If you’re a homeowner in Champaign-Urbana — and, in particular, a first-time homeowner or recent move-in to the area — you know the importance of having discussions with folks who have already lived here for a while. Fortunately, the Chamabanamoms staff includes several members who have lived in the C-U area for decades and, more important, have been long-time homeowners.
So, in that vein, we’re here to offer some helpful tips that can improve your homeowning experience.
Chambanamoms thanks C-U Under Construction for presenting this guide.
C-U Under Construction is a full service contractor offering a complete range of services for the exterior and interior of your home or business. Their in-house plumbing, electrical, and H-VAC companies and the minimal use of subcontractors means efficiently managed projects with central accountability.
C-U Under Construction is your trusted local contractor for new builds, remodels, additions, roofing, siding, windows, solar, decks, plumbing, H-VAC, electrical, and even restoration. In business since 2004, their team of skilled carpenters and technicians can handle any home project.
- Discover the Landscape Recycling Center (1210 E. University Ave.) in Urbana. There are numerous ways in which the LRC can make your life easier. The not-for-profit accepts yard waste and debris anytime of year (for a small fee), so you don’t have to wait for your neighborhood collections. Second, you can purchase multiple types of mulch and composts, urban lumber, topsoil blends and more.
- Know your landscape recycling dates. As mentioned above, your neighborhood likely has collection dates each spring and fall to pick up your yard waste. Well, technically, YOU have to pick it up in your yard, but the city will come pick it up from you. If you live in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Mahomet or St. Joseph, you can find details about spring yard waste pickup here. Keep an eye on chambanamoms.com for info on fall waste dates.
- Visit the PACA Architectural Salvage Warehouse. PACA — Preservation and Conservation Association (44 E. Washington St., Champaign — is a non-profit that works to conserve and preserve “the built environment” in East Central Illinois. You can purchase materials they have salvaged, everything from windows, plumbing, light fixtures and all sorts of furniture, among other things.
- Keep an eye out for the do-it-yourself workshops at places like Lowe’s and Home Depot. For example, the next Lowe’s workshop is April 22 and shows you how to build a raised garden. The CU Woodshop Supply also offers occasional workshops — the most recent one was a Ladies Day in February — that have proven popular. Parkland College also offers home and garden classes that meet once or perhaps twice.
- You can rent things like carpet cleaners and power washers from numerous stores. If you’re not interested in paying big money for professional cleaning services, you can do it yourself. Home Depot has dozens and dozens of indoor and outdoor tools for rent; pretty much any tool you can think of. Rental City in Champaign also has a huge selection of equipment, including pieces like grass seeders, hedge trimmers and other rarely used but handy items.
- Check out your broadband options. If wifi is important in your home — and, let’s face, if you have teenagers, you know that it probably is very important — know your options. One increasingly popular fiberoptic option is i3 Broadband, which is becoming increasingly available in C-U and surrounding areas. It can affect your wifi, TV and phone experiences. Of course, i3 is just one of maaaaany options.
- Add some indoor plants to your home. C-U has some great options for plant-lovers, or even those who haven’t yet injected plants into their lives but are interested. Prairie Gardens, Plant Mode, Planted and Country Arbors are just a few of your choices. There’s also a Facebook group comprised of local plant enthusiasts that can feed your appetite.
- Remember to plan ahead. We suggest breaking down your needs according by season. Start with the year-round stuff: Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors every three months. Make sure buttons are working and replace any batteries, if need be. Check the gauges on your fire extinguishers to ensure they are pressurized. If you have a water softener, top it off with some salt. Remove shower heads and sink aerators and soak in vinegar to remove sediment. Check that your dryer vent is venting properly to the outside.
- To prepare for spring: Inspect roofing for missing/damaged shingles due to winter storms. Clean windows and door screens. Power wash decks, sidewalks, siding and anything else you want to give a good cleaning for spring. Remove leaves and debris from gutters. Have your air conditioner serviced ahead of the summer months. Check with your nursery to see exactly when you should plant new shrubs, trees and plants. A lawn care company can give you the proper guidance on sod and seeding. Have your sump pump checked before spring rains arrive.
- To prepare for fall: Disconnect your garden hoses from the spigots outdoors. Most homes have spigots designed to avoid freezing during the winter, but disconnecting your hoses is a must if they are going to work properly. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected, if you have one. Call your HVAC service company for a winter check-up ahead of the cold winter months. Rake leaves and have your lawn aerated. Check window seals and replace any windows needed to prevent loss of heat during the winter months.
Are you new to Champaign-Urbana? Check out our New to C-U guide for all kinds of info you need to know to settle into life in Chambana.