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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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9 TIPS TO BUYING A COUCH

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9 TIPS TO BUYING A COUCH

The furniture is featured in the room. When it comes to choosing yours, pay attention to the details. So you avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. If you want to know more tips based on buying a couch, then Sishawa will help you at their best.

1. Do not get carried away by the appearance of the fabric. Good sofa needs to have firm structure and quality foam . The problem is that in the store, we can not see these internal elements.

2. Speaking of foam: The densities of the seat, backrest arms and cushions should be different , as the fatigue is not the same. The seller does not know how to report this? Be suspicious.

3. When the sofa is new, everything looks perfect. But how will it be after a year of use? Before you get a headache, look for companies that offer warranty and, if possible, technical assistance .

4. The difference between a couch to play and a sofa to the living room is the depth of the seat . Want to relax, sleep, watch movies? Sofa deep. Need something more formal like, for example, a waiting room? Lean seat.

5. There is a trick to knowing if the sofa is comfortable specifically for you. Sit on it with your legs crossed one over the other, like "Indian leg" . If you fit in the seat without your knees being out, the piece passed the test.

6. Are there children and pets in your home? Choose models with washable covers. The cotton, linen and twill are the most suitable. Just remember that they should be pre-shrunk. Dark coats disguise dirt better, but fade more. Light-colored coats resist better washing.

7. In the doubt between reforming the old sofa and buying a new one? What it commands is the quality of the structure . Ask the opinion of good upholsterers before disposing of an antique furniture.

8. Sofas of distinct models in the same environment work superbem. If they are from very different times - one more modern, another vintage, for example - better still. Do not be afraid to mix .

9. If you are buying a pouf to support your feet, choose a model of the same height as the sofa seat . The piece will support a tray and also as an extra seat when you need it

Guest Contributor, Sherry K

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4 Effective Tips On Turning Your Basement Into A Chic Home Office

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Plumber in homewood

4 Effective Tips on Turning Your Basement into a Chic Home Office

The basement has the potential to become the favorite room in your household, instead of forever being that odd damp place you visit occasionally to check the water heater and if the mold is under control. Particularly, your basement has the potential to become the home office you always dreamed of, and skyrocket your at-home career in the process.

The possibilities here are endless, as you will be working with a blank canvas of sorts, a space where you are yet to bring a unique, personal setting to life. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the four key tips that will help you transform your basement into an elegant home office you won’t want to leave.

Inspect the space and make a detailed plan

First things first, you need to establish a foundation for your project based on meticulous research. You will need to conduct a thorough inspection of the available space, and most importantly, determine if there are any hazardous materials or air particles residing here. Typically, this will be mold, but you could also encounter asbestos from cracked walls if your house is old, so be sure to bring in a professional inspector.

Next, you will need to brainstorm the layout of your office. Keep in mind that this is not simply a space where you will work – this is a space where you will spend the majority of your day, so it needs to be functional, inspirational, and fully optimized for top productivity.

Make it functional first

When it comes to layouts, there are three key areas you need to consider: the main work and lounge area, the bathroom, and the kitchen. Consider this office space as you would any other, and remember that these auxiliary spaces will prove vital for your productivity throughout the day.

Particularly, you shouldn’t have to go upstairs every time you need to go to the bathroom, so focus on allocating enough space for a small restroom, making sure to introduce the necessary plumbing features. Additionally, consider adding a small kitchen area or even just a mini-fridge to avoid lengthy trips upstairs in the middle of your work.

Pay special attention to lighting

The basement is an inherently dark place, so one of your priorities should be to illuminate the entire area for top productivity and day-long zeal. The basement-office trend has grown widely popular with Australian homeowners, so take note.

In the Land Down Under, homeowners will plan their lighting scheme with the help of an experienced level 2 electrician in Sydney and other remote-work hubs around the country, in order to light the room for minimal eye and mental strain. In the absence of adequate natural lighting, nailing your artificial lighting scheme should be your no.1 priority as well, so be sure to let your electrician in on the project early on.

