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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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Six Houseplants That Are Great For Bathrooms

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Six Houseplants That Are Great for Bathrooms

You might think your bathrooms aren't good candidates to grow indoor plants seeing as they typically don't have much in the way of natural lighting and experience dramatic shifts in humidity and temperature, but did you know there are still plants that can easily thrive in these conditions with a minimum of maintenance?

Even small indoor plants continuously add fresh oxygen to your space and absorb carbon dioxide. They also tirelessly work to purify the air by removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and others. Some plants even become more adept at eliminating indoor pollutants with practice.

Just about any common indoor plant offers benefits both aesthetically and to the overall health and wellness of your household. But some are easier than others to maintain, especially in the tricky environmental factors that go part and parcel with a bathroom.

But it's worth the extra effort to make sure that the enclosed, somewhat claustrophobic spaces bathrooms inevitably represent are decorated with the invigorating and lively presence of living species. And as you read on, you'll come to find that with the right selections it really isn't much extra effort at all.

Did you know that formaldehyde is a carcinogen that is found in virtually every household where synthetic materials can be found? Even if you carefully choose what household products you bring into your kitchen and bathroom, it turns out formaldehyde is outgassed even by many building materials, which means that it is almost impossible to avoid. Fortunately, plants can minimize the impact of formaldehyde by filtering it out of the air. Other plants can reduce odors by working as nature’s air fresheners.

Let’s take a look at some of the plants that make the best additions to your bathroom:

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

The cast Iron plant is an excellent choice for most bathrooms. This plant thrives in a low light setting and can tolerate a stingy watering schedule. It can do well with both higher and lower temperature settings. The plant should be kept in an area with indirect sunlight.

The plant comes in both small (18 inches) and full size (2-3 feet high) varieties. Leaves may vary from dark green to yellow striped or dotted.

To care for your Cast Iron Plant, water it thoroughly when the soil becomes dry.

The Aspidistra does well in the humid conditions

The plant is also a great air purifier that effectively removes formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene from the air.

Ferns

Ferns do very well in bathrooms because they like humid environments. Different types of Ferns such as Bird Nest, Boston Fern and Staghorn Ferns do well in low light settings.

Ferns need regular watering and misting. However, with too much water they will develop yellow or droopy fronds - a sign of root rot.

Ferns can tolerate significant temperature fluctuations characteristic of most bathrooms. However, if a bathroom is kept cold to the point that humidity is reduced, the fern may begin to struggle. Try misting them more frequently or move them to a location where the air isn’t as dry.

Note: some ferns and fern-like species can be mildly toxic. If you have pesty pets who are likely to munch on whatever they come across (or babies who do the same… you know who you are) then you may want to do some research on the species you have or look for an alternative.

Dragon plant (Dracaena)

Dracaena comes in more than forty varieties. It has long spear-like leaves which range in width from a few millimeters to a couple of inches wide. The available colors range from solid green to greenish-maroon and variegated. The leaves of the plant emerge from the stem.

The plant works as an excellent air purifier for the bathroom. It grows well in artificial light and indirect light. Direct sunlight should be avoided.

Dracaena is a drought-resistant plant and doesn’t need a lot of watering. Water it only when the soil feels dry and then pour lukewarm water generously until water trickles through the holes in the pot. Empty the drainage receiver pan after about an hour and never allow the pot to stand in water. The plant thrives in rich soil with plenty of organic material.

Snake plant (Sansevieria)

Sansevieria also known as “Snake plant” or “Mother-in-Law’s tongue” is very suitable for bathrooms. It is one of the most low-maintenance plants you can grow.

The plant filters out formaldehyde from the air which is commonly found in cleaning materials and cosmetics.

The plant would grow well in light levels ranging from low to bright indirect sunlight. It will also thrive well under fluorescent light.

