Don’t Cover the Exposed Brick in Your Home, Love the Look

At Expert Roofing in Chicago, we love the look of your brick homes. We admire them as we climb atop your roofs. Occasionally we get a glimpse inside but there is usually less brick to be seen in there but we love the exposed brick look. If you have it you can make it work for in your home!

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/14-reasons-to-love-exposed-brick-51024?bv=mr#.WPoyQIgrLIUExposed Brick – 14 Reasons to Love the Look – Bob Vila Exposed brick brings texture, color, and a rustic vibe to interior spaces. The look, which is typically achieved by removing the plaster from a wall to reveal the underlying masonry, offers an artful and affordable solution for revitalizing empty walls, awkward alcoves, or boring backsplashes throughout the home. Brick by brick, these exemplary rooms showcase the rugged beauty—and sheer versatility—of the timeless material.

High Contrast

Designed by The Ransom Company, this mixed-media bathroom blends modern and rustic design elements for an ambience that manages to be both homey and elegant. The playful herringbone floor tile and sophisticated marble-top vanity add textural variety to the all-white wainscoting, shower, and commode. But it’s the unexpected presence of classic red exposed brick, complemented by sleek pendant lights, that dazzles the eye with laid-back charm.

Blending In

Even a material as bold as brick doesn’t have to stick out like a sore thumb. For proof, look no further than this harmonious kitchen, masterfully brought to life by Tal Design. The softly weathered brick backsplash blends seamlessly with the copper-hued range hood, fully stocked wooden floating shelves, and butcher-block kitchen island, making a subtle statement in this high-traffic space.

Mesmerizing Color

To lend a playful contrast to hardworking spaces, opt for multicolored brick instead of monochromatic brick that’s color-matched to its surroundings. In this cozy kitchen designed by Herlong & Associates, a brick backsplash in complementary hues of white, brown, and gray serves as an eclectic counterpart to the wood floors, island, and chocolate-colored ceiling beams.

Industrial Meets Antique

Industrial-style appliances and pendant lights, coupled with a sleek ebony countertop, lend drama to this high-ceilinged kitchen designed by SLC Interiors. Even so, it’s the unabashed use of dark brick on the sky-high back wall that provides the perfect counterpoint to the ceiling flourishes and grand-scale Victorian-style painting.

Whitewashed Whimsy

While brick is best known for its ruddy complexion, the earthy material comes in more than one shade, and can be color-matched to practically any interior. In this dreamy bedroom visualized by Renew Urban, whitewashed brick, elegant off-white linens and cushions, and a warm gray area rug set a soothing color palette that’s ideal for sleep or studying. See more…

 

 

Celebrate Earth Day this Weekend With Some Home-Grown Tomatoes

At Expert Roofing in Chicago, we want to remind you that Earth Day is this weekend Saturday, April 22. You should care about the earth every day, it is our only home after all, but there’s nothing wrong with celebrating it a little extra this weekend. What a better way to celebrate than by growing some delicious tomatoes in your garden.

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/growing-tomatoes/?#.WPklCYgrLIUGrowing Tomatoes – Top Tips – Bob Vila There’s really nothing better than a vine-ripened tomato plucked from the plant in your vegetable garden and still warm from the sun. Well, that will come later this season. Now it’s time to get your tomato seedlings into the ground, so that you’ll have a plentiful harvest in a few weeks and you can start serving all your favorites: BLTs, caprese salad, homemade tomato sauce… better start growing!

GROWING TIPS:

Make sure they have good drainage: Tomatoes need well-draining soil or a raised bed for proper drainage. They grow best in slightly acidic soil that’s been enriched with compost.

Keep them in the sun: Tomatoes need 8 hours of strong light a day.

Give them plenty of water: Keep them watered, especially as the summer months dry out the soil.

Provide an early support system: Be sure to introduce support even when the plant is still short, so that you don’t accidentally damage the roots. Tomato cages are the easiest to use—try galvanized steel for high yielding plants. Or get stackable tomato ladders for tall, indeterminate breeds.

WHAT TO GROW

There are hundreds of tomato varieties out there. What’s the best for your needs? Here are five picks that will satisfy.

Hook Mountain Growers’ Bush Beafsteak Tomato

An early-ripening variety: With an average ripening time of only 60 days, Bush Beefsteak is a great choice for those with a short growing season. It’s a small plant that yields satisfying, hearty fruit.

Burpee’s Sun Gold Hybrid Tomato

A great container choice: ‘Sungold’ is an apricot-color cherry with round, 1 1/4″-large globes that are as sweet as you could ask for. The determinate plant is bred to grow to a compact height.

