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Get Your Fox River Valley Lawn Ready For Spring!

by The Rullo Team

Get your green thumb ready! Spring is right around the corner! While it might still be a little bit before the warmer weather fully reaches us, now is actually the perfect time to start prepping your Fox River Valley lawn! Complete these lawn care tasks today and enjoy the most stunning yard this spring!


1. Wash Salt Away

All the salt used on the winter roads can do a number on your grass and plants. Give your landscaping a good watering to get rid of this winter remnant.


2. Patch It Up

Now is the perfect time to patch up those thin and barren spots around your lawn. Add grass seed or sod to these areas before the ground temperature rises above 65 degrees. This will help keep weeds at bay.


3. Remove Debris

After the fall and winter, your yard is likely filled with some leftover leaves, branches, and yard debris. Although this stuff protects your lawn in the colder months, it hinders growth in the spring. Do a good cleaning by removing all these items from your grass and garden.


4. Prune & Fertilize

Check the soil for dryness. If it is crumbling instead of clumping, you can begin pruning and fertilizing. Remove old growth from perennials and prune your trees and shrubs. Add a slow release fertilizer to your plants, trees, and grass. Use one that also contains a pre-emergent herbicide to help fight off weeds.


5. Plant Cool Season Plants

Once your soil is dry enough, you can start to add some fresh greenery to your garden. Although temperatures might not seem warm enough, there are some resilient growers (such as bare-root plants, snapdragons, and pansies) that love the conditions of this time of year.


6. Pick Out Your Perennials

Although you cannot plant them yet, now is the time to pick out and preorder the perennials you want to plant this spring. Most nurseries offer deals on these plants at this time of year. Not only will you get a great price but you will also enjoy the best selection!


7. Service Your Mower

Have your lawn mower serviced and ready to go for the first cut of spring. Keep it running in tip top shape all spring and summer by sharpening the blades, changing the oil, and replacing the spark plugs.



For more helpful home improvement tips throughout the year, check out our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ and follow us on Facebook.

St. Charles Home Remodeling Show This Weekend!

by The Rullo Team


Have some remodeling and rebuilding ideas for your Fox River Valley home? Do not miss the 33rd annual
St. Charles Home Remodeling Show! Head over to Kane County Fairgrounds (525 South Randall Road, St. Charles) this weekend to find hundreds of ideas and talk to experts that can help make your plans a reality!

 

Whether you are fixing up your kitchen and bath, looking for gardening and landscaping ideas, improving your roofing and gutter systems, or any other home maintenance projects, you will find the best local contractors, repairmen, and tradesmen to work with. Come with your plans! Shop for all the items you could possibly need for your projects and get great deals!

 

The show will be held on Saturday, March 16th, and Sunday, March 17th, from 10:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily. Enjoy FREE Admission and FREE parking!

 

Find the Digital Home Show Guide HERE!

 

Follow The Rullo Team on Facebook and check out our Website for great homeowners tips and related community events!




Image Credit: The Home Shows, Inc.

Protect your Fox Valley home from extreme temperatures!

by The Rullo Team

This polar vortex we are experiencing is no joke!  The Fox Valley has some of the absolute lowest temperatures seen in decades and this can cause havoc to your home. Protect your largest asset with these tips:

1. Keep your drapes and blinds closed to help insulate your rooms from the cold radiating off windows and doors.  Run your ceiling fans clockwise (looking up) to keep warm air circulating through your home.

2. Keep thermostats set at a higher level.  Many of us try to save on energy bills by setting our thermostats lower at night or when we are away from our homes.  In this extreme weather, it is important to maintain a consistent temperature that is 4-5 degrees higher than you would normally set in order to keep your home warm.

3. Open your cabinet doors.  Keep your doors to kitchen and bathroom cabinets open so that the warm air in your home can circulate around the pipes.

4. Open faucets to a drip to keep water flowing and prevent freezing of pipes.  Frozen pipes can burst and cause severe damage to your home.

