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What you need to know: RANDOM MUSINGS from Gerry Mandel KING OF THE ROAD with John Drake Robinson

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8 RANDOM MUSINGS from Gerry Mandel


10 Hypnosis Can Be Your Key to Change 11 What is Keeping You From Reaching Your Weight Loss and Fitness Goals? 12 What We’ve Learned in Our 25 Years Treating Vein Disorders 14 Options for Senior Living 16 Fun and Fitness in Your Own Back Yard 18 Is Poor Sleep Affecting Your Health? 19 If You’re Taking Natural Supplements, Do You Really Know What’s In Them?



20 Landscape and Architectural Lighting Add Beauty, Intrigue, Enjoyment 22 Vintage Style Adds to Outdoor Living Space 24 Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail? 26 Enjoy a Natural Water Feature in Your Yard 28 The New Age in Exterior Wall Coating 32 Keeping Wooden Roofs Beautiful 33 A Stronger, More Durable Residential Fence



34 Spring Activities & Events Calendar 36 KING OF THE ROAD with John Drake Robinson


38 Are You Really Protected for Significant Risks? 40 Could You Benefit from a Home Management Service? 42 Five Super-Easy Ways to Make “Green” Your Daily Routine 44 How to Lower Your Property Taxes



46 In Europe They Do Things Differently 47 19 Why Tear Out Your Old Counters and Cabinets? 48 The Advantages of Design/Build for Home Remodeling 50 Your Back Yard Can Help Put Your Kids Through College 51 Mold in Your Home Can Threaten Your Health 52 Remodeling Without Replacement 53 Stone and Tile Floors Looking Dull? Ugly Grout? 55 The Basement Egress Window SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 5


Publsher’s Message

Who Is Eating All That Food? Is it just me, or does it seem that there has been an explosion of new places that sell and/or serve food in the St. Louis suburbs over the last few years? Huge new Schnucks and Dierbergs stores have opened, the truly massive food offerings at new Costco Wholesale and Sam’s Clubs, all the WalMarts and Targets that have added groceries, Lucky’s Market and The Fresh Market coming to town, and lots of new Aldi grocery stores. Also, new restaurants offering every cuisine possible, gourmet coffee shops, brew pubs, farmers markets and food trucks popping up every week, Tim Horton’s coming to town, more St. Louis Bread Company locations and now even bank branches are putting coffee shops or cafes in their lobbies. According to the St. Louis County Assessor’s office, over the past five years over 5,000 new permits were issued per year for new establishments or store departments selling food. That’s over 25,000 in just the last five years. At the same time, according to the US Census Bureau, the population of St. Louis County from 2010 through 2014 has grown just 0.3% - essentially flat. Compare that with 1.1% growth in the state during the same period, and it’s really flat. So, my question again is: who is eating all this additional food? A big part of the answer is that in Missouri, the percent of adults who are obese has increased from 12% in 1990 to over 30% in 2013. According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), that includes me. So, I am trying to do something about it. And if you would like to do something about it, too, we have some great resources in this issue who can help. Check out the article by personal trainer Matt Kliethermes on page 11. Also, hypnotherapist Joan Krueger on page 10, and Health and Wellness Consultant Angie Thomas on page 19. If you ever wondered about where our fastest food and drink originated, John Robinson has some answers on page 36. Todd Abrams

on the cover


The beautiful outdoor living area on our cover is an example of the growing trend for creating spaces to relax and entertain in your own backyard. The spacious screened patio on the back of the house features a stamped concrete floor, a fireplace, cedar barrel ceiling and retractable screens opening to the covered grilling and seating area, making it perfect for entertaining. See an article about the Heartlands Building Company, designer and builder of this great outdoor living area, and a couple who added an outdoor living area to their home, on page 22. You can call them to set up a consultation at 636-728-0003, or to see more of their top quality work, visit their beautiful showroom in Chesterfield or their website at www.heartlandshome.com. . 6 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM




staff PUBLISHER/EDITOR Todd Abrams Creative Director Fran Sherman 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.

FALL 2013



t’s that time of year again when we dress up and pay tribute to our favorite teams and players. Whether at Busch Stadium or Wrigley Field, a sports bar or shopping mall in Cleveland, Los Angeles, or New York, folks celebrate the start of baseball in an array of clothing that proclaims, “I am a baseball fan.”


This ritual takes place in the 27 cities that house all 30 Major League teams. Baseball apparel is a national tradition. It’s also a $5,000,000,000 a year business for MLB. Yes, that says “billion.” All together now: “Go, team, go. Shop, fan, shop.” What brought this to mind was a guy I had lunch with recently. His name is Joe Viviano, an outstanding senior softball player with possibly the largest personal collection of baseball jackets and caps in the Midwest. I was wearing a sweatshirt with “Brooklyn” on it, which got him talking about the Dodgers. From there the talk led to his collection of windbreakers, jerseys, jackets and caps. All team logos, no players’ names. At last count, Joe had more than 20 team jackets, 40 caps, and a couple of dozen windbreakers. The Cards are well represented, along with the Orioles, Tigers, Giants, Yankees, Braves and of course the Cubbies. He even has a Gashouse Gang jacket. And he wears them proudly. Wearing a team logo is one thing. But wearing a jersey with a player’s name makes me wonder. Why would someone wear a Molina jersey instead of Wainwright, Carpenter, Jay or Wong? I think it may be a deep psychological connection between the player and the wearer. It’s like that game where you ask someone, “If you were an animal, which animal would you be?” The choice reveals a lot about that person. Same with players. You like the way the guy smiles, the way he chews gum, the way he comes through in the clutch, his perseverance, even the way he spits out sunflower seeds. The old saying applies here. “You’re known by the company you keep.” Or wear. That takes us to the guys who refuse to let go of the past. Usually old guys, who still wear a Musial shirt. (I salute them.) Probably a lot of old guys in

Boston and New York wearing Williams, DiMaggio and Mantle jerseys. I hope so. Here in St. Louis you still see Schoendienst, Ozzie, and Gibby showing up at games. My guy was Marty Marion, #4. I even had a Marty Marion glove in school, played shortstop. These old-timers’ shirts are a form of immortality. Just check ‘em out on eBay and you’ll see what I mean. I even found an Eddie Gaedel jersey on eBay. The number on the back is 1/8. Eddie had dwarfism. He was 3 feet 7 inches tall and weighed 65 pounds. He batted for the St. Louis Browns in one game, in 1951, and walked on four pitches. He also walked into the history books, thanks to owner Bill Veeck. That probably takes its place next to the great Lou Brock and his Brockabrella. It’s a combination hat and umbrella. You don’t see many of those anymore. Which brings us to a category I call “Yesterday’s Heroes.” Specifically, I’m talking about Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols. Yes, they’re both great sluggers. Maybe that’s reason enough to wear their names. But I wonder if it’s really a political statement. “I don’t care if he used PED’s, I still like him,” and “Sure, he went for the money, but what’s wrong with that?” There’s an act of defiance here, and I for one am not going to question some big guy with a McGwire shirt about his motives. I wonder if anyone wears a Pete Rose shirt anymore, or how many unsold A-Rod shirts are on the shelves. So pick your team, pick your player, wear it proudly, even if they play poorly. It’s a long season. 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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What Is Keeping You from Reaching Your Weight Loss and Fitness Goals? BY BRET KLIETHERMES


The three solutions to helping you achieve your health and weight loss goals.

et’s face it: most of us would like to improve some part of our health and fitness, with weight loss usually being at the top of the list. We have been conditioned to believe that a pill, fad diet or a special machine will solve all of our weight loss problems in no time flat. You and I both know it’s simply not that easy. If you’re looking for a “real” way to reach and maintain the goals you want then follow these three solutions:

walking compared to just 2% of the second group. The results show that weekly accountability increases the likelihood of sticking to your exercise program by 2200%! I have discovered that the ultimate secret to getting the results you want is finding a coach who understands you and provides you with an effective weight loss and exercise program, guidance, motivation, support… but most of all, a coach who holds you ACCOUNTABLE! I’ve proven it over and over again. On this page are two of my clients who have had great success.