Landreth Seeds’ Anna Russian Tomato

Best tasting: A lovely indeterminate plum, ‘Anna Russian’ plants produce through even the hottest summer and are crack-resistant. The juicy fruit is delicious and shaped like a heart.

Burpee’s Cherokee Purple Tomato

A color other than red: The rich, namesake color and its sweet taste make ‘Cherokee Purple’ stand out among the traditional reds.

San Marzano Tomato

Paste tomato: Great for making sauce or for canning whole, ‘San Marzano’ is a plum determinate variety that is very meaty and dry.

 

Do You Know How to Fix Nail Holes in Your Home?

At Expert Roofing, while we are roofing Chicago homes, we make a lot of nail holes in your home. In fact, we are experts at it! The holes we make are necessary for holding the shingles and roof in your home. Nail holes on the inside of your home are a different story, we don’t make them for you but you might put a nail in your wall to hang a picture or hold a shelf to a wall. So what do you do with the holes when you want to move the shelf or take the picture down?

Fortunately, the answer is pretty simple. Just a little work and you can patch those holes up so no one will ever know they were there!

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-fix-nail-holes/?bv=mr&bvsp=hyde#.WO_HaogrLIUHow to Fix Nail Holes – Bob Vila

If you’re reluctant to rearrange the pictures on your walls because you dread dealing with the nail holes left behind, you’re in good company. Filling nail holes can be challenging, particularly if you’re trying to completely erase any trace of the fasteners. Those dimples left by well-intended spackling jobs can haunt us long after the gallery wall comes down. But take heart: With the right tools and techniques, you can have seamlessly smooth walls once more—and you’ll never again fear relocating pictures, calendars, clocks, or even wall-mounted shelves.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS – Spackling paste (for nail holes in drywall) – Wood filler compound (for nail holes in wood) – 220-grit sanding block – HYDE® 2” SuperFlexx Stainless Steel Putty Knife

STEP 1: Sand the surface.  Prepping properly before you even start spackling is key to removing all traces of former holes. When you hammer a nail into drywall, some of the chalky gypsum material inside the drywall panel is displaced and has a tendency to push outward, forming a small ridge around the nail hole. Wood, on the other hand, has a tendency to splinter a bit around the nail. In either case, if you simply fill the nail hole, the area might look smooth to the eye for now, but the bump will stick out like a sore thumb once you paint it.

To prepare the surface, lightly swipe a fine, 220-grit sanding block over the nail hole to sand away ridges. Work in a circular motion over drywall. When sanding wood, however, always sand in the direction of the wood grain to keep from leaving cross-sanding marks.

STEP 2: Choose the right hand tools. For a small-scale spackling job, you’ll need to select a putty knife with a little bit of give in its blade, like HYDE’s 2” SuperFlexx Stainless Steel Putty Knife. The slight flexibility facilitates easy spreading as you pull the spackling over the hole. The bottom section of the blade glides at an angle along the wall surface, helping to push the compound into the hole and reducing the risk of scratching the surface with the corners of the blade (which can happen if you’re using a rigid blade). Plus, the tool’s stainless steel is impervious to rust. In fact, if you neglect to wipe it down immediately after the job, simply give it a small bend, and any dried leftover compound will fall right off.

STEP 3: Select and spread the compound. Though similar in application, different patching compounds are formulated for use on different surfaces. Make sure you select the right one for the job.

• For drywall, pick up a good-quality spackling paste (your choice of either the premixed stuff, which comes in a small tub, or a dry powder that you’ll combine with water) to fill the holes.

• For wood, choose a wood filler that’s formulated for the surface at hand. Basic wood filler compounds work in situations where you’re planning on painting over the surface later to hide the obviously discolored patch. For bare wood that will be stained or wood used in an exterior project, look for compounds that are specifically labeled for the intended use.

Once you’ve selected an appropriate product, scoop up a roughly dime-size dollop of spackling paste or filler, and smooth it across the nail hole using the 2″ SuperFlexx Stainless Steel Putty Knife—not your fingers, however tempting that may be. Smoothing with your hands will leave the spackled hole with a slight depression because your digits are not perfectly flat.

The best method involves two swipes: one either sideways or downward to fill the hole with compound, followed by a second swipe back in the opposite direction to wipe away the excess. If you find that your second swipe across the nail hole leaves streaks of spackling paste on the wall or wood, you’ve probably used more paste than necessary; take note and scoop up a little less the next time.

Once the spackling paste has dried completely (the time varies by brand), lightly sand the area with a fine-grit sanding block. Remember: Move in a circular pattern when sanding drywall, and follow the grain when sanding wood.

