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Tinley Park, IL

(708)845-7922

Residential and Commercial plumbers and plumbing contractors available in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, and the surrounding Chicago South Suburbs. 24 Hour Emergency plumbers.

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Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing Blog

Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing is Tinley Park, Orland Park, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Orland Hill, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Crestwood, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn, local plumber. Read our blog for advice, tips, a good laugh, and basic home improvement.

**We are moving our old blog to our new and improved website. Too see all our posts visit kevinszabojrplumbing.blogspot.com

An IntroductionTo Renters Insurance Coverage

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An Introduction to Renters Insurance Coverage

Renters insurance is an extremely affordable way for tenants to keep their belongings safe, with the average premium totaling less than $150 per year. Yet under 40% of all renters are insured, in large part because of a lack of awareness among tenants about the benefits of renters insurance.

It’s impossible to predict when an emergency situation will strike, and the best way to prepare for the unexpected is to stay insured. Understanding the benefits and coverage of a renters insurance policy will allow you to make an informed decision about acquiring coverage.

How Does Renters Insurance Work?

Since relatively few people purchase renters insurance, there are some common misunderstandings regarding what exactly is covered under a typical policy. Some tenants assume that they’re automatically protected under their landlord’s insurance, but the truth is that you need your own policy to be covered in case your possessions are damaged or stolen.

Many tenants wonder if renters insurance covers water damage, bedbugs, and other unexpected occurrences. While there are some important differences in the fine print of many policies, a typical renters insurance plan provides coverage up to a certain limit in case of weather events such as rain, wind, fire, and hail. That said, more extreme conditions like earthquakes and floods will generally require additional coverage, so it’s important to make sure you’re protected if you live in a vulnerable region.

Your policy will also pay for temporary relocation in case your apartment is no longer habitable, a responsibility that may or may not be picked up by your landlord. The price of a few coffees each month is well worth the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ll be kept on your feet no matter what happens.

Exceptions to Renters Insurance Coverage

While renters insurance provides critical protection for a number of costly situations, there are some things that most policies won’t cover. The first two examples are earthquakes and flooding, which many insurance companies offer as a separate policy. 

Under a standard renters insurance policy, you won’t be compensated for any damage done to extremely valuable or rare items such as jewelry and fine art. The most common insurance limit is $100,000, but you’ll likely still need to purchase additional insurance if you want these items covered.

Other common situations tenants often find themselves in, like losing a phone or having a pet cause damage, are not covered under renters insurance. Your protection also won’t apply to anyone else living in the apartment unless they purchase their own coverage.

Renters insurance is a low-cost, reliable method of keeping your belongings safe and ensuring you’ll have a place to stay even in a worst-case scenario. For less than a dollar a day, you can cover all the possessions in your apartment from loss or damage resulting from anything from fire to theft.

Guest Contributor, Armand Levitz

How To Organize a Small Kitchen

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How To Organize a Small Kitchen

With the trend of eating healthy and home-cooked spreading throughout our busy lifestyles, a lot of people are spending more time in the kitchen. But as living quarters are getting smaller, the kitchen is often the first space to suffer, and we don’t exactly have space to spare. But don’t worry – you can still have a fully functional kitchen, even if you’re working with a small space. You just have to organize it well and most importantly, keep it tidy. Let’s see how you can achieve that:

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Multipurpose tools

The first rule of any functional kitchen is to make sure it’s not cluttered. This means getting as many multi-functional tools as you can and learning to work with what you have. Perhaps you don’t need both a blender and a food processor, or you can get an oven with an integrated microwave. You really only need one frying pan, a few pots of different sizes and a baking dish. You can make any dish smaller by sectioning it off with aluminum foil and bake several items at once. Any tool that just simplifies a process that you’d normally do with a knife should be replaced by practicing actual knife skills and putting them to good work.

