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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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Designing Your Backyard the Eco-friendly Way

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Plumber in Crestwood

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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Plumber in Crestwood IL

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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Experience

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.

Warranty

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.

Tools

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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Insight

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

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

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

 

Home Move: How To Make It A Breeze

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Crestwood Plumber

Home Move: How to Make It a Breeze

No matter how big your home is or how far you’re going, moving is always stressful and tiring because there are so many things you have to keep in mind at all times. However, if you get organized and think in advance, you’ll be able to do it in a successful and, more importantly, relaxing way. Here’s what you need to do in order to turn your move into the best day of your life.

Make a Playlist

Making packing playlists might seem obsolete and too simple to be effective, but it really is the best way to put yourself in a cool mood and have some fun. What you actually need are two playlists – for packing and unpacking – so divide your favorite songs into those that make you dance and those that keep you cool, respectively. Remember that music has a positive and soothing effect on our psyche, so it will definitely keep you motivated and relaxed during the move.

Think In Advance

Just because your dressers are full of clothes doesn’t mean you have to take them all out – you’ll just be putting everything back in as soon as you settle into your new home after all! That’s why wrapping the dresser and moving it with the clothes still inside makes much more sense. All you’ll have to do afterwards is refold everything, and you’re good to go.

Plumber in Crestwood IL

Get Some Help

While doing everything on your own might be empowering and cool, it’s not the easiest way to go. You should seek help from your friends and family, and they’ll all be happy to help you pack, move, unpack, and open a bottle of champagne!  If you’d rather just celebrate with them instead of organizing them to help you, there’s a solution for it, too.

Lots of people do hire professionals who will take your possessions from point A to point B quicker and safer than you ever could. That’s why you too might want to consider getting in touch with experienced pros, as these removalists from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, who even offer packing services and insure every shipment, ensuring that your move goes as smoothly as possible.

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High-priority

Even if you don’t own priceless diamonds or necklaces, you still have a number of items you consider essential and high-priority – things like documents, clothes, work outfits and shoes. These don’t sound like much, but the point is you might need all of these the moment you arrive to your new home, and not knowing where they’re packed will seem to be the worst thing in the world. So, label your high-priority box and always keep an eye on it during the move.

Small or Big?

Moving boxes come in various shapes and sizes and they’re suitable for lots of things, but when deciding whether to go small or big, the rule of thumb always suggests the former. The reason is quite simple: smaller boxes are easier to handle and they can be stacked up perfectly. This helps you save a lot of time loading and unloading them, so opting for a bigger number of smaller boxes instead of a handful of huge ones definitely makes more sense in the long run.

Being so stressful and complicated, the entire moving process is full of potential mistakes you need to avoid if you want to save your time, money, focus, and energy. Therefore, plan every step of the process in advance, think what might go wrong, and eliminate the issues that are most likely to occur; check whether all your possessions are secured and tightly packed within the boxes, but keep in mind that individual boxes shouldn’t be too heavy because you’ll get tired carrying them around. After dealing with all of these issues, you’ll be ready to hit the road and start your new life in your new home!

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors   

 

How To Save The Earth With Sustainable Construction

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Green Construction

How to Save the Earth with Sustainable Construction

In our attempt to do whatever we can to preserve the environment and diminish our negative impact on the world around us, so that the generations to come will also be able to enjoy living on this magnificent planet, we really need to pay special attention to the way we build new facilities. It’s clear that the need for new residential and commercial facilities will never go away. The rapid growth of the population will even put more strain on those in charge of planning and construction to provide suitable, yet eco-friendly objects. So, what is it that all of us should take into account when it comes to sustainable construction?

Construction Material

Regular construction is known to be using around 50% of non-renewable resources, which is why finding their eco-friendly replacements is of utmost importance. The search for such alternatives has led to some old, yet natural solutions. First of all, there is natural stone, a beautiful and durable material that can be used for various constructions elements, from décor to insulation cladding.

