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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

5 Safety Tips for Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

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5 Safety Tips for Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

Home maintenance is a high priority in the hottest season of the year. With rising temperatures and sudden storms, you want to secure your property against the perils of summer weather. Beyond a broken HVAC system, a small leak in the roof could cause untold amounts of water damage to your ceiling and walls.

This is the perfect time to schedule inspections and make the necessary repairs. Fortunately, you can handle most maintenance tasks on your own with the right tools and a positive mindset. It's easy enough to clean your gutters, wash your deck and attend to similar duties — as long as you remain cautious.

Though most maintenance tasks seem pretty benign, no one plans for an accident. They happen without warning, when you least expect it, and you can potentially harm yourself if you don't take precautions. What should you do to mitigate the risk of injury when working around your home?

Here are five indispensable safety tips for summer home maintenance.

1. Only Work With Chemicals in Well-Ventilated Areas

Even a common task like cleaning a bathroom with chemical solutions is potentially harmful without proper ventilation. Other jobs, like repainting your interior or refinishing your floors, can also cause respiratory issues.

When you're working with chemicals in an enclosed space, open the windows to release any trapped fumes. Wear a respirator, safety goggles, gloves and sturdy footwear to avoid any chemical burns or eye injuries. Protective equipment will vary from project to project, so use your discretion.

2. Follow the Standard Protocol When Using Ladders

Your gutters play an important role in protecting the siding, doors, windows and foundation of your home from water. Naturally, you have to keep them clear of debris, but it isn't as simple as climbing the general-use ladder you store in your garage.

It's best to avoid orchard or wooden ladders, as they tend to wobble. Opt for an aluminum ladder instead. Examine it beforehand, checking for dents, defects, and loose bolts or screws, and ask someone to spot you if possible.

Remember these tips for ladder safety as well:

·     A stepladder will suffice for a one-story house, but if it has two or more stories, you'll need an extension ladder.

·     If you lean an extension ladder against your gutters, protect it by placing a short 2x4 inside.

·     Fiberglass ladders are also adequate for this type of job, but they're heavier and only good for shorter periods of work.

·     The ladder should have a shelf sturdy enough to hold a 5-gallon bucket secured with a lanyard.

·     Make sure to extend the ladder fully until the arms lock in place.

·     Keep your hips squarely between the two rails and try not to lean over the sides.

·     Stay off the top two rungs.

3. Choose the Correct Protective Equipment for the Job

You should also give thought to your gloves. You might own a cotton or leather pair, but these can cause problems. Cotton has a tendency to soak up dirty water and bacteria, and leather ones are often inflexible and shrink when they dry.

Thick, suede gloves are your best option. They'll ensure your safety and improve efficiency while cleaning, perfect for gutters.

4. Clean the Work Area After You're Finished

After you've finished a task, you'll need to clean up your work area. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it's all too easy to rush as you're storing tools, equipment and various items.

·     Seal containers of sensitive liquids and materials.

·     Remove power tool leads from any wall sockets.

·     Place power tools in an area inaccessible to kids.

·     Roll up extension cords, ropes and lines.

·     Fold and stow ladders in a safe location.

·     Collect and discard remaining debris.

Whether you're completing a maintenance task or working on a DIY project, these steps are essential.

5. Acknowledge Your Limitations and Ask for Help

As mentioned earlier, you can handle most tasks on your own without the help of a professional. However, it's critical to acknowledge when you need to contact someone with more experience. Many projects fall outside the category of a DIY project, and recognizing that will reduce the risk of accidents or injuries.

For example, you should leave major jobs involving gas lines, electricity and roof work to professionals. They have an informed understanding of these areas, and though you may want to save money, your safety comes first.

Choose Safety This Summer

Home maintenance is a high priority in the hottest season of the year, and now you can manage it safely. As long as you follow the five suggestions above, you can feel confident as you complete tasks around your property, secure in the knowledge you've taken the necessary precautions.

Guest Contributor, Holly Welles 

Holly Welles is a home improvement writer who believes anyone can make the most of their space. You can find more of her work on her blog, The Estate Update.

How To Renovate A House

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How To Renovate A House

If you are one of those who have decided to buy an old house, inherit a property or need to renovate your home for many years, do not worry: no matter how bad some spaces look, everything can be improved.

The best thing we can do when planning a reform is to evaluate in advance what we want to do, ask for estimates and ask what type of work is required and how many weeks or months of work each replacement involves. There are three key issues that, when analyzed, prevent mistakes and unnecessary expenses. You can get more ideas about home renovation on 10ion.com.

