Posted on April 28, 2015 in A La Carte Services, Disasters, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

Over and over we end up with expensive maintenance issues that are the result of prior short cuts taken. Over the years we have had several issues with hose bibs and other areas where shortcuts have been taken.

The most recent one is a very expensive repair to a dripping exterior hose bib. Typically an old bib is just removed, a new one installed and the job is done in under an hour. For this one, a remodel was the cause of a future giant plumbing bill. The contractor put the remodeled cabinets on top of the plumbing, with no easy access to the back of the hose bib. In order to change out the hose bib, cutting into the cabinets is necessary. Stupid, costly and expensive! If just ignored, it will freeze during the cold temps, crack and probably flood the house (starting with the kitchen of course).

Leaky Exterior Hose Bib

Painting is one area that we occasionally see – a cheap painting job that takes shortcuts on quality paint products and too few coats, won’t last as long. Cheap materials do not hold up and we are happy to see the recently built homes appear to be using better materials.

The list of issues we have seen in the past decade covers every facet of a home from poor design, poor roofing materials, ventilation and lack of proper drainage. The stories are endless. The most important part is to take care, do the right thing and make the repair and maintenance in a timely fashion.

At Home Fridays we are huge proponents of doing it correctly the first time and taking care of regular maintenance. It is so much easier to pay in the front end, rather than the VERY costly repairs and potential floods! Central Oregon weather is extreme with major temperature swings that are hard on all the homes. With regular maintenance and oversight the problems can be taken care of.

Need help with your home? Give us a call to discuss how Home Fridays can help you 541/317-3088.

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 October 24, 2014 in Disasters, Fall, Tips, Winter by ShannonNo Comments »

Things that will likely be on your home’s winterization to do list:  Store the patio furniture, cover the foundation vents and hose bibs, have the furnace serviced and blow out those sprinklers!  What you don’t want in the middle of your winter is a spouting sprinkler line-river running through your yard-full of snow, covering your bushes with a thick layer of ice.  Protecting your sprinkler lines from freeze damage is an easy process, best handled by a professional landscaper that has the proper tools and experience.  The landscapers hook up their commercial air compressors to the irrigation system and blow out any water in the lines.  If water is left in the system it will freeze and expand, cracking the lines, causing expensive repairs.  Save yourself the headache and expense by getting it done, and get on to pumpkin carving.  November and freezing temperatures are right around the corner ushering us closer to winter!

Home Fridays offers professional home management and concierge services to second homeowners in Central Oregon. If you need help managing your second home call me! Danielle Little, Caretaking Lieutenant at Home Fridays – 541-318-3088 or send me an email at

Posted on October 10, 2014 in Disasters, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

The smell of gas….

Upon entering two client homes during our weekly inspections this week,  I was struck by the strong odor of natural gas.  

After a quick call, the gas company came right out and in both cases the test came back positive.  One leak was from a gas fireplace with a leaky valve, the other from a dryer connection…both were easily fixed but dangerous! 

The gas company was very easy to work with and gave great recommendations on what to do, who to call and what it would take to solve the problem. 

Just like that…in no time we had both homes back up and running again and safe from the gas leak.

This brings to mind the question about furnaces, gas stoves, dryers, and water heaters aging out.  How old are your appliances and their connections to gas lines?  How often are they checked?  It is always a good idea to have all gas connections and appliances checked regularly.


Home Fridays offers professional home management and concierge services to second homeowners in Central Oregon.If you need help managing your second home call me! Danielle Little, Caretaking Lieutenant at Home Fridays – 541-318-3088 or

Posted on December 19, 2013 in Disasters, Tips, Winter by ShannonNo Comments »

It was a rough one this last week with temperatures at -29 in Central Oregon.  We had days without anything above freezing.   The weather did not come without warning – and we had all the houses prepped and ready for the cold.  But you never know how they will do.  Thankfully all our homes made it through with zero issues.  We are relieved and happy about that.  If you don’t have anyone lined up — well it might be about time!


