September HomeOwner Newsletter

Loris Ryan
(708) 237-7713

3580 W. 95th St.
Evergreen Park, IL 60805

Monthly Pro Tip: Insulate Your Attic

An easy project for homeowners to take on themselves is installing insulation in the attic, and the benefits are noticeable immediately. 

First step to insulating your attic is to seal up joints and cracks with insulation foam; doing this can save you up to 20% a year on heating and cooling costs. 

Local building codes can help you choose the right R-value for your climate. R-value is the ability of the insulation to slow the transfer of heat. The higher the R-value, the better the material's ability to resist the flow of heat through it. 

If your attic has some insulation already, install insulation that does not have a moisture barrier. Start by cutting insulation and installing it in areas that have small access, after that, you can continue in open areas by rolling out the insulation. 

Lay new insulation perpendicular to any existing insulation, right over the rafters. Be sure to lay insulation edges tightly next to each other to maximize the efficiency. 

Advantages of Solar Energy

There are many advantages to consider when it comes to solar energy and everything that it offers. Not only does solar energy benefit your pocketbook, but more importantly, it benefits the environment. 

Solar energy is a completely renewable resource. The solar cells make absolutely no noise at all, while extracting useful energy from the sun. Solar energy also creates absolutely no pollution. This is perhaps the biggest perk of solar energy, putting it ahead of oil. Solar cells also require little maintenance to keep them running. Pretty much the only maintenance required is an annual cleaning. 

Although solar panels and solar lighting may seem expensive initially, in the long run you will find yourself saving money compared to oil, which is always rising in cost. The technology for solar power is constantly improving over time, and gaining in popularity as people are starting to understand all of the benefits.

Decorating Your Mantel

A fireplace is often a focal point and can be difficult to show off. People sometimes think that whatever is on the mantel has to be symmetrical, but really it just needs to be balanced. When selecting a piece to go on top of the mantel, don’t feel you have to match the length, try going vertical. Add a couple of items such as flowers, a vase, picture frame or candles, then step away and evaluate how it looks. Think about it like a collage, add one piece, step back, and add another piece, until it looked balanced. Change up your mantel a couple a couple times a year by just changing one or two pieces to add a fresh new look. 

Taking Care of Your Lawn

Knowledge is power, and the more you know about how to take care of your lawn, the healthier your lawn will be. 

Take care of your mower. Mowing your lawn with sharp blades will help your lawn look green. If your grass has brown tips it’s tearing instead of having a nice cut. It’s recommended to sharpen the blades twice a year. Did you know you should be changing the height setting on your mower when the season changes? Set your mower’s height to 2-3 inches in the spring and fall, and raise it a little higher during the summer. Don’t forget to edge your lawn. This reduces the chances of your lawn looking scruffy and always gives it a manicured look. 

Do you know how much water your lawn is getting? Over watering is just as harmful to your lawn as under watering. To find out how much water your lawn needs, use a rain gauge. When you water, the amount of time you water matters more than how frequently you are watering. You want to be sure the water reaches the soil under the grass, not just the blades. Talk to your local nursery to find out additional information regarding the type of grass you have on your lawn. 

Corn with Chili-Lime Butter


1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
1 tablespoon rocoto chile paste (available in jars at Latin markets)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ears corn, husks and silk removed
Crumbled cotija cheese, for topping


Preheat a grill to medium high. Combine the butter, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, chile paste and cumin in a bowl. Add salt and pepper; mix well.

Grill the corn, turning, until nicely charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with a spoonful of the flavored butter on top. Sprinkle with more cilantro and cotija cheese.

Recipe courtesy Aaron Sanchez for Food Network Magazine
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