If we are thinking about economic and simple reforms, the budgets are more limited and, the times of work, more reduced. But more than once, especially in the case of the kitchen reforms , we underestimated the deadlines and the costs and then we found ourselves with a difficult problem to travel.

You must assume from the outset that a "radical change" in your home will not be economic, because a major remodeling is often expensive. You should Product Reviews, Buyer's Guide, Why Reviews are important, What Things Needs to consider before online shopping before renovation. There are ways to spend less if you plan things well and learn which arrangements are more expensive and which require less investment . From there, according to your desires and possibilities, order your priorities and move forward.

House reforms: what you should know

Reforming a house is not something you can face from one day to the next. There are several issues to evaluate in detail:

The fundamental thing when planning a remodeling is to have clear your priorities: think about what you want to achieve. It is not the same to reform only one bathroom that to make an integral reform. Nor is it the same to make a traditional reform (raising walls, etc) that opting for dry work and cut execution times and budget. If we are going to modify the distribution of the house we must consult with an architect and also define what materials and coatings we want to put in each place

If the renovation is a simple change of face, without throwing walls, lifting floors or making structural changes, the thing is simpler. But, even so, bear in mind that, inevitably, a reform -especially if it is in bathrooms, kitchens or laundries usually demands changes in water inlets and drains, in pipes, in plugs and points of light and in coatings. You may be interested:  Water heater or hot water tank: the ideal option for each house.

One of the main excuses or factors that discourage us when starting work at home is time. As fast as it may be, a remodeling always alters the routine and order of the home , which makes it difficult to find the ideal moment. But doing a "refresh" at home renews the energy and totally changes a space.

If your house is small and you want to enlarge it, there are small tricks that help us create much wider spaces: take advantage of the outside space (like a small patio or terrace to enjoy with the family) or I grew up, adding a second level . You may be interested:  different types of stairs for indoor and outdoor .

Keep in mind that the extensions are not all external. If the house has many environments and partitions, it is advisable to eliminate some to have large spaces , which will make the sense of spaciousness inside the house multiply considerably, creating a much more welcoming and social.

If the height allows it, it is important to raise the ceilings to expand the space, but having analyzed well where the facilities will be passed.

The small environments can be reset with good decorating tricks, which give the feeling of a much wider space. We share some keys to decorate a small kitchen or a small bathroom.

Painting and renovating the curtains you can renovate quite an environment: you can see ideas of paint colors for interiors and  models of curtains for windows.

How to reform an old house

Remodeling environments has its complexity, but when we want to find out how to renovate an old house the thing gets even more difficult, because more than once we have to touch structures and rethink measures. In general, it involves changes in the facade, interior and domestic equipment. A refresh is not enough. The ideal in these cases is for an architect or builder to see the plans and advise us.

A good idea is to renovate the exterior with modern color combinations , which completely reinterpret the appearance of the house.

Kitchen renovations

Making changes in the kitchen is resetting the heart of the home . Some keys to keep in mind:

The first thing you must evaluate is the structure: if you want to make deeper changes it is essential that an architect see the plans to avoid problems. Pipes and wiring design is fundamental.

Do not rush the coatings. Today there are many options and different types of floors for each environment and it is worth seeing pros and cons of each one. Something important you should know if you want to remodel the kitchen is that, if the floor is in good condition and you just do not like it, you can stick on it another covering: you do not need to break.

Changing the kitchen furniture is a way to give a completely new air to this environment and generate a sense of absolute renewal. Keep in mind that cabinets are what you see most when you enter the kitchen, because they occupy much of the available space and are at eye level. Also, it is something that you use daily and the investment is worth it.

Bathroom renovations

The bathroom is one of the environments that most need a periodic renovation, both for pipes and for the wear of coatings, paint and artifacts. In addition, fashions change and new possibilities arise that add comfort and we can take advantage of it. Changes you can make:

Initial step is to check the pipes: the first thing to renovate in a bathroom is usually the pipe.

Change coatings and colors of the paint. Venecitas and colored walls are widely used. In general, they look very good on a single wall, combining with wood or smoothed cement. You can see:  Colors for double bedrooms: all options.

Replace the bathtub with a shower. It is one of the most classic reforms in bathrooms, saves space, gain practicality and accessibility when you get older or suffer some type of reduced mobility. You can read:  how to decorate a small bathroom.

