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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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All You Need to Know About an Expert PlumberService

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All You Need to Know About an Expert PlumberService

Call for an expert plumber service is never pre-defined. Plumbing emergencies can happen at any point of time. A good plumber comes into picture when a person finds himself in a pinch of plumbing problems. Numerous advertisements are out there in the market of people claiming to be an excellent plumbing service. Sometimes, those may prove to be misleading ones. Clinging on to a professional plumber requires a bit of research as fixing plumbing complications is tedious. A licensed plumber is the one who possesses sound technical skills as well as knowledge to serve his or her clients efficiently. 

Tips for Choosing the Expert Plumber Service:

License and Legal Documentation:

Every expert plumber service provider must possess an official permit for running his plumbing business. For those who seek a plumber’s assistance should ask for relevant and valid working license conferred by the State Government. No matter whether it is a residential or a commercial plumbing emergency, hiring a professional plumber without a valid working permit should never be entertained. License assures for the compliance of the service being provided by the plumber to be in accordance with the state regulations. 

Experience Accounts for The First Priority:

Out of all the governing factors, experience of the plumber is must. Thus, when a person is in search of an expert plumber, it is important to track for how long the plumber is functional in the market. New plumbing professionals may or may not be able to meet all your plumbing requirements.

On the other hand, an experienced plumber shall evaluate the plumbing requirements of any commercial or residential set-up and customize solutions accordingly. This helps their customers to save on their time and money investment. Warranty of the plumbing service is not an issue whenexperienced personnel is hired. 

Cling More on Recommendations:

While connecting with an expert plumber service provider, it is better to look on for suggestions. Recommendations or referrals give an insight into the best and worst plumbing service providers available near you. Ask family and friends about their recent experience with a professional plumber. Also, jot down all the plumbing issues they faced and the solutions provided by their plumber. Some professional plumber service providers have their Google listings wherein a customer can cross-verify about the past customer feedback and experience. 

24/7 Customer Support Facility:

While choosing an expert plumbing solution service provider, it is essential to check for their 24/7 customer service availability. Water is a crucial resource, and no one can afford wasting water due to erroneous plumbing issues. Plumbing emergencies can arise at any point of time, and hence, a professional plumber should be reachable quickly. Ensure for their quick reachability through text messages, calls or even through their website. Customer service and satisfaction should top their priority list. Finally, they a professional plumbing solution provider should stand high with a technical troubleshooting ability.

Affordability Matters:

There are heaps of expert plumber service providers claiming themselves as highly experienced with a wide array of services. However, it is the customer’s responsibility to take a dig at the pricing of their service of interest. An excellent and professional plumber shall never overcharge for the service above the market price. A professional plumber is the one dedicated towards a quality intact servicing at highly affordable pricing. This benefit in two-ways- the plumbing service provider has an excellent customer retention ratio, and the customers invest low on their money. 

Thus, choosing an expert plumber service provider requires a bit of thorough research on experience, service quality, and affordability. Reliability and trustworthiness of a plumbing solution provider go hand-in-hand with these three characteristics.

 Guest Contributor, Nivi Watson

5 Ways to Choose the Best Plumbing Company If You Have Blocked Drains

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5 Ways to Choose the Best Plumbing Company If You Have Blocked Drains

Blocked drains are one of the biggest problems with any household. Drainage system faltering can get messy and cause huge problems. Having the drain cleaned once in a while is a good option but it gets hard to figure out when exactly the drain might get damaged. For times like these, one needs a good idea about how this entire mess works. Therefore, needs a good plumbing company to sort the mess. There are a lot of plumbing companies out there and it can get a little too tough to choose but here are some ways which can be followed while choosing a plumbing company if one has blocked the drains.  

1. Look for Certifications: To get the best out of the lot one needs to check for quality certification. The certification of the plumbing company is important since it measures the quality of the work of the plumber they will send. Having this part sorted can guarantee a good service since qualified workers delivers quality work. Therefore, looking for certifications is an important job. 

