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Tinley Park, IL

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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

How to Build the Perfect Home Gym

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Crestwood Plumbers

How to Build the Perfect Home Gym

If you wish to improve the living conditions in your home in a way that it would also contribute to the health and fitness of the whole family, there is nothing better than creating a home gym. Although it would require an initial investment, it will soon pay off because you’ll have a nice feature that can be used by the whole family and guests and it also increases the resale value of your home.

So, if you realize that you have a spare room because your kid has gone to college or moved from your home or you’ve decided that you don’t need so much storage room in your basement, converting such space into a home gym makes a lot of sense. If that’s the case, what is your next step?

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Make Sure It’s The Right Space

Depending on the type of gym you’d like to have, there are several things you need to consider. If you’re planning on introducing some heavy equipment, make sure you don’t install the gym on the upper floor, since the floor may not be strong enough to support all the weight. Consider turning your back porch or patio into a gym if possible, since you might want to have an opportunity to exercise outdoors.

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Let There Be Light And Air

It’s very important that your home gym is as light and airy as possible. Ideally, you would have plenty of natural light coming from windows and doors, which would also make it possible for you to have enough ventilation. If that’s not really possible, you should install some kind of recessed lighting or simple lamps with soft white bulbs. Another option to make the space more inviting is to add plants. They will increase oxygen levels in the room and add a touch of nature to the place.

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Get Rid Of Clutter

It’s very important that your home gym doesn’t contain any items that are not really necessary. Otherwise, you may run a risk of tripping and falling over and thus injuring yourself. It’s also important to find the right place for every machine you need. Should you decide to have one of those amazing exercise bikes, make sure you place them closer to the wall, so that it doesn’t create a problem for anyone using the gym at the same time as you. Also, it’s a good idea to place it closer to a window, so that you can get more fresh air as you exercise.

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Step By Step

You don’t need to have everything at once. Some equipment is rather pricey, and you may not want to splash a lot of cash immediately. Instead, make a plan depending on your financial situation and furnish your home gym gradually. However, it’s important that you know exactly what you’d like the gym to look like so that you can tackle some construction works first. For example, if you know you want some heavy equipment, you need to make sure your floor is strong enough to support it and you need to address such an issue before you bring anything into the room. Also, it’s very important that everything you need for exercising has its place in the gym and that you don’t create a mess.

Use Your Gym!

The worst thing you can do is actually spend a lot of money and effort into creating a gym and then use it rarely or never. If you’re having trouble finding motivation, you could invite a friend and schedule a session together. That should help you keep your motivation high and you’ll both benefit from spending time together. Needless to say, if you have little or no experience with working out, you should consult a fitness trainer and your doctor before hitting the gym. The last thing you need is to jeopardise your health or injure yourself because you’ve chosen a wrong kind of exercise or pushed yourself too hard.

Having a gym at home is no longer the privilege of the rich and we should all use the opportunity to install one if we have enough room and are keen on keeping fit. Have fun working out!

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

Plumbing Considerations for a Successful Home Remodel 

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Plumbing Considerations for a Successful Home Remodel 

Remodelling a home’s interior is not just about changing the layout of the amenities or tearing down a wall or two – it’s also about the functionality of the space and how numerous factors will affect the outcome of the project. One such consideration is the plumbing network in your home, which, even though you might not have thought about it until now, can significantly affect the financial projection, as well as the course of the entire undertaking. Let’s take a closer look at the essential plumbing considerations you need to think of in order to plan out a successful home remodel.

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Talk To A Professional First

It should go without saying that a professional and experienced plumber should be a part of your project, especially during the planning and preparation phase when you will be talking to your contractor and architect. While they are experienced in the matter as well, nobody will be able to advise you on how to avoid the possible consequences of changing your layout in areas where water supply is crucial, such as the kitchen, the bathroom, and the laundry room.

Make A Detailed Financial Plan

Truth be told, there is no way of predicting every possible expense involved in the remodeling of your home’s interior, but you can make a detailed financial plan with a contingency fund in reserve in order to prepare for any setbacks. Concretely, if you involve plumbing repairs, upgrades, and alterations into the initial projection you can offset many a financial drawback in the process.