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Introduce your personal flair and brand

Designing a home office is a wonderful opportunity to make the space an extension of your personality, and a setting where your brand’s colors and stories can come to life. To that end, you want to choose a color scheme that will influence your mindset in a positive way, and introduce various decor elements on your desk, the shelves, and the walls that will speak to your heart and mind.

However, refrain from cluttering the space too much, as physical clutter can quickly become emotional stress. Stick with a couple of personal belongings on your desk, add vibrant artwork on the walls to give the room a sense of class, and allocate the rest of the space to storage – you are going to need it.

Transforming a basement into a home office is a unique project that requires careful planning, as there is plenty that can go wrong along the way. With these tips in mind, though, you will have no problem designing a basement office that is functional, elegant, and a natural extension of your true self.

Guest Contributor, Chloe Taylor

The Most Reliable Water Heater Brands on the Market

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The Most Reliable Water Heater Brands on the Market

The water heater is an essential part of every modern household. We depend on it night and day, all year long. Typically, the water heater is responsible for almost 20% of your energy bill. Those are the two prevailing reasons why everyone is interested in the most reliable water heater brands on the market.

The following list consists of some of the most reputable brands currently. They have been recognized as the leaders in their industry not just by the buyers, but by independent market researchers as well.

Rheem Water Heaters

Rheem is an American manufacturer that has been in business since 1925. They manufacture both commercial and residential water heaters. For almost a decade they have been considered as the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America. They are present not just in Canada and the US, but in another 14 countries as well.

Their water heaters are available in various sizes and come with multiple warranties. Their tankless water heaters are their most popular product in the US. They are known to recover quickly and that they require minimum maintenance, like the RTEX-18. When it comes to on-demand water heaters, they are at the very top. Their energy efficiency is another of their trademarks. All in all, it is a brand that is well-known to the American consumer and one that will remain on top in the foreseeable future.

A.O Smith

A.O. Smith is a brand known not just in the US, but worldwide as well. The company is in business since 1874. They started operating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and kept headquarter there till present day. Their water heaters are sold only by authorized dealers and contractors. Their main trait is their energy efficiency. As a result, many of their water heaters qualify for utility rebate and state tax credits.

Bradford White Water Heater

This is an American product, designed and produced on American soil. They are at the very top of most wanted water heater brands in the US. They are known for their outstanding quality and durability. They give a 10-year warranty for each of their water heaters installed by some of their authorized representatives. They are one of the most expensive brands on the market, but that’s the price of exceptional quality.

Ecosmart

Price, quality, and efficiency. That’s what Ecosmart water heaters are all about. Their patented technology can generate 60% savings. That’s 60% saving on the water heating bill. On top of that, they come with a limited lifetime warranty. All that for an unbeatable price. As a result, there is a constant flow of positive reviews on Amazon.   

Rinnai

Rinnai is a Japanese brand that has been around since 1920. They first started producing water heaters in 1964 and has been going strong since then. Today, by some industry experts, they are considered as the top-selling tankless water-heating brand in both the US and Canada. The fact that their water heaters come with a 12 years warranty speaks tons about the quality of their products. Also, there are thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon that play in their favor. According to their data, so far they have installed over 20 million water heaters worldwide.

Guest Contributor, Verner Ellen

Tips For Preventing Mold In Your Home

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Homewood Plumbers

Tips For Preventing Mold In Your Home

If your home is prone to damp and condensation, there’s a good chance that you also have a mold problem. While mold is unsightly it can also be damaging too. Not only to your home, where it can rot and damage the structures, but also to your health. Mold is known to cause respiratory problems, asthma and allergic reactions, none of which are pleasant to live with and, in the case of those with a compromised immune system, could actually be dangerous.

Mold spores easily spread and are hard to get rid of, so preventing its growth in your home couldn’t be more important. Since mold can grow all over your home – on your flooring, your walls, your basement and ceiling – you need to be vigilant at all times.

If you’re worried about mold, here are some top tips to help prevent it from taking hold in your home.