1. Incorporate a complete exercise and nutrition program and commit to it. Eat 4 to 6 small healthy meals per day and perform a combination of aerobic and resistance training exercise for 40 to 60 minutes 3-6 times a week. Take out your calendar right now and mark off these days each week for the next 12 weeks for when you will commit to your training. Then do it!. 2. Get a professional to help you. A coach is an experienced and trusted counselor who shares their knowledge and experience to help streamline the process to reaching your goals. It’s inevitable that you will come up against hard times, uncertainties and questions on your path to losing weight and getting fit. A coach will guide, motivate, educate and support you with everything that goes into a complete exercise and nutrition program. 3. The BIGGEST solution: Accountability. In a recent study at Virginia Polytechnic University, researchers started a walking program with two groups. Every week, individuals in Group 1 got a phone call asking how their exercise program was coming along. Group 2 got no calls. At the end of 24 weeks, 45% of the individuals from the first group were still

Bret Kliethermes is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with a Bachelors of Science in Health & Wellness Promotion from Missouri State University. He provides complete fitness programs to help his clients reach their personal health and fitness goals. Bret offers both private and semi private training to fit all budgets and schedules. For a no obligation, no pressure consultation to discuss your goals and programs you can call Bret at 314-691-9040, email bret@stronghumanfitness.com, or visit www.stronghumanfitness.com. Bret works with his clients at The Fitness Partner Inc., a boutique gym located in the Corporate Plaza Building at 14528 South Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield 63017. For 22 years the Fitness Partner has offered its members a more private alternative to the large box gyms that are often noisy and overcrowded. Owner/operator Randy Stone has more than 25 years of personal training experience, knows all members by name, and can be found in the gym 6 days a week. The Fitness Partner is also a proud supporter of the Joshua Chamberlain Society, a grassroots 501c3 that provides long term support to severely wounded veterans and their families from the greater Saint Louis area. clm

SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 11

Health & Fitness

What We’ve Learned in Our 25 Years Treating Vein Disorders BY DR. MARK BLUMENTHAL


Non-surgical options have become the gold standard

fter extensive training as a surgeon specializing in vein problems, I have spent most of my medical career applying non-surgical approaches for treating vein diseases. Research on the negative effects of traditional treatments led me to adopt more advanced and effective ways to treat vein problems.



Sclerotherapy Approximately VARICOSE VEINS seventy-five years ago, a remarkable technique was developed that uses a solution injected into a vein to cause it to “scar” inside, and eventually melt away. The technique is sclerotherapy. In the hands of an experienced vascular surgeon, this technique is very effective for treating abnormal small veins as well as varicose veins. In our office, sclerotherapy is always performed by me, not a nurse or assistant. The procedure involves only minimal discomfort, and the patient can resume normal activities immediately. Endovenous Laser Ablation Our practice was among the first to offer this treatment, which uses a special laser to eliminate an abnormal “feeding” vein, often responsible for visible varicose veins. I perform that procedure with only local anesthesia. Patients go home immediately. Some practices still treat varicose veins by vein stripping. This painful, outdated operation must be done in an operating room under general anesthesia, creating unnecessary risks and exorbitant fees. It leaves numerous scars and recovery may last weeks. Many vein problems are health issues covered by medical insurance. Others are not medically necessary to treat, but can produce excellent cosmetic improvement. Patients should ask questions so they are fully educated about a treatment process and why it is recommended.

Dr. Blumenthal is the premiere physician in the St. Louis area for treating vascular conditions without surgical intervention. He is a graduate of Washington University Medical School and completed his internship and AFTER residency and served as AFTER Chief Resident at Barnes and Washington University affiliated hospitals. Dr. Blumenthal is dedicated to educating all of his patients about the bestapproved treatments. His clinic, The Vein Center & CosMed was born from his dedication to specializing in vein treatments. To learn more about his practice you can visit www.veincentercosmed.com, or you can schedule a consultation by calling 314-966-6100. clm

COMMON VEIN DISORDERS Varicose Veins Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin that most commonly develop in the legs. As leg muscles pump blood back to the heart, valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards can become weak, causing blood to pool in the vein. This enlarges the vein and it becomes varicose. While it may never be completely “cured,” with proper care and follow up, it can be easily controlled. Spider Veins Similar pathology can cause dilation in much smaller veins, resulting in veins that often resemble the pattern of a spider’s web. They can cause discomfort and heaviness. Spider veins are susceptible to bleeding after minor trauma, and can be a sign of a more serious condition, requiring further investigation. Deep Vein Thrombosis Deep vein thrombosis is a condition manifest by blood clots in a deep vein of the leg. It can lead to many problems, the most serious of which is pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that travels from the leg vein to the lungs -- potentially lethal. A simple test can diagnose the problem and treatment, usually blood thinners, should be begun without delay. It could require surgical intervention.


Health & Fitness

Options for Senior Living Finding the ideal living environment for a senior loved one can be quite challenging.


any aren’t ready to relocate from the place they’ve called home for years, and others are ready but hesitant about the changes that the next chapter of their lives will bring. Once it is determined that the best option is no longer to stay in one’s own home, the task is to consider what type of senior living best meets the individual’s needs. The search can be made much easier with a clear understanding of the different living and care options available for seniors. Ranging from independent living to assisted living to long-term care/skilled nursing, each offers a different level of independence and care. Independent Living This is the ideal lifestyle for that senior who is able to live on their own, but wanting to eliminate some of the least desirable aspects of home ownership, such as housekeeping and maintenance. Residents live independently in their own apartments or villa homes and enjoy the socialization of living with other like-minded seniors. Meal plans often are included, as well as the housekeeping and maintenance. A full activities calendar can keep a resident very busy. There is no direct medical care available in an independent living community, but residents are welcome to hire inhome care. Assisted Living This is the option for seniors who are able to live comfortably with just a little bit of help. Staff provides 24-hour assistance, but the residents live in their own apartments, eat together and enjoy activities together. They just may need assistance dressing or bathing, or remembering to take their medication. Residents are assessed by the staff to determine the level of care they require. At many assisted living communities, as well as

independent living and skilled nursing communities, frequent bus tours are offered to local attractions of interest. Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing These seniors are in need of 24-hour care. Some residents are fairly self-sufficient, but most can’t dress, bathe, eat or take their medications by themselves. Most skilled nursing communities have a dedicated area (Memory Care) specific for seniors living with dementia. However, all residents, including those who live in Memory Care, can enjoy activities and outings. How do you choose? You need to research and find the community that meets the needs of your loved one – and you. You will want to consider how easily they can transfer from one living environment to the next if the need arises. In St. Louis, there are organizations that offer all of these options, as well as community based services. Once such organization, Bethesda Health Group, just celebrated its 125th year serving St. Louis seniors and their families. Bethesda has communities located throughout the St. Louis metro area. Their Independent Living Communities include Bethesda Barclay House in Clayton, Bethesda Gardens in Kirkwood, Bethesda Orchard in Webster Groves, Bethesda Terrace in Oakville and The Oaks at Bethesda in Oakland. Bethesda’s Skilled Nursing Communities include Bethesda Dilworth in Oakland, Bethesda Meadow in Ellisville and Bethesda Southgate in Oakville. Each offers Memory Care and Rehab & Therapy services. In addition, Bethesda has an Assisted Living Community in Oakville, and will be building a second community in Oakland. Bethesda’s professional staff would be more than happy to answer any questions. To learn more about Bethesda, you can visit www.BethesdaHealth.org, Facebook.org/ BethesdaHealthGroup, or call 314-800-1911. clm




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Health & Fitness

Fun and Fitness in Your Own Backyard


recent headline read: “Kids Spend Nearly 55 Hours a Week Watching TV, Texting, and Playing Video Games�. This is a real study based on Nielsen ratings and a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. This means kids have less time and attention for exercise, fresh air and active

sports skills development and can also lead to obesity and ADHD. If you would like to provide your whole family with fun, healthful exercise and a way to learn and play their favorite sports right at home, a backyard game court could be the answer. Families in the greater St. Louis area have discovered that


installing a court in their yard promotes a healthy lifestyle, offers endless entertainment, a safe gathering place for kids and their friends to play, and quality time for families to reconnect. A backyard court provides a versatile space where many sports activities can be played, including basketball, tennis, volleyball and roller hockey. For solo practice, you can add a multi-purpose rebounder for tennis, soccer or a baseball pitch back. The courts are completely selfdraining, so they dry immediately after the rain has stopped. Courts are low-maintenance, durable and have a cushioned surface designed to prevent pain and injuries that can result from playing on a hard surface. Courts are designed in a choice of colors, custom-built to fit your backyard and come with a fifteen year warranty. To get started on your sports project you can call Jeff Ott, owner of HOMECOURT SPORTS, the St. Louis area leader in backyard game courts. You can reach Jeff at 314374-3030, or visit them online at www.homecourtstl.com. clm

The Doors of St. Louis By

137 Chesterfield Industrial Blvd. Chesterfield, MO 63005

636-530-7545 To view a gallery of our work, visit


SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 17

Health & Fitness

Is Poor Sleep Affecting Your Health?