5. Furnace filters.  Make sure your furnace filter has been newly changed for best results.

6. Outside faucets.  Are all your outside faucets turned off and hoses detached?  If not, you run the risk of broken pipes and spigots.

If your pipes do freeze in this weather, shut off your main water valve immediately and call a plumbing professional.

For more tips on weathering this extreme cold, follow us on our Facebook page.

Tips to Prep Your Home for Thanksgiving Day Guests!

by The Rullo Team

Thanksgiving is next week! If you are hosting the big feast at your Fox River Valley  home, now is the perfect time to prepare so you feel less stress as the day approaches. Along with planning out your delicious menu, get your home ready so all your guests will be comfy and happy this holiday!


1. Keep It Bright!

You know your home like the back of your hand but your guests don't. Make sure that everyone can safely navigate throughout your home no matter what time of day it is. Check that all outdoor lights are working. Add nightlights to hallways and in bedrooms and bathrooms that guests will be using.

2. Clear The Space!

Remove all unnecessary clutter to accomodate more people in your house. Store these items out of the way in closests and the basement. Make sure you have ample space on counters and tables for all of your food prep.

3. Say Welcome!

Create an amazing first impression for guests as they enter your home by focusing on the foyer. Add some welcoming touches for a festive, homey feel. At the same time, keep it functional for your guests. With the colder weather, you will need ample space for guests to place their coats, shoes, and gear.

4. Get Your Kitchen Ready!

Your kitchen will be the central hub of your home next week so make sure that it is ready to go before the cooking starts. Have all essential items easily accessible. Make it possible for guests to keep you company as you cook by creating a comfortable hang spot for them in the kitchen.

5. Feels Like Home!

If guests are spending the night, make sure that they will be as comfortable as possible. Stock up on warm bedding for them to use. Even if they aren't sleeping over, have spots throughout your home where they can relax since we all get tired after the big feast!

6. Stock Up!

Make sure that all essential items are available in your home's bathroom to account for your additional guests. Stock up on toilet paper, towels, and toiletries for them to use. Keep these items in spots that are easy for guests to locate when they are needed.



The Rullo Team wishes everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

How to Spruce Up Your New Home!

by The Rullo Team

There is always a lot of information and advice about Buying a home. What the process entails, when to do it, what you need, etc. But, after you close on the home and have your boxes packed and ready to go, what should you do? There are actually a few simple chores that you should always do once you move into your new home. You just made a major investment and you want to make sure it is in tip-top shape as you start to make it your own.  


Change Locks: In all reality, when you purchase a new home, you truly have no idea who all has keys to it. As soon as you move in, change all of the locks. You can either re-key or buy entirely new lock sets.

 

Check for Leaks: Other a home inspection has been completed, you still want to verify that there aren't any plumbing issues. Check for any leaks throughout the home. You want to handle these right away because they could lead to costly damage in the future if left unchecked.

 

Remove Pests: Hopefully, this is not an issue that you run into but you want to make sure you do not have any unwelcome "roommates" in your home. If you find pests, consider hiring a professional in order to complete eradicate the issue from the onset and give you peace of mind.

Inspect the HVAC System: Living in the Fox Valley, we know that we need our AC in the summer and our heat in the winter. Make sure you know how to use the HVAC system and that it is working properly throughout the home.

 

Update Lighting: The lighting throughout the house might not be your preference. As you start to settle in, determine how you prefer the lighting in each room and make changes accordingly, whether with overhead lights or accent lights.

Know the Circuit Breaker: If the previous owner did not do so, label the fuses in the circuit breaker. Figure out which ones control which rooms and mark accordingly so you can easily turn the power back on when needed.

 

Understand the Main Water Valve: We can get stormy weather in the Fox River Valley. Between this and plumbing emergencies, it might be necessary to turn off the main water valve from time to time. Find out whether it is located inside or outside of the home and know how to turn it off for these situations.

