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  • The Robie model at Prairie Park features a kitchen, left, and a multipurpose room, right, off the main living area.

    Robie model opens at Prairie ParkApr 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    A new model home — The Robie — steps into the spotlight at Prairie Park, an upscale condominium community where several other models are also on display. “People can have a luxury lifestyle at an affordable price in this multifunctional unit,” said Nick Blackshaw, sales rep.

     
  • Consider use of old doors, wrought iron gates or sections of fencing as a headboard. Dress them up with a stencil drawing, or consider stenciling a pattern right onto the wall itself.

    Space-saving headboard ideasApr 13, 2014 12:00 AM
    There is an unfailing way to save space in a bedroom: Slim down your headboard and bedding ensemble.

     
  • Air flow, not gutters, is to blame for ice damsApr 13, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q: We have lived in Rolling Meadows for over 40 years and have always had problems with ice dams. All the articles we have read regarding ice dams state they are caused by water freezing and thawing, running down and backing up against the gutters. We have no gutters — and haven’t had any for 40 years.

     
  • Buy wisely, and white can be the just-right color for a calm, sophisticated living room.

    Dare to go all white in your living room?Apr 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. I’ve always wanted an all-white living room but just had to wait until the grandchildren had grown old enough! My question is about buying white carpeting. Would doing so be a mistake?

     
  • Senate committee’s proposal for replacing Fannie Mae, Freddie MacApr 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    Legislators agree on the need for a plan to pahase out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, once the twin kingpins of the home loan market. There now is at least a preliminary game plan, which is contained in the draft on housing finance reform recently released by leaders of the Senate Banking Committee. The draft has received a positive response in some quarters as evidence that bipartisan cooperation is still possible.

     
  • Don’t gang up on mother demanding home renovationsApr 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. I am one of five siblings, and we are all over 50. Four of us are married and have families, while one brother who is single lives with Mom. My mom is a widow, 82 years old, and she owns her home, but over the years it has come into disrepair. It has been tuck-pointed and re-roofed, and we put in a new garage, furnace and AC, but the interior needs upgrading. The original electric and water need to be replaced, as well as remodeled kitchen and baths.

     
  • Discount on assessment for board members needs owner approvalApr 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. The members of the board of our condominium are not paid. However, the board members receive a discount on their assessments. Is this permitted?

     
  • Craig Duchossois is the CEO of The Duchossois Group which is buying four Oak Brook Buildings.

    Duchossois spends about $18m on 4 Oak Brook buildingsApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Duchossois Real Estate LLC has purchased four buildings in Oak Brook to as develop corporate office space. Duchossois finalized two transactions on March 31. One deal includes three buildings on Windsor Road for a total of about $10.2 million. The second deal is the former Follett building on Swift Road purchased for about $7.7 million. Follett, a college bookstore and an online educational firm, has moved to Westchester.

     
  • Jeff Prosapio, director of project management for Marquette Companies of Naperville, says the Randall Highlands apartment community in North Aurora is one of the company's recent development efforts that completed a stalled project another developer couldn't finish.

    Rentals, mixed-use projects revive old suburban locationsApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Redevelopment efforts across the nation are focusing on vacant and underused properties in suburban areas, and one Naperville company is putting the strategy to work with developments in Algonquin, North Aurora, Naperville and Lisle. “We look for areas that are extraordinary locations, but perhaps are obsolete,” said Nick Ryan, CEO of Marquette Companies.

     
  • Start spring cleaning outside your home with the guttersApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    In some parts of the country, rain isn’t a problem — but in others, too much of it has been a real problem. Guttering around your home is your best defense against too much rain, as it should channel the water away from your home’s exterior.

     
  • Flooring trends, like popular decor, are always evolvingApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Though not always top of mind when designing or renovating, there is no question that the single biggest visual element in a home is the floor. Flooring sets the mood of a room and ties a space together. For this reason, putting your floor to work as a warm visual element is paramount.

     
  • Restoration of home-related tax benefits gets complicatedApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Renewal of important expired federal tax benefits for homeowners took a major step forward last week, but the route to final congressional approval is beginning to look longer — and potentially bumpier — than previously expected.

     
  • Items homeowners should never buy at a yard saleApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Spring has sprung, but savvy people won’t purchase many household items available at the mushrooming number of yard sales that bloom this time of year.

     
  • Buyers experience substandard repairsApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. When we bought our house, our home inspector found a list of defects, and we submitted a request for repairs to the sellers. The sellers hired a contractor to make the repairs. When he was finished, we got a copy of his $5,700 receipt stating that the repair work was completed. Since moving in, we found that five of the windows were not replaced.

     
  • Andy Starck

    Palatine's Starck takes Berkshire Hathaway nameApr 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    Palatine-based Prudential Starck Realtors, with its Prudential First Realty and Prudential Harding & Starck brokerages in McHenry and Crystal Lake, will become Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Starck Real Estate beginning Tuesday, said President Andy Starck.

     
  • Summer vacationers looking for a deal on hotel rooms in 2014 are going to have to search a little harder. The average cost of a room now stands at $110, up 4 percent from last year and 8 from two years ago, according to travel research company STR.

    How to save money on your summer vacation hotelsApr 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Summer vacationers looking for deals on hotel rooms are going to have to search a little harder. The average cost of a room now stands at $110, up 4 percent from last year and 8 percent from two years ago. But that doesn’t mean that hotel stays need to break the bank. Here are some tips to save on your family’s summer lodging.

     
  • When an aging relative is downsizing into a new home, some of their furniture can be repurposed. An armoire can be used to store bed linens, pillows and memory books.

    Preparing space for senior relativesApr 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Retrofitting a space for an aging relative is a delicate task. Remember that your mother or father has spent a lifetime as an independent soul. Most parents are uncomfortable with their children seemingly taking over their life.

     
  • Milsek polish superb at cleaning, protecting woodApr 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. I just read your recommendations for Milsek as the best wood cleaner for cleaning greasy kitchen cabinets. That is what I am trying to do with mine — get the old grease off them. I am not planning on repainting — just cleaning.

     
  • Screen tips for the front doorApr 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    I like to have some natural ventilation in the spring and fall and more light from the front door, but I don’t like how a screen door looks. What other methods are there to add screening to the door?

     
  • Mount Vernon’s restored “New Room” is the result of 14 months of research and renovation at George Washington’s home.

    The old luster of Mount Vernon’s ‘new room’Apr 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    The public is betting the forst look of a 14-month, $600,000 restoration of Mount Vernon, President George Washington's estate

     
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