Water the plant only when the soil is almost completely dried out, which should be ever two to six weeks depending upon the temperature, light and humidity of your home. The plant does well at most humidity levels. Choose a soil which drains freely, and use a terracotta pot to make sure that water doesn’t accumulate in the pot.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The white flowers of the Peace Lily make a great complement to the décor of most bathrooms. The plant does well in low light conditions and is easy to take care of.

Don’t let the Peace Lily’s delicate appearance fool you: it is a hard working plant when it comes to air purification. The plant also reduces the mold spore levels in bathrooms.

Peace Lily does well in low light during summer and spring but in order to grow well, it will need exposure to indirect sunlight during the rest of the year.

Peace lily requires consistently moist soil, but like other low-maintenance plants, it doesn't like to sit in standing water. Water it when the top inch of the soil is dry, and keep watering until the overflow of water starts from pot’s drainage holes. Return the pot to its regular place once drainage has stopped.

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Ivy is one of the easiest indoor plants to keep. The plant enjoys warm and humid conditions which makes it perfect for greening up the bathroom. Ivy can give a very good display if the aerial roots of the plant are trained to climb a moss stick or trellis.

Ivies grow well in the medium light, but will also thrive in bright light. They are generally less tolerant of low light conditions than the other plants listed here.

Ivies prefer drier soil, so let the soil dry out before watering it again.

The plant can effectively remove traces of airborne mold spores - making it a perfect addition to bathrooms, the kitchen or anywhere else mold or mildew can loom.

Guest Contributor, Ryan from Fast Partitions

The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Your Bathroom Renovation

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The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Your Bathroom Renovation

Want to update your bathroom without spending a huge amount on the renovation? By making some slight adjustments and changes in your bathroom, you can easily renovate your bathroom and not spend copious amounts of hours and money working on it.

Take for example, some DIY techniques like re-surfacing, which can be quite costly and not appropriate for the long-term. In order to survive your bathroom renovation, have a look below at some of the ways to help you survive your bathroom renovation:

Make a list

First begin by keeping a list of bathroom accessories that you would like to purchase, such as good quality bathroom sinks, a flushing toilet, bathroom mirror, toilet paper holder, towel holder, bathroom faucet, shower head (rain shower), shower valve, or bathtub.

Choose a design

Before you begin any work, such as tearing up flooring or putting in a new shower head, you should decide what you want your bathroom to look like when finished.

There are many bathroom trends out this year from futuristic styles to vintage brass and gold components and or beautiful tile patterns and shapes to suit your bathroom.

Set a budget

One of the best approaches to stay away from costly renovation is to set a budget and stick to it. Take a moment to sit down and calculate the different costs from the materials to the cost of extras, fixtures, and fittings that are within your budget.

Also, to survive your bathroom renovation you should definitely set aside some money, in case of any unforeseen turns.

Prepare sanitary products before beginning work

Everything from the bath, sink, toilet, taps, and the shower should be decided on and ready to go before you begin plastering and tiling. This is to ensure all the pipes and waste are in their correct position.

1.   Shower

Consider some important features of a shower during the renovation, for example, the best shower drains, shower curtains and shower heads. You can pick a settled or hand-held shower head, or rain or waterfall showers that suit the structure of your new design.

2.   Sink

To really modernize your bathroom, and if it fits within your budget and if space allows you, then you could decide on his and hers sinks.

3.   Bath

There are so many beautiful bathtubs to choose from so it is important to choose one to fit within your original design. From freestanding tubs to bathtubs with that utilization minimal space, or simple access baths for those with an incapacity.

Fittings and fixtures

First, choose a vanity unit that is of good quality but affordable, one that will last for years to come. Then move on and consider a couple of necessary extras, new tapware, and a toilet. 

The fittings and fixtures that you pick will determine the functionality level of your bathroom, and select low-cost items that will have you paying only a fraction of the price.

Make your renovation pop

One feature that can really make your bathroom renovation pop is using floor or wall tiles. It really brings out the overall design of your bathroom, and it can be an easy enough job if you are choosing floor tiles over wall tiles. Choose a shade and shape that works in with your original design, it will all contribute to the vibe of the space design bathroom.

