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FALL 2015





8 RANDOM MUSINGS from Gerry Mandel

HOME REMODELING 10 The Advantages of Design/Build Construction for Remodeling 12 Eliminate Temperature Variances in Your Home 14 Shower Yourself with Remodeling Savings this Fall 16 Clean Air Ducts Make a Big Difference in Your Home 17 The Basement Egress Window 18 Why Tear Out Your Old Counters and Cabinets? 19 How is Your Home Performing? 20 Stone and Tile Floors Looking Dull? Ugly Grout?



22 A Personal Trainer is the Key to Achieving Your Goals 24 Hypnosis Can Be Your Key to Change 25 Is Poor Sleep Affecting Your Health? 26 Mold in Your Home Can Threaten Your Health 27 Now There Is Help to Prevent Falls, Enabling Seniors to Stay In Their Homes



28 Late Fall Activities & Events Calendar 30 Rural and Farm Property is a Sound Investment . . . and Much More 32 The Good Badass Samaritan by John Drake Robinson





34 Homeowners Discover a Better Alternative to Painting or Siding 36 Discovering the Pleasure and Beauty of Professional Landscape Lighting 38 Keeping Wooden Roofs Beautiful 39 Save Money by Renewing Your Outdoor Furniture 40 Enjoy A Natural Water Feature in Your Own Yard Part II 42 Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail? 44 Fiberglass Doors Provide Great Benefits to Your Home 46 Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces?

47 Ethics Reform for Missouri Government 48 What if You Could Eliminate the Task of Bill Paying? 50 The History of St. Louis County, Missouri FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 5

Publsher’s Message


Expertise: It’s the Opposite of “Do It Yourself” It seems that in our ever-more complicated world, any major project you contemplate, or purchase you make comes with many options to consider, requiring ever more decisions that you have to make. We understand that our readers are busy with their own work and family lives. Rather than trying to become expert at everything from remodeling your home to getting in great shape to creating a water garden, you value the role of experts, professionals who can guide you through these decisions as well as handle the heavy lifting. Our goal at County Living Magazine is to find and select innovative and quality products and services of interest and value, and the most accomplished expert providers, then introduce them to you in articles that can be helpful in choices you make. You won’t find anything in these pages that is “do it yourself.” We believe that when you are making an investment in your home, or considering options for your health and well being, it is worthwhile to engage experts who really add value for you. After all, how many screen rooms, kitchens or fences do you expect to build in your lifetime? If you are committing your resources and the integrity of your home to these projects, our perspective is that it’s more important to know that they are done right and that they will provide value for you and your family than it is to be able to tell people that you did them yourself. As always, I would like to hear from our readers. Let us know about products, services or companies you would recommend to other readers. To share your thoughts, find more resources, print or forward articles to others, please visit www.CountyLivingMag.com. Todd Abrams

on the cover This beautiful and functional kitchen was expanded considerably as part of an addition and complete renovation to the original 1960s two-story home. The solid wood cabinetry features a brushed glazed vintage finish with inset doors. A handcrafted glazed backsplash with crackled finish completes this traditional kitchen with a cozy French country feel. The Thermador® 4-burner gas cooktop with griddle enables the flow of lower cabinetry without the interruption of a full stove. S.W. Scheipeter Construction is an awardwinning Design/Build Remodeling firm that is passionate about working with their clients throughout the remodeling process. You can see more of their work at www.scheipeter.com, follow them on Facebook and Twitter or call them at (314) 962-7073. See an article featuring their work on page 10 and their ad on page 27. 6 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM


VOLUME 15 | FALL 2015

staff PUBLISHER/EDITOR Todd Abrams Creative Director Fran Sherman Graphic Designer Eric Null PRINTING ADVISOR Creative Printing Services DISTRIBUTION DATABASE Target Marketing Technologies PRODUCTION Sherman Studios FOR INFORMATION REGARDING ADVERTISING CALL County Living Publications 314-432-1171 phone 314-569-3380 fax P.O. Box 411036 St. Louis, MO 63141 www.CountyLivingMag.com County Living Magazine is published quarterly by County Living Publications and distributed to select homeowners in the St. Louis area. Articles are selected to provide useful information about home, lifestyle, health, travel and recreation. Opinions expressed in articles and editorials are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of County Living Publications. While every effort is made to assure accuracy, we are not responsible for how information found in County Living Magazine is used. We are very interested in reader comments or suggestions. Correspondence should be sent to the address above or to editor@CountyLivingMag.com.

Reproduction of content of this magazine without permission is prohibited. All submitted materials, including images, logos and text for advertising, articles and editorials are assumed to be the property of the contributor, and County Living Publications does not take responsibility for unintentional copyright infringement. County Living Publications has the right to refuse advertising and content not deemed appropriate for this publication. Circulation is verified by U.S. Postal receipts.



Hats Off . . . and On.


want to talk about hats today. Women’s hats. Men’s hats. “Why?” you may ask. The quick and easy answer is “They’re stylish.” The more considered response is, “Hats are a sure way to declare your individuality, announce your arrival on the scene, magically transform yourself into ‘Somebody.’”

I’ve always linked hats with the movies. From Ingrid Bergman in “Casablanca” and Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to Bogie in “The Maltese Falcon” and Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones.” America’s screens and movie magazines were once filled with an array of hat-wearing stars. It was part of “the look” during the 1930’s and ’40’s. Then it started to fade away for a while. Here’s what got me started on this subject. During the middle of August I went to Chicago to visit my son, Gregg, and celebrate my birthday. He had heard me comment about how cool some guys and gals looked when they wore a hat. I asked my wife if she thought I’d look good in a hat. She smiled and said, gently, “No way.” That pretty much killed it for me, until that night at dinner. Gregg handed me a bag and said “Happy birthday, Dad.” Yep, you’re way ahead of me. It was a hat. A “Hipster” hat. That’s the brand name and style. I put it on, posed for the table, turned to my wife and said, “What do you think?” She said, “It looks great on you. I love it.” Talk about spousal support. I kept it on for the rest of the night and the rest of the trip. Now don’t quote me on this but I believe that St. Louis is behind the fashion curve when it comes to hats. Citizens of New York, Chicago, other cities especially the younger men and women - seem to recognize the power of a hat. Maybe I just don’t get around much anymore in St. Louis, but it seems we prefer the bareheaded approach to fashion. We have trouble moving beyond the baseball cap. I’ve loved Diane Keaton ever since she wore that big floppy hat in “Annie Hall.” Any woman who wears a hat immediately commands my respect and

attention. What kind of hat? Take your pick. As long as it fits the persona of the wearer, even enhances it. There are many styles to choose from, many of which you’ll recognize, may even own, may even wear. Man or woman, doesn’t matter. Consider the fedora (felt or straw), the Homburg, the trilby, porkpie, Panama, boater (straw), beret, beanie, and bucket hat. Even the leather baseball cap. Surely you can find one in there that works for you. I visited Plaza Frontenac a couple of days ago to wander about, see how many people were wearing hats. Results: No men. One woman. But she was beautiful. Probably in her 60’s, a well-bred look (it’s Frontenac, remember) and a dazzling white straw, wide-brimmed hat proudly sitting on her head. I wanted to cue the music and waltz her around the mall a couple of times. A hat can do that. A quick note here about a wellknown treasure in downtown St. Louis. It’s Levine Hat Company, on Washington Avenue. They opened in 1903. That’s one year before the St. Louis World’s Fair! If you want to see hats, all styles of hats at all levels of prices, then take a trip into this wonderland. It is still a family-owned business. And, no, I’m not getting a discount if I buy a hat there. There is fashion hope for St. Louis. All it takes is a little imagination, a little courage, a few bucks, and the desire to “Be Somebody.” Gerry Mandel is a free-lance writer and video producer. For information on his video biographies, visit www.facebook.com/TheLifePreserver. His novel, “Shadow and Substance: My Time with Charlie Chaplin,” is available through Amazon or directly from the author, huevista@gmail.com. clm




