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Efnpflj\\`k2 efnpfl[feËk Cfm\f]df[\c`e^gifdgkj`eZclj`fe f]ifkXk`e^nXcc`e[i\Xd_fd\ neering, Curt said. The entire assembly weighs about 2 1/2 tons and stands on a large drill stem ince he was a boy, Curtis about 7 or 8 inches in diameter, Abraham of Byron has which runs from the basement loved to create models — of the home to the attic. The drill especially model airplanes and stem sits on a huge set of bearhelicopters. But his wife, Jen, ings attached to the basement has been less enthusiastic. While floor. A large picture hanging she supports Curtis’ hobby, she above the fireplace hides the hasn’t enjoyed it taking over her motor, which normally would be used to lift a large, heavy door on kitchen. “We spent a winter one year an airplane hangar. When he rotates the wall now, with his stuff all over the counter in a much smaller house,” Jen Curt has to watch as the motor said. “We used to have to clear turns the wall to make sure it a little spot on the counter to stops when the wall is flush with the surrounding eat,” she added, wall. But he plans framing with her to install an elecarms an area on Ê@Yfl^_kk_\ tronic switch and the counter about sensor that will a foot long and 9 gcXZ\Y\]fi\@ automate that pro[\j`^e\[k_\ inches wide. cess. When comSo, when Curt _flj\#jf@ plete, he will be designed the famable to activate ily’s dream home, lk`c`q\[k_\m`\n%Ë it by pushing an one priority was Curtis Abraham ornamental metal finding a way to handle underaccommodate his neath a sconce hobby while keeping the mess out of the way of hanging on a side wall. Those are some of the planning culinary efforts in the kitchen. The solution: a rotating wall details that went into designing in the living room. On one side the house — a process that took a of the wall is a fireplace; when full year, Curt said. The Abrahams own Trendsetrotated, it reveals a model work area complete with several small ters, a satellite television and cabinets with miniature drawers Internet company in Byron. Construction on their deam built into the wall and a semi-circle-shaped counter top to work home, located on the west edge on. The arrangement allows Curt of Byron, began in 2003, and it to remain in the spacious living took three years to build. Curtis area and be with his family as did most of the construction himhe builds his models, while still self, with some help on framing confining those efforts to a work and cement work. A priority for the home was space away from the kitchen. When company comes, or a large, open feel in the kitchen when a more formal look is de- and living area, which provides sired, a switch activates the two- ample space for the family and horsepower motor, which rotates for extended family as well. “Curt has a large family, and I the wall to rotate the model center to its own little room and have somewhat of a large family, make the fireplace the center- though not as large as his. We piece of the living area again. wanted to offer an environment While the fireplace’s function that, when we all get together, is largely esthetic, the electric we’re not all cramped into a fireplace does add warmth to small space. That’s what this the atmosphere and to the room room, hopefully, does,” Jen said, standing in the living area. when turned on. Jen said she wanted all the esDesigning that transformation required a large amount of sentials — kitchen, living area, thought, imagination and engi- master bedroom, bathroom,

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laundry room — located on the main floor, eliminating the need to climb or descend stairs for routine chores and needs. “We also didn’t want to have any hallways or wasted space, and I think we achieve that pretty good,” she said. Other priorities were an atrium with an indoor tropical garden, a home theater and plenty of storage space for household items and recreational equipment. The atrium is home to rubber and pineapple plants, a banana tree and other tropical plants. Two parakeets, owned by daughter Brandi, 18, voice their pleasure with happy chirping, which, along with the sound of water running in a small pond, add a pleasant tropical soundscape. Two turtles make their home there as well. Occasionally, one will disappear, then resurface months later after it is finished with its hibernation. Storage for household items is accomplished by a room between the kitchen and the garage, complete with movable shelving units. “You can offload from a trip to Costco from the garage,” Jen said. A side door into the house leads into a utility room that includes a closet set into the wall, where coats hung on hooks are reached easily. Below the raised floor of the closet is a large drawer that provides a place for boots and shoes, and a tall, narrow drawer next to it holds gloves and hats. One of the most-used features in the house is the water fountain located just past the utility room, Curt said. “It’s used dozens of times a day,” he said, eliminating the need for trips into the kitchen for glasses of water. Another priority was taking advantage of the beautiful scenery along the south end of the property. “I bought the place before I designed the house,” Curt said, “so I utilized the view.” The wall-sized window on the south side of the living area overlooks a patio and beyond to the edge of the property. There, the land drops off to reveal a Gc\Xj\j\\;i\Xd_fd\#GX^\)


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:h[Wc^ec[0Ă&#x160;@kĂ&#x2039;jgi\kkpg\i]\ZkĂ&#x2039; Continued from Page 1 panoramic view of a river and a small stream winding through a river bottom, providing water to keep the grass, plants and trees in the area green all summer. Curtis designed the roof over the the window to allow the sun into the room, warming the house, but blocking it during the heat of the summer. Since Curtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love of aviation has expanded from models to the real thing, one element of his planning was where he would land his helicopter in the large yard. During a visit at the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home on Thursday, the sound of a jet engine starting up seemed to originate from inside the living area. The sound prompted Curt to answer his cell phone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Curtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s phone ring is a jet engine,â&#x20AC;? Jen said, grinning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is that a surprise?â&#x20AC;?

After the call, Curt had to leave, and his helicopter could be seen a few minutes later as it flew past the drop off on the south edge of the yard and above the river bottom. The yardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other features include a playground area. While two older sons, Shea, 22, and KC, 21, have since left home, the play area still is used by the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s younger boys, Riley, 12, and Chance, 7. In addition to a swing set and jungle gym some distance away from the lawn, a tube slide disappears into the ground under the lawn. The slide lands on an underground sand pit, which lies in a dug-out area under a groundlevel trampoline. Putting the trampoline in a frame at ground level helps prevent injuries, and the kids can run water in to the tube slide or onto the trampoline for cool summertime fun, Jen said.

ments,â&#x20AC;? she says. Ballard hits the after-Easter sales for new finds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The key is to find pieces that will work year-round. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to use a rabbit carrying a pink and blue Easter egg in your everyday decor.â&#x20AC;? She suggests hunting for neutral-colored examples, and spray painting if necessary. At its most charming, rabbit imagery is sweet and whimsical. But it can also look sophisticated and modern, and that versatility makes it a great trend to hop on if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a few fresh spring updates. Find white ceramic rabbits to use as display pieces or clever serveware â&#x20AC;&#x201D; candy dishes, snack trays, etc. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a folk arty metal running rabbit mounted on a wood block. Carved wooden rabbits are pop-

ping up at several retailers, too. Try a rabbit lamp to add some French Country flavor to the motif. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested in more of a commitment, add cottontail wallpaper. Designer Katie Deedy remembered a childhood road trip through south Georgia when she decided that fluffytailed bunnies must have sprung from the fields of white cotton. Her charming paper, offered in Powder, Sweet Pea and Tapioca colors, depicts bunnies popping out of the cotton sprigs. For a spring tea party, consider small colored-glass bunny taper holders, or a bunny creamer and sugar bowl, both in dishwasher-safe porcelain, or glass tumblers printed with Beatrix Potterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous rabbits. Suitable for Easter, the glassware would be fun to use all year.

N_`k\X[[jXkflZ_f]jgi`e^ ]fin`ek\i$n\Xip[n\cc\ij (AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Like freshly washed laundry dancing on the line on a sunny day, this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s white decor is a welcome sight. Just when weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to fling open the windows, shake out rugs and scrub the memory of winter away, stores are responding by stocking tabletop accessories, throw pillows, furniture and more in crisp whites and soothing creams. A few white accents make an enormous difference, so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to spend a lot on this update. Change out dark lampshades. Replace jewel-toned throws for nubby vanilla ones. Store away the heavy window treatments, and put up snowy voile curtains or sleek white blinds. Give the room trim a coat of bright white.

Pull off winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heavier slipcovers and rugs, and substitute white canvas and cotton. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see your rooms â&#x20AC;&#x153;open upâ&#x20AC;? as the light values change. Plus everything just looks cleaner, and isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that what spring is all about? Inexpensive vessels, serveware and baskets are a great way to add some white touches; use them as countertop fruit and snack containers, key and wallet holders, magazine drops. Homegoods has a pretty laser-cut side table. White ceramics include a cutout, deco-style lamp and an elegant textured vase, and there are several painted wooden candlesticks that would look great with sleek white or candybox colored tapers.

Gift retailer Twoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Company offers the Victoria collection of lacy, pierced-edge porcelain plates threaded with sage ribbon. La Vie en Blanc artichoke sculptures are elegant, as are ceramic tabletop nautilus shells and Reef coral, all rendered in milky white. Update a roomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s furniture for the season with an upholstered club chair with a tight-fitting, ivory cotton, machine-washable slipcover. A couple of these replacing darker chairs in a sitting room or master bedroom would brighten things up quite effectively. Comfy-underfoot white shag rugs could pair with a fluffy pillow and a light-toned lamp for white-on-white texture that makes a room pop.

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With last weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cooler weather, the boys preferred the indoor comfort of the home theater in the basement. The theater and a pool table nearby take up a relatively small portion of the basement; the rest is used for storage of recreation equipment such as bicycles, motorcycles and other â&#x20AC;&#x153;toys,â&#x20AC;? and for a lawnmower and other maintenance equipment. A ramp leading from the garage into that part of the basement makes it easy to move things in and out. After living in the home for four years, Curt said neither he nor Jen would make many changes, even if they had it to do over again. Mainly, he would change the location and size of some windows, and he would make the atrium bigger. The homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s layout and design might not work for everyone, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but for us, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty perfect.â&#x20AC;?

