Shutters can block a lot of heat and light in summer, but for night-time sleeping, you might have to install blinds behind the shutters as well.

Credit: Rosie on the House

Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero’s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer systems. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.

QUESTION: I have a bedroom window that is about 7 feet wide with shutters installed in it. But I want to completely black out the light at night; the shutters just don’t keep the room dark enough. So how can I do that?

ANSWER: You can install honeycomb cellular shades between your shutters and the window, and that will black out any light. It depends on the width of the space, but there is usually enough room between the shutters and the glass to install the blinds. You only need a space measuring about three-eighths of an inch.

Q: Can I replace my PVC (polyvinyl chloride) irrigation lines with copper lines? I’d like to use something that would last longer.

A: Replacing all your lines with copper would be very expensive to do. PVC lines can last a long time, too, but it does get frustrating dealing with gophers and rabbits chewing on the irrigation heads to get water. But remember, even if you install copper, you’d probably have to use some plastic parts as well for the sprinkler heads.

Q: I have a flat built-up roof over part of my house. It actually covers the kitchen area of the house. Now I want to put foam roofing on that area. Should I insulate it some more as well?

A: You probably don’t need to add any insulation to whatever is already inside your ceiling. You don’t need to pile on extra foam either; all you need is just the traditional inch of foam covering. All the roofers probably have to do is power wash and clean the existing rolled roofing and then put the foam on top of it. You don’t have to remove the built-up section of the roof first.

Q: I have had some problems with my dog digging holes all over the lawn. How can I level out the yard again and repair it? Should I rototill first or just add soil in the affected areas?

A: It depends on the extent of the damage, but you can try just adding sand and topsoil to the affected spots, and then add some Bermuda grass seed to those areas. The grass should grow easily when you water it, but it will take a while to restore the lawn.

Q: I’m considering buying a house in a subdivision where the heating and air conditioning ductwork is located under the house instead of up in the attic. What do I need to know about this situation?

A: I love houses where the ductwork, both supply and return, are located under the house. But you have to be sure the ducts are in good shape. In some subdivisions in Arizona where this was done, the ducts leaked and filled up with water; work had to be done underground to seal them. So you want to have a good visual review done for the ducts of this house. A camera can be sent underground into the ducts to inspect them.

Q: Can I cut back or prune an overgrown red yucca that’s in my yard?

A: You can prune it, but you might want to divide that yucca and pull out sections of the plant including the roots. Then you can plant them somewhere else and start a new plant growing all over again.

For more do-it-yourself tips, go to Romero has been an Arizona home-building and remodeling expert for 29 years. He is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program, heard locally from 8-11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson and from 9-11 a.m. on KGVY-AM (1080) and KGVY-FM (100.7) in Green Valley. Call 888-767-4348.