It’s important to understand how plumbing modifications can affect the financial projection for the project, and an experienced plumber will be able to give you their estimate to complement the contractor’s initial projection. Remember, always look for more than one professional opinion.

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Inspect Existing Plumbing And Repair As Needed

Another crucial element of a successful remodeling project is the thorough inspection of the existing plumbing network. Many a homeowner will simply start the project hoping that the internal plumbing network is in stellar condition and that there are no leaks, cracks, or faulty faucets at play. 

Alas, this is usually not the case. More often than not, a problem in the plumbing network will be present somewhere in the walls, and dealing with emergency plumbing issues before or during the renovation will be imperative in order to avoid costly problems down the road. Make sure the plumber inspects all faucets and internal plumbing, and advises you on the possible consequences of rerouting the network for a new layout.

Research The Best Materials And Fixtures

Different plumbing materials and fixtures will require different maintenance, but also consume water and energy resources in a different way, which is why it is important to plan for these expenses well in advance and choose the right materials and fixtures for your current and future needs. Moreover, it’s important that your contractor confirms that these fixtures and fitting will be available when the project begins. Otherwise, you are running the risk of having to settle for sub-par materials that will lead to costly problems down the road.

Understand Your Plumbing Network

Last but not least, you need to have a detailed understanding of your plumbing network, and how it works as a whole. If you don’t have the updated blueprints for your home at hand, you should have a professional plumber map out the plumbing scheme for you and point out which areas can and which cannot be tampered with. While there is always a way to reroute and restructure the entire plumbing network with sufficient time and finances, a better cost-effective idea would be to work with the pipeline and fixtures instead of against them.

Plumbing plays a key role in any home renovation project, and it should be an integral part of your project plan, monitored throughout the process by an experienced professional. With these essential considerations in mind, you can go ahead and plan a successful home remodel without the fear of financial setbacks. 

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

Ways To Decorate Your Bedroom For A Good Night’s Sleep

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Ways to Decorate Your Bedroom for a Good Night’s Sleep

Can’t get a decent shut-eye at nights? Well, your bedroom design might be to blame. If you are wondering what can possibly the décor of a room have to do with the quality of your sleep, when your mattress is comfy and your pillow is adequate to your sleep position, you should know that a lot of things in this room, including the colors, lighting and materials can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. In this article we’ll show you the impact of design features on your sleep, and what you can do to make them work for you.

Start With Soothing Colors

Color psychology is no pseudo-science seeking to deceive you or steal your money. It is a philosophy based on research and experience, and you should arm yourself with it before you start redecorating your bedroom. For example, painting the room where you sleep in striking colors, such as red or bright orange, can cause accumulated sense of stress and lead to anxiety, which will make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Instead, choose mild relaxing tones, such as warm neutrals, lavender, light green or gentle blue.

The Dark-Light Cycle

The bedroom needs to receive a generous amount of both light and fresh air during the day. This is only possible if you have a large window and treatments or drapes that can be pulled up or aside during the daylight period. The drapes or treatments also need to be capable of preventing the outdoor and street lighting from getting into your bedroom while you sleep.

Soft And Quiet

Nobody likes squeaky floors, especially if you are sharing the room with a partner. Changing and repairing your floor boards at every sign of damage is expensive and exhausting. That’s one of the reasons why bedroom carpet installation in Sydney and other trendy cities is making a huge comeback these days. For an even softer spot to land on and to score a few design points, you can also go with area rugs on both sides of the bed. Opt for a soft, tender material, such as faux fur.

Everything Within Your Reach

Many people like to read a book before going to bed. In fact, this is a great way to calm your nerves and induce sleep. However, if this requires you to get up and turn off the light using the switch by the door, it can completely disrupt your sleepiness. A bedside lamp will save you this trouble, and it will be an additional décor element. Speaking of everything being within your reach, you should have a stylish nightstand to place the lamp, the book, a glass of water, or anything else you need.

Less Is More

A cluttered room is a one-way road to a cluttered mind. And a cluttered mind? Well, this definitely leads to a hectic night of various thoughts and stressors running through your head, which means – no sleep. This is why you need to focus on creating a minimalistic look without many unnecessary trinkets.

