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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

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5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

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5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

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

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

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

Here are five home improvements that can increase water efficiency.

1. Rainwater Collection Systems

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

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

2. High-Efficiency Sprinklers

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

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

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3. Low-Flow Bathroom Fixtures

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

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

4. Automatic Shower Timers

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

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

5. Upgraded Dishwashers

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

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

Start Planning Your Changes Today

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

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

Guest Contributor, Holly Welles

An IntroductionTo Renters Insurance Coverage

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An Introduction to Renters Insurance Coverage

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

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

How Does Renters Insurance Work?

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

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

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

Exceptions to Renters Insurance Coverage

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

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

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

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

Guest Contributor, Armand Levitz

Tips to Avoid Common Heating Problems This Winter

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Tips to Avoid Common Heating Problems This Winter 

They say winter is the most magical time of the year, but is that still so if your heater breaks down? There’s nothing more troublesome than going through the cold months with a faulty heating system. Sure, it’s nice to watch the snow falling and feel the cold breeze once in a while, but it’s a different story when you’re looking forward to a cozy night at home only to find your heater fail you.

Keeping your home warm over the winter months is not only essential to your comfort but your health as well. The drop in temperature can affect your immune system and make your body more vulnerable to sickness and infections. That said, it is imperative that you take the time to make sure that your heater works well before the colder days hit.

How To Keep Your Heater Working Smoothly 

Schedule regular heater maintenance

Nobody will ever do it better than the pros. Make it a point to schedule a heater tune-up before winter starts and another when it’s over. Having your heater cleaned and checked by professionals will extend its life and give you peace of mind throughout the season.

Make sure the pilot light is on

Checking if the pilot light on your furnace is lit should be one of the first things on your list when preparing for the cold days ahead. This is a fairly simple task, and the steps on how to do it should be on your user's manual.

Clean your heater and perform a visual inspection

Wipe the dust off your heater and clean or replace dirty filters. Also, give your heater a visual once-over to ensure that all parts are intact. Check the wires closely for any signs of damage or fraying. If you see something wrong with the wirings, get in touch with an electrician as soon as possible.

Watch out for weird noises

As you clean your heater, turn it on and listen for any odd noises. Any weird or gurgling sounds could mean that there's a leak, a crack, or some other problem within. Holes in the heater can be dangerous and should be addressed by an HVAC professional immediately.

Give your heater a trial run

Lastly, do a trial run. Turn your heater on for about 10 to 20 minutes to make sure that the system is generating the expected level of heat. This will assure you that your heater is in prime condition and will work like new when you need it to.

Guest Contributor, Michelle West

How to Navigate a Flooded Apartment

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How to Navigate a Flooded Apartment

No one wants to deal with a flooded apartment. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes unavoidable. Knowing what to do if such an incident happens is important.

You’ll hopefully never have to use these tips. That said, if your apartment ever does flood, keep the following points in mind.

Protect Yourself First

This point actually has more to do with preparing for a flood. The whole experience will be a lot less stressful if you’re prepared with renters insurance.

If your apartment floods, renters insurance might cover it. Most plans are very affordable, costing about the same as a few cups of coffee per month.

It’s also important to look for early warning signs. Identify them, and you may be able to prevent a flood.

Regularly check plumbing appliances for signs of leaks. After rain, check for leaking surfaces. Alert the landlord as soon as you spot a problem.

Protect Belongings During the Flood

Obviously, during a major weather-related flood, you need to get to a safe place.

Not all apartment floods are major, though. Some result from internal plumbing issues. During minor flooding, get valuable items away from the water as soon as possible. You might even prepare ahead of time by finding a place nearby where you could store your belongings in case of a flood. Perhaps a friendly neighbor would let you keep your valuables in their apartment should the need ever arise.

Once you’ve secured your belongings, alert the landlord. You might be able to stop the leak yourself as you wait for them to send a professional. However, if the flooding is substantial, don’t go into the apartment until the utility company has disconnected the electricity.

Addressing Post-Flood Damage

The process of handling the aftermath of an apartment flood will vary on a case-by-case basis. Different regions simply have different laws and regulations.

In general, though, your landlord’s insurance will only cover the building itself and any features of the apartment they provided. It will not cover your personal belongings if they are damaged in a flood.

True, there are circumstances in which the landlord may be found liable. Perhaps the flood resulted from an issue you had previously informed them about. If they failed to address it in a timely manner despite numerous reminders, they might be responsible for covering damage to your belongings.

