
  4. The bid should spell out the products used, the preparation process, number of paint coats, timing, cleanup and protection of your property. You don’t want to come home to a yard full of cigarette butts and trampled bushes.
  5. Confirm the warranty time frame with the painter. It won’t be the life of the paint, but you do want someone to come back and do touch-ups and finish the job within a reasonable time frame. Webfoot Painting offers a 2 year warranty on all jobs which is pretty consistent in the industry.
  6. Find out about the job completion process. The best practice is to walk through the job with the painter and identify any issues or questions to be resolved.
  7. Quality paint is very important. The cost of the materials is typically 15% of the job, while the most expensive part is the labor. Painters should be using the very best materials on your job that work with our climate. Don’t even think of scrimping on the paint materials or number of coats when protecting your investment. Webfoot Painting recommends Sherwin Williams Super Paint combined with XIM a Peel Bond Primer for our climate.
  8. Confirm you painter is covered by workers compensation insurance. If someone falls off a ladder or roof while painting your home, you don’t want that coming back as your responsibility. If a contractor has employees, then he will be covered. If he is using contractors, the responsibility for injured workers could come back to you as the homeowner.
  9. Define the timing from start to finish and coordinate something that fits with your schedule. Having all the windows covered in plastic and no access to the front door over a holiday weekend might not be ideal. The painting season is short, so be sure to get in before the weather turns.
  10. Deposits are not uncommon, but should not be excessive. Asking for more than 20% or any additional deposits is a signal the contractor does not have a healthy business. Typically a small deposit when booking the job and the remaining balance due upon completion of the paint job.

Always put quality first. Putting a little extra time into qualifying your painting contractor will pay off handsomely. You will have fewer headaches during the project and a paint job that protects your home for the long run.


To get help with your home call me, the Caretaking Commander, at Home Fridays. I have been buying, renovating and managing residential and commercial properties for over 20 years. My locally-based company, Home Fridays (homefridays. com), offers professional home management and concierge services to vacation home owners. You can reach me at 541/317-3088 or shannon@homefridays. com




Posted on April 12, 2013 in A La Carte Services, Disasters, Spring by ShannonNo Comments »

It is a busy time of year at HF – of course I always say that.  You just never know what will need attention next!

Snow Tires -We are trying to get all the snow tires changed over to summer tires on the cars.  Yes I missed the date again – and I always do that on purpose.  It seems we have the best snow storms right before the deadline to get the tires off.  Then the madness ensues with everyone in town trying to get their tires changed over on the same day.  April 1st is the deadline, so I always wait a week or two to start switching over the tires.

Spring Yard Cleanup – It is time to start undoing the winter damage to the lawns.  That means thatching, clearing leaves and the dreaded pine needles.  Aeration is a great idea to bring back the health of the lawn and of course spirnklers will go back soon.  We also have a few owners with bigger projects – removing grass and putting in Xeriscape (refer to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation.)  While costly for the initial installation, it can really save in the long run and is more consistent with our desert environment.  Of course weeds are getting cleaned up at other homes, bark mulch put down and next week the sprinklers may get turned on (weather dependent of course).  NEWS FLASH – The City of Bend has moved up the timing on the Annual Backflow testing.  Typically the paperworks was due at the end of the summer, this year they are requiring at the beginning of the season.  Here is a link to more information     Be sure to schedule your test!

Failing Fridges – We had a clients refrigerator fail this week.  All the food was a total loss.  The house had a nice aroma as well.  Of course all appliances have a life cycle and nothing lasts forever.  Thankfully we were able to toss out the food, clean out the fridge and air out the house.  We have measured the fridge and the owners are shopping remotely for a replacements.  By the time they arrive, the new fridge will be in place.  While failing appliances are not ideal – at least this problem was caught and cleaned up before the owners arrive.  Can you imagine opening up your home after a long absence to the smell and rot of a dead refrigerator and freezer?  And just think of the amount of your vacation that would be dedicated to fixing the issue.  Once again, it is nice to have someone there to find the problems and keep an eye on the house!