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Home Remodeling



Design/Build Construction Is a More Satisfying Approach to Home Remodeling

f you have been thinking about remodeling your home, but have concerns about time, money and sanity that are holding you back, you may change your mind when you understand the advantages of the design/build approach to home remodeling. This is an integrated process. Five important facets are combined to achieve a successful project: innovative design, material selections, constructive coordination, budget considerations and experienced craftsmanship. More and more homeowners have found that design/ build streamlines the remodeling project and empowers them in the process. With the design/build approach, design and construction services are contracted by a single company in which there is one point of contact overseeing the entire remodeling process. Rather than having to find and deal with a designer, engineer, architect and contractor separately, a design/build firm manages the entire process and is responsible for bringing all components into play and unifying a team. This reduces the stress on the homeowner. The design/build approach puts the burden of performance on one company, minimizes the risks, reduces costs and synchronizes the schedule by coordinating design and construction. The process begins with a meeting between the design/ build contractor and the homeowner to discuss what they want to accomplish and their budget parameters. Then an Existing Conditions Report is developed which includes measurements, photographs, structural elements and mechanical systems of the home. Based on this report and the goals established, a general budget range is determined and a Design Agreement is signed. The next step is to develop conceptual floor plans and elevations using ‘real time’ design. This computer based

collaborative process makes it possible for the architect, designer and builder to meet with the homeowner to show realistic color renderings of how the remodeled space will look and blend into the rest of the home, before the investment is made in detailed drawings and plans. Three-dimensional visuals are shown on a computer screen that illustrates room layouts, surface materials, location of built-in elements and furniture pieces in the remodeled space. Real time design is a participatory process for the homeowner, making it easy for them to compare options and allowing for changes to be made right on the spot. It also enables discussion of budget implications for changes that are considered. With agreement on conceptual drawings, work is then begun on detailed plans for the project. Once the design phase is completed, but before construction begins, the client is given a construction package that includes project specifications, material selections, cabinetry drawings, on-site mechanical specifications, budget controls and trade-contractor coordination with a guaranteed cost of construction. Construction begins, and the end result is a homeowner’s dream living space! Steve Scheipeter is owner and principal at S.W. Scheipeter Construction, one of the most reputable design/build firms in St. Louis. They specialize in kitchen, bathroom and basement remodeling as well as additions and outdoor living spaces. They have won numerous awards for professionalism, craftsmanship and service including the 2012 Chrysalis award for the best whole house remodel. Steve Scheipeter has attained the Certified Graduate Remodeler certification and the Certified Aging in Place Specialist certification. You can view their work by visiting www.scheipeter.com or follow them on Facebook or Twitter or call 314-962-7073 to discuss your next home remodeling project. clm


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Home Remodeling

Eliminate Temperature Variances in Your Home

Comprehensive Approach Addresses Homeowners’ Biggest Complaints


ost homes have challenging rooms for controlling temperature – upstairs bedrooms that are too hot, lower level rooms that are too cold. Sometimes it varies by the season or time of day - rooms that face west get too hot in the afternoon, while areas on the east side of the house are too cool. The fact is that different rooms in your house have different climate control needs. Areas with a lot of glass are often more sensitive to outdoor temperature changes than conventionally insulated rooms. If your house has two floors but only one thermostat, then it’s almost s sure thing that you’ll be warm in summer. Solving these problems is made more challenging by the tendency of whatever company you call to want to solve your problem with what they primarily sell – more insulation, a new HVAC system, or new windows. But there is a company in the St. Louis area that has the ability to diagnose all of the systems and conditions that impact the climate of rooms of your home, and provide you with a comprehensive list of solutions, prioritized by effectiveness and cost efficiency. SmartHouse has solved these temperature control problems for many homeowners in our area. Solutions can be as simple as improving the circulation of air through your HVAC system by sealing leaks or improving the flow of conditioned air delivery or returns. They can seal cracks at floor level or around doors and windows that may be creating drafts, and improve or add insulation where it is deficient.

For more challenging needs, SmartHouse provides more comprehensive solutions, such as creating separate zones on your existing heating and cooling system, each with its own thermostat controlling motorized dampers in your ductwork to direct air flow to specific rooms. There is also a new portable wireless thermostat that sets the temperature specifically for the room you are in. Where the problems are caused by an overtaxed or ineffective HVAC system, they can recommend a replacement or second system. Also, for rooms that can’t effectively be reached by ductwork, there are ductless solutions that address those areas specifically. A SmartHouse Home evaluation is the first step to help you find the exact causes of common comfort problems or high utility bills. SmartHouse will present you with a detailed list of improvement suggestions, an actionable and cost effective plan to fix the problems, rather than bandage the symptoms. In addition to full-service heating and cooling maintenance, repairs and installation, SmartHouse also has on staff experts in insulation and air sealing, including ducts and crawlspaces. You select the improvements you want, and their expert crews will perform the services. As your whole-home energy consultant, they don’t just “sell” something, they show you exactly what you need and why you need it. Their technicians are not paid commissions, so there is no incentive to sell something you don’t need. To schedule your comfort evaluation or annual maintenance, and learn about savings on more efficient equipment, you can email info@callsmarthouse.com or call 314-644-1570. You can learn more by visiting http://www.callsmarthouse.com. clm


FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 13

Home Remodeling

Shower Yourself with Remodeling Savings this Fall! Fall is a great time to tackle those needed home improvement products.


f your tile shower is dated, some of the grout is missing, the pan is leaking, or your fiberglass unit is faded or cracked, you don’t necessarily have to tear it out and replace the entire shower. There are proprietary processes to repair a leaking shower pan without removing and replacing the tile. This will save you time and money and the end result will be both beautiful and durable. Loose tile grout can be repaired and you can also replace dated colors with high-tech surface refinishing instead of expensive replacement or re-grouting. “Having your tile regrouted is a temporary solution,” says Terry Kavanaugh, owner of Miracle Method of St. Louis. “If grout is not routinely sealed, it can deteriorate and absorb water, which can cause leaks and possibly black grout and mold.” The process Kavanaugh recommends permanently seals grout, eliminating potential leaks, and it is also easy to maintain. Do you have problems with a fiberglass bath or shower unit? Miracle Method has an answer for faded and cracked showers and pans. “Cracked fiberglass does not need to be replaced. We can fix the cracks and refinish the dull surface, and it will be stronger than new,” adds Kavanaugh. “Our customers love the look and they love the money they save over replacement even more.” Most customers are opting for the Natural Accents™ stone finishes for their tile and fiberglass shower walls. This designer look creates the updated impact homeowners are looking for in a makeover. As the nation’s largest surface refinishing network, Miracle Method has been helping St. Louis area home-

owners save on remodeling costs for over ten years. Whether it is a porcelain, fiberglass, cultured marble, acrylic, Formica or even Corian® surface, Miracle Method can fix it, update it, and have it looking like new. “It takes just a day or two and our work is guaranteed.” says Kavanaugh. To see just how good refinishing can be, you can read reviews from satisfied customers by logging on www.miraclemethod.com/stlouis. The Natural Accents™ stone finish color choices can be seen at www.miraclemethod.com/natural-accentssamples.htm. You can call 888-819-4399 for a free estimate, or schedule an appointment to visit their new showroom at 414 Gravois Rd in Fenton 63026. clm


FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 15

Home Remodeling


Clean Air Ducts Make a Big Difference in Your Home

he Problem. Homes are built to be airtight, to provide comfortable temperature and humidity. But a lack of fresh outside air can lead to indoor AIR RETURN BEFORE air pollution. Over time, dust, pollen, pet hair and dander, insect parts, smoke, mold, dirt or debris collect in your air ducts. Re-circulating these through your AIR SUPPLY DUCT BEFORE forced air system produces unpleasant smells and excess dust, and can contribute to respiratory illnesses. Do You Need Your Air Ducts Cleaned? You should consider having a professional examine your system for cleaning if: • Dust is a problem, or you have musty or stale odors • Your family has allergies, asthma, sinus or other breathing problems • There is a noticeable lack of air flow through your system • You have headaches or a stuffy head at night or in the morning • When you turn on heat for the first time in the fall there is a noticeable smell A clean duct system not only makes for a fresher home, but


has greater air capacity and requires less running time, for better efficiency and reduced heating and cooling costs. Choosing an Air Duct Cleaning Company AIR RETURN AFTER For solving the problem of dirty air ducts, you should select a company that has a solid reputation, is insured and bonded, and documents their work. Ask AIR SUPPLY DUCT AFTER for recommendations about the quality of their work, and they should offer photographic proof of the work that was done. Patty Clisham is owner of DUCTZ of West St. Louis, a familyowned and managed company focused on cleaning air ducts and dryer vents. They are an Accredited Business with an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and a certified Women Owned Enterprise. They are insured, bonded and always provide before and after pictures showing that the project was performed to their strict standards. You can call them for a no-obligation consultation at your home at 314-631-6700. For more information you can visit the website www. DUCTZ.com. clm