1. Identify The Problem Zones

It’s impossible to fully mold-proof any property, but it is possible to make it more mold-resistant. Go around your home carrying out a full audit of all the problem zones. Do you have issues with flooding in your basement? Is there condensation on your windows? Do you have water stains on your ceiling from a leak? Take steps to address those problem areas. Rip up the carpet in your damp basement. Install mold-resistant products. Repair damaged guttering. Waterproof your basement. This is the first step to getting rid of the problem.

2. Dry Any Wet Areas

Mold is unable to grow if there’s no moisture so make sure you dry any wet areas immediately you notice them. If there has been a flood after rainfall, leaking from a pipe or just a spill on your carpet, drying it within the first 48 hours is vital. Remove any water damaged furniture, bedding and carpets following a flood if it’s impossible to dry them completely. Also, don’t leave any wet items around your home and wipe down walls and flows following showers and bathing. Avoid leaving wet clothing in your washing machine too – hang them outdoors to dry.

3. Have Proper Ventilation

Whenever you bathe, shower, do laundry or cook food, make sure there is sufficient ventilation in the rooms you’re using. Vent any appliance which produces moisture to the outside and also ways use a dehumidifier as this will also help to solve your mold problems.

4. Use Mold-Resistant Products

Whether you’re building a brand new property or renovating your existing one, choose mold-resistant Sheetrock and drywall as well as paints with mold-inhibitors built in. This will guard against problems developing in the first place.

5. Monitor Your Indoor Humidity

You should maintain an indoor humidity level of 30-60%. This can be measured with a moisture meter that you can buy at any hardware store. Look also for any signs that your rooms are too humid. Condensation on walls, pipes and windows is a sign that you need to address the moisture source.

6. Direct Any Water Away From Your Property

If the area surrounding your property isn’t sloped sufficiently away from its foundations, you may find rainwater collects there and can seep into the basement. Call in professionals if necessary to adjust the ground so this no longer happens. Also repair your roof gutters if they are damaged or clean them out if they are blocked.

7. Keep Mold Away From Your Plants

Having plants inside your home is a great way to keep the indoor air clean and fresh, however they can also attract mold. The soil used for potting indoor plants is moist and helps mold to breed and thrive. It can then spread around your home exacerbating your mold problem. Luckily, you don’t have to throw away your plants. Instead, add Taheebo tea to your plants’ water and this will help to guard against mold naturally without chemicals.

Wherever you live, your region will respond different to moisture and there isn’t a single solution to preventing mold. However, if you follow these steps, you’ll find your home is better protected than ever before.

Guest Contributor, Emma Parker

Why Your General Contractor Must Have Insurance

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Why Your General Contractor Must Have Insurance

When you’re getting construction work done, you need to consider a lot of things. For one, you have to set a budget that you must work to stick to for the entire project. For another, you have come up with a design that will work for you. You will also have to find a good general contractor to help make your project come to life.

Finding a good general contractor can sometimes be tough, but you need to do your best to find one who does not only have the expertise, capability, and experience to oversee your construction, but also the proper contractor insurance coverage.

Why do you need your general contractor to be an insured one? Here are some of the reasons.

To confirm that the contractor is legitimate

Many individuals offer their services as a contractor but don’t actually have the license to do so. If a contractor is insured and provides proof of coverage, then you can be sure that that contractor is legitimate. Securing a license to operate as a contractor requires having insurance coverage. So if your contractor is insured, then he or she is a licensed one.

To not be liable for injuries and damages

The most common insurance policies contractors have are general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. The former pays for any claims made for third-party injuries or property damage, while the latter covers the medical expenses and lost wages of workers who suffer an injury while working on your construction project.

If your general contractor doesn’t have them, then you will in effect be the contractor, and therefore liable for the injuries, property damage, or even deaths that happen on the work site.

To lower costs in the long term

While you may be able to save money from the generally lower rates that unlicensed and uninsured contractors may offer you, you may still end up spending more in the long run. You could be shouldering the cost for construction mistakes that need to be rectified, or pay for an injured worker’s hospitalization and medications if your general contractor has no insurance coverage.