Another green option is brick, which is popular because of its durability and simplicity of production and use. Finally, there is wood, but you really need to be careful with this alternative. Namely, some trees need a long time to grow fully, which means we would be depriving the planet of much-needed help for a long period. Instead, we should focus on those that don’t need so much time, but are equally good to be used in construction.

HVAC Systems

When it comes to energy consumption, there is no system that consumes more energy than the HVAC one. Managing to introduce an energy-efficient system would not only save a lot of money on bills, but we would also be doing our planet a huge favor. That’s why we should focus on passive radiant and solar heating, for example, if we want to use as little energy as possible to keep our buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Also, we could reuse indoor air if we apply a system which combines photo-reactive chemicals and ultraviolet light.

Lights

Probably one of the easiest changes we can implement if we want to go green is to replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient and longer-lasting LED bulbs. They may cost more, but with the savings made and their durability, they will soon pay off. These lights can be used both indoors and outdoors, though you might need to rent reliable aluminium scaffolding to reach each and every bulb that needs replacing.

Insulation

Over the past several decades, we’ve learnt that many insulation materials used in the past are actually toxic and that they need to be replaced with safe, healthy and green alternatives. Needless to say, the best option is to go for natural materials, such as wool, cellulose, hemp and wood. Some of them need additional treatment before installation, but they offer great versatility and excellent insulation. A properly insulated construction will save a lot of energy and money, which is the ultimate goal of going green in the construction industry.

Water Reuse and Supply

Experts agree that water is the most precious natural resource that needs our full attention. It’s estimated that more than buildings use more than 13 percent of world’s potable water, which is why it’s important to lower water usage. Some modern buildings have been designed to efficiently manage water consumption, harvest rainwater and reuse grey water. Some even have on-site sewage treatment system, which removes contaminants from wastewater, which means the treated water can be reused.

Whatever we do in terms of constructing energy-efficient buildings and houses is undoubtedly beneficial to the environment. Still, we shouldn’t settle for only minor changes in the way we build, but strive to make as much impact as possible. After all, it’s only through the joint effort of all people around the world that we can make a difference and save our planet.

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins 

Green Attic Renovation Tips and Tricks

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Plumber in Crestwood

Green Attic Renovation Tips and Tricks

Attic renovation and re-purposing is a great way to add some extra living space to your home without any big investments. But, how you conduct your reno in a green and eco-friendly way? Well, here’s how!

Boost Insulation

A lot of energy is wasted through the attic, which you don’t even realize until you start spending more time up there. So, if you want to stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer and still have a full wallet, you must insist on good insulation. This will reduce the need for cooling and heating (which is great for the environment) and allow you to save some extra money!

Boost Natural Lighting

Most attics don’t get enough natural light, even though there are efficient and aesthetically pleasing ways to let the sunshine in. So, make sure to increase the light in your attic during your renovation with skylights and sky tubes! If you opt for skylights, you’ll get plenty of light and natural ventilation options, but they might take up too much ceiling space. Sky tubes, on the other hand, take up very little space, give good lighting but don’t really allow any fresh air to enter your attic. Just make sure your attic natural light sources are well-insulated and sealed to prevent any energy loss.

Invest In Good Flooring

If you want to have a safe space for living, fun or just storage, you need to install some sturdy flooring. It’s very important to aim for quality attic flooring, because it will last you practically a lifetime and endure a lot of wear and tear. It’s much more cost-effective and better for the environment if you don’t have to repair and replace your flooring every few years! Also, make sure to improve your flooring insulation to reduce noise that transfers downstairs. Thick insulation will greatly hush up your footsteps and provide good thermal insulation as well. Carpets and rugs also help keep things cozy and quiet!

Buy Energy Star Appliances and Gadgets

Are you turning your attic into a game room? Or are you adding an extra bedroom? Well, no matter its purpose, you will certainly need a few appliances and gadgets in your newly renovated space! So, make sure to keep your eyes open for Energy Star labels which guarantee that your new electronics are much more energy-efficient than your traditional ones.