Installing lights

Consider the region you live in; you may need a dampness verification or heat lighting. As well, to fit within your budget it is advisable to choose LED lights, they are good for the environment and they use less energy compared to other lights, saving you money in the long run.

A bathroom renovation can be done with minimal effort and still look as modern as before. You should de-mess, revive tired looking parts, and apply a couple of other techniques and thoughts.

 Guest Contributor, Megan Hudson

How to Stage a Home for Selling

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Crestwood Plumbers

How to Stage a Home for Selling


Should you bother with staging your home before potential buyers see it?

Think about items posted for sale on Craigslist. That “gently used” rug appears to be in great shape, but the cats or filthy highchair in the background make you think twice. 

It’s the same with houses. Good staging hides flaws and puts a home in its best light. 

It gets even better. In a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, around half of agents reported that staged homes usually sell faster and fetch higher prices

Set Aside Your Feelings

Don’t take this personally, but home buyers don’t especially care what you’ve done with the place. They just want to envision themselves living in it. They want a blank canvas that sparks the imagination, and your fondness for industrial chic or the color orange might stand in their way. 

You probably have exquisite taste, but the point of staging is to minimize distractions and let your house speak for itself. There’s room for a little personality, but it can’t be yours.


First Things First


It’s tempting to bust out the scented candles and arrange fresh flowers, but there’s much to be done first:

Repair and upgrade

There are easy fixes for leaky faucets, dinged walls and nasty-looking caulk. Start with cosmetic touch-ups.

Painting is one of the cheapest ways to give your house a fresh, modern look. Choose warm, mostly neutral colors that appeal to everybody. If you introduce small doses of accent color, stick to one per room.

Ask your real estate agent if major upgrades, such as wood floors or modern appliances, are worth the investment to increase your home’s value.

Thoroughly clean

What makes the strongest impression: the aroma of fresh-baked cookies or unsightly grime behind the toilet? Unsightly grime wins every time. 

Roll up your sleeves, and boldly go where no one has gone before. Don’t forget to spruce up the exterior.

Declutter

Clutter obscures your home’s best features and raises doubts about your storage space. As you reorganize and eliminate, shoot for a modern, minimalist look.

Pack up the vintage TV lunchbox collection. Run the paper shredder. Increase your closet space by storing bulky items and seasonal clothing in under-the-bed containers.

Depersonalize

You’d hate to lose a buyer just because someone in your wedding photos reminds him of his mother-in-law.

People have all sorts of prejudices, unfortunately, so don’t give potential buyers a chance to discriminate. Hide anything that indicates your race, religious beliefs, political views, sexual orientation or other personal details.

The Storage Dilemma

Now that everything’s boxed up, where do you put the boxes? What do you do with the plethora of end tables, paintings and tub toys that are taking up space?

With any luck, you can impose on a friend who has room to spare in the garage. A number of charities might love to have your stuff.

The next-best solution is to lease a storage unit short term. The expense is well worth it if your home looks cleaner and roomier.

No matter how well you arrange it, shabby or outdated furniture can spoil the effect you’re trying to achieve, which is that of a brand-new house with endless possibilities.

Consider renting more stylish pieces until your house sells. Alternatively, hire a professional stager with a storehouse full of goodies. We’ll talk more about that later, so keep reading.

Room-specific Tips


Kitchen

Stowing the coffeepot may be impractical, but nix the toaster, cereal boxes and 2-liter soda bottles. 

An attractive set of wooden spoons or cookbooks should be fine if they’re neatly displayed. A bowl of lemons or apples adds a homey touch provided the fruit is real, and the same goes for houseplants. According to realtor.com, fakery will get you nowhere.

Set the breakfast bar and dining table to suggest livability.

Living Room

Stage to scale. A cavernous space with scattered doll furniture, so to speak, looks stark and uninviting. If there’s plenty of space to walk freely, the proportions are probably right.