Hard pass on uninsured contractors

Their services may come cheap, but uninsured contractors could cost you more. Aside from being unsure about the quality of work because of the lack of qualifications, an uninsured general contractor can make you a target for a lawsuit that could end up bankrupting you.

So even if someone offers you such services for cheap, steer clear of them if they have no insurance. The risks are just too high, and you wouldn’t want to take them on.

Guest Contributor, Rachel Porter

5 Good Reasons For Renovating and Remodelling Your Home

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5 Good Reasons for Renovating and Remodelling Your Home

Home renovations can be pretty difficult and challenging, especially if you feel like all the other kitchens and bathrooms you see are perfect, whereas yours are outdated. Sometimes, people remodel their homes because they need to update something, but there are also cases when they only want their homes to be modern and in pristine condition. If you’re not sure whether you should renovate and remodel your home, we give you a list of 5 reasons why you should do so:

It will increase your home’s value

In case you decide one day to sell your home, potential buyers will appreciate the effort you’ve put into remodelling as well as the upgrades you've made. Work well-done means you took care of your home, and kitchens and bathrooms with modern appliances and fixtures will make people understand that you’ve invested plenty of time and money to get the desired results.

Keeping up with trends

You might have been admiring photos of beautiful homes for a long time, but who is to say that you can’t make your home look that way? You can easily add not only a scullery, but standout alfresco areas too, and have your home resemble a miniature palace or a minimalist Japanese home. If you follow trends, it’s easy to find inspiration there and invest your time and money into making your dream home reality.

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Your energy bills will be lower

If you live in an old home, chances are that it is not very energy-efficient, which means that you’re probably spending more money on bills than you expect. By renovating and upgrading your home, you can make it more energy efficient, thus saving money in the long run. Great roof restoration services will save you the trouble of having to do minor repairs every few weeks; LED lights will save electricity, and water saving faucets and shower heads will significantly lower your water consumption. Upgraded kitchen appliances will also help you save money on electricity and reduce your carbon footprint.

Restoring a character home

A number of old and neglected homes are actually hidden gems whose glow you can restore with a little bit of careful planning and a few well-timed projects. Renovating such homes is a real challenge but it definitely brings a reward because you will end up with a character home that looks like it travelled back in time. Of course, it’s necessary to do your research first, so that you can focus on features that are specific to a particular historic style. Uneven floors, old plumbing, and poor structural support are common problems that contractors have to face when restoring such homes. For this reason,  you should leave a bit more room in your budget than you first thought.

You won’t have to wait long

Just a few years ago, if you had had the need to call a contractor, you would have waited months at a time before they came over. This was because good contractors used to be very scarce and they were very busy, but today you can easily find available contractors. This means that your projects won’t have to wait long and you can rest assured that it will only take a few days after you’ve signed a contract for people to show up at your doorstep with tools.

If you love your home, you will also embrace every opportunity to improve and upgrade it. You can think about redecorating, upgrading, renovating, remodelling, and even extending your home so that the result is precisely what you hoped it would be. Your lifestyle will be improved, you will be content, and in case you want to sell your home some day, you will be able to get a better price.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

How Your Garage Became So Cluttered

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How Your Garage Became So Cluttered

To understand how the garage came to play such a significant role in the average American acquisition, it’s easier if you have a bit of background on how architecture and the building industry affected the placement and use of the garage.

Housing developments

The first carriage houses and later, garages, were built behind the home. When housing developments became popular in the seventies and eighties, the architecture of homes changed to streamline traffic. The family garage was relocated to the front of the home and attached to the house. The average family now uses the automatic garage door as a primary means of entering their home rather than the front or back door.

Ebb and flow

Today, the garage door is also often the most significant architectural element in the front of many homes. For this reason, a new garage door can transform the look of a home. At the same time, the ease with which we enter and depart from our homes via the garage has given us the opportunity to use the garage as a holding area of sorts. Most of our purchases enter through the garage via the family car.