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The Basement Egress Window Adds safety, appeal and value to your home


inishing your basement is the most efficient way to add useable space to your home. If you have or are planning sleeping rooms downstairs, you need to make sure that there are two exits for emergencies. If your home does not have a walk-out basement, this usually requires an escape, or egress window. It is important to know your local residential building codes for egress. St. Louis County building permit requirements state that all basement bedrooms must have one window for emergency escape with a sill no more than 44 inches above the floor and a minimum clear opening area of 5.0 square feet. The emergency escape window must be operable from the inside without need for special knowledge, tools, or extra force beyond that required for a normal window. But don’t just think of the basement egress window as a requirement. It can also add natural light and ventilation and with an expanded window well it can be an attractive feature, with flowers and plants on the terraced steps. The overall enhancements of safety, light, ventilation and more attractive appearance add to the value of your home. One company that is expert in structural basement improvements is Woods Basement Systems. They will be happy to give you a free estimate to install a basement egress window in your home. You can call them at 866-735-1890 or learn more at betterbasementvalue.com. clm FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 17

Home Remodeling

Why Tear Out Your Old Counters and Cabinets, When

You Can Beautifully REFACE Them?


tandard kitchen remodeling can be costly, messy and may take weeks to complete. Tearing out and completely replacing cabinets and countertops leaves you without use of a kitchen for an extended period, inconveniencing your family and leaves you with a house full of dust. Thankfully, there is another option. You can get beautiful new cabinets, countertops and backsplashes in just a few short days by having them refaced with all new surface materials. This is done without demolition, so you are not adding to landfills. Quality surface refacing is an innovative and green approach that can cut costs and give you a fabulous new kitchen with very little downtime. For countertops, a beautiful slab of granite or sleek recycled glass is custom measured and cut to fit snugly over your countertop, for a completely new look. These slabs have

superior heat, scratch, stain and bacteria resistance compared with standard granite. They never need to be sealed, come in a wide array of materials, colors and textures, and are backed by a lifetime warranty. Cabinet refacing provides all new solid wood, painted or thermo-foil finish doors. Cabinet frames and all exposed sides are covered with matching material. Hidden hinges and an unlimited choice of handles and knobs provide a clean new look. Granite Transformations is the St. Louis area’s kitchen surface experts. They can reface your cabinets, install new granite over your existing countertops and add complementing backsplash. You can see examples of their work at granitetransformations.com/StLouis. For a free in-home quote you can call them at (636) 449-1579, or visit their showroom in Chesterfield Valley at 17409 Chesterfield Airport Road. clm


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*Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/15/15 – 12/7/15 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Offer excludes Nantucket™ Window Shadings, a collection of Silhouette Window Shadings. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 7 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. © 2015 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas.

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7/16/15 11:26 AM

How is Your Home Performing? Solutions for Increasing Comfort and Reducing Energy Bills


chieving these improvements starts with proper evaluation and testing. A Home Energy Evaluation identifies causes of comfort problems and high energy consumption, and suggests cost-effective remedies. A Blower Door Fan draws outside air into the house to detect and diagnose air leaks. Thermal Scanning with an infrared camera that “sees through walls” can measure how effectively your insulation is working.. Solving the Problems Based on the findings, a proposal is developed that identifies steps to reduce energy use and increase comfort. Recommendations are provided that can have the biggest impact on energy use, comfort and savings. Common recommended improvements often include: Air Sealing - Your home may be leaking air, resulting in drafts and rooms that don’t heat or cool effectively. Air sealing is the first step to a more comfortable and energy-efficient home. Insulation is also important to an energy-efficient home.

Find out how much insulation you have, how it’s performing and whether you need more. Crawlspace Sealing - Cold floors, poor air quality and energy inefficiency can be caused by unsealed crawlspaces below. Sealing prevents moisture and air infiltration. In the St. Louis area, one long-established company is helping solve home performance problems. Dr. Energy Saver STL, part of the Woods Basement Systems organization, performs the Home Energy Evaluation at no charge – totally free - to help you discover where your home is using, losing, and wasting energy. Dr. Energy Saver also can perform the critical home energy-saving services needed to address the specific problems identified, such as adding insulation, sealing air leaks in your home, crawl space encapsulation and more. The results will show up in lower energy bills. To schedule a no-obligation Home Energy Evaluation in your home, you can call Dr. Energy Saver at 866-735-1890, or you can learn more about them at www.betterbasementvalue.com. clm

FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 19

Home Remodeling

Stone and Tile Floors Looking Dull? Ugly Grout?


ost stone or tile damage can be corrected. Whether it’s dull, stained, suffering water spots, cracks or chips, the problem can be addressed. A true stone professional will work with you to assess the root cause and to formulate a strategy to avoid a recurrence. For the stone or tile surfaces in your home, it makes sense to contact a local specialist to discuss what can be done to restore them, and how to maintain them day-to-day. A brief dialog can extend the life of your stone and tile and save you from costly errors. The good news is that most problems are repairable and cost substantially less than replacement. Proper selection and application of a sealer can reduce or prevent damage from stains and water.

A ColorSeal treatment of your sanded grout can not only restore your original grout color but also topically seal it to better resist future stains. Many glass and tile cleaners will actually dissolve grout, leaving a rough spot. Fortunately, even this can be repaired. Grout repair and sealing are part of the repair and restoration process. Experienced stone and tile craftsmen can provide pointers on how to maintain your stone and tile surfaces to keep them looking like the day they were installed. Your ceramic, porcelain, marble, granite, terrazzo, limestone or travertine will look new when your great-grandchildren come to visit generations from now. Don’t give up on your stone, tile or grout. For expert advice and restoration, you can call the professionals at MARBLELIFE-Groutmasters at 636-639-1304 or visit their website at www.marblelife-stlouis.com. clm

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Health & Fitness


A Personal Trainer is the Key to Achieving Your Goals

Solving the Three Problems Keeping You From Reaching Your Fitness Goals


here are achieving specific imporhealth and fitness tant goals can be exreasons tremely challengwhy people want ing. It’s inevitable to start an exerthat you will cise and nutrition come up against program. To lose frustrations, weight, get strong uncertainties and and healthy, look questions along and be their best the way. Having for an upcomsomeone there to ing event, or to guide, motivate, simply be a posieducate, support tive role model and hold you for their family. Robin Loevy Lost 32 lbs and dropped 6 pant sizes in 18 weeks! Gary Stein lost 22 lbs & 7 inches in 12 weeks! accountable to These reasons what you have take on personal importance that is unique to committed to do for yourself will prove to be one of each individual. the best ways to reach your goals. What is not unique, however, are the three major barriers to success that my clients faced when they If you are struggling with one or all of these problems on tried to reach these goals on their own. These issues are your path to improved health and fitness, then I would recexactly why they turned to me to achieve the success ommend not to waste another single day. I have helped dozyou see in the examples on this page, and why you may ens of clients achieve their goals and I can help you as well! consider doing the same if you are having a hard time reaching your health and fitness goals: Bret Kliethermes is a Certified Personal Trainer with a Bachelors of Science in Health & Wellness Promotion from Missouri 1. Not knowing how to put a complete program toState University who provides complete fitness programs to help gether. A comprehensive health and fitness program his clients reach their personal health and fitness goals. should consist of all the following with the proper Bret offers both private and semi private training to fit all budamounts/ratios related to your specific goals: Nutrigets and schedules. For a no obligation, no pressure consultation tion, Supplementation, Resistance Training, Cardioto discuss your goals and a program designed for you, you can call vascular Exercise, Flexibility or Mobility Work, and Bret at 314-691-9040, email bret@stronghumanfitness.com, or Proper Rest. If this seems a little overwhelming, you’re visit www.stronghumanfitness.com. not alone. Bret works with his clients at The Fitness Partner Inc., a boutique gym located in the Corporate Plaza Building at 2. Not having a workable plan of action. You can 14528 South Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield 63017. For 22 years try the latest and greatest diet and exercise program the Fitness Partner has offered its members a more private known to man, but if it doesn’t fit into your schedule alternative to the large box gyms that are often noisy and or physical capabilities, as well as integrate all the overcrowded. Owner/operator Randy Stone has more than 25 components listed above, then you’re simply wasting years of personal training experience, knows all members by your time. A health and fitness plan must be “doable” name, and can be found in the gym 6 days a week. The Fitness for the individual - otherwise it is useless. Partner is also a proud supporter of the Joshua Chamberlain Society, a grassroots 501c3 that provides long term support to 3. Not having a proper support system in place. severely wounded veterans and their families from the greater Making changes in your routine necessary for Saint Louis area. clm 22 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM