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Work with the space you have

With small kitchens, off-the-shelf pieces probably won’t work well as they won’t maximize the potential of the space you have. You would be better off working with professionals who design and make custom kitchens. Perhaps you’re someone who loves baking and needs added counter space that you can expand in a second, or maybe you have a big family and need to be able to set a table for seven people while having it out of the way for the rest of the day. This is where custom design really plays in. It’s more work and you’ll have to plan it out well, but it will be well worth it when you start enjoying your new kitchen. Think about using every dead corner, every nook and cranny, and all of a sudden, your kitchen will seem a lot bigger than it did before.

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Use vertical space

As with every smaller space, you’ll want to use every single square inch, which means the walls need to be fully utilized. A good way to do this is to hang a peg board to the wall, equip it with hooks and start hanging up anything from pots to spatulas. It will clear out a lot of the space from the cupboards, giving you more storage room. If you have tall ceilings with a detached counter in the center of the room, you can consider a hanging element over the counter which will carry additional cookware. The space below counters, tables and skins should be used as well, so make sure you’re not letting it go to waste. If you have a free wall, creating a vertical indoor herb garden could be a great way to use the space, bring in some color to the room and improve your cooking.

If you think you don’t have enough space, it’s probably just not organized well enough, and you have things that you don’t use. If spending time in the kitchen is a priority, you should probably look for a property with added kitchen space, but a coat of white paint and some decluttering can go a long way in transforming your kitchen. Just make sure you make a habit out of washing dishes regularly and putting things back into their designated space, because even the biggest kitchen won’t be any good to you if it’s too messy to use.

 Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

Easy Ways to Cozy Up Your Home

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Easy Ways to Cozy Up Your Home

What is it that you love about your home? Some will talk about location, some about the size, and others about functionality. But what all of us have in common is that we love that feeling of joy and relief as we step into our homes after a long journey or a tough day at work. That doesn’t come from the location or the amount of money you’ve invested in sprucing the place up. It comes from all the little personal touches that you and the ones you love have put into every corner of your home. And if you seem to lack that heart-warming feeling, here are some ways for you to make your home cozier and more welcoming for you, your family and anybody else who decides to visit.

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Add some warmth to your sofa

The living-room sofa is usually the place where most families gather to watch films, play board games together or share a pot of hot tea while talking about how everybody’s day went. That’s why you should start there. Add a throw blanket to your sofa and your armchair, and don’t be shy with cushions either. Make sure you choose soft, warm and fluffy fabric in various colors and patterns. As long as you’re making the place more comfortable, why not add some style to it as well?

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Step on clouds

When the temperatures outside drop, there’s nothing worse than stepping on cold floor with your bare feet. So, if you don’t have wall-to-wall carpets, you can always get some area rugs. Opt for natural materials, like cotton, wool or jute, and don’t hesitate to layer them for extra coziness. Furthermore, if you have a pair of nice, comfy slippers next to your front door, you can put them on as soon as you enter your home and have them thaw your feet from the freezing cold outside.

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Create a perfect reading spot

There’s nothing more inviting than a nice reading nook, some hot tea and the characters from your favorite book just waiting for you to join them in their next adventure. First, find a place near a big window, so that you get plenty of natural light. Second, invest in a lovely egg chair and perhaps even an ottoman for your feet, both in premium fabrics and a color of your preference. Finally, put a small table next to your chair, so that you have a place to put down your book and your tea cup or a coffee mug. What more could a person want?

Dress your windows up

Bare windows or short, light-colored and translucent curtains are modern and cute, but if you want to add warmth to your living space, you should consider some other options. For example, thick and heavy pattern drapes that fall down to the floor will definitely do the trick. Not only will they visually make the room more pleasant, but they’ll also help insulate your home by preventing cold from leaking through your windows.

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Let your home show what you love

Displaying things like your family photos, your kids’ drawings or holiday cards from your closest friends and family will add some personal charm to any space. You can also print and frame some inspirational quotes and messages to reflect your beliefs and temperament. And why stop with the visual? If there’s anything that turns a house into a home it’s the smell of freshly-baked cookies. So, either bake your favorite cookies, or at least get a few scented candles for each of your rooms.

