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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.

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Best Ways To Prevent The Most Common Plumbing Problems

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Best Ways To Prevent The Most Common Plumbing Problems

Plumbing issues occur all the time. The most common plumbing problems, however, are mostly preventable. More often than not, the most common plumbing issues are of our making. It could be neglect on our part, or things we actually do to our plumbing that gives us all these headaches.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common plumbing problems, and how we can prevent them.

Blocked or overflowing drains

A clogged drain is perhaps the most common plumbing issue of all. It’s also one of the most preventable.

To prevent drains from clogging, we must:

Avoid pouring used oil or food grease down the sink – Oil or grease poured down the drain will stick around and typically harden. Pour more of it over time, and all that grease will accumulate and completely block your drainpipes. If you have to dispose of oil or grease, then use the garbage bin.

Don’t abuse your garbage disposal – You can’t just chuck anything down the garbage disposal. Only chopped and soft foodstuff and liquids should make it down your unit. Fruit pits and bones are a no-no because you could end up blocking your drain and damaging your garbage disposal at the same time.

Install drain strainers – Drain strainers are quite effective at stopping hair and all kinds of debris from entering sink and bathroom drains. If possible, all your household drains should have strainers. They are inexpensive and easy to install.

Clogged toilets

Clogged toilets are a huge and disgusting problem, especially when they overflow after flushing.

Chances are, your toilet is clogged because a lot of things are regularly flushed down it, and not just human waste. Many people flush baby wipes, Q tips, cotton, sanitary pads, diapers, kitty litter, condoms, and cigarette butts down their toilets, without realizing that all these can block the toilet. These things should never make it down your toilet.

Leaking or broken pipes

Our water pipes are in heavy use at all times, and that means they suffer a lot of wear and tear over time. Eventually, they leak or break, which can cause much bigger problems like flooding.

Pipes will age and eventually succumb to stress, but we can do something to mitigate all of that. Conserving water, for example, allows your pipes to relax a bit.

Softening your water can also help extend the life of your pipes. Using methods like ion-exchange resin or reverse osmosis, you should be able to reduce the mineral and chemical buildup on your pipes usually caused by hard water.

The most common plumbing problems can be easily prevented using the tips above, but if issues still come up, you may need to call in a professional plumber for help.

 Guest Contributor, Victoria Brown

Commercial Boilers: A Comprehensive Selection Guide 

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Commercial Boilers: A Comprehensive Selection Guide  

Running a business is not only about managing the product that you sell or the service that you offer. If you are an involved entrepreneur, you are very familiar with the fact that running a successful business means that you need to juggle a number of factors and keep them in the air as long as possible. Some of these factors can be absolutely prosaic but undeniably essential. For example, every HQ building needs a reliable commercial boiler that will fulfill the needs of all employees.

While plumbing might not be your area of expertise, every self-respecting leader will want to be involved in setting up an office space as a home away from home. If you have never chosen commercial boilers before, don’t worry – here is a comprehensive selection guide that should give you all the information you need.

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A Matter Of Size

The first thing that comes to your mind when it comes to installing a commercial boiler for the building is a matter of size. While smaller buildings and businesses such as salons, cafes, privately owned compartmentalized offices and community centers can deal with smaller, more compact systems, bigger establishments have an appropriately greater need for hot water and steam, and the boiler should have the capacity to fulfill those needs. Now, when it comes to the specific size of the commercial boiler based on the dimensions of the building, this can be calculated.

The capacity of the boiler is measured in BTU units, which is an abbreviation for British Thermal Units. As a manager or the CEO of the company, you should be familiar with the square footage of the building. Add up the square footage of all floors and multiply that number by 50. This will roughly give you a number of BTU units you require and this number directly determines the size and the capacity of the commercial boiler you need to seek out. In other words, one square foot should be accommodated by 50 BTU, and one BTU equates to 1055 J (joules).

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Think About The Requirements

You should differentiate types of boilers depending on the requirements of your building. For example, if your business is something a bit more industrialized, you should consider purchasing a commercial gas boiler that turns water into steam, as it can fulfill a multitude of purposes. Primarily, it can keep the building warm in a very efficient way and they can also be used as generators to produce electricity. They have a wide range of applications in all types of industries that use steam, from food processing to agriculture.