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Call for a FREE estimate: 314-558-6955 • www.PrettyConcreteSTL.com FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 23

Health & Fitness

Hypnosis Can Be Your Key to Change would like to take the mystery out of hypnosis as an effective therapy for enabling behavior change, by explaining how it works. Your conscious mind contains your active thoughts, and the subconscious mind contains information that you act on. The unconscious is like a big filing cabinet that holds a record of everything BY JOAN KRUEGER, you’ve ever experienced. CERTIFIED HYPNOTHERAPIST All your habits, behaviors, responses, reactions, memories and emotions are stored there, as though there is a file for each. Hypnosis is the process of communicating with the subconscious mind. Before a hypnosis session, your therapist should ask specifically what behavior you would like to change. This identifies the file that you are currently working from. Hypnosis gets the subconscious part of your mind to open up so that a new file can be added about how you want to function. For instance, if you want to be a non-smoker, change your eating habits, or be more confident. After the session, your mind has new information to begin to work from instead of working from the old information. With hypnosis you can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. For hypnosis to work, the subject must willingly accept the change, because the conscious mind is still very aware of what is going on. At all times, the subject has complete power of selectivity, reacting only to suggestions that are reasonable and pleasing to them.


Joan Krueger has a private practice with offices in Kirkwood and Pevely. Many individuals have achieved their goals, both personally and professionally, through guidance they have received in her hypnosis sessions. About 80% of people who Joan hypnotizes to stop smoking will quit after just one session. You can contact Joan to discuss how hypnosis could help you achieve positive change in your own life by calling her at (314) 962-7558, or visiting her Web site at www.jfkhypnosis.com. clm 24 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

Is Poor Sleep Affecting Your Health?



Sleep apnea can lead to serious medical problems.

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bout half of all adults have trouble sleeping, and for many it is a chronic problem. If they often feel sleepy during the day, it could be evidence of a potentially life-threatening disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by collapsing or narrowing of the airway during sleep. Sufferers can actually stop breathing hundreds of times during the night, and may not be aware of the problem. Oxygen in the blood can drop to abnormally low levels, and if left untreated, it can damage internal organs, particularly the cardiovascular system. Sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Sleep apnea is one of the most under-diagnosed serious medical conditions, and can afflict men or women of any age. A select group of specialized “sleep labs” have been established to address this need. They offer a sleep study or polysomnography, the gold standard for diagnosing sleep disorders. A sleep study can also detect other disorders including narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking and sleep talking. If sleep apnea is detected, the most commonly recommended treatment is continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP, which uses a small device to provide airflow to prevent apneas and provide comforting, sound sleep. One leading sleep lab is right here in St. Louis County. Midwest Sleep Diagnostics was established in 1994, and is recognized as St. Louis’ premier independent sleep lab. They have a quiet, comfortable facility and provide expertise, privacy and personal attention to address sleep problems. They were recently featured on the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Anthony Masi, a physician specializing in sleep medicine, makes the diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. Located on Manchester Road at Weidman, Midwest Sleep Diagnostics services and therapy are covered benefits in most insurance plans. You can call them at 636-227-8787, and learn more at www.midwestsleep.com. clm

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FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 25

Health & Fitness

Mold In Your Home Can Threaten Your Health

Don’t delay addressing the problem, or it could get worse.


old has received a great deal of media attention in recent years. The effects of mold on our bodies are just now being understood and while rare, serious health effects from exposure do occur. Black mold can cause allergic reactions that include runny noses, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, sneezing and throat irritation. This can develop into asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease. When moisture is present, molds can grow on virtually any substance, and people are more susceptible to the health effects when it occurs indoors. Prompt attention to water damage or visible mold can often keep a minor problem from becoming major. It is important that experts in interior mold are called in when it is first suspected to determine the scope of the damage as well as action plans for removal. One company with extensive experience in mold inspection and remediation is Steamatic of St. Louis. Their technicians and environmental professionals have the experience

and tools to assess mold damage and also the cause, including ambient moisture and humidity problems. They will determine if a loss is indicated, the scope of work required and a cost estimate for removal. Once the estimate is accepted, work can begin quickly. Steamatic has experience working in collaboration with insurance companies and has earned their trust and respect. They use only the highest quality HEPA filtration equipment and state-of-the-art technology to treat and abate fungal contamination. Technicians will first stabilize the environment to control moisture levels if necessary. Areas with heavy mold growth will be cleaned, sanded, HEPA vacuumed or removed as necessary. If there is microbial growth within your air system, Steamatic technicians will use their proprietary equipment to clean and treat the system with an anti-microbial solution. If you suspect a mold problem in your home or place of business, you can call Steamatic of St. Louis at 314-720-1684, and you can learn more about their services at www.steamaticstl.com. clm



edar siding, roofs and decks can lose virtually all of their natural preservatives and oils in as little as five years in the Midwest weather. Oak and pine log homes and redwood decks can also show premature aging from the effects of the weather.

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Now There Is Help to Prevent Falls, Enabling Seniors to Stay In Their Homes


he incidence of falls suffered by older adults is shocking: one third over age 65 fall at least once in a year. It is 50% for those over age 80. Falls account for 40% of nursing home admissions. Hip fractures are a common result, and only 50% of seniors hospitalized for a hip fracture can go on to live independently. It is especially important to know that the largest number of falls – 55% - happen in seniors’ own homes. This means that the critical need is to make their homes safe for seniors and prevent falls, before they happen. Fortunately there are effective technologies and tools to accomplish this. These include pathway lighting in hallways, motion sensors and remote controls for lighting, and in the bathroom, where 80% of falls occur, there are stability assist bars, barrier-free showers and walk-in tubs, adult height toilets

and more. And, to get immediate help after a fall, there are one-touch help buttons and wearable medical alerts. It can be daunting to try on your own to prepare your home or the home of a senior loved one in order to to prevent falls. The best way to reduce this risk is to have professionals advise you on the most effective changes. Happy at Home is a local, familyowned company that will listen to your needs and advise on making homes safer and more comfortable for seniors, enabling them to stay in their homes longer. Happy at Home starts with a no-cost 15-point inspection, leading to a priority based list of recommendations for making a home safer for all occupants. To get started in making a home safer for a senior loved one, you can call 636-244-5229, or to learn more about their services you can visit www.happyathomeseniorliving.com. clm



Design Build Remodeling

well-crafted FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 27

Weekend Getaways

County Living Magazine

November-December Activities & Events T ake advantage of these wonderful annual events. Make this the year you get out beyond your own neighborhood and enjoy the special festivals and entertainment events across the St. Louis metro area.