Clear The Air

The air in your bedroom needs to be free of toxins (as much as that is possible), so that your sleep quality would be at its maximum. You can achieve that with frequent ventilation and air purifiers, but you can also introduce a few air-purifying plants, such as Aloe Vera, Snake Plant, and English Ivy.

There is nothing more important than getting a good night’s sleep. It keeps you functioning throughout the day. Follow the tips we gave you, and your bedroom will tuck you into your sleep every night.

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins

Tips For Building An Energy-Efficient Home

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Tips For Building An Energy-Efficient Home

One of the biggest expenses an average household needs to deal with is the heating and the AC bill. Traditional energy sources are also damaging to the environment and they are going to become more expensive in the years to come.

Building a more energy-efficient house requires an initial investment that can be troublesome for some homeowners, but it cuts down energy bills in the long run and, most importantly, makes your home less responsible for the carbon footprint and overall damage to the environment.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are probably the best way to get off the traditional energy grid. They used to be expensive and complicated to install, but this is no longer the case since the technology has improved and there are government incentives to use them, at least in countries such as Australia and Denmark.

A good thing about these panels is that you can use them only occasionally and rely on the traditional power grid when the weather isn’t suitable. That way, you can slowly make the change and not burden your household with the possible issue that might arise during the installation.

Appliances

Ordinary home appliances probably consume the most of the energy that an average Australian household uses. These are small amounts of power individually, but when they add up, they can really hurt your bottom line. It’s important to handle this issue by changing or fixing up the appliances one at a time.

Try to purchase the appliances that are designed to waste less energy. Those are usually marked with a blue star. Beyond that, it’s imperative for you to organize regular check-ups for the older devices you’re not replacing. Once a year, a licensed electrician should take a look.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure of the building itself means more than any small tweaking you can make when the construction is completed. If you’re building your home from scratch, you should hire formworkers from Sydney to make sure your property is constructed in the least wasteful way.

This is also an opportunity to handle the insulation of the entire home. A good insulation can cut down the energy bills for as much as 30 percent during both summers and winters. There used to be a time when all insulation materials used to be harmful to the environment, but this is no longer true and you can have a well-insulated home without using damaging materials.

Having Your Own Garden

A backyard garden is one of the best additions you can make to your home, both in terms of aesthetics and in terms of energy savings. Transporting food to your grocery store is probably the biggest addition you make to the carbon footprint. By cutting down on these expenses, you’re saving the environment and making sure you’re eating healthy food.

It takes time and effort to build a garden. It’s best to start with the produce you can find and grow locally and have a small plot that you can cultivate in your spare time and probably with a help of someone with more experience.

Water Savings

Water is rarely thought of as a resource at all, but it is a scarce one and it will become even more important in the years to come, when there’s less of it. Small tweaks around the house are often enough to cut down on your waste, but if you want to go all out – you could install a rainwater collection system.

It’s best to start with installing faucets that are motion activated. They turn off the water much faster than traditional faucets and thus waste much less of it. These are a bit more expensive but you only need to have them in the kitchen where they are used the most.

Building an energy-efficient home will cut down your spending and make the household more eco-friendly. It takes some funding to build but it pays off in the long run. 

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins

What Is In The Tap Water

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What Is In The Tap Water

Summer is in full swing, meaning many families are heading out to vacation. They often close up their home for the time they’re away. It’s quiet. The a/c is set to a higher temperature, so it doesn’t kick on as frequently. Nothing much seems to be happening. But, looks are deceiving: beneath the quiet facade, an army is assembling.

A Thriving Community In The Tap

Inside the faucets in the vacant home, tap water, which isn’t moving unless there is a leak somewhere, is hosting a party of flourishing microbes. According to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, microbial communities of bacteria reproduce in the plumbing of vacant homes and buildings when they aren’t in use. One such pathogen, the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires' disease, is a potential health risk.

While preliminary reports don’t indicate the presence of bacteria which causes public health risks was involved, the sampling was random, conducted on vacant university dormitory buildings during the school break. The implication is that there is a potential health risk to people who drink the tap water from a structure in which the plumbing has remained unused for a time.

What Are The Risks To The Returning Inhabitants?