Clean the Carpets: Have a completely fresh start in the home by deep cleaning the carpets. Rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional to handle. Although the carpets might appear clean, this will give you the peace of mind that your home is sparkly and new.

 

 

If you are looking to BUY, work with The Rullo Team to help you find your dream home in the Fox River Valley. Give our team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

Fall Home Maintenance Tasks!

by The Rullo Team

As the weather gets increasingly colder, you want to make sure that your Fox River Valley home  is in tip-top shape. That means autumn is the perfect time to complete some easy but important home maintenance projects. Here are the top maintenance tasks that you should do around your home this season.

 

Complete Important Yearly Checks!

Fall is a great time to complete those yearly maintenance tasks. Service and clean your HVAC system to keep it running properly throughout the rest of the year. Check all your fire/smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly. Clean out your chimney so you can safely keep your family warm during the colder months.

 

Keep Pests Away!

Just as you will be escaping the colder temperatures inside, pests will try to as well. Avoid unwelcome house guests by checking for small and large holes around your house. Use caulking or netting to cover up. Do an inspection of your attic's insulation to make sure that there are no holes created by pests. Cover up those holes to avoid ice damage from occurring to your roof.

 

Check The Exterior!

Now is the perfect time to do a thourough check of the outside of your home. Finding necessary repairs now will help save you on stress and money as we head closer to winter. Clear gutters of fallen leaves and debris so water can properly move away from your home. Look for loose or missing shingles that need to be replaced. Make sure that all the caulking around doors and windows is adequate and repair as necessary. Remove debris and trim your vegetatin so it can grow properly come the spring.

 

Winterize Your Irrigation System!

Check the manufacturer's instructions on winterize your irrigation/sprinkler season so that it remains protected during the colder months. You can continue to use your sprinklers in the fall but consider putting them on a timer since we tend to experience more rainfall that can naturally hydrate your lawn and garden.

 

Safety First!

With increased precipitation and colder weather, ice starts to become more of a risk throughout the season. Inspect the handrails and supports on your patios and decks to ensure that you and others have something to safely grab onto should you fall. Make sure that walkways are clear of icy patches and well as fallen leaves and sticks.



For more home maintenance tips throughout the year, check out our website!

How to Prep Your Garden for the Fall!

by The Rullo Team

As summer winds down, it is the perfect time to get your garden ready for the end of the year. Protect your Fox River Valley garden during the fall and winter for following these simple tasks!

 

Water

Your plants and trees will need lots of moisture in their roots to survive the colder months. Be sure to water them well over the next several months to ensure their survival.

Amend Your Soil

Till the soil and add compost to get the soil ready for next year.

Plant Fall Annuals

Keep your garden looking great well into fall by planting annuals that thrive in autumn, such as mums, kale, and pansies.

Add Shrubs and Evergreens

Plant shrubs and evergreens early in Fall to allow their roots to grow before the ground freezes.

Lower Your Lawn Mower

It is important to keep cutting your grass before the winter. Allow the soil to dry out quicker in the spring by keeping its cutting height low.

Clear Rose Beds

Remove fallen debris from roses from the bed since this foliage can cause diseases to thrive and will destroy your garden next year.

Divide Perennials

Rearrange your plants as you divide your perennials.

Remove Weeds

Make sure to take out all the weeds from your garden before you cannot get them out of the frozen ground.

Dig Up Annuals

Remove any dead annuals from your garden.

Save Summer Bulbs

If you loved some of your flowers from this year, dig up the bulbs and save them for next year.

Plant Bulbs

For bulbs that are hardy enough to survive the winter months, plant them at the beginning of fall so you will have beautiful blooms right away in spring.

Feed Your Lawn

Add important nutrients to your lawn so it remains healthy throughout the winter.

Rake & Mulch

Get rid of all fallen leaves from your yard and add mulch to your garden beds.

Protect Plants

Plants that cannot survive the colder temperatures should be protected. After the first freeze, place mulch or other protective coverings over them.