Sleep apnea can lead to serious medical problems.


“Circus Flora...is a St. Louis tradition that anyone can embrace.” - CHUCK LAVAZZI, KDHX COMMUNITY MEDIA

“Circus Flora has become a St. Louis treasure.” - CALVIN WILSON, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

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


Natural Supplements, If You Take

Do You Really Know What’s in Them?


ore and more people are taking natural nutrition supplements. Over 35 million adults in the US take them, up 33% from 2010. And users are enthusiastic, saying that herbal supplements are a very important part of how they maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, recent investigations have uncovered surprising problems with well-known brands of herbal products sold in prominent national retailers – GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. Four of the five products tested did not include ANY of the herbs listed on their labels. And hidden ingredients and contaminants that could be dangerous to people with allergies were found in some of the tested supplements. So how can you make sure the supplements you buy contain the claimed ingredients, and are safe? We are really dependent on manufacturers themselves to guarantee ingredients and purity. It is important to do your research and choose only reputable companies that do quality controls on their products. Shaklee is one company that for over 100 years has been a pioneer in natural nutrition and health. In 1915, Dr. Forrest Shaklee invented one of the first multivitamin supplements in the world. Over the years they have introduced natural supplements to address a range of health issues, weight control, skin care as well as safe, non-toxic products for cleaning your home. Before any ingredient goes into a Shaklee supplement, it goes through a stringent screening process – even beyond the standards set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). They conduct thousands of tests a year. Also, Shaklee products are not sold on store shelves, but are represented by individuals who believe that nature holds answers to a long and healthy life, and who offer personalized guidance to select products that can help you and your family achieve that goal. Angela Thomas has used Shaklee products since childhood, and is a Health and Wellness Consultant and Independent Distributor of Shaklee products in a business of her own. For a no-obligation consultation on natural nutrition, non-toxic cleaning, skin care or weight loss, you can call Angie at 314-322-5216, or contact her by email at angelaothomas@gmail. com, or learn more about her at angelaothomas.myshaklee.com. clm SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 19

Landscapes & Exteriors

Landscape and Architectural Lighting: BY JEFF MITCHELL

Add Beauty, Intrigue and Enjoyment to Your Home


am sure you have had the experience of driving down suburban streets on dark nights and seeing in the distance, dramatically standing out against the black sky, the glowing image of a home beautifully lit by outdoor lighting. As you get closer you see the highlighted architectural features gracefully showcased by precise accent lighting, or sparkling foliage in the yard – glowing trees, bushes, plantings, water features, or softly lit pathways. As much as you might appreciate how gorgeous these lighted homes look, to really understand their appeal you should talk to homeowners who have custom outdoor lighting. They will tell you that it provides a magical experience they enjoy every night and also early in the morning before the sun comes up. Custom outdoor lighting highlights a home’s special features, adding curb appeal, intrigue and enjoyment for your family and visitors. Here are some ways that you can experience the benefits of custom outdoor lighting at your home. Architectural Lighting Architectural lighting emphasizes the unique built features of your home and yard. Targeted lighting can accentuate entryway arches, door frames, and columns. Lighting can call attention to statues, sculptures, outdoor gazebos, water fountains, all normally enjoyed in daylight but that become truly magical highlighted at night. Garden, Landscape and Pathway Lighting Have you ever enjoyed your garden in the evening? With landscape lighting you can. Flowers have a different glow, pathways feel majestic. Uplit trees and bushes look like glowing sculpture, and with seasonal changes and movement in the wind they become living pieces of art. Shrubs, flower beds and paths can be softly illuminated at ground level. Or moonlighting, lights in the tops of trees aiming down onto

walkways, driveways, patios or yards, provide dramatic effects and improve safety and security for visitors, friends, and family. Deck and Patio Lighting Entertaining at night is so much more fun with landscape lighting, and having your deck or patio well lit allows the party to last longer and makes the evening more memorable. Steps are safer, guests are more at ease. Submersible Lighting The sounds of a waterfall, pond, or stream are relaxing and refreshing. Now imagine lights dancing off the reflections, or the glow coming from a pond. And your swimming pool, with improved lighting in and surrounding it becomes your own private Blue Lagoon. Jeff Mitchell is the founder, designer and president of Jeff Mitchell Lighting, the St. Louis area’s most experienced outdoor lighting professionals. He is a certified landscape lighting professional and has attended numerous seminars to stay current with the most up-to-date artistry and technology. He has developed a number of innovative techniques and revolutionary systems for achieving breakthrough results. Since 1997 Jeff Mitchell Lighting has installed and maintains lighting systems at many of the finest homes and most visible public attractions in the St. Louis area. They also provide turnkey service installing, removing and storing custom Christmas lighting. They have excellent references from their enthusiastic customers. Their passion for providing quality products, creative designs and installations and customer service continues to be shown year after year. You can learn more about them at www.jeff-mitchell-lighting.com. If you would like to schedule a design consultation or simply need information, you may call Jeff Mitchell Lighting any time at 314-665-2500 TS5 by email at jeff@jeff-mitchell-lighting.com. clm


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

Landscapes & Exteriors

Vintage Style Adds to Enjoyment of Wonderful

Outdoor Living Space


ret and Missy Lewis had nothing but grass outside their back door, but always knew they wanted to add outdoor living areas when they built their O’Fallon home. What they have created combines new construction with a vintage feel. Websites like Pinterest and Houzz are great sources of ideas for building, adding on, and decorating your home. The Lewises found a photo they loved on Pinterest, then searched online for local builders that specialized in outdoor living spaces. After reading reviews, they met with several companies and chose Heartlands Building BEFORE Company, who they felt they best understood their vision, showed an excellent portfolio of past projects, and were recommended as honest and reliable. According to Dan Gleason of Heartlands, AFTER “The Lewises had a specific vision for the style and function of the outdoor area. The challenge for Heartlands was to make it work structurally and aesthetically with their home.” During the planning phase he brought their photo and sketches to life with renderings and a virtual tour of the proposed finished space, including modifications to fit their home and budget. Missy said, “The planning phase was probably the most exciting for us!” The construction phases of any project can be stressful, but Missy says, “I really can’t say enough great things about the Heartlands employees. We worked with Dan in developing concept drawings and building plans and very much enjoyed having Adam Twellman as our point of contact throughout the construction phase. The guys on the job daily were just as great. They were always professional and answered our questions. Making changes and

additions was never a problem. We could tell that the quality of work would be excellent, which really put our minds at ease.” The Lewis’s new outdoor living area has a decorative concrete patio surface and features a roof structure over dining, cooking and bar seating areas. Outdoor kitchens, once known as summer kitchens, are an old idea that’s come back for everyday meals as well as entertaining, both intimate and large. The adjacent uncovered patio includes a fire pit with cozy seating. According to Missy, “I would say that that the finished product really exceeds RENDERING our expectations. It was so rewarding to see our idea come to fruition.” Once construction was complete, Missy started decorating in a rustic farmhouse style. Most of the vintage pieces are actually from her grandparents’ old shed. The result is a very inviting space that brings back wonderful memories. Bret and Missy agree, “We’ve never seen any other outdoor living area that really compares to ours. We have a wonderful addition to our home that meets all of our needs and wants. We absolutely love everything about it and receive so many compliments on it. It’s such a fun and relaxing place to be and we couldn’t ask for anything better!” To learn how Heartlands Building Company can create your outdoor living dreams, and see more photos of completed projects, you can visit their updated website at www.heartlandshome.com. You can also visit their attractive new showroom at 680 Crown Industrial Court in Chesterfield weekdays 8-5 or Saturdays 10-3. To discuss a project at your home, you can call Heartlands for a free in-home consultation at 636-728-0003. clm

“We’ve never seen any other outdoor living area that really compares to ours.”



