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  • Winter sales are slow, but provide opportunity Jan 28, 2014 5:03 PM
    Good things are happening in the local real estate market, but it is also experiencing some growing pains, said Bob Wisdom of RE/MAX Horizon in Elgin, who sells as a team with his wife, Lisa. Finding the perfect home right now might be difficult because of a shortage of available homes.

     
  • Several recent appliance trends on the wane Jan 18, 2014 12:48 AM
    Household appliances are real time-and-toil-savers, so experts we trust can help us make the correct decisions for our individual lifestyles. For instance, front-load, high-efficiency washing machines are actually less popular than they were a few years ago, said Rich Lindblom, co-owner of Advanced Maytag in Schaumburg.

     
  • William Ryan’s new line based on classic homes Jan 11, 2014 12:28 AM
    William Ryan Homes in Schaumburg introduced its new Historic Americana line of 13 models, based on classic, American homes through the years. These floor plans are available at select communities the builder is developing throughout the Chicago area.

     
  • Household dust and dirt can choke a furnace Dec 13, 2013 12:15 AM
    The heating season is in full swing with temperatures occasionally dipping well below freezing. The last thing anyone wants to experience is a furnace failure. Erik Schroll, manager of the heating, ventilation and cooling division of ABC Plumbing, said between 80 percent and 90 percent of furnace breakdowns are caused by dirt.

     
  • Annual tax time nears for homeowners Dec 9, 2013 9:44 AM
    Homeowners making improvements to their primary residences, second homes and rental properties should always keep good records and be prepared to share them with their tax professionals. Doing so can potentially save homeowners money and keep them in good stead with the Internal Revenue Service and the state, said Joseph Gleba of Porte Brown Certified Public Accountants.

     
  • Where to turn for holiday decor help Nov 30, 2013 12:57 AM
    Laurie and Joe Kane have a passion for starting and running businesses — all types of businesses. Both are engineers. So, the fact they now own Treetime Christmas Creations in Lake Barrington is quite a departure from what they have done in the past.

     
  • Quickly breathe new life into any room Nov 23, 2013 12:22 AM
    With a dash of creativity, you can enliven, brighten and breathe new life into every room of your home. We sought the expert advice of retailers at Deer Park Town Center in Deer Park, asking them for ways to add pop and pizzazz to spaces spanning the living room to the kitchen and beyond.

     
  • Build your style around a couch you like Nov 9, 2013 12:47 AM
    When a homeowner is furnishing an entire house, Anne Hildreth recommends they start with the room they use the most — the family room — and proceed from there. “Most people know what they want in the family room, in terms of comfort,” said Hildreth, a designer at Steinhafel’s furniture store in the Vernon Hills.

     
  • Home lighting has begun transformation Nov 2, 2013 12:56 AM
    LED is the name of the game in lighting today. Prices for the long-lasting, environmentally-friendly light-emitting diodes are continually decreasing, so they are gathering more and more market share, said Benson Littman, co-owner of Littman Bros. Lighting in Schaumburg.

     
  • Flooring choices get both bigger and better Oct 26, 2013 12:48 AM
    When it comes to tile these days, bigger is definitely better, according to Century Tile’s Mike West, president, and Elaine Carlson, vice president/general manager. Carlson encourages homeowners to mix it up, too, when it comes to tile shape. Modular floors create interest, she said, but don’t necessarily increase the price tag.

     
  • Store owner follows first rule of furniture Oct 19, 2013 12:17 AM
    Amish furniture and leather furniture are the hot items right now, says Gary O’Reilly, owner of O’Reilly’s Furniture in Libertyville. O’Reilly was only 25 years old when he opened his furniture company in 1977.

     
  • Research to find reputable window, door companies Oct 12, 2013 12:33 AM
    Homeowners shopping for replacement windows and doors need to do their homework before choosing someone to supply and install them, said Iver Johnson Sr., owner of American Thermal Window of Chicago and Sahara Windows and Doors of Mount Prospect. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in our business who are not credible,” he said.

     
  • Cabinet styles are changing in kitchens, baths Oct 5, 2013 12:22 AM
    When it comes to makeovers, bathrooms are currently “king,” said Jeff Pike, president and owner of ARA Cabinets 4U of Wheeling and Quality Cabinets 4 Less, an Internet company.

     
  • Amish craftsmen excel in a variety of styles Sep 28, 2013 12:56 AM
    Rid yourself of any preconceived notions you may have about furniture that is made by the Amish. One thing is clear when you walk into any of Amish Furniture’s four Illinois locations. The furniture found in its showrooms is not all made in the colonial style that you probably associate with the Amish people.

     
  • Despite predictions, winter can be cozy with airtight ducts Sep 21, 2013 12:19 AM
    The 197-year-old Farmers’ Almanac is a predicting a bitterly cold winter for two-thirds of the country and heavy snowfall in the Midwest, Great Lakes and New England. With this in mind, the people at Aeroseal Solutions, based in Crystal Lake, suggest homeowners think about keeping their homes cozy by seal their ducts and ductwork systems.

     
  • King’s Court ‘customizes’ its business plan Sep 14, 2013 1:00 AM
    One of the most respected and successful custom homebuilding companies in Naperville and surrounding communities got its start in a university classroom. When its founder, Pete Stefani, was a senior at Benedictine University enrolled in a business management class, he had to do the prep work to start his own company, including coming up with a name for it.

     
  • Furniture makers seize upon changing times Aug 31, 2013 12:06 AM
    American-made furniture — particularly Amish-made bedroom sets — and beds with storage drawers are among the current trends in home furnishings. Turk Furniture in Naperville even has a tag sale once a year to mark American-made pieces, said Patrick Galloway, general manager.

     
  • Illinois seeing a delayed jump in prices, Realtor team says Aug 24, 2013 12:40 AM
    Residential real estate sales have been hot so far this year in the Carpentersville, Algonquin and Crystal Lake areas, said Hilda and Jennifer Jones, Realtors with Baird and Warner’s Carpentersville office.

     
  • Pergola kits cut the project down to size Aug 21, 2013 5:00 AM
    Pergolas are found all over Europe, dating from the 1600s. They have long been popular here in the South and West, and now are a growing trend in the Midwest, said Don McSwain, owner of Quality Built Backyards.

     
  • Door replacement has gone high tech Aug 10, 2013 12:56 AM
    Replacing a home’s interior doors has always made a big difference in the look of a house. Until recently, the mess and expense involved served as a deterrent to making that change. That is no longer the case, said Dan Teuscher, owner of HomeStory Chicago, based in Elk Grove Village.

     
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