Lg[Xk\_fd\[\Zfin`k_ ef[kfP\Xif]k_\IXYY`k (AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; In Asian culture, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. You wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know it given current events, but traditionally, years hallmarked by the animal are quiet and serene. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see lots of items commemorating the year in Asian markets. In Western culture, the bunny has found a home in the Easter basket, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a token of springâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arrival â&#x20AC;&#x201D; of renewal, and of nature at her most benevolent. Decorator and design blogger Lindsay Ballard of Austin, Texas, is a big fan of bunnies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They evoke a happy feeling, regardless of the time of year,â&#x20AC;? she says. Just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t overuse the motif â&#x20AC;&#x201D; letting them multiply, so to speak, can look overdone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll use a rabbit in a tabletop vignette along with found objects and other vintage ele-

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arrived home one evening last week to find a massive hole in the roof of our house. This may have been a bad thing if it had occurred the day before when the proverbial April showers made Cody feel downright soggy, but on this day it was quite the opposite. Instead of a disaster in the making, the chasm signified a major development in our home remodel: the longawaited second floor. When we embarked on the project, we envisioned a simple expansion to allow more space for our active family and the friends we hoped to entertain more frequently (and with less full-body contact as we maneuvered through our crowded quarters.) Our architects had something else in mind. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do you want a 2-year, a 5-year or a 20-year house?â&#x20AC;? they asked. Well, duh. I, for one, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ever want to move again â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially when faced with our ever-growing menagerie of dogs, cats, fish and chickens. And so it began â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the back and forth that I assume occurs commonly between client and architect. The first drawings: much to like, but lots to tweak. And on and on it went, until, finally, the pieces fell into place. With one exception. With our limited budget and the desire to demolish as little 2009 construction as possible, we remained firm on one point: We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to disturb the ceiling in the great room (not very great, as in grand, but still...) One day, the inevitable con-

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versation occurred with Nabil, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But, Nabil,â&#x20AC;? Brad said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We the Lebanese half of the shirthave said all along that we tail relative duo tasked with donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the money or the the architectural vision of our desire to replace the roof.â&#x20AC;? remodel. Nabil replied, kindly, but We had learned through firmly: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will not put my the course of many months of name on it if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.â&#x20AC;? email and telephone conversaAnd all of a sudden, we tions that Nabil was reached a turning willing to consider point, and with deep many options and breaths and the fear visions, but when he of jumping off a high felt strongly about dive, we agreed. We something, he was had hired Nabil and stubborn as the ofthis wife, Catherine, described mule. because they were â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nabil, we notice the experts. We had on the plans that to trust them, and you have a roof the final plans were line here,â&#x20AC;? began exactly what we enmy husband, Brad, O7D9O8EDD;H visioned. â&#x20AC;&#x153;that appears to So now we have 8efg\eYffb change the roof of a huge hole in the the entire house.â&#x20AC;? roof, a new (larger, taller) roof built over the old one and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes,â&#x20AC;? Nabil responded. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That half of the roof will come interior ceiling will be demolished soon. off. You will build a new roof.â&#x20AC;?

We couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be happier â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or more terrified, yes, especially as this occurs during the fickle season we call Spring in Wyoming, but secure that we put our trust in the right place. As we walk through the skeleton of what will be our 20-year â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and hopefully many more â&#x20AC;&#x201D; home, we often chuckle about another conversation we had with Nabil shortly after the Big Talk. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, Nabil, we see that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve drawn a piece of furniture here, outside the closet in our room,â&#x20AC;? Brad said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We assume thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Yancyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vanity. We may not keep it there, but ...â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;No, that is a dresser,â&#x20AC;? Nabil replied. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is where you will keep your socks and underwear. You will find it very useful.â&#x20AC;? Point taken. Now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a dresser. Let the games begin.

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an experience for our consumer. A lot of thought goes into names that suggest a way of life thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inspired and welcoming.â&#x20AC;? Stewartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ingrid and Larsson furniture groups for Home Depot have a Scandinavian sensibility, while the kitchens designed for the retailer evoke the style of Marthaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own homes. Even the paint colors have a back story: Sharkey Gray is named after the executive, who came up with the hue for Stewartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apartment in New York City. He says his favorite name is No. 2 Pencil. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just the perfect name â&#x20AC;&#x201D; when you hear it, you know exactly what the color is.â&#x20AC;? And as for that Chloe chair? Weber smiles: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was just a pretty name, and it suited the chair.â&#x20AC;?

(AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Do you have a Chloe in your house? How about a Harry, or a Scarlet? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not talking about your children or pets, but your furniture. Ever wondered how and why retailers come up with names for the things you buy for your home? The conceptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not new, says Antonio Larosa, the furniture chairman at Savannah College of Art & Design. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Throughout history, furniture pieces were given the name of a monarch, such as Queen Anne or Louis XIV, to gain favor and influence,â&#x20AC;? he says. In modern times, naming furniture is just good marketing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appealing and friendly to have a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jasmine Chairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in a catalog rather than the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;XY 9811.Y Chair,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Larosa says. Aside from the visceral connection that consumers might make with a name, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a lot easier for everyone from manufacturer to buyer to reference. In Europe, Larosa says, designers instinctively treat their finished product like a family member. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They feel theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve put so much passion into it that it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just a piece of wood or metal, but an integral part of the home.â&#x20AC;? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why you saw feminine names grow in popularity during the 1960s and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;70s, especially in Italy: Sottsassâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Valentina typewriter. Mendiniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Anna G corkscrew for Alessi. There were variations: Poltronovaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Joeâ&#x20AC;? leather chair, de-

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signed in 1970 and now re-edited by the U.S. company Heller, paid homage to Joe DiMaggio. Mary Rose Gearson, Crate & Barrelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director of product and sourcing development, says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do try to convey an emotional connotation to the product â&#x20AC;&#x201D; quirky, clever or provenance â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which we hope will resonate with the customer. Caldera, meaning volcano, becomes a lava-colored Murano glass bowl. And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in love with Lola, our Mexican etched goblet and tumbler â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the name just says it all!â&#x20AC;? Becky Weber, upholstery buyer at Crate & Barrel, provided some additional insight: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We named our new wing chair Astaire because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s covered in soft shimmery leather that reminded me of an elegant ball gown â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an oldschool, iconic dancing reference. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Ian white leather sofa pays tribute to Ian Schrager, who pioneered the concept of hotel lobby as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;club.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? And Scarlet, a voluptuous chaise, evokes Taraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heroine, Gearson says. With 10,000 products to name, IKEA has the process down to a science. Names are gleaned from dictionaries, atlases and even birth announcements, and a computer wrangles the database of new, used and retired ones. Since the same names are used in IKEA stores all over the world, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tricky task. Names canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be too long or short, and mustnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be offensive in any language.

All have Scandinavian origins. Beds have Norwegian place names; seating and dining tables have Swedish ones. Your Klippan sofa is named after a pretty town in the southern countryside. Girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; names are used for fabrics, some office furniture and shelving â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why your bookcase is a Billy. Descriptive words for spices, fruits, fishes or a productâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s function go on accessories and decor, while a lot of lighting features nautical terminology. Kevin Sharkey, executive creative director for merchandising at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, says productsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; names are â&#x20AC;&#x153;an important part of creating

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GifZ\jj`e^[\cXpjjcfn]fi\Zcfjli\XZk`m`kp LOS ANGELES (AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Lend- Sharga, a senior vice president at er processing delays reduced the RealtyTrac. By normal levels, Sharga number of U.S. homes taken back by banks in the first three months means the elevated pace of foreof the year and contributed to a closure activity that led to more sharp drop in properties entering than 1 million homes being taken back by lenders last year. the foreclosure process. Roughly 5 million borrowers But March foreclosure data suggest foreclosure activity may are at least two months behind be starting to creep higher, as on their mortgages, by some eslenders make progress tackling timates. And many of the factors a backlog of pending foreclosure that have contributed to the foreclosure crisis are likely to contincases. Banks repossessed 215,046 ue driving foreclosures this year, homes in the January to March including high unemployment, quarter, down 6 percent from the a weak housing market, falling fourth quarter and down 17 per- home values and tighter lending cent versus the same period last standards. The forecloyear, foreclosure sure processing listing firm Realdelays remain tyTrac Inc. said Ă&#x160;%%%n\d`^_kY\ mostpronounced Thursday. in states where The number of ^\kk`e^YXZbkf judges play a properties receivdfi\efidXcc\m\cj role in the foreing a notice of closure process. default for the first f]]fi\Zcfjli\j%Ă&#x2039; In Florida, for time also declined, Rick Sharga example, forefalling 17 percent Senior VP at RealtyTrac closure activfrom the fourth ity has fallen quarter and 35 per47 percent since cent from the first three months of last year, the the fourth quarter, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taking nearly 17 months from the time firm said. The drop-off in foreclosure a property receives its initial noactivity stems from foreclosure tice of default until it is put up for documentation problems that auction. That process normally came to light last fall. Many banks takes about four months, Sharga have since revisited thousands of said. In New Jersey and New York, foreclosure cases, delaying the processing of new foreclosures. other states where judges play a The logjam has been compound- role in foreclosures, the process ed by court delays in states such is taking nearly 27 months. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The timelines have extended as Florida, New York, and New Jersey, where foreclosures must across the country as the foreclosure problem has spread, but be approved by a judge. Still, between February and those are probably the most egreMarch, the number of properties gious examples,â&#x20AC;? Sharga said. In states where judges arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t repossessed by banks rose 13 percent, the highest increase in a part of the process, home reposyear. And homes receiving their sessions rose by 9 percent in the first notice of default climbed 16 first quarter versus the fourth quarter, RealtyTrac said. percent. The firm has predicted beâ&#x20AC;&#x153;The bottleneck is opening up a little bit and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re starting to see tween 1 million and 1.2 million the first inklings that we might homes will be taken back by be getting back to more normal lenders this year, but that forelevels of foreclosures,â&#x20AC;? said Rick cast may have to change if the

pace of repossessions doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pick up in coming months. Lenders foreclosed on 215,046 properties during the quarter, between 60,000 and 90,000 short of the pace needed to achieve RealtyTracâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s full-year forecast. Sharga expects that backed-up court calendars and the backlog of foreclosures lenders are working to process will continue to slow foreclosure activity overall for at least another quarter. That may provide some relief to the real estate market by limiting the number of new foreclosed homes being put up for sale. Foreclosures often sell at a steep discount, which can contribute to bring down the value of nearby homes. In all, some 681,153 homes received a foreclosure-related notice in the first quarter, down 15 percent from the fourth quarter and down 27 percent from a year earlier. That translates to one in every 191 U.S. households, RealtyTrac said. The firm tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions â&#x20AC;&#x201D; warnings that can lead up to a home eventually being lost to foreclosure. At a state level, Nevada registered the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, with one in every 35 households receiving a foreclosure notice in the first quarter. Arizona posted the secondhighest foreclosure rate, thanks in part to a 26 percent spike in home repossessions. California ranked third, with one in every 80 households receiving a foreclosure notice during the quarter. Declines in foreclosure activity in states like Florida helped boost Utah to the No. 4 spot, followed by Idaho. Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rate in the first quarter were: Georgia, Michigan, Florida, Colorado and Illinois.

