Category Archives: Maintenance

Landscaping Dos and Don’t

When people talk to me about why they love living in Peterkort Woods, they frequently mention how beautiful the landscaping is. When people complain about the conditions at Peterkort Woods, landscaping is also number one.

It’s hard to please 223 homeowners.

It is one of our most visible assets. When it looks nice, it increases the beauty and value of our homes. When it doesn’t, it is hard to see anything else.

This is why the builder spent so much effort in the landscape design of our community. It is why the Board of Directors spends an inordinate amount of time and resources on landscape issues.

If you want to be part of the process to improve our landscaping, here are some tips.

Do

  1. Learn about our landscaping. Talk to a Landscape Committee person or one of the Board of Directors. See landscape website for more.
  2. Join the committee.
  3. Come to a Board of Directors meeting.
  4. Fill out a landscape request form. see contact instructions

Don’t

  1. Alter the landscape yourself. see PKW CCRs especially 5.16. This means: no yard art, no planting, trimming, removing any item in the beds around our homes.
  2. Complain directly to the Landscapers. If you have an issue with them, contact the Board.
  3. Dig. Besides being prohibited (see #1), you could damage the sprinkler system or hit a utility.
  4. Trim the trees. (see #1)

Do you agree or disagree with my list? Have any questions, comments, or concerns? Let me know by filling out a contact form.

Pool Opening 2022 Updated

June 27

The pool is operating normally at this time. The heater is working but may need to be replaced in the future.

If you see anything that needs attention at the pool, please call AMS at (503) 598-0552 or fill out a contact form below.

Please comply with the Pool Rules. Please leave the pool area by 10pm.

If you see suspicious or illegal activity (like trespassers drinking beer on the roof) call the Washington County Sheriff at 503-629-0111.

Read more Read more

COMMUNITY CLEANUP DAY May 14th, 2022

FOLLOW UP: We had 20 volunteers at our cleanup day. They were from-

Windwood 14

Morrison 4

Taylor 2.


If you would like to participate and have not already sent a response, please do so now. This will help lunch and project planning.

When: Saturday May 14th at 900am to noon (lunch provided)

Where: meet at the Clubhouse, 10353 SW Taylor Street

Residents of Peterkort Woods will gather on May 14th to tackle a few maintenance and landscape projects. The scope of the work will be determined by the number of volunteers.

In the past we have picked up trash in the surrounding community, cleaned our mailboxes, and removed invasive ivy, This year’s priority is getting the pool area ready for the May 27th opening. There are also a couple of small landscape projects.

If you have not already done so, please RSVP so we can gather supplies and plan lunch.

May 14, 2022

Window seals failing

If you are an original owner in Peterkort Woods, your JELD-WEN windows have a lifetime warranty. According to a customer service representative I spoke with, this warranty transferred to secondary owners but was only good for 10 years from the original installation.

I am aware of 5 homes in our community that have dealt with failed window seals  this year.  One original homeowner has completed the installation of new windows from Jeld-Wen.  Two original homeowners are in the process of obtaining new windows (including this author).  The other two homeowners are not original owners and are not covered by the warranty.

My process started when I noticed what I thought was a haze on the outside of the window.  A contractor for the HOA was doing some warranty repairs on the outside of our house and confirmed that the haze was inside the windows.  In his opinion, the seal on the window had failed.

I filled out a form on JELD-WEN’s website and requested an inspection. After several emails back and forth, they located the original purchase order for my windows and set up a virtual inspection.  

During the original request for service and the inspection, I also reported that most of my windows were very difficult to open and shut.

Following the inspection, I received a message that a window was going to be delivered to a technician next month and it would be installed at a later date.  There was no mention fixing the opening problems.

I will give a full report when the process is completed, but there are a few things I have learned that may help.

The warranty mentions “skilled labor” which is only good for two years. According to the warranty : “Skilled labor” refers to tasks where specialized technical knowledge, experience, methods or tools are required to properly identify, diagnose and/or correct product-related issues. This is the reason they gave for only providing a virtual inspection.

