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Tinley Park, IL


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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Filtering by Category: August 2018

Tips on How to Create a Shade for Your Patio

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Tips on How to Create a Shade for Your Patio

Smoldering hot weather used to be reserved for summers, but these days it is quite normal to see temperatures that are typical for the peak of the warmest season extended well into autumn and as early as spring. This is why, if you own a household with a backyard, it is important to take the necessary precautions and create convenient shading. If your backyard seating area still doesn’t have a necessary cover, here are some tips on how to create a shade for your patio. 

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Umbrella always works

If you are wary of fixed elements, you can always purchase a stylish, convenient umbrella and see how it fits. At the end of the day, if the shading becomes the integral part of your setup and you cannot imagine how your yard had looked before you brought it in, you can always replace the umbrella with a pergola or something more, for the lack of a better word, permanent. Furthermore, the benefit of installing an umbrella (or two) as shading is that there is simply an endless palette of aesthetic choices to pick and choose from.

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Curtains for elegance

While you can find some truly elegant umbrellas on the market, hardly anything beats curtains in that department. What’s more, curtains are both easy to install, they add a sense of glamour and sophistication to the outdoor space, and they are cheap. Out of all the ways to create a shade for your patio, curtains have the most opportune price-to-utility ratio. They are especially useful if you already have some sort of structural elements that can easily support them, but be forewarned – by themselves, they are a temporary solution.

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Consider modular roofing

Maybe the shading does not necessarily mesh well with the stylistic setup of your backyard. Maybe the entire space simply works better without an additional element that makes the entire space appear a bit more cramped. In this case, it’s best to consider modular roofing, the convenient retractable roof systems which can be arranged according to your wishes and depending on the intensity of the sun during the day. These days, the technology of automation when it comes to these retractable roof systems has become standard, so you won’t have to break your arm in order to retract it. In a way, this type of aluminum awning offers the best of all worlds.

The astounding pergolas for a rustic appearance

Pergolas, as a type of shading, are in a category of their own. Most people associate this absolutely astounding backyard element with coastline towns, as well as Mediterranean retreats and vineyards that have a luxurious, rustic note. When one considers that both the name and the concept of the pergola as we know it came from Italy, everything begins to make sense. Pergolas are a solid and permanent structural addition to your backyard which you can choose if you truly want to commit to this type of shading. They strongly define space, and create both a sense of privacy and shade, especially if you decide to grow a freestanding garden all over it.

The lightweight shade sails

Shade sails are something between the aforementioned retractable awning and a curtain. Everything you need to know about them is already in the name – they appear much like ship sails and they serve as a sort of retractable canopy that is easy to install and even easier to maneuver, if you play your cards right during the installation. They can make your yard space look even more impressive and elegant as they flutter in the hot summer wind, but make sure to choose one in bright color in order to stay protected from sunrays. If you are opting for shade sails, you need to make sure that they are thick enough so they provide solid, reliable protection.

With convenient shading above your head, you can comfortably enjoy your private lush oasis. Just make sure that you are not only concealed from the scorching sunrays but also from the inquisitive gaze from nosy neighbors, and you practically have a perfect outdoor space on your hands. After a hard day at work, you can enjoy a freshly squeezed glass of lemonade below your shade, and nobody would blame you if you dozed off for a bit.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

The Various Ways to Prevent An Air Conditioner Breakdown 

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The Various Ways to Prevent An Air Conditioner Breakdown 

In this economic tough time, no one wants to bear unnecessary expenses in the form of repairs. You never know when the air conditioner breaks down or when there is a plumbing failure at home to give you surprise. It is important for every homeowner to be prepared for such occurrences but still you may take necessary steps to avoid air conditioning break down. Mechanical parts of an AC unit need to be serviced from time to time but you may prevent such repairs in the first place. Besides the cost of repair, you need to bear a lot of inconvenience, associated with AC breakdown. Repairing air conditioning unit is a daunting task and the fact that it offers comfort, we cannot stay without it even for a day. Some of the most common problems regarding to the air conditioner may be avoided if you follow some tips.