The good news is that it only takes a few seconds to clear the teaming bacteria from the lines because the bulk of the breeding bacteria develop closest to the faucets of a vacant dwelling. Turning the faucets on alleviates the problem by literally flushing it away.

Once the plumbing lines of a vacant building come into use again, the bacteria levels plummet down to pre-abandoned levels, meaning the water is safe to drink again once it’s back in use.  The testing indicated that the bacteria doesn’t extend to city sources, but remains in the home.  In fact, researchers determined that the ‘bacterial concentrations are highest in the first 100 milliliters of tap flow.

For a family who is returning from a vacation, the concentration of bacteria in their tap water can be eliminated when the water is run for a few moments upon their return, thus flushing the microbial communities from their plumbing. In other words, the first use of the plumbing probably shouldn’t be helping oneself to a big drink of water.

Why It Matters

As communities, plumbers, and homeowners continue to pursue water conservation, water recycling and reclamation and green infrastructure, the potential for the formation of microbial bacteria colonies in homes and public housing has the capacity to have an impact on these kinds of programs. Researchers agree that not only may it become an issue at some point, but it will be one in which the drive for the greater good will have to be shared by not only the scientific community but public works, water suppliers, and related fields.

What Are Some Preventative Options?

Discriminating homeowners will continue to have their plumber install water filtration systems, reverse osmosis and other forms of water purification to ensure their families have the cleanest and best tasting water possible. Proactive water management at the home level renders the potential for bacterial contaminants to be a health risk as practically nil.

Others, who are perhaps not ready to commit to a whole-house filtration system, should allow the tap to run for a few minutes before drinking from it and run the shower on the hottest setting for two minutes before use, to prevent Legionnaires disease. These steps are crucially important, mainly if seniors or those with compromised immune systems occupy the home.

Author Bio: Abhishek Khandelwal has been a plumbing and HVAC industry writer for many years and he contributes to a number of leading blogs on a regular basis.

Bathroom Accessories: How to Make the Right Selection 

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Bathroom Accessories: How to Make the Right Selection 

Bathroom designs are a dime a dozen, and there are numerous ways you can structure your ideal bathroom oasis to accommodate the needs of your family and preserve the aesthetic appeal of the room. But when it comes to accessorising and introducing the essential and ancillary amenities, a bit of prudent thinking and strategizing goes a long way.

After all, not all bathroom layouts can accommodate a bath, two sinks, a shower and ample storage, which is why you need to prioritize according to your needs and scale your amenities. With that in mind, here is how to make the right selection of bathroom accessories for your needs.

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First Off, How Much Space Are You Working With?

Are you working with a full-size bathroom? Good, then you needn’t worry. However, if you’re working with a three-quarter bath, a half bath, or even a glorified powder room, then you will have to prioritize and optimize every corner accordingly.

Start by measuring the length, width, and height of the room, and think about which accessories you should splurge on, and which should play the backing role. For instance, you might feel that a nice big stone-finish shower is what you need, but you might need to sacrifice the vanity space to make it fit properly. In that case, you can opt for a single-sink setup, with the accompanying toilet and perhaps vertical storage instead of traditional cabinetry. Now, take the same mindset and use it to determine your perfect layout.

Start With The Basic Accessories

There are some features no modern bathroom can do without, and there are others that should only be introduced if you have room to spare and if they don’t impede maneuverability or capaciousness. Remember, a cramped bathroom can never become a rejuvenating, serene oasis you’re dreaming of, so start with the essentials and work your way from there.

Out of all the modern bathroom accessories you could introduce, settling on those that you and your family really need should be your priority. Depending on your preferred design approach, you can use these elements to create a natural, even rustic setting, or a modern look that combines functionality and aesthetics.

In any case, you can’t go wrong with pure white amenities and countertops that will serve as a perfect backdrop for layers and accents down the road. You can also play with shapes and opt for a fully geometric look or perhaps, you can disrupt the norm by surrounding a sloping free-standing bathtub with sharp corners on the vanity, cabinetry and shelving.

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Focus On Layered And Strategic Lighting

Lighting plays a key role in interior design, and it will be vital in setting the tone of the bathroom with strategic illumination, as well as the aesthetic appeal of the lighting fixtures themselves. Be sure that the design of the fixtures corresponds with the overarching theme in the room, and never settle for a single light source, no matter how big or small the space.