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“Thanks for a job well done. We think it’s beautiful.” – Joe Stangl “Your company was easy to work with, did a great application and cleanup. Everything handled professionally, and the patio looks great!” – Steve and Ann Proscino

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Cedar Roof & Siding Restoration and Installation Specialists


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. But all these exterior wood surfaces can be restored and protected through proper care and treatment, often doubling or tripling the remaining life.


Aspen Touch Cedar Restoration & Installation


Call for a FREE Estimate

(636) 458-8878

SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 23

Call the experts with more than 25 years of experience caring for, repairing and replacing cedar roofs, natural wood siding and decks. We are also experts in installing new cedar shake roofs, siding and decking. Fully Insured • References Available On Request

www.aspentouch.com aspentouch.rick@gmail.com

Landscapes & Exteriors

Does Your Home Have Damage from Wind or Hail? A Consumer Advocate on your side can determine any claims you may have. They work for you, not the insurance company.


Consumer Advocate gives you a voice in the claims process by assessing and informing you about 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 hail, windstorms and even tornadoes we experienced in 2012 and 2013. 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. 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 dam- DAMAGED SHAKES age 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 DENTED VENT CAP 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 DENTED DOWNSPOUT 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 so obvious. Damage to gutters can cause leaks that rot the soffits where they are attached or cause water to pour down to the foundation or fill window wells, causing further problems. Damage to


air conditioning fins can impair operation, reducing air flow and raising the refrigerant temperature, leading to lost performance and reliability. 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. Midwest Roof Restoration Consulting & Design, an affiliate of Aspen Touch LLC Home Restoration & Remodeling, is a local, third-generation contractor and the advocate LIFTED SHINGLES for homeowners with expertise in storm damage and repair, including not just roofs but also siding, gutters, windows and more. Midwest Roof Restoration Consulting & Design TORN SCREEN 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 roofDAMAGED AIR CONDITIONER FINS ing, siding and gutters have met their insurance company’s criteria to authorize full replacement. Before contacting your insurance company, you can contact Midwest 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


SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 25

Landscapes & Exteriors

Enjoy A Natural Water Feature In Your Own Yard This continues our discussion about planning a water feature. 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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Landscapes & Exteriors

The New Age In

g in at Co l Wal rior ceramic ExteBreakthrough coating system lowers

energy costs and provides long-lasting protection for your home.


ens of thousands of homeowners and businesses worldwide are breaking the cycle of painting and repainting with a significantly advanced option. Ceramic exterior coating is a revolutionary product that combines the natural appearance of a freshly painted surface with the permanence and durability associated with vinyl or aluminum siding. Ceramic coating like Rhino Shield looks like fresh rich paint and comes with a 25-year transferable warranty. It can be applied to virtually anything like all woods (including cedar), stucco, Masonite/color-loc, brick, block, Tudorstyle homes, aluminum, steel and other metals. Not only does it waterproof, soundproof and insulate your home, but also your painting cycle is eliminated for good. This coating forms a thick, protective shield that blocks out 100% of the moisture and 90% of the UV rays of the sun. These are the two most destructive issues associated with the deterioration of siding and trim boards. This unique exterior coating also provides energy savings and environmental benefits. Solar radiation significantly raises the temperature of painted walls. But the ceramic microspheres in Rhino Shield reflect UV rays, helping lower wall surface temperatures up to 30 degrees and reducing your energy consumption by helping keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Rhino Shield is the market leader

in ceramic wall coatings and they use an EPA-registered three-part-additive cocktail to protect against algae, mold, mildew and fungus. Rhino Shield uses either a two or three coat process, as seen on the home improvement shows “This Old House” and HGTV’s “Curb Appeal.” First, they power wash to clean the areas that are to be coated, which helps to identify any siding or wood boards that need to replaced. They fill any cracks with a 60-year elastomeric caulk. After all the extensive prep has been completed, next they will apply an adhesive prime sealer that permeates the substrate and completely waterproofs the surface. This also acts as the bonding agent for the durable ceramic finish coat. When the application process is



complete, the home is protected from the elements and will never have to be painted again. Rhino Shield dealers must meet strict quality standards to become certified to apply their proprietary ceramic coating system. They have passed this test year after year by maintaining an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. When it’s time for an exterior finish for your home that will really last, you can call the professionals at the authorized Rhino Shield dealer for St. Louis, Kansas City and all of Missouri for a free inspection and estimate at 877-257-4466. You can visit their website www.getrhinoshield.com for videos, photos and testimonials of your neighbors. clm


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Pool, Deck, Or Patio Rain Or Shine The attractive DRY-TOP UNDER DECK CEILING uses interlocking aluminum panels to collect water, and empties into a gutter and downspout along the perimeter, keeping the space below dry during rain.


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SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 29



We have active buyers looking for properties like yours. If you are thinking about selling your property call 314-412-3966 to find out how much your property is worth and how we bring the most qualified buyers.



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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 or cedar walls, down to redwood decks, a wooden home has a distinctive look that improves with age. However, to keep wood exteriors looking their best and prevent deterioration that can lead to costly repairs, it's important to periodically treat wood surfaces that start to dull or darken with mold, show signs of mildew or have lost protection from the elements. Wood surfaces that are unprotected degrade from exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. These harmful rays turn bare wood dark, dull and uneven in color. Rain penetrates the wood, causing it to swell. Then blistering heat from the sun dries it. This cycle can cause wood to warp, splinter and crack. Moisture also can make cedar and other woods conducive to mold and mildew. Unlike most other building materials, however, wood exteriors can be restored and maintained through proper care and treatment. Preserving wood protects it from moisture and sunlight, and helps it last twice, even three times as long. This extended life makes cedar roofs, wood siding and decks

cost-effective building solutions. The experts at Aspen Touch Cedar Restoration & Installation have more than 25 years of experience in preserving, repairing and replacing wood roofs, natural wood 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 their website www.aspentouch.com. clm


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any homeowners have found that their fences made with standard 5/8” aluminum picket are just not holding up like they expected. Over time, kids, lawn service providers, bicycles and large dogs are able to bend the pickets. In some cases dogs and kids have been able to get through these fences. To address these concerns, Fence & Deck Depot Inc. has introduced Montage Plus, a stronger, more substantial ¾” picket steel fence. These pickets are commercial grade, not easily bent or penetrated between pickets, a lot stronger and more stabile than standard residential fences. The American-made, high-quality Galvanized Steel with Zink Phosphate, Epoxy Primer and an Acrylic Topcoat give Montage Plus long service life and the end of tiresome maintenance. Montage Plus Ornamental Fences feature an engineered Profusion Weld Technology that holds pickets tight in the rails, with no unsightly screws or loosely held pickets that can rattle in the wind. Gates are fully welded and E-Coated, and include high quality hardware and safety latches for secure entryways. Every Montage Plus Fence comes with a 20 year limited warranty and a five year labor warranty from the manufacturer. The Montage Plus Ornamental Fence is available in the St. Louis area at Fence & Deck Depot Inc. You can see the fence and test its strength for yourself in their showrooms in St. Charles, MO, O’Fallon, IL and their new showroom coming soon at 513 North Eatherton Rd in Chesterfield. To schedule a no-obligation at-home consultation, you can call them at 636-352-2645, email at fencedepotinc@sbcglobal.net, or visit their website www.fencedepotco.com. clm

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SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 33

Weekend Getaways

County Living Magazine

May-June 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.