Daylight Savings Time Ends November 1

Fairy Tale Tea

Christmas Traditions

St. Louis Jewish Book Festival

November 7&8 The Magic House magichouse.org St. Louis Zoo Wild Lights

Breakfast with Santa at The Magic House December 6 magichouse.org

November 1-15 Jewish Community Center stljewishbookfestival.org Veterans Day November 11 Free Family Days

November 27-December 24 Main Street St. Charles historicstcharles.com

November 27-Jan 3, select evenings St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park stlouiszoo.org Thanksgiving Day Parade November 26 Downtown St. Louis christmasinstlouis.org

Cocoa with Santa at the Boathouse December 6 Forest Park boathouseforestpark.com First Day of Winter

Native American Holiday Market November 15 & December 20 Laumeier Sculpture Park laumeiersculpturepark.org St. Louis Intl Film Festival November 5-15 Plaza Frontenac, Tivoli, Washington U, Webster U cinemastlouis.org

December 21 November 27-29 Collinsville cahokiamounds.org 28 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

First Night St. Louis December 31 Grand Center firstnightstl.org

FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 29

onyourown time Weekend Getaways


Investment...and Much More




n a fast-paced world,

the idea of ownIn a fast-paced world, the idea of owning your own rural property is ing your own rural becoming increasingly property is becoming popular with urban and suburban residents. increasingly popular with urban and suburban residents.

| STLbusinessMAG.com

hether it’s a secludedWhether it’s a secluded hunting tract, a hunting tract, a hobby farm hobby farm or cozy or cozy cabin on acreage, cabin on acreage, your perfect getaway can your perfect getaway can be tai-be tailored towards your specific needs and desires. lored towards your specific needs And while the recreational BY BILL ZIERCHER and desires. And while the recrebenefits of owning your ational benefits of owning yourown private retreat are vast, own private retreat vast, these these properties canare make a productive business investment properties can make a productive as well. business investment (1) well. According to CNBCas , farmland has steadily outperformed has steadily outper-with surging population theFarmland S&P 500 over the past decade, formeddriving the S&P 500 in to recent growth investors purchase arable land in the United States andsurging abroad. As a result, farmland real estate prices years, with populahave nearly doubled the last ten years as measured by the tion growth drivingininvestors USDA(2). For recreational land buyers, this allows the unique to purchase arable land in the opportunity to enjoy their investments immediately. United States and abroad. As a Manyfarmland owners see significant financial benefits, including result, real estate prices value appreciation and income from farm production, cash have nearly doubled in the last rents or timber sales. Unlike other investments, this is one ten years. your familyFor can recreational actually use asland it appreciates. And if you do buyers,tothis the unique decide sell,allows all signs point towards a healthy appreciation opportunity to enjoy theirand investin value for rural properties acreage in the coming years. ments immediately. My own experience confirms this. In 2002 Glenn, one of ownersand see brother-in-law significant financial benefits,aincluding myMany best friends and I acquired farm in value appreciation income farm property, production, cash central Missouri.Theand intent was from recreation or for the non-politically correct, forother hunting. Since thenthis theisvalue rents or timber sales. Unlike investments, one


your family can actually use as it appreciates. And if you do decide to sell, all signs point towards a healthy appreciation in value for rural properties and acreage in the coming years. My own experience confirms this. Glenn, one of my best friends and brother-in-law, and I acquired a farm in central Missouri. The intent was recreation property, of the propor for the non-politically correct, erty has for hunting. Since we bought it increased to 276% of about 12 years ago, the value of what we the property has increased almost paid for it, threefold over what we paid for it. or a 176% The cash rents from farming and increase. timber sales have paid for sigThe cash nificant improvements and taxes rents from farming and timber saleswithout have paid for allanother the improvements putting dime into and taxes without putting another dime into the property. the property. of companies I have Exclusive of companies IExclusive have owned and built, the best performing part of my personal portfolio and away owned and built,has the far best performbeen commercial and recreational property. the ing part of my personal portfolio has far andWhat’s away been kicker? The fellowship, family stories and memories with the commercial and recreational property. What’s the kicker? entire family and friends at the farm are absolutely priceless The family stories memories the entire and fellowship, cannot be purchased withand stock, gold or with bonds. family and friends at the farm are absolutely priceless and If your is bagging trophy hunting an elusive cannot bedream purchased with that stock, gold buck, or bonds. tom or just spending a quiet day in the country, the experience dream is bagging trophy hunting is If allyour the more satisfying whenthat it occurs onbuck, your own land.an elusive just spending a quiet day in the country, Owningtom ruralorproperty allows you the opportunity to create the is all the more satisfying when it occurs foodexperience plots and practice responsible land management, thus making on youryour own land. Owning rural property allows you the property moreto create food plots and practice responsible opportunity attractive to land management, thus Bill making Ziercher isyour a Landproperty Specialistmore at United wildlife and attractive to wildlife and increase their returns, and in Country Trophy Properties and Auctions. increase their turn, your worth. Bill has been active in building, buying, sellreturns, andland’s in turn, your land’s ing, and managing real estate and income worth. SLB is a Land Bill Ziercher Specialist property for overat20United years. Country He is a Charter

Trophy Properties andMember Auctions. has been in of theBill American Treeactive Farm System building, buying, selling, and managing real estate and (1)Land Values and his timber property is ATFS certified. Expected property to income for over 20 years. He is a Charter Member Bill is a lifetime member of Quail Forever Increase as Buyers of theMarket, American Tree Farm System and his timber property Enter and the National Rifle Association. Uniting November isCNBC, ATFS certified. Bill is a lifetime member of Quail Forever urban buyers with rural sellers is Bill’s spe8, 2011 and(2)Trends the National Rifle Association. Uniting urban buyers in U.S. cialty. If you’re interested in working with a with rural sellers is Bill’s specialty. If you’re interested in Farmland Values company 85 years experience and Ownership, working with a company with with overover 85 years of ofexperience USDA Bulletin in selling rural properties, you can contact in selling Number 92,rural Febru- properties, you can contact Bill directly at ary 2012 (314)-412-3966. clmBill directly at (314)-412-3966. 30 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

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garden_green@live.com FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 31



The Good Badass Samaritan

ome was calling. The sun’s heat shimmered on the highway ahead of me. Erifnus, my car, pointed her nose toward Columbia. By then, she’d show 290,000 miles on her odometer. Cruising along I-70 with the Arch in my rearview mirror, we fell into the rhythm of the road. Then Erifnus shot me a stark s.o.s. Her battery light came on. I knew what it meant. Her alternator had quit. Without her pacemaker, she would die soon. I turned off the radio and the fan, and we kept rolling toward Tiger Town. I called her mechanic. “Prepare a bay for Erifnus. Think we’ll make it?” I asked. “Not likely.” The car kept going, and hope springs eternal in old bones and brains. Maybe we could make it. But Erifnus was doomed, and the problem reflected out of her eyes. The precious battery charge bled out through her headlights. Erifnus was showing symptoms of a heart attack. Passing Warrenton, her dashboard lights began flashing, her tachometer started swinging wildly. Next exit was a mile away. Long mile. I coaxed her through the final turn. She rolled up the ramp and coasted into a parking lot. Erifnus was dead. Our landing pad was a typical interstate gas station. The mechanic bay had morphed into aisles of snack foods and Slurpee machines. Alongside the store, a man crouched, airing a tire on his beat-up car. I approached him carefully. “Where’s the nearest auto repair shop?” He jumped up and pointed. “Just down the service road. You broke down? I’ll give you a lift.” The man’s weather-beaten face sprouted a Duck Dynasty beard. His wiry frame moved like a crab through the car’s floorboards, picking up beer bottles and trash to make room for me. “That’s okay,” I answered. “I can walk . . . ” A cigarette hung alternately from his lips and fingers as he spoke. “I’ll take you. I know the mechanic.” His enthusiasm was disarming.

Still, I knew that riding shotgun on this adventure might turn out badly. I hadn’t hitchhiked much since college. “Vietnam vet,” he said proudly. He sized me up, too, figuring I was a longhaired good ‘ole boy. He wasn’t wrong, really, since I know my way around banjo music. He kept talking, giving me disturbing clues. “I was a badass in my younger days,” he said. “People wanna kill me.” I believed him. “I don’t like to fight, but if they come at me... Wife left me a couple years ago, ran off with another man.” He took a deep drag on his cigarette, through teeth the color of his fingers. “Let’s get you to the mechanic.” I locked Erifnus’ doors and gave her a goodbye pat, lest she never see me again. With a sigh I climbed into his car. Seat belt for me, none for him. I hoped this mission wouldn’t change from rescue to recovery. Pictures of my grandkids went through my mind. He drove, talking through another cigarette. “Worked at a body shop fer 40 years. I’ll be 68 next birthday. Got cancer and the doc says my days are numbered. So I’m just glad to help folks when I can.” “Man, I appreciate the ride... but I coulda walked. You got things to do...” “Got nothin’ better to do than helpin’ a brother out.” I agreed. We led the wrecker back to Erifnus. I tried to hand the Samaritan five bucks. He refused. “I don’t take charity.” “It’s for gas...or beer...” He refused. Then I dug a book out of Erifnus’ backseat, and scribbled: “Thanks for saving my life.” “Here,” I handed him a copy of A Road Trip Into America’s Hidden Heart. “You’ll be in the next book.” “Don’t use my real name,” he said. “People wanna kill me...” See more stories at http://johndrakerobinson.com/ clm


