Construction Claims – Secure Your Right to Get Paid

A. Perfecting a Lien Claim – Private Construction Projects.

• Contractors bringing a claim against lenders, purchasers and encumbrances must (1) record claim or bring suit within 4 months of the last day completed work, and (2) file suit within 2 years. Contractors bringing a claim against the owner must file suit within 2 years.

• Subcontractors bringing a claim against owner occupied single family residents must give notice of lien to the occupant of the resident within 60 days of first furnishing materials or labor. Subcontractors bringing a claim against owner, lender, purchaser and encumbrances must (1) give notice of lien within 90 days of the last day completed work, (2) record claim or bring suit within 4 months of the last day work completed, (3) if no notice is given, subcontractor has lien for amount shown on contractor’s sworn statement; and (4) file suit within 2 years.

• Demand for suit. Any party of interest can demand that the claimant file suit to enforce their lien within 30 days or the lien is forfeited.

• Private construction lien claims attach to the real property.

• Time Requirements are Jurisdictional; thus, if you miss a date, the courts have no authority to enforce your rights.

B. Perfecting a Lien Claim – Public Construction Projects

• There is no time period for providing Notice of Lien.

• Give written notice of lien to public entity.

• For State Project – must provide sworn statement of claim

• Upon receiving the Notice, the public entity must hold all monies or other form of payment due the general contractor for 90 days. If no suit is filed within 90 days the public entity can release the money. If suit is filed within the 90 days the public entity must hold the funds until the final adjudication of the suit or may deposit the funds with the clerk of the court where the suit was filed.

• If the public entity no longer has any contract funds at the time it receives the notice, then there is no recovery.

• Must file suit for accounting within 90 days of giving Notice of Lien. The public entity does not have to be a party to the lawsuit. The state of Illinois cannot be a defendant, but other public entities may.

• On State Projects, suit shall be commenced and a copy of the complaint must be delivered to the Director not less than fifteen days prior to the date when the appropriation from which the money is to be paid will lapse.

• A public lien is a claim against money, bonds, warrants, or other means of payment from the public body.

• Mechanics lien’s are not permitted against Federal Buildings.

C. The Miller Act governs Federal construction project.

• Every person who furnished labor or material has a right to sue under the Miller Act against a payment bond upon the expiration of 90 days after his last day of work.

• A sub-subcontractor must provide the general contractor written notice of its Miller Act claim within 90 days of his last day of work.

• The Miller Act provides that no suit shall be commenced after the expiration of one year after the day on which the last of the labor was performed or material was supplied.

• The Miller Act’s requirement of bringing suit within the prescribed time is a condition precedent to the right to maintain the action.

I help individuals and business owners with their legal needs. As a litigator and commercial mediator, I have the experience and knowledge to assist you through important matters affecting your business and life. I am here to help you.

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home – Dixon, Illinois

Ronald Reagan grew up and went to high school in Dixon, Illinois. His family lived in a house on Hennepin Avenue (now Reagan Way) that gained federal recognition, first as a listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and then as a National Historic Site in 2002. While the building has been declared a National Historic Site, ownership has not been handed over to the National Park Service, a necessary step in its evolution to the new status. You will soon know why.

The house is a simple Queen Anne style home, not unlike Paw Paw’s Stephen Wright House. Again, we see the hip roof with cross gables. The house was constructed in 1891 and the Reagan’s lived in it from 1920 until 1923 when they moved to the other side of the Rock River and occupied the home at 318 W. Everett (now 348).

The Reagan Boyhood Home was officially declared a National Historic Site in 2002 with the passage of Public Law 107-137. But the designation is not yet complete. One year after the designation was made, the federal government offered the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Foundation only $420,000 for the home which they had put much energy and money into restoring and keeping up. The fair market value, according to the foundation, was several million dollars. The chairman of the foundation called the offer “insulting”. Nothing I can find indicates the government ever purchased it. In fact, the last word I could find indicated it may not become a National Historic Site.

Also on the property is an eight foot bronze statue of Reagan, which really isn’t the greatest statue I have ever seen. It looks like him and everything, that’s not the problem. The problem is what he is doing, they have him staring in awe at a handful of corn kernels like a child. I guess, but it just doesn’t seem like the immortal Reagan moment for a statue at his boyhood home.

The Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home is open for tours, according to this information. Current admission is just $3, under 12 is free. There’s more to see in Dixon, we will be back. Our journey continues in Reagan’s stomping grounds for the first nine years of his life. Stay tuned.

Online Resources

*Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home: Old photos (NRHP archives) – 1981

*Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home: Official site

*Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home: National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form

*Dixon, Illinois: USA Today article about town and Reagan

Article written by Andy McMurray a freelance writer and photographer based in DeKalb, Illinois. He has worked at DeKalb’s Daily Chronicle, The Midweek, and the Northern Illinois University newspaper, the Northern Star. Known variously around the Internet as Dr. Gonzo or IvoShandor, Andy’s wide ranging interests and knowledge in history, architecture, historic preservation, art and science have allowed McMurray to excel in penning both fiction and non-fiction pieces. In addition to pursuing a fiction career Andy has written and photographed extensively for English Wikipedia.

Pettit Chapel – Belvidere, Illinois – Historical Architecture – National Register of Historic Places

Oh the hidden wonders, and not so hidden wonders, right in my own back yard.

One prime example is the Pettit Memorial Chapel in Belvidere, Illinois. Belvidere is the county seat of Boone County. The chapel was designed by master architect Frank Lloyd Wright as a memorial for Dr. William Pettit. You can learn about the history and architecture of the structure in the chapel’s Wikipedia entry, which I wrote.

Built in 1907, the structure is one of the early examples of Wright’s renowned Prairie Style, with its emphasis on horizontal lines. The structure’s most interesting quality is the different appearance it gives depending upon what angle it is viewed from.

From the front and rear the structure possesses a peaceful symmetry, that blends seamlessly amongst the dead.

From its flanks, the chapel has a stark asymmetry, and distinctly modern feel.

The building also holds the distinction of being the only Wright-designed building constructed in a cemetery. Though, he did design a mausoleum that was built after his death. The chapel is set among the gravesites within Belvidere Cemetery.

Pettit Chapel is not the only architectural treasure found in Belvidere, there are others there, and all over northern Illinois.

Online resources

*National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form

A note on Belvidere: The site where Belvidere is now located was settled in 1835. Belvidere was originally situated to the north side of the Kishwaukee River. A railway was built south of the river in 1851, downtown followed the innovation where it is still currently located.

Article written by Andy McMurray a freelance writer and photographer based in DeKalb, Illinois. He has worked at DeKalb’s Daily Chronicle, The Midweek, and the Northern Illinois University newspaper, the Northern Star. Known variously around the Internet as Dr. Gonzo or IvoShandor, Andy’s wide ranging interests and knowledge in history, architecture, historic preservation, art and science have allowed McMurray to excel in penning both fiction and non-fiction pieces. In addition to pursuing a fiction career Andy has written and photographed extensively for English Wikipedia.

Things To Do In Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois is a city that is full of history, culture, and entertainment and it is a force that cries out to be explored. Chicago Harbor opens up to Lake Michigan and then bisects the city and adds to the charm. Although one third of the structures were completely destroyed during the great fire of 1871, Chicago has risen from the ashes to become a city full of architectural wonders.

1. Oak Park is a residential neighborhood that where Frank Lloyd Wright made a huge impact. It contains 25 buildings and houses built in Wright’s signature prairie style between 1889 and 1909. It is the largest collection of his work found any where in the world.

2. The Sears Tower was the tallest skyscraper in the United States when it was constructed in 1973. The 110 story building offers views of the Chicago from 1,353 feet above street level.

3. The Cheney House Bed & Breakfast is one of the most unique places to stay in the city. The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, as were much of the furnishings.

4. Lincoln Park is home to several Chicago attractions, statures, monuments, beaches and playgrounds. It is the largest park in the city. You’ll find Lincoln Park Zoo which includes a children’s zoo with a replica of a working Illinois farm. The Conservatory is also in the park with 19 propagations houses over 4 acres.

5. The Navy Pier, which was originally built as an amusement park has been reclaimed. Now it is home to The Chicago Children’s Museum, the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and enough additional attractions to keep you busy through the day.

6. Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum has an amazing collection of sundials, rare books, charts and so much more. There is even the StarRider Theater that offers a journey through space.

7. The dedicated shopper is sure to appreciate the “Magnificent Mile.” Michigan Avenue is lined with shops that will meet every craving, need and budget that the avid shopper might have.

8. The John G. Shedd Aquarium is believed to have on of the largest indoor mammal marine pavilions in the world. You can visit beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, harbor seals and penguins.

The number of sites that are available through out the city of Chicago could keep you busy for weeks. Add in the museums, cultural events and live entertainment that you will be able to find on any given week and you might find that you may never want to leave Chicago once you stop in for a visit.

Overview Of The Most Important Manufacturers Of Heavy Construction Equipment

Here a small overview of the worlds leading brands of heavy construction equipment, the kind of equipment they produce and a little company history:

The Case Corporation was created 1842 in America and manufactured threshing machines in its beginning. From 1912 the production was extended to the sector of farm equipment and road construction machinery. In 1957, Case acquires American Tractor Corporation – manufacturer of excavators and establishes like this to a internationally well-known company in the construction machinery sector. The Case Corporation with its machinery brands Case CE (Case Construction Equipment) for construction machines and Case IH (Case Internationally Harvester, since 1985) for agricultural machinery fused in November 1999 together with New Holland to the CNH Group. Apart from Case and New Holland, O&K, Fiat Kobelco and Kobelco belong to the CNH Group as well..

Caterpillar Inc. (Illinois, USA) is the world’s biggest manufacturer of construction machines. Caterpillar’s Product ranges comprehend Earth moving Machinery and Road Construction Equipment as well as Engines: for instance: Excavators of all types, wheel loaders and crawler loaders, scrapers, graders, dozers, etc.
Worth knowing: One of the founders of Caterpillar, Mr. Benjamin Holt, is considered to be the inventor of the chain drive assembly for crawler machines.

The machinery production’s sector of the South Korean multinational Daewoo was sold in 2005 to Doosan Infracore. Since then construction equipment, trucks and trailer are sold by the name Doosan-Daewoo. Doosan has a sales network all around the world and distributes through it the whole range of crawler excavators, wheeled excavators, wheel loaders and skid steer loaders.

The Japanese Hitachi Ltd. Corporation is among the 50 biggest enterprises in the world. Known as an electronic enterprise, they produce as well construction equipment under the name Hitachi Construction Machinery: crawler and wheeled excavators of all sizes, telescopic working platforms, wheel loaders, off highway and since the uptake of Euclid as well off-highway trucks for plant and building. Hitachi became, little by little, a full line manufacturer for machinery, after ending the cooperation with Fiat (Fiat-Hitachi).

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.Ltd. is part of the South-Korean Hyundai and produces construction equipment and boat equipment. The machines are distributed in the network franchised Hyundai Construction Equipment around the world. The machines productions includes Skid steer excavators, wheel and crawler excavator, wheel loader, skid steer loader and of course as well forklift of all kind.

JCB (according to its founder Joseph Cyril Bamford) it is the forth biggest machinery manufacturer in the world. JCB produces among others backhoe loaders (the 3 CX is the most successful product ), tele handler, crawler excavators and wheel excavators and under the name JCB Vibromax even rollers for compaction.
JCB is active as well in the agriculture field with their Fastrac tractors. It is one of the few enterprises in this sector of machines manufacturer that still has got a family conduction.

Komatsu Ltd is the second largest construction equipment manufacturer world wide after Caterpillar. Apart from construction machinery, the Japanese company with head quarters in Tokyo produces: electronics, fork-lifts, generators, compressors and industrial robots. As a full-liner, Komatsu sells over 100 different construction machine types, from mini excavator to telehandler up to mobile crushers. In 1995 Hanomag, the German machinery manufacturer became part of the Komatsu Group and now produces under the name Komatsu Hanomag AG wheel loaders in Hanover. Interesting: Komatsu produces the largest bulldozer of the world (Komatsu D 575) with 132 tons.