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E\n$_fd\ZfejkilZk`felg.%)g\iZ\ek WASHINGTON (AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Builders broke ground on more new homes last month, giving the weak housing market a slight boost at the start of the spring buying season. Home construction rose 7.2 percent in March from February to a seasonally adjusted 549,000 units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Building permits, an indicator of future construction, rose 11.2 percent after hitting a five-decade low in February. Still, the building pace is far below the 1.2 million units a year that economists consider healthy. And Marchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s improvement came after construction fell in February to its secondlowest level on records dating back more than a half-century. Millions of foreclosures have forced home prices down. In some cities, prices are half of what they were before the housing market collapsed in 2006 and 2007. And more foreclosures are expected this year. Tight credit has made mortgage loans tough to get. Many would-be buyers who could qualify for loans are reluctant to shop, fearing that prices will fall even further. A sign of the battered industry is the number of new homes finished and ready to sell dropped in March to a seasonally adjusted 509,000 units, the lowest level on records dating back to 1968. And the number of homes now under construction has fallen to a four-decade low.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Housing starts remain at an extraordinarily depressed level,â&#x20AC;? said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To put this in further perspective, a doubling of (new homes) from here would still put starts at the lowest level of any other recession.â&#x20AC;? During previous housing recessions, in the early 1980s and 90s, new home construction fell to more than 1 million homes per year. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pace is slightly more than half those levels. And the lack of any meaningful rebound in housing is stunting the broader economic recovery. In past modern-day recessions, housing accounted for 15 to 20 percent of overall economic growth. In the first post-recession year, between 2009 and 2010, housing only contributed 4 percent to economic growth. Since the mid-part of last year, home construction and sales have instead detracted from the economy. Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc., said thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a â&#x20AC;&#x153;large reason for the sub-par natureâ&#x20AC;? of the rebound. New-home construction is down 6 percent since the recession ended nearly two years ago. Single-family homes, which make up roughly 80 percent of home construction, rose 7.7 percent in March. Apartment and condominium construction rose 14.7 percent. Building permits increased to its highest level since December, spurred by a

more than 28 percent jump in permits granted for apartment and condo buildings. That increase in permits could signal a turnaround in the coming months, said Steven A. Wood, chief economist with Insight Economics. New homes typically take six months to build and the number of new permits is higher than the number of homes starting construction. The increase in home construction activity was felt in most regions of the country. It rose 32.3 percent in the Midwest, 27.6 percent in the West and 5.4 percent in the Northeast. Construction fell 3.3 percent in the South. New homes can spur job growth. Each new home built creates the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The trade group said Monday that its index of industry sentiment for April fell one notch, to 16. That followed a one-point increase in March and four straight months of 16 readings. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing marketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future and the index hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been above that level since April 2006. Most economists expect home prices â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and by extension home sales and construction â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to slip even further in 2011 before a modest recovery takes hold.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2011 POWELL TRIBUNE â&#x20AC;˘ PAGE 5

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT

PHS students learn interior design BY DON AMEND !"#$%&'()*+,,(-"#*'"

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(Pictured at left) The crew of Custom Air Inc. is (from left) Jason Baggs, Justin Gonzales and owner Richard â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ziggyâ&#x20AC;? Zickefoose.

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If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a way to make your business, home, garage or shop more comfortable, Richard â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ziggyâ&#x20AC;? Zickefoose, owner of Custom Air in Powell, has what you need. In business since 2000, Zickefoose and his employees are experts in heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Custom Air serves the entire Big Horn Basin and is ready to take on any residential or commercial job. Custom Air specializes in forced air systems, offering well-known and trusted brands, including Trane and Arco Aire. The business also sells and installs a full line of Napoleon products, which include wood burning stoves, pellet stoves and natural gas fireplaces. Custom Air offers service and repair on heating and cooling systems. Of course, heating or cooling systems require ducts, and Custom Air has a full metal shop to custom-make duct work to go along with any system they install. Raised sections, or â&#x20AC;&#x153;beads,â&#x20AC;? are worked into the metal, allowing it room to expand. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That way, when you turn on the heat and the ducts heat up, they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start popping from the expansion,â&#x20AC;? Zickefoose said. For shops and garages, Custom Air offers traditional â&#x20AC;&#x153;hot dogâ&#x20AC;? style heaters, which can hang from the ceiling. But, a better option, especially for large spaces, often is a radiant tube heating system. Fueled by natural gas, the system heats long tubes that hang from the ceiling. Rather than just heating the air, radiant tube systems take a new approach.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;They actually heat objects,â&#x20AC;? said Zickefoose, who has the system in the Custom Air shop. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They will heat up a concrete floor, and then it will in turn start giving off heat.â&#x20AC;? Radiant tubes are more efficient than hot dog heaters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The hot dogs are about 80 percent efficient, while the radiant tube systems are 85 percent efficient. â&#x20AC;&#x153; Custom Air also does extensive work for the Wyoming Low Income Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Assistance Program. These programs help low-income individuals and families get efficient heating and cooling systems in their homes, as well as making sure their homes are well-insulated against heat and cold. Possibly branching out even farther, Zickefoose will soon be trained in specialized septic systems Those septic systems are designed to filter out nitrates in a way that could be done previously only with complex systems involving plastic sheeting and rocks or sand. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no one in Wyoming installing them yet,â&#x20AC;? Zickefoose said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to start by doing it on my own property and for my neighbors. If I decide I like it, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll go from there.â&#x20AC;? It will be just one more addition to an already busy schedule. When the economy dipped a couple of years ago, Zickefoose said his business, like many others, slowed. But things are picking up now, with residential service orders on the rise, and some big commercial contracts pending. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be really busy this summer.â&#x20AC;?

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he housing market around the country is still sluggish, but the real estate business in the Powell area is pretty active. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re busy,â&#x20AC;? said Travis Swenson at Metzler and Moore Realty. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of action going on.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not as brisk as it has been in the past, but right now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re busy showing homes and writing contracts,â&#x20AC;? said Eric Loloff at Running Horse Realty. Both Swenson and Dave Reetz at the Real Estate Connection said the market has been steady. Swenson said he â&#x20AC;&#x153;didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see much of a slowdownâ&#x20AC;? during the winter months when sales are typically slow. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The market was very active at the first of the year, which doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always happen,â&#x20AC;? Reetz said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hoping it will continue.â&#x20AC;? All the real estate agents contacted said inventories are high at present, which is putting downward pressure on prices. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Prices tend to be a little lower than a year ago,â&#x20AC;? said Glo Reetz at The Real Estate Connection. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting new listings all the time, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing more fore-

Reetz said the average reducclosures coming on the market, so tion of price is about 8 percent, our inventory is high.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot to choose from,â&#x20AC;? and the $140,000 to $170,000 said Swenson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our inventory is range seems to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;a sweet spotâ&#x20AC;? for selling a home. up.â&#x20AC;? Swenson said sales are good up Favorable interest rates are contributing to the active mar- to about $200,000; Loloffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s estiket. According to Dave Reetz, mate was a little bit higher. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The homes that are sellhomeowners are â&#x20AC;&#x153;putting homes on the market due to low interest ing are the smaller homes with ratesâ&#x20AC;? that may make it easier to lower prices,â&#x20AC;? Loloff said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The higher end, sell a home, those over and those $300,000, same inter- Ă&#x160;K_\dXib\knXjm\ip are harder est rates are to sell.â&#x20AC;? bringing in XZk`m\Xkk_\Ă&#x201D;ijkf]k_\ But Loloff more â&#x20AC;&#x153;in- p\Xi#n_`Z_[f\jeĂ&#x2039;kXcnXpj added that vestment hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buyers,â&#x20AC;? es- _Xgg\e%N\Ă&#x2039;i\_fg`e^`kn`cc he seen any pecially of Zfek`el\%Ă&#x2039; â&#x20AC;&#x153;wholesale agriculture land. Dave Reetz reductionsâ&#x20AC;? in prices. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Right Sales associate â&#x20AC;&#x153;There now ag land and real estate is viewed as a po- have been some slight reductions, tential part of a portfolio,â&#x20AC;? Dave but we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had any big cuts,â&#x20AC;? he said. Reetz said. Selling a home that has been The buyersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market means sellers will probably have to settle updated is easier than selling one for lower prices, and Swenson that hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been, both Swenson said that selling a house â&#x20AC;&#x153;all boils and Dave Reetz said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking at similar down to price.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The houses that are moving houses and one needs $30,000 are those that are being reduced,â&#x20AC;? worth of upgrades, that one wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Dave Reetz said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those that are sell as quick,â&#x20AC;? Swenson said. overpriced for the market arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t â&#x20AC;&#x153;A turn-key house that needs no work is going to move more selling.â&#x20AC;?

Cfe^k`d\c`jk`e^jkipX^X`e`ejgi`e^ 9P;8EJ<N<CC AP Business Writer

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pring can be an exciting time for homeowners ready to sell. But not so much when your home has lingered on the market through multiple spring selling seasons. Years of listings, open houses and showings without offers are weighing on many homeowners this year as the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s housing market continues to struggle from the Great Recessionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prolonged housing slump, credit crunch and high unemployment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would like to move on,â&#x20AC;? said Jim Oliver, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been trying to sell since 2007. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frustrating.â&#x20AC;? His two-story house, with amenities such as a hot tub, finished basement and a wooded

lot where deer roam, sits on 1.4 prime acres in an upscale region northeast of Cincinnati, with a top-rated school district. But the traditional real estate cry of â&#x20AC;&#x153;location, location, location!â&#x20AC;? has given way in this economy to â&#x20AC;&#x153;price, price, price!â&#x20AC;? With new foreclosures and mortgage short-sales still streaming into the market, buyers have a lot of bargain listings to shop through. So that can mean some tough conversations between agents and homeowners about how much they can realistically expect to get for their home â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not attracting much interest after months or years, the need to slash their asking price. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have had a problem with sellers who are nostalgic for the way it was,â&#x20AC;? said Ron Phipps, a

Warwick, R.I., real estate agent and president of the National Association of Realtors. He recalled homeowners reciting in detail the peak of their homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market value. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of little use today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have to be where the market is, not where it was,â&#x20AC;? Phipps said. Sales of previously owned homes fell last year to their lowest level in 13 years, with contract signings last June at their lowest since the Realtors began tracking signed contracts in 2001. January contract signings were also down in the latest report. The popping of the prerecession real estate bubble means many people need to list their homes for at or below what they paid for them, said

quickly.â&#x20AC;? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s especially true of the upper level homes, Reetz said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not updated, upper level homes donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get the attention they should,â&#x20AC;? Reetz said. Despite the troubles in the housing industry and the current high inventories, the real estate agents are optimistic about the future, given what they are seeing in the Powell area. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Second homes and vacation homes are on the rise,â&#x20AC;? Reetz said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also seeing a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;coming homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; scenario from retirees who want to move here. Those sales are up.â&#x20AC;? Reetz also noted the population increase in Powell over the last decade and said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a healthy sign for us.â&#x20AC;? Loloff said he has received many contacts from individuals seeking to come to Wyoming. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are looking for a nicer, smaller community to move to,â&#x20AC;? Loloff said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The wonderful thing about Powell is itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a great place to liveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a great school system, lots to do for kids.â&#x20AC;? Whatever is driving the market, all three real estate agents said they are still showing and selling homes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re busy,â&#x20AC;? Swenson repeated.

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Diane Thomas, senior sales vice president for Comey & Shepherd Realtors. Thomas, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s listing the Oliversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; house, said 2010 was the worst sales year of her 27year career. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nothing like it before, not even when interest rates were high,â&#x20AC;? she said. But spring usually means increased activity, with better weather and more traffic from families hoping to buy and get moved before next school year. Veteran real estate agents suggest a variety of steps for homeowners heading into spring, and the Realtors association has a website with tips for both buyers and sellers at Houselogic. com. Among possible to-do tasks for homeowners: spruce up landscaping, update exterior lighting, and paint or replace front doors, all to create more â&#x20AC;&#x153;curb appealâ&#x20AC;? for first impressions.

