Blueprint cover-1 by dfgh4bnmu


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THE QUINCY HERALD-WHIG                                                  SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010                                                                                                        WWW.WHIG.COM

     Living Green
                                                               COVER STORY
                                                     Whether you’re “light green” and
                                                  experimenting with recycling to keep waste
                                                    out of landfills, or “dark green” and
                                                   planning to run your home on renewable
                                                resources, experts say it’s important to consider
                                                     your options carefully before deciding.
                                                                     PAGES 2-3

                                                                CLEARING THE AIR
                                                           After a winter of being cooped
                                                            up indoors, cabin fever is not
                                                             the worst of your problems.
                                                                     PAGES 5

                      TV SHOPPING                                                                                      FED TAX CREDITS
                         Many things                                                                                  Homeowners who are
                      to consider when                                                                                 replacing windows or
                       picking out the                                                                                other items can get tax
                      perfect television                                                                               credits if they choose
                       for your home.                                                                                    the right products.
                           PAGE 6                                                                                                        PAGE 7

                                                                                        There is no better time than
                                                                                            e s o        r
                                                                                                                    T   W
                                                                                                                RIGHT NOW
                                                                                o       e    r       g     C          !
                                                                               to upgrade your heating & A/C equipment!
                                                                                                                                  Rebates on Furnaces and AC
                                                                                                                   • Illinois instant rebates on furnace/AC up to $1,770

                                                                                                                   • Missouri Co-op customers, geothermal rebates up to                                         $750 per ton
                                                                                                                   • 30% Tax Credit for furnace/AC replacement up to
                                                                                                                       % x                                                                                      $1,500
                                                                                                                       % x
                                                                                                                   • 30% Tax Credit (no limit) for geothermal replacement or installation

                  Mr. K’s
                                                                                                                   • Gas Boiler up to                   0
                                                                                                                                                   $1,200 Instant Rebate
                                                                                                                             Certificates of product services provided at installation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                               Ask Us About

                  1726 N. 12th • Qcy • 217-222-5816
           Contact Mary Miller for all your window covering needs.
                 Visit us online at                                                                                   Now!                                             r    r W r
                                                                                                                                                                                            for your NEW or
                                                                                  301 South 7th • QCY                      217-222-5220                                                            G
                                                                                                                                                                                            EXISTING home!
                                                                                        visit or for further details on tax incentives or instant rebates.

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                                                                                           SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
2                                                                                       The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                             Blueprint

                                                                                                                 House Greening
Talking about ‘green’ living                       books, shoe boxes, shredded paper, Xerox
   YP Quincy and the Adams County Green                Glass: clear, brown and green
Coalition are hosting a free, four-part series         Plastic: Nos. 1-7, includes laundry deter-
that is being held noon-1 p.m. in the Quincy       gent containers and milk jugs, orange juice
Public Library.                                    jugs, water bottles
   The first session “Green Your Home,” with           Metals: Steel or tin cans
Pete Pohlman, met in January. Subsequent               Quincy Recycle Paper also collects items in
sessions are “Green Your Life,” Feb. 9; “Green     the county. Containers are available from 5
Your Business,” March 9 and “Green Your            p.m. Thursdays through noon Tuesdays. The
Community,” April 13. To register, contact Shel-   first weekend of the month it is in Payson; the
by Crow at                   second weekend, Liberty; third, Camp Point;
                                                   and the fourth, Mendon.
                                                                                                                    Changes around the home can make your living
Ridding yourself of ‘waste’
   Did you know that you could recycle the                                                                        conditions more environmentally friendly, but experts
cardboard tubes from your toilet paper? Or         LIttle known recyclables
your broken Christmas lights? Or your used-up          Holiday cards: Contact St. Jude’s Ranch at                   say right decision is not always the obvious one
toothbrush?                               by Feb. 28.
   The local recycler, Quincy Recycle Paper,           Christmas lights: Load them in a recyclable
                                                                                                                                  By HOLLY WAGNER                           On the other hand, geothermal sys-
will pick up some items through a cooperative      box and drop them in the mail to HolidayLEDs                                     Herald-Whig Staff Writer
                                                                                                                                                                        tems that are popular locally, that heat
arrangement with the city. Items may also be       by the end of February. The company will send                                                                        and cool homes using the earth’s relative-
dropped off.                                       you a 15 percent off coupon for new LED                          “Going green” means different things                ly standard temperature, can take as lit-
   Still other items must be sent through the      lights. For more information, see                 to different people.                                   tle as five to nine years to pay off.
mail. Some companies will send a post-paid                         “There are some people who do very                      Other things to consider are the pros
label for your recyclables.                        recycling_program. According to the U.S.                      minute things, while there are some peo-               and cons of heating with biomass fuels, he
   “We create a lot of waste,” said Jennifer       department of Energy, if all conventional incan-              ple who are to the very end of the scale               said.
Arnold, Community and Economic Develop-            descent holiday lights in the U.S. were                       green,” said Jennifer Arnold, Community                    Homeowners can make sure that what-
ment Coordinator with the University of Illinois   replaced with LED lights, annual energy sav-                  and Economic Development Coordinator                   ever system they choose, it works effi-
Extension. “Recycling helps keep these things      ings would total 2 billion kilowatt-hours —                   with the University of Illinois Extension.             ciently because their home is free of air
out of our landfills.”                             enough to power almost 200,000 homes for a                       Whether you’re “light green” and                    leaks and is well insulated.
                                                   year.                                                         experimenting with recycling to keep                       Brad Grant, a contractor with House-
                                                                                                                 waste out of the landfill, or “dark green”
City collection                                                                                                  and planning to run your home on renew-
                                                                                                                                                                        works, says insulation gives “the biggest
    Aluminum such as soda and beer cans, pie       ON THE WEB                                                    able resources, experts say to be sure to
                                                                                                                                                                        bang for the buck.” Over the past five
pans, canned goods and foil can all be collect-    ■ Adams County Green Coalition:                               consider your decision from all sides.
                                                                                                                                                                        years he says he has seen a rise in the
ed.                                                                                                                                       number of people
                                                                                                                    The right decision                                                        requesting green
    Other items that can be collected by the       aspx
city include:
                                                                                                                 is not always the                    DID YOU KNOW?                           aspects when he
                                                   ■ Pamphlet for home owners:                                   obvious one.                Reducing your speed to 55 mph from 65            remodels homes.
    Any sort of paper that tears: books, brown                                                                      “There are always
paper bags, catalogues, cardboard, chip board,                                               mph may increase your fuel efficiency by as          “People are more
                                                   ergy_savers.pdf                                               trade-offs,” said Pete
directories, envelopes, frozen concentrate                                                                                                  much as 15 percent; cut it to 55 from 70, and aware now,” he said.
                                                                                                                 Pohlman, contract                                                               Grant recommends
cans, jello and Kleenex boxes, junk mail, mag-     ■ A YouTube video on phantom energy:                          consultant with the
                                                                                                                                            you could get a 23 percent improvement.
                                                                                                                                                                                              a cellulose wall insu-
azines and newspapers, pizza boxes, phone-                           Great River Economic                                                         lation that has a
                                                                                                                 Development Founda-                  WHAT CAN YOU DO?                        higher R value than
                                                                                                                 tion.                                                                        the traditional fiber-
                                                                                                                    Pohlman recently        To travel with a lighter footstep:
                                                                                                                                                                                              glass. The R value is
                                                                                                                 spoke at the Quincy        • Stay closer to home. The less you drive,
                                                                                                                                                                                              used in the building
                                                                                                                 Public Library about       the easier your trip is on the environment.
                                                                                                                                                                                              industry to indicate
                                                                                                                 greening the home.         Instead, take an alternative form of trans-       the amount of heat
                                                                                                                 His was one in a four- portation, like a train or a bus.                     flux per unit area. He
                                                                                                                 part series that           • Increase your fuel efficiency on the road.      also insists on some
                                                                                                                 demonstrates just          Inflate your tires, and drive at a leisurely      sort of R value board
                                                                                                                 how popular the topic pace.                                                  on homes before he
                                                                                                                 has become, how            • If your trip requires flying, or driving a long installs siding.
                                                                                                                 much information           distance, rent a hybrid.                             Grant has been
                                                                                                                 there is available and                                                       busy lately with
                                                                                                                 how quickly it changes. The government                 homeowners who want to take advantage
                                                                                                                 and utilities also have been encouraging               of the $1,500 tax credit through the stim-
                                                                                                                 people to make green changes through                   ulus fund to replace their old windows
                                                                                                                 such incentives as tax credits and rebates.            with energy-efficient ones.
                                                                                                                                                                            The energy efficiency of older windows
                                                                                                                                  Energy drains                         can be improved by installing a film that
                                                                                                                                                                        mimics the low E rating of double-paned
                                                                                                                    Heating, cooling and lighting the home
                                                                                                                                                                        windows. The lightly tinted film blocks 98
                                                                                                                 are the main drains on utility use. After
                                                                                                                                                                        percent of ultra-violet rays, said Randy
                                                                                                                 that, Pohlman said, homeowners need to
                                  OUR HOMES PROVIDE:                                                                                                                    Metzger, partner at Custom Glass and
                                                                                                                 consider the appliances they use to heat
                  THE GOVERNMENT BACKED ENERGY STAR LABEL                                                                                                               Glazing.
                                                                                                                 and cool water and food, process food, do
          Home buying is complex enough without having to know all the details of                                                                                           “It cuts down on ultra-violet fading and
                                                                                                                 laundry and cleaning, conduct business
          energy-efficient construction. Instead, look for the ENERGY STAR label to                                                                                     is warmer in winter and cooler in sum-
                     easily identify homes that are truly energy efficient.                                      and what they do for fun and entertain-
                                                                                                                                                                        mer,” he said.
                                                                                                                                                                            Ameren is also offering rebates for peo-
                                     COMFORT AND QUIET                                                              People who want to run their home on
        Properly installed energy efficiency features deliver better protection against                                                                                 ple who replace their furnace, according
                                                                                                                 renewable resources, like solar or wind
       cold, heat, drafts, moisture, pollution, and noise. Our ENERGY STAR qualified                                                                                    to Grant. Furnaces should be controlled
        homes help to provide consistent temperatures, improved indoor air quality,                              power, generally make the decision
                                                                                                                                                                        by set-back thermostats that lower the
                                    and greater durability.                                                      because of their attitude toward the envi-
                                                                                                                                                                        heat automatically during the time that
                                                                                                                 ronment, Pohlman said. Depending on the
                                    LOWER MAINTENANCE                                                                                                                   the home is not occupied.
                                                                                                                 cost of the solar or wind unit, the cost of
          Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a low-maintenance home. Tight                                                                                             Then there is always the option of
                                                                                                                 power now and projected into the future,
           construction and long-lasting efficient equipment make our homes more                                                                                        wearing sweaters when it’s cold out and
          durable, helping to minimize many of the maintenance problems found in                                 factoring in tax credits and incentives,
                                                                                                                                                                        lowering the thermostat setting. The air
                                        typical homes.                                                           payback may take between 15 and 30
                                                                                                                                                                        conditioning threshold also can be raised
                                                                                                                 years, he said.
                                      SMART INVESTMENT                                                                                                                  in the summer.
       More than 725,000 ENERGY STAR qualified homes have been built across the
       country. By the end of the decade, more than 2 million homes are expected to
        earn the ENERGY STAR label, you can be confident that your home will have
        an increasingly valued feature when the time comes to sell. We are proud to
        now be a part of the ENERGY STAR program. Call us today to see about your
          own ENERGY STAR Home or for more information got to