The bottom line is – you should choose a type of commercial boiler system that will fulfill your needs, but which will also be energy-efficient. Thankfully, the sophisticated eco-friendly tech standards have entered this niche so one can easily look into products according to the grade system that has been established by the Energy Labeling Directive. As someone who runs a business, you’ll want the best possible performance of all energy-consuming apparatuses and devices for the lowest possible price at the end of the month, so select your commercial boiler according to this requirement!

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Maintenance Costs

Now, if you want to have a commercial boiler that operates at peak efficiency, an apparatus that is as eco-friendly as it is impeccable in its performance, you will need to invest in regular maintenance. It does not matter what type of boiler system you have and the size does not matter, regular maintenance is obligatory for two reasons – safety and stable energy cost.  The boiler that is simply left unattended after the initial installation will surely break down, the costs of repairs will be steep (not to mention the potential damage to the building) and the price tag on the utility bills will spike.

When one takes these factors into consideration, the investment into the future through regular maintenance makes sense, plus – it is actually pretty affordable if you take time to find a professional with a sound reputation and a lot of experience. Of course, businesses can get opportune deals for maintenance plans, and the price of the package becomes more beneficial for you should you choose one that covers the longest time interval.

For example, a maintenance plan with the designated professional that covers the entire year is the most opportune. After you have signed it, you won’t have to keep this matter in the back of your mind throughout the year as the schedule and the maintenance itself will be taken care of for you. In addition, the entire maintenance team will be at your disposal in case of unexpected emergencies and malfunctions.

It is only natural that a task such as choosing the right commercial boiler for your business can be daunting and confusing as it is a part of a particularly specific niche, but it is definitely not an insurmountable obstacle. After all, it is not your duty to install this apparatus and connect it to the building’s pipe grid.

All you have to do, as someone who is intimately familiar with the nature of business as well as the number and habits of your employees, is to choose the right commercial boiler according to some basic info. A well-informed manager or a CEO of a company is much more adept at solving numerous problems and thus increasing the company’s chances for success. Even the most basic decisions matter.

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

Design Tips For Kids' Bathrooms

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Kids Bathroom Remodel

Design Tips for Kids’ Bathrooms

Too often, bathrooms get overlooked during the decorating process. Bathrooms are just as important a part of the house as any other room, though. They’re where we start and finish our day, and they can make a bold statement for guests who come to visit. What’s more, a newly revamped bathroom can add value to your home if you ever decide to sell. Remodeling the bathroom can be a fun family activity to work on together, and it only takes just a bit of time and money to create a whole new look for the room. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of your child’s space.

Choose Accents that Pop

Most kids want a room that’s bursting with color, and the bathroom is no different. You don’t have to paint over every surface, though. For a chic yet playful look, add in some bright and bold accents to liven up the room. These accents might be pictures on the walls, decorative candles on a shelf, or an arrangement of fluffy bath towels in an array of colors. This also makes it easier to compromise on a color palate with your kid. Even if they insist on mixing neon yellow and bright pink, you can find a way to make it work.

Pick out a Theme

Themed bathrooms are a fun way to coordinate decor and add a little bit of magic to the space. It’s essential that your child be central to the brainstorming process, though feel free to make suggestions if they’re having trouble settling on a single idea. You can deck the room out with dragons and princesses, take things under the sea with shells and starfish, or blast into outer space with planet mobiles and constellation stickers.

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Keep Safety in Mind

The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, especially for children. More than 43,000 kids every year in the U.S. sustain injuries in the bathtub. You can incorporate safety features for your kids into their bathroom decor scheme to help keep them safe when bathing, showering, and more. Colorful bath mats and shower pads help to prevent slipping on wet surfaces, while small stools with non-skid feet can make it easier to reach sinks and faucets.

A brand new bathroom can make things such as bath time and tooth brushing much more exciting for any kid. New colors, accents, and artwork can bring any dull space to life.

If you’re looking for a fun project that you can complete in a weekend, consider helping your child to redecorate their bathroom.

Guest Contributor, Cindy Trillo

Items You Never Want to Wash Down Your Drain

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Items You Never Want to Wash Down Your Drain

Whether you are washing dishes, your hands or cleaning something up around the house, the sink seems to be a common way that people dispose of all sorts of dirt and grime and while many things are safe for disposal down a drain, it’s important to take precautions to prevent items you never want to wash down your drain from being disposed of improperly.

