Military and Senior Citizen Discounts on a new roof

Roofs for the Red, White & Blue…PLUS the Silver Too!
Roofs For The Red White & Blue



From January 1 – December 31, 2015 all members of the U.S. Military* or AARP who hire a CertainTeed Credentialed Roofing Company to install an Integrity Roof System covered by a SureStart PLUS warranty on their home are eligible to receive a $250 Cabela’s gift card.


The following flyer and discount form can be used to submit your information to receive the $250 Cabela’s gift card.


Download Flyer >>


Download Form >>


The following resources will help you in selecting a CertainTeed roof that is right for you:


CertainTeed Roofing Website


Locate a Credentialed Roofing Company


Integrity Roof System Brochure >>


SureStart PLUS Warranty Brochure


*This discount is offered to all Military personnel – Active, Veteran or Retiree.

Military and Senior Citizen Discounts on a new roof


That is not one Hail of a deal


Whenever a major hail storm comes through the Metro East you can bet within just a few days it will also bring a swarm of hungry roofers that are looking to make some easy money.

We have all heard the horror stories of shady and unethical roofing companies; poor workmanship, always behind schedule, skipping town and leaving you with a junky roof,  as well as all sorts of other complaints.

Any time you hire a contractor to work on your home it’s important to do some research and ask a few key questions to make sure you are working with a company you can trust.  The following is a short list of questions that will help you weed out any unreliable or dishonest contractors.

  1. How long have you been in business under your current name? This might seem like an obvious question, but pay attention to how it is worded.  If you simply ask how long have you been in business they may tell you 20 years, but they neglect to mention that they have changed company names 8 times.  I wonder why?
  2. Where is your office located?  Many roofing contractors operate out of the back of their truck. While this lack of overhead expense may allow them to quote you a really low price. Do you really think you can count on them to be there for you if something goes wrong down the road?
  3.  What kinds of insurance do you carry? Any responsible contractor will carry a minimum of $1,000,000 worth of general liability insurance as well as workman’s comp and insurance for all their vehicles.  Don’t accept any excuse why they are not insured. If something goes wrong you will not be protected.
  4. What is your BBB rating? There is NO reason to work with a company that isn’t listed, or has any rating less than an A when there plenty of good ones out there.
  5. Can you provide me with a comprehensive list of references? Most companies will provide 3 references for you… Their Mom, Dad, and Brother. It’s much harder to fake a long list of references with similar projects to yours.

When it comes to putting a new roof on your home your choice of a  roofing contractor is an important one.  Don’t be afraid to ask to see any of the above documentation. They should be ready and more than willing to produce it for you. If they hesitate that is a major red flag.  Don’t settle for lip service or fall for slick salesmanship, make sure everything they promise is in writing.
Ask these questions and do a little homework and you can be sure that you are working with an honest roofing contractor that will be around to back up their word and the work.

If your home was hit by one of the recent hail storms and you would like a Local family owned company with an A+ Rating and 13 Years in business to give you a free roof inspection give us a call.

Use me to get to them…Referrals

Written by: Sarah Ryterski

Written by: Sarah Ryterski

Use me to get to them…Referrals

For over the past 10 years I have worked side by side with a lot of trade professionals.  I really love to talk about work, and feel that it is my duty, obligation, and responsibility to uphold the best customer service available.  So weather you are in the market for a plasterer, carpet cleaner, plumber or any other trades I would love to pass on their information to you!  Look forward to hearing from you soon.  Sarah (618) 558-2675

Repair water damage in Metro-East, IL

Image result for water damage


Repairing Water-Damage

Every situation is different. If the water damage arises from a flood, for instance, it may not saturate the wall. Perhaps all you will need to do is tackle the floodwater and repaint the wall to cover any surface staining. A leaking pipe inside a wall, in contrast, may cause it to rot from the inside out. In that case, you are looking at more extensive repairs. Even in the case of flooding, you must evaluate what type of floodwater and determine how to remove the water. Once the water or moisture is gone and the source is fixed, the damage can be evaluated. Repairing the area then depends on where it’s located and the extent of damage caused.