Posted on April 3, 2013 in A La Carte Services, Disasters, Spring by ShannonNo Comments »

An interesting article ran in the Bend Bulletin last weekend about cleaning out the dryer hoses.  For most second homes, not that much laundry is done.  But for large houses, in a busy rental pool.  The dryers are working overtime!

Check out the article for great information on the preventing vent fires

If you use your dryer a great deal – be safe and get your vents and flex hoses cleaned out.


Posted on March 21, 2013 in A La Carte Services, Spring, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

Tanya Carlsen of Carlseng Design is our guest blogger this week.  She is a Landscape designer who has done some beautiful work for friends and clients.  Check out her advice on what to do in the garden now that we have Spring Fever!


Happy Spring

What a fantastic way to begin the spring season, with a day of rain and rainbows.  In Central Oregon it is sometimes difficult to tell when spring has finally arrived, but not this year.  We will have more freezing weather so hold off on your tomatoes and such, but there are still many other things to plan and to do.


Some perennials and grasses are starting to leaf out and last years foliage should be cut back.  With your perennials like Catmint and Daisy, cut all the old foliage off completely.  For ornamental grasses such as Fescue, cut back to within about two to three inches depending on how big or tall they are.  For taller grasses such as Karl Foerster, cut back to about six inches or less depending on size.  You do see some grasses cut back to about one foot and that is unnecessary and unsightly, they do not need that old foliage anymore and it gets in the way of a great looking grass.


Get a jump start on tackling those pesky weeds before they get bigger, flower or go to seed.  Some of my favorite weeding tools are the Hula Hoe and the Dandelion Weeder stick.  For me spring weeding is a time to do a check up on the garden soil.  How loose or tough is it, how many worms are there, what is it’s condition?  Once you get the weeds out, roots and all, put down some healthy compost around your plants.  For a more sparse landscape, put down some compost just around the plants, for a more heavily planted area or your veggie bed, spread the compost all over, about one inch deep depending on the soil’s needs.  I add compost every year to my veggie bed and so one good deep one inch layer is enough.  Since my garden area is small, I use the bagged compost available at the local nurseries.  My favorite is ‘Harvest Supreme’ with chicken manure, kelp meal and other fantastic nutritious ingredients.  Healthy soil makes healthy plants so do not skimp on amendments.  I have also been using worm castings as an additional amendment and it makes the plants really pop!


Pruning is one of my secret passions and I was so happy when a client told me last night he wanted me to come over and prune.  Yeah!  Remember when pruning, first cut broken or diseased branches, then rubbing or crossing ones, then prune for structure and light.


We are lucky that there are so many wonderful local nurseries providing a great variety of product.  It is still a little early for them to order in much stock, but soon the spring blooming plants will be flowering and it is a great time to go select some spring color for your garden.  Some of my favorites are Witch Hazel (yellow flowers like Forsythia but with a really nice structure), Pasque Flower, Flowering Almond and Serviceberry shrubs or trees.


Plan now for landscape improvements so you can have them done to enjoy this summer.  Consider adding more edible plants, bird friendly and native plants for a more diverse, productive and alluring landscape.  Wondering what to do with all that lawn you have or that corner you haven’t ever touched?  Let’s get together and plan to make your landscape one that meets your needs and brings a smile to your face every time you see it.


For more gardening, design and landscape help please give me a call at 541-610-6961 or send me an email at and I will help you create the landscape you’ve always wanted!


Have a great day and a great season.


Tanya Carlsen
Carlseng Designs
Landscape Design, Consultation & Gardening

Posted on April 8, 2012 in Published Articles, Spring, Sunriver Scene by ShannonNo Comments »

Found in the April Issue of the Sunriver Scene

By Shannon Bassett – Caretaking Commander, Home Fridays


          As winter comes to a close and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, spring is on my mind.  Around Central Oregon I call this Home Maintenance Season.  No such thing as Maintenance Free exists in our harsh climate.  All building materials deteriorate over time and require repair or replacement. Here is a simple list of items to inspect and repair during this busy season to protect your investment:


Rake debris away from home and foundation. Clean the pine needles off the roof, gutters, decks and lawn. Excessive needles are a fire hazard and will also encourage lawn damage if left unattended. Inspect the foundation for cracks, water damage and or drainage issues.