Master bedroom

Lose the TV. Create a serene, romantic atmosphere with fluffy pillows, a plush comforter and fresh flowers.

Put away toothbrushes and grooming products in the bathrooms. Visitors know they’re there; they just don’t want to see them.

Display only clean, fragrant towels and unused soap. Think day spa.

In every room, move anything that’s even partially blocking the windows. Open the drapes and blinds and add ambient lighting in dark spaces.

Is This a Job for the Pros?

In 2004, Meridith Baer’s rental house sold out from under her. She called a buddy who had already moved to another city. His completely empty house had been on the market for some time.

Baer got permission to arrange all her furniture — and 250 plants — in the vacant house. A bidding war ensued, and the home sold for half a million more than the asking price.

Baer subsequently launched a successful staging company.

Realtor.com estimates that a 2,000-square-foot home costs around $7,200 to stage professionally for three months. That may sound like a fortune, but it could be significantly less than your first price reduction. 

Do the math before you decide.

The Payoff

Whether you do it yourself or hire an expert, the benefits of staging can’t be denied.

In the NAR study, 83% of sellers’ agents said that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as a future home. Almost half said it boosts selling price anywhere from 1 to 20%.

If nothing else, your house will show well online, especially if you hide the cats and power wash the high chair.

Did this blog inspire you to stage before you list? Don’t hesitate to leave comments and share it with friends.

Guest Contributor, Russell Jones

How to Reduce Hazardous Waste at Home

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How to Reduce Hazardous Waste at Home

Products that we use daily in our homes can be harmful to both our health and the environment. Direct contact with some of these chemicals can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, throat, or nasal channels. Some of them may even cause headaches and nausea. On the other hand, some household chemicals can impact the natural environment unless properly disposed of as hazardous waste. Dumped into kitchen or bathroom drains, they can pollute water supplies and harm marine ecosystems. Here are some ways of dealing with hazardous waste in your home.

Reduce the use of cleaners

Many drain cleaner formulas contain sulphuric acid, while oven cleaners are known to contain potassium hydroxide. Both chemicals are highly corrosive and cause irritation of eyes and mucoid membranes. Cleaners that contain grease-removing chemicals such as petroleum distillates can damage lungs if inhaled. To reduce your exposure to these chemicals, use products made of natural ingredients whenever possible. For example, a mixture of baking soda can be used for cleaning drains, while lemon and vinegar are great from removing limescale.

Avoid pesticides

Pesticides are formulated to be deadly to insects, rodents, weed, and fungus, but some of them are potent enough to be harmful to other living organisms, such as pets and their owners. Instead of spraying pesticides, try to find alternative ways of pest control, such as using natural grade diatomaceousearth for getting rid of bugs, pulling weeds by hand, or using mulch, and using covers to keep flying insects at bay. Recently, the use of beneficial nematodes, microscopic parasites, has been reported highly successful in garden bug control.

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Remove contaminants professionally

Building sites, repurposed lots, and heavily cultivated soil sometimes contain contaminants that seem impossible to remove by their owners. Derelict homes are especially challenging as contaminants, such as asbestos, are often difficult to isolate from demolition debris and recyclable waste. Before you give up on the location, give these experienced demolition contractors a call. With more than 20 years of experience in providing remedial services, they can make your site clean and legally compliant again.

Check the laundry detergents

Many household laundry detergents contain ingredients that have nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) as by-products.These organic compounds are identified as one of the major threats to marine life. NPEs have been discovered to mimic hormone strings and disrupt the endocrine system in sea organism. They don’t decompose naturally, and in reaction with sewage bacteria, become even more toxic. Fortunately, companies such as Cintas and P&G offer many NPE-free detergent brands.

Be careful with motor oil

Almost all car fluids, from antifreeze and AC coolant fluid to motor oil and petrol, can be extremely dangerous if disposed of irresponsibly. Motor oil and antifreeze contain heavy metals such as lead and cadmium that can be potentially very hazardous, contaminating water supplies and poisoning aquatic organisms. Instead of contributing to the pollution, contact your local environmental agency or sanitation department and inquire about available disposal and recycling procedures for automotive liquids.