                                                                                                                 Energy guide tags, like this one on a washer at Ayers TV and Appliance in Hannibal, Mo., list the
                                                                                                                 estimated operating cost per year and other information. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)

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                                                                                      SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
Blueprint                                                                          The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                                                 3

A City of Quincy truck dumps a load of recyclable plastics picked up around town onto a waiting conveyor at Quincy Recycle. Quincy Recycle Paper also collects items in the county. Containers are
available from 5 p.m. Thursdays through noon Tuesdays. (H-W Photo/Philip Carlson)

                 Green alternatives                                         Appliance energy needs                                    Getting the most cash back from your green home
                                                                                                                                        By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS            these programs,” Barnes said.
    Grant recommends that his remodeling clients who                Another appliance that takes careful consideration
want green alternatives for floor coverings consider            is the family’s washing machine. Tub size listings may                                                     The DSIRE lists all available
                                                                                                                                          Under a $300 million federal
flooring laminates that have a percentage of recycled           be deceptive because they take into account the                                                            incentives and rebate programs
                                                                                                                                      rebate program that recently
material. Cork and bamboo flooring are both made                amount of water used and the percentage spun out, so                                                       by state on its web site at
                                                                                                                                      started, consumers can trade in
from renewable resources.                                       that driers have to do less work. However, the number                                            
                                                                                                                                      their energy-sucking appliances
    Mohawk has offered a new carpeting option called            of loads may go up.                                                                                            The greening of American
                                                                                                                                      for more efficient models, but
Smartstrand, said Trent Schlueter, owner of Abbey                   The energy efficiency of refrigerators keeps rising,                                                   homes saves consumers money,
                                                                                                                                      there are other ways to save
Carpets in Quincy. Thirty-seven percent of Smart-               but what they gain in efficiency they have lost in lifes-                                                  protects the environment and
                                                                                                                                      money while making a home
strand is made from a corn sugar-based renewable                pan. As compressors keep getting lighter so they don’t                                                     helps stimulate the broader
                                                                                                                                      more energy efficient.
resource.                                                       draw so much power, they have only a seven- to 12-                                                         economy. By adding more insula-
                                                                                                                                          Most utilities, states and
    “That’s as good as it gets,” he said. “It’s the first new   year lifespan compared to the less-efficient models that                                                   tion to the attic and walls, for
                                                                                                                                      even some local governments
fiber since nylon came out.”                                    lasted 30 to 40 years.                                                                                     example, homeowners can cut
    A simple change that even the lightest-green home-              At Ayers TV and Appliance, most units are marked                  offer their own programs to give
                                                                                                                                                                           their heating consumption up to
owner can make is to swap out traditional bulbs for             with Energy Star ratings. Energy Star is a govern-                    homeowners a break when they
                                                                                                                                                                           half. And whether homeowners
compact fluorescents. While the initial cost of the bulbs       ment-backed program that helps people protect the                     buy new appliances, insulate, or
                                                                                                                                                                           tackle projects themselves or
is higher, they use a fraction of the energy, and the cost      environment by indicating what it considers to be                     install alternative energy sources
                                                                                                                                                                           hire professionals, that spending
is coming down. Pohlman projected that CFLs can                 superior energy efficiency. Dishwashers, refrigerators,               like solar or wind power. The
                                                                                                                                                                           helps retailers and manufactur-
save 65 to 70 percent on lighting utility costs, while          washing machines and TVs are some of the appliances                   federal government also recently
                                                                                                                                                                           ers and ripples through other
the even more energy-efficient LEDs can save up to 90           that are rated, said Mike Downing, manager at Ayers.                  increased its two tax credits to
percent.                                                            The TV and entertainment system, while running                    help pay for more efficient heat-
                                                                                                                                                                               Of course, homeowners may
    He recommends homeowners keep outside lights on             cooler than the previous generation of cathode-ray                    ing, cooling and water-heating
                                                                                                                                                                           still have to shell out thousands
motion sensors and take advantage of natural light              tubes, are one of the greatest users of what is called                equipment, as well as wind,
                                                                                                                                                                           of dollars to make energy effi-
where possible.                                                 phantom energy.                                                       solar and geothermal systems
                                                                                                                                                                           cient improvements, and that
    When considering whether a tankless water heater                That is the electricity that homeowners are paying                and fuel cells.
                                                                                                                                                                           might be a tough decision in lean
or heating a tank of water is more energy efficient,            for even when an appliance is turned off. Arnold rec-                     The programs run the gamut
Pohlman advises homeowners to take into account the             ommends unplugging things that are not in use. This
                                                                                                                                      with some states funneling hun-
BTUs (thermal units) needed to raise water to the tem-          is particularly important for cell phone and digital                                                           “They care about putting food
                                                                                                                                      dreds of million of dollars into
perature needed, and how big a unit will be required to         camera rechargers and computers, microwaves, and                                                           on the table, paying the mort-
                                                                                                                                      certain programs and through
take care of the family’s needs. It might take three            DVD players.                                                                                               gage and college tuition,” said
                                                                                                                                      utilities, said Justin Barnes, a
times as many BTUs to raise the temperature of water                Phantom energy use can account for 5 percent of a                                                      Steven Nadal, executive director
                                                                                                                                      policy analyst at the Database of
through a tankless heater, compared to raising the              homeowner’s utility costs.                                                                                 at the American Council for an
                                                                                                                                      State Incentives for Renewables
temperature of water in a heated, insulated tank.                   Regardless of one’s commitment to saving the envi-                                                     Energy-Efficient Economy, or
                                                                                                                                      and Efficiency, or DSIRE.
Then costs of the units and the cost of heating the tank        ronment, it’s always nice to save money. “Going green”                                                     ACEEE. “This is not a top priority
                                                                                                                                      “The tricky part is finding all
all day need to be considered along with the family’s           offers a variety of ways to cut down on utility costs                                                      in a lot of households.”
needs.                                                          while being good to Mother Earth.