Liebherr AG is an international company that produces apart from construction equipment also aero space equipment and household appliances. The machinery product line of Liebherr includes excavators, Bulldozers, Wheel loaders, Off High-Way Trucks and Mining Equipment. Remarkable: At the Bauma fair in Munich in 2004 Liebherr presented the world’s largest dump truck – the Liebherr T282.The new Liebherr wheel loader series are meant to be very economical in fuel consumption. Apart, Liebherr is Specialist for Cranes of all kinds. By the way, a Liebherr Tower Crane was their first product launched in 1949. Nowadays Liebherr cranes product range goes from mobile cranes to quay cranes.

New Holland belongs since 1999 to the corporation CNH. Previously they were producing farm equipment but today, a part from tractor, they sell many other types of machinery.
The heavy equipment line includes bulldozers, excavators, grader and wheel loader. In the light line production you can find all sizes of skid steer excavator and skid steer loader as well as telehandler.
Under the name appear New Holland the previously named brand of Fiat-Kobelco, Kobelco y O&K.

Roberto Perlini funded in 1957 the Italian manufacturer of construction equipment and heart dump truck Perlini. In 1961 Perlini started with the production of off-highway track for earth moving and construction equipment. Today, they produce dump truck in Vicenza, Italy and commercialize their products all around the world.

The Terex Group is a traditional American producer of Cranes until in 1995 they began their acquisition history. Nowadays the Terex Group consists of a big number of traditional manufacturers – integrated as a whole or partially into the group. Here a list of the most know brands American, American Truck Company, Atlas, Benford, CMI, Demag, Fermec, Finlay, Fuchs, Genie, O&K, Pegson, Peiner, Powerscreen, PPM, and Schaeff.

The Volvo Group with head office in Göteborg, Sweden, is world-wide one of the largest manufacturers of busses (Volvo Busses), trucks (Volvo Trucks) and construction machines (Volvo Construction equipment). Besides, Volvo produces boat engines (Volvo Penta) and High tech components for civilian aviation as well as jet engines (Volvo Aero). Volvo Construction equipment produces more than 100 different construction machines of models of compact wheeled loader, excavator loader, mobile excavator and chain excavator. Interesting: The unquestioned “star” under the Volvo construction machines is however the articulated Dumper in all remarks of A 25 to A 40.

Richmond, Illinois: A Small Midwest Village Searches for Identity and Fights for Survival

People who visit Richmond think of it as a place to buy antiques. Those days are coming to an end. A rash of store closings in the past few months heralded a new reality for the village. With the arrival of eBay the brick and mortar antique business has fallen on hard times. Richmond village officials now must find and court other types of businesses to fill the slots left vacant by the antique stores that Richmond depended on to for many years.

Judy’s Java and Books closed late last year. Jacquelyn Faire & Co. and Forget Me Not’s are now closed. Station House Gifts closed in February. But new businesses are arriving to fill vacancies. Tranquil-A-Tea opened on Broadway last fall. A martini bar and lounge is expected to open this summer if the owner can obtain permission from the zoning board. It will have a European Kitchen serving cold sandwiches.

The downtown area of Richmond needs significant improvements. An aggressive Economic Development Committee (EDC) is staffed by Barb Gallegos, Jeannine Nagel, Bryce Klontz, Trustee Cindy Walleck, and Village President Lauri Olson. EDC has the full support of Olson and Village Manager Tim Savage who are anxious to bring the village back to financial health.

“There is definitely a feeling of optimism in the air,” said Gallegos. “A dressmaker boutique will go in the Forget Me Not store. An interior designer will take over another empty store soon. There is a car alarm company looking at the vacant store on the southwest corner of 173 and 12. We need to make a keep in mind that the business owners are the village’s customers. They need easy rules to follow when they come to us for direction. The person you need to talk to is Cindy Walleck. She is highly involved in the EDC and promoting the village’s revival.”

Village Trustee Walleck could not be reached in time for publication.

Heidner Properties, the developer, will open the already built mini-mall on the northwest corner of Routes 12 & 31 in the near future. The mall is set up to install five new stores. Each store will have1,000 square feet of interior space. Real Estate agent Sonny Katzenberg who assisted in the sale of the property said, “We know for sure that Subway is committed to rent one of the units. Other businesses looking at the property include an ice cream shop, a doughnut shop, a coffee shop, a Chinese restaurant and a currency exchange.”