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?fd\`ejg\Zk`fejb\pgXikf]_fd\jXc\ eople who want to buy a home need to remember to look beyond the surface to be sure the house is sound. Inspections done before a home is bought or sold can identify problems that could derail a property sale, according to Rick Fisher of Powell. Fisher, who runs Summit Building Services and Quality Home Inspections, is a certified home inspector as well as a contractor. He said people can save time and sometimes, money, by checking home features before they put in an offer. Many home inspections are triggered during the closing process in the sale of a house. In that case, inspectors look for structural details, not cosmetics, Fisher said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just explaining what the house is,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not the good guy or the bad guy.â&#x20AC;? Many of them are simple steps: flip on light switches, close and open every door, turn on every faucet and flush every

toilet, open windows. He recommends running the furnace by turning up the thermostat and using appliances that stay with the home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People think about where their TV will fit, the paint colors, the furniture,â&#x20AC;? Fisher said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but not structure.â&#x20AC;? People can look for ceiling cracks (diagonal cracks from a corner could be a bad sign) and should check for signs of water leaks, such as a spongy bathroom floor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I try to work it so the buyer can come to the inspection with me,â&#x20AC;? Fisher said. Some crawl into cellars and crawl spaces with him, some just want to know what he finds. Fisher recommends that people who want to sell a home have it inspected first. It could turn up problems that need to be fixed, but it also gives prospective buyers peace of mind. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just all kinds of good things with pre-inspections,â&#x20AC;? Fisher said. In one case, an inspection showed a house needed a new roof. Insurance covered most of the cost, and it sold for more

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when it was finally listed. Outside, run the sprinklers if you have time or know how and check garage doors.

He recommends bringing a flashlight to look in cabinets under sinks, in closets and other dark areas.

@EJG<:K@FE:?<:BC@JK 4. Overflow valve and down spout pipe missing on water heater. This pipe diverts hot water or steam away from walls or shut offs. 5. Rain gutters missing sections or downspouts. Sometimes the wind blows in Wyoming! Fixing these will improve the overall look of the house. 6. Broken windows. Take a good look around â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fixing this is one less flag on the report. 7. Slow draining sinks. This is usually a clogged trap, but as the inspection is read, it could signal a venting problem or a bigger draining issue. 8. Small trees growing close to the house or branches touching the home. Just a few minutes with some shears will clear this up in most cases.

Here are the top eight projects homeowners can tackle that could make a home inspection run more smoothly: 1. Install GFI outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms These need to be installed 6 feet away from water sources and can be easily installed for around $15 by a handy homeowner or friend. 2. Light bulbs burned out around the house, attic and crawl space. According to Rick Fisher, homeowners usually get used to the light not being there, and this creates a red flag during an inspection. Take a good look at all light fixtures! 3. Cover plates on outlets are broken or missing. This may be a red flag for people with kids, and cost about 50 cents to fix.

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<og\iki\m\Xcjgile`e^k`gjk_Xkn`ccjXm\pflij_ilYj There is nothing worse than a bad haircut. The one thing you can’t do with a bad haircut is uncut it, so you just have to wait for it to grow out before you can fix it. That’s how expert gardener

Carol Chernega views the art and science of pruning a shrub. If you trim it the wrong way, you’re only compounding your problems, but learning the right way is not nearly as difficult as going to cosmetol-

ogy school. “Instead of giving your shrubs a bad haircut, it’s actually very simple to give them a day at the spa, instead,” said Chernega, producer and star of the DVD Pruning Shrubs

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with Your Personal Gardener (www.onegardenatatime.biz). Her tips on pruning might not only change your style, but help transform your garden and landscaping, as well. “For me, it would be a perfect world if pruning shears came with instructions,” Chernega added. “Just because one has a pair of scissors, it does not necessarily follow that you know how to give a good haircut. And just because you have a pair of hedge trimmers does not mean you know how to prune a shrub. Now, that’s not to say it takes a PhD in horticulture to know how to prune. The basics are actually very easy to learn, and applying some basic tips can really help you improve the look and health of your garden 100 percent.” 9>;HD;=7ÊIJ?FI<EH 87I?9FHKD?D=?D9BK:;0 Ademm^WjoekÊh[fhkd_d] • Before you make your first cut, look carefully at your garden and identify what you’re going to be pruning. Use the Internet to identify them if you don’t already know. You want to learn how the shrub should look so you can prune it to maintain that natural shape. 9kjXWYajej^[XhWdY^ • Always cut back to a bud or branching point. Never leave a long stub. A stub will not only look ugly, but it will also invite insects and disease that could cause long term problems. 9kjj^[Z[WZm[_]^j\_hij • Before you cut anything else, cut out the dead or broken branches. Sometimes removing a dead branch will leave a big gap, so by doing them first, you’ll be able to tailor the rest of your pruning to compensate for that gap. 9heii_d]el[h • After you eliminate the dead branches, next you want to target crossing branches or branches that are likely to cross in the future. Once they start rubbing against each other, they’ll leave a wound that will invite insects and disease, so you want to eliminate that threat.

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Locals save Casper history one building at a time Heinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presentation included a slideshow of the building before restoration began, as the restoration took place, and in its finished ASPER (AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; For architect Randy condition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was used as a working garage, basiHein and pioneer descendant Susan Bishop, their decision to pursue historic cally, for 60 years, and then stood empty for about 20,â&#x20AC;? Hein said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was a lot of preservation of local landmarks was easy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;New should look new, old should look work to be done.â&#x20AC;? The building today inold,â&#x20AC;? Hein told a group cludes two original brass at this weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 28th annual Western History Ă&#x160;@knXjlj\[XjXnfib`e^ fire poles and a conference room with 12-foot Celebration at Casper ^XiX^\#YXj`ZXccp#]fi-' windows which allow so College. much natural light in that Hein is the architect p\Xij#Xe[k_\ejkff[ electric lights are often not who helped investors needed during the day. Phil Schmidt and Karl \dgkp]fiXYflk)'% Spotlights at night highKillmer turn a 90-year- K_\i\nXjXcfkf]nfib light the three original old fire station into a kfY\[fe\%Ă&#x2039; garage door areas at the historic gem that now houses Killmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CPA Randy Hein front, as well as the insignia â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fire Station 2â&#x20AC;? at the offices. Architect top of the building. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We pushed back the Bishop is the grandaddition to pay homage to the front,â&#x20AC;? Killmer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You want the new daughter of Marvin L. Bishop, who served as Casperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s postmaster from 1892 to 1898, when to complement the old, not match it.â&#x20AC;? The fire house was designed by the same he founded Bishop Sheep Company. In 1907, architect who designed the majestic Natrona he moved his family into a home he had built at County High School, and both are Gothic 818 East Second Street in the Capitol Hill addition, which city founders had hoped would one Revival style. Hein said restoring historic buildings and day become home to the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Capitol. That didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen, but the home, which at continuing to use them is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;greenâ&#x20AC;? thing to the time of its construction overlooked downdo. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to compact the space we live in, town Casper to the west, remains a landbecause one of the best things about living mark, earning a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 with a nomination here is our open spaces,â&#x20AC;? he said. 9PJ8CCP8EEJ?LIDLI Casper Star-Tribune

9

25 Years Experience

written by Susan Bishop. Marvin and Leona Bishopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s youngest daughter, Lucile, resided in the home from her birth in 1908 until her death in 1997. Other Marvin Bishop daughters Pink and Lillian also resided at the home at one time or another during their adult lives. Currently, Susan Bishop is president of the Cadoma Foundation, a nonprofit established to ensure historic places are â&#x20AC;&#x153;preserved in perpetuity by fostering a strong ethic supporting stewardship of historic places and acquiring, maintaining, restoring, and preserving historic buildings in the State of Wyoming,â&#x20AC;? according to its website. W.T. Evans, founder of Evansville, was the contractor of the 15-room home, built in a Four Square Prairie Style design and much different than the single-story frame houses that comprised Casper at the time. Since the Cadoma Foundation acquired the Bishop Home, restoration has taken place only as funds are available. The central hallway and bathrooms have been restored, water damage in a bedroom has been repaired, and regular maintenance has been done. Beginning in May 2008, the home has been open to the public on occasion for formal teas and other special events, and is available to rent for small gatherings. The next series of teas will be held April 29-30. Bishop said it is her desire to have the home open more frequently to the public for tours, and that depends on volunteers.

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Rebecca Hunter, an author and researcher who has specialized in mail-order homes. Hunter offers other identification tips on her website, www. kithouse.org. â&#x20AC;˘ Ask your neighbors what they know about your homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history; mail-order homes were sometimes built in groups. â&#x20AC;˘ Dig into railroad shipping records, where your homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s materials could be listed. â&#x20AC;˘ Research your homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deed â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the manufacturing company may have held a mortgage on the property. For more information, visit www.lib.umd.edu/NTL/ kithomes.html.

Compost, composted manure, top soil, rubber mulch, poly edging, colored gravels, patio, ledge stone, railroad ties and stone bubblers.