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       Quincy Appliance
              1     e         , L        )
            801 Maine • Quincy, IL • (217) 224-5033


                                                                                                                     420 S. 7th • Quincy • 217-223-GLAS • (223-4527) • or 800-228-8780
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                                                                                  SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
4                                                                              The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                                    Blueprint

An open window
 to your world
     These ‘how-to’ tips can spice up your
          fabric window treatments
         By MARY CAROL GARRITY                 favorite window treatment. I love how
             Scripps Howard News Service
                                               simple drapes frame a window, adding a
                                               whisper of softness without overwhelming
   My 140-year-old home is a bit off-kilter.
                                               the view.
None of the windows, walls or floors is
                                                  The first step is to decide on the panel
square, which means when you try to
                                               length that works best for your lifestyle
dress them in drapes, it's impossible to
                                               and room. If you want to open and close
get a neat, uniform look. So I opted to
                                               your curtains daily, Kelly suggests finish-              The right window treatments send a room to a whole new place. (SHNS Photo)
cover my windows in simple wooden shut-
                                               ing the drapes 1/2 inch above the floor.
ters. While I adore the streamlined look, I
                                               For a softer, fuller feel, let them break                   Finally, refuse to skimp on your curtain            instance, LuAnn, who works with me at
miss the luxury and richness of fabulous
                                               like a man's trouser, finishing them 1 or 2              lining. Using the right lining will make               Nell Hill's, just did the most gorgeous cor-
fabric window treatments.
                                               inches longer. For a truly luxurious look,               your drapes look professional and beauti-              nice and drapery treatment for her hus-
   Luckily, I get to live vicariously
                                               let them puddle between 5 to 12 inches on                ful. Be sure to use only liner that is the             band's study that I've seen in years. She
through friends and customers who ask
                                               the floor.                                               same kind of fiber as the face fabric,                 started the room by covering the walls in
me to help them dress their windows. I
                                                  Regarding width, the current trend is                 whether it's a natural fiber like silk or a            a Burberry-style plaid featuring camel,
enjoy every minute I spend working with
                                               to hang the panels on the outside edges of               synthetic fiber like polyester. Otherwise,             black, cream and red. Then she covered
gorgeous fabrics, trims and accents, help-
                                               the window so all the window glass is                    the face fabric and liner will hang differ-            padded cornices with black wool fabric,
ing people design the window coverings
                                               exposed. To give them enough fullness,                   ently. Kelly often uses blackout fabric to             piped them in red and put her husband's
that will finish their spaces beautifully.
                                               make the panels two and a half times the                 prevent the sunlight from shining through              monogram at the center of each cornice
   Here are a few of my favorite fabric
                                               width of the window. A lined, regular-                   the face fabric, detracting from its beauty            using red thread. She completed the treat-
window treatments, plus some "how to"
                                               weight drapery treatment occupies one-                   and causing sun damage. To achieve the                 ment with long, lush drapes in a black-
tips from Kelly, the drapery goddess who
                                               third of the total rod, so if you want the               best finished look, also use interlining,              and-cream toile fabric featuring a hunting
makes all the custom drapes for Nell
                                               panels to stack completely off the window,               like flannel, between your face fabric and             scene. The finished look was smart and
                                               make the curtain rod a third longer than                 back lining. You'll be amazed by the extra             stylish, with an unexpected hint of fun.
                                               the width of the window.                                 body and beauty you get when you                          CAFE CURTAINS: For smaller win-
DRAPES: Panels have to be my all-time-
                                                                                                        include this extra layer.                              dows, like those above your kitchen sink,
                                                                                                           ROMAN SHADES: Roman shades are                      my favorite treatment is the ever-popular,
                                                                                                        a great pick for people who have gorgeous              singularly romantic cafe curtain. Hang
                                                                                                        wood molding they want to show off. I                  them about two-thirds the way up the
                                                                                                        love how these tailored shades give you a              window so plenty of sunlight can stream
                                                                                                        custom, sleek appearance, offer total pri-             in, yet you have a bit of privacy.
                                                                                                        vacy and sun protection, and insulate
                                                                                                        against drafts.                                           Mary Carol Garrity is the propri-
                                                                                                           CORNICES: Get ready, because cor-                   etor of three successful home-fur-
                                                                                                        nices are back, and right now people are               nishings stores and is the author of
                                                                                                        reinventing this classic window treatment              several best-selling books on home
                                                                                                        in dozens of interesting ways. For                     decorating

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                                                                                            SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
Blueprint                                                                                The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                                                 5