Katzenberg handled the sale of another lot on the west side of route 12 across from Van’s Supermarket. According to Katzenberg the mini-mall owner, Mac Patel, will operate a gas station named Richmond Petroleum. He will also construct a car wash facility and a 3,600 square foot state-of-the-art convenience store inside a building that will house two more small businesses Katzenberg would like to hear from people who might be interested in putting stores in the malls. He can be reached at 815-678-4131.

East on Route 173 in the golf course area, the village is negotiating with owner Chris Khayat who would like to build a complex that would include a small hotel, mini-mall, banquet hall, wine store and a housing development with 240 town homes. The current golf course would be pared down to nine holes.

Jamino’s Pizza, a full service restaurant, will be opening soon on Route 12 next to the middle school. Work is swiftly coming to completion on the building. The EDC is anxious to complete a walking trail that would connect the downtown area to other places in Richmond. Discussion is under way to implement a TIF funding mechanism that would pull tax increases from a defined area into the village resources. This money would be used to improve the area within the TIF boundary. However, the final outcome is still in question until more research is completed.

The village board is on the verge of settling the lawsuit with developer Peter Bell. Village Attorney David McArdle said that he was tweaking the papers for a settlement and that there would probably be no other obstacles. In addition, the new wastewater treatment facility could be completed before the year ends.

Change, as usual, brings doubt and criticism. Not all village officials are on board with the new developments. Trustee Charles Schultz is not a fan of more housing on the golf course. “The impact of yet another large housing development is not necessarily good for the village,” said Schultz. ” The ratio of houses to businesses is already lopsided. The impact fees do not come close to paying the real cost of houses on our community.” Regarding the golf course Schultz said, “When we had public meetings a couple of years ago the people indicated they wanted to keep the golf course in tact. I am in favor of putting up the winery with a reworked golf course. This would help pay for the impact on the schools from the other developments. I want to see Richmond’s economy leaning toward tourism and that would keep Richmond as a destination for visitors. I also recommend the village needs a combination of stores that sell both products and services.”

At a recent board meeting Trustee Dan Deters expressed his dissatisfaction with the number of golf course homes proposed by Khayat. Deters is concerned about the impact of development on the Nippersink creek, a Class A stream. He believes that maintaining good conservation techniques can only help the economy of the village in the future by attracting visitors who are looking for a “country” atmosphere. Deters said he is not against some development on the golf course property but he wants to see the course stay keep its current 18 holes. “I would not drive anywhere to play nine holes,” said Deters.

Olson is in office for one full year as of April 2006. She inherited a village embroiled in a major lawsuit regarding the sewer project and she engaged in heated debates with the village’s primary housing developer.

At the end of 2005 some people were referring to Richmond as a “ghost town” in the wake of many closed antique stores and little prospect for new commercial ventures. However, in just a few months prospects for the village are brightening. Olson is studying hard and learning quickly.

If commercial growth is any barometer of Richmond’s economic well being, then Olson could be charting a profitable course for the future.

Visiting the I & M Canal

The Illinois & Michigan Canal originally ran for a distance of 96 miles from Bridgeport on the Chicago River to LaSalle-Peru on the Illinois River. The I & M Canal opened up boat transportation from Kankakee Illinois hospital on the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Construction was begun in 1836 after the Canal Commission obtained a grant of 280,000 acres of land from the national government. Financial backing for the project was borrowed largely from eastern U.S moneyed interests, as well from English investors. When the Panic of 1837 dried up funding for the project, it was temporarily abandoned.

The actual building of the I & M Canal was done mostly by immigrants from Ireland who had worked previously on building the Erie Canal. Pumps were employed to draw the water to fill the Canal, supplemented by water from the Calumet Feeder Canal and the DuPage River to the south. The work was dangerous, and many workers died in accidents since there was no Momence Illinois healthcare. The Irish laborers were exploited and mistreated by the Canal company owners, and were generally looked down upon by the other residents. The total cost of the Canal was over six million dollars. It was finally inaugurated in 1848 by Chicago Mayor James H. Woodworth. This canal made possible navigating across the Chicago Portage, and it helped to establish the city of Chicago as the main transportation hub of mid-America in the decades before the railroads came in.