We heard from a number of concerned owners after they received this email from Sunriver Home Owners Assocation;


“It’s the Ice Queen here getting back to you with an update on the impact of our 20 degrees below zero temperatures Sunday morning.
If you’re a non-resident owner or away from Sunriver and you chose to ignore our previous warnings about the potential for frozen pipes at your Sunriver home, here’s a reality check for you: The Sunriver water utility called us this morning to report that in the past 24 hours they have turned off the water at the main for well over a hundred homes with burst pipes!

It’s warming up now and those frozen pipes are thawing. Pressurized water is spewing into walls, ceilings and crawl spaces, under sinks and behind tubs, showers and washing machines. It’s flooding second story rooms and running down stairways. It’s seeping out from under entry doors and spilling from porches. We don’t want this to be what awaits you at your home.
SROA is not able to conduct property checks for 4200 properties.”

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




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 March 25, 2013 in Published Articles, Sunriver Scene, Tips by ShannonNo Comments »

As published in the Sunriver Scene, by Shannon Bassett, Caretaking Commander

Shopping your home owners insurance is something everyone should do on a regular basis. Are you covered for the current value of your home?  Are you paying too much?  Do you have the highest deductible possible?  I had a situation where the home owner policy had not been looked at in over 15 years. The deductible per incident was about $350. On an annual basis the owners were paying far more in premiums than necessary. A simple adjustment of the deductible and the premium reduction was enough to cover a few nice dinners at the Sunriver Lodge.

Saving money and avoiding the pitfalls of being underinsured are top of mind for most owners. Follow the steps below and make sure you are getting the most out of your insurance.


  1. Upgrades can save on insurance costs.  Most insurance companies give discounts for improving the safety and security of your residence.  Consider installing deadbolt locks, home security systems and alarms, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and storm shutters.
  2. Coverage Level changes can increase or decrease your cost. Actual cash value is the lowest level of insurance, followed by replacement cost, extended replacement cost and guaranteed replacement cost. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when comparing coverage quotes.
  3. Ask for a discount. If you have an agent that already has your business for other insurance, they may be very willing to give you a discount for adding more business. Having someone watch over the home on a weekly basis, like Home Fridays can also add savings for some companies such as Prudential.
  4. Deductibles are a great way to bring down the annual premium cost. Consumer Reports recommends getting the largest deductible available. Homeowners insurance is for the exception and should not be used for minor mishaps.
  5. Credit issues can sometimes affect rates. If this is an issue, ask your agent how much you could save if your rating improves. Work on improving your rating, and then follow up with your agent to make sure they review, and adjust your premium.




Communicate with people in your area, and get referrals for local agents that have a good reputation, and work in your community. These agents should be familiar with your area, and can be helpful in choosing the right products.


J. D.  Power and Associates conducts an annual survey of Homeowners Insurance. They look at customer satisfaction based on billing, payment, claims, interaction, policy offerings and price. This is a great resource to use when comparing different policies. http://tinyurl. com/ahcvxpc



Don’t buy an insurance policy and assume that all is good for life. Follow up with your agent anytime there are major changes to your property or valuables. At least once per year, review your policy with your agent, and make sure your assets are still covered properly.


This visit also provides you an opportunity to learn about any new products that might be a better fit for you, and to make sure you are getting the most for your money. Most companies offer discounts the longer you are a customer. Use this visit to ask about benefits you might be entitled to for being a valued customer!


Shopping for insurance does not sound like a fun project, but can actually be very simple, cost effective, and give you lots of peace of mind.  It takes time, but in the end you either get a better product at better price, or you will confirm that your original choice was the best!