You can also think about adding a whirlpool and make some changes to build a spa at home.  Also, if you have space and budget, do not forget the benefits of the sauna.

 Guest Contributor, Jacklin J

Crestwood Plumber

Preparing Your Buy-To-Let Property for a New Tenant

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Preparing Your Buy-To-Let Property for a New Tenant

When a tenant moves out of a rental property, that’s your chance as the landlord to make improvements and changes to the property without having to work around those living there. If you do it right, you can even ask a higher price out of the next tenant. However, there are right and wrong ways to do it. You want to clean the property up and bring it up to date with current trends, all without breaking the bank.

Cleaning Up

It’s common sense (and common courtesy) to clean up your property when a tenant moves out. Good tenants will likely try to clean up as much of their mess as they can, but there are many things that residents overlook, such as unclogging drains and scrubbing down appliances. If the previous tenants damaged anything on the property, you’ll have to go about fixing those things, as well.

Besides what we mentioned above, there are a few more things you’ll want to look out for when cleaning up the property:

●      Change the locks

●      Ensure all the plumbing is functioning correctly with no leaks, clogs, or strange noises

●      Verify that all appliances, utilities, and lights work

●      Remove any stains, if possible

●      Clean underneath counters, appliances, and other objects

●      Get rid of any lingering unpleasant odors

●      Look for any forgotten belongings or things left behind

●      Make sure windows and doors are in good working order

Optimizing Your Property

Once your tenants have moved out, you’ll have as much time as you want to make improvements to the property. This can be anything from repainting the walls and replacing any old, stained carpet to installing modern fixtures and finishes. If you have the time and the money, it can sometimes be a good investment to renovate any old styles in the property at this point, too.

Newer buildings can almost always demand higher rent, so if you’re smart about your spending, you might be able to make a return on the investment right away. As a landlord, you’re allowed to pass on the costs of your renovations to your tenants, too, so if you play your cards right (i.e., don’t make your rent costs egregious, or no one will move in), there’s really no reason not to renovate.

As a landlord, getting as much return on your property investments as you can is probably one of your priorities. Besides the necessity of cleaning up between tenants, adding a few modern technological features here or there like smart appliances and electronics, in addition to updating finishes, colors, and décor can go a long way towards boosting the value of your property.

Guest Contributor, Cindy Trillo

How to Reduce Hazardous Waste at Home

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How to Reduce Hazardous Waste at Home

Products that we use daily in our homes can be harmful to both our health and the environment. Direct contact with some of these chemicals can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, throat, or nasal channels. Some of them may even cause headaches and nausea. On the other hand, some household chemicals can impact the natural environment unless properly disposed of as hazardous waste. Dumped into kitchen or bathroom drains, they can pollute water supplies and harm marine ecosystems. Here are some ways of dealing with hazardous waste in your home.

Reduce the use of cleaners

Many drain cleaner formulas contain sulphuric acid, while oven cleaners are known to contain potassium hydroxide. Both chemicals are highly corrosive and cause irritation of eyes and mucoid membranes. Cleaners that contain grease-removing chemicals such as petroleum distillates can damage lungs if inhaled. To reduce your exposure to these chemicals, use products made of natural ingredients whenever possible. For example, a mixture of baking soda can be used for cleaning drains, while lemon and vinegar are great from removing limescale.

Avoid pesticides

Pesticides are formulated to be deadly to insects, rodents, weed, and fungus, but some of them are potent enough to be harmful to other living organisms, such as pets and their owners. Instead of spraying pesticides, try to find alternative ways of pest control, such as using natural grade diatomaceousearth for getting rid of bugs, pulling weeds by hand, or using mulch, and using covers to keep flying insects at bay. Recently, the use of beneficial nematodes, microscopic parasites, has been reported highly successful in garden bug control.

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Remove contaminants professionally

Building sites, repurposed lots, and heavily cultivated soil sometimes contain contaminants that seem impossible to remove by their owners. Derelict homes are especially challenging as contaminants, such as asbestos, are often difficult to isolate from demolition debris and recyclable waste. Before you give up on the location, give these experienced demolition contractors a call. With more than 20 years of experience in providing remedial services, they can make your site clean and legally compliant again.

