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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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Building Your First Home: The Essentials

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Building Your First Home: The Essentials

Since the real estate market is currently not quite blossoming, many people actually decide to build their first home rather than buy it. Aside from the fact that this enables them to flat out create a house of their dreams it also allows them to choose the materials their new house is going to be built from, among other things.

That being said, building your first home is no easy job. Aside from making sure that you have the necessary budget for the project you also need to ensure that you’ve picked the right area, contractors and materials. With that in mind, let’s see what the essentials of building your first house are.

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The budget

As mentioned earlier, you need to ensure that you have enough resources to see your project through before you actually get down to organizing it. This will require you to do some thorough research and try to find out the estimated prices of things your budget will need to cover. Chances are that you probably won’t have that amount of money stacked and ready to go, which means that you will most likely need to find some alternative budgeting options. This will probably require you to apply for a loan which means that you’ll also need to ensure that your credit history and credit score are healthy and optimal.

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The location

Aside from securing the funds, you will also need to find the perfect location. First, you should check out all the available pieces of land and see which location suits you best. Here, you should assess how far away you’d be living from your job/your kids’ school if you were to build your home at a particular location. This will help you significantly with the elimination process. Another thing that can help you when choosing a piece of land is how much work will it require in order to connect your home on the water and electricity grid. The more work the piece of land requires pre-building, the more expensive the project will be, so keep that in mind as well.

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The contractors

The contractors you choose for the job also play a huge role in this type of projects. By ensuring that you’ve found the best possible fit for the task at hand, not only will you guarantee quicker and more seamless completion but you’ll also ensure that everything’s done the way it was originally intended. With that in mind, in some countries, such as Australia, hiring different contractors for different parts of the project is actually quite a common practice. That’s why so many Aussies chose to hire professionals in Sydney Commercial Carpentry when building their homes to ensure that all their desires are being met – and sometimes even exceeded – and all the right materials are being used.

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The materials

Finally, when it comes to choosing the right materials, the majority of homeowners want to ensure that they’ve gone green and sustainable as much as possible. It’s important to mention here that if green and sustainable is your goal as well, aside from looking at the material’s stats and traits, you should also see where it is from. What this means is that while bamboo, for instance, is a very sustainable material, the place it originates from is Asia. So, when you account for the distance it needs to travel to get to you, it will actually lose quite a bit of sustainability. That’s why it would be best to focus on finding salvaged and locally-sourced materials for your building project.

These were just the essentials of a house building project you should keep in mind when building your first home.  Aside from them, make sure you think ahead of time when deciding on particular features, layout and similar things because who knows? The fact that you’re building your first house doesn’t have to mean that you’re also building your forever home. So, consider including some popular elements in your house design that will boost your property’s value and make it more appealing to potential buyers if you ever decide to sell it.

 Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

7 Things To Do Before You Move Into A New House

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7 Things To Do Before You Move Into A New House

Moving to a new place can be quite a stressful task. Anytime you move it comes with a lot of changes which can be uncomfortable. This is why it is crucial to put some things in place before you pack up and move. Doing these things would make you better prepared and would also make the new place you would be moving to more comfortable. Florida realtor, Danny Margagliano with 30a Local Properties (https://destinpropertyexpert.com) says, "Many of my customers that are moving asked me my number one piece of advice. Every time it's the same thing, you can't have enough of boxes." Here are some of the things you can do to prepare you for moving easily and stress-free.

Get proper supplies for moving

It is important to get appropriate supplies when moving so that your things do not get damaged during the moving process. Getting strong and adequate boxes for whatever item you want to pack is necessary. For instance, using a weak box to move dishes or valuable artwork is just calling for trouble. After sorting items and putting them in their proper boxes, the next step is to label all the boxes. When doing this be mindful that fragile items would be handled carefully. Reducing the risk of damaging them en-route.

Get a moving company

Moving can be quite a tedious task. Therefore it is essential to make sure you enlist the services of a trusted, licensed, and fully insured company. This way, you can rest assured that your property is in the hands of competent people.

Forwarding the mail 

As you would be moving to a new place, it is important to forward your mail before leaving your present house. You can get in touch with your local snail mail provider service and choose the day you would want to start receiving your mail at your new address. Neglecting to do this would make you miss out on receiving valuable letters or packages.