Don’t forget the bathroom

First thing’s first. Get a reliable plumber to check all your pipes for leaks. Once you know you’re on the safe side, you can relax and start adding some bath mats, shower and window curtains, as well as some plush towels. If the size of your bathroom allows it, consider replacing your shower with a beautiful bathtub, where you can take long, hot bubble baths whenever you feel like it. Throw in some string lights for ambient lighting and a house plant or two in the name of eco-friendliness and your bathroom will become as warm and as welcoming as the rest of your home.

These tips are just a small part of what you can do to add some allure to your home. And while there are many more wonderful ideas out there, these are a great starting point for turning your home into an oasis of comfort and warmth.

Guest Contributor, Cooper Klein

How To Effectively Prepare Your Business For A Natural Disaster

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How to effectively prepare your business for a natural disaster

The key to succeeding in the world of business is leaving no blind spots. And one of the main blind spots would be forgetting that the world of business coexists with our own world – a world fragile and susceptible to various misfortunes. According to a survey published by CNBC, as much as 40% of small businesses never reopen after a natural disaster. These numbers need to be taken very seriously.

So, let’s take a quick look at the things you can do to prepare your enterprise for the times of crises.

Assess the risk

Some areas are more prone to natural disasters than others. Likewise, some industries run a higher risk of losing their assets as a consequence of these calamities. That’s why, if you ever want to develop a comprehensive response and prevention plan, you need to do a thorough risk assessment. Essentially, a regular risk assessment consists of these three parts:

●        Identification of potential hazards

●        Identification of the assets that could be at risk

●        Impact analysis

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Try to determine the cost of interruptions

Once you know the dangers your business can face and the assets that can most likely be affected, it’s time to see how much money you may lose due to damage and downtime caused by the disaster. While doing this, don’t be afraid to go with less optimistic projections – underestimating the real costs of the disaster can only stall your business even longer. Here's the short list of the topics your projections should cover:

●        Lost income

●        Payroll during down times

●        The cost of temporary office space

●        The cost of relocation

●        Rebuilding

●        Liability

Review the insurance coverage

Investing in property insurance is one of the best ways to make sure your business will be able to rebound after the damage has been done. However, you have to make sure that the premiums you are paying are able to cover the costs of property replacement in the case your premises suffer a total loss. Fortunately, you can always resort to professional building insurance valuation to make sure your assessments are accurate enough. For example, if your valuation is off by just a wrong construction material, your insurance won’t be able to cover the loss and your business may need more time to recover.

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Prepare the emergency plan

Your employees need to have a written procedure of how they are going to behave in case of a disaster and they are forced to leave their workplaces. Of course, writing the emergency plan is only a half solution. The emergency procedures should be prominently displayed throughout your premises and your workers should practice evacuation at least once a month. Also, it is a good idea to include your digital assets into the emergency plan as well. A thorough backup strategy should prevent loss of valuable data which can be equally as crippling as the loss of physical assets.

Establish clear communication rules

Once the disaster strikes, the survival of the business and the safety of the employees depend on the speed and the communication method. How are you going to contact the employees? What happens if the premises are closed during a disaster? What’s the fastest way to distribute relevant updates? In the time of crisis, these questions can cause a lot of confusion. That is why you need to write a communication plan that will address these problems through clear rules and procedures.

Create a crisis response network

Of course, your business is not an isolated entity and the eventual losses you may have to endure in the case of calamity may be caused by external factors. For instance, what if your suppliers are cut off or having the same problems as your enterprise? Because of that, it would be a good idea to have a meeting with all the parties involved in your business's operations where you will present your emergency plans and try to coordinate your actions. This emergency response network can have its own budget and executives and eventually expand to other local establishments.