What are you breathing?
        Indoor air quality can be an issue in homes
           that are sealed up tight in the winter.
          One solution is installing an air purifier.
       By HOLLY WAGNER                       Headaches and fatigue, short-         whole-house systems to table-top
          Herald-Whig Staff Writer
                                          ness of breath; sinus congestion,        units that just take care of a
                                          cough and sneezing; eye, nose,           room.
    After a winter of being cooped        throat, and skin irritation; and            The first step is to decide
up indoors, cabin fever is not the        dizziness and nausea can all be          what problem the air improve-
worst of your problems.                   signs that your air is plagued by        ment system will solve, said
    Ever think about the air that         irritants.                               Kent McCormick, salesman at
you’re breathing?                            Not everyone has the same             Peters Heating and Air Condi-
    The tighter your house is shut        sensitivities, so it’s possible one      tioning.
up, the less air exchange there           member of the family will suffer            He and Terstegge will recom-
is. As a result, you could be             no symptoms while another                mend different products if a cus-               One air-purifying solution is a stand-alone
rebreathing the same air, the             experiences trouble.                     tomer just wants cleaner air or if              unit like this one, which can be placed in
same germs and mold spores                   Poor indoor air quality can be        he has a specific need, such as                 the room where it’s needed most.
over and over again.                      particularly bothersome for              trying to remedy an asthma
    “Studies have been done that          someone suffering from a respi-          problem.                                      humidifier as well will ensure           Shawn Woods, sales specialist.
a cold virus goes through a fur-          ratory disease like allergies or            Both install systems on a fur-             that the air stays moist all win-        These units also can remove pet
nace seven times before it’s cap-         asthma.                                  nace that will remove at least 99             ter. These units can cost around         dander, dust and allergens.
tured,” said Jamie Terstegge,                There are a range of things           percent of flu germs, dust and                $1,600.                                    They are particularly ideal for
comfort consultant at Air Spe-            that can be done to clean the air        mold spores, anthrax, air-borne                  For those who want to spend           putting near an ashtray when
cialists. “Just because you’re            in one’s house, including adding         pathogens, cooking smells and                 less money, Lowes carries table-         one member of the family
over with a sickness, doesn’t             air purifiers. Purifiers come in a       small particulates in the air                 top and tower models that will           smokes, Woods said.
mean it’s out of the home.”               variety of sizes and types from          from the house. Installing a                  clean the air in a room, said                      —

    The experts recommend other ways to                                       ters according to manufacturer’s                                                   • Avoid carpeting and other furnishings
 improve the quality of air in a home:                                        directions.                                                                        that accumulate dust and harbor mites.
 • Clean ducts. Both Peters and Air Special-                                  • Avoid ozone generators, which                                                    • Control harmful gases. Test for radon
 ists will vacuum the dust out of air ducts                                   emit hazardous levels of ozone.                                                    with a kit (about $15). Minimize carbon-
 and vents. A duct system can accumulate                                      • Encase pillows, mattresses and                                                   monoxide risks; don’t idle cars or fuel-burn-
 40 pounds of dust a year.                                                    box springs in mite-proof covers.                                                  ing equipment in garages or basements.
 • Ban indoor smoking.                                                                                                                                           Don’t store or use chemicals, solvents,
                                                                              • Avoid candles, incense, air                                                      glues or pesticides in the house.
 • Keep pets out of bedrooms.                                                 fresheners, wood-burning fires
                                                                              and scented cleaners.                                                              • Vent heating equipment and appliances
 • Open windows whenever possible.                                                                                                                               properly. This includes maintaining heating
 • Use outdoor-venting fans in the bathroom,                                  • Vacuum often, using a low-         Mold spores                                   equipment, chimneys and vents to properly
 kitchen and laundry.                                                         emissions machine.                                                              remove combustion gases such as carbon
                                              A dust mite
                                                                            • Wash laundry in the hottest water possible.                    monoxide from indoors. Install carbon-monoxide alarms.
 • Maintain heating equipment and change fil-

 Benefits of glass fireplace doors ... stopping noise from coming indoors
        EAR JIM: I think my               is not a difficult job to do your-       you already have a new primary                lever down for a while to make it
        fireplace could benefit           self and it does not require a           entrance door that should be                  flush properly. What did I do
        from installing glass             licensed expert. You will need           very airtight.                                wrong? — Steve H.
doors. How are glass doors in-            special drill bits for the masonry.          Check for other gaps in your

stalled on a masonry fireplace? Is                                                 house walls which could be                          TEVE: This is not uncom-

this something I can do myself,                 ear Jim: We have a                 sealed. Window drapes may also                      mon and you probably
or do I need to have a licensed                 problem with noise com-            help.                                               installed it properly.
expert do it? — Celeste P.                      ing in from outdoors. We               For people who do not have a                 It sounds as though you
                                          have installed new windows                                                             bought a water-saving flapper
                                                                                   new front door, installing a tight
                                                                                                                                                                            James Dulley
       ELESTE: An open mason-             and an insulated fiberglass              fitting storm door can reduce the             valve (fits in the tank bottom).
       ry fireplace almost always         door which helped, but not               noise transmission. This is usu-              These often require a slightly                  Nationally-syndicated columnist
       loses more heat than it            enough. Will installing a new                                                                                                         who offers do-it-yourself ideas to
produces, so you should definite-                                                  ally cheaper than installing a                longer hold for flushing.
                                          storm door make much differ-                                                              Also, check to make sure the              improve energy efficiency at home.
ly install glass doors. Get good-                                                  new primary door.
                                          ence? — Linda S.                                                                       chain connecting the flush lever
quality ones that seal well and
                                                                                                                                 to the flapper does not have

                                                                                          EAR JIM: I just installed                                                         Send inquiries to James

allow you to adjust and control                 INDA: In your case,
the inlet air.                                  installing a new storm                    a new flapper valve in the             excessive slack. Tighten it up if        Dulley, Quincy Herald-Whig,
    Most glass fireplace doors are              door will likely not do a lot             toilet tank because the                necessary. If the flapper has            6906 Royalgreen Drive,
mounted to the brick or stone             to reduce the outdoor noise              old one did not seal properly.                adjustable drain hole sizes, try         Cincinnati, OH 45244, or visit
around the fireplace opening. It          transmission. This is because            Now I have to hold the flush                  different settings.            

    Insulation Qualifies for the Consumer
       Energy Tax Credit up to $1500*
                                         (30% of cost)                          *Some restrictions apply.

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                                                                                              SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
6                                                                                          The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                                        Blueprint

  Flat-screen TV 101
 Buyer has to know
 where he’ll watch
 it, where to put it,
 how to put it there
           Herald-Whig Staff Writer

    Do your homework.
    That’s the best advice before
shopping for a new flat-screen
    Along with trying to decide
between the newest generation
of screens (LED), or its predeces-
sors (LCD and plasma), there
are plenty of other items to con-
    One of the most important
things to consider before buying
a flat-screen TV is where and
how to attach it to your wall.
    “You have to be careful,
because you can lose brightness
(and/or) picture quality if you
don’t have it at the proper view-
ing angle,” said Mike Downing,
manager of Ayers TV and Appli-
ance in Hannibal, Mo.
    The height of the placement             Ayers TV and Appliance in Hannibal, Mo., stocks several different types of mounting brackets for small to very large flat-screen televisions. How to anchor a
of the flat screen will determine           flat-screen TV to the wall is an important consideration before buying one. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
what degree — if any — it
needs to be tilted for the best             investment, its an advisable pre-             R.L. Cultrona, a contributing                   items as DVD or Blu-ray disc                  away from the television the
viewing enjoyment.                          caution to use a pro to set up             writer for the Web site                            players has become relatively                 principal viewing furniture will
    Most reputable electronics              your system. The peace of not    , says placing                         simple, but that’s another                    be arranged.
businesses that deal with flat-             having to worry about your                 wires in a wall is possible but                    process that can be easily han-                  Downing doesn’t feel it has to
screen TVs and similar products             investment crashing to the floor           requires time and special skills.                  dled by a professional during                 be made that difficult or compli-
now offer installation. Unless              is worth a few additional dollars.            “A good solution to this prob-                  installation.                                 cated. What the viewers are
you are extraordinarily talented               Another issue for wall-mount-           lem is to purchase a wire cover,                       There always has been con-                most comfortable with is the best
in that area, it is an excellent            ed televisions is wire placement.          which can be mounted to the                        siderable discussion on what size             formula, he feels.
idea to consider leaving the                Without some sort of masking,              wall below the television and                      of flat screen is best-suited for                “I really don’t think it’s that
installation to the professionals.          the wires and cables will be               painted to look like the rest of                   particular sizes of rooms. One                much of an issue,” Downing said.
    It might cost a bit more, but           exposed and can look extremely             the room,” Cultrona writes.                        national chain has a formula
considering the size of the                 messy.                                        Downing says attaching such                     based on the number of feet