STEP 4: Apply a second layer of compound. Some spackling and wood filler compounds shrink more than others, but it’s difficult to see the shrinkage until the wall has been painted. For that reason, it’s best to apply another thin layer even if you think the first application filled the hole completely. Follow the same two-swipe method described in Step 3, then let the compound dry for the recommended amount of time.

Note: Some spackling paste is advertised as “paintable when wet,” but it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you don’t give it a chance to dry, you can’t sand it, and without sanding, you can’t be sure the wall is completely free of leftover bumps or depressions that would draw attention to your spackling job.

STEP 5: Prepare for paint with one last sanding. Lightly sand the area around the hole to eliminate any excess compound from your second application, and then inspect the hole itself. The paste should only fill the hole and not extend past its edges. If you see extra filler, take care of it with some spot sanding; otherwise, you’re all set! Paint the drywall or wooden surface, and forget about those holes for good.

 

 

Expert Roofing Will Help You With All Your Chicago Roofing Repairs After Monday’s Storms

The spring weather is here and with it are the gusty winds our city is known for and the hail storms. These storms can damage your property and your homes. When the hail does damage your home it is best to act quickly so that you won’t have problems with your insurance company.

While acting fast is important it is also critical that you choose a quality well-established roofing company that has your best interest in mind. There are some fly-by-night roofing companies that are just trying to make a quick buck and then disappear and leave you high and dry. At Expert Roofing, we pride ourselves on being your go-to Chicago roofers. We will take care of your repair needs with quality materials and experienced craftsmanship.

http://abc7chicago.com/weather/chicago-weather-temperatures-drop-after-strong-storms-moves-through/1856580/Chicago Weather: Temperatures drop after strong storms moves through | abc7chicago.com

Two strong storms swept through the Chicago area on Monday with rain, gusty winds and large hail that damaged some homes — and even delayed the Chicago Cubs home opener game by about two hours.

Temperatures started to drop significantly by 6 p.m. into the 40s and 30s, especially in the northern suburbs, from the 70s earlier in the day. By 10 p.m., most of the storms had moved through the area. A few sprinkles were expected overnight and into the morning, but that would be over by Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, large pieces of hail fell in southwest suburban Romeoville in Will County at about 1 p.m., damaging the sides of some homes. Large hail also fell in McHenry County.

“Sounded just a like a lot of shattering glass as it was coming down,” said Michaela Cavanaugh in Romeoville. “It was that heavy coming down. It looked like it was a big snowstorm after it was done, everything was white, everything was covered.”

Ted Kruczek said he was shoveling the snow after the hail storm, which lasted about five minutes.

Just before 4 p.m., O’Hare International Airport reported 13 cancellations and 43-minute average delays. Midway Airport saw 17 cancellations and 15-minute average delays. Read more…

The Chicago Flag Turns 100

At Expert Roofing we know a lot about roofing and we pride ourselves on being a leader in Chicago roofing contractors. Becoming an expert in anything takes time but one of the best ways is to try and learn something new every day. We love learning about roofing and we also love learning about the communities we serve.

We see the Chicago flag all of the time but we didn’t the history behind it. The Chicago flag just turned 100 years old on April, 4 2017. Check out this story and learn about where are flag came from and why it looks the way it does!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-chicago-flag-origins-flag-day-htmlstory.htmlHistory of the Chicago flag – Chicago Tribune “In its simplicity, the flag is totally immune to going out of style.” Tim Samuelson, Chicago’s official cultural historian

Every day in Chicago is Flag Day. Try walking a block on Michigan Avenue without spotting the city’s municipal colors in flag form.

Atop building entrances, on the right upper sleeves of police officers’ uniforms and on the bridge over the Chicago River, Chicago flags fly near their national and state counterparts.

Visitors scoop up the design on T-shirts and other souvenirs, while locals often have it tattooed on their bodies.

It might be hard to believe, but despite its popularity today, the Chicago flag was unrecognizable to the general public almost 60 years ago when the owner of a Portage Park hardware store displayed it. Some mistook it “for everything from the flag of Israel to that of one of the Scandinavian countries,” according to an Aug. 12, 1958, Tribune article.

How did this icon come to be? And what makes its design so popular and respected among flag enthusiasts (including the North American Vexillological Association, which says that next to the flag of Washington, D.C., it’s the best city flag in the U.S.) and laymen alike?

Let’s dissect the flag of Chicago by its colors — red, white and blue.

In 1892, with a little more than one month before the dedication of the World’s Columbia Exposition, organizers met with city leaders in a panicked effort to finalize decorations on both the exposition grounds and throughout the city.

