Articles filed under Home & Garden

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  • ‘Six-month’ rule to recover fees, assessments is confusing Mar 7, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. There is a lot of confusion at our condominium association as to the amount of assessments and expenses, like legal fees, our association is entitled to recover, under the “six-month rule,” from the purchaser of a unit at a foreclosure sale.

     
  • Low inventory results in sluggish home sales Mar 7, 2015 1:01 AM
    Pending home sales are dropping, despite mortgage interest rates being at near record lows, the National Association of Realtors reported. Those mortgage rates have finally started a slow upward trek after many weeks of declining.

     
  • Master bedrooms have grown in style and stature Mar 7, 2015 7:00 AM
    Once a simple place to sleep, the master bedroom has evolved into a luxury suite where owners can get away from it all for some private time and a little pampering. Today the master suite is plush, comfortable and full of luxury. It often comprises a good-sized bedroom, his-and-hers closets, a reading or sitting area and a spalike bath. If homeowners desire, the suite can include all the amenities of a five-star hotel.

     
  • New concept in solar energy has bright future in U.S. Mar 7, 2015 1:42 PM
    The gardens feed electricity to the local power grid. Customers subscribe to that power and get credit on their utility bills, with contracts that typically lock in for 25 years and shelter against rate increases. Some developers say customer bills will drop below regular retail rates within a few years; others say the savings begin immediately.

     
  • Most people need not worry about income taxes on home sale Mar 6, 2015 12:00 AM
    Spouses who recently split up have options when it comes to declaring the profits from the sale of a home.

     
  • Homeowner’s asbestos inspection was incomplete Mar 6, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. We own a home that recently flooded. Now the interior must be stripped to the framing and rebuilt. An environmental inspector was hired to determine if there is any asbestos.

     
  • Rent payments can improve your credit score Mar 6, 2015 12:00 AM
    It’s the great credit divide in American housing: If you buy a home and pay your mortgage on time regularly, your credit score typically benefits. If you rent an apartment and pay the landlord on time every month, you get no boost to your score — zip.

     
  • All bright eyes and bushy tales at Philly garden show Mar 5, 2015 6:00 AM
    By the time the Philadelphia Flower Show closes Sunday, some 250,000 visitors will have passed under the glitzy entrance garden’s floral homage to Hollywood, a display remarkable for its profligate use of calla lilies alone -- I’ve never seen so many in one place. The showgoers will have been transported to a Persian pavilion beckoning across a shimmering lake; to a spring terrain draped in fragrant flowering bulbs; to large, artsy floral arrangements inspired by Disney princesses. But this oldest and largest of flower shows is as much about what folks are fleeing from as what they are flocking to.

     
  • Being your own worst enemy in the garden Mar 5, 2015 8:12 AM
    As President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the cornfield.” His gibe was aimed at Washington policymakers, but I'd say the same thing about planning my modest summer garden, which is still months away. I've come to realize over the years, my garden's chief enemy is neither bug nor blight, but my own bottomless enthusiasm.

     
  • Company nurtures old varieties, new gardeners Mar 3, 2015 6:00 AM
    Southern Exposure is in some respects a throwback to the 1970s, a commune for approximately 30 people, mostly young and all idealistic. The seed company they work for is an employee-owned cooperative that sources and sells annuals, vegetables and herbs that are open-pollinated — that is, they will produce genetically stable seed that anyone can save for use the following season, seed that has not been altered in a lab, patented or possessed.

     
  • Growing fennel can be a tightrope act Mar 3, 2015 6:01 AM
    When something goes wrong in the garden, it’s wise to ask why. When something goes unexpectedly right, the same question is in order. Take bulb fennel, also called Florence fennel. One is told that bulb fennel is a cool-weather plant best grown as a fall crop, because warm weather makes it bolt — that is, go to seed and fail to make bulbs. But since it’s also frost-sensitive in fall, and the bulbs keep poorly in storage, that season is disappointingly short. So at our place we grow a spring crop as well.

     
  • Ways to make a kitchen more germ-free Mar 1, 2015 12:17 PM
    Even the tidiest kitchens might be harboring harmful bacteria, and often where they’re least expected. Paying more attention to a few often-overlooked places can help keep your household safer, experts say.

     
  • Must you have bookshelves? Mar 1, 2015 1:01 AM
    Changing times create changing furnishing needs. If you don’t read hardcover books any more, do you still need bookshelves in your home?

     
  • Tiffany clock was made in Europe Mar 1, 2015 1:01 AM
    Q. Many, many years ago, my mother gave me an old clock that was my grandfather’s. I have enclosed a photo of the clock for you to see.

     
  • Preference builds among youths for suburban living Mar 1, 2015 6:00 AM
    In recent years, economists and demographers have argued that members of Generation Y will have a longer love for city living, in smaller living quarters, than their predecessors. But a newly released survey suggests what millennials really want is a single-family home outside of the urban center — just like other generations.

     
  • Not all concrete floors need to be sealed, but some do Mar 1, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q: I regularly read your column in the Daily Herald and have been following with interest the recent inquiries about sealing concrete. We had our garage floor totally replaced with new concrete seven years ago. Is it too late or impractical to seal it now?

     
  • Apple expert shares tips on growing trees Mar 1, 2015 6:48 PM
    Warm weather and planting season might seem like a pipe dream as we come out of one of the coldest Februarys in history, but green thumbs were thinking spring Sunday at the Garfield Farm Museum’s 28th annual Antique Apple Tree Grafting Seminar. Apple tree expert Dan Bussey led the seminar, which taught participants hoping to grow apple trees in their yards the important grafting process that is key to having any success.

     
  • Home & Garden Expo continues Sunday at Arlington International Racecourse Feb 28, 2015 6:32 PM
    The Home & Garden Expo, the largest home improvement event in the North and Northwest suburbs, is being held this weekend at Arlington International Racecourse.

     
  • Vintage treasures pair with country accents for a springy decor Feb 27, 2015 6:00 AM
    Vintage treasure hunters Sandy and Steve Milano of St. Charles prefer to take the road less traveled — as long as that road takes them past an antiques shop or a flea market. They each have their own collections, with Steve preferring more refined items and Sandy being drawn to whimsical fare.

     
  • The old wood is still good wood Feb 27, 2015 6:30 AM
    Reclaimed wood from barns is a hot commodity in the building and furniture trades. But Unlike barn wood, which became popular more than a decade ago, the value of old-growth “house” wood isn’t widely recognized among homeowners and developers. As many cities experiences a remodeling boom, builders say, most of it by far is going into landfills.

     
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