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
“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
Plant trees and shrubs in the fall. Give the
roots enough time to develop before the
“Avoid evergreens, they don’t get wellestablished
and dry out in the winter,” Ly n c h
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
“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
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
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
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
can also purchase lowcost
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,”
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
“According to manufacturer
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,”
Take this time to test
and change the batteries in
smoke detectors and carbon
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,”
Family-owned and operated
since 1946, Forest
Door Company, Inc. is
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,
door or a fully custom
African mahogany wood
door with decorative windows,
Forest Doors has it
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
“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
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
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.