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9/16/10 How to... prepare your home for fall - Pioneer Press ...

8.26.2010 | pioneer press newspapers SPECIAL AVERTISING SECTION the doings | how to prepare your home for fall | 1

Create personalized fall foliage

By Megan McCann

Special to Pioneer Press

Use the fall months to maintain the life of

your garden and get it ready for spring.

Some plants even thrive in the cooler

temperatures.

“Continue to water your woody plants during

dry periods in the fall,” says Karla Ly n c h ,

manager of horticulture education at the

Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “It gets very dry

in the fall and watering should continue as

long as the ground isn’t frozen. When soil

temperature is 50 degrees or above, it’s still

active; don’t forget about watering.”

Cut back and remove diseased foliage

from your gardens and yards during the fall.

Remove these items from the property and

disposed of them to prevent infections in

the spring. Lynch also says to assess the

quality of soil and get a soil test in the fall.

When leaves begin to fall, collect this

material for compost.

“Don’t give away leaves to the village,”

Lynch says. “Designate a part of your yard

for a compost area. Rake the leaves and

then go over them with a mulch mower with

Compost bin (above) Tightly packed

compost (below) Courtesy of Morton Arboretum

the bag on it.”

Referred to as Gardener’s Gold, fall leaves

are ideal for compost. In the spring, turn

over the pile and spread it on the garden.

You can also put down a layer of mulch in

the garden when the ground begins to

f r e e z e .

“The purpose late in the fall is to keep the

soil from warming,” Lynch explains. “When

Before the first freeze, disconnect any outdoor

garden hoses from the faucet. Frozen

water in the hose can cause leaks.

the ground thaws and freezes, it can push

up plants. Winter mulch helps keep the

ground frozen.”

Plant trees and shrubs in the fall. Give the

roots enough time to develop before the

ground freezes.

“Avoid evergreens, they don’t get wellestablished

and dry out in the winter,” Ly n c h

says.

Divide and transplant perennials in early

fall through mid-September. Pe r e n n i a l s

bloom in the spring and summer, die back

in the fall and winter and return in the

spring. Lynch recommends getting these

plants in the ground by Oct. 1.

Start planting bulbs for the spring in later

fall. Planting bulbs too early can lead to rotten

plants if it is a rainy season.

“ For bulbs, start buying plants right away

for a good selection,” Lynch encourages.

“Store in a cool, dry place until Halloween

when it starts to get cool.”

Home gardeners should also use fall as a

time not only to care for their plants but also

their equipment. Before the weather turns

cold, bring decorative statues and other

ornaments indoors for cleaning and storage

over the winter.

Before the first freeze, disconnect any

outdoor garden hoses from the faucet.

Frozen water in the hose can cause leaks.

“ Watch for the temperatures to drop, and

when it gets close to freezing, disconnect

the water faucet,” Lynch says.

Continuing vigilant gardening in the fall

will not only allow the home gardener to

enjoy their hobby but also it will also eliminate

the time spent on repairs in the spring

and lead to an overall healthier garden. · PP

Winterize your home early

As seasons change, homeowners must

prepare their houses for the colder months.

By Megan McCann

Special to Pioneer Press

Another Chicago winter

is merely months away. For

homeowners, fall is the

perfect time to start

preparing their houses for

the colder months. By taking

steps to winterize, you

can ensure you are prepared

for the change in

season and save money by

making energy efficient

choices.

“Fall is a great time to

think about energy efficient

products to get you

through the long winter,

especially in this economy,”

says Chris Erickson, owner

of The Door Store in

Glenview.

To stay warm and energy

efficient, keep the cold air

out of the home.

Homeowners should consider

upgrading to new

energy-efficient doors and

windows as well as adding

storm doors to their

homes. According to Chris,

fiberglass doors insulate

better than wood.

“I recommend fiberglass

doors,” Chris says. “They

have five times the R-value

(measure of thermal insulation)

of wood doors and

quality for the 30 percent

tax credit, which actually

might be ending soon.”

New technology and

materials make doors with

decorative glass components

also energy efficient,

Chris says. Thicker glazing,

increased space between

glass panes, low-emissivity

film coatings and argon gas

have contributed to better

performance during the

winter months.

Proper installation and

weather stripping are the

most vital components to a

door’s cold weather capabilities.

Even doors made

of the most energy efficient

materials will be of little

use if not installed with

care.