     For many families, the big flat-        er. He finds that clients over 45 want        Stuart Silloway, training manager             wall that can tilt or swivel. There are       BE SEATED
 screen TV has become the contempo-          to hide the set, so for them he will      for consumer electronics at Samsung,              motorized versions that may be oper-              For clients with a designated
 rary fireplace — the focal point of         design a custom cabinet or select         recommends measuring the distance                 ated from a remote.                           media room, Salvator has installed
 the room and the spot where the             one ready-made. Media cabinets are        from viewer to screen and dividing it                                                           tiered seating like a movie theater.
 family gathers. The challenge is to         available from many sources, includ-      by three to get the screen size. If it’s          WHAT ABOUT THE WIRES?                         But for most people, a comfortable
 get it installed to ensure the best         ing Ikea and Pottery Barn.                120 inches from eye to TV, for exam-                  A tangle of wires can scar the            sofa and swivel chairs with an
 viewing without wrecking your home               In a media room he designed for a    ple, you should have a 40-inch set.               look of a room. When possible, make           ottoman serve well. An upholsterer
 decor.                                      family in New Jersey, Salvator made           The feel will be like sitting in the          them disappear by running them                can convert your favorite chair to a
     Ahead of the Super Bowl, the            the TV a star, hanging it above a fire-   back third of a movie theater, Sil-               behind the wall, or with the proper           swivel.
 Olympics and Hollywood awards               place and framing it with the sur-        loway says. If you prefer sitting clos-           equipment, you can have all the
 viewing season, here are some tips.         rounding paneling. For those without      er to the front, adjust the formula               apparatus in a different room or in a         LIGHTING
                                             a separate media room, study or fam-      accordingly.                                      closet.                                           “The darker the room, the better
 HIDE OR HANG?                               ily room, he says, “the living room is        Salvator has a sofa facing a TV on                Silloway says that with dry wall          the image,” Silloway says. He recom-
     Mark Langos, who heads his own          ‘every room.’ It is the largest room in   a wall in his office so his clients can           construction, running the wires               mends installing blackout shades and
 interior design firm in Los Angeles,        the house. Put the TV there and dress     try out the viewing distance. You can             behind the wall is a relatively simple        minimizing any lighting that might
 reports that on the West Coast, the         the room down to an informal decor        try this at a neighbor’s house or even            process that most professional                reflect off the screen.
 big-screen television is treated as “a      so it really gets used.”                  in a store.                                       installers can manage, and if you are             However, “even movie theaters
 fact of life and work of art.” Most              For those situations, Scott recom-       “Kids,” Salvator says, “generally             handy, you can do it yourself. Plaster        have some ambient light,” says Lan-
 often he prefers hanging it on a wall       mends country style as “easy to do,       like to be right up close to the TV.”             walls present a greater challenge.            gosm who suggests putting lights on
 to save space. Langos, who favors           happy and forgiving of stains.”               While a TV usually should be                      “Always make sure the installer           dimmers.
 clean, contemporary designs, advises                                                  placed eye-level from a seated posi-              you hire is bonded and insured,” Sil-             Consider the time of day when
 against putting the TV in a packed          BEST VIEWING DISTANCE?                    tion, in bedrooms it generally should             loway says.                                   you do most of your TV viewing. If it
 armoire where other objects may dis-           Most TVs perform best when             be somewhat higher, to be viewed                      For those whose budgets allow it,         is at night, you probably do not need
 tract from the screen.                      viewed straight on. The screen size       from the bed without craning your                 media systems may be integrated               blackout shades.
     “It’s generational,” says Scott Sal-    should depend on the viewer’s dis-        neck. Langos recommends putting                   with lighting and window shades, all
 vator, a New York City-based design-        tance from it.                            the TV on an adjustable mount on the              of which may be operated remotely.                         — The Associated Press

                                                                                                                              EVALUATE YOUR HOME’S FOUNDATION
                                                                                                                                    HOUSE SETTLING? WALLS BOWING? WATER PROBLEMS?
                                                                                                                             Call in the Professionals!                        H    ave you noticed any of the following?
                                                                                                                                                                                             Cracked Dry Walls
                                                                                                                                                                                             Cracked Ceilings
                                                                                                                                                                                             Uneven/Sunken Concrete Slabs
                                                                                                                                                                                             Cracked Brick or Mortar
                                                                                                                                                                                             Sticking Windows or Doors
                                                                                                                                                                               If you see any of these, call Tri-State
                                                                                                                                                                               Concrete Correction Company. They
                                                                                                                                     OF ILLINOIS, IOWA & MISSOURI              will fix the problem guaranteed with a
                                                                                                                                                                               lifetime transferable warranty.
                                                                                                                                    Quincy, IL (217) 222-8582
                                                                                                                                    Toll Free: (800) 732-4300

                                                                                                                                            Concrete and Structural Repair
                                                                                                                                    Including Lifting Settled Concrete - Mudjacking
  Peggy Junk         Hugh Roderick Patti Westerman                                                                                 Factory Floors          Sidewalks               Porches            Garage Floors
 MEMBER                                                                                                                            Basement Floors         Driveways               Fill Voids         Patios
 FDIC                                                                                            EQUAL HOUSING

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                                                                                      SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
Blueprint                                                                          The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                                         7

A sign reminding customers of government tax credits for select windows and doors hangs in the aisle at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Quincy. The 2009 stimulus program allows homeown-
ers to receive the tax credits if they install energy-efficient doors, windows and water heaters, or complete home improvement projects to increase energy efficiency. (H-W Photo/Philip Carlson)