Force Bulbs Indoors

Plant some bulbs indoors so that they bloom early in the year and are ready to transfer to your garden as soon as the ground thaws.

Keep Container Plants Indoors

Make sure to remove pests and dead foliage from container plants and bring them indoors to protect them from the cold.

Empty Hoses and Other Watering Equipment

Be sure to remove all water from your hoses, irrigation systems, fountains, and other watering equipment before storing them in a dry place for the winter.

 

Continue to check The Rullo Team's website for more helpful home maintenance tips throughout the year!


 

Fox Valley Tips for Simple Home Maintenance

by The Rullo Team

Home maintenance is considered a chore for a reason. Between work, taking care of the kids, and other cleaning that needs to be taken care of around the house, it often gets pushed to the side. It’s something that no one wants to spend their free time doing and can seem tedious. However, it can help cut energy costs and preserve Your Home's Value for the future. By doing regular, easy home maintenance tasks you can keep your Fox Valley area home in tip top shape! Follow these Top 10 Tips for simple home maintenance.

1. Do a Deep Clean

Perform a deep clean on everything inside of your house. Remove accumulated dust, dirt, and grime buildup throughout the rooms in your house. Clean appliances. Get rid of any mold and mildew buildup in rooms where moisture accumulates. Not only will this clean help your home looking its best but it will also allow to identify any potential problems in your house that might need further attention and repair.

2. Clean Your Dryer Vent

A clogged dryer vent is one of the leading causes of house fires. Ensuring that this does not happen is incredibly easy to do! Along with cleaning out your dryer lint trap every time you use the dryer, you should regularly clear the dryer connection. The dryer connection is the tube/pipe that attaches the appliance to the outdoor vent. Pull the tube out and vacuum it clean of all the lint that has been accumulating within the pipe and the pipe connection. After cleaning it out, reattach the pipe to the dryer and make sure that it is properly connected.

3. Clear Out Your Drains

No one wants to shower while standing in water up to your ankles. Make sure to keep your drains cleared out to avoid more serious problems such as a sewer backup. For less severe drain clogs, pouring boiling water down the drain can fix the issue. If that doesn’t fully clear it up, use a snake to remove the blockage. Always keep your plumber’s phone number handy if problems persist. Purchase a hair strainer to prevent the issue in the future.

4. Replace Your Toilet Flapper

A leaky toilet tank can prematurely wear out the toilet and cause water damage to the bathroom floor. If you notice that your toilet is leaking, the flapper needs to be replaced. After turning off the water supply to the toilet using the valve in the back, empty the tank by flushing the toilet. Remove excess water left in the tank and the flush chain from the lever. You can then slide the existing flapper off and replace it with the new one. Reconnect the chain and turn the water supply back on.

5. Fill Holes and Cracks in the Wall

There are very simple and cheap fixes to cover small holes and cracks in your drywall. A cosmetic sponge can be used to fill those holes. Cut it down to size, push it into the hole, and spackle over it. For those small cracks, add a bit baking soda to strong, fast acting glue and spread the mixture over the crack. This will create a strong surface that can easily be smoothed down by sanding it.

6. Fix Your Windows

Avoid high energy bills by ensuring that your windows are keeping in the cold air or heat. With the cold winter months approaching in Illinois, you want to make sure that heat does not escape your home. Check the caulking around your windows. If there are any cracks or holes, remove the existing caulk with a box cutter and then apply a new line of it along the seam. To get a straight line of caulk, use painter’s tape. Remove the tape while the caulk is still wet. You can also fix a drafty window by applying an inexpensive insulating window film to the glass. Find a tiny hole in the glass? You can repair it with clear nail polish! Allowing the nail polish to dry in between applications, keep adding layers of the polish until it is flush with the glass.