Consider both complementary hues and contrasts, as lighting fixtures can match the colors of the essential accessories, but they can also come in pure black or charcoal hues for that monochromatic vibe. As for illumination itself, you’ll need ample overhead lighting that can be programmed to set any mood, as well as proper mirror lighting illuminating the reflection from the sides and the top.

Move On To The Smaller Accessories

Finally, it’s time to pick your ancillary accessories that will enrich the setting with their aesthetic charm and serve a functional purpose as well. You want to use these to accentuate certain areas of the room, and disrupt any monotony that might have settled in. Leave nothing to chance and make sure that everything from the soap dish to the shower curtains and the toothbrush holder complement the overarching design of the room.

Designing the bathroom of your dreams is not exactly a walk in the park, as it requires plenty of planning, strategizing, and sometimes even trial and error. This is why knowing how to choose the perfect set of essential and secondary accessories will be the key to designing a functional and aesthetic bathroom.

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

Is Your Roof Leaking? Know the Ways to Leak Repair

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Is Your Roof Leaking? Know the Ways to Leak Repair

If your roof is leaking, the problem needs to be rectified with efficient leak repairs.  When it comes to commercial structure, there are two kinds of roofs, namely, flat and pitched roof. You may get leak repair services for flat roof and pitched roof.

When there is snowfall or heavy downpour, the roof may start leaking. So, mainly roof leakage is during winters and rainy season. You can choose a specialist to carry out leak repair. The professional will arrive at your site to inspect the roof and locate the problem spot.

Then, he will adopt measures to correct the problem. After the specialist finds the problem zone, he sweeps the surface to get rid of debris. If your roof is Built-up-roof, then it means the roof has several layers. But, if it is single-layer roof, the repair work will not take longer.

Is Your Roof Faulty?

If the roof leaks, you need to hire a roof repair specialist immediately. A professional can carry out leak repairs in a proficient manner and do away with the issue.

Look for a reliable and reputed roof specialist. To get quality and timely services, make sure you talk about the problem with the roof repair contractor. Discuss the issue you are facing with the roof specialist.

If there is just a single hole on the roof, it will not take much time to repair. If there are any cracks and holes all throughout the roof, the specialist will take time. He will also charge you more for leak repairs.

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Choose The Right Roof Repair Specialist

Make a list of potential roof repair specialists. They may be located online. Narrow down your searches after giving a call to them. Ask a few questions to judge their proficiency.

Roof repair is not easy and requires skills and proficiency. So, you can ask about the certificate and licenses. Talk about the pricing and then take any decision. Visit the website of Better Business Bureau to know more about the roof repair specialists.

It is important to look online for the reviews and check testimonials. By checking the clients’ testimonials and reading the reviews, you will get an idea about their proficiency.

Monitor The Work Or Service

When the roof repair specialist arrives at your site, it is your work to monitor the work.  Stay along with the roof specialist when he carries out leak repairs. There is absolutely no reason for you to move away from the specialist when he is carrying out repair work.

If you have any concern, just ask questions and do not hesitate. When you are looking for roof repair specialist, take your time to choose the best professional. Look for guaranteed services.

A Thorough Roof Inspection Comes First

Roof repair specialist must carry out a thorough roof inspection to know the nature of repair which is needed. By doing so, he can tell you the time that will be consumed in doing the task.

Leaking roof is the result of storm damage, age and poor construction of roof. If you avoid roof repair today, you may have to replace the entire roof in the near future.

Take up timely roof repair service to avoid hassle at the later stage. Storm damage and wind damage are the most common causes of leaking roof.

When Can You Avoid Roof Repair Specialist?

If the roof requires only a minor repair work, you can repair the roof on your own. The roof should be inspected to trace out damage. Find out missing shingles, if any. If the shingles are bent or curled, just straighten them.

It is always good to contact a roof repair specialist if it needs repair. This will save time, effort and money.

