Category: Home

Don’t Move from Chicago, Update Your Home Instead

Is your home starting to show signs of aging, prompting thoughts of moving to a different domicile? Do family members currently live near you and you want to remain relatively close to them? Would you prefer to remain in your current town, or at least in city that is pretty close by? You might want to rethink the notion of moving to a new home if you answered yes to these questions. Updating your existing home to make it more appealing may be a better choice for you in the long run.

Are large black streaks forming on your roof, or are you noticing large water spots on your ceiling? These are common indications that the roof of your home will likely need to be replaced very soon. Putting off a roof repair is not a wise thing to do, because a failing roof can cause much damage. It is advised that you find a roofing contractor to help make repairs to get it back into shape. Metal roofing is becoming a popular option, because it is more durable than standard asphalt shingles.

Do your heating bills rise sharply in the Winter and your electric bill surges during the Summer months? If you own a much older home, it could very well contain problematic aluminum or wood windows. The outside temperatures transfer easily through Aluminum, because it is a good conductor of energy. Although attractive and more energy efficient, wood windows are susceptible to rotting over the years. Vinyl replacement windows are a viable alternative, as long as you have them professionally installed.

If you want to make a visually impactful change to your home, consider upgrading the home siding. If you pick a new exterior color, the appearance of your home will be dramatically different than before. There are many color and style options, but you need to look at your budget to determine the best option. Vinyl siding is an affordable and low maintenance option, but wood and brick are nice if budget allows. An in-home consultation with a home siding contractor can greatly help with the decision making process.

Even though major home improvements are expensive, you don’t have to pay all costs up-front. Finance companies have relationships with many home improvement companies to help homeowners. With financing, payments can be made over a couple of years to ease the monthly financial burden. You can also consider smaller home updates if getting a home improvement loan is not an option. It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint or making minor repairs can do for your home’s appearance.

When it comes to Remodeling, Ask Questions First, Sign Later

Sooner or later every homeowner gets bit by the remodeling bug and wants to take steps to improve their domicile. Finding a remodeling contractor close to home is easy when you use the Internet as a research tool. Performing a search for remodeling phrases (i.e. ‘sunrooms‘) will provide a list of local remodeling contractors. It is not recommended to choose any particular contractor until you get them to answer several questions. Company history questions can help you determine their overall level of remodeling experience (including: How many projects have you finished? How long have you been operating?) If you are looking for trendy designs, ask questions about their design capabilities: How many architects and designers do you have on staff? Can I see portfolios of their work? Don’t forget to inquire about project costs and financing: Do you have a fixed price contract? Do you have a financing partner, if so who? You will also want to ask them about their construction process to see if they are knowledgeable: Will there be ongoing project management? Will I receive a construction schedule and blueprints? You want to be sure a provider will stand behind the marketing promises they make: Do you have a time completion guarantee? How long is your construction warranty? Are you insured? A quality company should also be willing to provide independent ratings and customer referrals.

Should You Hire a Professional or Fix it Yourself?

Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, or both, there will come a time when you need to repair something. When the need to fix something arises, a large segment of the population will simply call a professional for help. There are many people however that feel they are up to the challenge of performing the repairs without professional help. The do-it-yourself person has a multitude of materials, industrial adhesives and tools at their disposal at local retail outlets. Saving money and achieving a sense of accomplishment are definite rewards for the handy person. However, unless you are a trained in electrical wiring, it may be wise to let the pros handle these types of repairs. Homeowners that do not properly wire their homes could lead to devastating fire conditions. You can find many contractors by doing a quick Internet search (i.e. ‘basement finishing‘). If you are a business owner, you also have to be concerned with meeting local ordinances and addressing liability concerns. So instead of getting a ladder when your sign breaks, look up a local professional on the Internet (i.e. ‘local sign repair’). Having a good work ethic is an admirable quality, but don’t be afraid to ask for professional assistance when needed. Paying a little extra now could be cheaper than damage/penalties incurred from improper workmanship.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Fever Hits Chicago

 

Retailers across the region have given Chicago much to consider this holiday shopping season. Black Friday has long been a day of significant savings for Chicago area shoppers. Stores have opened their doors early Friday morning following Thanksgiving – rewarding consumers who are willing to lose a little sleep in search for savings. Stores have also extended their sales into the following Saturday and Sunday for additional savings opportunities.

As the Internet has gained in popularity over the past several years, retailers have added one more day to extend Black Friday — Cyber Monday — where customers can enjoy savings by shopping on store websites. Once the domain of early Internet shopping pioneers; all major stores offer savings on their websites on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday (and Internet shopping in general) allow Chicago area households to buy goods from merchants across the country. For example, consumers in search of a Beautyrest mattress or Serta mattress can go to Internet mattress retailers like The Mattress Factory.

This year retailers have expanded post-Thanksgiving sales even further, by turning Black Friday into a week-long event, and even opening their doors on Thanksgiving. Most companies opened their doors Thanksgiving evening, while a few were as bold as to open up Thanksgiving morning. In addition to longer sales, the size of the promotions are increasing. For years gift sets have been used as incentive for making cosmetic purchases. This year more types of purchases earn free gifts. Numerous stores are offering gift cards, while others are using electronics. The Mattress Factory is giving away flat screen televisions on qualifying mattress purchases. The purchase of luxury mattresses, like the iComfort mattress and Beautyrest Black can mean a free TV as big as 42″!

Will these increased sales efforts result in increased revenue for retailers? If they do, we can count on even more aggressive sales next year.

Before You Hit a Chicago Area Mattress Store, Learn Your Options

The time has arrived for you to purchase a new mattress, so you prepare yourself for the barrage of choices You will no doubt encounter numerous advertisements claiming to have the best mattress for your needs. Advertisements are filled with claims of superior support and exceptional comfort – vague marketing claims at best. Educating yourself in the various types of mattresses can help you navigate the options when you visit mattress stores. Following is a brief explanation of the different types of mattresses, which should help you focus your comparison efforts. Innerspring Mattress: These mattresses contain steel tempered coils that provide support based on tension of coil framework. When comparing innerspring mattresses, your budget will dictate the level of luxury you can get. Pocket Coil Spring Mattress: Some mattresses provide an alternative support system that is comprised of individually wrapped coils. The individually wrapped coils allow for more conformity of your body, and reduce motion transfer to your sleeping partner. Foam-Based Mattresses: These are comprised of singular/multiple layers of foam material instead of metal-based springs. By conforming to your body, foam-based mattresses (i.e. Tempurpedic mattress) provide comfort and reduces transfer of motion. Since some foam-based mattresses sleep hot, you should look for those that contain heat-dissipation options. Natural Latex Mattresses: Made from latex rubber, these types of mattress provide an alternative to foam-material. If you suffer from foam-based allergies, a latex mattress can provide similar benefits without the discomfort. However, nothing beats a test-run, so head to a local mattress store and try them out to determine your final pick.

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