That said, this usually isn’t the case. This is another reason to have renters insurance. You’ll avoid dire financial circumstances if you have a policy. Renters insurance could also help with relocation costs if flooding makes the apartment uninhabitable.

Depending on the degree of damage and the cause of the flood, you might be able to terminate your lease without any repercussions. Some landlords are also willing to let tenants relocate to similar units within their properties.

Investigate your options immediately after a flood. Again, the specific laws that apply vary from one region to another. Protect yourself ahead of time with renters insurance, and you could avoid a lot of headaches if the applicable laws don’t favor tenants in these situations.

Guest Contributor, Armand Levitz

Transform Your Bathroom into a Luxurious Spa Experience

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Transform Your Bathroom into a Luxurious Spa Experience

Can you imagine just how perfect it would be if you could enjoy a relaxing spa experience every day? Well, if you want it, you don’t have to dream it. You just need to go for it. And if this is something that feels like it would better your life considerably, investing your time, money and energy into creating a perfect bathroom spa experience in your own home is well worth it. Even more so if you live in a tropical climate such as Australia where taking the time for a shower or bath is true bliss. But, regardless of where you are in the world, bathroom time is your quality “alone” time and you deserve to make it truly special. So, what’s the secret to your own bathroom spa? Keep on reading to find out.

1. Take care of the colors

First things first: you need to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bathroom. This is one of the simple tricks that you can use even when you’re not ready to invest in your plumbing. In general, spa colors involve soothing neutral colors such as white and beige. You can’t go wrong with these. But before you decide to go in this direction, take the time to think about the colors that soothe you the most. While you should always go with gentle pastel hues, you may find that green, pink, yellow or blue work better for you.

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2. Incorporate natural elements

This is where things can get more complicated. But, if you want a perfect bathroom spa in your own home, wood and stone should be a part of it. Wooden elements and stone countertops don’t have to be too challenging if you know what kind of a layout you want. In recent years, Zen-inspired bathrooms have been all the rage in Australia, which is why it’s not that difficult to imagine the best ways to incorporate these elements into your bathroom. In the end, waterproof vinyl wallpaper that imitates wood and stone can be your budget-friendly option. Also, let your creativity run wild. It’s not just about the countertops and shelves. A wooden bench or a similar seating arrangement inside a bathroom is definitely spa-like.

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3. The real deal – plumbing

If you’re set on transforming your bathroom into a spa oasis completely, you’ll definitely need to invest more time and money into this project. Essentially, plumbing will be your biggest concern. But, as mentioned, the whole country of Oz fell in love with Zen-inspired bathrooms years ago, which is why you can have a professional service for plumbing in Gold Coast get this done for you. You may want to transform your shower area by making it bigger with proper seating and side table, or you may want to have a whole new spa tub installed. Just make sure to consult with your contractors in order to find the best possible option for your space. 

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4. Get rid of the clutter in favor of plants and candles

It’s important to know what your bathroom spa essentials are. You can’t possibly relax properly if there’s clutter everywhere, and especially half-empty bath products you never use. It’s time for a thorough declutter. Get rid of everything you don’t use. The whole point is to keep only those products that you love and that make you happy when you use them. Also, organize them so that you can keep them on display and easily reachable. On the other hand, don’t hesitate to enrich this space with real greenery. There are plenty of plants that thrive in bathrooms. Of course, don’t forget a scented candle here and there.

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5. Play with the details

Details are very important for the perfect bathroom spa experience. Just like plants and candles, these can make or break the whole project. In that respect, embrace natural light and openness and ditch the curtains altogether. You want to achieve that warm, relaxing look of a spa with the mentioned natural elements but opting for warm (perhaps bronze or rose gold) pipe and plumbing finishes can look absolutely amazing. Furthermore, a bathroom mat that matches the overall style will add much-needed texture to this room. And if you want, you can add more personality with the use of patterned vinyl wallpaper in strategic places or with an interesting mirror frame. 

While there are some general guidelines for creating a home bathroom spa, the important thing is to always follow your intuition and stick with the theme that helps you relax the most. The concept of self-care is very important in Australia, and it’s time for you to embrace it wholeheartedly. 

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

Tips For Building An Energy-Efficient Home

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Plumber in Crestwood IL

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

Is Your Roof Leaking? Know the Ways to Leak Repair

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Plumber in Crestwood

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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Plumber in Crestwood

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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Plumber in Crestwood

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