The Canal spanned sixty feet of width and was six feet deep, and had paths built along each of its edges in order to allow mules to be harnessed to the barges being towed. At intervals along the route (spaced apart the distance that the mules could haul a barge in one day), towns were built. The I & M Canal had 17 locks and 4 aqueducts to equalize the 140-foot difference in height between Lake Michigan to the east and the Illinois River to the west. The I & M Canal carried passengers as well as freight from its opening in 1848 until the coming of the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Raiload, which ran parallel to the Canal, in 1853. The Canal was dredged in 1871 to deepen it in order to speed the current up and to improve the disposal of sewage. Communication through the Chicago River was a major factor in the growth of Chicago after its devastating fire in 1871. Also, all the city’s wastes flowed through the river to be dumped eventually in Lake Michigan. Inasmuch as the Lake was the main source of city drinking water, this practice thoroughly contaminated the city’s water. After a great storm in 1885 caused flooding which washed river refuse and contaminated Chicago water, the alarmed Illinois legislature took action in 1889 to construct canals and channels to turn the flow of the rivers from Lake Michigan rather than to it; and to divert contaminated water downstream, where it would be diluted by the Des Plaines and Mississippi Rivers.

The Canal’s shipping peaked in 1882, although its Momence healthcare facilities continued to be used through 1933. The I & M Canal was largely replaced by the bigger Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, which opened in 1900 and is still being used today. After it suspended operations in 1933, most of the original I & M Canal was filled in. At the present time there remain eight Illinois and Michigan Canal Locks and Towpath National Heritage Corridor parks, declared a National Monument in 1964, which are happy to welcome visitors and draw many tourists from throughout the Midwest.

A Stimulus Funding Success Story

Clean diesel project hailed as a success

Federal stimulus funds help re-power three aging pieces of heavy construction equipment, preserve jobs-and clean the environment.

When you combine American ingenuity and creativity with the desire for more efficient, sustainable machinery, something great was sure to happen.

With help from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an Illinois road builder partnered with a Caterpillar dealer to restore three aging 980G Wheel Loaders to new condition, giving the machines a second life. The upgrade will result in a 50 percent reduction in NOX emissions and a 54 percent reduction in particulate matter from each machine. And, this work was able to keep 10 technicians employed during the four-month process. The decision to go with a re-power over the purchase of three new machines was an easy one to make. The re-power simply cost less to the road builder.

Caterpillar was aware that federal money from the ARRA was earmarked for state programs to help upgrade older, less efficient diesel engines. Caterpillar wrote the proposal that led to a grant through the Illinois EPA, which received $4.2 million in stimulus funding for clean diesel programs statewide.

Caterpillar Emissions Solutions developed an emissions re-power specifically for the 980G model. These machines served as a pilot project for the re-power, which will be used by Cat Dealers throughout the country.

The project’s success was celebrated during an event on April 8, 2010 at Patten Cat headquarters in Elmhurst, IL. On this day the first completed 980G was unveiled, leaving the the Illinois road builder anxiously awaiting the completion and return of all three machines…

The story is a success on many levels. This project refreshed three pieces of heavy equipment giving them another ten years of service. The project preserved jobs. Further, it was a big step in preserving our environment. The owner of the Illinois road builder stated that he has four children and that their future is important to him. He was referring to the future of their planet. Its small victories like this one that will help insure that his and our children have a better planet when they come of age.

Visit us at

Plote Construction Inc. is Chicago Land’s premier road builder serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois area for over 45 years.

Plote Construction Inc. is a family-owned business with more than 45 years’ experience in heavy-highway contracting throughout the Chicago land area. Our accomplishments cover the entire range of projects within our industry, including roads, highways, airports, lifestyle centers and housing developments.

Find the Right Builder For Your Home?

Owning a home is a dream that most people have. The real estate and housing market have never been more favorable for the buyer, so this is the right time to buy.

Buying a new home is a better option because it offers to a great deal of flexibility in terms of looks, features, location and also in terms of how the house will grow into the future along with you.

When you think of building a home, consider your vision of what the home should include. Make a list of all the features that you would like the new home to have. Do you visualize a spacious kitchen with all the latest gadgets? Or is it an open floor plan that you fancy where your kids can run around in a large space?