If you treat your drains like the garbage dump, you will soon begin to have problems with clogs, foul odors and even worse problems that can be expensive to repair. (Source:  Be sure to check this list to make sure you aren’t washing potential dangers down your drain.

Eggshells: Whether you have a garbage disposal or not, egg shells should never be dumped down the drain. When they combine with other waste, they can form major clogs that can be difficult to remove.

Produce Stickers: Those tiny stickers you find on bananas and apples are coated with adhesive glue and are often made of plastic that can get stuck in pipes and cause major clogs.

Grease: Grease is one of the most common substances that people haphazardly pour down the drain. This is one of the biggest mistakes that a person can make with their drain and should be avoided. Grease includes melted fats from bacon, sausage, poultry, hamburger and other meats and once it goes down the drain it can harden and cause sewer blockage.

Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds, especially when combined with grease can be a horrible combination down the drain. Coffee grounds alone can cause serious drain blockage, so it is best to avoid washing them down the sink drain.

Oils: Whether it is salad oil, cooking oil or even mayonnaise, never pour oils down the drain.

Fat: Shortening, butter, chicken or turkey skin, milk and other fats should not be poured down the drain. Milk is not often considered a fat by people, but the fats in the milk can cause harm to your drains.

Condoms: Condoms are flushed down the toilet or even washed down a sink drain more often than people would believe. They should never, under any circumstance, be flushed down a drain. These items do not dissolve, and they will stay inside your drain or in the sewer for years. They will also cause clogs. The best place for you to dispose of a condom is in the garbage can.

Paper Towels: Due to their thickness, paper towels need to be tossed into the trash can rather than flushed down the commode where they have been known to cause clogs.

Flushable Wipes: Yes, they can be flushed, but take precautions because even flushable wipes have been known to clog a toilet. They don’t disintegrate like toilet paper does and they can wreak havoc on a sewer system.

Motor Oil and Other Fluids: If it goes in the car, it should never be poured down a drain. Motor oil, anti-freeze, transmission fluid and other car fluids can destroy a drain system, so keep them away. Contact your local landfill to find out where motor oil and other fluids can be disposed of in your city.

Paint: Let’s face it, the sink is a comfortable location to clean paint brushes and paint pans after you paint a picture, a wall or a piece of furniture. If you are painting your bathroom or other room in your home, the sink is also the last place you should ever clean your paint brushes or pans. Oil paint needs to be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility while latex paint needs to be disposed of away from drains or water sources. Check with your local city management office to find out what your local ordinances for paint disposal are.

Medication: Many cities today have return days where residents can go drop off unused medications. Many pharmacies will also take unused medications for disposal. Medications are unfortunately dumped down the drain where they eventually land in rivers and streams where they can contaminate water, kill fish and wildlife and even cause illness in humans. When you need to dispose of old medications, never flush them down the toilet. Instead, contact your local pharmacy or police department to find out where you can safely dispose of the medication.

Cleaning Products: Unless you are using 100% natural, safe for the environment cleaning products, steer clear of dumping them down the drain as they can be dangerous to water systems.

It’s a good idea to clean your drains with a mixture of distilled white vinegar and hot water once a week to help keep them clean and to remove buildup. Keeping your pipes clean by not dumping the wrong items down them and by maintaining them with a weekly cleaning regimen is a good way to help avoid an expensive plumbing repair and keep things running smoothly.

Guest Contributor, Tom Masters

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Tips: What are the Different Cabinet Doors? (Infographic)

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Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Tips: What are the Different Cabinet Doors? (Infographic)

          One of the most aspired projects that a homeowner wants for their house is renovating and refacing their kitchen. The kitchen is one of the most commonly used areas inside a house; it is only essential to renew or get rid of parts inside that occasionally does not keep the sanitation and prolongs the integral parts of some fixtures. One example of a portion of an installation that is easy to become frail is kitchen cabinet doors. Most of the time, cabinet doors are exposed to different levels of humidity inside the kitchen, and grease. It is not beneficial to only clean with towel and soap, because there are a lot of considerations to view when it comes to keeping the quality of cabinet doors.