These six steps should help you to prepare your business for any kind of danger that might be lurking down the road. We don’t really get to choose when some kind of misfortune may befall our companies and try to ruin the years of hard work we put into them. But, we can choose how we are going to deal with these problems.

About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and contributor to numerous home, lifestyle, real estate and eco-friendly blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

Simple Ideas for Making Your Yard Private

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Simple Ideas for Making Your Yard Private

If you’re lucky enough to be living in an area with a great climate, which allows you to spend time outside your home, and you’re privileged to have a nice yard in front or behind your house, you’ll understand how important it is to make the space as private as possible. Nobody likes feeling like they are on display, regardless of how great the yard is.

Even if you are protected from the elements and privy eyes, you still might be affected by noise coming from your neighbors or the traffic. It might be impossible to create a perfectly secluded and isolated spot, but there are definitely many things you can do to help you and your family have a fabulous time in your yard. Here are some ideas that should do the trick.

Potted screen

If you have green fingers and enjoy plants, potted plants might be the solution. Not only do they look great, but if you opt for tall plants, such as bamboo, fruit trees or tall grasses, you’ll be protected from nosey neighbors and passers-by. The same trick can be applied to balconies and patios.

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Faux hedge

Another cheap trick, which requires almost no maintenance is to install a faux hedge, which requires no pruning, watering or waiting for the hedge to take form. There are many different sizes of panels to choose from and they also provide decent soundproofing.

Umbrellas

If there are no trees in your yard to provide shade and privacy, you might choose popular cantilever umbrellas to avoid the negative effects of sunrays. They are also great because you can move them around, which means you can pretty much protect any area in your yard. Choose the right material and color and you’ll get both the protection you need and the esthetic element will also be there.

Curtains

One of the popular trends is to install outdoor curtains, which are attached to porches, cabanas and gazebos. They protect you from the sun and provide the needed privacy. However, make sure you choose the rods that won’t rust and the fabric that can withstand the elements. When it comes to the color, opt for brighter ones, i.e. neutral if your yard is already colorful enough.

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Portable tents and pavilions

Depending on the size of your yard and your budget, you can choose from a wide range of portable tents and pavilions. They are perfect for dining in those warm summer evenings, but can also allow you to spend time outdoors in the rain.

Walls

If you are the owner of the house, you could look into the option of having a permanent fence or wall. That will provide great sound insulation, apart from allowing you to feel more secure in your yard. You might use stone, bricks or wood, depending on your budget and other elements.

Climb plants on a trellis

This method requires a bit more work and patience, but it’s very decorative and effective. You’ll have to wait for the plants to grow and creep upward and you’ll need to look after them, but the trellis will provide you with instant protection and block any views instantly. Again, it’s very important to choose the material that can sustain the elements.

Investing in creating a more private and better-protected yard is always a sound investment, since it allows you to use the space just outside your home, thus extending your living space. It also allows you to add another dimension to your lifestyle, since you will have more options to entertain friends and family if you wish. Finally, the more time you spend outside, the more ready you’ll be for your office work and the fact that you have to spend countless hours in a confined space.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

Warming Places in Cook County

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We’re lucky to have heat in our homes, unfortunately there’s families without heating or proper housing. It’s more sad to think that there’s homeless people dealing with this weather. It’s -50, please help the people that you could and if you can’t, call one of the numbers below they should be able to advise you.

Here’s a list of all the Warming Places in Cook County.

Berwyn (Library)

2701 S. Harlem Ave.
Berwyn, IL

9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. M-THU
9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. F-SAT
1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. SUN
Transport: No

Berwyn (Freedom Park)

3701 S. Scoville Ave.
Berwyn, IL

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. M-THU
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. F
Transport: No

Berwyn (Recreational Dept.)

6501 W. 31st St.
Berwyn, IL

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., M-F
Transport: No

Bloom

425 S. Halsted St.
Chicago Heights, IL

8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. M/W
8:00 a.m. – 4:40 p.m. T/THU/F
Transport: No

Bremen

16361 S. Kedzie Parkway
Markham, IL

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., M-F
Transport: No

Calumet

12633 Ashland Ave.
Calumet Park, IL

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: Yes, please call 708.388.6606.