Recycle power-saving bulbs

Although LED bulbs have become a standard for energy-efficient lighting, there are still many compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) being sold and installed. Although the amounts of mercury used in those bulbs have been reduced due to more stringent laws, more than 670 million mercury-vapour light bulbs are thrown out only in the US every year. Most of them end up in a landfill or being incinerated, despite environmental expert’s warnings that recycling is the only sustainable way of disposing of mercury products.

Our homes often contain corrosive, flammable, chemically unstable, or toxic chemicals. Found in cleaning products, automotive fluids, and even the light bulbs, these materials shouldn't be disposed of with regular waste. Apart from recycling and using local safe disposal programmes, the only way to limit exposure and adverse environmental impact of those chemicals is to reduce their use to a minimum.

Guest Contributors, Lillian Connors

5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

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Crestwood Plumbers

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

Design Tips Perfect for Older Adults

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Design Tips Perfect for Older Adults

While not everyone can completely remodel their home to fit their aging needs, there are a few design tips that can ensure every older adult has a more pleasant and safer life. The best way to start your renovation is to look at senior homes and seek some inspiration for safe and stylish senior life. Let’s see what older adults need and prefer when it comes to interior design.

Practical entryways

Every house starts with a good entryway, so make sure to make it practical and safe. For instance, fumbling for keys while you hold grocery bags can cause you to get distracted and lose your balance. So, it can be smart to place a small table or bench next to your entrance. This addition will not only boost the practicality of your entryway but also increase its aesthetic appeal.

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Safe bathrooms

Many falls at home happen right in the bathroom due to slippery showers, baths and floors. So, consider investing in practical grab bars you can find in many places in senior care facilities. These ensure a more practical and safer entrance and exit out of the bath. But, their stainless steel look can also boost elegance in your space. You can also place them next to your toilet for when you need extra support getting up. Additionally, consider ditching baths and investing in a practical step-in shower and hand-held showerhead. This combination will ensure the most practicality and style.

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Good lighting

Any dark corner, poorly-lit room and shady stairway can result in a potential fall or a bump. This is especially important for stairs, hallways and entryways that usually hide the biggest number of obstacles, so it’s no wonder every modern aged care facility is well lit from the entrance to the last room. For instance, if you look at retirement living at Mark Moran Vaucluse you can see that the facility is filled with layered light, both natural and artificial. Their design experts chose to shower the rooms with light to prevent injuries and promote wellbeing. So, make sure to take inspiration from these respectable facilities and light up your space, especially those nooks that can hide sharp corners and other hazards.

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Smart doors

In order to boost mobility between rooms, try to invest in pocket doors. They always stay out of the way when opened and they prevent them from getting caught on clothing or walking aids. Additionally, you can also replace all your doorknobs with more practical levers. These are easier to grip and handle, especially for seniors with arthritis and similar afflictions.

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Easy-to-climb stairs

For older people, stairs are often a true nightmare. They are exhausting and dangerous, so make sure to equip any stairs in your home with handrails, preferably on both sides. Clearly visible and separate steps can also make your ascend and descend safer, even if your vision is impaired. There are cheap stickers you can get that will allow you to mark your steps and prevent trips and falls.

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Anti-slip floors

Oftentimes, danger lurks under your feet. With age, you start to lose your balance and speed, so slips can end up with a serious injury. The easiest way to prevent slips yet keep your home stylish is to invest in nonskid mats under your rugs. If you use a walker or wheelchair to get around, it’s best to opt for a low-pile carpet that won’t get caught in your wheels and walkers. You can also ditch your area rugs and embrace the popular minimalist style that’s also very easy to keep clean.