SEA

nline retailers have given shoppers the chance to buy just about anything from the convenience of their home. But when it comes to ordering a home itself, todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s e-tailers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t match up to early 20th Century mail-order companies â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who offered to ship you all the materials for a ready-to-assemble house. Homebuyers would simply peruse a catalog of options and mail in their selection. Tens of thousands of home pieces were generally pre-cut in a factory, loaded into a box car or two and then shipped by rail to destinations across the United States for construction. More than 100,000 such kit homes were sold by companies like Sears, Montgomery Ward and Aladdin Homes between the turn of the century and the 1940s. Some came here. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a lot of houses in Cody and Powell and in this whole region that came in on the Burlington Northern,â&#x20AC;? said Ev Diehl, chairman of the Park County Historic Preservation Commission and a former owner of a mail-order home on Codyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 13th Street. Diehl said many such K_`jX[m\ik`j\d\ekXgg\Xi\[`eDfek^fd\ipNXi[Ă&#x2039;j(0))NXi[nXp homes can be seen in the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ?fd\jZXkXcf^%Dfek^fd\ipNXi[Ă&#x2039;ji\Zfi[j]ifd(/+0kf(0/0Ă&#x2021; older neighborhoods. `eZcl[`e^e\XicpXccf]`kjZXkXcf^jĂ&#x2021;Xi\_flj\[Xkk_\Le`m\ij`kpf] In the book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The American Npfd`e^Ă&#x2039;j8d\i`ZXe?\i`kX^\:\ek\i`eCXiXd`\% Architect from the Colonial Era :flik\jpg_fkf&8d\i`ZXe?\i`kX^\:\ek\i to the Present,â&#x20AC;? author Cecil D. The lower price and relative Elliott dug up a 1918 note from a trained eye. Not only were there â&#x20AC;&#x153;clearly elatedâ&#x20AC;? local mail-order literally hundreds of designs, ease of construction were appealcompanies like Sears encouraged ing to folks looking to buy a home. customer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The cost was right, and that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having the house on the train their customers to make extenwith us, we were able to have it sive customizations. Further, was before there were really a lot up and move into it two days after some builders copied what they of qualified contractors around,â&#x20AC;? Diehl said. we reached Powell,â&#x20AC;? the resident saw in mail-order homes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many people live in kit houses The homes werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t foolproof, wrote in an appreciative letter to without knowing their unique ori- however. Sears. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know the guy who put that Denyce Reno, of 174 South gin and place in Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s architectural and (13th Street) house together Douglas cultural her- wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a carpenter because nothSt., owns a itage,â&#x20AC;? says ing was square,â&#x20AC;? said Diehl. Montgoma University Reno and her husband were ery Ward Ă&#x160;K_\i\Xi\Xcfkf]_flj\j of Maryland looking for an antique house model that `e:f[pXe[Gfn\ccXe[ L i b r a r i e s when they purchased their she believes webpage of- Douglas Street home, but they is from `ek_`jn_fc\i\^`fek_Xk fering point- had no idea it was from a cata1917. Reno ZXd\`efek_\9lic`e^kfe ers on how log. was told by to determine Upon learning of its prethe homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Efik_\ie%Ă&#x2039; if your house f o r m e r Ev Diehl was ordered owners that chairman of the Park County Historic by mail (see its arrival Preservation Commission and former info box). on the train owner of a mail-order home. Reno has in Powell been told â&#x20AC;&#x153;was very Here are some basic tips the beams in exciting at for figuring out if your home her attic are stamped with some the time.â&#x20AC;? is a catalog kit house, adapted Diehl said the experience of kind of Montgomery Ward idenfrom a University of Maryland purchasing a home from a catalog tification. Libraries webpage: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only thing that peoproved as popular as shopping for â&#x20AC;˘ Determine if it was built other items, offering the chance ple told me (which identifies the between the late 1900s and to see what trends were catching house as a mail-order) and I have mid-1940s. If not, it likely isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t not done that,â&#x20AC;? Reno said, citing on â&#x20AC;&#x153;back East.â&#x20AC;? a mail-order home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the wives were shop- the amount of insulation. â&#x20AC;˘ Check for company numIn general, Diehl said mail-orping for the house and the husbering or logos on the homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bands were putting them up,â&#x20AC;? he der homes tend to look Victorian framing lumber. in style, with wide porches and said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The numbers are not visBegins one modelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s descrip- columns. ible on every board, so it may In his former home, Diehl could tion in Montgomery Wardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1924 take a few minutes and a good home catalog, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Compare â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The identify the home as pre-cut by flashlight to find one. Look on Cordovaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with the average farm the numbers stamped on the floor basement ceiling joists, attic home in your neighborhood â&#x20AC;&#x201D; its joists visible in the unfinished rafters, basement stair risers striking beauty is immediately basement. Those digits â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;like and treads, wall studs â&#x20AC;&#x201D; any B14, B15, that type of thingâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; apparent.â&#x20AC;? visible board which has not Today, however, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unlikely a were used to guide builders putbeen painted,â&#x20AC;? recommends kit home will stand out to the un- ting the home together, he said.

manufactured origins, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were absolutely shocked,â&#x20AC;? Reno said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure if we should be embarrassed.â&#x20AC;? As it turns out, the couple had nothing to worry about. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They (mail-order homes) were very well built. It was just that everything was pre-manufactured and shipped out on a flatcar,â&#x20AC;? said Diehl. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This house is really solid. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an incredibly solid house. So there must be something good about it,â&#x20AC;? Reno said. Reno said she would like to restore some features removed by a previous homeowner â&#x20AC;&#x201D; such as built-in china closets, living room columns and bookshelves â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but the cost is too expensive. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too bad itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not 1917 when prices on, say, an entire twostory, two-bedroom bungalow from Sears started at $639 (cement, brick, plaster, plumbing, heating and electrical fixtures not included). One ad in Montgomery Wardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1924 Wardway Homes catalog headlined a model called â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Winstedâ&#x20AC;? as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Three-Bedroom Bungalow of Unusual Merit.â&#x20AC;? Some features are antiquated. Noting the cellar steps are located in the rear entryway, the catalog boasts: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This arrangement enables the delivery boy or the ice man to enter the cellar and ice the ice box without getting into the house proper, thereby saving a great deal of confusion and cleaning up.â&#x20AC;? But other attributes have outlasted technological advances in cooling. The Winsted ad closed by noting the home â&#x20AC;&#x153;has an abundance of big windows, giving plenty of light and good ventilation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a feature always remarked by its owners and visitors and typical of Wardway designed homes.â&#x20AC;? Indeed, although Renoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home is not a Winsted, the large number of windows and uniquelyshaped walls of her arts and crafts-style house are among her favorite features. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think it has a lot more warmth and character than modern homes,â&#x20AC;? Reno said.

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9P:A98B<I Tribune Staff Writer

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Homes ordered by mail, arrived by rail

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GifjXe[Zfejf]fi^Xe`Zmj%jpek_\k`Z]\ik`c`q\ij (AP) — Another growing season is fast approaching, and before you can seed you must feed. Now is the time to decide whether to use organic or synthetic fertilizers to enrich the soil. They produce similar results but come at it from different directions. Most organic fertilizers are derived from plants and animals. This group includes manure, bone and blood meal, seaweed, compost and minerals. All are rich in nutrients, but must be “cured” or broken down by bacteria before they can nurture plants and condition soils. Synthetic fertilizers are commercially produced from petroleum or natural gas, and

are packaged in easy-to-apply granular or liquid forms. They give plants a vigorous although short-term jolt. “Plants don’t know the difference if you’re using a synthetic or an organic. It’s all chemical to them,” said Valerie Locher, a horticulturist and landscape manager from Housatonic, Mass. “But the beauty of organics is that they’re naturally slowrelease. They’re there for the entire season.” Locher uses synthetic fertilizers when planting flowers in containers. “I plant a lot of annuals so I want their growth to be really quick,” she said. “Synthetics leach into the soil with the first watering. Instant nourishment.”

Organic fertilizers may not be Locher said. “That means you’ll the answer if: have to do a lot of soil work in the spring — I call it ‘fluffing’ — to • You don’t like odors. “Fermix your nutrimented seation deep into weed and fish the ground.” make beautiful ÊGcXekj[feËkbefn Synthetics are fertilizers but k_\[`]]\i\eZ\`]pflËi\ easier in this they’re often case because difficult to use lj`e^Xjpek_\k`Zfi they can be because they Xefi^Xe`Z%@kËjXcc broadcast over smell,” Locher the surface of said. “If you’re Z_\d`ZXckfk_\d%Ë the ground. spreading something like Valerie Locher The granules minerals on Horticulturist or liquids seep into the soil as the ground, soon as water is applied. there’s no odor problem.” • You’re looking for consis• You want to reduce your tency. Synthetic fertilizers are workload. “If it’s a compacted sold with a three-digit chemical soil and you have a hard time code displayed on each bag. If breaking ground, then it will the label reads “10-10-10,” it’s be hard for any roots to grow,”

a blend of 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorous and 10 percent potassium by weight. (What’s left is filler, usually sand or limestone.) But organic fertilizers, especially the kitchen composts or farmyard manures, are variable mixtures. An all-purpose, 4-6-2 load when supplied one year may test out as an acidic 4-3-6 application when delivered the next. Organics, however, do provide benefits you won’t get from the synthetics. Organic fertilizers: • Build up the soil structure, boosting its water-holding capacity, and adding to its biodiversity and long-term productivity.

• Improve drainage, minimizing soil erosion and soluble nitrogen- and phosphorus-rich runoff. You don’t have to be an organic gardener to use organic fertilizers. It may just be practical. Many can be obtained in bulk for little or no cost from nearby livestock operations, municipal green-waste collection centers and dump sites, said Richard Koenig, a soil scientist at Washington State University. “Recycling makes use of materials that otherwise would go to a landfill,” Koenig said. “You can get hung up too much about what makes a fertilizer. Basically, anything organic can be used directly or indirectly in the soil.”

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JZfkkjkff]]\ig_fjg_filj$]i\\]\ik`c`q\ij MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Lawn care products maker Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. said recently that its lawn maintenance fertilizers used in the U.S. will be phosphorus-free by 2012’s end, helping to further reduce water pollution. Phosphorous, along with nitrogen, is a nutrient that can turn aquatic habitat into dead zones when excessive amounts are dumped through residential and farm runoff and waste water. The nutrients can feed algae blooms that block out light needed by aquatic plants, then die off and remove oxygen from the water as the organisms de-

compose. Scotts began lowering phosphorus levels in its lawn fertilizer products in 2006. “We still felt there was room for us to do things with our products that were better for the environment,” Scotts Chief Environmental Officer Richard Shank said in an interview. Phosphorus, which Scotts says is important for the initial root development of grass, will remain in the company’s starter fertilizers and its organic lawn food lines. Phosphorus naturally occurs in the organic materials contained in the product line.

Shank said pricing for the Scotts products will stay relatively the same once the phosphorus is removed, and that customers should not notice any difference in their effectiveness. Scotts said it will also concentrate more on finding better ways to use nitrogen — a key nutrient for healthy grass maintenance — in its lawn fertilizer products. Scotts, based in Marysville, Ohio, sells lawn care products to North American and European consumers. In the U.S., it runs Scotts LawnService, a residential lawn care business.

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>ifn`e^m\^\kXYc\jZXeY\\Xjpn`k_k_\gifg\ijkXik (AP) — Some things bear repeating: Plant vegetables. Planned correctly, the most basic vegetable garden takes little time or effort. Here’s how to plan and plant this most basic garden. BE97J?ED"BE97J?ED First, the site. For the plants’ sake, full sun — at least six hours daily — and well-drained soil are a must. If water stays puddled on the ground more than a few hours after rain has stopped, roots will suffocate. For your sake, locate the garden as close to your house as possible — ideally, no farther from your door than you

can throw the kitchen sink. With the garden close by, you’ll have no qualms about running out to grab another pepper for roasting or snipping some basil for a salad. ;7IO8;=?DD?D=I The traditional way to create the garden is to till the soil a couple of times, wait a couple of weeks, till again, wait again, and then plant in rows, between which you till or hoe through the season. The quickest and easiest way to start a garden is to merely smother the existing lawn or weeds. After you have mapped out your garden, you’ll want

compost for the planting beds, and wood chips for the paths between the beds. Plan on spreading a 3-inch depth of either of these materials. Mow or knock down existing weeds or lawn, then smother them beneath paper. Use newspaper — black-and-white pages four sheets thick — or commercially available paper mulch. FB7DJ Now plant, right into the compost. When planting in beds, you can crowd 3 or 4 rows down each bed because you’ll be doing all your weeding and harvesting from the paths, rather than having to walk between the rows.