2. Reputation Research: Reputation of any worker is worth of gold so is the case for a plumber or a plumbing company. A researchregarding the reputation of the company will provide a good deal of information and an insight of things. Customer reviews, asking around, ratings on customer services can be a good way of testing the reputation of the company. Better the reputation, better the work on the blocked drains.

3. Look for Specialities: All plumbing companies have a special set of specialities. For example, some of the plumbing companies are commercial and the plumbers work in the generic old-fashioned manner. On the other hand, there are companies that provide high tech work or even eco-friendly work. Once one looks into the specialities of the different companies, it will be easier to select the perfect company as per the need.

4. Warranties and Repair Plans: Warranties and repair plans are important to look for when it comes to any repairing work even for blocked drains. It is clever to look up the companies’ terms and conditions when it comes to repair and warranty because this might come handy later. This can turn out to be cost effective and beneficiary for the future. Having purchased a good plumbing plan can not only help with blocked drains but also with the broken pipes, pump failures, and all other plumbing problems.

5. Do Cost Estimates: After an extensive research, one must look for the perfect plan and plumbing company keeping in mind the cost estimate. Doing the cost estimate will provide the perfect company which one can afford. This factor is important and can plan the perfect budget for the services and make it cost effective with the quality of the service. For the best results out of this plan one should consult at least four to five different plumbing companies before narrowing it down to one. 

Choosing a plumbing company can be a headache at times since there are too many things to look into but if these simple steps and ways are looked into, the work becomes much easier. These ways not only guarantee the solution to the problem of blocked drain also provides the solution with the quality services. The services that the plumbing company will provide will be cost effective. Therefore, the matter to be solved can come with a solution which guarantees warranty, quality, and less of a mess.    

Therefore, opt for the best solution for the blocked drain in case you are looking for the plumber or a plumbing company.

Guest Contributor, Lara Buck 

Deciding On The Best Flooring For Your Bathroom

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Deciding on the Best Flooring for Your Bathroom

Some home trends in bathroom floors are much more practical than others. Although some interior design professionals recommend high-end flooring materials such as marble, recycled glass and encaustic cement for the bathroom, this article will outline a number of durable options that are substantially more affordable.

As you conceptualize your well-outfitted bath, you're the interior design person, at least in the beginning stages. There is much to consider. Of course, you'll want to invest in a material that matches your existing design, isn't easily damaged, and doesn't require a lot of maintenance. You're sure to gain valuable insight as you go over the following flooring home trends. If you're ready to decide upon the ideal material, remember to enjoy the process—this is going to be fun!

Hardwood

Although you may love the look of solid hardwood, and have it installed in other areas of your home, you'll want to be careful about choosing this material for your sanctuary room. Let's face it -- hardwood is beautiful, warm, and rich-looking, yes. But rooms with plumbing are much more prone to moisture and standing water than other rooms in the house. For this reason, genuine hardwood isn't generally recommended for use in kitchens and restrooms.

Should you choose to go ahead and install it anyway, the hardwood is likely to expand and contract due to high humidity levels. Eventually, the wood will begin to crack and warp. Having gone to all of the trouble of having the hardwood installed in the first place, you surely wouldn't want to have it all demolished in a few short years and replaced with a more suitable material. A well-ventilated and rarely used half bath or guest bath is an exception, but if your lavatory gets a lot of use or contains a shower or bathtub, you might consider some of the other home trends in floors for the powder room.

If you must have hardwood in your powder room, however, you could go for engineered hardwood planks. It's made from a plywood base that is overlaid with real wood. This material tolerates moisture better than natural hardwood. Even so, a busy loo is probably not the best place for this material.

Porcelain Tile

Now if you're still stuck on wood but don't want to deal with all of the moisture-related problems, take heart. Home building materials have come a long way, and now science has come up with wood-look tiles. And guess what? You will find that a wide selection of these are made out of the title material.

You might be surprised at porcelain's resemblance to real wood, especially when the floor has been completely installed. And you'll be happy to know that these tiles are completely waterproof and resistant to scratches and other potential day-to-day damage. Given all of these advantages, you'll still want to be careful about dropping anything heavy on these types of tiles. The impact could seriously damage a tile or two to the point that they would need replacing. Think about it: if you drop a plate, the impact shatters it.