Cicero (Village Building)

4949 W. Cermak Rd.
Cicero, IL

8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Cicero (Library)

5444 W. 34th St.
Cicero, IL

8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m., M-F
Transport: No

Cicero (Community Center)

2250 S. 49th Ave.
Cicero, IL

8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m., M-F
Transport: No

Elk Grove

2400 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Hanover (Senior Center)

240 S. IL Route 59
Bartlett, IL

8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M/W/F
8:30 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. T and THURS
8:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. SAT
Transport: Yes

Lemont (Township Offices)

1115 Warner Ave.
Lemont, IL

9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: Yes, please call 630.257.2522

Lemont (Community Center)

16300 Alba St.
Lemont, IL

9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: Yes, please call 630.257.2522

Leyden

2620 N. Mannheim Rd.
Franklin Park, IL

6:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. M-F
6:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. SAT
6:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. SUN
Transport: No

Maine

1700 Ballard Rd.
Park Ridge, IL

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Niles

5255 Lincoln Ave.
Skokie, IL

9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Norwood Park

7833 W. Lawrence Ave.
Norridge, IL

9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. M – THUR
9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. F
Transport: No

Oak Park

130 S. Oak Park Ave.
Oak Park, IL

8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Orland Park

14807 Ravinia Ave.
Orland Park, IL

8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M/W/THUR/F
8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. T
Transport: Yes, for seniors 55 and older. Please call 708.403.4222.

Palatine

721 S. Quentin Road
Palatine, IL

8:30 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. M
8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. T- F
8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. SAT
Transport: No

Palos

10802 S. Roberts Road
Palos Hills, IL

8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Proviso

4565 W. Harrison St.
Hillside, IL

8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F
Transport: Yes, for seniors 60 and older. Please call 708.449.4300.

Rich

22013 Governors Hwy
Richton Park, IL

9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

River Forest

8020 W. Madison St.
River Forest, IL

8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Riverside

27 Riverside Road
Riverside, IL

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Schaumburg

1 Illinois Boulevard
Hoffman Estates, IL

8:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m. M-THURS
8:30 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. F
Transport: No

Stickney

7745 S. Leamington Ave.
Burbank, IL

8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. F
Transport: No

Wheeling

1616 N. Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL

8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Worth

11601 S. Pulaski Rd.
Alsip, IL

8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

5 Sustainable Storage Solutions Ideas For Your Home

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5 Sustainable Storage Solutions Ideas for Your Home

Making your home green and sustainable doesn’t sound like the easiest job in the world, but it’s still not as hard as it seems. This is particularly true when we’re talking about storage solutions that give everyone a headache no matter how much space they have. But, all you need are a couple of ideas that could boost your sustainability level and solve your storage issues, and you’ll realize how amazing this entire process is sooner than you’ve imagined. So, if you too are trying to find sustainable storage solutions for your home as well, here’s what you need to do. 

Declutter everything first

This is the first step toward more sustainable living and more effective storage solutions. We all own too many things we don’t even use, so getting rid of them is the way to go. Start decluttering your home room by room, and you’ll get a ton of new storage space you never knew existed, and organizing everything else should be much easier now that you have fewer possessions and more space.

Find sustainable materials

Sustainable storage should be based on having sustainable materials you can use when storing and organizing your stuff. That’s why plastic containers aren’t the best ideas in the world, although they can seem like the most practical and efficient solutions, especially for our food. Instead, use glass containers and mason jars that are just as useful, but much more sustainable.

Rely on big solutions

If your home is still full of stuff after a thorough decluttering process, and you want to keep all of these things around you at all times, think about bigger storage solutions that can solve all of your problems at once. Sustainable wall-to-wall shelving units and other reliable storage solutions that will protect all your possessions and keep them safe might be the things you were looking for, so explore these ideas and find a way to incorporate them into your home.