        By DOUG WILSON
          Herald-Whig Senior Writer

   Homeowners who are replac-
ing windows, roofs, doors, heat-
                                           Credit Credit
     Home improvement projects that boost energy efficiency can produce powerful tax savings
                                          But after learning about the tax
                                          credit, they might replace all the
                                          windows in the house or those
                                          along one entire side.
                                              “People get excited about it,”
                                                                                       is due
                                                                               claim the tax credit, which is
                                                                               entered on Line 52 of 1040 tax
                                                                               forms. Information about the tax
                                                                               credit program is available at
                                                                      The Web
                                                                                                                           customers should consider when
                                                                                                                           they hire contractors. Energy-
                                                                                                                           efficient shingles will help insu-
                                                                                                                           late a home or business, but they
                                                                                                                           need the right underlying felt or
                                                                                                                                                                 what they replace, buyers are
                                                                                                                                                                 very interested.
                                                                                                                                                                     The tax incentives originally
                                                                                                                                                                 were expected to come to an end
                                                                                                                                                                 in 2009, but the program has
ing and cooling systems or sever-         Ellerman said.                       site also has a list of approved            other materials to work as they       been extended through 2010 —
al other items can get federal                Curt Bennett, president of       products.                                   are designed.                         giving more people a chance to
income tax credits if they choose         Bennett and Middendorf, has             Tina Lohman, office manager                  Blown insulation is an easy       qualify.
qualifying energy-efficient prod-         gotten questions from the people     at American Builders Supply,                energy credit for homeowners or           “Small projects grow when
ucts.                                     whose income tax forms he pre-       said there has been some confu-             home builders, who also qualify       people find out about the bene-
   Rich Ellerman, operations              pares. Bennett tells them the        sion among people whose tax                 for tax credits. Business owners      fits of the tax rebates,” Ellerman
manager at the Lowe’s Store in            maximum tax credit is $1,500         preparers want them to prove                also will find tax credits they can   said.
Quincy, said the tax credits are          on $5,000 in spending on items       their home improvements boost-              claim under the stimulus pro-             Lohman is able to tell people
an important incentive.                   that improve efficiency. Storm       ed energy efficiency. Lohman has            gram.                                 she’s a true believer in the pro-
   “This has been going on for            doors, water heaters and blown-      been sending out energy equiva-                 Lohman said some of her           gram.
more than a year,” Ellerman               in insulation are among the          lent scores on windows to help              clients have been sold on items           “I bought energy-efficient win-
said. “The publicity is out there,        things that can trigger tax cred-    convince the accountants.                   that improve energy efficiency        dows for my daughter’s beauty
but some of the customers do not          its.                                    “Energystar is good. We have             and improve buildings in other        salon, and I bought them for the
always know about it.”                        “For a person who needs to do    Energystar shingles and win-                ways, as well.                        old Victorian house, too,”
   He has seen customers come             those things, it makes sense,”       dows, and a tax credit will be                  “We’ve got new mold-free          Lohman said.
into the store, looking for a sin-        Bennett said.                        given with those,” Lohman said.             shingles” she said, and if they
gle window they plan to replace.              IRS Form 5695 is used to            There are other variables that           have a better energy rating than               —

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                                                                                           SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
8                                                                                       The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                       Blueprint

Planning to build a new home? Keep your ‘eyes wide open’
       Herald-Whig Staff Writer

    You are ready to build
your new home and excit-
ed about the project. How-
ever, there are many
things to consider before
breaking ground.
    The home-building
process includes finding a
banker, a builder and a
lot. Then you must figure
out what covenants and
ordinance issues are in
your new neighborhood,
even the size of house
allowed on the lot.
    “They need to go into it
with eyes wide open,” says
Tim Koontz, president of
Dale Koontz Builders in
Quincy. “They really need
to do their homework.”
    Financing is one of the
first issues to consider.
Interest rates are still low,
says Mike Mahair of State
Street Bank in Quincy. In
late January, the 30-year
rate was about 5.1 per-
cent, and the 15-year rate            Dave Tieman with Dale Koontz Builders hangs cabinets in the kitchen area at Hickory Point apartments at 45th and State. The home-building process includes find-
was about 4.3 percent.                ing a banker, a builder and a lot. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
    “We are anticipating              both the builder and the        good times to talk about                      Covenants have wide        your own custom home               Koontz says subdivi-
the rates to be pretty sta-           bank to make sure the           getting contractors, costs                 ranges of conditions. Some    with a builder is you can       sions built by one contrac-
ble for the first half of             project gets started and        and bids together, and we                  neighborhoods will allow      tailor it to individual         tor can be beneficial ver-
2010, then after mid-year             stays the course.               are starting to see a good                 only certain kinds of fenc-   needs.                          sus a subdivision with sev-
we are anticipating the                  Quincy banks in gener-       number of those calls.”                    ing or driveways. Some           Where to build is an         eral contractors.
rates might start creeping            al are still lending money         Then comes the deci-                    will enforce minimum          issue, too. If you go outside      “Builder exclusive
up,” Mahair said. “Right              for new home construction,      sions like where to build,                 square footage on the         Quincy city limits, county      homes tend to see a lot
now they are still very               Mahair said.                    how big of a home to build,                house, require homes to       land can be considerably        more custom homes being
attractive.”                             “Right now is the slow       and if the subdivision has                 have brick or stone, even     cheaper. But city land          built,” he said. “It doesn’t
    Some builders will                season but we are starting      certain covenant rules.                    limit things like vegetable   offers amenities like water,    mean the builder controls
include financing when                to get calls with the idea      Builders and clients need                  gardens and clotheslines.     sewer and power hookups.        the taste, but it does con-
bidding on new home con-              construction will pick up       to carefully go over                          Some even limit what       Rural areas offer chal-         trol the quality and the
struction. Others will have           when it gets warmer,”           covenants, or neighbor-                    you can park on the drive-    lenges like well water and      size of the home.”
payment plans. New home               Mahair said. “January,          hood rules, before starting                way.                          how to run power to the
builders need to work with                                                                                                                                                        — / 221-3370
                                      February and March are          the project.                                  The beauty of designing    home.

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                                                                                                   SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
Blueprint                                                                                       The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                                   9

                                               RECYCLED CHIC
Vintage items
used in
clever ways
give homes
more character
           Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

   People who wander into Habi-
tat for Humanity ReStores or
similar used-goods outlets
around the nation are usually
looking for used and surplus
building materials.
   But then they get turned on
by appliances ranging from
almost-new to truly vintage,
with price tags ranging from
$135 to $375 for ovens from the                    An old cast-iron wood-burning stove for sale at Construction Junction in Pittsburgh. (SHNS Photo)
1930s to the 1990s.
   Mike Gable, executive direc-                    netmakers supply company.                   “They fly out of here,” Gable            $3,200, less than 10 percent of    century-old former hardware
tor of Construction Junction in                    Eight-by-4-foot pieces of red oak        said.                                       what it cost new.                  store as a customer, is
Pittsburgh, said kitchen cabi-                     veneer plywood sell for $32 for 1-          Kitchen cabinets and appli-                 Ovens, many of which look       impressed with the creativity
nets, bathtubs, sinks, doors and                   inch-thick sheets and $17 for            ances are big sellers at Habitat            like new on the inside, average    people show with reused mate-
hardware are the staples of their                  1/4-inch.                                in Washington, Pa., said Sandi              about $135, and refrigerators      rial. Next to boxes of surplus
business. But you never know                          The warehouse sells doors for         Kern, ReStore manager. Most                 range from $100 to $300. Light-    ceramic tile, she posted a photo
what else will turn up.                            $20-$50, clawfoot tubs for $150-         cabinet sets run about $500.                ing fixtures are popular, and      of a mosaic floor a local woman
   The nonprofit recently                          $200 and oak church pews cut             However, volunteers are still               most sell for between $1 and       created for her screen porch
received six tractor-trailer loads                 into 4- or 5-foot sections for           talking about the 18-piece set of           $90.                               with tile shards.
of new sheet goods from a cabi-                    $125-$200.                               cherry cabinetry that went for                 Kern, who first came into the