Check the laundry detergents

Many household laundry detergents contain ingredients that have nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) as by-products.These organic compounds are identified as one of the major threats to marine life. NPEs have been discovered to mimic hormone strings and disrupt the endocrine system in sea organism. They don’t decompose naturally, and in reaction with sewage bacteria, become even more toxic. Fortunately, companies such as Cintas and P&G offer many NPE-free detergent brands.

Be careful with motor oil

Almost all car fluids, from antifreeze and AC coolant fluid to motor oil and petrol, can be extremely dangerous if disposed of irresponsibly. Motor oil and antifreeze contain heavy metals such as lead and cadmium that can be potentially very hazardous, contaminating water supplies and poisoning aquatic organisms. Instead of contributing to the pollution, contact your local environmental agency or sanitation department and inquire about available disposal and recycling procedures for automotive liquids.

Recycle power-saving bulbs

Although LED bulbs have become a standard for energy-efficient lighting, there are still many compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) being sold and installed. Although the amounts of mercury used in those bulbs have been reduced due to more stringent laws, more than 670 million mercury-vapour light bulbs are thrown out only in the US every year. Most of them end up in a landfill or being incinerated, despite environmental expert’s warnings that recycling is the only sustainable way of disposing of mercury products.

Our homes often contain corrosive, flammable, chemically unstable, or toxic chemicals. Found in cleaning products, automotive fluids, and even the light bulbs, these materials shouldn't be disposed of with regular waste. Apart from recycling and using local safe disposal programmes, the only way to limit exposure and adverse environmental impact of those chemicals is to reduce their use to a minimum.

Guest Contributors, Lillian Connors

5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

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5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

It's all too easy to forget that freshwater is a finite resource. With the convenience of public utilities, water conservation isn't a top concern in the United States. Even so, it's one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century, especially when you consider the EPA's findings.

The average family can waste as much as 180 gallons of water each week from household leaks. These leaks account for approximately 900 billion gallons of water waste across the nation each year. As context, that's equivalent to the annual household water usage of 11 million homes.

Clearly, the subject of water conservation demands attention. If the average family is losing that much from leaks alone, how extensive is the problem? More than that, what can you do to alleviate pressure on the country's water resources and participate in conservation efforts?

Here are five home improvements that can increase water efficiency.

1. Rainwater Collection Systems

The strategic placement of special barrels on your property can capture rainwater and reduce your water usage. Many towns and cities distribute these barrels to residents during annual sales, so check if your area participates. You can also purchase them from online retailers and home and garden supply stores.

However, it's essential to note that rainwater can pick up pollutants as it runs over the surface of your roof. If you're thinking about using rain barrel water on edible plantings, you should research the subject in greater detail and take the proper precautions. It's an essential preliminary measure.

2. High-Efficiency Sprinklers

Many sprinkler systems consume far more water than necessary to maintain your lawn and garden. When the water pressure is too high, the system will mist the air instead of providing a proper flow to soak the ground. As the mist evaporates, your plants receive less nourishment and your water efficiency plummets.

Fortunately, a high-efficiency sprinkler system is a simple improvement with both economic and environmental benefits. Certain systems with pressure-regulating stem heads can save up to 45,000 gallons of water per year. That's the equivalent of flushing your toilet 63 times each day, every day for one year.

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3. Low-Flow Bathroom Fixtures

According to the EPA, the average person uses at least 20% less water with efficient fixtures and appliances. Since showers and toilets are the two biggest sources of consumption, your bathroom is one of the best places to start. A variety of low-flow products are available today.

More specifically, low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets can make a dramatic difference in your water usage. When searching for products, remember that a toilet should use less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, and a shower head should have a flow rate under 2.5 gallons per minute.

4. Automatic Shower Timers

On the subject of bathroom renovations, shower timers are effective in regulating a homeowner's water usage. You simply install the device in your shower, and it monitors your consumption. If you're taking too long, it alerts you and automatically shuts the water off to let you know it's time to get out.

Of course, not everyone likes the idea of a shower timer. When you come back from an exhausting day at work, you might want to take a long shower before you call it a night. While this is fair, a timer will let you know when enough is enough, even when you're reluctant to admit it.

5. Upgraded Dishwashers

Your dishwasher makes your life easier, taking care of dirty plates and silverware without the time-consuming task of hand-washing. While this isn't necessarily bad for water consumption, the model of your dishwater definitely matters. If you have an older dishwasher, it can use as much as 10 gallons per cycle.