Explore hidden storage space

If your furniture is made from reclaimed and natural materials, you already know how amazing and comfortable it can be. But, if you find new furniture that’s just as natural, but has some hidden storage space as well, you could get the best of both worlds. Everything from sofas and sectionals to benches and coffee tables can be used as an additional storage solution, as long as it’s eco-friendly.

Get a rattan bar cart

This isn’t just about making your home more sustainable, but also adding a dose of elegance into your indoor and outdoor space as well. Rattan bar carts are amazing for serving your drinks, storing your newspapers and magazines, as well as presenting healthy fruits and tasty desserts to your guests. There are lots of models you can choose from, so pick whichever you like, but keep in mind that rattan is one of the most sustainable materials out there and you definitely won’t make a mistake by introducing it into your home.

From tiny glass jars to enormous shelves, sustainable storage ideas are everywhere around us, and it’s our job to define what we need and turn our dreams into reality. As long as we’re trying to introduce sustainability into every aspect of our life, including home design and storage ideas, we can be sure we’re doing something good for our planet and preserving it for future generations.

Guest Contributors, Amelia Atkins

Couple Finds Thousands While Renovating Their Home

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If you ever needed an excuse to remodel your home, here’s one: couple found thousands of dollars in the floorboards while renovating a home. They have been remodeling houses for 13 years. Their company, Accessible Homes, remodels homes for people with disabilities. I couldn’t have happened to a better company.

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“We looked through it,” Rasmussen said of finding the money while renovating an accessible home for a nonprofit Thursday. “It’s $20s and $50s, I’d say $30,000. Maybe more.”

“When we opened up the floor there’s a heat duct that was run under the floor,” Rasmussen said. “And so someone previously must have gone into the utility room and thrown the money up on top of that duct. Pretty crazy.”

“It’s hard to process that amount of cash just laying around, and no one knew existed,” he added. “Well, someone knew, but forgot about.”

The house is owned by Bethesda, a non for profit that provides housing and services for people developmental disabilities. The money is going to help their organization make a difference in people’s lives.

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source: http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/couple-finds-thousands-in-cash-under-the-floorboards-during-home-renovation

A Complete Guide to Plantation Shutters

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A Complete Guide to Plantation Shutters 

If you’re looking for a way to beautify your interior design and add more natural light to it, then plantation shutters are the perfect choice for your home. Since there are numerous options regarding style and materials, we are here to help you customize your preferences until you find the ones that will suit your home the best. In order to do so, we have compiled a complete guide to plantation shutters. Let’s take a look.

Add a touch of class

First things first, start off by inviting a breath of fresh air to your home with stylish plantation shutters. The best thing about them is that they can be fitted to any type of window which means that each one will be custom-made for you and designed with any type of finish you desire. For example, if you prefer a traditional style you can go for lacquered basswood shutters for a timeless low-weight and high-endurance solution. However, if you want to evoke a contemporary minimalist atmosphere, feel free to opt for the composite alternative. These shutters are made out of engineered wood wrapped with vinyl for a sleek design to fit any modern home. Keep in mind, the value of your home will drastically increase since these shutters add a lot of class to both the exterior and interior design which many house hunters will appreciate.

Increased safety

Plantation shutters are gaining a lot in popularity recently due to their increased durability and the safety that they can provide to homeowners. If you want to secure your home and prevent any unwanted intrusions, you can now acquire window shutters made from reinforced military-grade metals. Since they are designed with very sturdy hinges and locks, you won’t need to add any other form of protection such as bars or curtains. Lastly, you can install easy-to-operate fly screens to protect your home from mosquitoes, flies and other pesky insects.