Tackling an interior-design project
Break up remodeling task into smaller pieces
    By ROSEMARY SADEZ FRIEDMANN                                 Both floors and walls will also need a
                Scripps Howard News Service
                                                             color scheme, and while these are usually
                                                             the last to be completed before furniture
   Thinking of starting a new interior-
                                                             is delivered, the decisions still need to be
design project? Good for you.
                                                             made before other items can be purchased
   Are you a bit apprehensive of the mis-
                                                             or worked on.
sion? You’re not alone.
                                                                Rooms that will be the most difficult to
   Designing the interi-
                                                                                     deal with in terms
or of a home is very
                                                                                     of redoing and deco-
rewarding, but can be
overwhelming. Think of
                                               Start with the areas                  rating are the bed-
                                                                                     rooms, bathrooms
the venture as an                                that will be the                    and kitchen,
opportunity, not a prob-
lem. Break it up into                         largest to cover, such                 because these are
                                                                                     the most-used
small, bite-sized pieces
rather than trying to
                                               as floors and walls.                  rooms in the house
                                                                                     as well as the most
tackle the whole idea at                      Those are your back-                   personal. Yes, the
   If the entire house is                     drops and your basics                  family room is lived
                                                                                     in, but as far as dis-
going to be redone, keep
in mind that a major
                                              when starting. Decide                  placement, the
                                                                                     aggravation of an
interior job will most                        on carpet, tile, marble                unfinished family
likely take more time
than estimated. Expect                        or wood for the floors.                room is a little less
                                                                                     distressing than
delays. Keep in mind
that everything will be
                                              For the walls, decide                  that of a kitchen or
displaced, meaning                            on wallpaper or paint                     The good thing
your clothes, the
kitchen pots, pans,                               or faux paint.                     about interior
                                                                                     design is that there
dishes, etc., will have to
                                                                                     is no right or wrong,
be placed in containers.
                                                                                     just degrees of
   The TV room, dining
                                                             appropriateness. And most importantly, as
room and bedrooms will not be as com-
                                                             long as the finished product is to your lik-
fortable as you are used to, what with all
                                                             ing, the project is a success. Always keep
the upheaval. And while it may seem like
                                                             in mind that you are the one living in the
an eternity at times, be patient: It will all
                                                             home, not the designer or a friend or rela-
be worth it.
                                                             tive. All those other people can give you
   Before starting anything, it is best to
                                                             ideas, suggestions and guidance, if you’d
have a game plan. If money is no object,
                                                             like, but the final decision must be yours.
the best thing to do is to leave the work to
                                                                So go ahead and start planning your
a professional and go on a three-month
                                                             moves and moving your plans until your
                                                             dreams become a reality. You’ll be glad
   Since that is usually not the case, con-
                                                             you did.
sider doing one room at a time. Start with
the areas that will be the largest to cover,
                                                                Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an
such as floors and walls. Those are your
                                                             interior designer in Naples, Fla., is
backdrops and your basics when starting.
                                                             author of “Mystery of Color.” For
Decide on carpet, tile, marble or wood for
                                                             design inquiries, write to Rosemary
the floors. For the walls, decide on wallpa-
per or paint or faux paint.

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                                                                               SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
10                                                                          The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                             Blueprint

Turning ordinary into

Couple’s desire for spa-like escape in master bath is complete


                                                                                                                                                                                               SHNS Photos

             By CANDICE OLSON                 happily sink into a bath at the end of a               vanity that features a gorgeous, white-     splash for the soaker tub and vanity.
               Home and Garden Television
                                              hectic day. So I grabbed my crew and                   quartz countertop, a contemporary ves-      The tile matches the green in the solid
                                              got set to give this hardworking couple                sel sink and wooden storage cabinets.       glass vessel sink and the painted glass
      Tonia and Francis have traveled the
                                              a beautiful, spa-like bathroom that                       On one side of the vanity, I installed   in the luxurious shower.
   world and have lived on three conti-
                                              would help turn stressful days into                    a new toilet, and on the other, a huge,        Then, because this is no ordinary
   nents. But with three young children
                                              soothing nights.                                       24-inch soaker tub, surrounded by the       bathroom, I put in extraordinary light-
   and a brand-new baby, they decided
                                                 The bathroom sat adjacent to a                      same white quartz as the countertop.        ing. In addition to recessed lighting in
   the time was right to move back home
                                              small dressing room that Tonia and                     To keep the warmth of the wood flow-        the ceiling, I also put in two gorgeous
   and put down roots. They bought a big
                                              Francis never used, so I kicked off the                ing throughout the space, I added a         sconces on each side of the vanity mir-
   house near their families that needed a
                                              redesign by tearing down the wall                      cabinet for linens and laundry right        ror, and put up a brilliant crystal fix-
   bit of work, and expended all their
                                              between the two rooms and making it                    beside the tub.                             ture over the tub, so Tonia will have a
   effort into updating their kids’ rooms.
                                              into one large space. I got rid of the                    Across from the vanity, I put in a       great view while she is soaking.
   But they got stalled when it came to
                                              dated striped wallpaper and put up a                   fantastic shower with a frameless glass        This bathroom was cramped, clut-
   their own space, specifically their mas-
                                              light, fresh coat of paint. I also ripped              enclosure. It boasts a rain shower, a       tered and dingy. By adding luxurious
   ter bathroom. The room’s awkward lay-
                                              up the ugly, cracked flooring and put                  steam shower, body sprays and a             fixtures, fabulous finishes and a relax-
   out, grungy tub and peeling wallpaper
                                              down some large-scale marble tiles                     white-quartz bench on which to sit and      ing color scheme, I turned it into a
   made it the last place these busy par-
                                              with heated flooring below.                            take it all in.                             calm, refreshing oasis to which Tonia
   ents wanted to spend any time.
                                                 On a wall, I put in a gorgeous mir-                    I wanted the room to be calm and         and Francis can retreat from the chaos
      So they called me to see if I could
                                              ror, two small windows draped in soft,                 refreshing, so I chose cool, watery         of everyday life. Now that’s divine!
   provide a refuge where they could
                                              translucent blinds and cabinets built                  greens for the color scheme. I selected
   unwind and relax. Tonia, in particular,                                                                                                        Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s
                                              out of warm, rich mahogany. Below                      a small, green marble mosaic tile for
   was aching for a place where she could                                                                                                          “Divine Design.” For more ideas, information and
                                              this installment, I placed a stunning                  the steam shower and for the back-                            show times, visit


                                                       License #127-000964

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                                                                                        SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
Blueprint                                                                            The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                                                     11