Reduce VOCs

If you want to create a healthy and eco-friendly attic space during your renovation, you must pay attention to what kind of paint you use. Most traditional paints release volatile organic compounds or VOCs that will leave your space smelling unpleasant, pollute the environment and even cause all sorts of health issues when inhaled. Luckily, you can find different low- or zero-VOC paints on the market that are almost completely odorless, harmless to the environment and the human health and offer great coverage and vibrant colors!  

Buy Reclaimed Furniture

Sure, furnishing and decoration are the most interesting parts of every renovation, but don’t get too carried away with buying new pieces! New and shiny products fresh from the store aren’t always better. Consider getting reclaimed furniture and materials instead! They will serve the same purpose, help keep landfills empty and give your attic a unique vibe and character. Plus, these materials and furniture pieces are also much cheaper.

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Opt For Natural Decoration

Your attic decoration can also be more eco-friendly, especially when you employ nature as your décor! For instance, plants have a strong aesthetic presence, add a pop of color to any space and help purify the indoor air. Another way you can use nature as decoration is with driftwood. It fits into any space, especially Scandinavian style design, it’s free and completely natural! So, next time you visit the beach, bring a few interesting finds and put them in your attic!

Once you’re finished with your attic renovation, you’ll have a beautiful space that’s eco-friendly, energy-efficient and healthy. So, get to work and give your attic a new life and purpose now!  

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins 

Home Improvements: DIY or Hire Professionals?

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Plumber in Crestwood IL

Home Improvements: DIY or Hire Professionals?

Whenever there’s a home improvement project to do, most of us get splitting headaches over the cost of it. Logically, we all want to go through with the improvement at the lowest possible cost. One way we try to lower the cost is by doing part of the work ourselves. But, where do we draw the line? Which improvements are too much for us to take on? Here are some ideas and tips.

Making a Plan

With any renovation you do on your home, you need to have a solid plan first. You need to know how to approach the project, what phases it consists of, how long it will last, how much it will cost and what materials you’ll require. When making such plans, the best you can do is pay a professional to do it for you. You need somebody who has experience in organizing and assessing the kind of upgrade you want, and there are many such experts in any of Australia’s big cities. Even if you do have some of the necessary skills to do it, there might be important things you’re overlooking, which can cause damage and create additional cost.

Buying Materials

There are projects which you will require professionals to finish, but you can do a part of them yourself. One thing you can save money on is going out and finding your own appliances, equipment or materials for the renovation you’re doing. You can take it upon yourself to pick things like tiles, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, or even doors. This way you can compare prices and materials, and even explore what the flea markets in Sydney have to offer, which can save you some money. However, as mentioned above, before you buy anything, consult an expert to learn exactly what type of material is best for your home, how much of it to buy and when the best time to buy it is.

Moderate Demolition

Although you shouldn’t bring down any walls of your own accord, there is some demolition you can do yourself. For example, you can remove your old cabinets, various appliances, tiles in your bathroom, or different fixtures. The important thing is that you don’t tear down anything structural, and that you know when things are getting too much to handle. Even though there are things that seem simple to do, you’ll find that hiring professionals is a better way to go. One of those things is taking care of the waste once you’ve done the demolition. Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the job. Finding an adequate vehicle to drive it all away and a place to dispose of it legally can be complicated, while paying for professional rubbish removal in Sydney is the fastest and most efficient solution to your problem.

Plumbing, Electricity and Gas

These three types of work are especially tricky and require a lot of skill and knowledge to do properly. So, even though you’ve been able to hook up your washing machine or fix your dripping tap, you shouldn’t go changing the pipes inside your walls. Likewise, even though you know how to turn off the electricity in your home and change a light switch, you should under no circumstances do any wiring if you don’t have the knowledge to do it. Electrical and gas works are especially dangerous, since you can get electrocuted or accidentally start a fire and then spend much more on the repairs and damage control than you would have if you’d just hired a professional to begin with. Furthermore, if you live in Sydney, you need an electrical permit to do any sort of electrical wiring, which is why you should restrain from doing any of it on your own. All in all, if you have any plumbing, electrical or gas work that needs to be done, hire a professional to do it safely and thoroughly.