These tiles come in all designs and sizes, however, not just wood-look planks. You can find them in a plethora of hues, including earth tones, white and gray, and popular square sizes range from 12” x 12” to 24” x 24” and beyond. If slightly rectangular or glazed tiles are your thing, you'll find much to choose from there, too.

And don't forget that the tiles can be laid in patterns that give a more upscale look to your floors. Having the tiles installed in, say, a herringbone or stacked pattern can cost more at the outset, but the end result could be well worth it. Maintenance will be a breeze with just a soft mop or vacuum. This material continues to be a popular option because of its durability, style and cost-effectiveness.

Ceramic Tile

Another viable option is ceramic tile. It's important to note here that there are only slight differences between the two tiles, including the price. Porcelain tile is higher-priced than its counterpart, and there is also the fact that the tiles are considered to be more water-resistant than ceramic tiles are because of their density. These tiles are, therefore, thought to be more durable as well. Do remember that both kinds of tile are included in the same broad category.

With all of that in mind, you might give serious consideration to adding this type of tile to your space. This tile resists stains and scratches, especially when topped with a protective glaze, and it comes in a beautiful array of designs and colors.

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Laminate

Laminate consists of four layers that are fused together: wear, decorative, core, and balancing. Some of the advantages of laminate are that it resists dings and scratches, and it's easy to clean and install. You may even choose laminate pieces that look like tiles. Laminate is also budget-friendly.

Now for the downside of using laminate on your floor. Laminate will warp if exposed to excessive moisture, so standing water can be a costly hazard. The material can also be slippery, so care must be taken to quickly clean up those occasional spills.

If you choose laminate for your floors, however, you'll want to avoid the kind of laminate that just snaps into place. Unfortunately, it will do nothing to prevent the seepage of water into the seams. Once it reaches the floor's sub layer, the end result is the dreaded warping. Instead, invest in laminate material that has seams that are glued down. The glue will act as a deterrent to water seepage.

You'll find laminate in various shapes, finishes, and textures. You might even be able to install this particular flooring yourself if you're handy.

As you can see, each of the materials above can be a great choice, and you're sure to find something that fits your design tastes as well as your overall budget. Once you decide what you want, the process should go very quickly. Good luck and have fun redesigning your bathroom floors!

Guest Contributor, Julia Ellison

Tips To Pull Off A Gorgeous Eclectic Design

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Tips to Pull Off a Gorgeous Eclectic Design

Eclectic design is super attractive. It’s full of freedom, mismatched items and fun colors. However, because it’s so hard to define, creating a beautiful eclectic space is not an easy task, especially if you don’t want to end up with an overly kitsch home. Luckily, here are a few tips that will help you create a successful eclectic design that matches your lifestyle and feels just right!

Start from scratch

This is a trick that many interior designers swear by: every time you’re designing a new look, start with a blank canvas. Since the eclectic look is definitely in-your-face and very eye-catching, starting with a neutral background is a great idea to avoid creating an overwhelming space. While neutral colors like white, gray and beige instantly come to mind, you can also opt for various natural materials like wood and stone. They are eco-friendly and look neutral, but are also warm and inviting.

Coordinate your colors

Many people think that nothing is supposed to match in eclectic design. However, that’s not true! The key is in coordinating your colors that will allow you to create a successful design and a coherent space. For instance, choose a color that can be introduced in multiple areas in your home and use it on everything from textiles to art and paint. Opt for a variety of different prints and patterns in your chosen color to stay true to your eclectic design yet subtly pull the room together.

Add statement pieces

Every space needs a statement piece that will be the star of the show. No matter if you opt for an art piece or a furniture item, this is the element that will make your eclectic design come to life. So, don’t hesitate to make it bold and make it big. In this case, forget everything about coordination, because you want your statement piece to pop. Even your quirky collection of items can serve as a focal point. For instance, if you’re an avid comic book fan or someone obsessed with music, there are super cute bobbleheads in all styles and themes that can be grouped together. These figurines will look amazing when displayed on your shelf and will definitely start a few conversations. All in all, find something you like, make it stand out and you have your statement piece!