If you follow these senior design tips, you’ll have a home that will allow you to age with grace, safety and style. You’ll get to enjoy your home for many, many years to come, but whenever you notice you can’t take care of your safety, make sure to find a good senior care facility.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

Poop And The Plumbing Saga

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Where does all the poop go

Poop And The Plumbing Saga


We all go about our daily pooping business, flush it down and forget about it.  As we rush through a typical day, we don’t stop and think much about poop, until something goes amiss-either we have a bad stomach or the toilet gets clogged. Till then its mindless flushing at our office and home toilets and life goes on.  

Who are the people we call in when the toilet malfunctions, is clogged-up or needs repair? The Plumber of course, who gets to work with his tool set and like magic everything is smooth flowing again. The relief that is felt once the situation is remedied is priceless as we no longer need to control the call of nature or make temporary arrangements that are not convenient. On the days that poop moves effortlessly through the drainage, it continues on an onward journey.

Where does all the poop go?

Let’s find out.

Within the sewage systems that carry away the poop, it meets water bugs, cockroaches, chemicals and other pollutants. It then flows and reaches a sewage treatment plant. After removing large debris such as nappies, tissues, cloth pieces, pebbles, etc. the human waste is separated from the water. The resulting sludge goes into further treatment using processes such as lime stabilization, thickening and anaerobic digestion. The sludge is then used as fertilizer or fuel as it is rich in micro-nutrients. The water, on the other hand, needs secondary treatment to remove the harmful bacteria using good bacteria and chemicals. The pure, clean water can be reused safely or can be simply released back to the rivers or seas.  Here, is an animated infographic explaining the whole process of where does the Human Waste go?

Why has Plumbing been a game changer?

The contribution of plumbers and the plumbing industry to humankind has been tremendous. In the early ages, unsanitary conditions had claimed thousands of lives due to outbreaks of deadly water-borne diseases. Getting to work to remove the sorry state of sanitation in our world were names such as John Snow, John Harington and Alexander Cummings, designing toilets and flushing systems to safely carry away tons of excreta each day, keeping killer epidemics in check.

Until the 20th century, there simply weren’t any bathrooms as we know them today. It was the plumbers, innovators, town planners and architects that worked tirelessly to make a significant shift happen. Plumbing continues to evolve with better techniques and improved sanitation systems in developed nations and is making strides in the developing world where unhealthy practices such as open defecation still exist.

Thanking the Plumber

Plumbers bring us immense convenience, and their contribution cannot be undermined. A slight malfunction in our home or office toilet can create mayhem if there isn’t an alternative close by and easily disrupt our routine. While the plumber gets to work, we must recall his contribution to health and hygiene and the importance of plumbing industry in building better cities, towns and countries.

Plumbing has given us some incredibly stylish and aesthetically pleasing bathing spaces as also tremendous convenience, be it showers, luxury tubs, public toilets that run without any glitches and bring respite in an emergency. Plumbing in every sense contributes to making our lives efficient and productive.

Guest Contributor, Megan Hudson

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Most Popular Landscaping Trends for 2019

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Most Popular Landscaping Trends for 2019

 

Whether you have a front yard or a back yard – or even both! – you surely understand why taking care of your outdoor space is so vital. This is where you can spend time with your friends and family, organizing parties and enjoying fresh air, and if you put your mind to it and aren’t afraid to invest some money, you’ll be able to keep doing that all year long. However, you first need to come up with an effective landscaping schedule that will keep your exterior cool and appealing. In order to do that, you need to learn a few of the newest trends, so here are some of the hottest landscaping ideas out there.

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Pavers and greenery

Getting from point A to point B in your backyard might not always be the easiest thing in the world, especially if you’re trying to protect your grass and keep it fresh for as long as possible. That’s why people all around the world, from Australia to South America, use an easy yet highly effective trick and equip their backyard with pavers and stepping stones. But, if you really want to be trendy, you need to arrange some grass around your pavers or opt for those helpful grass block pavers that really go a long way. This solution is simple, affordable, practical, easy to install, and even easier to maintain, so get as many of these block pavers as you need right away!

