Notice: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in Tarski_Widget_Recent_Entries is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use
instead. in /home/content/80/9278680/html/realty1/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3947
Brian Sells Chicago · Your best source for real estate related news, tips, and other information. Illinois licensed real estate broker and International Real Estate Specialist Notice: get_bloginfo was called with an argument that is deprecated since version 2.2.0! The text_direction option is deprecated for the family of bloginfo() functions. Use the is_rtl() function instead. in /home/content/80/9278680/html/realty1/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4076
class="home blog centre">

We all know it’s important to maintain a proper and strong roof over your head. A sound roof is crucial for your safety and for your home. It keeps you and your family warm and dry, along with everything in your house. If you ignore a problem in your roof, even a small one, then you could find yourself with a significantly larger issue down the road.

The three most common roofs repairing are: replacing damaged shingles, gluing down a badly curled shingle, and repairing shingles that have cracked. Repairing a roof shingle might seem like an easy task, but there is more danger in getting on and off a roof than most homeowners realize. Tools, multiple trips up and down a ladder, and constant attention paid to the incline of the roof make the roof repairs tiring, and if you’re not prepared, dangerous. Stick with the professionals – they have the proper gear and the experience required to do the job right.

Find out more from my friends at Peterson Roofing. Make sure to tell Jim Peterson that I sent you!

If you have a new home, you will not encounter asbestos or lead paint. But if you are interested in older homes, asbestos and lead paint are a possibility. Once used as insulation, asbestos is toxic, and there are laws that govern how it’s removed and disposed of. Lead paint is also highly toxic, and in the late 1960s, it was determined that the lead in the paint led to serious medical issues.

If your house or apartment was built before 1978 then there may be potential for lead based paint inside and out, that could potentially pose a serious risk of lead poisoning. The risk is increased if you’re pregnant or have small children.

These lead paints were phased out and by the 1980s legislation banned the use of lead paints in homes due to health concerns. Removal of the lead paint should be done by a professional.

Should you have mold in your home (certain types are toxic), it’s best to leave the removal of all of these to the professionals: they know how to remove and dispose of all toxic materials, and they can do it safely.

Join the discussion with me on  Twitter (@BrianTWolf).

If your project requires direct contact with electricity, call a pro. This includes rewiring, adding power to areas that do not currently have power, and any installation of large or heavy light fixtures (like a chandelier.) Electricity is no joke, and the last thing you want is to cause yourself harm, or harm your home, during a DIY project.

It’s recommended to call to electrician in these cases: if electrical circuit breakers trip often, or fuses blow frequently, your circuits are drawing more current than they can safely provide. This may also indicate a dangerous fault on one or more circuits. If plug strips and multi receptacle add-ons are strangling your outlets, your electrical system is working beyond capacity. Additional circuits with duplex receptacles are needed to restore order and safety.

If you have a lot of wires in your living room, under the rugs or the furnitures, a dangerous condition exists and you definitely need more outlets. If some of those wires are extension cords, the outlets you have, are too far apart.

Also, are outlets, switches or other electrical system surfaces warm to touch? Do you see any blackening nearby on the Switchplate or wall, switch terminals or wire ends? Does a switch or outlet give a mild shock? The problem could simply be too much demand on the circuit, or something far more complicated and dangerous, you need to check it with a pro.

Furthermore, if you begin to notice rust or moisture on or under your home’s main service panel, it’s a sign that something’s going wrong and you definitely need to call in an electrician. BE SAFE!

For more discussion and ideas visit my Facebook page.

Female plumber preparing a pipe for a kitchen sink

DIYers should be able to do small projects, like replacing a toilet flapper, addressing drips, upgrading shower and sink fixtures, and other small things that don’t require a lot of tools.

If the toilet flapper is your problem, keep calm, you can solve this on your own. This part is made of rubber and it can get hard and break down over time. Once the plastic is worn out it will not form strong, tight seal to stop the flow of water as it should. Fortunately the flapper is an inexpensive part that can be easily replaced. Furthermore, according to the Wall Street Journal, a leaky toilet is the most common reason for a spike in home water bills, so keep an eye on those. Usually it’s not hard to tell if your toilet is leaking – you will hear it. It’s hard to miss the sound of running water or a faint hissing or trickling. But many times water will flow through the tank silently, which is why these leaks are often overlooked.

To check for a toilet leak: remove the toilet tank lid then drop one dye tablet or 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. Put the lid back on and do not flush, just wait at least 10-15 minutes, and then look in the bowl. If you see colored water, you have a leak.  If your project requires moving or installing any plumbing or pipes, call a pro for help. Welding pipes together requires a torch, and if you don’t have that experience, it’s best to rely on the experts for this type of work.

Find out more or ask me your questions on my Google Plus page.

Construction worker laying tile

Construction worker laying tile

Tiling a backsplash or replacing dirty old grout are projects many homeowners will be able to tackle on their own. And if your project requires tiling floors, walls, or large tile installations, it might be worthwhile to contact a professional for help, especially if your cutting any tiles is necessary.