    In this infographic, we will discuss a variety of kitchen cabinet doors designs to fit your kitchen interior and start a refacing project for your kitchen cabinets. One kind of cabinet doors that can meet your kitchen is flat panel cabinet doors; these particular cabinet doors are a perfect fit for minimalist kitchens because of its simple yet classy look, and also adapts with what kind of material that a homeowner can choose. Another is a louvered cabinet door; if you do not want to splurge on electric dish dryers, this particular type of kitchen cabinet door is for you. Louvered kitchen cabinets have angled horizontal slats wherein air can easily pass through, in this way, you can easily air-dry damp dishes and save a good steal of material than spending more from a dishwasher.

    It is vital that homeowners should be mindful of every fixtures and sanitation procedures when it comes to refacing their kitchen cabinets, to learn more, check out the infographic below created by

Guest Contributor, Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Renovation Tips: How To Make The Most Out Of Your Small Kitchen

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Renovation Tips: How to Make the Most out of Your Small Kitchen

Your initial impulse might be to set up an unrealistic financial goal in order to renovate your kitchen. However, this only means that you are not in on the very devious secret of interior design – when it comes to redoing your kitchen space, it is not about big dollars, it’s about knowing how to stretch every little penny. If you want to learn more about it, here are some nifty renovation tips on how to make the most out of your small kitchen.

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Go with glass

If you own a small kitchen and you want to glamour it up a bit, there is hardly a better tool at your disposal than glass. Glass makes any space look bigger, more sleek and elegant. You can fix up your kitchen with glass by focusing on two predominant areas. First off – renovate your windows, make them bigger if you can, and use the smaller framework made of eco-friendly materials that insulate well. The second area is the cabinets – your over the counter dish holders can be adorned with glass doors that will simply make the kitchen appear more luxurious. Glass, especially the recycled kind, is not as costly as it used to be and it will definitely do wonders for you.

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More light

A part of this tip is covered in the glass section – the bigger the windows the more natural light you will let into your kitchen. This is the key thing: every area of the household looks better when it is well lit. You can perceive it as a universal “life hack” of course. If your small kitchen does not (and cannot) have window coverage, then you can invite your designated (and reliable) electrician to help you with adding more fixtures into your cooking area. These days, one can easily and cheaply install eco-friendly LED lights that are elegantly concealed within the kitchen space and which, appropriately, follow the contours of the cabinets and counters. Remember: Light is universally good. You only have to make sure that the rest of the kitchen looks attractive.

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Appliances – stick to a theme

Making your kitchen look consistent in terms of style can be a tricky endeavor. Trends tend to change over time but there are a few things you can do if you want to feel as if you own an “eternally” tasteful room. First of all, consistency is important. The first step towards design consistency is to choose a color palette – usually two or three predominant colors that complement each other. Since your kitchen will be “adorned” with appliances, purchase the ones that will mesh well with the color and texture of walls and counters. The best course of action is to pick a quality brand like KitchenAid and stick with it in order to get that required consistency. The whole reason that this part is a tricky balancing act is that kitchen areas are, by rule, packed with elements and trinkets, so it’s easy to fall into garish traps.

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It has to communicate comfort

A kitchen is a place that serves a very specific function – this is where your meals are being prepared, so it is important to own a kitchen that visually communicates comfort, pleasure and safety. Now, if you own a tight kitchen space, your renovation efforts should be aimed towards make it appear more airy. This means that you should replace your old counters and cabinets with more shallow variants.

Go with brighter colors and adorn your above-counter walls with tiles that are easy to clean and which will always look modern (tiles are a good stylistic hack in general). If you want a kitchen with a simple look yet a nice texture, choose smaller tiles instead of the bigger ones. Leave enough space for a charming little nook where you can have breakfast and adorn it with vintage, country-themed accessories for a warm and comfortable effect and voila – you have the broad strokes of a cozy yet elegant and spacious-looking kitchen and you haven’t spent a fortune on a renovation.

A small kitchen does not mean without ambition in terms of renovation. Believe it or not, you can do wonders with the tightest of spaces as long as you learn some practical insights into interior design. With this knowledge under your belt, you will have all the necessary tools to turn your small kitchen into something remarkable. 