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 January 23, 2013 in Central Oregon Magazine, Published Articles, Tips, Winter by ShannonNo Comments »

By Shannon Bassett,  as seen in Central Oregon Magazine Winter 2013


We are in the thick of winter with every day bringing a new weather challenge, mountains of snow, cold temperatures and the occasional warm sunny day.  Are you managing the changing of temperatures and the freezing and melting of the snow?    


As one of the area’s top property managers, I have to make sure the homes I look after are ready for whatever winter brings. My top 10 items will help you through the remaining cold months without breaking the bank (or your neck on an icy driveway!).


  1. Furnace Control – Keep warm with easily automated furnace controls that guide you through improved efficiency. The new Nest Learning Thermostat will learn your average daily and weekly habits and adjust the temperature up and down as needed, even lowering temperatures when you leave home. Temperature can also be monitored and adjusted from anywhere through Wi-Fi.  The Nest sells for $250 and can be purchased at Amazon.
  2. Cold and water alerts – During extended time away from home through the winter season, the addition of cold and water sensors to your alarm system is well worth the money. Temperature and water sensors can be added to existing alarm systems and run about $75. If your house dips below a set temperature (usually 45 degrees) you will be notified with a phone call. The water alert also triggers a call or message to you when water is detected in sensitive areas allowing you time to get the situation resolved, hopefully before any serious damage has occurred! 
  3. Garage door thresholds – Melting snow and rain getting under the garage doors is easily preventable with the installation of a garage door storm threshold. Of course, my property management team and I have had experience when even that won’t hold back the water and sand bags are the only solution, but this is a good preventative measure for an average snow melt.  
  4. Heated walkway mats – I love these silly things that melt the snow, allowing for a safe walk to the front door. The old salted sidewalk method of melting snow can cause issues for your pets and damage the concrete. With the mats, simply plugging them in will melt your snow and make it safe for your guests and the mailman. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 – $300, depending on mat size, from Home Depot or Amazon.
  5. Snow scoops and shovels – If there is more snow than your heated mats can handle, you might need a new shovel. Don’t settle for the one in the garage when there are so many revolutionary new models out on the market that reduce time and back strain. The new shovels have ergonomic shapes, bigger blades and even wheels to help you move the snow. I love the Snow Wolf Wheeled Snow Shovel from Amazon $129.  A large wheel on the shovel takes all the back strain out of clearing a big long driveway.  Who says shoveling snow can’t be fun?
  6. Snow Rake – As the snow piles up, you need to prevent ice dams by keeping the eaves clear and make sure the melting snow has a path off the roof. A new tool has simplified this previously nasty task. No more teetering around on ladders. A telescoping snow rake will let you remove the snow yourself safely from the ground.    
  7. Heat Tape – Installing electric heat tape on your home’s eaves, gutters and downspouts will prevent the freezing and ice dams. Removing an ice dam is not a fun task. It requires shovels, ice picks and sometimes heat. An ounce of prevention is better than several pounds of ice weighing down your gutters, to say nothing of the water that would probably back up into your house!  
  8. Electric snow thrower – When the snow piles up, getting out the gas powered snow blower takes more than a little elbow grease. Electric snow throwers are smaller, lighter and easier to use for clearing the sidewalk, walkways and driveway.  Prices vary from $100 – $300 depending on the size. You might have so much fun that you’ll want to clear the neighbor’s driveways as well.  
  9. Emergency kit and candles – It never hurts to have the candles and matches nearby along with any other emergency supplies. But you’ll need more than that. Lose your source of heating and you’ll quickly feel like you’re living inside a refrigerator. If blankets and jackets aren’t sufficient for what could be a few days of a power outage, then back up heat such as a Mister Heater or a generator will help put your mind at ease and keep the cold at bay.  
  10. When all else fails, be sure to have your snow removal company, furnace repairman and home managers phone numbers on hand to come in and save the day.


Add these items to your winter management arsenal and have fun with the changing weather.  Before you know it, we will be getting ready for spring and the back aches of snow removal will be a distant memory.

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.    


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