Purchase weather stripping

kits, which are generally

affordable, at any hardware

store. Easily applied,

weather stripping is an

added barrier against the

cold winter air. For additional

insulation, homeowners

can also purchase lowcost

plastic shrink-wrap

covering for windows.

A homeowner must also

maintain the home heating

system. Before the weather

dips to cold temperatures,

have an HVAC professional

inspect your furnace and

clean your ducts. This will

not only enhance its performance,

but it is also

essential for safety.

“Number one, you want

to make sure it is in good

condition and no risk of

carbon monoxide poisoning,”

explains Kenneth

Gvist, owner and president

of Affordable Temperature

Control in Northbrook. “You

also want to make sure it

is working as efficiently as

possible and that the builtin

safeties are working.”

Change your furnace’s

filters regularly throughout

the winter.

“According to manufacturer

guidelines, filters

Courtesy of The Door Store

should be changed every

30 to 60 days,” Gvist

explains. “[Dirty filters] can

restrict air flow and it may

overheat, trigger built-in

safeties and you may not

get enough heat.”

A major winter expense

is the cost of heating a

home. A simple upgrade

from a traditional thermostat

to a digital thermostat

can cut heating costs dramatically.

“[With a digital thermostat]

you can set it to a

lower temperature when

Maintain your home’s heating system. Before the weather dips, have an

HVAC professional inspect your furnace and clean your ducts. This will

not only enhance its performance, but it is also essential for safety.

you are not home; that

way, you’re not overheating

when you’re not there,”

Gvist says.

Take this time to test

and change the batteries in

smoke detectors and carbon

monoxide detectors.

According to the United

States Fire Administration

(USFA), January is the peak

month for residential fire

deaths and injuries with

heating being the leading

cause of fire.

No matter what measures

a homeowner takes to

winterize his or her home,

the experts agree on one

thing: don’t wait. “Get

started early because fall is

short and winter comes

fast,” Chris says. · PP


2 |how to prepare your home for fall | the doings SPECIAL AVERTISING SECTION pioneer press newspapers | 9.16.2010

Paver Doctor keeps brick surfaces strong

As we look forward to autumn, many area

residents are turning their attentions to sprucing

up their outdoor living spaces before the

snow falls. For homeowners with paved brick

surfaces, this could mean a call to The Pa v e r

D o c t o r.

Brick paving is a beautiful addition to a

home and adds to the curb appeal and value.

It is, however, not an inexpensive undertaking.

The price is two to 10 times that of the alternatives,

such as concrete or asphalt. However,

with regular maintenance, brick surfaces can

last much longer.

The Paver Doctor helps customers protect

their investment and preserves the beauty of

brick surfaces. A brick paver for more than 25

years, owner Bill Suomi decided to specialize

in brick repairs only in 2005. Although the

company headquarters is in Lisle, Suomi travels

throughout the area.

The elements cause the most common

issues with bricks. Brick surfaces in warmer

climates stay in good condition for long periods;

in the Midwest, earth movement, freezing,

thawing, settling and weather conditions

change the bricks’ look or position.

Other issues crop up because the installation

was sub-par. Many companies pave with

bricks because of its popularity. However,

improper work causes more maintenance and

repairs. Seat walls, pillars and grills should be

installed with a 42-inch deep concrete foundation.

Often, they are not, Suomi says.

Similar to any home project, brick paving is

not maintenance free no matter on the quality

of installation, Suomi says.

“Every project needs some kind of attention,”

he says.

Family-owned and operated

since 1946, Forest

Door Company, Inc. is

Chicagoland’s premier

garage door company.

Whether your garage door

is in need of some minor

service or an all-out

replacement, Forest Door is

the company to call.

Whether you’re looking for

your everyday, low-maintenance,

raised-panel steel

door or a fully custom

African mahogany wood

door with decorative windows,

Forest Doors has it

all.

According to the current

president, John M. Kneller,

the company’s success is

attributable to three main

things: good people, a

good reputation and quality

products.

“At Forest, we are fortunate

to have great people

who really care,” Kneller

says. “We’ve always

focused on what’s best for

our customers. Too many

companies today want to

see quick success. At

Forest, we look at the long

term. Take care of your customers

today, and they will

be the first to refer you

tomorrow.”

Today, you will even find

a few fourth generation

family members who work

for Forest Door. Involved in

the day-to-day business

operations, John’s son,

Dave, 27, can be found

Repairs should be done immediately,

Suomi says. Repairing small problems can

help a customer avoid the sticker shock of

major repairs. Weeds or unsettled pavers are

unsightly and a dangerous liability.