7. Get Rid of the Squeak Below Your Feet

Do you hardwood floors squeak when you walk of them? There is an easy fix for that. The culprit of the creak is moisture. Identify the floorboards that are creaking and sprinkle talcum powder on them. Take a makeup brush and sweep the powder in the cracks between the boards. This will help to soak up the moisture and remove the noise.

8. Clean Your Fridge Coils

Your refrigerator is one of the items in your home that uses up the most energy. To help cut your utility costs, there is a simple fix. By vacuuming the coils underneath or in back of your fridge, you will keep it running as efficiently as possible.

9. Inspect the Safety Features in Your Home

Make sure you and your family stay safe in your home by inspecting your fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. For the fire extinguisher, make sure that it is in an easily accessible spot, check for adequate pressure, and ensure that no wear and tear has occurred. For the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, dust them off, ensure that they are working properly by pushing the test buttons, and replace batteries if necessary.

10. Take Care of Your Gutters

Protect the exterior of your home and avoid more serious damage by regularly clearing your gutters of debris and buildup. If your home isn’t too tall, you can safely clean the gutters yourself by using a ladder. Remove all the muck that has been accumulating in the gutters. Then, take your garden hose to flush any remaining debris out and to make sure that water flows properly through them. If you notice that your gutters are sagging or pulling away from the house, replace the fasteners and hangers. As the leaves begin to fall this Autumn, it is important to make sure that your gutters are ready for any weather that comes our way. 

January is Radon Home Testing Month!

by The Rullo Team

Has your Fox Valley home been tested for Radon? If not, now is the perfect time to get it done! January is National Radon Action Month. As your Fox Valley Real Estate Team, we feel it’s our duty to inform you of the proper precautions and actions to take in order to protect yourself and your family from any possible radon exposure.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon (also known as a radioactive gas) is found at some level in almost every home and takes the lives of 21,000 Americans each year. Did you know that the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General have urged all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and places of business for radon? Because exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure and health issues! If a high radon level is detected in your home you can take steps to fix the problem and protect yourself and your family.

Here's what you need to do to Test your Home for Radon:

Get a Radon test kit & Test your Existing Home: Test kits are available for purchase online, however we would recommend completing the Home Radon Testing Checklist at the following website to ensure you do a complete and accurate job of testing your home: RADON TESTING CHECKLIST. Kane County offers RADON TEST KITS for $15. Just follow this link to learn more:  KANE COUNTY RADON TESTING  Some home goods and hardware stores also sell radon testing kits. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully for proper placement and information on where to send it afterwards to get your reading.

  • Call a Professional- If you'd rather not do the testing yourself, you can call a Fox Valley Radon Mitigation Professional and they'll come in your home and do all the testing for you.
  • If You Are Buying a Home…and the home has already been tested for radon, ask the seller for the test results of the most recent radon test. You may also want to request that a new test be conducted by a professional radon tester. If a radon test has not yet been conducted, request it as soon as possible with your own specific preferences. You have the right to decide who will do the test, what type of test will be done and when the test will be done.
  • If You Are Selling a Home…and your home has already been tested for radon, review the facts and verify it was done correctly. If so, make sure the test results are available to your potential buyers. If your home has not been tested for radon, get the test done as soon as possible; preferably before your home goes on the market.

The presence of radon in your Fox Valley home can be dangerous and life threatening. While smoking causes cancer in an estimated 160,000 people a year, radon can cause lung cancer in both smokers and non-

smokers alike. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched an international radon project to help countries around the world increase awareness, collect data and promote action to reduce radon risks. Radon in our homes is the main source of exposure and up until now has not received widespread attention. Get the facts about radon and make sure your family is safe from its dangers. 

For more Home Buying and Selling Tips visit our Blog and Facebook Page frequently. 

New Year's Resolutions For Your Fox Valley IL Home

by The Rullo Team

New Year’s Resolutions for your home!  We all know that sticking to our resolutions is harder than we expect, but don’t let your home suffer.  Here are the most popular Home related resolutions and how to get them done!  Make this year the year you stick to and achieve all of your home resolutions. Best of all, these improvements will add great value to your Home.    