Much of our garbage exits through the garage door when we take out the trash cans. If items are too good to throw away but not good enough to keep in the home, they often become stuck in a holding pattern. After all, a garage isn’t a room in the house where cleanliness and comfort are required. As a result, we often allow the space to become so cluttered it becomes a safety hazard. We’ve all managed to trip over a bicycle or carelessly placed box at some point. Also, the automatic garage door can break, or its function is threatened if overstacked boxes or other items fall on the mechanisms.

Storage

As the middle class expanded, advertising told people to buy more stuff.  Even if you already had a coat, for example, advertising reminded us that the styles had changed and for a relatively reasonable price, you could own a brand-new stylish one. Since the old coat wasn’t worn out, you kept that one, too. Soon, we all had a mountain of old outerwear, dishes, knick-knacks, and kitchen appliances. It seemed reasonable to store the old stuff in the garage until the next garage sale, drop-off at the thrift store, until someone needed it, or until some mishap befell the new one.

Municipalities and HOA’s have added to the temptation to store items in the garage because many of these governing entities stopped issuing permits for sheds and other structures, or banned them altogether.

Hobbies and sports

Since the middle class is no longer required to work long hours to keep families from starving, there are new opportunities for leisure activities such as hobbies and sports activities. The tools and equipment from these activities are often stored in the garage as a matter of convenience.

Looking forward

In light of our new understanding of how the garage came to be a kind of private loading dock, we no longer have to be victims of an architectural decision from years ago. By rethinking the garage as a living space specifically for the car will help us become more respectful of the area.

Just as warehouses use floor tape to designate areas which are to remain clear at all times, a family can create a mental ‘safe zone’ in their garage, one in which walkways are clear, and boxes or other items aren’t abandoned: they ’re either appropriately stored or hauled away. If the project is overwhelming, asking for help is reasonable. Garage storage units can also be helpful.

Guest Contributor, Danny Cappello

About the author: Danny Cappello is a co-founder of Quick Response Garage Doors and Quick Response Garage Cabinets. When not busy with work Danny enjoys playing tennis, and spending time with his family.

Seven Home Improvements That Do Not Increase Your Home Value

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Plumbers in Crestwood IL

Seven home improvements that do not increase your home value.

A survey by the Homeowner Protection found that fifty-eight percent of homeowners in the U.S intend to carry out some kind of home remodeling in the next twelve months.

Most of the proprietors surveyed said that they wanted to renovate their homes so as to increase the value of the house when they do eventually sell it.

Not all home enhancements add value to your house. Some home renovations do not add value worst still various improvements can detract from the value of your house.

Here are eight home renovations that can lower the value of your house:

1.   Bright and Bold Paint Colors.

Trendy homeowners might feel the need to invest in painting the exterior of the home in bright colors. However, bright paint colors may not add to the value of your house especially if the house is ultimately sold to someone who does not like bright colors.

Instead, homeowners should paint both the interior and exterior of their house neutral colors before placing the house on the market.

Neutral colors can help the new homeowner to easily envision themselves in your home.

2.   Extreme High-end Kitchen renovations.

The kitchen is one of the rooms that most homeowners invest huge sums of money. However, homeowners do not recoup the full amount spent in the kitchen remodel as kitchen’s resale values are below the actual remodeling costs.

To avoid making this mistake, buy middle range kitchen appliances in place of high-end kitchen appliances.

3.     Luxury Bathroom.

Luxury bathrooms increase the value to your home, but over personalized finishes and over-the-top whirlpool tubs may not be too attractive to would-be buyers with a different bathroom preference.

To ensure that your house is desirable to many people install a walk-in shower and avoid extremely luxurious bathroom finishes.

4.   Combining two bedrooms to create a bigger room.

Knocking down walls to create one big bedroom might seem like a good idea to a young couple or to a retired couple whose children have moved away from the house. But this is a bad idea for homeowners who want to sell their home in the future.

Young families with children, want their children to have separate bedrooms, and they, do not mind if the rooms are small.

Each separate bedroom adds about fifteen percent value to the home, so try and implement simple décor tricks in the small bedrooms to make them seem bigger instead of taking down the wall.