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

How To Clean Your Bathroom In Under An Hour

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How to Clean Your Bathroom in Under an Hour

Cleaning in general can be the most dreadful part of owning a home, more so cleaning the bathroom. However, leaving it dirty for long is more disgusting than just tackling all the germs in there while it's not so obvious yet. We wouldn't stay in a bathroom cleaning for hours ourselves, so we're all here for the same reason: to learn how to clean a bathroom in under an hour.

The bathroom, being humid and dark most of the time, can be an appropriate environment for bacteria to grow in. Daily use can quicken their growth, added to your own filth that doesn't go down the drain. However, whatever's built up can be wiped out in less than an hour in a step-by-step process, focusing on every part of the bathroom one by one.

Clear Out Everything

As with any other chore, starting out is the hardest part. Clearing out everything that can be picked up can be a universal first step that applies to every bathroom. As you do so, take this time to also get rid of everything you've used up or don't use anymore. Set these things just outside by the door, so you have a clear room to work with and don't have to move things around as you go.

Spray Down Everything

Before you go on to specific areas in your bathroom, another universal task that anyone can do following the first step is to spray everything down with your cleaning agent. This includes the major parts of the bathroom like the toilet, tub or shower, countertops, and other surfaces, fixtures, mirrors, walls, and décor. Dust usual areas where it might settle like shelves and other storage spaces.

Scrub The Shower or Tub Area

The shower area is probably one of the dirtiest parts of the bathroom. You use it daily and apart from your own germs that might have settled on the tiles, there's also drops of soap water that dried on the floor or the walls.

Scrub and wash every nook and cranny until the water runs clear. For the tub specifically, it might be helpful to fill it up with hot water and then draining it first to melt or soften all the invisible germs. This makes sure the surfaces are almost clear after you scrub them. Do not forget to also clean the drain trap.

Scrub The Toilet

The toilet may be as grimy as the shower area but it's easier to clean because it's smaller in size and you can take advantage of the flush while cleaning it. Drop a fair amount of bleach on the bowl and leave it for a while before and after scrubbing, flushing it down when you're completely done and happy with it.

Wipe Down The Sink

With your cleaning agent, wipe down the entire sink area. You can make your own natural cleaner liquid using easy ingredients and essential oils. It can be an all-around bathroom cleaner that you can use in other bathroom surfaces as well. You've sprayed down before but as a final clean, wipe down surfaces you've already sprayed down awhile ago, including décor and inside cabinets.

Hand Mop The Floor

You might not notice the floor when you use the bathroom but it holds so much bacteria you're not aware of. You almost always are barefoot in the bathroom, so it shouldn't be left out of your cleaning routine. This should involve sweeping it and hand mopping it, which cleans better than using a regular mop.

Every step in this process should have cleaned almost all parts of your bathroom. All it should leave you with is putting and organizing everything back in their right place. These can be doable in under an hour, depending on your speed and the dirtiness of the bathroom.

As a last tip, don't wait for grease and grime to show before cleaning your bathroom. The cleanliness of the bathroom tells a lot about the person living in the house, and you wouldn't want to be the kind who survives taking a shower in a grimy one.

 Guest Contributor, Allen Michael

5 Practical Tips for Relocating a Small Family-Owned Business

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5 Practical Tips for Relocating a Small Family-Owned Business

When you’re running a small family-sized business, every client counts, and the concept of “time equals money” becomes so close to you that there is not a second to lose during your busy week. Sure, it’s great fun, and it helps preserve personal relationships with clients that bigger brands just can’t create or uphold, but when it comes to finally relocating, things can get a bit messy.

Just imagine running a family-owned plumbing business and having to move all of those tools and delicate equipment you carefully stored in your current office to a completely new location across town. Now that’s a challenge, especially when trying to keep your clients at your side. With that in mind, here are the five relocation steps you should follow for a safe and quick small business move.

Set Up your New Office Beforehand

Whether you’re moving to a new house or to a new office or facility, the first thing you need to do is prepare the new space for you arrival. This doesn’t just mean you should tidy up or connect the utilities, this means picking up right where you left off without feeling it on your budget, and without your clients feeling it on their own skin.

This is why complete office preparation is so important. You can start by deciding where everything, down to the last screwdriver, is supposed to be in the new office. Make a mock-up of the new space and write down where everything is supposed to go – it will save you plenty of time when you arrive.