Most customers who use Suomi’s services

end up wondering why they haven’t called

s o o n e r. Often, years-old projects come out

looking brand new after The Paver Doctor’s

treatment, he says.

“The older the project, the happier the customer

is,” he says.

Bricks generally come with a lifetime guarantee

and rarely need to be replaced, which

keeps material costs low. Paved brick surfaces,

while expensive to install, can save customers

money because they never need to be

replaced. Stamped concrete, made to have

the look of bricks, costs almost as much as

brick paving; it will have to be replaced as

soon as the concrete cracks.

Routine maintenance can preserve the life

and the beauty of the product, Suomi says. A

surface cleaning and sealing every four to five

years will protect the color of the bricks and

gives the product a wet, polished look.

“They just look much, much nicer when

they’re wet,” he says. “And that’s how it looks

when it’s sealed.”

Although The Paver Doctor does not install

brick pavers, Suomi can provide a reference.

He also recommends that people visit finished

projects done by the company they consider

hiring. Projects more than 5 years old are best

so customers can see what theirs will look like

over time, he says.

Visit www.paverme.com for information.

Give your garage door a lift

doing just about anything it

takes in order to get the job

done. John’s daughter, Jill,

31, helps keep the books

and computers.

When you think of quality

service and installation or

garage doors and openers,

think of Forest Door

Forest Door’s success is attributable to three main things:

good people, a good reputation and quality products.

Company. Its friendly, fast,

professional service will

certainly restore your faith

in good companies that

truly care about their customers.


8.26.2010 | pioneer press newspapers SPECIAL AVERTISING SECTION the doings | how to prepare your home for fall | 3

Cabinet solutions for any kitchen

$37,000?! Are you prepared to spend

that amount on your kitchen? That’s the

average remodeling price according to the

Kitchen & Bath Industry. An upscale kitchen

as seen in some of the design stores can

easily exceed $100,000! Beyond your

budget? Don’t be alarmed. These prices

are beyond the budgets of many average

Joes and Janes.

What if you just want a minor remodeling?

Whom can you talk to that specializes

in minor kitchen improvements? Who can

come up with creative ideas and work with

what you have?

Marty Ceranec, owner of Kitchen Tune-

Up in Downers Grove has the answer.

Kitchen Tune-Up offers “Kitchen Solutions

for any Budget.”

“Our average kitchen job last year was

under $7,000,” Ceranec says. “We’re not

trying to sell our clients more than it takes

to accomplish their goals. We stick with the

basics, such as returning phone calls,

showing up on time, and doing the work

when it’s promised at a reasonable price.”

Having taught tennis at clubs in

Naperville and Hinsdale for 25 years,

Ceranec knows what providing service is all

about. Since joining Kitchen Tune-Up

based in Aberdeen, SD in 1994, he has

won six customer service awards, was

National Franchisees of the Year (2000) and

won the Spirit of Success award given by

fellow franchisees for individuals who

embody the spirit of Kitchen Tune-Up. He’s

also proud that an increasing amount of his

work comes from customer referrals, pro-

fessional referrals and repeat business.

Services can range from the signature

Kitchen Tune-Up (a process utilizing a combination

of cleaners, oils and stains to

repair and refurbish tired looking cabinetry),

new door replacement, refacing and complete

kitchen redesign and install.

“We offer a range of options,” Ceranec

says. “I like to say we offer the four Rs —

restore, redoor, reface, replace.”

Sound confusing? Ceranec welcomes

calls, and he is always happy to discuss

your needs over the phone and to schedule

a visit to your home for an estimate when

you are ready to move forward.

He does all the consultations himself. He

also does the smaller jobs and only has

two installers for the larger jobs.

“I like my business model,” he says.

“Being home based with only two employees

keeps the stress level low,” he chuckles.

Kitchen Tune-Up also offers Countertops

in Laminate, Corian and the very popular

Cambria Quartz. In addition, upgrades

such as glass doors, rollout trays, sliding

trash bins and tip out trays can be installed

to enhance any cabinetwork.

For further information, call (630) 985-

0858 or visit www.kitchentuneup.com.

Services can range from the signature Kitchen Tune-Up (a

process utilizing a combination of cleaners, oils and stains to

repair and refurbish tired looking cabinetry), new door replacement,

refacing and complete kitchen redesign and install.

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