Vote: 20 Seminar Topics Suggested By You (Help Us Write Next Year)

To show appreciation for the 20,000+ dedicated homeowners who have joined as members of CBA in 20 years, we are posting one blog each month in 2020 listing 20 things of interest to bungalow and vintage home owners. #Bungalow2020!

We miss seeing you at the seminars!

This is the last month of our #Bungalow2020 blog series, and we need you to help us write the next year! We received many great ideas for new seminars (or webinars, until it's safe to gather again) from our members throughout this year, as well as requests to repeat past seminar topics.


Each year, we present up to 16 seminar topics, so we want to know which of the ideas below you'd like us to prioritize.


Here are 20 seminars suggested by CBA members—at the end, vote for the top 5 you want to see:


1. Basement Flooding: Reducing the Risk on Your Property

Members requested we repeat this past seminar, which was "an in-depth exploration of the causes of flooding on your property. Identify things you can do on the inside and outside of your bungalow or vintage home to help reduce flooding and sewer backups."


2. Practical Ideas for Basement Refinishing & Remodeling

Here's a topic from 2016 that some members would like to see again. The description: "Learn how to best use the unfinished basement space in your home to maximize your living and storage space potential. The presentation will include related building codes, structural and heating/cooling issues, water infiltration management as well as considerations for bungalow and vintage home aesthetics."


3. Updating Vintage Bathrooms

Bathrooms are often the first room that needs to be updated in a vintage home. A professional who has experience with vintage home bathroom renovation would present this new topic, and we would show examples of CBA members' successful bathroom renovations.


4. Updating Vintage Kitchens

Like bathrooms, kitchen renovations are a popular project for vintage home owners. We would show inspiring examples, and a professional would present important considerations for kitchen rehabs.


5. Attic Additions: Addressing New City Code Requirements

Chicago building codes requirements have changed since we presented attic finishing seminars in the past. This seminar would update our members on these new codes, which affect the construction requirements of attic additions.


6. Accessory Dwelling Units: Renting Out Alternative Living Spaces On Your Property

Speaking of new building ordinances, you might have heard that the city recently reversed a 63-year-old ban on coach houses and other accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on residential lots. This seminar would inform members on how to follow the ordinance when renting out ADUs on their property.


7. Adapting Your Home to a Long Life: Accessibility into the Golden Years

Members requested a repeat of this past seminar about aging in place. The seminar explains how "with planning and creativity, you can make your home more accessible and current projects more cost-effective by incorporating design items into renovations you may have already been planning. Learn techniques and modifications that will help make your home ready for the changes and challenges that life brings while maintaining the features that make it feel like home."


8. How to Hire a Contractor

In the past, we presented "Working with a Contractor" about how to best choose and communicate with a contractor through a renovation. This new topic would focus on the choosing part, covering what to look out for, and what questions you should be asking, when choosing a contractor that you can trust.


9. Bungalow Maintenance Panel: Ask Our Specialists!

The description of this past seminar: "Join a panel of 4-5 of CBA's experts in the field on all things bungalow. Specialists will address topics ranging from wood, roofs, masonry, heating/cooling and more!" This topic leaves as much time as possible for Q&A so the panelists can address your specific questions!


10. Inspiring Rehab Projects: Tips from the Winners

Here's another panel event from the past: "Are you planning a rehab project in your bungalow or vintage home? Come be inspired by winning projects from the Chicago Bungalow Association's Driehaus Foundation Bungalow Awards! We will present Before & After photos, and a handful of winners will be there to explain their process and answer questions." (Maybe there's a specific project from this year's awards you'd like to learn more about?)


11. Landscape Design for Small Yards

While we've done plenty of gardening seminars in the past, this new topic would focus on how to design your landscape within our small and narrow Chicago lots, with considerations for both sun and shade.


12. Repairing Your Front Steps

Homeowners with concrete and masonry front porches know that these steps and their brick wing walls can develop worrisome cracks and other issues that need maintenance. This seminar would explain how to make these repairs right the first time, for the sake of your safety, your wallet, and the longevity of your steps.


13. From Doors to Floors: Restoring Wood Interiors

A popular seminar we try to repeat every couple years, about how to strip and refinish your original woodwork. Do you want to see it in 2021?


14. Restoring Historic Millwork

What should you do when your original woodwork is damaged or rotted beyond refinishing? This seminar would explain options for replacing your millwork with historic replicas, and provide a glimpse into how local, recommended carpenters accomplish this.


15. Don't Trash That Sash! How to Restore Your Historic Windows

This past seminar explained why you should love those old windows! Let us know if, in 2021, you'd like to "learn about materials, history, and restoration techniques for those double sashed beauties. We will also shed light on some misconceptions about new windows and explain how repairing and restoring your windows can save both energy and money!"


16. How to Make Vintage Fireplaces Functional Again

We got a few questions this year about what to do about vintage fireplaces that no longer work. How would you like a seminar on how to reconnect them and restore their functionality, as well as alternative ways to work your fireplace?


17. Folding the Map on Chicago's Bungalow Belt

In July 2020, we were honored to have Tonika Lewis Johnson, the Chicago artist behind the Folded Map Project, present a webinar about "how she uses her creativity to explore urban segregation in Chicago with her Folded Map Project and how it can serve as a resource for understanding, an empathy generator, and a conduit for action." As pointed out by our members, the geography of the Bungalow Belt presents an undeniable opportunity for "folding the map" and breaking down barriers.


18. House Research 101

Also in July 2020, our very own Preservation Program Manager, Emily Wallrath Schmidt, presented "how to research your home or apartment in Chicago. Learn the steps and resources available—including where to find information about your home’s architect, builder, owners and occupants, as well as maps, and even photos." This re-do would include new tips for using free online resources and your Chicago Public Library card when researching your home.


19. Chicago's Unique Brick Styles and Histories

Brick, a ubiquitous building material in our city, has a fascinating history. This seminar would share those stories, as well as identify different brick types, textures, and designs you might see on your own home and around town.


20. A History of Bungalow Builders

Who built our bungalows? Who were the hardworking bricklayers, plasterers, carpenters, and other people whose hands created our vintage homes? This new seminar topic would honor these folks and give a glimpse into what life was like for them in their time.


Now, let us know which of these topics you want to see in 2021!


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