Transfer or cancel all utility service

 A few of the primary utility services to keep in mind includes electricity, gas, telephone, heating services. If you don't cancel it or transfer them to your current location, it could lead to several issues. First and foremost, it could delay service from being transferred to your new residence. Secondly, both services may remain on, and you will be paying for someone else's utilities. Either scenario is not a good one for you.

Look for suitable schools around

If you have children that are still going to school, the best thing to do would be to look for suitable schools and register them before-hand.

Finding new healthcare providers

If you would be moving very far away from your current health care provider, look for another one close to your new place of residence. You can ask your current health care provider to refer you to another Doctor. Be sure to verify that the new physician accepts your current health insurance. Alternatively, you can contact your health insurance company directly to find a doctor that is in your network of providers.

Clean up your new house

Before moving day either perform a walk-through yourself, I have your realtor do one for you. This way, you will know whether or not the home is clean and move-in ready. In some cases, the former residents will have taken care of cleaning the house for you, and in other cases, it will be up to you. Cleaning a space when it is still empty is much easier than having to clean it when it is filled with people and pieces of furniture.  

Final thoughts

There are still many other things to be done like painting the new space, changing the locks of the new place for security reasons, cleaning out your former home, sending out moving announcement to friends and family members, changing some electrical fixtures if necessary, hiring internet services, equipping the new place with fire extinguishers, and looking for a new pharmacy. The list can seem endless. If you follow the tips above for moving into a new home, the entire process will be a smoother one.

started on the moving process.

Guest Contributor, Daniel Margagliano

Common Home Emergencies and How to Deal with Them

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Common Home Emergencies and How to Deal with Them

Every homeowner faces a few home emergencies that end up in expenses and repairs. This happens regardless of how well maintained your home is. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared for them as much as you can be prepared for an unexpected repair.

There are two main components of such preparations. Firstly, you need to have some money put aside to be sure you could purchase spare parts or hire a professional to make the repairs for you. Secondly, every homeowner should know how to do a few basic repairs quickly and have the proper tools to do so.

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A power blackout

There’s not that much that you can do to prevent a blackout since it’s usually a problem with the power grid. That’s why it’s best to prepare for a blackout by preparing the supplies that you’ll use while the power is out.

If this happens every once in a while, you might want to invest in a generator that will keep your home powered through the blackout. The emergency kit for a blackout should artificial lights, some water and food, a supply of medication, and a way to communicate with emergency services.

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A blocked toilet

A blocked toilet is one of those unpleasant emergencies that you need to react quickly upon without waiting for the professional to come and to make actual repairs. The first step to fixing a blocked toilet is to shut down the water supply coming to it. That will prevent the toilet from overflowing and give you time to make actual repairs.

This is where it’s best to call the plumber to help you out since it might require you to take out a pipe to remove the clog within it.

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Small fires

It’s crucial to be prepared for small fires, especially if you live in a large city such as Sydney. That often means that you need to alert the authorities right away since it might be difficult to evacuate quickly.  It’s best to hire an electrician from Northern Beaches to install a small smoke detector. This is useful in the most sensitive parts of the home such as the kitchen.

It’s also useful for a home to have a small fire extinguisher and for you to learn how to use it before it’s ever needed.

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Damaged roof

A damaged roof is probably the most serious emergency on our list and it will require a rather costly repair. Things are made even more difficult if the leak happens during the winter when you need to close it right away.

The best way to go is to inspect the roof on a regular basis. You may need to rent scaffolding and inspect the roof for damage or leaks at the start of every season. It’s easier if you catch the problem before it starts damaging your ceiling or requires the whole roof to be replaced.

Water leaks

Water leaks aren’t that big of a problem to fix, but they can be rather complicated to find or even notice. It’s usually noticed only when you figure out that your water bills are getting higher or that you’re losing water pressure somewhere in the house. 

When you notice the problem in the first place, it’s best to cut off the water for the whole home to avoid the waste. That’s where you need to hire a plumber to replace the busted pipe and install a new one.

Small home emergencies happen regardless of how well maintained your home is. That means you need to take the time to prepare for them, to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

Bathroom Design: How to Make It Warm and Welcoming

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Bathroom Design: How to Make It Warm and Welcoming

Even though it’s probably the tiniest room in your home, the bathroom still deserves a ton of attention. Every bathroom needs to be as warm and welcoming as possible, and if that’s the atmosphere you’d like to create as well, here are a few design tips you should follow.