5.   A swimming pool.

Families with kids and people who live in places with high temperatures at least six months in a year, may opt to buy a house with a swimming pool.

However, if the home is located in a place that is quite cold throughout the year a swimming pool will not add any value to your house.

6.   A hot tub.

For families with young children, a hot tub is a safety hazard in the home. Hence such families might offer to buy the home a certain price, less the cost of uninstalling the hot tub from the house.

If you have to install a hot tub to your home, consider installing a moveable hot tub that you can carry with you once you sell the house.

7.   Costly landscaping.

Lavish landscaping decorations may increase the curb appeal of your home, but they will not raise the value of your home.

Prospective buyers will only see the high maintenance costs required for the decorations and this may make them fearful of buying the home.

Homeowners should install simple easy to maintain garden décor which can be removed easily should the need arise.

8.   Creative interior décor.

Unusual wall colors, too much wallpaper, and quirky wall-to-wall carpets are some of the creative décor installations that detract from your home.

If the prospective buyer dislikes the décor installations in your home, they will most likely be calculating how much it will cost them to remove such items. Accordingly, they will offer to buy your house for a low price taking into consideration that they will incur additional uninstalling costs in the home.

When decorating your home avoid over personalizing your home as most probable buyers may not share similar décor preferences with you.

Avoid all the mistakes discussed above, for you to get the best possible price for your house when you do decide to sell it.

 Guest Contributor, Danny “Wheels“  Margagliano

Easy Ways to Cozy Up Your Home

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Crestwood Plumbers

Easy Ways to Cozy Up Your Home

What is it that you love about your home? Some will talk about location, some about the size, and others about functionality. But what all of us have in common is that we love that feeling of joy and relief as we step into our homes after a long journey or a tough day at work. That doesn’t come from the location or the amount of money you’ve invested in sprucing the place up. It comes from all the little personal touches that you and the ones you love have put into every corner of your home. And if you seem to lack that heart-warming feeling, here are some ways for you to make your home cozier and more welcoming for you, your family and anybody else who decides to visit.

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Add some warmth to your sofa

The living-room sofa is usually the place where most families gather to watch films, play board games together or share a pot of hot tea while talking about how everybody’s day went. That’s why you should start there. Add a throw blanket to your sofa and your armchair, and don’t be shy with cushions either. Make sure you choose soft, warm and fluffy fabric in various colors and patterns. As long as you’re making the place more comfortable, why not add some style to it as well?

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Step on clouds

When the temperatures outside drop, there’s nothing worse than stepping on cold floor with your bare feet. So, if you don’t have wall-to-wall carpets, you can always get some area rugs. Opt for natural materials, like cotton, wool or jute, and don’t hesitate to layer them for extra coziness. Furthermore, if you have a pair of nice, comfy slippers next to your front door, you can put them on as soon as you enter your home and have them thaw your feet from the freezing cold outside.

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Create a perfect reading spot

There’s nothing more inviting than a nice reading nook, some hot tea and the characters from your favorite book just waiting for you to join them in their next adventure. First, find a place near a big window, so that you get plenty of natural light. Second, invest in a lovely egg chair and perhaps even an ottoman for your feet, both in premium fabrics and a color of your preference. Finally, put a small table next to your chair, so that you have a place to put down your book and your tea cup or a coffee mug. What more could a person want?

Dress your windows up

Bare windows or short, light-colored and translucent curtains are modern and cute, but if you want to add warmth to your living space, you should consider some other options. For example, thick and heavy pattern drapes that fall down to the floor will definitely do the trick. Not only will they visually make the room more pleasant, but they’ll also help insulate your home by preventing cold from leaking through your windows.

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Let your home show what you love

Displaying things like your family photos, your kids’ drawings or holiday cards from your closest friends and family will add some personal charm to any space. You can also print and frame some inspirational quotes and messages to reflect your beliefs and temperament. And why stop with the visual? If there’s anything that turns a house into a home it’s the smell of freshly-baked cookies. So, either bake your favorite cookies, or at least get a few scented candles for each of your rooms.