Mold and Mildew – Painting or otherwise covering mold and mildew won’t kill it. It can continue to spread unless it is removed. Worse, even “harmless” molds (in contrast to toxic “black mold”) can affect your health. Tackle mold with a solution of 1 part bleach to 8 parts water. Spray the mold or mildew first, wait 10 or 15 minutes, then wipe or scrub away. For a more natural mold-cleaning solution, use either straight vinegar (which kills 82 percent of molds) or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely before proceeding with any further work on the affected area.

Discolored Paint – When damage is minimal and only the exterior of a wall or ceiling is affected, once it dries out, it will probably leave a stain. Use a stain-blocking alkyd-based primer to seal the stain before painting. Remove any peeling or damaged paint first to ensure the best results.

Damaged Drywall – If the drywall is exposed to water for less than two hours and the water is clean (not mixed with sewage or other contaminants), you may be able to save it. After a couple of hours, however, drywall becomes saturated. The problem is worse if it’s on the ceiling. Drywall is heavy by itself; when waterlogged, it grows even heavier and may begin to bulge or fall. If you have any doubt about the drywall’s structural integrity, place a level across the surface and see if it is either plumb – straight up and down – for walls, or level on ceilings. Next, try pushing a small finishing nail into the drywall using your fingers alone. It should meet immediate resistance. If the surface feels spongy or the nail sinks in easily, replace the drywall.

To replace damaged drywall, first determine how far back it needs to be removed. A leak from a pipe may need only a small section of drywall removed to access the pipe and fix it. In a flooded bathroom, on the other hand, you may need to remove the drywall around the entire room from the floor up 18 inches. Use a utility knife and a straight edge to mark and cut your wall sheathing. End in the middle of a stud on either side of the opening to provide an anchor for the new drywall.

Remove any insulation in the wall (see the section on insulation) and dry out the wall interior. Only once the inside is completely dry should you patch the drywall. Replace insulation if removed, using new material. Cut a piece of drywall to measure the dimensions of the opening. Attach with drywall screws every 16 inches apart along each stud (12 inches apart for ceiling drywall). Tape the seams with drywall tape and cover the seams and screw heads with joint compound or mud. Apply thin, even layers and sand between each. Feather out each layer of mud a little farther than the last to make a seamless appearance.

Sodden Plaster Walls – If your walls or ceiling are made with lath and plaster, as is more common in older homes, there’s good news and bad. Typically, the plaster holds up better to saturation than drywall, but it can take much longer to dry out. Plaster ceilings can be temporarily supported with braces made from two-by-four lumber in the shape of a “T” (place the top of the T against the ceiling).

If the inside of a plaster wall is wet, remove baseboard trim and drill holes in the wall to allow water and moisture to escape. Use hand drills or cordless drills to avoid the risk of shock, and stay clear of wiring or other lines in the wall. Pull out any insulation and set up fans to encourage ventilation. Repair the holes only once the wall interior is completely dry – a moisture meter helps tremendously. For extensive plaster and lath damage, consider replacing the entire system.

Wet Insulation – While tearing your wall apart you may discover insulation, especially if it’s an exterior wall. Always remove the insulation. First, it may hide damage to the studs. Further, wet insulation deteriorates. It may compact, disintegrate, lose R-value and even harbor mold or other contaminants. Although rigid foam insulation may be salvaged, it’s generally easier – and safer – to replace insulation with new material.

Stained or Rotted Studs – If you’re lucky, your wall studs are solid. Push on them and try driving a nail into them if you have any doubts – the last thing you want is a structural failure, especially if it’s a load-bearing wall. Exterior walls are always load-bearing. Some interior walls may be as well. Load-bearing walls support the weight of the structure above and surrounding them. A weak or failed load-bearing wall may cause the home to collapse. If the studs of a load-bearing wall are rotten, consult a professional immediately. For walls with rotted studs that are not load-bearing, cut out the bad studs, one at a time, and replace them. If you find studs that are stained but still solid and don’t need to be replaced, spray them with a dilute bleach water mixture. Follow with an antimicrobial solution, available in hardware and home improvement stores.