Regulate temperature with ease

Aussies know that in order to combat the harsh Australian weather, the best and most practical solution is installing plantation shutters. The reason for this is that you can get shutters with built-in robust aluminium inserts that guarantee longevity. Furthermore, these can withstand the harsh climate and won’t warp, fade or break due to moisture. Thus, if you want to follow in the footsteps of satisfied Australian homeowners who always choose the amazing plantation shutters in Sydney, you should acquire them for your home as well to create a pleasant atmosphere indoors. Additionally, they block up to 30% of incoming airflow and can insulate 70% better than regular wooden shutters. Owing to these features, you will be able to take full control of the room temperature which means you won’t need to depend on your air conditioning or heating systems.

No need for constant maintenance

It is vital to notice that unlike curtains, drapes and other types of window attachments, your plantation shutters will require very little maintenance. For example, if you’ve opted for vinyl ones, then you’ll only need a damp paper towel to remove any kind of stains from the flaps. However, if you have wooden ones, you’ll need to dust the wood once per week and polish it with lemon oil so you can be eco-friendly and prolong the life of your shutters. A great practical solution would be to tilt your blinds and vacuum them in a downwards motion to save time. For homeowners who value their high-end wooden shutters which have a lot of grooves and detailed inlays in them, it’s recommendable to use a small toothbrush to clean those difficult-to-reach spots.

As you can see, plantation shutters can transform your home into a true oasis. All you need to do is choose the material and style of your shutters that best agrees with your interior design and keep them well-maintained. Good luck on your remodeling project!

Guest Contributor, Lucas Bergman

How To Build A Simple Wood Bar 

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How To Build A Simple Wood Bar 

Adding a wooden bar to your kitchen or dining room is a great way to up your entertainment game. It often becomes a place to hang out with friends and gives you a reason to offer better drinks and refreshments when having guests.

Even though it seems like an expensive and complicated item to add, it can be a DIY project as well. All you need to do is to have the proper materials and to figure out what kind of bar would fit your home. The rest could be done along the way if you have the tools and are reasonably handy.

The drawing board

The first step in making your own bar is to measure out the room you plan to install it in and to create a rough draft that will be your guide for the rest of the work. The drawing should have the measurements from which you can divert but only by making the bar smaller, not larger than you’ve initially planned.

There are standards to follow when it comes to the size of the bar. An average bar is 42” high and 24” deep. Obviously, this is a guideline not the law.

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Materials

The main thing to consider when choosing the materials you’ll use is what kind of drinks you plan to serve. If you plan to have a beer tap, you’ll need to install a drip tray out of stainless steel. If not, all you need is wood which you can get from the local shop. Most households don’t have a tap and don’t brew their own drink, and can use the bar only for storage and mixing cocktails.

The materials you use also have an effect on how the drinks are stored. For instance, if you order gin online, make sure to find out how lighting and temperature affect its storage.

Tools

Building a bar isn’t a small task and you’ll need a set of professional tools to make it. For the most part, a project of that difficulty usually isn’t something that anyone can try. That means that you probably already have the tools and some experience if you’re getting into it.  If you don’t have some of these more sophisticated tools, they can be rented if you’re only using them for this project.

You’ll need a chop saw, impact screw gun, random orbital sander, and an ordinary screw gun. A finishing nail gun and caulk gun are also needed.

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Framework

A bar needs to be sturdy and to remain in place even when the drinks are on top of it and when people are leaning on it. That’s why you need to make a good framework that will remain intact even the bar needs some repairs. The top and bottom frame should be cut at the same time and at the same length because they need to be parallel.

Screw in the studs from top and bottom and erect the framework so you’re sure that it stands and lines up.

Bartop

This should be the last step and the moment when your bar comes together. The rough cuts of the bartop need to be made with a table saw and that’s a dangerous and a two-person task. You’ll probably need some trimming work done afterwards as well.

This will create the whole framework of the bar and you can add the front facing piece which can be decorated as lavishly as it fits your home.

A bar isn’t that difficult to make but it requires you to have some woodworking skills and to be careful with your tools. If done right, a wooden bar will make your home better looking and more fun.

 Guest Contributor, Diana Smith