Guest Contributor, Amelie Lawrence

An Insight into Contemporary Hot Water Systems

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An Insight into Contemporary Hot Water Systems

Consistent and instant access to hot water is paramount in every household. The only problem is that water heaters are some of the most energy-hungry appliances in an average home that account for 15% of utility bills. That is to say that those who are using a suboptimal heater risk losing hundreds of dollars every year. On the other hand, making a wise upfront investment enables one to reap many benefits over a long haul. Here are the key factors you should take into account before going on a shopping adventure.

Knowing Your Options

Technology is constantly improving and heaters are more efficient than ever. However, they are not created equal and besides, needs of people differ wildly. A new heater may seem like an expensive purchase, but do not wait for an emergency to strike or your budget to slowly melt. Get familiar with the basic types of heaters available today. There are four common options to choose from:

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·       Conventional storage heaters are still the most widely used of all. They maintain a steady reservoir and release the water when you use the tap in the home. As the hot water level drops, the cold water enters the reservoir and replenishes the used water. One big downside of conventional storage heaters is the fact that they constantly heat water via a stand-by energy process. Hence, from the energy-efficiency standpoint, they lag behind their counterparts. 

·       Tankless (on-demand) water heaters certainly have an edge in the green department because they do not face you with stand-by energy losses.  This is due to the lack of a standard reservoir, which so many people are used to. When you turn on a tap, the cold water simply travels to the heater. In there, gas burners or electric heating elements raise the temperature and supply you with hot water galore.

·       Indirect water heaters are unique in a sense they are an integral part of the household heating system. Much like conventional storage units, they maintain a certain amount of water in a tank. However, the difference is that they are not using their own heat source to provide hot water. Instead, they harness heat from a furnace or a boiler. This “native” integration makes them rather energy efficient.

·       Solar water heaters are a newer addition to product palette, a staple of renewable energy home systems. As the name suggests, they capture sunlight to heat the water in the tank. So, unlike all other heaters, they do not use common energy sources—propane, natural gas, and electricity. Active versions have circulating pumps and controls, while passive models lack them.

Making The Right Call

Regardless of your choice, make sure to maintain your heater properly. That is the key to increasing its longevity and long-term performance. All heaters have their lifespan and some are harder to install than others. With this in mind, you should find reliable local pros, as the guys behind Hot Water Nurse, for all your repair and installation needs. Furthermore, never lose sight of energy-efficiency, bearing in mind that older models are always less efficient than the newer ones.

Once you decide on the type of water heater, you have a few more steps in the decision making process to complete. One of the key factors is the appropriate size of the heater. For instance, if you live just with your partner, it is not like you require a conventional unit with a large reservoir, as that would only lead to inflated energy bills.  \

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

Crestwood Plumber

Test the waters  

Heaters are essential appliances no home can do without. But, an unfortunate choice can also cause many problems and headaches. So, it is crucial to research different sizes and types of heaters. There is no shortage of quality solutions out there and you want to purchase the one that is right for your needs. If you play it smart, the investment is likely to pay dividends as you will trim your energy consumption and bills. To get the most bang for your buck, take your time when shopping around, and commit to regular maintenance. Do not rush such an important decision.

 

Budget-Friendly Backyard Landscaping Ideas

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Budget-Friendly Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Your home is your castle, and it should also be a reflection of who you are, or so they say. It’s not a good idea to put in a lot of hard work and effort to make the interior of our home look amazing but completely ignore your backyard. If you’re worried about spending a fortune on backyard landscaping, you can relax – there are many affordable ways you can turn your backyard into a charming oasis of peace. Read on to find out what you can do to make your backyard look amazing without breaking the bank.

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Pretty patio

Summer is beautiful but it’s also hot, which is why a lot of people choose to spend as much time outdoors as possible. In order to be able to entertain guests in your backyard, you should have a comfortable seating area where you can organize little parties. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about birthdays, anniversaries, good old barbecue parties, or you’re just dreaming about a place where you can enjoy your coffee breaks, patios are perfect for you. Patios are the best choice because they look great on your lawn, they provide a nice shadow or useful hiding place in case of heavy rain. All in all, they are both useful and beautiful places where you can spend your free time with your friends and family.

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Garage alternatives

We all agree that having a nice dry place for your car is important, but does it really need to be a garage? Garages might be useful, but they are wasting your precious space in your backyard which you can otherwise use for something nice and creative such as a children’s slide or an above-ground swimming pool. As an alternative, you can call professionals from Malibu Shade Pty Ltd to set up carpark structures which are multifunctional. Such structures can serve as an alternative for a garage or storage space and they can be removed when you need some additional space.