An investment in a newer dishwasher can reduce your consumption by almost half. Modern machines require an average of 5.8 gallons per cycle, which make them an excellent option for water efficiency. That said, you don't always have to upgrade your appliance if you clean and repair your current washer.

Start Planning Your Changes Today

As you assess the water efficiency in your home, consider some of the suggestions above. Any of the five improvements on this list can help you minimize your impact and make a big difference to our planet.

Holly Welles is a home improvement writer who believes anyone can make the most of their space. You can find more of her work on her blog, The Estate Update.

Guest Contributor, Holly Welles

How to Get Bali Bathroom Furniture Shipped To Your Door

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How to Get Bali Bathroom Furniture Shipped to Your Door

No one purposely lets their home fall out of style, but it is bound to happen to even the best of us. Life takes over, and more important things occupy the mind. As much as you may love design, chances are at least a few rooms of your home could use some attention.

If you think this is where you are at, maybe it is time to consider a remodel. If you keep up on current trends and place an emphasis on aesthetics, you have no doubt noticed the rise in popularity of Bali bathroom furniture.  

Just take a look at any design blog and you will see Bali influences everywhere. There is no question for those with objectively good taste—the elements present in Bali furniture design are like a breath of fresh air.

Whether it is because everyone is pining for a little piece of island life, or simply because this decor is highly modern, it is clear that this trend is sticking around for a while. In a time inundated with a great deal of maximalism, these fixtures offer a kind of reprieve from clashing patterns and color.

Picture vanities without fixtures, softly rounded bathtubs and sinks, light colored wood—these elements are all common in the Bali furniture trend.

These sleek designs prominently feature clean lines and smooth curves, sometimes accented by wood or stone, without anything extra or ornamental. Metal is not often featured in this style.

Bali furniture in the bathroom inspires a sense of calm and relaxation, so it’s no wonder why anyone planning a bathroom remodel right now is likely on the hunt for this kind of fixture—but how?

Bali is not exactly centrally located, but there are still ways to get authentic forms of this furniture shipped directly to your door, and it is not as difficult (or expensive) as you might imagine.

Here are a few simple steps you can take in order to achieve the goal of decorating your bathroom with Bali furniture.

●       Plan a design

Obviously, the first step in achieving your new, Bali inspired bathroom is to create a design plan, but this first step is actually three-pronged: you will need to choose a design, set a comfortable budget, and speak with a remodeler.

Take a look at some inspiration boards, and get an idea of how your bathroom would look in a perfect world post-remodel.

Sites like Houzz are aimed at helping homeowners find design ideas that resonate with them, and many reputable businesses will have accounts you can browse on the site.

Next, figure out a price point at which you are comfortable for this remodel. It is important to have a figure in mind, and to stay realistic about what that amount will buy you.

Finally, speak with a pro about how much of your vision is physically possible. You might love a waterfall shower, double sinks atop an expansive counter top, perfect soft lighting, but it may not all be achievable.

Bear in mind that no one is a miracle worker, and sometimes considerations like space and budget will get in the way of your ideal design, but a good remodeler will do their best to offer comparable alternatives if something is not possible.

Once you have a better grasp on what can be achieved, you will be able to confidently pick out what types of furniture and fixtures will be appropriate for your new, updated space.

●       Pick out your furniture

If you have already done the design leg work, sift through your inspiration pictures for ones that align with the plan you have discussed with your remodeler.

Make sure you have considered aspects like color palette and placement within your bathroom (including measuring the space) otherwise you may miss something that will impact the overall aesthetic.

Whether you are on the hunt for a new counter top, a pedestal sink, or just some shelving, you are sure to find plenty of beautiful options available for purchase, but which pieces you go with will depend on several factors.

These factors include things like cost and material, but perhaps the most important of these is authenticity. Is it important to you that your Bali bathroom furniture is actually made in Bali, and not just in that style?

If so, you will have a few more steps to complete before your furniture arrives.

●       Work with the creator

Assuming you choose to go with a Balinese creator, they may or may not have a preferred shipping provider available for you to use.

Even if the creator does have a preferred shipping provider, it may be in your best interest to explore your options, as there may be a more cost effective or convenient one for your location.

Talk with the creator of the furniture you have chosen about their flexibility on this point and how much they are willing to assist your efforts, then work on researching options.

●       Find a shipping company

This piece of the process will entail finding a reputable company who offers freight shipping. Make sure that they have the necessary capabilities to perform this kind of long-distance shipping.