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PAGE 12 â&#x20AC;˘ POWELL TRIBUNE THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2011

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT

Andrew and Crystal Whitlock and their sons, Evan (left) and Benjamin, stand outside their new shop house. The home is surrounded by agricultural land just south of Powell off the Willwood highway. Tribune photos by Kara Bacon BY TESSA SCHWEIGERT !"#$%&'()*&*+#&+(,-#./"

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CXe[jZXg`e^('(1K_\Xikf]XgcXee`e^XpXi[ 9P>@9D8K?<IJ Tribune Staff Writer

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opefully the information contained herein will give homeowners pointers on creating or maintaining their charming yard ... JD8CC$J:8C<@II@>8K@FE Steve Herburger of Herburger Landscaping, Inc., does not recommend installing underground sprinklers without consulting an expert to design the system. It is cheaper in the long run to do it right the first time, Herburger said. As part of his business, Herburger said he designs and installs sprinkler systems for his customers. But, he will design a system for homeowners if they agree to purchase the sprinkler products through him. Herburger uses Rain Bird products made for irrigating yards and farms, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have been out there for a long time,â&#x20AC;? Herburger said. He likes the Rain Bird 5000 gear-driven rotor heads for large areas and the smaller, pop-up sprinkler heads for smaller spaces. For folks tapping into untreated water, especially for rotor sprinklers, the water should be filtered first, Herburger said. Just because an irrigation ditch flows past a landownerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s property, that is not a guarantee they have irrigation rights. However, landowners should be aware of their water rights by studying their propertyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paperwork, Herburger said. Folks in Powell can tap into city water, or as many do, employ a well. The water is 7 feet below ground level, thanks to flood irrigation seeping into the water table from outside of town, Herburger said. G8M@E>K?<N8P Paving stones have greater

aesthetic appeal than concrete sidewalks, in Herburgerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book. However, installing paver stones entails a bit of work. Whereas a concrete sidewalk requires a 2 or 3 inch gravel base, paver stones demand a 5 to 6 inch gravel and 1 inch of sand atop the gravel to allow proper drainage, Herburger said. Still, once the stones are installed, they can be removed if, for example, the owner must remove tree roots, he added. Prior treatment to prevent unbidden flora from rising between paver stones is usually not necessary. However, if weeds sprout, a shot of Roundup weed spray should nix the invasive vegetation, Herburger said. But, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use Roundup on lawns, said Scott Votaw of Field Services and Weed Control, LLC. LE>LC8K<8E;8I@;@KP KFC<I8K@FE Most landscaping contractors have a list of tried and true drought and deer-tolerant plants they recommend. For the do-ityourselfer, nurseries also have a list, Herburger said. Herburger said plants are region specific; some will grow here and some will not. Unearthing the right plants for a specific location can be found on-line or in books. For low-maintenance lawns, ornamental rocks and bushes that bloom offer an alternative for the entire yard or part of it, said Carl Olson of Olson Landscape and Recreation Inc., a division of Olson Fencing. 9FEEP98II@<IJ Olson said he likes vinyl fencing. Two examples are shiny white panels or a picket fence. The key to installing a vinyl fence is ensuring the posts are anchored properly, Olson said. Vinyl fences are designed to withstand 110 mph winds, and the vinyl fence Olson installed

four or five years ago off 17th and thus settle into the roots, Street near Codyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Holiday Inn, Votaw said. bears a lot of wind, he said. Using a sprayer on weeds is Whatever type of fence, vi- best. The stuff sold in stores nyl, chain-link, rail, etc., Olson may not have as high a chemistrongly advises the homeowner cal concentration as the comhire a contractor to install the mercial guyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spray, but it is posts to make cereffective nonetain posts are seattheless, Votaw ed at the proper Ă&#x160;Fe\f]k_\Y\jk said. depth and height. Look for DiAfter the posts nXpjkfb\\gflk camba or 2,4-D are installed, the n\\[j`jkf_Xm\X in the sprayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homeowner can _\Xck_pcXne%Ă&#x2039; ingredients, hang the rails or Votaw said. panels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And that â&#x20AC;&#x153;More is not Scott Votaw gives them a sense Field Services and Weed always better,â&#x20AC;? of ownership as said. Control, LLC Votaw well,â&#x20AC;? Olson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Always follow Call One-Call of the label direcWyoming before you dig. State tions.â&#x20AC;? law requires notifying the state Too much chemical can at least two business days prior brown the sod and harm trees, to an excavation project. Votaw said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you plant a tree or are It is safe to use chemicals, digging a hole, you need to but for safetyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sake, follow the call 811,â&#x20AC;? said Curtis S. Olson, manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instructions to a utilities/One-Call officer for the T, Votaw added. Wyoming Department of TransNeed weed elimination adportation. vice? Check One-Callâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website for Contact Park County Weed more information at http:www. and Pest, said Josh Shorb, Weed dot.state.wy.us/wydot/site/ and Pest assistant supervisor. wydot/One_Call. Weed and Pest has chemicals Get a building permit first. for sale and can rent backpack Building permits are based on sprayers. the cost of the job. If the owner Their focus is agriculture, but initiates a project without a residential help isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t out of the building permit, they will be question. charged double the original cost â&#x20AC;&#x153;We typically donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do lawns, of the permit, Olson said. but we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get asked a lot,â&#x20AC;? If the owner canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find the Shorb said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We would get property lines, get a surveyor to something figured out for you.â&#x20AC;? find those lines before layingPut fresh weeds in a zip-lock out the fence. It can be costly to bag and bring them to Weed and move a fence, Olson said. Pest immediately or place fresh bagged weeds in the freezer prior to transport so Weed and N<<;C@HL@;8K@FE Pest personnel can ascertain As Votaw said, Roundup will what type of weed or weeds are burn the lawn, but it is OK to ap- plaguing the yard, Shorb said. If a neighbor has weeds, and ply it in alleys or driveways. Fertilizer spreaders that dis- you fear their colonization in perse lawn nutrients and herbi- your lawn, talk to that neighbor, cide simultaneously are not as but be civil, Votaw said. An ounce of prevention apeffective as spray, Votaw said. But, if the homeowner uses a plies in the weed scenario. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the best ways to keep spreader, water the lawn first. That way the herbicide will out weeds is to have a healthy cling to the weedsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wet leaves lawn,â&#x20AC;? Votaw said.

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CHICAGO (AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; It started with figs, on a plate, stashed under a pool side table. The caption under the photo in the home design catalog urged readers to â&#x20AC;&#x153;enjoy the comfort and ease of indoor entertaining with outdoor sectionals, pillows and accessories.â&#x20AC;? But Molly Erdman saw something else. She saw a chance to poke fun at something, well ... kinda ridiculous. The actor/comedian sat down at her computer last June and wrote her own caption. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sweetheart,â&#x20AC;? it said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Turners will be here any minute Texas Christian University. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The now! Did you put the plate of figs mails requesting an interview. That site has a slightly differ- downside is that living up to the under the table?â&#x20AC;? And her blog, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catalog Liv- ent â&#x20AC;&#x201D; perhaps darker â&#x20AC;&#x201D; feel, designer lifestyle also creates a with captions focusing exclusive- transient aesthetic â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the desire ing,â&#x20AC;? was born. Erdman didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily set ly on photos from Dwell maga- to have the latest mobile phone out to create a daily parody of zine. One photo, for instance, device, television, kitchen gadthe sometimes serious, overly with a man looking into stacked get, and discard the perfectly put-together nature of photos storage containers was described functional in favor of newness. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fashion conformity has befrom high-end home accessory like this on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unhappy Hipstersâ&#x20AC;?: catalogs. She got her start as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Someday heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d remember which come extremely attractive, and comedian with Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Second pod contained his sister; until conformity is a great target for City and moved to Los Angeles then, her piercing cries cut into satire.â&#x20AC;? So, yes, she thinks these sites three years ago to pursue an his practice time.â&#x20AC;? Another, with an older man in are funny, too. acting and writing career. You And so do a lot of other people. might recognize her as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the wife a modern home library near a Julie Roller, a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catalog Livingâ&#x20AC;? table lined with stones, reads: â&#x20AC;&#x153;A in the minivanâ&#x20AC;? steady diet of rocks fan in Wamego, Kansas, marvels from a series of and reading had al- at Erdmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability â&#x20AC;&#x153;to make us popular TV commost reversed the stop and reevaluate something as mercials for the Ă&#x160;Jn\\k_\Xik#k_\ simple as catalogs.â&#x20AC;? She checks aging curse.â&#x20AC;? Sonic restaurant Klie\ijn`ccY\ Earlier this year the site every morning right after chain. (before Erdman she reads the news online, and One night, _\i\Xepd`elk\ started her site), she likens the humor to the TV though, after efn;`[pflglk Los Angeles Times show â&#x20AC;&#x153;Seinfeld.â&#x20AC;? she wrote the â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get enough of architecture critic â&#x20AC;&#x153;figâ&#x20AC;? caption, she k_\gcXk\f]Ă&#x201D;^j Christopher Haw- Gary, Elaine and their wacky showed it to her le[\ik_\kXYc\6Ă&#x2039; thorne called the lives!â&#x20AC;? she says. boyfriend. He Gary and Elaine are the main laughed. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Catalog Livingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; blog Hipsters site â&#x20AC;&#x153;the most welcome ad- fictional â&#x20AC;&#x153;charactersâ&#x20AC;? in ErdThen she dition to the often manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blog. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re probably in wrote more captions and her comedian friends self-serious world of architecture their 40s, she says. They seem and design in recent memory, to have no jobs, are very wealthy thought those were funny, too. She realized she was on to not to mention a pocket of sa- and have a â&#x20AC;&#x153;ridiculous 1,000something - and as her blog en- tirical warmth in the middle of a room house,â&#x20AC;? Erdman says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Garyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sort of the bumbling tries multiplied, they started get- soggy, recessionary, earthquaketing attention from Facebook fans wracked, Martha Coakley win- fool, and Elaine has her hands on her hips, telling him what to do ter.â&#x20AC;? and people in the design field. Could it be true that the reces- all the time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gotten a lot of e-mails â&#x20AC;&#x153;To me, they are the people from catalog photographers and sion has made people a bit cranky who live in Pottery Barn,â&#x20AC;? she art directors,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They about high-end design? says, chuckling. Sure, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible. say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We always think what we do Gary and Elaine celebrate But Gayla Shannon, a designer is ridiculous.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;No one seems to take respon- in Fort Worth, Texas, thinks holidays, too. One recent â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catasibility for lining up 30 apples on every trend also has a backlash. log Livingâ&#x20AC;? entry has a photo Maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer trendy to be of a tidy to-do list that includes a table.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;DECK THE HALLSâ&#x20AC;? as one of This is a reference to the pieces trendy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The positive side of this the things to do. of fruit or other objects that show Erdmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tag line: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not up in odd places in some of the phenomenon is that attractive, catalog photos. One of Erdmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slick, well designed products are all holiday spirit. The Halls are favorites showed a rowboat on a affordable and much more avail- our next door neighbors.â&#x20AC;? She says sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll keep doing the able to everyone,â&#x20AC;? says Shannon, dock filled with pillows. Her caption: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In her annual whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also an assistant profes- blog as long as she has ideas. end-of-season ritual, Elaine sent sor in the department of design, Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certainly enough matethe outdated summer cushions merchandising and textiles at rial there. out to sea.â&#x20AC;? This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the only website like this. Another is called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unhappy FEC@E<1 Hipsters: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lonely in the Mod:XkXcf^C`m`e^1_kkg1&&ZXkXcf^c`m`e^%kldYci%Zfd& ern World.â&#x20AC;? The creator of that site prefers to remain anony- Le_Xggp?`gjk\ij1_kkg1&&le_Xggp_`gjk\ij%Zfd& mous, and thus, did not return e- <i[dXeĂ&#x2039;jj`k\1_kkg1&&nnn%dfccp\i[dXe%Zfd&