Find balance

The goal of every interior is to have balance in symmetry and scale. Even if you have furniture in different styles, textures or from different periods, you can still use similar lines and sizes to create a sense of harmony. Your space is meant to be lived in, so don’t sacrifice good layout and organization for forced diversity.

Mix textures

In order to add more interest to your eclectic home, try to invest in different textures. When you combine rough and smooth textures, you can opt for a simpler color palette and still have a fun and quirky space. For instance, think fluffy pillows, shaggy rugs, rough wooden furniture and smooth, polished finishes. Combine them and your home will be full of surprises.

Think outside the box

The eclectic look has no clearly defined rules, so take advantage of that and let your mind play with different ideas and solutions. Grab an item and find a new and unusual use for it or instead of throwing something away, repurpose it and give it new life. This process is super fun and will give your space character and interest—that’s what eclecticism is all about!

Creating a successful eclectic look is all about achieving balance. Don’t give yourself too many limits, but also don’t go crazy. Eclectic design can easily get out of hand if you’re not paying attention! So, keep these tips in mind, be moderate but let your imagination fly high.

 Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

5 Tips Organize Your KitcheN

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If you want to function in the kitchen then the only way is to keep it organized. Nothing is worse than having to work in a messy, disorganized kitchen with bits and bobs laying all over the place.

Not only is it difficult to cook in a messy kitchen, but it is also challenging to find things. So, to avoid all this, it is crucial that the kitchen is kept tidy and organized at all times. 

Keeping all this in mind, we have created the top five tips to help you to keep your kitchen fully organized and neat. Let's go and take a look at it. 

Use of transparent jars for the junk drawers

We are all familiar with that drawer in the kitchen that holds all kinds of necessary junk items. This drawer holds the things that come in handy but is so messy to the point that it is a quest to find anything in there when you really need it. 

Here is an idea, bring some small transparent jars with lids and fill each of them up with all the similar category items and then sort them out in the drawer.

This trick will help you to save a  lot of space inside the drawer and also make room for other items. Plus, you will be able to find things more easily around the kitchen. 

Sort the cutting boards in a magazine holder

Have cutting boards laying aimlessly on the kitchen counter and taking up all the space and messing things up? Well, worry no more, as we know just what you should do. 

It is not a great look for the kitchen counter when you just let your cutting boards lay anywhere haphazardly. Plus, this eats up a lot of workspace in the kitchen. 

So, what you have to do is, bring in a magazine holder and put all of your slicing or cutting boards in that. Magazine holders can easily hold your cutting boards and give your kitchen an organized look plus make a lot of space for you to work in. 

Keep measuring spoons in a transparent jar near the stove

This is a great tip that will not only organize the kitchen but will also help you to access the measuring spoons easily whenever you need it as you won't have to waste time finding them as all you measuring spoons will be stacked in one single place. 

Well not just that, it looks really good when you keep the spoons in the jar and adds a dainty touch to the kitchen. 

Use hooks around the kitchen to hang accessories and other useful items

Using hooks that can be stuck with the walls around the kitchen is a great way to clean up a disorganized kitchen. 

You can hang pots and large spoons or other items in these hooks instead of letting them sit idly in the kitchen top blocking space.

Store all your small spice jars in a large cake pan

This is one of our favorite tricks, to keep the kitchen organized and also to ease up the work around the kitchen while cooking. 

Keeping spice jars in a single cake pan will not only organize the kitchen but will also help you cook as all the spices you need will be stacked in one single place. 

Conclusion

Nothing feels better than working in an organized kitchen. The above tips will allow you to make more space and store more useful items.

Plus a clean and tidy kitchen is much more fun to work in as you can easily grab the things you need without wasting time to find them from a pile of objects.

Guest Contributor, Carl Nevins

Domestic Energy Consumption: How to Optimize It

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Domestic Energy Consumption: How to Optimize It

The popular ways of reducing household energy use range from simple adjustments of our routines and habits to more or less extensive home improvement projects. However, for most homeowners the motives remain the same: saving on utility bills and reducing the environmental footprint. Here are the five most effective ways to waste less energy and save electricity in your home.