Sandcastle Beach at The Magic House

Circus Flora

Riverfest 2015 July 3 & 4 Frontier Park in St. Charles historicstcharles.com Independence Day Saturday, July 4 Let Them Eat Art

Grand Center May 28-June 21 circusflora.org May 20-June 28 Magichouse.org Lantern Festival

Art & Air Fair June 5-7 Webster Groves wcaf.org/artandair Fathers Day First Day of Summer Sunday, June 21 St. Louis Water Gardening Society Pond-O-Rama Tour

May 23-Aug 22 Missouri Botanical mobot.org

Friday, July 10 Historic Downtown Maplewood cityofmaplewood.com/ltea

Memorial Day Monday, May 25

Cajun Concert on the Hill July 10-12 Stone Hill Winery stonehillwinery.com


Garden Conservancy Open Days Program

Saturday, May 30 4 private garden locations opendaysprogram.org

June 27 & 28 stlouiswatergardeningsociety.org

20th Contemporary Indian Art Show July 11-12 Cahokia Mounds cahokiamounds.org

All About Pets Expo Saturday, June 27 Gateway Center hoperescues.com

Paddle with Your Pooch Sunday, July 19 Boathouse at Forest Park boathouseforestpark.com


SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 35


How St. Louis Shaped The World of Speedy Cuisine.


ore than any other spot on earth, St. Louis has helped you eat fast. Nowhere in history did so many shortcuts to food happen. Among the facts and legends, there’s a pattern. St. Louisans didn’t invent the food. They just made it easier to eat. Portable. Fast. Efficient. Grain of Truth. Wheat had been around forever. But when a Kansas farmer developed a way to keep whole wheat from turning rancid, a St. Louis entrepreneur named Danforth packaged it as Ralston Whole Wheat Cereal. Bun in the Sun. Folks have enjoyed bread-wrapped sausages for centuries. But one legend says the bun was introduced by the St. Louis Browns, beginning the tradition of ball park hot dogs. The sausage got top billing, but the bun was the star. Fast food. Iced Tea Party. Try this experiment: Boil some tea. Now, drink it fast. Impossible, until somebody at the St. Louis World’s Fair dropped ice cubes into tea, and stirred a revolution that’s still brewing. Perfecting Other Ideas. A Kansas City ad agency introduced the happy meal. But some say the concept has St. Louis roots. Chillicothe introduced the world’s first commercial bread slicer. But a St. Louis invention– a collapsible bread tray--kept bread slices together until they could be wrapped. Ravioli existed before the 1904 World’s Fair. But toasting ravioli at the fair made it easier to carry them in your pocket. Fair Points. The 1904 Louisiana Exposition also popularized an 1895 Kellogg patent--peanut butter--which led to the phenomenon we know as Elvis. Just as important, the portability of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich launched a resurgence in the carpet cleaning industry. The same fair claims credit for introducing Dr. Pepper, cotton candy and the Hamburg steak in a bun. You call it a hamburger. The invention of the hamburger gets many claims. But it hit the world stage in Forest Park.

Now, think about holding ice cream in your palms. The 1904 World’s Fair came to the rescue with the cone. Sure, there’s a two-century-old engraving of a woman eating an ice cream cone, and an old London recipe for ice cream in a wafer cone, and the 1903 cone mold patent. But the cone came into its own during the St. Louis fair. Fast-forward to the concrete, best served upside down. Thank Ted Drewe’s. Cold Case. St. Louisan Harry Hussmann invented the first self-service display cases for meat, dairy, produce and frozen foods, which launched the chilling invasion of pot pies and frozen pizzas. Pet Milk Company began irradiating evaporated milk to kill germs, long before the process became common. Man’s Best Friend. Pets of every stripe love another St. Louis fast food. Purina didn’t invent dog food. But cat chow, yes, and an ark full of other chows, including that happy meal called Puppy Chow. The pop bottle cap, born in St. Charles, crowned Vess, Howdy and Seven Up bottles. In honor of this rich heritage, Hardee’s moved its headquarters to St. Louis in 2001. Well, maybe that’s not why Hardee’s chose St. Louis. But they came here. Fastest food ever. In 1947, St. Louis-based TWA introduced in-flight meals. TWA also served the first fresh-brewed coffee in flight, leading to the phenomenon known as hot pants. St. Louis didn’t invent Twinkies, Tofurkey, Turducken or the corn dog. But if any of these cause you heartburn, take a Tums, a 1928 St. Louis invention. And the original fast food? At the St. Louis World’s Fair, J.T. Stinson first uttered that famous phrase you can still hear in your mother’s own voice: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” clm You can read more of John’s travels at http://johndrakerobinson.com/blog/




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SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 37

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For Your Information

You Have Auto, Home & Business Insurance but


Are You Really Protected for ?


magine this scenario: You or someone in your family is involved in an auto accident or an accident at your home that results in medical bills of $900,000. That may sound outrageous, but for major injuries requiring hospitalization and surgeries, medical costs can add up very quickly.

commercial umbrella insurance will help ensure that your business is protected. While no one wants accidents to happen, they do − and people sue. Umbrella insurance is an inexpensive way to provide extra coverage against bodily injury and/or property damage. It is a lot less painful than having to pay out of your business assets or profits.

Like many liability insurance policies, yours may cover medical costs up to $300,000 per individual. The problem comes in covering the other $600,000 in medical costs. That could exhaust one’s life savings, and drive a person into debt or even bankruptcy. If you had $1 million of coverage under an umbrella insurance policy, you would not need to liquidate your assets to pay the remaining $600,000 in this example. A personal umbrella insurance policy offers an extra layer of liability protection for your assets if there’s a serious accident at your home or with one of your vehicles. Personal liability insurance helps protect your wages, home, investments, cars and boats from being at risk if a serious accident occurs.

Matt Crismore is Principal Agent at The Crismore Agency, which has been serving the St. Louis area since February of 2009 and has quickly emerged as a leading Insurance Agency in the central St. Louis County market. Matt and his team specialize in Home, Auto, Life, and Business Insurance. They take pride in being very accessible to their clients, and educating them on insurance products that are relevant for their specific needs. This is very helpful in events that call for changes in coverage, such as the purchase of a home. The Agency also offers a large competitive advantage in pricing and coverage for Business Insurance packages, specializing in Contractors, Restaurant Owners, and Retailers. They insure many local businesses and families, participate in and sponsor many community and charity events, and are active members of Chambers of Commerce and business networking groups. You can reach Matt and his team at their offices in St. Louis County and Union, MO by calling 314-480-3720, by mobile phone at (314) 520-6017 or email at crismom@nationwide.com. clm

An uncovered liability could exhaust one’s life savings, and drive a person into debt or even bankruptcy.

Business liability is similar. Umbrella liability insurance protects you when accidents happen and your existing liability insurance policies cannot cover all the expenses. For instance, if your company holiday party gets out of hand resulting in various injuries and damages, or your building has a carbon monoxide leak that results in multiple injuries and/or deaths, or even if your business fails to render the appropriate professional services. Standard business liability coverage will take care of you in most situations, but when serious situations arise,

Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which are controlling. Such terms and availability may vary by state and exclusions may apply. Discounts may not be applied to all policy coverages. Products or coverage not available to all persons in all states, and may be provided by Allied Insurance, a Nationwide company.



Established in 1990 - Our Experience is Set in Stone



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SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 39

For Your Information

Could You Benefit from a Home Management Service? BY EDWARD HALL

Homeowners who travel extensively, own a second home or live out of town for parts of the year, busy professionals or seniors may need somone they trust to manage their property.