 

1. Rebuild the Deck

Are your decks looking old and grey?  Even more so than looking bad, old decks can be unsafe.  Even FEMA has warned about these dangers; especially poorly flashed decks, which can fall off of homes and cause bodily injury to you, your family or guests. Make needed repairs now.  

We recommend an annual 6-point deck check to identify problems you should address so that accidents don't occur. 


2. Seal Drafts

Homes get cold in the winter, especially if you have an older home, but newer ones have drafty area's as well.  However, there are simple ways to reduce these chilly home temps.  Cold air is very likely leaking in from several recognizable areas around your house (windows, walls, outlets).

Give yourself an energy audit. It’ll cost around $400 to have a professional come in, or you can do it yourself (see the video below).  The pros will provide you with a report detailing your home's draft problems, but will also include a cost-effective solution.

If your windows are in rough shape, but the frames are sound, then you can replace your windows (install high-efficiency replacement windows) for around $500-$600/piece. You’ll most likely want a professional to install these.

  

Lastly, consider Blown-in Insulation for your walls, which fills the stud bays of exterior walls with heat-retaining cellulose material.

 

3. Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

Tired, outdated kitchen cabinets?  Kitchen renovations are the most expensive home-improvement projects. But you can add value to your home with these simple budget kitchen-cabinet upgrades. Instead of spending a minimal $5,000 on new cabinets, you can save big and reface the ones you have for under $1,000. Other money-saving options include painting your cabinets and, swapping out your cabinet pulls and hinges for new ones.

 


4. Add Curb Appeal

Curb appeal can add 10%-30% more value to your home!! Bet you weren't counting on that!  Here are some of the projects to look at to add curb appeal: 

Install Storm Windows

Paint Your Exterior

Privacy in the yard

Motions Detecting Lighting

Lamp Posts

 

5. Upgrade the Walkway

If you are thinking of re-routing your walkway, there are several options.  Brick & Gravel can be done in a single weekend, whereas concrete is a little more involved but offers a longer lifespan. You can also add special features like a pond at the end of a walk-way or small flower garden. 

 


6. Go Green On Top

Green Roofs aren't that prevalent here in the Fox Valley, but many area's have gone more to the eco-friendliness of them. Here are the reason some people are trending toward the "Green Roof" Movement:   

They reduce storm runoff

Absorb pollutants, 

give plants more room to grow, 

Best of all… They lower heating and cooling bills by providing insulation. 

If your dream green roof is too complex to install, check out development kits.  Green roofing is getting easier every day.  


7. Basement Makeover

Just do it!  Whatever your dream basement is, do it!  This is the year.  Whether you want to make it into a chic Mom's relaxing area, man cave for Dad & the guys, a game room for the kids, or an Exercise Room to accomplish your New Year's Resolutions....This is the year to Finish your Basment and Add Value to your Home!  

 

8. Paint Your Interior

This is one of the easiest on the list.  Start with one room and build momentum until every room is freshly painted.  It will do wonders for your home. 

1. First, select the proper hues with the help of a color wheel. 

2. Then, get the right equipment for the job.

3. Brush up on the best painting techniques from the pros…hem hem, YouTube!

4. Finally, paint the rooms!

 

9. Get The Little Things Done

There are always a handful of small repairs and the list grows throughout the year, becoming more and more frustrating.  Just fix this stuff.  Now, do these first.  They are simple things and you will feel a lot better when you check these things off your list.  Then, let this momentum continue through the rest of your changes. 

1. Fixing your outlets, or changing over to new ones.

2. Patching holes in walls where pictures, shelves or other wall hangings used to be.

 3. Recaulking Bathroom & Kitchen Sinks and Showers.

Good luck to you and all of your New Year’s projects.  If you are fixing up your home to put it on the market in The Fox Valley, give the Rullo Team a call!  We’d be happy to assist you in getting your home ready to sell.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

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