The thermostat of the air conditioner is important component which needs to be calibrated well to ensure proper temperature control. It will save money on the operating cost and also assure comfort level. The condenser coil must be maintained properly and cleaned on a regular basis. A dirty condenser coil will not be able to cool the surrounding. So, the system has to run for a long time while you incur more and more energy bills. It is also important to maintain evaporator coil to ensure efficient air flow in the areas of the home.

Do Away With The Dirty Air Conditioner Filter  

Are you using a disposable air filter? If so, it needs to be replaced on a monthly basis. You cannot forget this part of the work. If the task of replacement moves out of sight, there will be restricted air flow resulting from a dirty filter. The air quality inside the home will be poor and the house will be less comfortable. Once the indoor coils freeze, you will have to bear very costly repairs.

Tripped Breaker Leads to Inefficient Cooling  

Tripped breaker results to no-cool calls and you may reset the breaker if you want. There is something which causes the AC breaker to trip. In fact, it may be the result of loose wire, bad breaker or a bad capacitor. This issue of tripped breaker needs to be repaired immediately.

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What To Do When There Is Refrigerant Leak?  

You already know that the AC unit is sealed and so there is no chance of refrigerant leakage. But, if this happens, the efficiency of the AC unit falls, and the energy consumption also rises. There can be variety of issues resulting from refrigerant leakage and they are, compressor getting damaged, freezing coil or the AC unit fails to cool. If there is refrigerant leakage, you must summon a professional for inspection. The technician will use a range of tools for tracking refrigerant leakage.

The Event of Clogged Drain Lines

To cool the surrounding or reduce the temperature of your home, an air conditioner pulls humid air. Through the home plumbing system, the liquid is drained out. Use the drain pan as backup or else algae can grow in the drain lines to clog the line if there is no secondary condensate drain. There may be serious water damage in the home resulting from it. When taking up AC repair and servicing, do not forget to include AC tune-up and clear the drain lines. Regular cleaning of drain line is important for the efficient functioning of the AC.

There may be various issues in the air conditioning unit to deteriorate its functioning like the dirty evaporator coil, dirty condenser unit or duct leaks. Call an HVAC professional if you think the AC is not functioning well.

Guest Contributor, Amelie Lawrence

5 Smart Updates For Your High-Tech Bathroom

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5 Smart Updates for Your High-Tech Bathroom

The bathroom has always been one of the most functional rooms in your home. After all, you can do without a living room, a reading nook or even a bedroom, if need be. However, a home without a bathroom is impossible to even imagine. Still, for the bathroom of 2018, it takes more than just plumbing work. In fact, you need to start introducing smart technology as soon as possible. With that in mind and without further ado, here are top five smart updates for your high-tech bathroom.

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1.     Water-Saving Sink and Faucet

By installing a high-end technological marvel of a faucet, you can reduce the tap flow and set the temperature of the water digitally. On the annual basis, this one degree of a difference in temperature and the amount of water wasted can mean a massive budget difference. Furthermore, the fact that this technology works on the basis of sensors and not touch, means that it’s much more hygienic. At the very end, most of these taps come with many programmable features, which means that you can set up different programs for different tasks. In this way, you could make massive savings while brushing teeth, for instance.

2.     Warm Drawers

One of the most amazing things about innovation is how the simplest of upgrades can make a huge difference. With the help of warm drawers (which some also like to call towel warmers), you’ll raise your overall bathing experience to a whole new level. Imagine walking out from the shower in the morning knowing full well that there are clean warm towels waiting for you in the drawer. It really doesn’t get any better than that. When compared to some other items on this list, this innovation doesn’t even make that much of a difference.