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J\c]$i\c`XeZ\d\XejjXm`e^jXe[ Zc\Xe\i_fd\]fiN`ccnff[]Xd`cp take care of the environment, but the environment isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t more important than anything else,â&#x20AC;? she oing back to basics means said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lack of depending on savings and self-sufficiency government and big business to for Kimberlee Yount and provide for your family.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also thrift, plus a desire to her family. The Willwood wife and mother shed clutter, feelings sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen said she decided to take action also seen among friends. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m 41 so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not part of the to protect her family when the economy started downhill in new generation,â&#x20AC;? Yount said, about 2008. She wanted to be able laughing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wanting to maintain her home, feed her to strip away all the stuff. The family and, if possible, help her things that matter are the internal things inside your neighbors if a crisis home.â&#x20AC;? occurred. She decided She got a mixed to turn away from rereaction when she tail consumption and first started living this make things herself way. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; such as laundry deâ&#x20AC;&#x153;I told my mom tergent, toothpaste and and she reacted like insect repellent. she felt sorry for me,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always leaned Yount said. Her mom toward â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Little House felt she should enon the Prairie,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Yount joy the conveniences said â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not the hardavailable to her that ships, but the self-reA?C8;HB;; werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possible durliance and making do. OEKDJ ing her own youth. With costs rising, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I â&#x20AC;&#x153;But my mom does it now and just got tired of spending $18 on a even considers it kind of a luxubottle of laundry detergent.â&#x20AC;? She delved into research on ry,â&#x20AC;? Yount said, because it frees items that could be made at home family money for other priorities. and found a recipe for laundry de- â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has expanded a lot. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tergent that costs about a penny lot of people in my world that are per load of laundry. Made of Fels doing it now.â&#x20AC;? Yount refers people to a webNaphtha bar soap, washing soda, borax powder and water, the site, thefamilyhomestead.com, maintained by a woman who relaundry soap keeps indefinitely. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can make 96 loads for 96 lies heavily on home solutions. Yount has some goals â&#x20AC;&#x201D; sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d cents,â&#x20AC;? she said â&#x20AC;&#x201D; compared to 15 cents per load from a bottle of like to grow her own wheat to Tide. WIth a few ingredients on grind into bread flour â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d hand, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you run out, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no big like to expand her offerings at local farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s markets â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deal. You just make more.â&#x20AC;? Of her home cost-saving ideas, mostly about providing the best â&#x20AC;&#x153;If I had to pick my favorite home care she can for her own family. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;thing,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The For people living in a confident bubble believing they are shelsecond is baking bread.â&#x20AC;? Asked what started her on rely- tered from disaster, she points to ing on home-produced products Japan, a highly industrialized namost people buy without a second tion with areas leveled by a series thought, Yount said itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more than of disasters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to be able to take care going â&#x20AC;&#x153;greenâ&#x20AC;? to help the environof my family and my familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a responsibility to needs,â&#x20AC;? she said, even to the point 9PAL;PB@CC<E Tribune Staff Writer

=

of growing medicinal herbs in the event they are unable to reach medical care. On the economic side of the equation, keeping a pantry stocked with commonly used ingredients prepares her to make favorite meals. That cuts down on trips to the store for one ingredient that can lead to spending on unnecessary items. Growing up in California near the San Andreas fault, she and her family learned to be prepared for disasters. After 9/11, her feeling grew stronger that people need to be ready for any crisis. Now, living 10 miles out of town in the Willwood area, a disaster could cut her family off from stores for several days, and she wants to be ready. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a stock-up cellar full of canned goods,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We fully realize that there could come a time when we have to take care of our circle. We have our community in mind, not just us.â&#x20AC;? And she wonders about the future, noting a study she read that showed housewives may have higher cancer risks because of all the chemicals they use to clean at home. She hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t abandoned all cleaning products by any means. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I still use Comet,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nothing cleans a toilet like Comet.â&#x20AC;? People could try homemade laundry soap and white vinegar as a fabric softener but still use Windex. People might not like her homemade insect repellent â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which, even without DEET, her son finds extremely effective â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but might plant catnip or mint, natural insect repellents, around their home. She isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t out to change the world, just improve her own home and family. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a philosophical feeling, a conviction,â&#x20AC;? Yount said. A question she frequently asks: â&#x20AC;&#x153;How can we make this happen without spending money?â&#x20AC;?

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GROWING A GOOD TIME!

& Plant Sale Saturday, May 7

cleaner will dry too quickly and leave streaks. Window blinds: Close plaspring is the time of year tic blinds and wipe with a when homes often get a damp cloth, Johnson said. Rethorough cleaning. Us- verse the slats and clean the ing the right tools, techniques other side of the blinds with a and products for different sur- clean, damp cloth. Use a tool faces and types of dirt, from designed for blind cleaning to windows to counters to floors, clean between the slats. For is key to doing the job eas- cloth blinds, use a vacuum atily and effectively, said Debra tachment to remove dust and dirt. Johnson, trainWood floors: ing manager for Wash floors with the Merry Maids a cleaner deh o u s e c l e a n - Ă&#x160;JkXikn`k_k_\ ing company in k_`e^k_XkYfk_\ij signed for wood Forte Memphis, Tenn. pfldfjk%;fk_\ surfaces, said. Choose the â&#x20AC;&#x153;It makes the cleaner thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apjob easier if you Y`^^\iafYjĂ&#x201D;ijk%Ă&#x2039; propriate for the have the right Debra Johnson finish on the products,â&#x20AC;? she Merry Maids floor, either wax said. or polyurethane. Begin with the She favors using rooms or areas that seem the dirtiest, sug- a microfiber cloth on a mop gested Carolyn Forte, direc- with a swivel head. Laminate floors: Since lamitor of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Lab at the Good nate is a very durable surface, Housekeeping Research In- it can be cleaned with a variety of cleaning products, hot stitute. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Start with the thing that water and a mop or microfiber bothers you most,â&#x20AC;? she said. cloth, Johnson said. Rugs: Send area rugs that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do the bigger jobs first.â&#x20AC;? Johnson and Forte offered cannot go in a washing mathe following advice for effec- chine to a professional cleaner to avoid discoloring or damtive spring cleaning. Windows: Use an ammonia- aging them, recommended based cleaner and microfiber Johnson. Set smaller rugs cloth, Forte said. Make sure outside for a good airing, she to use plenty of cleaner to added. When vacuuming a rug remove the dirt. Change the located in a doorway or other water and cloth as neces- high traffic area, turn the rug sary. Avoid washing windows over and run the sweeper on on sunny days because the the underside of the rug, Forte

I

Make sure your home is insured for its replacement cost. Brenda Schaefer Vicki Dicks

said. Dust: Work from the top down to avoid dirtying areas that were just cleaned, Johnson said. Use a vacuum attachment to remove cobwebs and dust in corners. The vacuum also is a good way to remove dust from lampshades and upholstered surfaces. Avoid feather dusters, Johnson added, as they just move the dust around. Wipe furniture with a damp cloth because dust can scratch wood surfaces, Forte said. She suggests spraying a microfiber cloth with a small amount of furniture polish. Tile: Spray a foaming bathroom cleaner on tiled surfaces and leave it on for a few minutes. Remove the cleaner with a clean rag or sponge. If the grout has mildew, use a product designed to remove it. It may take several applications and a lot of scrubbing with a grout brush to thoroughly clean the grout, Johnson said. Bathroom sinks and counters: Foaming cleaners or those designed to remove soap scum will work best. Make sure the cleaner you choose is safe for any special stone or countertop in the bathroom. Kitchen sinks and counters: Use cleaners that are more acidic or anti-bacterial in the kitchen, Johnson said. Read the labels on cleaners as some may need to be left on the surface for a few minutes before being wiped off, Forte

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added. Make sure the cleaner is appropriate for the counter material. Here are a few additional tips for successful housecleaning from Allen Rathey, president of the Housekeeping Channel, a website dedicated to efficient cleaning: â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Clean dry to wet. Always sweep a floor before mopping. Wetting dirt will make it harder to remove. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; More is not always better. Follow the labels on cleaning products to avoid using too much. Residue from cleaning products can attract more dirt. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; When trying to remove a spot or clean a dirty area, start wiping or scrubbing gently. Too much pressure can damage the surface under the dirt. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Get extra life out of a clean cloth by folding it in quarters. When one side becomes dirty, refold the cloth to reveal a clean side. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Purchase doormats for the interior and exterior of your home. The mats will collect and absorb dirt and prevent it from being spread indoors. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Cleaning equipment should be washed regularly. Put sponges in the dishwater or microwave to sterilize. Wash microfiber rags in hot water without fabric softener. Clean brooms and scrub brushes in soapy water or hydrogen peroxide.

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Springâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hot color for homes?

