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Articles filed under Industry Insider

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  • Even your home’s pipes require maintenance Jul 22, 2013 10:01 AM
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the adage goes, and that is certainly the philosophy of Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer and Drainage Inc. of Round Lake. Our spring of heavy rains has kept Duane, his wife, Madeline, and their crews busy with emergency calls.

     
  • Saddlebrook Farms offers custom homes in retirement community Jul 14, 2013 4:55 PM
    Many people who want to live an active life during retirement do not have a limitless supply of funds. In fact, more retired adults probably fall into this category than into the group that can invest in a large home in a southern climate.

     
  • Contemporary, traditional looks coexist Jul 6, 2013 1:00 AM
    “Mix and match” is the trend in furnishings today as homeowners gravitate toward the eclectic look, said Catherine Cushing, vice president and co-owner of Geneva Home Works in West Chicago.

     
  • Weather often prompts landscaping upgrades Jun 29, 2013 12:19 AM
    Every year Mother Nature presents different opportunities for landscape design firms in the Chicago area, said Colin Taheny, vice president of sales for Ryco Landscaping of Lake in the Hills. “Last year we were dealing with a severe drought. This year there have been a lot of flooding problems.

     
  • Durable composites being used to update homes Jun 26, 2013 3:21 PM
    Manufacturers of windows, doors and siding are increasingly offering blended products that combine the best of several materials in order to stand up to Mother Nature, while also pleasing homeowners, said Brian Leckie, president of Aspen Exterior Co. of Arlington Heights.

     
  • Insulated tub, shower liners update bath in one day Jun 15, 2013 4:30 AM
    Taking a shower or bath in a tub that is less than pristine doesn’t enhance your feeling of cleanliness. Aging porcelain tubs, tile and grout can be difficult to keep clean. Solving this issue has been the business of Phoenix Bathtub Renewals Inc. of Cicero since 1984.

     
  • Plush patio furniture grows in popularity Jun 8, 2013 4:34 AM
    Technological advances are making it easy to enjoy more hours outdoors. For instance, Berlin Gardens manufactures “green” outdoor furniture made entirely of recycled plastic milk jugs. Its tables, chairs, pergolas, and accessories are among the outdoor furniture sold by Hearth and Home of Mount Prospect.

     
  • Paver bricks have advantages over decks, concrete patios Jun 1, 2013 4:00 AM
    National studies show that people of the Midwest spend more on outdoor living products than people in any other area of the country, said Mike Haumersen, outdoor living specialist with Belgard Hardscapes. Belgard is a leading manufacturer of paver stones and blocks, as well as outdoor elements made in a factory using those blocks and pavers — like fire pits, water features, outdoor kitchens and outdoor fireplaces — that are then installed by a homeowner's landscape design firm.

     
  • Ponds, fountains proven to be an irresistible draw May 25, 2013 4:00 AM
    Water can get children outside and away from video games and television, allowing them to instead observe and learn about nature, including frogs, salamanders, fish, plants and more, said Brian Helfrich, construction manager for Aquascape Designs in St. Charles and Lisle. The company installs small ponds, fountains and other outdoor water features in suburban yards.

     
  • Landscape lighting is just the start May 18, 2013 4:25 AM
    Create a vacation destination in your own backyard. Plan carefully and implement high-end improvements over time, if necessary, say Jennifer Jensen and Thomas Reindl of NorthWest Lighting and Accents in Mount Prospect and McHenry.

     
  • Low-maintenance trend grows in landscaping May 4, 2013 4:00 AM
    Not everyone has a green thumb. People can spend hours in the garden and still not be able to make their homes the showpieces they envision. With this in mind, more homeowners are looking for plants and shrubs that are low- or no-maintenance, said Jean Bragdon, operations manager at Lurvey's Garden Center in Des Plaines.

     
  • Landscaping, gardening expertise is found at COD Apr 27, 2013 2:27 AM
    Homeowners with a growing concern of environmental issues, such as food production and yard waste, are heading back to school. Interest in topics like organic foods or sustainable landscaping are among the reasons people are taking horticulture classes, said Julia Fitzpatrick-Cooper of the College of DuPage.

     
  • Plote Construction associated with homes, too Apr 24, 2013 10:00 AM
    The Plote name is well known for heavy road construction throughout the Northwest suburbs. But few realize the breadth of the family's interests and holdings, such as Plote Homes LLC, which was originally established as Par Development in 1989. The home-building company is run by Dan Shepard, executive vice president.

     
  • Retro doors, rain glass is ‘in’ in millwork Apr 13, 2013 4:40 AM
    John Tobin Millwork has been a fixture in Villa Park since 1960, originally supplying millwork, windows and doors to contractors and builders, and later expanding to sell and install those same products in existing homes in the West and Northwest suburbs. In recent years, with new home construction reeling from the housing crisis, the family firm’s business has swung heavily toward retail sales.

     
  • Garages overflow from lack of organization Apr 8, 2013 9:43 AM
    In many homes, the garage has become a dumping ground for seasonal items, sports equipment, gardening supplies and much more, to the point where many families cannot even park a car in their garage anymore, said Jim Melchert, owner of Garage Store, based in East Dundee.

     
  • Roofing practices evolve for better protection Mar 30, 2013 6:00 AM
    The importance of keeping a roof over one's head has been well documented in literature for centuries. Everyone needs a place to take shelter during adverse weather conditions, so it makes sense. But those benefits are much decreased if the roof in question is leaky or lets the cold winds blow in.

     
  • Stronger energy efficiency rules kick in for builders Mar 23, 2013 5:17 AM
    Homes built in 2013 will be 32 percent more energy efficient than those built under the energy codes that went into effect in 2006, thanks to new regulations put in place Jan. 1 by the state of Illinois, said Roger Gerstad, owner of Gerstad Builders of McHenry.

     
  • Suburban real estate market still struggling Mar 9, 2013 5:44 AM
    Chicago area buyers are searching the market for homes, hoping to cash in on low interest rates and prices, but they aren't finding much inventory from which to choose, said Mary Beth Lynch, a Realtor with RE/MAX Suburban in Glen Ellyn. She said this is why more and more appropriately priced homes are getting multiple offers right now.

     
  • Duct-sealing system earns top endorsements Mar 2, 2013 5:21 AM
    It seems like every house has one — a room that is barely used because it doesn’t warm up in the winter or it doesn’t cool down in the summer. However, chances are this forgotten room can be reclaimed, thanks to a process that seals gaps in a home’s ductwork, said Joseph St. Pierre, sales director of Aeroseal Solutions in Crystal Lake.

     
  • Airoom helps owners invest in their homes Jun 21, 2013 4:35 PM
    Building room additions, both large and small, has been Airoom's primary business for 55 years. But today, the longtime Chicago-area contractor has expanded considerably to "keep up with the world" and provide the services today's homeowners want, said Tom Graham, president.

     
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