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November 17-22, 2015

December 4-6, 2015

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FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 33

Landscapes & Exteriors

Homeowners Discover A Better Alternative to Painting or Siding Ceramic Coating Provides Fresh Look, Ends the Cycle of Repainting.


oe and Jeanene Dugan live in a distinctive frame house in Sunset Hills built in 1929. In 1976 they had their home sandblasted to remove many layers of paint, and then painted their home. Since then they have had to have the house painted every five or six years which took two to three weeks every time. The Dugans got tired of the inconvenience and expense of this frequent painting routine, so in 2009 they looked for other options. They considered siding, but ruled that out because it would not be consistent with the home’s Bavarian architectural style and clay tile roof. Around this time, the Dugans received an issue of County Living Magazine, and read an article about a different process for exterior finishes, a very durable ceramic coating called Rhino Shield. They appreciated that it forms a thick protective coating that blocks out 100% of moisture and 90% of UV rays from the sun, the two most destructive issues in deteriorating exterior surfaces. They found the 25 year warranty very appealing. The Dugans were also impressed with the Rhino Shield team here, which serves Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Northwest Arkansas. They called several of their previous customers and all were unanimous in praising the Rhino Shield product and also their workmanship and integrity. Once the Rhino Shield team started on their home, the Dugans really gained an appreciation for the Rhino Shield difference. First, they completely power-washed the exterior, replacing boards as needed. They then coated every crack with a 60 year elastomeric caulk. They thoroughly masked all of the non-wood surfaces before applying an adhesive prime sealer that waterproofs and bonds to the coats of durable ceramic finish.

The Dugans said that when the job was finished, they noticed a real difference in the look of Rhino Shield. There is a clean sparkle to the finish, a richer look then they remembered from having their home painted. They also got favorable comments from friends who noticed their home as they drove by.

Lake of the Ozarks

In the fall of 2014, the Dugans faced a similar need at their condominium at The Breakers at Lake of the Ozarks. The Homeowners Association was looking at alternatives to painting the buildings every six years. Because the job required multistory scaffolding, frequent painting had become very costly. Dugan encouraged the homeowners to consider Rhino Shield ceramic coating as an alternative to siding. The Breakers decided to try Rhino Shield on two of the 14 buildings. The Rhino Shield team did the same very thorough job they had done at the Dugan home, and the results speak for themselves – owners were pleased with the process and workmanship, and many commented on the rich look of the beige and dark brown ceramic coated cedar. Based on this experience, the Breakers will use Rhino Shield on the rest of the buildings in the complex. When it’s time for an exterior finish for your home that will really last, you can call the professionals at Rhino Shield for a free inspection and estimate at 877-257-4466. They are rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau, and consistently win Super Service awards locally and nationally. You can visit their website www.87725RHINO.com for videos, photos and testimonials from other homeowners in this area who have discovered the difference Rhino Shield makes on their homes and also commercial properties. clm


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Landscapes & Exteriors

Discovering the Pleasure and Beauty of Professional Landscape Lighting


alph Damiano Properly placed lights showcase the distinctive home, and how up-lighting and his up-lighting trees creates a beautifully shimmering effect. them instead would family have create a beautifully lived for diffused shimmerfifteen years in their ing effect. Ralph is home in Ladue that still amazed by the is over 100 years results, which he old. They have done feels adds real beauextensive remodeling ty to their home. and renovation over Jeff showed the the years to create possibilities in the home of their increments, and the dreams, and they plan final installation to be there forever. achieved was very Shortly after they different from what moved in, they used they had planned. an irrigation company They are delighted recommended by with the results, and the previous owner as time goes by they to provide some enjoy it even more. outdoor lighting, a few They have received lampposts in the large many compliments circular driveway, and from guests on some pathway lights. the beauty of their Last year Ralph home and grounds was too busy to put at night. The new up his own Christcontrols that were mas lights, and so installed are actihe decided to have vated by light, and them installed proare much easier to fessionally. A friend use than what they had recommended had before. Next Jeff Mitchell Lightthey plan to have ing for that work. Ralph was impressed by the job Jeff Jeff convert the landscape lighting in their back yard to did on the Christmas lighting, his approach to the work, achieve the same up-lighting effect in the trees. passion for lighting and the professionalism of his crew. So Ralph then asked Jeff to take a look at his landscape Jeff Mitchell Lighting is the St. Louis area’s most expelighting. The Damianos like to entertain at their home, rienced professional outdoor lighting provider. Since 1997 and with the minimal lighting on their driveway it was they have installed and maintained lighting systems at difficult for their guests to navigate their way. many of the finest homes and most visible public attracRalph considered other providers of landscape lighttions in the St. Louis area. They also provide turn-key ing, but says that Jeff listened to what the Damianos service installing, removing and storing custom Christmas wanted, and gave them different options to achieve lighting. They have excellent references from their enthutheir goals. He was also impressed by Jeff ’s passion for siastic customers, and their passion for providing quality lighting, and his knowledge of the business. Jeff pointed products, creative designs, professional installation and out that from the street the lighting of their home was customer service continues to show year after year. You spotty, and he showed how properly placed lights could can learn more about them at www.jeff-mitchell-lighting.com. showcase the distinctive architecture of the house and If you would like to schedule a design consultation or simfully light the driveway. Ralph was thinking of adding ply need information, you may call Jeff Mitchell Lighting down lighting from the tall trees, but Jeff showed him any time at 314-665-2500. TF5 clm 36 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM




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Landscapes & Exteriors

Keeping Wooden Roofs

Periodic treatment preserves & protects


o other exterior building material compares with wood for its warm, natural look, resilience and versatility. Cedar shake roofs, oak or pine log, cedar walls, and redwood decks have a distinctive look that improves with age. However, to keep wood exteriors looking their best and prevent deterioration and costly repairs, it’s important to periodically treat wood that starts to dull

BEAUTIFUL or darken with mold, shows signs of mildew or has lost protection from the elements. Wood that is unprotected degrades from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light. These harmful rays turn bare wood dark, dull and uneven in color. Rain penetrates, causing it to swell. Then blistering heat from the sun dries it. This can cause wood to warp, splinter and crack. Moisture also can make wood conducive to mold and mildew. Unlike most other building materials, however, wood can be restored and maintained through proper care and treatment. Preserving wood protects it from moisture and sunlight, and helps it last twice or three times as long. This extended life makes cedar roofs, wood siding and decks costeffective building solutions. The experts at Aspen Touch LLC Cedar Restoration & Installation have more than 25 years of experience in preserving, repairing and replacing wood roofs, siding and decks on St. Louis’s finest homes. Their restoration process uses a high-pressure wash to remove algae, moss and lichen, returning wood to its natural color. Shingles are repaired, replaced and nailed as needed. Finally, a quality sealer/stain is applied. This restoration is also effective for asphalt roofs. Aspen Touch is also expert in installing new cedar shake roofs, siding and decking. They can help you make informed decisions about preserving the beauty and value of your wood exteriors. You can call them at 636-458-8878, email aspentouch. rick@gmail.com or visit: www.aspentouch.com. clm


Save Money by Renewing Your Outdoor Furniture


f your outdoor or patio furniture has strapping, slings or cushions that are worn, stretched or faded, you don’t have to spend the money for new furniture. Instead you can select your own fabric or vinyl strapping for a new custom look that will give you many more years of use and save the cost of new. Apple Tree Custom Sewing specializes in renewing fine outdoor furniture by custom-making new strapping, slings and upholstered cushions. They have hundreds of fabrics to choose from or you can bring in your own. They will pick up your furniture and bring it back ready for summer with a whole new look. Many of the leading outdoor furniture stores in St. Louis rely on Apple Tree Custom Sewing for their repairs. With over 30 years experience, their expert sewing technicians can provide complete sewing repairs as well as custom designs made to your personal specifications. Don’t wait until spring, when you’ll want to use your outdoor furniture! clm

Apple Tree Custom Sewing 5116 Hampton Avenue St. Louis, Missouri 63109 314-752-8733 FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 39