Use stone tile

Even though most people prefer ceramic tile when redoing their bathroom, you can always explore different ideas as well. Stone tile is one of these ideas, and it could easily turn into one of the best ideas you’ve ever had.

Incorporating stone tile into your bathroom might seem a bit strange at first, but if you do it right, this is a project that will make your bathroom the nicest and cosiest space in your home. Still, don’t forget that stone has its pros and cons, so check out all these features before you start incorporating stone tile into your bathroom.

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Explore wood

This is a controversial decision not all homeowners are going to support, but the reason is still unknown. We’re all afraid that wood won’t work well in wet and moist environments, but the truth is quite the opposite. If properly protected, wooden furniture and décor pieces can be easily incorporated into your bathroom and stay there for years and even decades.

You can add a wooden vanity and mix it with the aforementioned stone tile, contrasting the colours and textures of these two materials. You can even add a tiny stool or a table, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a massive bathroom. Finally, you can add small decorating pieces made of wood, taking the entire design of your bathroom to a whole new level in just a few easy steps.

Add a rug

Speaking of unusual solutions that actually work better than you’d think, here’s another idea you need to look into. Yes, adding a rug to your bathroom may seem strange at first, but if you give this idea a thought, you’ll realise that’s actually an amazing way to introduce a new dose of cosiness to this space.

Still, not just any rug will do, and you need to make sure the rugs you choose are comfortable, warm, and visually appealing. You might look into some comfy rugs, as those offered by Miss Amara NZ, as these are made from high-quality natural materials, feature amazing designs, and are great for your bathroom. Keep in mind that having a rug in your bathroom will help you feel better all year long, especially during those freezing winter nights.

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Try out new materials

No matter where you live and what kind of a bathroom you have, the chances are it will be packed with the same materials as every other bathroom in the world. Ceramic, metal, steel, and chrome are so common nowadays that you can rarely see a bathroom without all of these. But, what if you used other materials instead?

Copper, golden, and brass details could make your bathroom special, while still remaining as practical and functional as those old school choices. What’s even better is that these elements will help you turn different parts of your bathroom into focal points, which is something all bathrooms deserve. With local rent reports like this showing us that the prices are on a slight decline, landlords can also implement such solutions to make their properties more attractive to potential tenants.   

Install in-floor heating

If you want to make your bathroom warmer than before, this is the right way to do it – literally! Installing an in-floor heating system is something all homeowners should consider, no matter where they live, how old their home is, and how big their bathrooms are.

These systems come with a number of benefits – from practicality to easy maintenance, and everything in between – and the best thing is that you can install them on your own. It may take some time, energy, and patience, but it’s definitely worth the investment you’ll make, particularly in the winter and fall.

Just because your bathroom is not large, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of it. This is particularly important if you’re one of those people who spend considerable time in the bathroom, getting ready for their day and relaxing before going to sleep. So, show this space all the love and attention in the world, turning it into a warm and welcoming area where you can relax and take your mind off everyday problems.

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

How to Make Your Bathroom Look Expensive

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How to Make Your Bathroom Look Expensive

 

Your decorating budget doesn't have to be big to create a luxurious bathroom. If you know how to match and contrast colours, if you are the master of accessories and you know how lighting can bring the best out of existing features, you can spice things up without breaking the bank. Here are the most effective ideas.

Inexpensive luxuries

Although not many bathrooms feature specialised seating, having one is indispensable for larger families. Instead of perching on the side of the bath, bring in a classy stool that you and your partner can both use, while a pair of upcycled garden chairs can prevent kids from fighting at the sink when the toothbrush time comes. Swapping boring bath mats with Persian rugs, or custom linoleum patchwork doesn’t cost much, especially since it saves you from having to replace the old tile floor.

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Nature indoors

If you couldn’t make those luscious ferns and philodendrons take root in the dry, air-conditioned environment of your home, keep in mind that they will thrive in the bathroom. Tropical plants trailing down from windowsills can spruce up the element of luxury in any bathroom, while bundles of eucalyptus branches, exposed to shower steam, release the plant's natural therapeutic oils. If you're aiming for a clean and classic hotel finish, consider potted orchids, which also thrive in humid, low-light conditions. Even a few well-placed succulents like aloe can bring a sense of vitality to your bath space.