Don’t forget the bathroom

First thing’s first. Get a reliable plumber to check all your pipes for leaks. Once you know you’re on the safe side, you can relax and start adding some bath mats, shower and window curtains, as well as some plush towels. If the size of your bathroom allows it, consider replacing your shower with a beautiful bathtub, where you can take long, hot bubble baths whenever you feel like it. Throw in some string lights for ambient lighting and a house plant or two in the name of eco-friendliness and your bathroom will become as warm and as welcoming as the rest of your home.

These tips are just a small part of what you can do to add some allure to your home. And while there are many more wonderful ideas out there, these are a great starting point for turning your home into an oasis of comfort and warmth.

Guest Contributor, Cooper Klein

How To Effectively Prepare Your Business For A Natural Disaster

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How to effectively prepare your business for a natural disaster

The key to succeeding in the world of business is leaving no blind spots. And one of the main blind spots would be forgetting that the world of business coexists with our own world – a world fragile and susceptible to various misfortunes. According to a survey published by CNBC, as much as 40% of small businesses never reopen after a natural disaster. These numbers need to be taken very seriously.

So, let’s take a quick look at the things you can do to prepare your enterprise for the times of crises.

Assess the risk

Some areas are more prone to natural disasters than others. Likewise, some industries run a higher risk of losing their assets as a consequence of these calamities. That’s why, if you ever want to develop a comprehensive response and prevention plan, you need to do a thorough risk assessment. Essentially, a regular risk assessment consists of these three parts:

●        Identification of potential hazards

●        Identification of the assets that could be at risk

●        Impact analysis

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Try to determine the cost of interruptions

Once you know the dangers your business can face and the assets that can most likely be affected, it’s time to see how much money you may lose due to damage and downtime caused by the disaster. While doing this, don’t be afraid to go with less optimistic projections – underestimating the real costs of the disaster can only stall your business even longer. Here's the short list of the topics your projections should cover:

●        Lost income

●        Payroll during down times

●        The cost of temporary office space

●        The cost of relocation

●        Rebuilding

●        Liability

Review the insurance coverage

Investing in property insurance is one of the best ways to make sure your business will be able to rebound after the damage has been done. However, you have to make sure that the premiums you are paying are able to cover the costs of property replacement in the case your premises suffer a total loss. Fortunately, you can always resort to professional building insurance valuation to make sure your assessments are accurate enough. For example, if your valuation is off by just a wrong construction material, your insurance won’t be able to cover the loss and your business may need more time to recover.

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Prepare the emergency plan

Your employees need to have a written procedure of how they are going to behave in case of a disaster and they are forced to leave their workplaces. Of course, writing the emergency plan is only a half solution. The emergency procedures should be prominently displayed throughout your premises and your workers should practice evacuation at least once a month. Also, it is a good idea to include your digital assets into the emergency plan as well. A thorough backup strategy should prevent loss of valuable data which can be equally as crippling as the loss of physical assets.

Establish clear communication rules

Once the disaster strikes, the survival of the business and the safety of the employees depend on the speed and the communication method. How are you going to contact the employees? What happens if the premises are closed during a disaster? What’s the fastest way to distribute relevant updates? In the time of crisis, these questions can cause a lot of confusion. That is why you need to write a communication plan that will address these problems through clear rules and procedures.

Create a crisis response network

Of course, your business is not an isolated entity and the eventual losses you may have to endure in the case of calamity may be caused by external factors. For instance, what if your suppliers are cut off or having the same problems as your enterprise? Because of that, it would be a good idea to have a meeting with all the parties involved in your business's operations where you will present your emergency plans and try to coordinate your actions. This emergency response network can have its own budget and executives and eventually expand to other local establishments.

These six steps should help you to prepare your business for any kind of danger that might be lurking down the road. We don’t really get to choose when some kind of misfortune may befall our companies and try to ruin the years of hard work we put into them. But, we can choose how we are going to deal with these problems.

About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and contributor to numerous home, lifestyle, real estate and eco-friendly blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.