Water-Damaged Floors – If the leak is under your floor or if the floor got wet from a flood, you’ll probably have to strip it down to the subfloor. Water and excessive moisture ruins carpet and padding, seeps under floating floors, dissolves the bond between tile and the subfloor, and works its way under vinyl and linoleum. Depending on the amount and source of moisture, you may be able to simply dry out some solid wood floors. Although it swells and buckles slightly, as it dries it may return to normal, especially if weighted down while it dries. Always dry wood slowly to avoid damage – don’t try to super-heat or cool the air to dry it rapidly.

When you get down to the subfloor, mark out the area you wish to remove. Use a straight edge to create the outline, and enlarge it as you cut through the floor, to end in the middle of a floor joist (this provides an anchor for the floor patch). Punch a hole in the middle of the area to be removed, and gradually cut it larger in order to watch for pipes, ductwork or wiring running underneath the floor.

Piece in a new subfloor, once the area has dried and the insulation has been replaced. Use screws to anchor the subfloor patch to the joist and thus prevent squeaking floors. Cover the subfloor with your choice of flooring materials.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean Gutters & Downspouts?

Gutter Guards

How Much Does it Cost to Clean Gutters & Downspouts?

Clean Gutters & Downspouts Costs
Average reported costs:
See below what determines the cost!
spent between:
$100 – $200
Minimum cost:
Maximum cost:
Cleaning your gutters is something that should be done regularly as part of home maintenance. This is typically a job that needs to be done either annually or biannually, depending on your climate and the amount of trees near your home. Working with a licensed professional will make the job a lot easier on you, and on average you can expect to pay about $150. They have experience working on a ladder, and can save you the headache of doing the job as well as the risk of falling.
Also by using a reputable professional, you can protect yourself from having to pay for any injuries compared to hiring a neighbor or teenager to do it. Once you find a professional to help you, then the cost to clean gutters will depend on a couple of factors.

House Height

A single-story house will have the lowest gutter cleaning costs. The cost to clean gutters will increase with each story. If you have more than two stories, then the taller stories might be charged on a higher rate than the lower ones because it increases the risk and usually requires special equipment.

Gutter Size

The cost to clean gutters is sometimes determined by the amount of linear feet of gutters or by the square footage of the home. Either way, the larger your home, the more you can expect gutter cleaning costs will be.

Gutter Condition

If you haven’t had your gutters cleaned out in awhile, then the cost to clean gutters will probably be higher. If there is a lot of debris to remove, then the job might take longer. Gutter cleaning costs may reflect that extra time.

Gutter Extras

Some gutter cleaning professionals will inspect and tighten fasteners and reseal end caps and outlets. You may also opt to have a gutter cover installed so you can wait longer between cleanings. This will increase the cost to clean gutters, but could save you money in the future.

Downspout Installation

Cleaning out downspouts tends to be more expensive and will add to gutter cleaning costs. This is a crucial element of gutter cleaning, though, as this will ensure that the water pours all the way down to your yard. They take extra time to clean, though, and will increase the cost to clean gutters.

LP SmartSide Instead Of Fiber Cement in the Metro-East

Why Choose LP SmartSide Instead Of Fiber Cement?

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products offer multiple advantages over fiber cement. Unlike SmartSide, fiber cement products require special safety training, special gear to protect against airborne silica and specific cutting tools. LP SmartSide products are far less likely to break or crack than fiber cement. And LP SmartSide products are significantly lighter than fiber cement siding, which means quicker, easier installation.

LP SmartSide products work and cut just like traditional wood, taking nails and screws with ease. They’re factory pre-primed to take paint, delivering optimal adhesion and consistent application. LP SmartSide products also deliver the beautiful, authentic look of real wood for unbeatable curb appeal. And our proprietary SmartGuard® manufacturing process helps protect against termite damage and fungal decay. Speaking of protection, our 5/50-Year Limited Warranty provides a 5-year,100% labor and replacement feature and a 5/50 Year Prorated Limited Warranty on the product. Compare LP SmartSide Trim & Siding to fiber cement, and the difference is clear: LP SmartSide products are the smart choice.




10 Business Networking Tips: Grow Your Professional Network

Why Build an Awesome Professional Network?