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Make a Detailed Packing Plan

It should go without saying that you should have a sound packing plan when it comes to moving your entire operation, but let’s say it anyway. Relocating a business, no matter how small, can only be done efficiently if you know what you’re doing every step of the way. This means that you need a detailed packing plan that will take you from inception to completion without losing business, your stuff, or your employees.

Instead of packing everything on moving day, start the packing process early. You can pack your non-essential equipment first, and then move on to the essential tools as the moving day approaches. Be sure to consult your schedule to ensure you didn’t pack a crucial piece of equipment that you actually need.

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Save Time and Money by Renting a Truck

Hire professional movers? Sure, that might be the first thing that pops in your head, but that might not be the best cost-effective solution to your predicament. The truth is that moving companies tend to be needlessly expensive, especially in the wake of the truck hire revolution and the benefits it brings: lower cost, saving precious time, and complete control. Therefore, opting for Budget truck rental service to relocate your operation quickly and without busting the proverbial bank is the best way to go. Simply load everything up and be on your way while your customers and clients are still sleeping and you’ll be up-and-running without losing a dime.

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Sort and Pack your Tools

For a small family business such as a plumbing company or an electrician, the tools are worth more than anything, and therefore they require special handling and care during the relocation process. The first thing you should do, of course, is to sort all of your tools before packing them. Be sure to clean them as well, as there will be no time to do this in the new place.

Pack all of your hand tools into the toolbox and be sure to sort them into their corresponding sockets instead of just dumping everything in the main compartment. You can pack all of your power tools in labeled boxes, as these are sturdy enough to withstand the trip without special protection. Remember to drain all motorized tools of fuel before you pack them, because you never know what might light a disastrous spark.

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Inform Everyone of your Move

Last, but definitely not least, everyone should be in the know when it comes to your relocation. Don’t wait until the last day to inform your clients that you’re moving, because chances are you’re going to spook them. If you spook them, they will start looking for the same service somewhere else. Be sure you inform all relevant people of your move several months in advance, especially if you’re running a business where people come to you. This way, everyone will know exactly what to expect, and how to continue doing business with you without wasting their time or money.

Relocating a small family business is not a walk in the park, no matter how small the business is. By following these steps, though, you will have no problem moving your company to a new location without putting pressure on your employees, customers, or your wallet.

 Guest Contributor,

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 on several interior design, lifestyle, real estate and eco blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.



10 Plumbing & Maintenance Tools You Should Always Have At Home

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10 Plumbing & Maintenance Tools You Should Always Have At Home

Hiring a plumber isn’t always the thing that you may be wishing to do for a variety of reasons.

You may be living in a secluded location without quick access to such services. Or you may be in an emergency situation where mere minutes could be decisive.

Besides, some plumbing jobs are relatively simple and actually don’t require a professional necessarily.

In either case, you would probably want to have some plumbing & maintenance tools on hand for such cases. Even if you won’t really be doing plumbing jobs yourself, you should have a couple of basic tools just in case.

So without further ado, let’s see what the 10 basic plumbing and maintenance tools you should be having in your toolbox are.

Toilet Plunger

Toilet plungers are essential for any household. In fact, you may want to have two plungers instead of one: one flange and one cup plunger. Even if you don’t run into a clog issue that frequently, you should have them just in case.

Flange plungers are suitable for clearing toilet clogs because they have an additional soft rubber coming from the cup. And the cup plunger is a tool that would be useful for clearing clogs in sinks, tubs, or other flat-surface drains.

Basin Wrench

A staple in any plumber’s toolbox, the basin wrench can come in handy in basically any plumbing task.

It is a self-tightening wrench designed to fit into narrow spaces, so you could easily tighten or loosen fittings with a basin wrench in hard-to-reach corners where other types of wrenches just wouldn’t be able to fit into.

And you wouldn’t need to break through any walls to reach those areas!

Pipe Wrench

Pipe wrenches nowadays aren’t being used as widely as they once used to, but they still are necessary plumbing tools.

A pipe wrench is used to tighten and loosen fittings and nuts. In fact, you would probably need to have two pipe wrenches: one to hold the fitting and the other to actually loosen or tighten it with.

You could use just one pipe wrench to adjust the fittings, but you would put stress on the installation. If you are dealing with delicate piping, then using only one pipe wrench could end badly.

Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable wrenches are used on compression fittings, supply lines, and generally all the plumbing parts that have hex-shaped nuts. In addition, an adjustable wrench could be used if you don’t want to scratch any finish off of the installation.

When choosing an adjustable wrench, you would want to get one that has a firm jaw setting. If an adjustable wrench doesn’t have one, it just won’t work properly. And if it slips, you may damage your installation.

In addition, make sure to get both 6- and 10-inch adjustable wrenches.

Auger & Snake

Plumbing auger and snake are actually two separate plumbing tools, but since they are often used in tandem, we figured to list them as one.

The auger-and-snake tandem is used for clearing drain clogs that simply don’t yield to a regular plunger. Most commonly, auger and snake are used for dealing with toilet clogs.

Both are designed to easily move through the toilet drain to catch the potential clogs and pull them out. The difference between the two is that a snake is a much more flexible plumbing tool.


A hacksaw would allow you to cut through metal and plastic pipes, hardware, screws, nuts, and whatnot. This is a tool that could come in handy if you can’t really deal with the problem by just tightening or replacing a couple of fittings.

A typical hacksaw is quite bulky and is thereby unsuitable for use in tight areas. You could, however, remove the blade, wrap it in a piece of cloth on one end, and then slip the blade in the tight area. Or, you could just go for a more compact hacksaw to deal with hard-to-reach areas.

Make sure to keep some extra blades in your toolbox just in case. Besides, when dealing with tough cuts, make sure that the blade is tense.

Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

Tongue-and-groove pliers are used to grab, hold, tighten, loosen, or pull something. In fact, some plumbers use these instead of a pipe wrench, probably because they prefer them to pipe wrenches thanks to their compactness and convenience.

Just like pipe wrenches, tongue-and-groove pliers work best in a pair when you hold the fitting with one plier and loosen or tighten it with the other. You would thereby want to have two, though one would still be sufficient for many plumbing jobs.

Tubing Cutter

A tubing cutter is another tool to cut piping with. It is generally more convenient than a hacksaw since it allows you to do quick cuts. Besides, tubing cutter does the cutting much cleaner.

However, whether you need a hacksaw or a tubing cutter will depend on the metal, so you would probably want to have both in your toolbox. Tubing cutters are most commonly used to cut copper or plastic piping.

There are also mini tubing cutters available on the market, so consider to get one as well for reaching tight corners.

Thread Seal Tape

Commonly referred to as PTFE tape or plumber’s tape, thread seal tape is used to sealing pipe threads. Aside from that, the tape works as a thread lubricant and as a deformable filler. Because of that, a joint wrapped in thread sealed tape doesn’t become hard to tighten.

Thread seal tape is inexpensive, so make sure to have a couple of rolls in your toolbox.

Metal File

A metal file is used to smoothen the edges of cut metal pipes, as well as to remove burrs. For jobs where you use a hacksaw, a metal file may be a necessity.

There are various file sizes available on the market, but you don’t have to get every single one of them. Generally, having a rat-tail file and a half-round file in your toolbox would be sufficient for the majority of plumbing jobs.

Of course, there are hundreds of other tools you can get for your home. We tried to stick to the basics to keep you safe when the time comes.

Guest Contributor, Morgan Antoinette

Bathroom Painting Tips

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Bathroom Painting Tips

The bathrooms in your home serve a very necessary and functional purpose. However, they are also another room in the home where you can showcase your personal style. Throwing a new color of paint on the walls is just one of the many ways you can add style to the space. It’s also one of the greatest ways to do so.

If adding your own style to the space isn’t enough, another great reason to paint the space is due to the fact that most bathrooms are likely to undergo a lot of abuse from the steam that constantly arises from baths and showers. The humidity levels in your bathroom are likely to rise and fall more drastically which remains a tough challenge for the paint and walls to persist against.

Fortunately, freshly painting your bathroom is a simple DIY project that tends to take no more than a few days to complete, but before you begin slathering paint everywhere you should continue to read the helpful painting tips below.

Choose a Paint Color First

Since it is already established that shinier sheens are best for bathrooms where moisture is often a concern, you must only be concerned with your choice of paint color. Choosing the wrong paint color can easily make your bathroom seem sterile and uninviting. To avoid this, it is suggested that you choose an overall color scheme for your bathroom based on three colors complementary to one another on the Color Wheel. Once you have these three colors, choose one that best suits your bathroom as a paint color for the walls. The other two colors can be shown through any other accents and decor.