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3.     A Toilet and a Bidet

The next step in your bathroom innovation should be the issue of a smart toilet and bidet. Namely, in this field you stand to make some massive savings, seeing as how a low-flow toilet wastes almost one-third of the water on flushing while achieving the same effect. A smart programmable toilet can go even further, especially when coupled with the automatic, self-flushing option. As for your bidet, you can do pretty much the same thing and further maximize its pragmatism by getting bidet toilet seats that can be controlled by a remote. What is more, some of these models even offer advanced drying capabilities.

4.     Waterproof TV

Now, it’s time to erase the boundary between your living room and your bathroom by installing a waterproof TV on the wall opposite of your bathtub. Like most other items on this list, this feature can hardly be considered mandatory, yet, it can drastically improve the quality of time you spend in your bathroom. Even though you definitely do not intend to splash any water at your TV, keep in mind that these things do happen. Moreover, a leak is more likely to occur in the bathroom than in any other place in your home. Getting a great outdoor TV is a suitable solution.

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5.     Sensor Mirror

The last great idea worth looking into is the sensor mirror you can place on any available surface in your bathroom in order to ensure that you never walk into a dark bathroom again. Due to the fact that most of these sensor mirrors are equipped with the LED technology, they are expected to last for over 100 years. By the time this expires, you’ll doubtlessly find a suitable alternative. This is a minor investment that could make a great difference when it comes to your day-to-day bathroom interactions.

At the end of the day, these smart updates are just the tip of the iceberg of all that you have available. Some honorable mentions are smart showers and high-tech standing bathtubs. Moreover, the issue of smart illumination (not the one we’ve discussed in the sensor mirror section) is also viable, yet, we failed to mention it due to the fact that it’s not exclusive to the bathroom or even primarily targeted at it.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

Designing Your Backyard the Eco-friendly Way

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Designing Your Backyard the Eco-friendly Way

Due to the rising awareness of the importance of environmental protection and the growing popularity of green living, eco-friendly backyard and landscaping ideas have become a common thing. It’s all about being environmentally responsible and making the lowest possible impact on our surroundings.

There are now many resourceful and creative ways to save on water, energy and money when designing your sustainable backyard oasis. Here are several ideas to help you get started.

Use Native Plants

One of the smartest, low-maintenance options for your eco-friendly backyard is using native plants. They are already accustomed to surviving in your region, so they need less water and generally have fewer disease and pest problems. They also provide a friendly habitat for local wildlife seeking food and shelter. Once these plants get established, they require very little maintenance as they need no fertilizers, pesticides or additional watering, making them very inexpensive to have and environmentally friendly.

Keep Your Lawn High And Dry

By letting your lawn grow a bit higher, it’ll be much better in tolerating drought in hot summer months. In this way, the lawn retains more moisture, roots grow deeper and the blades thicken, which also means fewer pests and diseases. Moreover, leave the grass clippings on the lawn as they contain a lot of water and help keep the moisture in the lawn.

Increase Hardscapes and Shade

Increasing the square footage of hardscapes in your landscaping will provide you with more outdoor living space, it’ll make it more functional and most of all, it’ll reduce the amount of water needed to water your backyard. It will save thousands of liters of water a year if you replace a portion of your natural lawn with a stone-paved patio or a synthetic turf. Both require very little maintenance and blend in well with the rest of the natural landscaping.

Moreover, by increasing the amount of shade in your backyard, you’ll be able to reduce the overall temperature that will make your stay outdoors more pleasant. For instance, by installing a Best Sheds carport, you’ll have your car nicely tucked away under shade, protected from the elements, plus, you will contribute to the environmental protection since those carports cost less to produce, transport and install. All the material is locally sourced from the Australian manufacturer and with the elimination of the middleman, the entire process is shorter and cheaper.

Be Water-Savvy

As droughts are becoming more frequent, being water-savvy has become a must. Harvesting rainwater is one of the most eco-friendly ways to green up your landscaping efforts. It can be used to water all your plants, flowers and the garden, as well as for washing your car. Another plus is that by capturing stormwater runoff, you prevent pollution of the general water supply.