Home Management Service provides professional property management for homeowners who want or need to delegate the responsibilities of managing and maintaining their homes. This primarily involves the scheduling, supervision and payment of qualified, responsible, insured third party service providers and tradesmen who keep your home in good working order and your home and grounds looking good. A service tailored to your needs At Hallmark Home Management, we will do as much as you want us to do. Every home and every homeowner is different, so we will assess your property, determine your preferences and provide you with a service proposal tailored to your unique needs. We manage the maintenance of the interior and exterior elements of your home and grounds on a schedule or an as needed basis. We are on call 24/7 to deal with any property emergency that needs immediate attention. In addition, we can coordinate and oversee special projects or renovations that you choose to have done (painting, plantings, remodeling and system reapairs or upgrades). For clients who are away we can provide any number of services including arranging to have your home winterized after you leave (water shutoff, pipes and fixtures drained, anti-freeze protection for appliances, drains and fixtures) and have everything turned back on and ready to go upon your return.

We can drive your cars weekly so that they run properly and your tires are round when you return. We can sort your mail and forward bills for payment, provide bill payment for all of your service providers and provide you with a monthly statement for all home related repairs/ services rendered on your behalf. We will provide all clients with web access to a site that details the schedule of maintenance and service work for your home, when it was done and by whom, so that you have a record. This can be a great selling tool to have when you decide to sell your home. Ed Hall is principal of Hallmark Home Management. He is a real estate professional with 30+ years of experience serving individual and institutional owners of commercial and residential property in the St. Louis area. Ed is a native St. Louisan who grew up in the Central West End and currently resides in University City. He is a graduate of St. Louis Country Day School, Whittier College (BA) and Saint Louis University (MBA). Mr. Hall is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Missouri. Ed is the primary Hallmark Home Management client interface, and is assisted by a small team of trusted associates under his direct supervision. Hallmark Home Management is a member of the Better Business Bureau. To discuss your home management needs or for further information you can contact Ed at 314-952-1333 or by email at hallmarkhomemanagement@gmail.com. clm


Your Home Deserves a Great Looking Driveway Patch • Repair • Overlay • Complete Tear-Out • New Construction

Since 1976, Fontana Paving has provided complete asphalt paving services for the finest homes, schools, churches and clubs in the St. Louis area. • Driveway replacement and repairs • Patching, crack filling and sealing • Embedded river and trap rock option • Subdivisions • Surface, subsurface drainage For free on-site quote, call or email us:

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SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 41


For Your Information

Super-Easy Ways to Make



Your Daily Routine

Tips to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs


omeowners can make a huge impact on the environment while really lowering their energy costs simply by making easy, low-cost or cost-free changes around the house. I think the whole Green Movement has people a little confused and overwhelmed. You don’t have to run out and buy a windmill or a hybrid to make a difference! Here are five simple ways that you can meaningfully save on your energy bill and also reduce energy use in your home or office: 1. Turn off your lights – Get in the habit of turning off all the lights when you leave a room. You can also use a timer for certain lights, or install motion detectors that not only sense movement but body heat so they won’t turn off if you are in the room but not moving. 2. Unplug unused appliances – Have an old fridge in your garage or basement that you don’t really use or need, but still have running? Unplug it, or better yet, get rid of it at an appliance recycling event. Extra refrigerators can cost up to $120 a year in energy costs! Unplug any other appliances you aren’t using, since they can be electricity drains and also produce heat that increases your energy bills. You can also invest a few dollars in a smart power strip. Smart power strips work by shutting down power to products that go into standby mode. 3. Use less water and cold water when you can – When running your dishwasher or washing machine, run full loads. Rinse your dishes and run the disposal with cold water, and when washing your clothes, use warm or cold for the wash cycle and cold water for the rinse cycle.

4. Choose energy-efficient models - Look for the ENERGY STAR logo to know you are starting from a level of energy efficiency. You should recycle old appliances and spent fluorescent bulbs to reduce your impact on the environment. Metro Lighting and other local businesses will take your old CFL bulbs and recycle them properly for FREE. 5. Turn your thermostat up or down a few degrees – You should consider investing in a programmable thermostat. They are easy to install and program. Programmable thermostats have been proven to save you a considerable amount of money. Remember your ceiling fan can make you feel up to seven degrees cooler in summer, and in winter reversing a ceiling fan recirculates warm-air trapped at the ceiling. Just be sure to turn them off when you leave the room! Nicholas Frisella is Special Projects Manager at Metro Lighting. They have been awarded the ENERGY STAR® award four times for their efforts to reduce environmental impact and encourage energy savings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recently honored them with the National 2014 Excellence in Retailing Award for Lighting. The award is given to organizations for their efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in significant cost savings. Metro Lighting stores feature lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, lighting controls, sensors and timers as well as bulbs that are ENERGY STAR® rated. For more information, you can visit one of the seven Metro Lighting stores in Chesterfield, St. Louis, Brentwood, O’Fallon, Ballwin, Arnold and Cape Girardeau, you can call them at 314-645-5656 or visit www. metrolightingcenters.com. clm





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SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 43

For Your Information

How to Lower Your Property Taxes BY STEVEN A. WEBER

Thousands of Home Owners Receive Tax Reductions. Will You Get Yours – and As Much As You Deserve?

Chances are that your property taxes are too high. All St. Louis City and County properties will be reappraised by the County Assessors in 2015. This value is used to determine your property taxes for 2015 and 2016. This appraised value is supposed to represent the market value of your home as of January 1, 2015. St. Louis County residents will only receive a Change of Assessment Notice from the Assessor in May of 2015 if the “appraised” value on your home has increased. While you may not receive a Change of Assessment Notice, there is a good chance your assessment is too high. Even if the assessor lowers the value of your home in response to current market conditions, we have found that for many properties, they do not lower the value enough to reflect the actual changes in value based on recent sale prices of homes that are comparable with yours. In fact, since 2009 we have filed over 6,500 appeals in St. Louis County alone resulting in over $4,400,000 in tax savings to homeowners. The simple fact is – assessors make mistakes. They utilize computer based mass appraisal techniques, market averages and neighborhood models to determine property values, which may not accurately reflect your property value. These errors and miscalculations end up costing you money year after year. A no-risk resource for homeowners. You now have the opportunity to have your appraised value reviewed to determine if you are being fairly taxed based not on mass computer modeling, but on real comparable sales in your neighborhood. Our firm, PAR Residential, does all the work and only earns a fee if we are successful in lowering your taxes. All

costs of the appeal are paid by PAR Residential including legal fees (our attorney bills us at $225/hour) and appraisal (an independent appraisal would cost you $300). Here’s what we do: 1. Information gathering. PAR will gather information from County records, including the assessor’s “appraisal”, and set up a case file on your home. 2. Valuation. Beginning in 2015, for each reassessment cycle PAR Residential will determine a fair appraised value for your property based on real comparable sales in your neighborhood. 3. Determination of assessment equity. We will compare our appraised value to the assessor’s appraised value to determine whether an appeal is necessary. If we determine the assessor’s appraised value is fair, we will notify you in writing that you are already paying the lowest possible property taxes and no appeal will be filed. There will be no cost to you for our time and efforts. 4. File your appeal before the July 13 deadline. If we determine that your property is over-valued by the assessor, our attorney will, at our expense, file an appeal on your behalf and provide the required information to the Board of Equalization. 5. Board of Equalization (BOE) hearings will take place July through August. The PAR Residential Team will attend the hearing and argue your case. We will mail the official BOE results to you in September and let you know if your appraised value has been reduced to a fair and appropriate amount, or if we need to continue your appeal to the State Tax Commission of Missouri. 6. Fee. Only if we are successful in achieving a reduction in your property’s appraised value will we earn a

fee, sharing equally in the tax savings (50/50). All of our work is performance based: NO SAVINGS, NO FEE. There are no additional costs to you for any of our work. We pay all costs of the appeal including legal and appraisal. Our invoice will be sent to you once tax rates are set in the fall of each year arriving about the same time you receive your reduced tax bill. You can learn more about saving money on your real estate taxes, the assessment and the appeal process by visiting www. parresidential.com. Interested in signing up? The enrollment process is quick and easy, visit our website and sign up online today! Specific questions can be answered by emailing them to info@parresidential. com or by calling PAR Residential at 314-454-0505 from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. clm


Steven A. Weber is Partner – Director of Valuation at Property Assessment Review and PAR Residential. His team of experts has the experience, market and legal knowledge to achieve the biggest tax reduction possible on residential properties. He has been reducing property taxes for 30 years, and before that was a Senior Appraiser for St. Louis County for five years. Property Assessment Review is the leading property tax consulting firm in St. Louis, saving over $100 million for some of the region’s largest commercial taxpayers – the St. Louis Galleria, Solon Gershman, Duke Realty, Mills Properties and US Bank. In 2007, PAR created PAR Residential to represent home owners in St. Louis County. PAR’s residential clients have saved over $4,400,000 in real estate taxes since 2009 with over 80% of appeals resulting in tax savings.