Landscapes & Exteriors

Enjoy A Natural Water Feature In Your Own Yard Part II


his continues our discussion about planning a water feature, picking up where we left off in the Summer issue of County Living. Consider Location When designing your water feature, plan it to be interacted with. Keep it close to living areas so that you can enjoy it from inside the house, and direct the waterfall toward the house. This not only offers a line of sight to the feature, but also throws the sound toward the windows, so the cascading water can serenade you. Contrary to popular thinking, the lowest point in a yard is one of the worst places to construct a water feature. Not only will it catch run off rainwater full of fertilizer and pesticides, but because water already collects in this area, the liner may bubble up as well. Another bad spot to put a pond is directly under the canopy of a large tree. Leaves and debris from the tree be an issue, and tree roots may hinder the construction of the pond. Underground utility lines can be dangerous and if you find that they are running through your chosen spot, you may want to consider a different one. The last of the less than desirable areas is in full sun. Too much sun can be bad for the plants you may want to use, and good for ones you don’t want. Algae is an example of the latter, and thrives on high levels of sunlight. About 4-6 hours of low to moderate sunlight is perfect for a balanced pond. Keep It Looking Natural One of the hardest parts of designing a water garden is keeping it to scale without going overboard. Homeowners are drawn to the idea of large waterfalls in their backyard,

but come to realize that they stick out like a sore thumb instead of blending into the landscape. You want to create something that appears to have been placed there by Mother Nature herself. When placing the pond close to the house, it may require working against the natural grade of the lot. Retaining walls and extra dirt can get the waterfall to the proper height. A minimal elevation change can still produce beautiful waterfalls that are to scale with the surrounding landscape. A natural pond will have different shapes and sizes of rock, to avoid the “ring of pearls” look, when all of the same size rock is stacked in a symmetrical way. Another common mistake is to create a “volcano” where the rock is stacked so high that the waterfall is completely exposed. If you require height, keep in mind that the higher you go, the further the berm needs to extend into the surrounding landscape. This is necessary for it to blend in properly. Small planting beds help soften a waterfall. By adding accent boulders and/ or outcropping stones to the existing landscape, you can help tie everything together for an inviting water feature that fits into your property naturally. Chris Siewing is owner and president of Nature’s Re-Creations, nationally recognized as Master Certified Aquascape Contractor, first place winner of the North American Pond/Waterfall Competition, and St. Louis’s first Certified RainXchange Professionals. In 2012 Nature’s Re-Creations was named by Aquascape as the Artist of the Year. They stay on the cutting edge of technology and installation techniques to continually improve their projects and the environment. To discuss a water feature project, you can contact Chris Siewing at 314-220-3841 or check out their portfolio at www.re-createnature.com or on their Facebook page, Facebook.com/NaturesReCreations. clm



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FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 41

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Landscapes & Exteriors

Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail?

A Consumer Advocate works for you, not the insurance company.







Consumer Advocate gives you a voice in the claims process by assessing and informing you of the true condition of your home’s exterior, before you file a claim. They also offer assistance when you believe the insurance company has missed damage, or if they have devalued or minimized your claim. Homeowners in the St. Louis area are certainly aware of the severe weather we have experienced over the past few years. It is important to understand that damage to homes and businesses is not always obvious and may not be easily detected by the average homeowner – especially high on the roof. Damage from hail and severe windstorms Photos on this page show typical damage that can occur from hail and severe windstorms. Impact holes and tattered edges of cedar shingles, denting on a roof vent cap, a dented gutter downspout and a torn window screen help verify hail impact. Hail damage to asphalt roof shingles includes tattered edges, shingle loss, extreme granule loss and penetration holes. Damage from severe winds to asphalt roofs includes lifting, tearing and even missing shingles. A driving hailstorm can also dent the fins of an air conditioning unit. When the wind gets under asphalt shingles and lifts them, it can pop the glue tabs and nails, causing shingles to tear, not lie down and re-adhere. Damage to shingles can reduce their useful life and also expose cracks where water can penetrate, making the roof vulnerable to future leaks and more severe exterior and interior damage. If the roof is compromised in this way, it is important that it is completely replaced rather than patched or partially replaced, since there are very likely other areas where the damage is not as obvious. Damage to gutters can cause leaks that rot the soffits where they are attached or cause water to pour down to the founda-



tion or fill window wells, causing further problems. Damage to air conditioning fins can impair operation, reducing airflow and raising the refrigerant temperature, leading to lost performance and reliability. Importance of a second opinion To determine damage, insurance companies will send an inspector to your home, right after the storm or up to several months later. Inspectors often miss these signs of damage, causing claims to be denied or limited to only what the inspector has seen. It is important that homeowners have an advocate who can provide a “second opinion” in the event that their insurance company denies or limits their liability to lesser damage than actually exists. Someone who can guide you through the claim process to make it easier, and assist in getting the maximum benefit your policy allows. Aspen Touch LLC Restoration Consulting & Design is a local, third-generation contractor and the advocate for homeowners with expertise in storm damage and repair, including not just roofs but also siding, gutters, windows and more. Aspen Touch helps homeowners streamline the insurance process, while assuring that you get the maximum benefit your policy allows. Many homeowners have found that damage to their roofing; siding and gutters have met their insurance company’s criteria to authorize full replacement. Before contacting your insurance company, you can contact Aspen Touch for a free evaluation and consultation on your home’s exterior and any storm damage. They are fully insured, and have helped numerous homeowners acquire new roofs, siding, gutters and repairs to their property affected by storms. You can reach their experienced inspectors at 636-458-8878 or by email at aspentouch.rick@gmail.com. You can learn more on their website www.aspentouch.com. clm


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www.rdbgreenhouse.com FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 43

Landscapes & Exteriors

Fiberglass Doors Provide Great Benefits to Your Home


re you looking for something that will add beauty, quality and value to your home? An attractive front entrance adds curb appeal and has been ranked the number one home improvement project for return on investment. An attractive front door which is also low maintenance and high performance would be even better! In 1983, Therma-Tru invented the fiberglass door. Fiberglass is the most advanced material for entryways because it offers the look of wood and the strength of steel without the limitations of either. The grain and stain of a traditional wood door can be very beautiful but over time, the wood can absorb moisture, bow, warp, fade or peel. On top of that it’s not the most energy

efficient and a nice one can be quite expensive. A steel door is lower maintenance and less expensive, but is easily dented, needs to be painted, and does not provide the look of a quality fiberglass door. A fiberglass door can be wood grain or smooth and painted or stained. It resists denting and scratching, won’t rot, deteriorate, or rust, and has five times the insulation value of wood. Because an entry door is a barrier between you and the elements, a frequent issue with entry doors is rotting of the frame. Not to worry, from the rot resistant jams to multi-point locking systems, each door from Heartlands Building Company is custom designed for your home. You can see displays of Therma-Tru fiberglass doors and other fine products in the Heartlands showroom at 680 Crown Industrial Ct., Chesterfield, MO 63005. clm


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FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 45

Landscapes & Exteriors

Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete SurfacesWalks, Steps, Patio, Pool Deck or Driveway? These are unsightly and also tripping hazards that could cause injuries.


ou may have tilting concrete steps or sidewalks, driveways or patios where a seam has turned into a step, or repeated cracking in sections of concrete slabs. These problems are often the result of a shifting or a weak soil base or erosion. In the past, contractors relied upon mud jacking or slab jacking to level concrete that had settled over time. This involves pumping concrete slurry under the settled slab to raise it, hoping that the settlement won’t continue. But that requires large holes in the concrete - about the diameter of a soda can. It can take an entire day to cure and the mixture itself is heavy – about 100 pounds per cubic foot, which can lead to further sinking. There is now a great alternative called PolyLEVEL™, which uses a lightweight polyurethane mix that expands to fill the

void beneath sunken concrete. This not only results in a solution that lasts longer, but also it looks better because it is less destructive to the applied surface. PolyLEVEL requires a much smaller hole – about the diameter of a penny, cures in 15 minutes and weighs much less – about two pounds per cubic foot. It lifts concrete slabs to a level position with less weight and disruption than the legacy mud jacking or slab jacking process. The result is a safe, secure and level concrete slab. In the St. Louis area, Woods Basement Systems is the authorized contractor for PolyLEVEL concrete lifting. They will inspect your concrete walk, steps, pool deck, patio or driveway and provide an estimate to have your sunken concrete slab lifted with PolyLEVEL. To meet with one of their concrete repair experts, you can call them at 866-735-1890 or learn more at www.betterbasementvalue.com. clm