Collect All the Proper Materials and Supplies

Before you begin painting your bathroom, gather all the proper painting materials and supplies. These may include:

●      Primer

●      Paint

●      Stir sticks

●      Paint rollers

●      Roller covers

●      Disposable gloves and other safety gear to protect your skin or inhalation

●      Small paint brushes, for cutting in or touch-ups

●      Paint trays

●      Painters tape

●      Rags

●      Drop cloths

●      Sandpaper

●      Tack cloth to remove any sanding dust

●      Painters putty

●      Putty knife

Being prepared to paint is extremely important. Otherwise, you may end up with a mess or an unfinished project due to the lack of supplies. Running out for more could cause the paint to dry in the meantime, which won’t due any justice to the overall appearance of the paint job.

Make Sure Your Bathroom Is Properly Ventilated

It’s vital to your health and the completion of your bathroom paint project if proper ventilation is provided. The higher levels of humidity can damage your paint in no time or stop it from completely drying. To provide adequate ventilation, open windows, turn on ceiling fans nearby, or start the exhaust fan to help clear the room of any steam. This will remove the moisture faster. Have those in the household run a fan if they need to use the bathroom at any point.

Conduct Prep Work

Prep your bathroom by removing any outlet plates such as electrical sockets or light switches. Then, lightly wash down the walls with soap and warm water. After the walls dry completely, apply painters tape to the baseboards. Next, patch and sand any dents or holes in the walls. To protect your floors, tape down a drop cloth. You may also want to cover your counter, sink, bathtub and toilet to prevent them from paint spills or drips.

Before you paint, you will want to prime the walls first. Make sure the primer is fully dry before you start putting on the first layer of paint. When you do go to paint the color on the walls, cut in around the room’s edges first. This includes where the walls meet adjoining walls, the ceiling and the baseboard.

Use More Durable Paint on Window Sills

If you plan on repainting your window sills in the bathroom, you may want to consider using more durable paint. High gloss or semi gloss paint is perhaps best for your window frame and sill since moisture seems to be more prevalent in these areas. If moisture around the window sills of your bathroom is of your utmost concern, you may even upgrade to an exterior paint for this part of your project.

Consider Wood Paneling

If your drywall isn’t in the best of shape or you prefer not to redo the drywall in your bathroom, consider wood paneling. You can often find wood paneling sold cheaply by the sheet. These sheets come in many styles, wood types, and colors. Nonetheless, you can always install them and paint them whichever color you choose. When you apply wood panels to your bathroom walls, they are adding more protection against moisture as well as a lovely contrast to whatever paint color you chose for the remaining wall space.

Have a Variety of Lighting and Capture the Room’s Essence

Lighting plays a large role in the essence of your bathroom even after you paint. Since the levels of natural light are always changing in a bathroom throughout the day, it’s wise to have a good balance of both natural and fixed lighting. A lot of natural light will only enhance any and every flaw you make in the bathroom during your painting project. Even after you complete the paint job, the flaws will still be noticeable. With this in mind, paints with a higher shine are best.

When you have a smaller sized bathroom that gets a lot of natural light, ask the representatives where you plan to purchase the paint if they can mix it at 75% strength. This will lighten the color slightly which prevents flaws from being as noticeable. Aside from lighting the strength of color in the paint, there are ways you can play with the lighting to keep the color of the walls looking as close as possible to the color you desire. For instance, to warm up the color you can choose 40 watt incandescent light bulbs, while 100 watt light bulbs tend to make the color in the room seem cooler.

Don’t Rush Your Project

Perhaps the most detrimental thing you can do while painting the bathroom in your home is rush to complete it. Of course, poor preparation also plays a substantial role in a bad paint job. Nevertheless, it is the failure to take your time that really makes the paint in your bathroom lack appeal and showcase any flaws. Take your time. Even by doing so, the entire bathroom should be fully painted and completed in just a few days time. Make sure that you prepare your drywall, smooth out the walls, prime, and paint the next layer after each layer is completely dry. By doing so, you are certainly going to be more pleased with the results.

Guest Contributor, Tom Masters