                                                                                                              Make your own home spa
                                                                                                              and then pamper yourself
                                                                                                                        By MARY CAROL GARRITY
                                                                                                                              Scripps Howard News Service
                                                                                                                                                                          LINENS: There’s nothing like wrapping
                                                                                                                                                                          yourself in a soft, fluffy towel after a good
                                                                                                                                                                          soak in the tub. If your towels are past
                                                                                                                  For me, there’s nothing as good as
                                                                                                                                                                          their prime, donate them to an animal
                                                                                                              stepping into a steaming hot bath, slip-
                                                                                                                                                                          shelter, hit the white sales and restock
                                                                                                              ping down until the water is up to my
                                                                                                                                                                          your linen closet. I’m crazy about snow-
                                                                                                              chin, to chase away the deep-down-in-
                                                                                                                                                                          white towels because they remind me of
                                                                                                              your-bones chill of late winter and the
                                                                                                                                                                          the spa and go well in every bathroom, no
                                                                                                              daily stress of life. Since my bathtub is
                                                                                                                                                                          matter its style or color. To keep my white
                                                                                                              where I go to relax and rejuvenate, I’ve
                                                                                                                                                                          towels bright and beautiful, I wash them
                                                                                                              made my bathroom into a personal oasis.
                                                                                                                                                                          with a bit of bleach.
                                                                                                              Why don’t you do the same with yours?
                                                                                                                                                                             Shower curtains are the focal point in
                                                                                                                  STEP ONE, CLEAN UP: Most of us
                                                                                                                                                                          many bathrooms, so be sure yours is a
                                                                                                              have a graveyard of toiletries in our vani-
                                                                                                                                                                          show-stealer. Believe it or not, you can
                                                                                                              ty. Remember those cosmetics that just
                                                                                                                                                                          often make a gorgeous custom shower
                                                                                                              weren’t the right color, that hair product
                                                                                                                                                                          curtain for what you’d spend on a higher-
                                                                                                              that didn’t deliver on its promises and
                                                                                                                                                                          end ready-made.
                                                                                                              those scented lotions that have turned
                                                                                                                                                                             STEP FOUR, DESIGN THE SPACE:
                                                                                                              sour? Get a trash bag and excavate your
                                                                                                                                                                          Decorate your bathroom as beautifully as
                                                                                                              vanity, tossing anything you’ll never use
                                                                                                                                                                          you would any other room in the house. If
                                                                                                              and everything that’s past its prime.
                                                                                                                                                                          space allows, use regular furniture, not
                                                                                                                  STEP TWO, MAKE REPAIRS: If
                                                                                                                                                                          the kind specifically made for bathrooms.
                                                                                                              you’re like me, you pretend not to see all
                                                                                                                                                                          In my guest bath, I have a wonderful
                                                                                                              those repairs and improvements your bath-
                                                                                                                                                                          black gothic bookshelf where I display
                                                                                                              room so desperately needs. Now it’s time for
                                                                                                                                                                          towels, toiletries and accents. I’ve also
                                                                                                              us to face facts and get the job done. If your
                                                                                                                                                                          used large armoires in bathrooms, stock-
                                                                                                              tub looks dingy, consider having it resur-
                                                                                                                                                                          ing them like linen closets. Some of my
                                                                                                              faced. Does your shower need new grout?
                                                                                                                                                                          friends have covered slipper chairs in
                                                                                                              Do the light fixtures need to be upgraded?
                                                                                                                                                                          water-resistant fabrics so they have a
                                                                                                              Is it time for a fresh coat of paint?
                                                                                                                                                                          place to sit while they dress.
                                                                                                                  Since I love to change paint color in my
                                                                                                                                                                             Fill the room with great accessories.
                                                                                                              home, my bathroom has been a rainbow of
                                                                                                                                                                          Place a silver tray on your vanity, and fill
                                                                                                              colors through the years. But now, many
                                                                                                                                                                          it with pieces that allow you to organize
                                                                                                              steamy baths and coats of paint later, the
                                                                                                                                                                          your stuff in style. For example, put
                                                                                                              bead board that covers the lower two-
                                                                                                                                                                          mouthwash in a crystal decanter, cotton
                                                                                                              thirds of the wall looks mighty shabby.
                                                                                                                                                                          balls in an apothecary jars and tooth-
                                                                                                              Another coat of paint just won’t cut it. So
                                                                                                                                                                          brushes in an antique cup. Create a
                                                                                                              this winter, I’m going to finally replace
                                                                                                                                                                          tableau in a bookcase out of your favorite
                                                                                                              the bead board with subway tile.
There are many options available to turn your bathroom into a personal oasis. (SHNS photo)                                                                                things, like a small clock, bud vase and a
                                                                                                                  STEP THREE, FRESHEN YOUR
                                                                                                                                                                          miniature painting propped in an easel.

Moisture turns storm shelter soggy
   Q: I have a storm shel-
ter built into my basement
under the front porch. It is
made entirely of concrete
and accessed through a
fully completed basement.
In the winter, it is
extremely cold, and the
ceiling starts dripping
   I’m under the impres-
                                   Dwight Barnett
sion that it must be leak-            Certified master inspector
ing from snow accumula-               with the American Society
tion on the porch. I put                     of Home Inspectors.
two coats of concrete seal-
                                 than the floor where the
er on it in the fall, which
                                 moisture will still accumu-
made no difference. Then I
                                 late. You may want to con-
put a coat of sealer on the
                                 sider a small pump to
inside of the room on the
                                 keep the floor area dry if
ceiling, which actually
                                 there is too much water.
started dripping the paint
                                    When you are not using
down to the floor. It may
                                 the shelter, a fan should
have been too cold when I
                                 be employed to move the
painted the ceiling, so it
                                 air between the shelter
didn’t dry before it started
                                 and the basement, but
dripping. What other steps
                                 make sure that the
should I take to keep the
                                 humidity levels in the
room dry?
                                 basement do not increase
   A: The concrete is cold,
                                 to a point where molds can
and cold surfaces attract
                                 start to grow.
moisture. To reduce the
                                    A personal thermome-
moisture and condensing
                                 ter/hygrometer will indi-
problems, you need to
                                 cate the humidity level in
insulate the walls and ceil-
                                 a given space. Try to
ing of the shelter. Use a 2-
                                 maintain the humidity
1/2-inch-thick panel of
                                 somewhere between 40
closed cell foam insulation
                                 percent and 60 percent at
board. More information
                                 65 F.
on foam insulation can be
found at
                                    Dwight Barnett is a
                                 certified master inspec-
                                 tor with the American
   Insulation will keep the
                                 Society of Home
walls and ceiling warmer

                                                                                                                                                            48th & Broadway • 217-223-0101 • M-F, 9-6 & Sat., 10-3
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                                                                                        SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 2010
12                                                                                   The Quincy Herald-Whig                                                   Blueprint

Developing a
home exercise
room can be
a workout
   There are many
  things to consider
     when putting
   together a place
to train in your house
                                         The gym at the home of Mike and Janice Zanger features a treadmill, stair-stepper and recumbent bike along with other fitness items. Large mirrors salvaged
        By RODNEY HART                   from a relative’s home help the basement room seem bigger and brighter. (H-W Photo/Philip Carlson)
          Herald-Whig Staff Writer
                                         in very quickly,” Wells said. “If         A good treadmill will cost                playing music or watching TV it    can work out on the treadmill at
   Putting together an exercise          you are into weight training,          $500 and up. To start a home                 doesn’t bother others in the       home, then go to the gym and
room means much more than                think about something else like        gym with various equipment, a                house) and simple things like a    maybe do some toning or get in
just placing equipment into              a body ball and the muti-angle         good budget to keep in mind                  rack where you can put your        the pool.”
unused space or basement.                bench. Down the road if you can        might be around $1,200.                      towel.                                 One thing to consider about
   Depending on how much room            open up space, then it can look a         “It’s amazing what we see in                  Convenience is the biggest     an exercise room is light. You
you have, things to consider             lot more like a home gym.”             home gyms,” Wells said. “It’s                factor when it comes to working    might be far more motivated to
include how many items in the               Cardio equipment like tread-        nothing for somebody to walk in              out at home. Fitting a workout     work out if you have a good
room, the paint and decor of the         mills are extremely popular,           and want to spend $8,000 to                  into a busy day can be much eas-   source of natural light from a
room, and amenities like televi-         Wells said. Elliptical machines        $10,000 for a home gym.”                     ier when the equipment is down-    window. The paint in the room
sion sets and perhaps a nearby           and stationary bikes are also             You can buy equipment to                  stairs or just down the hall.      doesn’t have to be bright or gar-
shower.                                  popular and much easier on the         work on all parts of the body.                   Then again, many people like   ish, but should encourage activi-
   Troy Well of Fitness For All in       knees and back.                        Many items fold up and are easy              the concept of finding a gym, a    ty.
Quincy says when customers                  “A lot more people are educat-      to store, though the idea of hav-            place to “get away” and forget         And don’t forget the televi-
come in looking for exercise room        ed because they’ve worked out          ing a dedicated room appeals to              about the distractions of daily    sion.
ideas, the first thing he does is        with personal trainers,” he said.      people because it’s ready to go              life.                                  “Having a TV in the workout
find out what they like to do and        “The core training is not to build     when you walk through the door.                  “You can still belong to a     room makes the time fly by
how much space they have.                size or strength. They just are           Other things to consider are              health club,” Wells points out.    much faster,” Wells said.
   “If you get just the one piece,       into the toning and core               floor mats, high ceilings, sound-            “Then you can get your favorite
then the boredom factor comes                                                                                                                                             — / 221-3370
                                         strength.”                             proofing the room (so if you are             piece of equipment at home. You

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