In addition, if you water your backyard early in the morning by 10am or in the late afternoon, you’ll avoid massive evaporation due to cooler air. Also, make sure you water near the base of plants and not overhead and use soaker hoses, as they are more economical in spending water. You can also opt for an automatic irrigation system that will do the same, but more efficiently. It also encourages plants to grow deeper and stronger roots, making them more resilient to droughts.

Start Composting

Composting is an excellent way to reduce the amount of trash we all produce and at the same time, make free, natural fertilizer. To start your own composting pile, all you need is a warm, sunny area and some soil. The most practical way is getting a composting bin in which you’ll throw your household and garden waste, including food scraps, newspapers, cardboards, wood shavings and weeds. This will provide a favourable ground for compost-making bugs, and in the following six to nine months, you’ll have a rich fertilizer to use in your garden.

Following these tips, you’ll turn your backyard into a natural, eco-friendly environment that will require less maintenance, save more money, reduce your carbon footprint and give you a beautiful space to relax and enjoy all year round.

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins 

Home Builders: How To Tell Genuine Experts From The Rest

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There are a lot of horror stories regarding building a new home going around, so it seems like the perfect time to say a few things on how you can tell actual experts from the rest of the crowd. When building a new home from the ground up, hiring reliable experts should be your only acceptable course of action. However, just like in any other business, finding true experts can be a bit difficult. That’s why you should do your research well ahead of time, to avoid hiring someone who is just all talk, no action.

So, let’s see what some of the traits of a genuine home building expert are.

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The first thing you need to understand is that building a new home is not cheap. Therefore, you can’t expect the contractors you want to hire to be cheap either. Building a home from scratch is a serious, huge endeavor, so if the contractor offers you a price that seems suspiciously low, this should be your first warning sign. So, when looking for experts to hire, make sure you ask them about their previous jobs and ask to see their portfolio. If they refuse to provide you with any of the two, keep searching on.


Next, know that the estimated end date will probably be pushed a bit further once or twice. This is due to unforeseen circumstances that are bound to happen, just like with any other project. However, experts who warranty their work will make sure that everything continues to run smoothly even if some hiccups do happen along the way. Also, make sure you get this warranty in writing to avoid any potential problems.


Further, the thing you need to pay attention to are the tools used by the contractors. A genuine expert will have all the necessary tools for the job, and all the equipment will look sturdy and well-maintained. However, if a contractor tries to ask you to get the tools yourself, that’s the queue that you should look for a new contractor. For example, know that without a high-performance concrete laser screed setting and laying a leveled foundation is practically impossible which will only compromise the rest of the project. Therefore, make sure the experts you’re considering hiring have all the right tools for the job.

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When building a new home, people want to customize it to suit their specific needs. Besides, that’s the whole point of building and not buying a home. This means that you should get all the requirements written down so that your contractor can follow them to the letter – quite literally. However, if halfway through you decide you want to make some last-minute alterations, a quality contractor should be able to advise you on how they can get it done and what the best course of action is. So, to make sure that you’ve chosen the right contractor, run this scenario by them before actually hiring them.

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Transparency is another trademark of reliable experts. This means that you should be presented with clear prices, house building plans and detailed specification sheet of all the work that needs to be done, as well as all the materials that are going to be used. Also, the document needs to contain a clear end date, as well as the plan of action if that date needs to be delayed for any reason. The document should then be signed by both you and the contractor so that you can use it as leverage in case anything goes wrong.

Eventually, finding the right expert for the job boils down to careful planning and thorough research. If you don’t do everything on your part, you can expect the people you decide to hire to do everything on theirs. Therefore, define everything clearly before you sign any contracts and agreements to both put your mind at ease and make the entire project as stress-free as possible.

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

How to Build the Perfect Home Gym

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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