Along with what you want, you are also likely to have certain preferences on what you don’t want in your home. Perhaps you prefer your home to be built with a sunny lower level walk out instead of having a dark and damp basement. The most prominent advantage of constructing your own home is that you can be involved in the process of construction from start to finish and everything will be exactly as you want it. When the construction is done, what you see before you will be your dream home.

That is why finding the right builder is so important when buying a new home. You can talk to the builder about almost anything that you want in the house. The kind of tiles, the cabinets, you can even specify the type of toilets you want. You may choose to build your house to be energy efficient or keeping with the demands of future as you foresee it. Whatever specification you may have will be incorporated in the finished product, and will be built using the latest in construction techniques. In addition to this, the builder also provides a warranty that covers many repair issues that may occur, so you get peace of mind along with the new house. Not a bad deal at all.

Most builders will give you a wide choice of communities where you want the house to be built. Depending on what your priorities are you may choose the ideal location. Perhaps you have school going children and you want the home to be located as close to the school as possible. Maybe you want to cut down on the daily commute time, and you may want to look for a home close to your place of work.

Narrow down on the location and the community using budget as an indicator. After you pick the right location, your builder will make be able to give you all the details that you require about the community that you have selected, you can also view floor plans and designs, square footage and number of rooms in architectural renderings.

When you build your new home, here are some things to keep in mind:
Your builder is your most important ally in this endeavor. Make sure that you get as much information about the builder as possible before you sign on the dotted line.

Keep an eye on the budget. The more features you add the higher the cost is going to be. Though this is an obvious factor, in the excitement of building a new house you may tend to add special touches which may finally add up to a huge figure.

Know which neighborhood you are going to move into. Once the house is built and ready to move into, the neighborhood is going to be one of the most important factors contributing to the satisfaction of living in your new home. Don’t compromise on this. Do your homework and ensure that the neighborhood is one that you would fit in.

These are some of the most prominent things to keep in mind as you build your new home. Of course with the right builder, you will be able to custom design your perfect home and before you know it, you will be moving into it.

Carlos Lattin House – Sycamore, Illinois – Historic Architecture Abounds – NRHP

Carlos Lattin was the first permanent settler in the DeKalb county seat of Sycamore, Illinois. Lattin arrived in Sycamore in 1835 and constructed a log cabin near the site of present-day downtown Sycamore, just north of Downtown Shoes, at 307 S. State St. (Illinois 64). The site is marked by a plaque at that address.

In 1854 Lattin had a new home constructed in the 300 block of Somonauk St. The 1854 Greek Revival house still stands and is considered part of the Sycamore Historic District. The home also exhibits the traits of the Upright and Wing style shown in the Lampert-Wildflower House in Belvidere, Illinois, although it is executed more elegantly here, in the Greek Revival Lattin House.

Lattin worked as a farmer and lumber dealer, eventually serving as DeKalb County Treasurer. He also worked as a correspondent for the Chicago Democrat.

The Sycamore Historic District became part of the National Register of Historic Places in May of 1978.

Online Resources

*Carlos Lattin House: 1970s photograph

*Wikipedia: Carlos Lattin House, Sycamore Historic District (by me – as are the related articles)

*Sycamore Historic District: National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form

Follow the Gonzo trail to Lee County tomorrow, with a quick stop before we hit Dixon. Stay tuned.

A note about Sycamore’s historic district: There are over two hundred properties in the boundaries of the Sycamore Historic District. Of those 187 are contributing properties to the historic district, 22 are non-contributing. Of all of the district’s homes and buildings 75% fit the historic district concept. Some of the major structures include several Queen Anne style mansions, the town library, the county courthouse, and dozens of mid to late 19th century houses.

Article written by Andy McMurray a freelance writer and photographer based in DeKalb, Illinois. He has worked at DeKalb’s Daily Chronicle, The Midweek, and the Northern Illinois University newspaper, the Northern Star. Known variously around the Internet as Dr. Gonzo or IvoShandor, Andy’s wide ranging interests and knowledge in history, architecture, historic preservation, art and science have allowed McMurray to excel in penning both fiction and non-fiction pieces. In addition to pursuing a fiction career Andy has written and photographed extensively for English Wikipedia. []