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Add a water feature

Every outdoor space needs a focal point, and water features are among the most effective and visually appealing focal points in the world. It doesn’t really matter if you opt for a fountain, a waterfall, or a pond – as long as it looks nice and attracts attention, you’re good to go! Keep in mind that all of these ideas need some proper maintenance, so don’t forget to do that regularly, and you’ll be able to enjoy your water feature in the decades to come as well.

Plumbers in Creswood IL

Build a pool

Now, if you’re a big fan of water features, none of the ideas mentioned above is going to work for you, but you can always build yourself a proper pool in your backyard. This is one of the best ways to give your exterior area even more purpose and show it the love it deserves, but also do something good for yourself, especially if you’re living in a hot region with lots of sunny days. This is an idea people in Australia use quite a lot, which is why they aren’t afraid to talk to those experienced pool builders from Sydney and let them work their magic. You’re going to end up with a brand new pool before you know it, and your backyard will start looking better than ever straight away!

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A corner for gardening

You don’t have to be the biggest fan of cooking in the world to understand why having a tiny garden in a corner of your backyard is so vital. Here, you can grow all those delicious herbs and vegetables you can use in your cooking, but you’ll also give your outdoor space an exciting new feature. Starting a herb garden isn’t as hard as it sounds, and you just need to invest some time and patience – and the results you’re going to get in just a few months are amazing and will surely make your backyard quite special.

Taking care of your garden and showing it some love doesn’t have to be too hard or time-consuming, but you need to stay consistent – come up with a schedule and stick to it week after week, and there’s nothing to worry about!

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

Decorating with Rugs: the Essentials

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Decorating with Rugs: the Essentials

When a room starts to appear dull and boring, replacing a rug might solve the problem. Even though most people see it just as an accessory, the right rug can change the entire feel of the room and set the foundation of the entire design. By playing with its colour, pattern, shape and size, you can add more interest and vibrancy to your space and use the rug to visually tie together various elements, give it a stronger definition and add more warmth and style. Here are several different ways to decorate a room with rugs.

Make Sure to Get the Right Size

It might be tricky to determine the right rug size for your room since in this case, bigger isn’t necessarily better. A rug that is too big can swallow the room and take away from the beauty of your hardwood flooring, and a tiny rug can chop up a room and make it seem disconnected.

The general tip is to pick a rug that is 3 feet smaller in length and width than your room. These bare edges will make the room seem bigger. Dining room rugs should be at least 24 inches wider than the edge of your dining table so the back legs of chairs can stay on the rug even when pulled out to allow your guest to sit. As for runners, they should be about 4 inches narrower and 18 to 24 inches shorter than your hallway, but large enough to have both of your feet on the rug as you pass through.

Use Rugs to Define Areas

Rugs can be a very effective tool in defining spaces, both small studio apartments and large rooms equally well. In smaller spaces, leave a narrow strip of the floor visible to make the room appear bigger and brighter, and in larger rooms, experts’ advice is to have the front legs of your furniture on the rug and the back legs off. It unifies the area without cutting it off form the rest of the room.

You can also use the rug as a focal point and make a strong impact. The trick is to create a contrast by painting your walls in one of the rug accent colours. And, don't think that a rug has to be a rectangle. Sometimes a square, round or oval shape can complement your furniture arrangement better than a classic rectangular one.

Set up a colour scheme

Your rug of choice can be used to set the basis of your colour scheme, or if you introduce it later, it can emphasise and tie in your existing colour scheme. You can use a rug can visually soften the room or add more accent. Bear in mind that achieving balance is the point of good design, so don’t overdo it. If your walls are soft and neutral, go with a bold coloured rug, and vice versa.

Choosing among so many different colours and patterns can be overwhelming, so you might decide to buy your rugs onlinesince there you will usually have a much bigger choice of rugs and more affordable prices. 