For Your Information

Ethics Reform for Missouri Government Putting Citizens’ Interests before Politicians’ Interests


ebster defines ethics as “a set of moral principles governing a person or BY AL GERBER a group”. In politics, this involves elected officials putting the interests of their constituents before their own and those of special interests. Missouri is in the embarrassing situation of having almost no ethics laws. There are no limitations on gifts from lobbyists, most of whom represent large businesses or organizations. This means that lobbyists with expense accounts can get much more of legislators’ time and attention than average citizens. To see who in Missouri receives lobbyist gifts and how much they receive, you can visit www.progressmissouri.org/jeff-city-gift-takers-ranked-new-data. And when a wealthy donor gives a million-dollar campaign contribution to a single candidate, it is hard to avoid the impression that this donor has “purchased” the candidate’s loyalty. Missouri is one of the few states that have no limit whatsoever on campaign contributions, and it needs one. A third ethics problem in Missouri is the so-called “revolving door” whereby a legislator joins a lobbying firm immediately upon leaving office. Some have even quit




Al Gerber is running for the 89th House District, which covers Town & Country, Frontenac, Des Peres, and parts of Chesterfield and Kirkwood. You can contact him with any questions at 314-623-5713, GerberForMOHouse@gmail. com, or www.ElectAlGerber.org. clm


L 20


early to get a head start, cashing in on their influence and experience. Often they begin jockeying for the position before they leave office, trading favors to “special interests” for the promise of future employment. Most states require a cooling off period of one to three years before an exlegislator can join a lobbying firm. Some political pros say that the party in power has no interest in changing a system that benefits their lifestyle and their campaign coffers. However, if a candidate is elected after campaigning on this issue, it will show that the voters feel strongly in favor of ethics reform and incumbents will have to pay attention. With big money out of politics, we can discuss issues based on principles and what is best for the people. Please get out and vote this November 3. Stand up for fairness and morality. Let your voice be heard in Jefferson City.



County Living Magazine is an attractive resource guide, an informative publication that readers rely on to discover distinctive products, services and destinations to enhance home and lifestyle.

w: Kno ed to hance e N e n t You ve andlaendscap Wha ro d ou

p y an y elp To imhome to h ealth r erts ay h you Expand st fit get


n onli readm o or to info gMag.c re o in m For ntyLiv Cou

CLM is mailed by name to the top 20% of homeowners in St. Louis County and St. Charles County, the City of St. Louis and eastern Franklin County – all 70,000 of them. This publication provides considerably greater reach of upscale homeowners than any other glossy magazine. Our advertisers are St. Louis area companies providing products and services to enhance home, health, wealth and lifestyle. We provide advertiser exclusivity, limiting the number in every category. To learn more, call 314-432-1171 or email publisher@CountyLivingMag.com

FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 47

For Your Information

What if You Could Eliminate The Task of Bill Paying?


hat Would You Rather Do Than Pay Bills? If you’re like a lot of people, just about anything. Even visit the dentist.

The Problem For our elderly parents, the tasks of bill paying and keeping track of all the paperwork and receipts can be a real burden. Also, people who travel frequently or spend months at a time away from home often worry that they might miss paying a bill. Others simply find the task stressful and would rather not have to do it.Unlike businesses, most individuals and families don’t have a bookkeeper to handle this task. You probably use an accountant or attorney to handle your taxes, but for regular ongoing bill paying you’re on your own. The Solution It was in helping my own mother with her bill paying that I came up with a solution. As a CPA with over 45 years experience working with clients, I have seen many

successful people who wrestle with the task of bill paying. This is what motivated our company five years ago to start Checks & Balances Plus, a personal bill processing service. For an affordable fee, we will securely handle bills for anyone who physically cannot, is to busy to, or just does not want to pay their own bills or those of their parents. We know that life is too precious to spend it on activities that produce stress or drain you of your valuable time. Joel Kamil is president and owner of Checks & Balances Plus, a service to assist individuals and families with organizing and paying their monthly bills, giving them the confidence and trust that their finances are being managed and handled securely. They are bonded and insured, track and ensure timely payments and help protect clients from fraud and late fees. They also provide payment history reports to help in income tax preparation. For a no-obligation consultation, you can call Checks & Balances Plus at 636-449-1298, or visit their website www.cbp-stl.com, and fill out the form on the Contact Us page. clm

HOA TRUSTEES & CONDO DIRECTORS Wednesday, September 2 What your Reserve Study Says you Need and What you can Actually Afford 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The Lodge in Des Peres

*All programs include lunch or dinner. Please come to one of these programs as our guest! Invite your fellow board members!

Wednesday, October 7 Community Involvement: How to Excite your Homeowners into Getting Involved 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The Lodge in Des Peres

RSVP to cathy@caiheartland.com or (314) 423-8859

Wednesday, November 4 Financial Panel - Accounting Best Practices/How to Obtain a Loan/Investments 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The Lodge in Des Peres



HAVE YOUR WOOD FLOORS REFINISHED BY THE EXPERTS Champion Floor Company is the established hardwood floor experts. They install the full range of new hardwood floors, and offer all options for restoring and protecting wood floors. Only Champion refinishes and recoats with UV-curing, for a durable, commercialgrade, scratch-resistant finish and immediate use – no waiting. Champion also offers ecofriendly, dust-free Bona Atomic® Dust Containment Sanding. High-powered vacuums eliminate dust.

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NEED HELP WITH YOUR PRINTING? For over 30 years we have helped clients eliminate the headaches, wasted time and expense of sourcing and managing their printing.

Contact Steve Turner o: 314.863.4550 c: 314.378.6323 e: steve@cpsstl.com www.cpsstl.com FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 49

Not Your Typical Road Trip

For Your Information

The History of St. Louis County, Missouri by William Lyman Thomas

Celebrating the Heritage of St. Louis County

M County Living columnist

John Drake Robinson won an


for his unique travelogs based on his books.

Coastal Missouri and A Road Trip Into America’s Hidden Heart

In this age of interstates and instant gratification, Robinson took the long way around the state, with his only constant companion: his car. “. . . we’ve dodged rabbits and turtles, texters and drunks. We’ve slid sideways in sleet, jumped curbs and low-water crossings. We’ve passed every pun on every roadside marquee, every time and temperature sign, every clip joint and carny barker and corn dog vendor, every barbeque shack and Tex-Mex taco stand. And we’ve stopped at most of ‘em.”

any of us have lived here our whole lives, yet there is so much we don’t know about the rich history of our county. County Living Publications has re-published this 100year old book that documents the county’s first 100 years. It covers the period from the earliest settlers in the region, up through the Civil War and into the first decade of the 20th Century. Originally published in 1911, it is was re-published to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the organization of St. Louis County on October 1, 1812. Every time you pick up the book and read a chapter you come away with an appreciation of life here 100 years ago, or a little nugget of information that has relevance to today. This book makes a great Holiday, business or personal gift. For quantity pricing, more information or to order the book, please visit www.stlcountyhistory.com. clm


Available at: Left Bank Books and other fine bookstores. Or on Amazon.com

Read more stories at johndrakerobinson.com/blog 50 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

Bring nature home with your own

water garden We provide expert custom design and installation of ponds, streams and waterfalls. These Sustainable ecosystems can be used to harvest rainwater and control storm water runoff.

We are Master Certified Aquascape Contractors, 1st place winners of the North American Pond/Waterfall Competition and St. Louis’ first Certified RainXchange Professionals. Named by Aquascape as the 2012 Artist of the Year, and ranked #4 among all Certified Aquascape Contractors Worldwide.

For an on-site consultation, please call


Visit our portfolio at www.re-createnature.com Facebook.com/NaturesReCreations

FALL 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 51


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Inspire® Classic Coachman

Davinci Composite Roofing

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Profile for County Living Magazine

2015 Fall County Living Magazine  

local St. Louis suburban magazine for upscale homeowners about home, health & enjoyment

2015 Fall County Living Magazine  

local St. Louis suburban magazine for upscale homeowners about home, health & enjoyment