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Companies don’t make decisions, people do. Your professional network can open doors for you that otherwise could not be opened. For better or for worse, it’s not just what you know or are capable of doing, it’s who you know, that’s important for career advancement and business development. You can also learn a tremendous amount from people in your network who have experience and expertise.

How to Learn How to Build Your Professional Network

After realizing the incredible importance of professional networking, I began scouring the web, Amazon, and bookstores for resources. I found there were resources on related topics, such as interpersonal communication, but not many great resources on business networking specifically.

I began asking everyone I know who has had a successful career, built a successful business, or simply knows a lot of people for their advice on how to build a professional network. After compiling the best advice I received, studying every relevant book and resource I could find, experimenting, and practicing, I learned a lot about how to effectively make new contacts and build relationships.

After years spent practicing and testing new techniques and strategies, making a lot of avoidable mistakes, and meeting and building relationships with lots awesome people, I’ve learned a lot and decided to write a book on it to share my knowledge. Here’s just 10 business networking tips you can use to grow your professional network.

Read More Here

Win $100,000 for all new Exteriors and Installation!!!

download press release »03/02/2015

Enter to Win the $100,000 CertainTeed Living Spaces® Home Makeover Contest

Video submissions now being accepted for the popular annual homeowner competition

(Valley Forge, Pa.) – Transform your family home from drab to dazzling by entering to win an expansive remodel from CertainTeed Corporation, North America’s leading brand of building products. Now accepting video entries, the hugely popular annual Living Spaces® Home Makeover Contest encourages homeowners to creatively showcase their wish lists for a dream house exterior redesign.

This summer, one lucky winner will receive an incredible $100,000 grand prize, which includes $75,000 worth of building products, including professional installation and a $25,000 tax gross-up payment. In prior years, winners received $75,000 worth of building products and installation; however, this year CertainTeed has pulled out all the stops by not only increasing the value to assist with ancillary costs, but also awarding energy efficient attic insulation for complete home comfort behind the scenes.

To enter the contest, homeowners simply need to grab their cell phone or video camera and show off their family’s acting talents and unique personalities by uploading their most entertaining 30- to 90-second video to the CertainTeed Living Spaces Facebook® page ( Videos should be creative and fun, such as using an original story idea or theme to explain why their home needs a makeover using CertainTeed’s extensive selection of polymer, insulated and vinyl siding, designer roofing, housewrap, insulation, decking, railing, fence and trim.

CertainTeed will be accepting entries through 11 p.m. ET on May 31 and will announce the winner on or about June 15.

Video entries will appear on the CertainTeed Living Spaces Facebook contest page where visitors can vote for their favorite until 11 p.m. ET on June 7. The top 10 videos that have received the greatest number of  “like” votes will be finalists for best overall pick by CertainTeed judges. The winning family will also star in a series of Facebook and YouTube® video webisodes featuring their home’s remarkable transformation, with the freedom to choose the latest mix and match of products, colors, styles and textures for exceptional curb appeal; combined with energy-saving insulation. Nine runners-up will each receive $500 outdoor living prize packages. For more information and complete contest rules and details, visit

How to choose a contractor

How to Choose a Contractor


Spring is in the air. Often when the weather warms we tackle home projects. Often it may be a job too large to handle ourselves or call for a professional in that particular trade. Here are some ideas to help choose the right contractor.


Where to find contractor:

o   Call your local city hall and ask for reputable contractor names.

o   Ask a reputable company for a suggestion (perhaps your plumber knows a great roofer).

o   The phone book offers several options.

o   Web search are great for finding local companies that often showcase photos of their wok online.


After selecting contractors to provide proposals it is important to interview your contractor to see if they are a right fit for your family. Your contractor will be in your home around your family a certain level of trust is a necessity.


How to “background check” of your contractor:


o   If it is an Illinois Licensed Professional a license can be looked up to be sure it is valid and does not have any actions against them.


o   Do a background check on your contractor. If you find several lawsuits this can be a red flag. It is quick, easy, and free.


o   The Better Business Bureau is also a great place to look up your contractor.


o   Ask the contractor for referrals and address of properties they have worked on. Be diligent and call the referrals to be sure they were satisfied.


Finally once you have interviewed and chosen your contractor be sure to thoroughly read the proposal to check for any errors.