When I asked about “regular” labor to install the window, I was assured this was included. My neighbor (also an original owner) was told he had to find his own installer.

Also be advised that you will be responsible to removed any shutters, blinds, or other items obstructing access to the windows.

During the virtual inspection you will have to give the inspector access to your smartphone or tablet. You will have to take several measurements and you may have to use a few tools.

Below is a photo of the window in question. It is clean on both sides. the streaks and haze is in-between the panes.

Update June 28

The failed window has been replaced at no cost to me.

The Jeld-Wen technician also worked on six other windows that were hard to open and shut. The majority of the “adjustment” was to lubricate the locks and the inside of the window frames. No parts were replaced.

The tech did remove several windows to inspect them. He does not recommend that owners do this. Other than that, he did not do anything that homeowners could not do themselves

In my opinion, the windows are now only moderately easier to open and shut. They technically function but are more difficult to operate than I think is reasonable. If you are paying for replacement windows, I can not recommend this particular model.

I will say that Jeld-Wen Customer service and the technician ‘Tim’ were very professional and easy to work with.

Jeld-Wen will not be doing any work outside of warranty at this time. For that, I would recommend Culver.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

Pool 2021

The PKWHOA Board of Directors is working diligently to ensure the opening of our pool in 2021.  There are two factors affecting how and when this will happen: mandates from The Oregon Health Authority and Washington County regarding pool operations, and repairs to the pool restrooms water supply.

As of April 23, 2021, Washington County is in the High-Risk category regarding COVID-19. Among other restrictions, occupancy in the pool area would be limited to 15% of maximum capacity. According to OHA, “Public Pools and Spas must remain closed in Extreme Risk Level counties…” They also reported, “the next assignment of risk levels will be announced May 4 and take effect May 7.”

As of April 24th, the cause of the leak to the pool restrooms has been discovered and plans have been made to repair it.  The contractor is hopeful that the job will be completed in the next two weeks.  The water to the pool and the clubhouse cannot be turned on until this is done.

The opening of the pool will be on the agenda for the next Board Meeting on May 10th.

Update April 28th: The water is back on. The pool deck above the repair should be restored in the next few days.

Also, it looks like Washington County will remain in the “High Risk” category for the next couple weeks.

Update May 11th:

At the HOA Board meeting last night, the PKWHOA Board of Directors approved several motions in preparation for a potential May 28th opening. A pool monitor will be hired, days and hours of operation will be limited, and maximum occupancy will be reduced. All in accordance with state mandates.

County risk status and the HOA’s ability to comply with COVID restrictions may push back this date.

Update May 28:

The pool opening has been pushed back until at least the first week of June.

Washington County has moved to ‘Lower Risk’ status. We can operate at 50% capacity but are still required to have a monitor in place whenever the pool is open. The monitor should be able to start as early as next week.

There was a mechanical failure this week with the pool pump. A part had to be ordered and will not be available until at least June 1st.

Update June 4

The part for the pump will be installed next week. The Pool monitor will start today. The pool deck and BBQ areas will be open with restrictions. Owners should have received a notice with details.

Until restrictions are lifted:

Pool area is open noon-8pm Friday-Monday

Residents only (no guests)

50% capacity

social distancing enforced


June 25

The pool is scheduled to open today!

June 29

The restrictions placed on our pool by the State and County are set to expire on June 30th. Normal hours and use should resume on June 30th at 8am (pending any changes by Washington County)

There will still be a pool monitor on site during peak hours as there has been in years past.

An email blast will go out to owners who receive their notices in this manner. If you are not receiving any of these notices, please contact AMS ASAP.

Any questions?

This article will be updated if the situation changes. Homeowners should receive a notice with more details.

Items for sale and DIY home improvement

Peterkort Woods is a unique townhouse community.  The quality of design and construction is far above other attached home developments in the metro area.   This can sometimes present a challenge when trying to find replacement hardware or fixtures that fit our space.