Heating and cooling

Since domestic climate control systems account for the largest piece of the energy use chart, they should be your priority in optimizing the energy efficiency in your home. Keep in mind that with every degree up or down, you can increase your running costs by 2-4%. It’s more effective to heat or cool down your home slowly over time than cranking the conditioner for the instant effect. Have your HVAC system serviced regularly to minimize the losses due to dust and debris in the system. In the evening, instead of plugging in an electric blanket, throw some extra regular ones on your bedding.

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Entertainment tech

Even though your TV set and the gaming console, aren’t power-hungry machines by definition, the problem is that they often suck up electricity even when not used. For starters, try to have a TV-free family dinner. Not only will you reduce the running time, but also get to have some real talk with your loved ones. When not used for longer periods, such as over the night or while everyone is at work or school, make a habit of plugging out at the wall, as this eliminates ‘vampiric’ consumption of the power unit. Finally, when shopping for a new TV, look for one with a high Energy Star rating.

Computers and appliances

The number of appliances in homes is increasing with each generation of homeowners, and there’s nothing we can do but to use them responsibly. When chargers aren’t charging, unplug them to prevent energy leaks. Keep in mind that appliances on standby still use energy so unplug them as well. If you want to know how much energy your fridge or dishwasher consumes at any given time, consider data loggers with power usage and power cost functions. This may give you an idea if it’s time to get a newer, more economic model. Plug your computer peripherals into a separate switchboard, so you can turn them off without affecting the computer.

Interior and exterior lighting

Lighting typically accounts for a 10% of your energy use. While no one asks you to trip over things in dark to save energy, it’s more the type of lighting you use and when you use it that makes the difference. Try turning off the lights whenever you leave the room and use energy saving bulbs, such as LEDs. Unlike other options, their lifespan isn’t affected by frequent switching. Also, try to diversify and layer your lighting, as you most often don’t need to illuminate the entire room. On the outside, instead of flooding the empty garden with light all night long, choose a fixture with a motion sensor.

Hot water management

Hot water sometimes contributes to 17% of your household energy use. Keep in mind that the most efficient temperature for your hot water system is around 60°C. When you go on holiday or a business trip, turn off your water heater completely. The new models feature highly effective heating coils, and can heat up the water again in less than 30 minutes. If you live in a house, consider a solar hot water system, which will take a hefty sum out of the utility bill equation, especially in summer months. When it comes to dishes, run your dishwasher with a full load every time, as this is the most effective way to use it.

Even without expensive remodels and investments, households are able to save a fair percentage of their electricity bills if they adapt their behaviour towards more sustainable ways of using home systems and appliances.

 Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

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

Simple Ideas for Making Your Yard Private

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Simple Ideas for Making Your Yard Private

If you’re lucky enough to be living in an area with a great climate, which allows you to spend time outside your home, and you’re privileged to have a nice yard in front or behind your house, you’ll understand how important it is to make the space as private as possible. Nobody likes feeling like they are on display, regardless of how great the yard is.

Even if you are protected from the elements and privy eyes, you still might be affected by noise coming from your neighbors or the traffic. It might be impossible to create a perfectly secluded and isolated spot, but there are definitely many things you can do to help you and your family have a fabulous time in your yard. Here are some ideas that should do the trick.

Potted screen

If you have green fingers and enjoy plants, potted plants might be the solution. Not only do they look great, but if you opt for tall plants, such as bamboo, fruit trees or tall grasses, you’ll be protected from nosey neighbors and passers-by. The same trick can be applied to balconies and patios.

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Faux hedge

Another cheap trick, which requires almost no maintenance is to install a faux hedge, which requires no pruning, watering or waiting for the hedge to take form. There are many different sizes of panels to choose from and they also provide decent soundproofing.

Umbrellas

If there are no trees in your yard to provide shade and privacy, you might choose popular cantilever umbrellas to avoid the negative effects of sunrays. They are also great because you can move them around, which means you can pretty much protect any area in your yard. Choose the right material and color and you’ll get both the protection you need and the esthetic element will also be there.