If you’re restoring any part of your home, think twice before doing anything yourself. If you don’t have the experience or the competence to do it, don’t hesitate to find a professional to do it for you.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

7 Tips To Keep Your Basement Dry 

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Crestwood Plumbers

7 Tips to Keep Your Basement Dry 

Dampness in the basement is an issue that the majority of us will face at one moment in life and when that happens, we need to be ready to act quickly to prevent any lasting damage. In order to be able to achieve this, we need to be well-informed on possible water problems and find the best way to keep them from occurring. In order to help you out with this, we’ve prepared a list of seven amazing tips on how to keep your basement dry. Let’s take a look!

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1. Get Rid of Excess Humidity

Indoor humidity is a common problem which makes it hard for us to keep our basements moisture-free. It’s essential to address the issue as soon as possible before it leads to the appearance of mould which can ruin the walls. You can start by sealing leaky dryer vents with foil tape since this will prevent humid air from getting into your basement. Furthermore, feel free to give a dehumidifier a try as well since this device has been shown to effectively absorb excess moisture and thus keep this area dry. Finally, don’t forget to close your basement windows whenever it’s wet outside.

2. Pay Attention to Landscaping

Another issue which can occur is that water starts accumulating around your foundation and then getting into your basement. In order to avoid this inconvenience, you must make sure to improve your landscaping so that the ground would slope away from your house. Only this way will you be able to get rid of all those stubborn puddles which form after every rainfall.

3. Opt For Water-Resistant Paint

Moisture and condensation can weaken our basement walls and make them look rundown. Luckily, we have a solution for you – water-resistant paint. Even though it may require a larger investment, it will definitely pay off in the long run since you won’t need to repaint your entire basement every year.

4. Install a Quality Drainage System

If you want to be on the safe side and keep your basement 100% moisture-free, then a high-quality basement drainage system is your number one ally. It is designed in the form of drainage sheets that serve to protect the foundation as well as the underground structures. Additionally, its vertical stud structure is created in such a way to effectively capture high water loads and thus keep your basement safe.

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5. Plug All Holes and Cracks

Even though plugging holes and cracks in the foundation is not a permanent solution to potential leaks, it will definitely help reduce moisture in your basement to a certain extent. So, no matter how small these cracks may seem to you, you should patch them up as soon as possible with hydraulic cement that has been shown to be the best option since it is resistant to water. However, in order to achieve the best results, make sure to clean the surface carefully before applying it and use a mechanical mixer in order to get a uniform blend.

6. Install Downspouts and Gutters

The lack of an efficient system for accumulating rain and melting snow can be a serious issue and prevent you from keeping your basement dry. So, instead of letting all that water just pour down your home until it reaches the foundation, don’t hesitate to redirect it by installing quality gutters and downspouts which should be at least five feet away from your home’s structure. Owing to them, you won’t have to worry that your basement will end up flooded during sudden summer storms.

7. Insulate Your Pipes

Last but not least, insulating your cold-water pipes will definitely prevent condensation and consequently reduce humidity in your basement. On top of that, you won’t have to deal with constant water dripping from the pipes that can slowly turn your well-maintained basement into a real swamp. What’s even more important, foam pipe wrap which is mainly used for this purpose is extremely affordable and will even keep the pipes from freezing during the long winter months. In other words, this is a small investment that will pay off in the near future.

As you can see, keeping one’s basement free of humidity and water that is coming from the outside doesn’t have to be hard at all. However, you need to create a list of priorities and focus on most permanent solutions to the issue. Lastly, remember that reacting promptly is what matters the most so don’t turn a blind eye even on the tiniest leaks and wall cracks.

About the author:

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor, and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”