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Wildlife and Native Landscaping Bring the delight of perennial wildflowers and native grasses to your own yard. Butterflies, hummingbirds and migratory birds will follow. GARDEN GREEN provides landscape design and installation of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, soil, stone and mulch. Offers maintenance and renovation of residential and commercial properties; spectacular gardens, identification and removal of invasive plants, organic lawn treatment and more. Early Spring is a great time to plant. Call or email today for a free consultation.


Horticulture Service


garden_green@live.com SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 45

Home Remodeling

What Are They Doing Over There?


In Europe they do things differently.


In Europe they use the term “stucco” in a different way than we do. We tend to think of stucco as hard spikes. Not a particularly attractive finish. Italians, in particular, use the term “stucco” like we might use the term “mantle” or “coat”. It just means a cladding. Europeans have developed dozens of different applications of textured plasters, many of which are quite smooth. Some are reminiscent of travertine, others of sandstone, still others slate or other stone.

ome things they don’t do as well as we do. Other things, many persuasively argue, they do better than we do. For example, it might only require mention of one or two French or Italian entrées to make your mouth water. They do something else well too; wall finishes. If you have ever paid attention to walls in Europe you’ve likely seen stunning polished plaster finishes. They have created everything from subtle effects to those that are striking and dramatic. Many people have commented that the polished plaster walls can look like marble. There’s good reason for that comment. Chemically speaking their plaster finishes are marble; they share the same chemical structure. It’s not just the chemistry that they share; it’s the sublime way that they reflect light. It can’t be adequately described in print but suffice it to say that it is exquisite. (Don’t confuse American gypsum-based plasters with European lime-based plasters. We’re referring to plasters with integral color that have fascinating visual appeal, not something that is white, hard and crumbly. Many in this country have used the term “Venetian plaster” to refer to European techniques. Often times the term has been used inappropriately, describing any plaster applied to decorate walls. Inasmuch as Venice is built on the water, Venetian builders sought lightweight building materials. These polished plasters impart the smooth and shiny look of marble without the weight of it. They are not at all “lumpy” like some of those we see in the U.S.

Not to be outdone, the Germans have made a very interesting contribution to the mix. JaDecor is a troweled-on cotton fiber wall finish. With no seams and infinite color options, as well as blended-in effects (such as metallic threads or chips of reflective mica) it is a very unique look. All of these products are currently available for use in the United States. They represent a way to bring a bit of Europe into your own space. John Bubenik is owner and principal craftsman at The Color Craftsmen. They custom-tailor finishes to the tastes of clients, seeking out little-know products from around the world. John is a member of Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, the Metro Artisans Guild and the International Decorative Artisan League. To see a gallery of The Color Craftsmen’s work, you can visit www.colorcraftsmen. com. To learn about how they can custom tailor the surfaces in your home or office, you can call John at 314-313-1495 or email him at John@ColorCraftsmen.com. clm


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 thermofoil 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

for 125 Years!

At Bethesda, we offer retirement living and skilled nursing communities throughout the St. Louis area. 5hree PGPVSskilled nursing communities, as well as our home health and hospice agencies, are accredited by the esteemed Joint Commission, and the services that we provide to seniors in the privacy and comfort of their own homes have been honored with numerous awards. We realize that you and your loved ones may not need us now. But you will. And when you do, all we ask is that you think

of Bethesda.


Visit www.BethesdaHealth.org/Safety to order your free Personal Emergency Medical Information Kit – It could save a life!


SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 47

Home Remodeling

The Advantages of


Design/Build Construction for Home Remodeling


f you have been thinking about remodeling your home, but concerns about time, money and sanity are holding you back, you may change your mind when you understand 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 are choosing design/build contractors because they streamline the remodeling process and empower the homeowner. With the design/build approach, design and construction services are contracted by a single entity in which there is one point of contact overseeing the entire process. Rather than procuring a designer, engineer, architect, and contractor separately, our company quarterbacks the entire process and is responsible for bringing all components into play and unifying a team; this reduces the stress on the homeowner. This 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 client to discuss what they want to accomplish and the 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 client to show colorful 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 client, making it easy to compare options and 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 culminates in 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 and the Certified Aging in Place Specialist certifications. 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


Give New Life to the Furniture You Love

BEAM Built-In Vacuum


Do you own quality furniture, but are ready for a change? Or does a favorite piece need restoration? Experienced craftsmen can repair and refinish fine wood, and skilled upholsterers can fashion the look and feel you want in your choice of fabric and trim. Custom Furniture Works has twelve experienced craftsmen on staff to provide quality work in a timely manner, taking your job from planning to completion. They also create custom furniture from scratch. Pickup and delivery services are available. Call today for a free estimate, or visit their website to see examples of their work.

Custom Furniture Works 314-644-0460 6727 Manchester (just east of McCausland) www.customfurnitureworksstl.com

The passion Beam owners feel about their Beam is almost cultlike! Here are some unique features that Beam owners rave about as their favorites. VacPan - Turns on powerful suction with the touch of your toe. No more stooping or bending to sweep up dirt. @Hand Powerbrush - Easily vacuum stairs and upholstered furniture. Picks up pet hair in one pass! 180o rotating head for chair backs, stair risers, etc. Pet Grooming Tools - Dogs love the whisper-quiet suction. The gentle massage of the curry brush removes pet hair Car Care Kit - Separate hose and attachments for the garage and car - reaches every nook, cranny and french fry. The ultimate clean car! Call for a free phone estimate.

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Ann Adler

Classic Oil & Pastel Portrait Artist “Portraits that become family heirlooms” Nationally Recognized Award Winning Fine Portrait Artist in Classic Oils and Pastels Oil on linen 24” x 34”

Member of American Society of Portrait Artists

636-227-3826 Pastel 22” x 32”

SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 49

Home Remodeling

Your Backyard Can Help Put Your Kids Through College Installing A Geothermal System Saves Money, Protects the Planet and Earns A 30% Federal Tax Credit