If you are interested in new grout and ready to experiment in an unorthodox way, then keep reading. All you need to do in order to make old grout to look good is just to paint it. You can buy a special paint for this. It’s not expensive – but before you buy it please make sure that your tiles are a kind suitable for the product. The process of painting is really simple. All you need to do before you start, it’s just to sweep the targeted painting area.

Then, you need to gather supplies for this action, which include an old toothbrush and of course the grout paint. Pour a dab of paint onto the toothbrush and scrub it into your grout. When you finish painting, let it dry for up to three days. After that, run a wet rag over the area to loosen it up a bit. Then you can use a moist dishcloth to wipe the floor from paint leftovers and you’re finished.

Please, feel free to share your experience on my facebook page.

electricalElectricity flows to your lights and appliances from the power company through your panel, its breakers, out on your circuits and back. Most homes have three wire service, two hot wires and one neutral. Throughout the house, one hot wire and one neutral wire power conventional 120 volt lights and appliances. The two hot wires and the neutral wire make a 240 volt circuit for large appliances (such as air conditioners). Connections along these paths, can be disrupted or fail.

If your electricity goes off, start by checking to see if its power cut or a fault in your home.  The easiest way to do this is to see if your neighbors still have electricity. If they don’t have power either, then it’s a power cut. If your neighbors have power, then it could be a fault in your home. After you figured this out, and found that it’s only in your home, you can try to check if your trip switch may have turned itself off. If it has, try turning it back on. If it switches off again, then one of your electrical appliances may be faulty. Once you’ve found the faulty appliances and turned it off, your power should stay on.

If you have no experience with the electrical system of your home, keep your improvements limited to changing outlet covers and switch plates. You can also change all your current light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. Even though some homeowners argue that the energy saving bulbs is too expensive, sticking with old bulbs would cost you far more money over the long run.

If you have questions please call me to discuss 847-943-9653 or visit my facebook page

Caulking window

If you’re doing minor maintenance and repairs (like repairing or replacing wood sills or caulking around windows), you should be able to do this type of project no sweat. However, if you are constantly trying to fix your windows, it may be time to consider having them replaced entirely. Keep this in mind, older windows can be a source of significant heat loss and gain in winter and summer. If you’re looking to replace a window, or need to rebuild a window frame, count on calling a professional for help. If you aren’t sure whether to replace the window or not, it’s recommended to check if panes have moisture on them and if the exteriors are chipped or faded and certainly if the windows do not close or open easily. In any of those situations, it’s recommended to replace your home’s windows.


For more information please check my twitter account



Floor repairs can be fairly easy, from cleaning to repairing small nicks in the flooring. However, if the tiles are damaged, it’s Outdoor_DIY_Bamboo_Flooringlowering your house value.  Broken tiles harm the aesthetics of the house and give it an outdated and tacky look. In case of a large number of broken tiles, we can choose between three alternatives: to repair the tiles – if the amount of the damaged ones not too great, replace the floor or glue a new tile over the old ones. In large projects like this, it might be worthwhile to hire a pro. With the amount of work required to install a new floor, hiring someone with the experience can save you time, money and a lot of body aches.


If you’re not sure and want a professional opinion, you can trust my friend Fred Scharm. Call him today at Scharm Floor Covering, (847) 298-8233, online at

Holding up the sheetrock

Painting can be one of the most inexpensive ways to improve the look of your home without too much effort. Painting jobs are one of the most common DIY projects that you can undertake around the house. Applying a fresh coat of paint or a new set of colors on your wall will make your current home look as good as new. With the right color combinations, your home will have the ambiance that you strive for. To realize this, you will need paint, a few rollers and the right paint brush all of which can be found in any hardware store or home improvement center.

Before you start to paint, it’s recommended to make a few preparations. First, you should empty out the room, or at least as much as possible. Secondly, wipe the walls down, so the dirt won’t break the paint continuity. After that you’re good to go, just remember to brush before rolling. Use the roller after brushing in order to flatten out any brush marks.

Cracks, structural repairs or water damage cause immediate deterioration of the wall and they require permanent solutions. Should you have such issues, call a pro, especially if you are going to demolish the existing wall, replace or re-frame anything, sheetrock or drywall or anything else that is labor intensive and requires a trained individual with the right tools, materials and techniques.

Join me on Twitter @BrianTWolf to find out more or to share your painting stories.

plansAs homeowners, we want our homes to reflect our style and the current designs in the real estate market. Whether it is built on moderate- or high-quality materials, your home will need upkeep, aesthetics, and overall maintenance on regular basis to keep it in good condition. If you happened to purchase an older property, or you are looking to update your current home, some level of work and repair projects will have to be undertaken to bring your home up to the level that you desire.
While many of us have the experience to handle most home projects, there are some of us that don’t. Therefore, it is essential to know which projects you can do yourself, and which requires a professional. In the course of this month, I am going to look at the common projects that homeowners embark upon, and provide suggestions on when it is best to do it yourself or seek the help of a professional.

Find out more by visiting me on Google+. And if you can’t wait and want to talk to a Handyman today check out Sgt. HandyMan on Facebook

« Older entries