Once you have found a company, request a quote so you know how much shipping your furniture will cost you. Legitimate companies should offer you a quote without requiring anything from you in return.

From here, you can set up coordination between the creator and the shipper, or facilitate the coordination yourself.

Whichever direction you decide to go, the most important factor of this step is choosing a shipper you can trust so that you do not experience undue anxiety waiting for the furniture to arrive.

After you have completed all of these steps, the only thing left for you to do is sit back and leave the rest to the professionals. Before you know it, your Bali bathroom furniture will arrive and your remodeler will bring your vision to life.

In just a few simple steps you can have high quality furniture shipped from across the world to your doorstep, and enjoy a wholly transformed bathroom.

If a more calming, tranquil room is what you are after, do not wait to start this process. Take your time researching designs and remodelers so that you can rest assured you will be pleased with the outcome.

Guest Contributor, Tom Masters

Design Tips Perfect for Older Adults

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Design Tips Perfect for Older Adults

While not everyone can completely remodel their home to fit their aging needs, there are a few design tips that can ensure every older adult has a more pleasant and safer life. The best way to start your renovation is to look at senior homes and seek some inspiration for safe and stylish senior life. Let’s see what older adults need and prefer when it comes to interior design.

Practical entryways

Every house starts with a good entryway, so make sure to make it practical and safe. For instance, fumbling for keys while you hold grocery bags can cause you to get distracted and lose your balance. So, it can be smart to place a small table or bench next to your entrance. This addition will not only boost the practicality of your entryway but also increase its aesthetic appeal.

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Safe bathrooms

Many falls at home happen right in the bathroom due to slippery showers, baths and floors. So, consider investing in practical grab bars you can find in many places in senior care facilities. These ensure a more practical and safer entrance and exit out of the bath. But, their stainless steel look can also boost elegance in your space. You can also place them next to your toilet for when you need extra support getting up. Additionally, consider ditching baths and investing in a practical step-in shower and hand-held showerhead. This combination will ensure the most practicality and style.

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Good lighting

Any dark corner, poorly-lit room and shady stairway can result in a potential fall or a bump. This is especially important for stairs, hallways and entryways that usually hide the biggest number of obstacles, so it’s no wonder every modern aged care facility is well lit from the entrance to the last room. For instance, if you look at retirement living at Mark Moran Vaucluse you can see that the facility is filled with layered light, both natural and artificial. Their design experts chose to shower the rooms with light to prevent injuries and promote wellbeing. So, make sure to take inspiration from these respectable facilities and light up your space, especially those nooks that can hide sharp corners and other hazards.

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Smart doors

In order to boost mobility between rooms, try to invest in pocket doors. They always stay out of the way when opened and they prevent them from getting caught on clothing or walking aids. Additionally, you can also replace all your doorknobs with more practical levers. These are easier to grip and handle, especially for seniors with arthritis and similar afflictions.

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Easy-to-climb stairs

For older people, stairs are often a true nightmare. They are exhausting and dangerous, so make sure to equip any stairs in your home with handrails, preferably on both sides. Clearly visible and separate steps can also make your ascend and descend safer, even if your vision is impaired. There are cheap stickers you can get that will allow you to mark your steps and prevent trips and falls.

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Anti-slip floors

Oftentimes, danger lurks under your feet. With age, you start to lose your balance and speed, so slips can end up with a serious injury. The easiest way to prevent slips yet keep your home stylish is to invest in nonskid mats under your rugs. If you use a walker or wheelchair to get around, it’s best to opt for a low-pile carpet that won’t get caught in your wheels and walkers. You can also ditch your area rugs and embrace the popular minimalist style that’s also very easy to keep clean.

If you follow these senior design tips, you’ll have a home that will allow you to age with grace, safety and style. You’ll get to enjoy your home for many, many years to come, but whenever you notice you can’t take care of your safety, make sure to find a good senior care facility.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

Age-Friendly Home Remodeling Tips

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Age-Friendly Home Remodeling Tips

Although there are many senior homes and communities for the elderly to move into, most seniors still decide to stay in their own home and take care of themselves for as long as they possibly can. However, not many of them have thought this through carefully enough. In order for them to stay safe inside their own home while going through physical and mental changes that their age is bringing, it’s necessary to do some remodeling and adjust their living space to their needs. Here are some tips on how to do this.