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Mirrors and lights

Have you ever wondered why everyone looks better in hotel bathroom mirrors? It all boils down to lighting. If you illuminate mirrors evenly on both sides, you can eliminate shadows. You can use rather rectangular wall lamps or hanging brass bulbs. If you have a penchant for glowy, low-lit, spaces swap simple bulbs for recessed LED lights hidden in alcoves or behind opaque bath panels. Although at the end of a stressful day nothing really beats a relaxing bath under candle lights but instead of a modern mood lighting considers soft, dimmable floor spotlights.

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Black and white

Reinvent your bathroom with a classical and striking noir palette by choosing black and white elements, accessories and fixtures. Classy black soap dispensers, tumblers, and dishes are a great inexpensive way to accent your décor. Even bathroom appliances can help you with this décor idea since manufacturers of best washing machines today offer their front and top loaders in black or white colour schemes. If you don’t know where to start, chose a remarkable black or white centrepiece such as a freestanding stone bath with a contemporary curving design.

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Neutral wainscoting

Even a simple change like painting the wainscoting a neutral colour other than white can change the mood of your bathroom completely, from nursing white to luxurious. Nowhere does it say that wainscoting and beadboard must be white. For such a painting project, first, you'll want to sample the new colours. Use a piece of wainscoting or trim to try out the colours, so you can move it around the bathroom to get a look at different lighting angles.

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Scents and essences

Use essential oils, scented soaps, and multi-layered shampoos to replicate the feeling of being pampered and relaxed while staying in a luxury hotel spa. Transform the boring shower routine into a multi-sensory experience. Give your hair a full spa treatment using products made of natural ingredients, like rosemary, cucumber or green tea. This way, every shower will have the additional benefit of improving your mood.

The bathroom is often cited as the most expensive room in the house to renovate, second perhaps only to the kitchen. However, you don't have to gut everything to make your baths space feel expensive. Most of the ideas listed here are budget-friendly and easy to restore, which makes them ideal for homeowners who are renting.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

5 Top Traits That Mark a Reliable Plumbing Contractor

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5 Top Traits That Mark a Reliable Plumbing Contractor

Whether you have a leaky faucet or want to renovate your bathroom fixtures, your best option is to hire a professional plumber. But among the available plumbing contractors in your area, which one should you choose? 

There are certain characteristics that make some plumbers exceptional at providing their professional services. These people are passionate about the job and will go out of their way to provide excellent customer service. So if you are looking at getting the services of a plumber, you need to look for these five characteristics that mark a reliable plumbing contractor.

1. Certified

Plumbing is a regulated profession, which means almost all U.S. states require them to have a license to practice in their respective states. Requirements vary across states, but in general, a plumber can obtain the certification if they possess the necessary knowledge and skills to pass a state-approved exam. 

Having a license is a good indication of the expertise of a plumber, so if you are planning to hire one, ask if they have a license to work in the state. Most states have a website where you can verify their license number. Not having a license is a huge red flag and you should think twice before hiring them. 

2. Provides a clear estimate

Before getting the job started, one of the first steps of the process involves the plumber examining your plumbing system and providing a quote. This is an opportunity for you to judge the reliability of a plumber. You can tell that the plumber is an expert by the estimate that they provide. 

The job quote should be clear and detailed and should include a breakdown of the cost estimate of the materials needed. It should also include labor costs. Finally, the plumber should also specify how they want to be paid and how they will address extra time or materials needed. 

3. Puts emphasis on safety

As with all home improvement and repair projects, plumbing jobs pose a risk of injury not just to the contractor but to other parties as well. Reliable plumbers will always prioritize safety and will strictly follow safety procedures. They will follow safety guidelines to the letter to prevent damage to life and property. They will also have the right tools and equipment to do the job safely.

In addition, reliable plumbers carry two types of insurance—liability and worker’s compensation. The former protects the contractor in case something is damaged or someone is injured as a result of the job, while the latter provides medical benefits to the contractor in case of injuries. 