If you are having trouble finding the correct air filter or central vacuum part, look here. https://peterkortwoodshoa.com/home-improvement-and-maintenance/home-improvementmaintenance/

If you have been successful finding items for your home, let me know so I can post it for the community.

Do you have a custom item for your home that you are trying to sell or donate? Check out this page: https://peterkortwoodshoa.com/home-improvement-and-maintenance/items-for-sale/

Update March 2021: Fireplaces

Most of us have electric fireplaces. Until recently I have not heard of them failing. A neighbor reported that their fireplace produces heat, but no light. They are having difficulty locating a repair person.

Has anyone experienced a similar problem or has a recommendation for a repair person?

Windows at PKWHOA

Recently, a neighbor sent me the following email:

 

We recently had our windows washed. In the process the washers indicated

that a few of our windows had lost their seal. As original owners we

contacted JeldWen for an inspection.

 

Today the representative of JeldWen conducted his examination of our

windows. He identified 42 windows in our end unit for replacement.

 

Currently, scheduling for the replacements is out beyond the middle of August.

 

Fortunately, as an original owner we are covered by the warranty.  Others

may not be as fortunate.”

 

The warranty I read stated, “We warrant to the original owner for which the products and components as identified below are initially installed…” It appears that secondary owners may not be covered.

If you have questions, I would call Jeld-Wen (or other manufacturer if applicable).

Here is the website for contacting Jeld-Wen:

https://www.jeld-wen.com/en-us/product-support/customer-service/contact-customer-support

Their phone number is: 800.535.3936

 

The window washers:

Fleur de Lis

10479 Sw Amanda Ct

Tigard, OR 97224

Phone number (503) 639-8479

 

 

 

Water Heaters

Electric water heaters

One of the most underappreciated home appliances is the water heater.  We seldom give them a second thought until we take our first (unplanned) cold shower.

{You may consider switching to Heat Pump Water Heater for economic or environmental reasons.  If so, please read Heat Pump Water Heaters and  HPWH update .}

If you are considering a new water heater because the current one is not working properly, there are a few things to consider first.  It is my opinion that in most cases, unless it is leaking, your water heater can be fixed for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new one.

The oldest water heater in PKW is probably about 12 years old.  This is about the time that some of the parts may start to fail. In this article I will discuss: recirculation pumps, reset buttons, thermostats, and heating elements.

Recirculation Pump (see photo at bottom of page)

In theory, this pump provides instant hot water to the farthest sink or shower. It is my opinion that it is not needed for most of our homes.  I have unplugged mine.

These pumps are advertised to work for 15-20 years. I have heard several reports the pumps not working in our neighborhood after 3-5 years.  It will cost $200-400 for a new pump.

I did notice that the pipe on my water heater leading to the RP was corroded.  Eventually it started to leak.  The cause of the failure was “galvanic corrosion.”  An electro-chemical reaction to two dissimilar metals being joined without using a “dielectric nipple”. Basically, the plumber who installed the water heater connected a copper pipe directly to a galvanized pipe. This may be an anomaly in our community, but is easy to check. (see photos)

No hot water

The first thing to check is the breaker switch for the water heater.  This is usually located in the back of the garage.

If it is not tripped already, you will want to turn it off for the next step.

Reset Button

This red button is located on the upper thermostat (see photos).  If you push on it and it clicks, then it means that it had been tripped.  Resetting it should turn your HWH back on.

But what caused it to trip?  Possible causes are: a bad thermostat, shorted heating element, or loose wiring.

If you do reset the button without identifying any problem, be careful.  You may have scalding hot water in a few hours.

Thermostats

The thermostat controls the operation of the heating elements, keeping your water at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. When this fails, the water heats uncontrollably.  The reset button on the thermostat kick out, automatically turning off the water heater when it reaches 180 degrees F.