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Reconsider the stairs

At a certain point climbing up and down stairs becomes too difficult, making this one of the first issues to address in a home of an elderly person. In case it’s only a short set of steps, it will probably suffice to add a ramp with a handhold, but if it’s a two-floor house or an apartment building, perhaps a better idea would be to install an elevator. If that there isn’t enough room for a standard elevator, or even a smaller one, there are also several versions of stair lifts that you can choose from, so make sure you get all the relevant information before you make any decisions.

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Find place for a guest room

This is one of the changes you should make to give your elderly relative some peace of mind and to make them more cheerful. Unfortunately, many elderly people are lonely, which can even lead to depression, so having guests and somebody to talk to will always cheer them up. If there’s a room for such guests in their home, it provides them with an option to spend a few days with their aging host. The room doesn’t have to be too elaborately decorated. A comfortable bed, a cupboard or two, a chair and a table will do. Add an oil burner and some natural scented soy melts to make the place warmer, more inviting, but also fresher. And if at any point the elderly person needs a professional caregiver, this room can prove to be a very practical asset.

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Replace the doorknobs

When an elderly person’s mobility is decreased or they suffer from arthritis, the common round doorknobs can prove to be very difficult to handle. The lever-style ones can be easier for them to use, so consider replacing the regular doorknobs for those. Similarly, you should switch the round faucet knobs with the lever ones as well, to give the person more independence and make everyday life a bit less complicated for them.

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Change the flooring

When it comes to flooring in an aged person’s home, there are some things you should definitely avoid. The most dangerous one is slippery flooring, which can easily cause an accident and a serious injury. When renovating their home, remove any tiles that are too smooth and polished. In case changing the flooring is too much of an investment, make sure you add rugs to the slick areas of the floor, to create some traction. If your loved one is in a wheelchair, then you should either install hardwood or laminate flooring, or cover the floors with vinyl tiles. If you opt for carpeting the floors, make sure that the pile length is as low as possible and that the carpets get firmly attached to the surface underneath it.

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Install automatic lights

Another way to prevent an aged person from falling or bumping into something and hurting themselves is by installing automatic lights. These can have a timer to switch them on or off in accordance with your loved one’s habits, or they can even be controlled through an app on their smartphone, so that they don’t have to look for the light switch in the dark. Also, it might help to add a few more lighting fixtures to make moving around in the evening easier and safer for them.

There are always ways to improve an aged loved one’s quality of life, and remodeling their home to fit their needs is one of them. However, don’t forget about their mental health and don’t let them feel lonely and forgotten. Visit them frequently or hire somebody to keep them company and help them with whatever they need. 

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

 

An Insight Into Different Types Of Vinyl Flooring

RH Business Marketing Solutions

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An Insight into Different Types of Vinyl Flooring

As much as we all simply adore the old and charming hardwood floor, stone and ceramic, we can’t ignore the fact that these materials are very expensive. Quite often they aren’t very comfortable, require high maintenance and a lot of our energy.

Vinyl flooring has become popular again for the simple fact that it’s very cost-effective, durable, resistant to slips, street grit, high heels and messy spills. It’s not surprising then that it’s finding its way back into many homes and here are the basics you need to know.

Vinyl sheet anatomy

Vinyl sheets are created layer by layer which allows the manufacturers to produce a great variety of floors in terms of thickness, colour, pattern and texture. Typically, there are six layers. The base at the bottom supports all layers and is followed by fibreglass that keeps the sheet flat. Then, there's the cushion layer for texture and bounce, the pattern layer that gives the floor its colour and appearance, the wear layer to safeguard the pattern and finally, the top coat that adds sheen and provides protection.

An average vinyl flooring price in Australia that includes installation ranges from $26 per square metre to $35 per square metre. The same goes for warranties – it can run from five years to several decades, depending on your maintenance.  

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Types of vinyl floors

Vinyl flooring has changed a lot over the past decade and the current vinyl flooring trends in Sydney will make you forget everything you thought you once believed about it. It’s an excellent choice for commercial application due to its high resilience, durability, versatility and attractive looks.

Sheets flooring is installed very fast and rarely has any visible seams. It’s combined with various materials to improve its quality: PVC for toughness,foam gel for comfort, texture, and insulation, fibreglass for stability, and urethane for durability. Due to its lightweight, it can be loosely laid over a subfloor or glued down for more stability and permanence.

Tiles and planks are slightly harder and stiffer than sheets. During installation, they should be glued down, or joined at the edges and allowed to "float" over the subfloor.