Chicago had very little in terms of an official visual idenity — no official colors or iconography, let alone a flag — on which to lean. Published comments from the exposition’s supervisor for painting and sculpture, local mural artist Francis Davis Millet, addressed the issue:

“Almost all European cities have chosen colors, as the universities and colleges have done, and these are called the ‘Municipal Colors.’ Would it not be well now to see if the authorities of Chicago will not select a color or combination of colors as the ‘Municipal Colors’ for the city? If this is done, it will simplify the whole matter of civic decorations very much and afford a precedent which will, I am sure, be followed in all great cities of the Union.” Millet

The Tribune embraced Millet’s “catchy” idea, announcing a contest on the next day’s front page for the best municipal color combinations. In 10 days, the Tribune received 829 entries.

Suggested by an architect for the exposition, Alfred Jensen Roewad, red and white was the winning combination. He also submitted several images of how the colors could be displayed, including designs featuring a now familiar Y-shape.

It wasn’t until 1915 that the city’s lack of a flag became an issue. Ald. James A. Kearns, 31st, introduced a resolution calling for an official design. The City Council agreed with Kearns, who feared Chicago was lagging other major cities, and established the Chicago Municipal Flag Commission.

The commission sifted through more than 1,000 submissions before settling on an original design by writer and flag aficionado Wallace Rice. Coincidentally, Rice was originally retained to set the design rules of the competition.

The designs were submitted and approved by the City Council on April 4, 1917 — the same day the U.S. Senate voted to support U.S. entry into World War I. There were 63 “Yeas” and no dissents.

“White, the union of all the colors, to symbolize the union of all the races in the city of Chicago.” Rice, Chicago flag designer. Read more…

 

 

April Maintenance Saves You From May Repairs

At Expert Roofing, we are happy to help you with all of your Chicago roof repairs, but we also want to help you keep your home in good shape so you don’t need to repair it as frequently.

One of the best ways to keep your house from needing repairs is to do a little maintenance every month. It can be hard to figure out where to start and what needs to be done each month but if you have a list it can make it a little easier.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/the-april-home-improvement-checklist/2013/04/02/91183cd2-957d-11e2-b6f0-a5150a247b6a_story.html?utm_term=.06dd0208d945The April home improvement checklist – The Washington Post It’s spring at last — the perfect time to get outside and tune up the yard. For starters: How’s the fence? If yours looks grungy, you might just need to scrub and hose it off, then apply a fresh coat of stain or paint. If it’s wobbly or leaning, a rotted-out fence post is the likely culprit. You can replace the post, but that’s a lot of work, especially if the post has a concrete anchor. For an easier solution, check out Simpson Strong Tie’s Fence Mender (available at Home Depot), a 28-inch-long metal stake designed for pounding in alongside a wooden post, even if it’s set into concrete. For each post, you need two stakes, typically sold for less than $10 each, plus screws and a short-handle sledgehammer or two. Why two? It gives you a bigger target to aim at. Position one sledge on the top of a stake and hit that with the other sledge.

Garden gates tend to sag over time. Then they stick, or the latch no longer works. To get a gate working like new, first check hinges. If screws are loose, tighten them or replace them with ones that are slightly longer and thicker. Next, check the gate itself and tighten up anything that’s loose. Wooden gates typically have a brace that rises diagonally from the bottom on the hinged side to the top on the latch side. If your gate lacks this, the simplest solution is to add one by bolting it to the horizontal supports on the gate. First, prop under the latch side until that side of the gate is the right height and wedge in another prop about a quarter-inch or half-inch thick, to allow for a little future sagging. Then add the diagonal bracing. If your gate already has diagonal bracing, or as additional reinforcing for a wooden brace you’ve just added, install a cable with a turnbuckle (a fitting that you can screw in to keep the cable taut) diagonally across the gate, but in the opposite direction. For all the parts you need, buy a gate repair kit for less than $10, such as Stanley Hardware’s Anti-Sag Gate Kit (available at Lowe’s) or Hoover Fence’s Non-Sag Gate Kit (www.hooverfence.com). read more at washingtonpost.com

A Backyard Bungalow Adds Space To Your Home

Summer is just around the corner and that means your house is about to get a lot busier. Kids are coming back from college. The inlaws are coming to visit for a week, or a month. There will be backyard barbecues and maybe if you’re lucky you might even get a little time off yourself.