Honeysuckle grounds. Bold wall choices like honeysuckle are a good balance to right red-pink and burst- neutral furniture, particularly ing with energy, hon- white, cream and tan, says eysuckle is dominating Thibautâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Molly McDermott home decor trends in 2011 as Walsh. J>HEMF?BBEMI a playful and vibrant alternaBright and lively throw piltive to the serene turquoise of lows are another cheap and 2010. Love it or hate it, the hue is easy way to pepper your home everywhere this spring. And with this warm hue. She also suggests heading design experts say there are many easy ways to incorpo- to the fabric store and makrate it into your home without ing your own pillows or chair cushions. breaking the bank. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Honeysuckle chair covers â&#x20AC;&#x153;Add a lively flair to interior spaces with honeysuckle pat- on all chairs or just the head terned pillows, bedspreads, of the table would be quite the small appliances and tabletop statement maker in the dining accessories,â&#x20AC;? says Leatrice room,â&#x20AC;? says Morgan Cullen of Eiseman, executive director Austin, Texas, who created the of the Pantone Color Institute. home decor blog Casa Cullen. J;NJ?B;I Honeysuckle is the official If pillows arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t your color of 2011 as chosen by the institute, the research arm thing, try drapes or linens in a honeysuckle of the Carlstadt, print for an inN.J.-based Pantone Inc., which Ă&#x160;G`ebXe[i\[%G`eb stant update in kitchen or largely sets color Xe[eXmp%G`ebXe[ the bedroom, says standards for Vizzi Jacobs. the fashion and klihlf`j\%<m\e â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the bath, home industries. g`ebXe[fiXe^\% honeysuckle This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s redembroidered dish pink shade ?fe\pjlZbc\gX`ij lights a fire to e`Z\cpn`k_jfdXep or appliquĂŠd monograms on your senses and Zfcfij%Ă&#x2039; white towels revs you up, says are a pleasant Eiseman. Carey Vizzi Jacobs surprise,â&#x20AC;? she â&#x20AC;&#x153;The color says Interior designer says. we need to be Another easy hopeful and think of things that satisfy as many way to brighten up your bathroom is with a pink rug or senses as we can,â&#x20AC;? she says. A striking, eye-catching shower curtain edged with a shade, honeysuckle works honeysuckle ribbon, Cullen well for day and night, and says. Table runners, napkins and complements a variety of blues, greens and oranges, sheets are also showing up in shades of honeysuckle this Eiseman says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think of a pink com- spring. 799;DJI bination that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work,â&#x20AC;? Honeysuckle can be popped says Carey Vizzi Jacobs, an interior and wallpaper de- into small accent pieces signer in Maryland and Penn- throughout your home for a more understated, yet upsylvania. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pink and red. Pink and dated, look. Cullen suggests painting navy. Pink and turquoise. Even pink and orange. three wall frames with honHoneysuckle pairs nice- eysuckle-colored spray paint ly with so many colors.â&#x20AC;? and placing them around black-and-white photos as easy do-it-yourself wall art for F7?DJ%M7BBF7F;H One easy and inexpensive any room. She also suggests paintway to brighten up your home and stay on top of design ing the back wall of built-ins, trends is by painting an accent media or bookshelves in honeysuckle for a burst of color, wall in honeysuckle. If pink walls seem a bit as well as real honeysuckle daunting, try a wall in the bed- flowers in a vase on the dinroom first â&#x20AC;&#x201D; whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paint ing room table or next to your or a luxurious wallpaper, Vizzi bed. Even a strip of grosgrain Jacobs says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wallpaper does wonders pink ribbon can instantly to warm up the bedroom,â&#x20AC;? she change a lamp shade or give adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I like that feeling of extra flair to curtains, says pink surrounding you and giv- Vizzi Jacobs. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget artwork, ing you a nice warm hug.â&#x20AC;? A new wallpaper collection even in unexpected places. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All bathrooms deserve by New Jersey-based Thibaut Designs features honeysuckle great art, so invest in a cheery piece in a variety of vibrant lattices, honeysuckle-colored damasks and florals on frothy that will make you smile year pastel and rich velvety back- round,â&#x20AC;? Cullen says.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2011 POWELL TRIBUNE • PAGE 17

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT

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Joyce Johnston, horticulturist for the University of Wyoming Extension Service, checks tomato plants grown from non-genetically engineered heirloom seeds. “So many of the heirlooms are so good,” Johnston said. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

For fans, heirloom seeds are keepers indeed BY GIB MATHERS !"#$%&'()*+,,(-"#*'"

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Hybrids: pros and cons in a backyard garden BY LEE REICH ./"(!0'(122/3#+*'4(5"'22

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From Start

to Finish

Commercial Shop for Production Machine

Pryor Mountain Community Center Pryor, Montana

Bring your pots & hanging baskets in for spring planting.

Act now and have beautiful blooms by Mother’s Day! Call now for spring tree spraying applications!

754-3629

220 East First Street

s'RAIN"INS s"ARNSs3TORAGE s3HOPSs3TUDIO s#OMMERCIAL

"Hr$PNNFSDJBMr4UVEJPr4IPQTr#BSOT

Rod Anderson - Owner 307-754-2322 or 307-202-1035 www.heartmountainconstruction.com


PAGE 18 â&#x20AC;˘ POWELL TRIBUNE THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2011

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT

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Morgan Griffin of Field Services and Weed Control, LLC, applies weed-killer to a driveway. Courtesy photo/Scott Votaw

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>8I8><>FKPFL;FNE6K`gj]fiZc\Xe`e^#fi^Xe`q`e^ heirloom, should it be sitting occasionally, such as holiday you need them, and in logical neck storage shed for $299, for in the garage where you can decorations, consider overhead places. All the gardening equip- example. Tyner says you just have a variety of problems and storage units. A 4-square-foot ment should go together, for need to make sure to use the example, and the bike helmets new space properly and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t arages may have start- moisture?â&#x20AC;? said Sean Hunt, Racor platform, for example, let it become your new catchall ed out as a place to president of Garage Specialists holds up to 250 pounds and can should be next to the bikes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everything has got to have for junk. store cars, but gradually Inc., a San Bernardino, Calif.- be lowered with a cable sysâ&#x20AC;˘ Consider hiring an orgaa home. Otherwise it just gets theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve become a place to store based company that cleans tem. Hyloft makes a smaller, piled up and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a snowball ef- nizer. Organizers can give you almost everything else, from and organizes a few hundred less expensive overhead storage system, measuring 45 good ideas about how to use fect,â&#x20AC;? Hunt said. sports equipment to dog food to garages a year. â&#x20AC;˘ Once the garage is cleared, square inches. your space and keep you on â&#x20AC;˘ Store some things outside. holiday decorations. task as youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to decide If you want a workbench but Consider a deck box for chilAs the weather gets warmer sweep and wash the floors and what to keep and what to toss. donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a lot of room, consid- drenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toys or a storage shed and the spring cleaning urge walls. A fresh coat of paint can Costs vary by region and projfor gardening tools. Loweâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s er one that folds into the wall. hits, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good time to take brighten the walls, and paints ect. Organizers will charge â&#x20AC;˘ Store things close to where sells Rubbermaidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Roughstock of your garage. Is it a made especially for garage functional space or just a re- floors protect them from oil pository for junk? Are there and gas stains, and prolong the more logical ways to store your life of the concrete. â&#x20AC;˘ Consider what kind of storbelongings? age you need. Before you Costs vary signifirush out and buy cantly, from $40 new shelving and Ă&#x160;@]pfl_Xm\eĂ&#x2039;k shelving to cabinets, profeslj\[`k`eXp\Xi# plastic $350 steel shelvsional organizer ing. You can use Âť Water, Fire and Cindy Tyner rec- pfle\\[kfXjb WE PROVIDE: old kitchen cabiommends put- pflij\c]#[f\j`k Smoke Restoration Âť Carpet and (12¢ per sq. ft. nets or buy new ting some serious Âť Drop-off Upholstery Cleaning dXb\j\ej\kf ones. Gladiator thought into how Service GarageWorks,value) a Âť Tile Cleaning you want to use b\\g`k6Ă&#x2039; Receive free carpet protector application (12¢ per sq. ft. division of Whirlyour garage. She Âť Leather Cleaning says the No. 1 misSean Hunt pool Corp., makes value) Remediation with the purchase of Carpet Cleaning service Âť Mold take people make Garage Specialists Inc. heavy-duty plastic tracks that run is pulling everyalong the wall thing out of the garage first and then getting and can be fitted with cabinets, overwhelmed when they try to hooks or baskets. A two-pack of Call Today! 48-inch-long tracks is $29.99; cram it all back in. a six-pack of bins that fits into â&#x20AC;&#x153;People go out and buy 201 S. Bernard St. 307-754-3265 CRI & IICRC things, like storage systems the tracks is $14.99. Kris Nielson, the CEO of and bins, and say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;This is what I need to get me organized,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; but Monkey Bar Storage, a Rexthe things donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fit the purposes burg, Idaho-based company they need,â&#x20AC;? said Tyner, who that makes steel shelving sys     owns an Ann Arbor, Mich.- tems, said people can spend up     based organizing business to $10,000 on custom garages with fancy flooring, refrigeracalled Functional Spaces. Once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve decided how to tors and other perks. His com     use your garage, here are some pany, which has 68 outlets in             Water Lines Âť the United States and Canada, tips to help you finish the job:            charges an average of $1,500 â&#x20AC;˘ Pick a sunny day and clear     Sewer/Septic Systems Âť out all your belongings. Decide per garage to install steel        shelving systems, which he what will stay, what can be        Basements/Foundations/Footers Âť   says are designed for durabildonated and what should be         ity and efficiency. thrown away. General Excavation and Site Work Âť â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not your dining â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t used it in a room. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your garage,â&#x20AC;? he        year, you need to ask yourself, Culverts/Cattle Guards Âť er does it make sense to keep it? said. in Custom â&#x20AC;˘ Use all your available If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to keep it, how ! e ic Ditch Cleaning Âť Serv can you use it? If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a family space. For items you only need

you more, for example, to buy and install storage units than to work with units you already have. Hunt said his company will fix up a garage in a day for an average of $1,500 or so. They also come back and do tuneups when you need them. Tyner gives free 30- to 60-minute consultations and then charges $40 an hour, although she notes that organizersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rates vary widely by region.

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K_`eb`e^f]Xe\c\Zki`ZZXi6 >\kpfli^XiX^\i\X[p (AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; With gas prices rising and instability in the Middle East, the thought of an electric car in the garage might be getting more appealing. Before you jump for the new technology, though, make sure your garage is ready to be a refueling station. Depending on which car you buy and how old your home is, it could cost a couple thousand dollars to prep the garage so you can charge a car quickly enough to take off for work in the morning with a full battery. Then again, it could cost nothing at all. Start with the age of the home. Older houses may not have enough juice to handle an electric car. Fifty years ago, who would have thought weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be plugging in cars at night? So the garage may have to be rewired. According to experts, you need at least a 12-amp circuit to charge a car in a reasonable amount of time. You also need a circuit in the garage with little or nothing else on it. Anything else drawing power from the same circuit can slow the charging. Even if you have a dedicated circuit in the garage, it still may not work for you. Most garages have standard 120-volt outlets. But a dedicated 240-volt outlet, similar to the kind that powers an electric dryer, can cut the charging time in half. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important depending on the electric car you buy. Two mass-market electric cars, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, have different power systems and different charging needs. The Leaf is all electric and can go up to 100 miles on a single charge. But it needs more juice than the Volt to refill the batteries. It takes eight hours to recharge a Leaf even with a 240-volt circuit, double that at 120 volts. The Volt can only go about 40 miles on battery power, but it has a small gas motor on board that can keep the car going when the battery runs out. With its smaller battery pack, it can be recharged in 10 hours even on 120 volts, five hours or less at 240. GM estimates that recharging the Volt will add no more than about $1.50 per day to your electric bill, based on the national average electricity cost of 11 cents per kilowatt hour. AeroVironment, the company that makes charging stations for Nissan, recommends outfitting your garage with a

special 240-volt station. The basic station begins charging when you plug the car in; a smart station can start charging later in the evening when the load on the power company grid is lower. Either way, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need an electrician who knows about car charging to figure out your needs and hook the 240-volt station to a dedicated 40-amp circuit, said Kristen Helsel, vice president of electric vehicle solutions for AeroVironment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is no different than installing an appliance or something else,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to take the power from your breaker box and run it to where you want the charging station installed.â&#x20AC;? Charging stations also are available from other manufacturers. Helsel said it will cost about $2,000 to buy the dock and standard installation services by an electrician when done through AeroVironment and a Nissan dealership.

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Spring Home Improvement 2011  

The Powell Tribune guide to renovations, remodels and a fresh look for your home.

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