Tree and branch trimming.  We have had a really windy winter with lots of trees and branches coming down. It is important to make sure that any debris (including leaves) are safely off your house. For the health of your trees, bring in a certified arborist to cut down any damaged limbs.

Clean exterior gutters and downspouts, and repair where necessary. Clean gutters will allow for smooth water flow as the rain storms begin. Repair holes, gutters that have pulled away from your house and missing or damaged downspouts.  

Clear away plants and bushes from dryer spout. Slow drying time is often the result of a blocked vent. Make sure the vents are unobstructed and the air can flow freely out of your house.

Install the window and door screens.  Check for holes or rips and get those repaired. We have some great local companies that will come to your house and repair screens on-site.

Inspect the roof for damage. The weight of the winter snow and all the wind storms can break loose tiles and cause cracks.  Look for missing tiles or noticeable signs of wear and tear.  When in doubt have a trusted roofing company inspect your roof.

Inspect decks and perform annual maintenance. Examine the deck support beams to identify any weakness or ‘spongy’ boards that indicate rot. Weather, birds and old age can destroy your deck. Not ready for replacement?  Prolong the life of your deck with an annual application of sealant. I use local contractors who specialize in decks to keep my deck looking good and lasting as long as possible.

Inspect for woodpecker, bird or critter damage.  Woodpeckers eating you out of house and home?  Squirrels in the attic?  Bats taken up residence over your front door? Bird and critter damage can be a big issue in Central Oregon. Inspect for damage around the house and the deck supports. Elimination can mean putting up netting, changing out boards on your house or caulking perch spots.  Our local pest control companies are educated in the best methods to keep the critters at bay.

Exam exterior paint and caulking. Exterior paint is an expensive endeavor and one many homeowners postpone as long as possible. Don’t let your home get damaged by waiting too long for paint.  It will end up costing you more in the long run to replace trim boards and repair the rotted areas.  Every two years I paint the South side of the house and touch up the shrinking caulking.  This allows me to wait a few extra years for the full paint job. Early spring is a great time to start scheduling a paint job with a local painting contractor.

Inspect the driveway for damage. Replace just a few pavers or get them reset rather than waiting for the entire driveway to start failing. Sealing the driveway every few years will prolong its life and save money.

Start up the sprinklers. Dry days are coming and a working sprinkler system will save your yard.  Commence the watering program after the system has been checked for leaks, heads repaired and timers properly set.  The same contractor who does your spring yard cleanup and regular maintenance should be able to get the sprinklers going again.  



Inspect foundation and crawl space for signs of water damage. Look for signs of water intrusion (dampness, puddles or water stains) and get them repaired now. A good contractor can help identify the source of the water and eliminate the problem.  Keep an eye out for any mold that may be growing as a result of water damage. Remove foundation vent and faucet covers, time for the house to breathe again. Wait until the overnight freezes are done (that could be late June this year).

Attic Inspection. Looking for a small leak now, can prevent a waterfall down the line. Scrutinize the attic for any signs of moisture and inspect the inside of the roof for any new holes or drip marks. Contact your trusted local roofing contractor for resolution if needed.


Annual air conditioner maintenance. Nothing is worse than no air on the hottest day of the year. Schedule your annual maintenance and change those filters regularly.  Change furnace filters and turn the furnace down to 50 (but not off yet). In Central Oregon you never know if we will see snow in July.


Change smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries.  The 3 a.m. chirping noise wakeup from a dying battery is annoying and unsafe.  Every spring, make it a ritual to change the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Your safety is worth it!

Windows, carpets and deep cleaning.  Extend the life of your carpets and area rugs with annual cleaning.  Allow the sunshine in with clean windows inside and out.  