Achieve harmony and variety

Rugs add a touch of playfulness and variety to a room, but you need to be careful how you size and position them. If you’re planning on using two rugs, variety will be achieved with different sized rugs. Otherwise, the room will be visually cutin two.

Make sure the two rugs complement each other in style or the final result will be awkward and unpleasant. Too many different styles and patterns will disrupt the harmony. 

Use rugs as decorative tools

Rugs can be great decorative tools if used correctly. For instance, by changing both your pillows and rugs with the changing of seasons, you'll easily transform the room and make it appear trendy and fresh. And if you hang your rug on the wall, you'll have an original focal point.

The bottom line is that anything can work, it all depends on what you find most appealing and what can create the best effect in your home.

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

How to Safely Store Your Items While Remodeling

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How to Safely Store Your Items While Remodeling

Home renovation is a super fun yet hectic time in your life—there are so many people circulating in and out of your home, paint is getting dangerously near to your sofa and dust gets everywhere. So, don’t get surprised if some things get damaged, lost or in need of professional cleaning after you’re finished. But, there’s a way to avoid all of that and safely store your items. Here’s what to do.

Pay special attention to important documents

Do you happen to have a folder, a drawer or a shoebox filled with financial documents, birth certificates and legal papers? Even though most of us do it, keeping these important documents in such an unsafe place can cost you a lot of time and money. Identity theft is not a joke and it actually affects millions of people every year. So, it’s best to store these documents in a safe or a deposit box. This will ensure they are safe and secure until your home returns to its normal state.

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Hire professional movers

Moving furniture and other big items out of your house or to another room can be very difficult, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can easily bump a corner of your mahogany dining table and damage both the table and the wall. These repairs will cost you more money and time than hiring professional movers. By hiring these guys, you’ll clear out your space in record time, end up with intact furniture and spare your back! 

Hire moving containers

If your entire house is getting a makeover, you have to remove everything from your home. So, unless you’re ready to keep your sofas and beds in the backyard, your safest bet is to hire a moving container. Companies such as Moving Containers are basically a one-stop shop for storage and can provide you with quality containers that will house your things during your renovation. Your items will be close to you at all times and right at your disposal. However, you can also arrange for transport of your moving container in case you don’t have any room to keep it on your property. A truck will transport your full container to a safe depot location and you’ll get it back when your renovation is done. This is the safest way to remove your property because it includes less handling and professional transport.

Use self-storage

If you don’t care whether your furniture is at your disposal during the renovation (or simply can’t keep a container on your property), you can rent a unit in a self-storage facility. You’ll need to hire a moving van for this task, but your furniture and other items will be safe while you renovate. If you choose a reputable storage facility, you can even ensure your property!

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Designate a room

If you’re conducting your renovation in stages or if there are certain rooms that are not getting a makeover, you can use that space as storage. The usual areas that end up serving as storage are guest bedrooms or basements, so see if you can spare some space. This method is very cost-effective, but not very practical. The room that’s full of stuff can’t be used at all, so keep that in mind.

Store your things with friends

If you don’t have any room to spare in your home, ask your good friends and neighbors for a few square feet to use as storage. If there’s anyone who can help, make sure to do all the moving work yourself and be swift in removing your things after your renovation is done. Don’t let your things overstay their welcome—it’s rude and unneighborly. A nice thank-you gift is also a great idea.

Install motion sensors

Outdoor lighting is one of the cheapest ways to deter burglars, so you might want to install some motion sensor lights before your reno. This move also sends a message that you know your home is exposed and you’re taking precautions. Plus, when your renovation is finished, you’ll have new and practical motion-activated lighting for future use!

If you pick the right storage option for your things and protect your site like a boss, your renovation will go without any damage to your items. You’ll get to sleep soundly knowing all your precious possessions are safe and ready to make your home even more beautiful once the renovation is over.

 Guest Contributor, Mike Johnston

About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and Divine Magazine. He has also contributed to numerous lifestyle, real estate and green living blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.