eothermal: How it Works five years. In fact, the EPA has found no other Homeowners around the world technology with better operating efficiencies have discovered the benefits of and economics than geothermal heating and using their own backyard as an cooling systems. energy source to provide heating and cooling. Geothermal systems have become known as An Important Renewable Energy Technology the most efficient way to heat or cool a home VERTICAL LOOP As a Renewable Energy Technology, you Where space is limited, the sealed piping loop can because they use the free, renewable energy will receive a 30% Federal Tax Credit for the be inserted in small holes ranging from 150 to 400 feet deep that are installed using a well digging rig. stored in the ground rather than burncost of replacing your existing heating and ing large amounts of gas or electric. These cooling system with a new geothermal system. systems take advantage of the fact that the Beyond saving money, you will be helping the earth 100 feet below the surface is a constant planet as the EPA has found geothermal systemperature – about 57o - year-round. tems to have the lowest environmental cost of The foundation of a geothermal system all technologies analyzed, including air-source is a series of pipes called a “loop system” heat pumps and natural gas furnaces. HORIZONTAL LOOP Where space allows, the sealed piping loop that run through wells drilled deep into the can be buried in trenches ranging from 3 to 6 feet deep. earth beside your home. A small amount of Growing Popularity and Strong Satisfaction electricity is used to circulate environmenNo existing space conditioning technology tally-friendly antifreeze that transfers large offers greater comfort, economy or environamounts of heat energy from the ground into mental benefits than the geothermal heat and your home during heating season. Then, cooling systems now available for residential in the summer, the system removes heat and commercial installations. Over 250,000 from your home and transfers it back into installations are in place in the United States POND WATER the ground for later use. This loop system is today, and the number is rapidly increasing. the sealed piping loop can be buried along the connected to a Geothermal Air Handler that pond bottom. More than 95% of all geothermal heat and replaces your furnace and stands in the same footprint. It uses cooling customers are completely satisfied with their systems. all of your existing ductwork so expensive modifications are not necessary. Quality Installation is the Key to Success When converting to geothermal, maximum benefits depend Geothermal Advantages: Efficiency on proper engineering and installation. The experts at SmartBecause they move heat rather than making it, Geothermal House Heating & Cooling provide a turn-key solution includsystems cost less to operate over the long term. They are much ing system design and engineering, installation and annual more efficient than air source heat pumps because undermaintenance. To learn more about how a geothermal system ground temperatures are much more uniform through the could save money and energy, and provide greater comfort for year than are air temperatures. your home, you can contact SmartHouse at 314-644-1570. Locally owned and operated, they are Cost Savings A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau Thousands of homes are being built or retrofitted with and have won multiple awards from the geothermal heating and cooling systems every year, because US Department of Energy’s “Energy Star” of the advantages these systems offer including economical program. SmartHouse installs Water Furoperation, noise reduction and comfort. According to the Ennace® Geothermal systems. They also offer vironmental Protection Agency, geothermal systems can save repairs and service on all heating, cooling homeowners 30-70% in heating costs and 20-50% in cooling and air quality systems. You can learn compared to conventional systems. Over the years this can add more about SmartHouse and geothermal up to tens of thousands of dollars in savings. systems at http://callsmarthouse.com/ WATERFURNACE® GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP Switching to Geothermal can provide a payback of less than geothermal-systems-in-st-louis/. clm 50 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | WWW.COUNTYLIVINGMAG.COM

Mold In Your Home Can Threaten Your Health

Not Your Typical Road Trip

Don’t delay addressing the problem, or it could get worse. 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.” Available at: Left Bank Books and other fine bookstores. Or on Amazon.com PHOTOS BY CHERYL ROBINSON


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 314720-1684, and you can learn more about their services at www.steamaticstl.com. clm

Read more stories at johndrakerobinson.com/blog

SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 51

Home Remodeling

Refinish Your Bath and Kitchen

Remodeling Without Replacement BEFORE



sk any decorator and you’ll find that kitchens and bathrooms are typically the most expensive rooms in your home to remodel. It’s because a big part of getting that new look means messy, time-consuming removal and replacement of countertops, bathtubs, vanities and sinks. Restoring old surfaces with updated, new finishes is a technique that is saving St. Louis homeowners thousands of dollars. According to surface restoration expert Terry Kavanaugh refinishing is the smart money alternative to expensive and messy demolition. St Louis has more than its share of yellow, green and pink bathtubs, worn fiberglass showers, and dated countertops. These scarred, worn out and impossible-to-clean tubs, tile walls, vanities, and countertops can be refinished to look and feel like new instead of being replaced. The refinishing process first involves cleaning the surface to remove dirt, soap scum and body oil.  Next, the best refinishers use a bonding agent to create a chemical bond between the old surface and the new finish.  This penetrating bonding agent provides the strongest adhesion and is far superior to the old acid etching process. Finally, a durable, hi-tech acrylic urethane finish is applied which is not only beautiful but can extend the useful life of a fixture for 15 years or more. Another remarkable transformation is how dated or damaged laminate, tile and Corian™ vanities and countertops can be given new life without messy tear out and replacement. Stone-like finishes, such as Natural Accents™, are perfect for people who want the appearance of stone, but would rather

have a less expensive alternative. When Natural Accents is applied, knife cuts, burns, chips and outdated colors disappear; the result will be a refinished surface that is both beautiful and durable for a fraction of the cost of real stone. Homeowners are learning that refinishing is a terrific way to have the bathroom or kitchen makeover they want without the expense, mess and time associated with traditional remodeling.  In just 24 hours bathroom fixtures, vanities, and kitchen countertops can have a complete new look. With growing concerns about overflowing landfills, surface restoration makes more sense than ever before, Kavanaugh says. Not only does refinishing reduce the burden on landfills, since replacement fixtures are not necessary, but it also helps reduce pollution created by manufacturing and transporting new fixtures. Part of the 30-year-old Miracle Method Surface Restoration network, Kavanaugh is a licensed and insured refinisher. He has thousands of happy St. Louis customers, and he provides homeowners a five-year guarantee. Only Miracle Method uses a proprietary, non-acid bonding agent and does not introduce harmful acids into your home. The company’s process works equally well on porcelain, tile, cultured marble, fiberglass, acrylic, Corian™ and laminate surfaces. A Miracle Method refinished bathtub can last 15 years or more using the same simple care and maintenance recommended by new tub manufacturers. To learn more about Miracle Method’s surface restoration solutions log on to www.miraclemethod.com/stlouis or call 888-819-4399. Showroom hours by appointment. clm


Stone and Tile Floors Dull? Ugly Grout?


The way to assure perfect fit for table pads is for the provider to visit your home to accurately measure and show you sample colors and textures to match your table and décor. Custom Table Pads & Linens, an independent St. Louis dealer, provides the finest custom American-made table pads at factory-direct prices. They measure at your home or business, and show you a choice of 23 vinyl tops and 5 velvet bottoms. Perfect fit is guaranteed. Pads are heat resistant to 550o, moisture and warp resistant. Patented hidden magnets minimize separation and slippage on your table. Custom Table Pads & Linens also sells country club quality table linens and accessories in hundreds of colors and textures, with the look and feel of cotton linen at a fraction of the cost.

Custom Table Pads & Linens 314-752-5577 | thetablepadman@gmail.com



Finest Custom Table Pads at Factory-Direct Prices

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-today. 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 greatgrandchildren 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


“Every Order is a CUSTOM Order!”

Antique, Contemporary, Painted, Special Effects… your choice of color, sheen, style, fabrics and trims. Professional Quality Service, Timely Completion

Bring in this ad for 10% OFF


Call 314-644-0460

SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 53

for a free in-home estimate www.customfurnitureworksstl.com

ed & r i a p e R hed s i  n i f e R






A complete tub & tile refinishing job. 0OFDPVQPOQFSQSPKFDUt5ISPVHI 



Call for a FREE Estimate!



give Your Home a facelift • Kitchens • Bathrooms • Basements • Fitness Rooms • Fireplaces • Game Rooms • Entertainment Centers • Bars • Offices

Other Services We Provide: Hourly Projects & Repairs Tile, Drywall, Plumbing, Electric, Carpentry, & Much More

Call for a Free Estimate

(314) 432-0814



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 SPRING 2015 | COUNTY LIVING magazine | 55



An Elegant Replacement Roof Adds Value to Your Home

Cedar Shake

Tile and Composite Roofing

Asphalt Shingle

When you need a new or replacement roof - cedar shake, slate, composite, tile or asphalt shingle – call Midwest Roof Restoration Consulting & Design, the third-generation St. Louis contractor and consumer advocate for homeowners. Whether the need is from normal wear or wind or hail damage, we have the experience to determine whether your roof can be restored or needs replacing. Our company is an affiliate of Aspen Touch LLC, the St. Louis area experts in roof restoration, replacement, cleaning and sealing. We are consumer advocates for homeowners, helping guide you through the insurance claim process and assisting you in getting the maximum benefit your policy allows. Before contacting your insurance company, contact us for a free evaluation and consultation on your home’s exterior and any storm damage.

Inspire® Composite Slate

We are fully licensed, bonded and insured. Call or email today for a free inspection and no-obligation estimate.

Roofing | Siding | Tuckpointing | Gutters & Downspouts Financing Available

636-458-8878 aspentouch.rick@gmail.com

Midwest Roof Restoration Consulting & Design


Division of Aspen Touch LLC www.aspentouch.com

Profile for County Living Magazine

2015 spring final  

2015 spring final