Fireplace and chimney cleaning and inspection. Do your dampers fit tightly?  When was the last time you had the fireplace cleaned and inspected?  The more heavily it is used, the more often you should schedule both.  

Seal drafty windows and doors. Weather stripping falling off or a gap under the door?  Time to replace the weather stripping and get the riser adjusted.  Eliminate the gaps and your heating and cooling bills will go down.

A proactive approach to home maintenance will put you in the driver’s seat, instead of forcing you to react to a host of emergencies.  The upkeep listed above is also the most cost-effective way to take care of your home and help it appreciate instead of the reverse. 

          To get help with your home call me, the Caretaking Commander, at Home Fridays. I have been buying, renovating and managing residential and commercial properties for over 20 years. My locally-based company, Home Fridays (homefridays. com), offers professional home management and concierge services to vacation home owners. You can reach me at 541/317-3088 or shannon@homefridays. com.    


Posted on May 18, 2011 in A La Carte Services, Spring by ShannonNo Comments »

I ran across this article today about a woman in New Mexico who was fined for not weeding her yard.  It sounds like it was a second home that she was neglecting.  When she went to the courthouse to pay a parking ticket they arrested her and tossed her in jail.    At Home Fridays we are managing the yard service and making sure we don’t get anyone tossed in jail.  Some homeowner associations are very rigid and do ticket for too many noxious weeds.  We have dealt with this in the past and worked through the issue with the Home Owners Associations.  It typically requires a visit with the HOA rep to prove the noxious weeds have been removed.  Noxious weeds can be a real issue as once your neighbor has them, you can be sure that you will be visited as well.  Regular maintenance with pulling, spraying and monitoring is the best solution.  Here is a link to Oregon Department of Agriculture Plant Division which has some great pictures and profiles of noxious weeds.   So stay weeded and stay out of trouble!

Posted on May 3, 2011 in A La Carte Services, Spring by ShannonNo Comments »

As we emerge from winter here are the things we are doing at Home Fridays to get ready for the Spring.  If you are needing help with these items – just give us a call.  

  1. Clean the pine needles off the roof, gutters, decks and lawn.  Excessive needles are a fire hazard and will encourage lawn damage if left unattended.  And some of our homeowners associations will ticket you for not cleaning up. 
  2. Look Up – we have had a really windy winter with lots of trees and branches coming down. It is important to make sure everything is safely off the house.  For the health of the trees, get any damaged branches cut down. 
  3. Repair broken gutters damaged during the long winter which can create holes or pull the gutters off the house.  Also make sure your drain spouts are in good condition – not crushed or detached. 
  4. Remove foundation vent insulation and faucet covers, time for the house to breathe again.  But not too early – wait until the overnight freezes are done (might be late June this year).
  5. Install the window and door screens if removed for the winter.  Check for holes or rips and get those repaired.
  6. Inspect the deck support beams to identify any weakness or ‘spongy’ boards which indicate rot. Schedule annual deck maintenance – sanding, staining and/or replacement if necessary. 
  7. Change furnace filter and turn the furnace down to 50 (but not off yet).  This is Central Oregon, you never know when we will see snow in July.  A great time to get the air conditioner maintenance check scheduled. 
  8. Exterior inspection of the house – any damage from ice cycles or ageing of the paint.  This is a good time to schedule the paint job for the summer. 
  9. Stone fascia is often damaged over the winter with the freezing and cooling which weakens the adhesive.  Check your columns and rockery for anything loose and get it repaired. 
  10. Inspect the driveway for damage – loose pavers.  It is always easier to replace just a few or get them reset rather than waiting for the entire driveway to start failing.  Also sealing the driveway every few years will prolong the life and save money from a total redo. 
  11. Schedule the carpet, window and deep cleaning of the house. 
  12. Inspect for woodpecker damage around the house and the deck supports.  Woodpeckers are a protected species in Central Oregon and for some reason they really like our desert climate (who wouldn’t).  We have a number of methods we use to repair the damage and prevent further damage – everything from board replacement to netting and nest boxes. 
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