So how are you going to keep your sanity with all the commotion around the house? The perfect solution might be a backyard bungalow. Your kids back from college would have a small space of their own. You could set the inlaws up out there and keep them close, but not too close. It’s the perfect spot for your friend Frank to crash after the barbecue. It can make your home less crowded during the busiest times. Best of all you can take a little vacation for yourself out there.

https://www.homify.com/ideabooks/2842516/the-best-bungalow-for-your-backyardThe best bungalow for your backyard Whether you have teenagers who are wanting more privacy, elderly family members who insist on staying independent, or if you yourself are looking for a smaller residence while extensive renovations are made to your house, a garden cabin, sleep out or bungalow could be your answer.

This one we are featuring today, is built by home builders BLANKSTONE based in London. It is completely self contained with it’s own kitchenette and bathroom, and surrounded by a wooden deck. Constructed from warm timber and finished with dark gray steel roofing and gutters, it looks idyllic sitting at the back of the garden space. Not only does this home look adorable, it’s also economic and low maintenance, making it one of the best bungalows out there.

A wooden terrace fits across the whole width of the house at the front, with more than enough room for outdoor furniture and potted plants. This is the spot to enjoy the peace and quiet of the garden in! See more…

Expert Roofing can help you with your Chicago roofs on your home or your backyard bungalow. Give us a call today.

A New Design Style For Your Home

Designing the perfect home is always an ongoing process and there always seems to be another project on the horizon. At Expert Roofing, we love being a part of the process. We take pride in our work because we know how important your home is.

Updating your home might start with getting a new roof but it doesn’t end there. Adopting a new design style is one way you can transform your home. With all of the styles out there it can be hard to choose. One of the most trendy designs of 2017 is the Modern Farmhouse. Take a look at some of these ideas and see how you can incorporate them into your home!

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/beautiful-rooms-with-a-modern-farmhouse-style-242815Beautiful Rooms With a Modern Farmhouse Style | Apartment Therapy In a survey of over 1,000 Americans, the team at Next Day Blinds found that the #1 home trend of 2017 was “Modern Farmhouse” with one-third of respondents listing this as their favorite style. So what exactly is this style? Short answer: think Fixer Upper. And for those of us who are less familiar with the show (*cough* me *cough*), think matte black + soft white + wood + a minimal mix of vintage and modern pieces. And a massive vessel of hydrangeas.

The look is at once humble, welcoming, polished and cheerful. It’s like your grandma’s house, if your grandma was incredibly stylish and believed in editing down tchotchkes. Though some of the hallmarks are similar to the warm industrial style that we also happen to love, this is more country cottage (with a modern spin), less converted factory.

Known for their high quality countertops, Cambria wrote a whole piece on the modern farmhouse look on their site, using this stunning room as their lead image. It’s certainly a dream of a kitchen, but the elements can easily be repeated in a much more compact space: industrial lighting, reclaimed woods, and a black-gray-and-white color palette. Read more…

 

 

 

Consider These Tips When You Buy Your Next Home

At Expert Roofing in Chicago, we deal with homeowners and help them get an affordable, quality roof on their homes. A lot of our clients are first-time homebuyers who recently bought their home. We have heard stories of success and some of the frustrations that go along with the home buying process. So when we came across these “11 Myths Homebuyers Should Never Believe” we knew we had to share them with you.

Whether it is your first time buying a home or you’re moving on to something else these tips will help you during the buying process.

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/11-myths-homebuyers-should-never-believe-50955Real Estate Myths Not to Believe – 11 Tips – Bob Vila From the open house to securing a mortgage to closing day, purchasing a home is a complex and daunting process. Here are 11 myths that home buyers should abandon if they hope to keep a clear head and maintain realistic expectations during the house-hunting process. read more at bobvila.com

 

 

Check Out Some Chicago Furniture For Your Home

We are experts in the Chicago roofing industry and we take great pride in your home’s exterior. So you can take pride when you are filling your home’s interior with furniture. Chicago is one of the best locations for finding unique furniture stores.

You can find all sorts of one-of-a-kind furnishings for your home in the Chicago area. Check out this map of some of the best interior design stores from Curbed Chicago if you are looking to add some new home furnishings.

http://chicago.curbed.com/maps/chicago-best-furniture-design-stores28 must-see Chicago furniture and interior design stores – Curbed Chicago Thanks to early industry leaders like Montgomery Ward, Sears Roebuck, and Potter Palmer’s department stores, the Windy City has a rich tradition when it comes to home furnishings. Today, Chicago’s interior decorating scene continues to serve as a major hub for wholesalers and consumers alike. From River North’s high-end gallery district to Andersonville’s antique row along Clark, Chicago’s home decor and furniture stores offer something for all tastes and personal styles. Here’s a rundown of 28 not-to-miss Chicago stores.

Note: the list is arranged alphabetically. Via chicago.curbed.com