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Plant more trees

Being ‘green’ is very important, and everyone can do little things which will help save the planet. For example, you can start by planting more trees in your backyard. There’s no better place to start because it’s your property and you can plant whichever tree you want. It’s up to you whether you’ll opt for a decorative tree such as oak, maple or linden which not only look good, but provide great shade, or perhaps you’d like something ‘multifunctional’. You can always plant fruit- bearing trees such as apples, cherries or walnuts and enjoy not only the shade but the fruits as well. Even though it might take a while for the trees to start bearing fruit, once they do, you’ll be happy to eat them. What is more, tree blossoms look and smell magical in spring, thus creating a blissful atmosphere in your backyard.

Light up the atmosphere

It’s amazing how a few ordinary lamps can make a big difference in any environment. Can you imagine an exciting movie night with a bottle of your favorite beer and a bowl of popcorns in your garden? Why not?! All you have to do to make this happen is to make your backyard a bit more comfortable. Your lawn has to be nice and neat but also well-lit. You can use your old night lamps or you can install vintage lanterns. If you don’t have any, you can find cheap ones at any flea market. Bring out bean bags and old blankets, light up the lamps and arm yourself with drinks and snacks. Now all you have to do is pick the right movie.

For homeowners who are fortunate enough to have an unlimited budget, renovating and upgrading a backyard is a piece of cake. For others, this means a bit more careful planning and hard work, but it can still be done. You don’t need to spend a fortune to turn your backyard into an oasis of peace; start planning and be prepared to do a bit of work yourself and you’ll be happy with the results.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

How To Maintain Drainage Systems

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How To Maintain Drainage Systems

How To Maintain Drainage Systems

A home’s drainage system is an important part of its structure. Ideally, drainage systems should be installed properly using high-quality materials during the construction period. However, there are times when contractors fall short and instead of using high-quality pipes and coatings, low-standard materials are used to cut down on costs. 

You don’t need to be an expert to know if your drainage system was done perfectly. If it was done shabbily, you’ll notice that over time you will see leaks on your sink, floors, and even walls. If you are experiencing this, then there is no need to panic because there are ways for you to fix it with or without professional help. 

1.      Trace where the leaks are coming from

Before you assume that you have defective pipes or sinks, first know where the leak is coming from. Chances are the leaks can also come from behind the walls because the pipes pass that area. You can also check the cabinet beneath the sink. If the leak comes from the pipe connecting the sink, then you can assume that that pipe needs repairing. 

2.      Replace all defective parts

Now that you know that there’s a leak in a pipe or an O-ring starts to drip, don’t try to repair them. Instead, buy a high-quality replacement so you don’t have to repair it often. Some people think that repairing damaged parts with epoxy or coating is cheaper; however, it could prolong the life of your pipes only for a short amount of time. It’s always better to replace defective parts immediately. 

3.      Insulate pipes

Insulating pipes means covering them with a coating that can keep the warmth inside the pipes. When the winter season arrives and there is no running water passing through them, the pipes can become brittle which makes them break easier. That’s why it’s advisable to have running water whenever the cold season comes. 

4.      Renovate defective drainage systems

When all else fails, you have to resort to renovating your drainage. This sounds easier said than done because a complete renovation of your drainage means that certain structures would be torn down to make way for new pipes hidden behind or in between walls. 

Plumbing Tips for Beginners

While the previous tips often require a professional to do it, you can fix leaks at home with these simple reminders:

  •  Use a bucket to hold your tools. This is also a good way to catch water when it flows.
  •  Use a plunger for clogs in your toilet or sink. Using plungers is the most common way to remove clogs because it is also the cheapest. 
  • Turn on faucets to check for leaks when you’re done repairing. This will help you know if there are still parts that need to be fixed. 

Leaky drainage should not be a big problem because there are DIY methods that you can do when you notice leaks and damages on your pipes and sinks. If there are cases that the problem escalates, you can always contact a plumber or an expert at repairing or renovating damaged drains

Guest Contributor, Eva Semon