Composition tiles are produced with a mix of vinyl and ground limestone and are quite tough so they’re often used in schools and other institutions. These tiles have to be glued down and since there’s no grout, it needs to be done perfectly.

Finally, woven vinyl are actually strands of fibreglass that are encapsulated in vinyl and woven into soft, textured sheets. They can be glued down or laid loosely. Woven vinyl is naturally springy, stain resistant and easy to clean. It’s also very durable, so even if left outdoors, it won’t deteriorate.

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Vinyl styles

Contemporary vinyl flooring offers a large versatility in style so there’s something for everyone and therefore, can easily fit with the rest of the home décor. Styles range from textured seagrass strands, tiles with grout lines mimicking ceramic tiles, limestone, multicolour stripes that give it a woven appearance, quarried slate with colour and texture of stone, wood block and wood planks, metallics shine, and simple flooring in vibrant colours like sky blue.

Health benefits and versatility

Owing to its versatility, vinyl flooring is suitable for kitchens, hallways, basements, bathrooms, utility rooms and kids' playrooms. There are multiple ways to install vinyl which can be done as a DIY project or left to the pros as the best end results depend on the floor preparation.

One of the major selling points of vinyl floors is their low maintenance, which is an obvious health benefit. In addition, some vinyl floors are produced with antimicrobial coatings or embedded wear layers with particles of silver which is a potent germ killer. To make sure your indoor air quality remains at a high level, choose floor-certified coverings and adhesives which abide by the industry’s highest standards.

Knowing the basics and perks of high-quality vinyl, you’ll have no trouble picking what is best for your home.

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

Poop And The Plumbing Saga

RH Business Marketing Solutions

Where does all the poop go

Poop And The Plumbing Saga


We all go about our daily pooping business, flush it down and forget about it.  As we rush through a typical day, we don’t stop and think much about poop, until something goes amiss-either we have a bad stomach or the toilet gets clogged. Till then its mindless flushing at our office and home toilets and life goes on.  

Who are the people we call in when the toilet malfunctions, is clogged-up or needs repair? The Plumber of course, who gets to work with his tool set and like magic everything is smooth flowing again. The relief that is felt once the situation is remedied is priceless as we no longer need to control the call of nature or make temporary arrangements that are not convenient. On the days that poop moves effortlessly through the drainage, it continues on an onward journey.

Where does all the poop go?

Let’s find out.

Within the sewage systems that carry away the poop, it meets water bugs, cockroaches, chemicals and other pollutants. It then flows and reaches a sewage treatment plant. After removing large debris such as nappies, tissues, cloth pieces, pebbles, etc. the human waste is separated from the water. The resulting sludge goes into further treatment using processes such as lime stabilization, thickening and anaerobic digestion. The sludge is then used as fertilizer or fuel as it is rich in micro-nutrients. The water, on the other hand, needs secondary treatment to remove the harmful bacteria using good bacteria and chemicals. The pure, clean water can be reused safely or can be simply released back to the rivers or seas.  Here, is an animated infographic explaining the whole process of where does the Human Waste go?

Why has Plumbing been a game changer?

The contribution of plumbers and the plumbing industry to humankind has been tremendous. In the early ages, unsanitary conditions had claimed thousands of lives due to outbreaks of deadly water-borne diseases. Getting to work to remove the sorry state of sanitation in our world were names such as John Snow, John Harington and Alexander Cummings, designing toilets and flushing systems to safely carry away tons of excreta each day, keeping killer epidemics in check.

Until the 20th century, there simply weren’t any bathrooms as we know them today. It was the plumbers, innovators, town planners and architects that worked tirelessly to make a significant shift happen. Plumbing continues to evolve with better techniques and improved sanitation systems in developed nations and is making strides in the developing world where unhealthy practices such as open defecation still exist.

Thanking the Plumber

Plumbers bring us immense convenience, and their contribution cannot be undermined. A slight malfunction in our home or office toilet can create mayhem if there isn’t an alternative close by and easily disrupt our routine. While the plumber gets to work, we must recall his contribution to health and hygiene and the importance of plumbing industry in building better cities, towns and countries.

Plumbing has given us some incredibly stylish and aesthetically pleasing bathing spaces as also tremendous convenience, be it showers, luxury tubs, public toilets that run without any glitches and bring respite in an emergency. Plumbing in every sense contributes to making our lives efficient and productive.

Guest Contributor, Megan Hudson

Where-does-poop-go-infographic