The links below will walk you through how to test and replace your thermostat.  I am not a plumber or an electrician and I found the process fairly easy.  You can get the upper and lower thermostats for $14 and $9 respectively at Home Depot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TH3mSVbEmc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCXmyhEY_k4

Elements

If the thermostats are working properly and the reset button trips, you may have an element that is shorting out.  If you suspect this, make sure the breakers for the WH are turned off, then test the elements.

https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/water-heater/diy-hot-water-heater-repair/view-all/

If the reset button and the breakers have not been triggered and your water is warm, you possibly have one element that is bad. If you are not sure which one, I think it is best to replace both. Continue reading Water Heaters

Time to replace your water heater?

This is a follow-up to my previous posting about Heat Pump Water Heaters and replacing your existing water heater.  As I mentioned, all our community’s water heaters are entering their expected “end of life” phase of 10 – 15 years.  It is a good idea to be proactive so you don’t get stuck with a cold shower!  There are also a lot of financial incentives available which are slated to expire at the end of 2017, providing another reason to be proactive.  See my presentation and the quotes below.

We have reached out to several vendors who have been out to our community and were willing to provide a quote for PKW homeowners.  While these are reputable, licensed and bonded vendors, please note that these vendors are in no way “approved” by me, the HOA board, or the management company.  This list is provided as a courtesy to help you make your own decision on water heater replacement.

Our HOA board also provided pre-approval for the installation of a condensate drain (required for heat pump water heaters) which requires penetrating the exterior wall near the garage.  Fill out this form ARC HPWH and follow the instructions to be able to move forward immediately with your water heater replacement and not have to wait for any addtional approvals from the HOA board.

If you have additional questions, please let me know at davekresta@gmail.com

[*Editor’s Note: The PKW HOA Board of Directors has approved installation of these water heaters using the guidelines described in the ARC HPWH example.  The BOD will consider a resolution to clarify this procedure at its November meeting, but you do not need to wait for it in order to have your application approved.

** The Board of Directors for Peterkort Woods has not selected or endorsed these vendors.  They are provided for you information only as vendors who can install this type of water heater.]

Regards,

Dave Kresta

Heat Pump Water heaters

[to view an update to this post click on Time to replace your water heater?]

To: Peterkort Woods homeowners

From: Dave Kresta, homeowner

I was asked to present at the August 14, 2017 annual HOA meeting on water heaters. You will find the presentation material attached.

PeterKort Water Heater Presentation

In addition to being a PKW homeowner for nearly 5 years, I have also worked at the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for over 7 years. A considerable portion of my work there has included exploration of savings opportunities with water heating.

My goal is to provide PKW homeowners with information about new high efficiency options for water heating, and help pave the way for easier water heater replacements. Water heaters normally last 8 to 14 years so we can expect that many PKW units will need to have replacements sometime in the near to mid-future. I have personally heard about 3 replacements that have already occurred this year due to water heater failures.

Heat Pump Water heaters (HPWHs) are now widely available, saving an estimated $250/year on average versus old technology standard electric water heaters. With existing rebates and tax credits totaling $1200, HPWHs are an option to seriously consider. For those who want to install a tank that is larger than 55 gallons (most of the larger PKW units have 66-gallon tanks), new Federal regulations actually require installation of a HPWH. If your tank is smaller than 55 gallons, it is optional

Unfortunately, the plumbing industry is very slow moving, and many plumbers are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with HPWHs and therefore try to steer people away from them (or simply don’t mention them). This includes telling people with larger tanks that they must downsize to a smaller tank so that they can continue installing old technology. This not only costs the homeowner money in the long run, but with the rebates and incentives available, it can cost money in the short run.

The primary challenge in installing HPWHs is that they produce a small amount of condensate (water) which must be drained to the outside. I am working with the HOA Board to get this procedure pre-approved (it requires drilling through the exterior wall) so that individual homeowners do not experience delays in getting this approval. HPWHs also blow out cool, dry air. This does NOT need to be vented to the outside, and I personally find it a benefit in my garage.

I am also working with my employer to get a list of plumbers who have been to our community and are willing to provide competitive quotes for HPWH installation. This information will be disseminated when it is available, hopefully within 4 weeks.

If you would like to be alerted via email with updates on this subject, or if you have additional questions, please let me know at davekresta@gmail.com

 

Regards,

Dave Kresta