Curtains

One of the popular trends is to install outdoor curtains, which are attached to porches, cabanas and gazebos. They protect you from the sun and provide the needed privacy. However, make sure you choose the rods that won’t rust and the fabric that can withstand the elements. When it comes to the color, opt for brighter ones, i.e. neutral if your yard is already colorful enough.

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Portable tents and pavilions

Depending on the size of your yard and your budget, you can choose from a wide range of portable tents and pavilions. They are perfect for dining in those warm summer evenings, but can also allow you to spend time outdoors in the rain.

Walls

If you are the owner of the house, you could look into the option of having a permanent fence or wall. That will provide great sound insulation, apart from allowing you to feel more secure in your yard. You might use stone, bricks or wood, depending on your budget and other elements.

Climb plants on a trellis

This method requires a bit more work and patience, but it’s very decorative and effective. You’ll have to wait for the plants to grow and creep upward and you’ll need to look after them, but the trellis will provide you with instant protection and block any views instantly. Again, it’s very important to choose the material that can sustain the elements.

Investing in creating a more private and better-protected yard is always a sound investment, since it allows you to use the space just outside your home, thus extending your living space. It also allows you to add another dimension to your lifestyle, since you will have more options to entertain friends and family if you wish. Finally, the more time you spend outside, the more ready you’ll be for your office work and the fact that you have to spend countless hours in a confined space.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

How To Build A Simple Wood Bar 

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How To Build A Simple Wood Bar 

Adding a wooden bar to your kitchen or dining room is a great way to up your entertainment game. It often becomes a place to hang out with friends and gives you a reason to offer better drinks and refreshments when having guests.

Even though it seems like an expensive and complicated item to add, it can be a DIY project as well. All you need to do is to have the proper materials and to figure out what kind of bar would fit your home. The rest could be done along the way if you have the tools and are reasonably handy.

The drawing board

The first step in making your own bar is to measure out the room you plan to install it in and to create a rough draft that will be your guide for the rest of the work. The drawing should have the measurements from which you can divert but only by making the bar smaller, not larger than you’ve initially planned.

There are standards to follow when it comes to the size of the bar. An average bar is 42” high and 24” deep. Obviously, this is a guideline not the law.

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Materials

The main thing to consider when choosing the materials you’ll use is what kind of drinks you plan to serve. If you plan to have a beer tap, you’ll need to install a drip tray out of stainless steel. If not, all you need is wood which you can get from the local shop. Most households don’t have a tap and don’t brew their own drink, and can use the bar only for storage and mixing cocktails.

The materials you use also have an effect on how the drinks are stored. For instance, if you order gin online, make sure to find out how lighting and temperature affect its storage.

Tools

Building a bar isn’t a small task and you’ll need a set of professional tools to make it. For the most part, a project of that difficulty usually isn’t something that anyone can try. That means that you probably already have the tools and some experience if you’re getting into it.  If you don’t have some of these more sophisticated tools, they can be rented if you’re only using them for this project.

You’ll need a chop saw, impact screw gun, random orbital sander, and an ordinary screw gun. A finishing nail gun and caulk gun are also needed.

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Framework

A bar needs to be sturdy and to remain in place even when the drinks are on top of it and when people are leaning on it. That’s why you need to make a good framework that will remain intact even the bar needs some repairs. The top and bottom frame should be cut at the same time and at the same length because they need to be parallel.

Screw in the studs from top and bottom and erect the framework so you’re sure that it stands and lines up.

Bartop

This should be the last step and the moment when your bar comes together. The rough cuts of the bartop need to be made with a table saw and that’s a dangerous and a two-person task. You’ll probably need some trimming work done afterwards as well.

This will create the whole framework of the bar and you can add the front facing piece which can be decorated as lavishly as it fits your home.

A bar isn’t that difficult to make but it requires you to have some woodworking skills and to be careful with your tools. If done right, a wooden bar will make your home better looking and more fun.

 Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

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