4. Punctual

A professional plumber provides a precise time of arrival and sticks to it. They respect the time that you have and will call immediately in case they are running late or coming in early. When they arrive, they will apologize for their tardiness, even if it is just by a few minutes. Punctuality is a reflection of their work attitude and ethic, so if the plumber you are planning to hire arrives on time for the appointment, it’s a sign they value your time and your work. 

5. Willing to fix issues

Not everyone is perfect and even the best plumbers make mistakes. There may still be issues with your plumbing after the plumbing contractor has done their job. If you notice some problems with the plumber’s work, feel free to ask the plumber about them. A reliable plumber will be able to explain what looks to be an issue, and if it is indeed a problem, they will also be willing to rectify the mistake. 

Your home is your most significant investment. It makes sense that you want repairs and renovations handled by a true professional. Look out for these top five qualities of reliable plumbers to have peace of mind when having your next plumbing job done. 


Guest Contributor, Aki Merced

About the Author:

Aki Merced is the Content Manager at Handle, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers secure their lien rights and get paid faster by automating the collection process for unpaid construction invoices.

Benefits Of Installing Granite Sinks

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Benefits Of Installing Granite Sinks

The one place in the house that holds a lot of importance in our life is the kitchen. We have to make sure that has an outstanding kitchen so that we can enhance the overall look of our house. Hence one such way of enhancing the kitchen of our house is installing granite sinks. These are quite a trend in these days and can bring about a great change in our kitchen. Granite is material that is found naturally on the surface of earth and has many good properties which makes it the perfect choice for our kitchen sinks.

Not only kitchen sinks but we also find granite as tabletops in our kitchen and also as counters. Therefore, you can understand that having granite in kitchen has become customary. A good amount of money is involved so it is better advised to take help from a professional.

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Let Us Now Have A Look At Some Of The Benefits That We Get From Installing Granite Sinks.

Durability

One of the major reasons why we find most homeowner installing granite sinks in their kitchens is that they are extremely durable. This means that you can easily take a break in the kitchen and sit on the counter tops without having to worry about breaking them. This also is great as the kitchen is the place in the house which is more exposed to a lot of wear and tear. Having a durable countertop and sink may actually work in our benefit. This is also a great advantage in the face of heavy usage in the kitchen. We also find that granite is the perfect material for our sinks as granite sinks can also withstand heat and different chips and dents. Now you know why they are the best option for our usage.

Fashionable

As said previously the look of our kitchen may make or break the interiors of our house. Hence you shouldn’t be surprised to see that that people are willing to go extreme lengths to have the perfect kitchen look to match with the interiors of the house. Having granite sinks may actually work in our favor in this respect. This way we can also select the best one for our kitchen without compromising anywhere. We can also get the granite sinks in many shapes and sizes which also add to the benefit of customizing it according to the needs of our kitchen and house.

Maintenance

Despite all talk about fashionable stuff and good looks the one main ingredient that has to be present in the kitchen is something which is easy to clean. We have to ensure that we find only materials that are extremely easy to clean off without much trouble. It should not surprise you that one of the most easy to maintain materials is granite. The granite sinks are very easy to clean and hence this makes them the perfect choice for our kitchens.

Affordability

We should also not forget the fact that granite sinks are very cheap and are affordable in their rates. This is a low expense way of making sure that we have good looking kitchen. A great benefit that we get from having installed granite sinks in our kitchen makes us feel that the purchase was worth the money.

These are some of the important benefits that we get from installing granite sinks in our kitchen. Hence this is a major advantage that we get from installing granite sinks in our kitchen.

Guest Contributor, Lara Buck

How To Get Powder Makeup Out Of Carpet?

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How To Get Powder Makeup Out Of Carpet?

Dropping makeup on your carpet is an eventuality you cannot avoid. However, once you do end up getting some onto your expensive rug, it is important to act quickly and smartly to ensure that the powder does not set on the carpet fur nor does it spread out thanks to people stepping on it. Here are the best ways you can get powder make up from your carpet from our best house cleaning Dayton Ohio.

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Things To Be Wary Of

First, you need to be calm before grabbing the next tissue and start attacking the affected area. It will not help remove the stain and, more likely, will just spread the mess and make a permanent stain on your carpet. Furthermore, once you do start cleaning up the mess, it is important to be gentle with your application and to ensure that you do not damage your carpet fibers from harsh wipe downs or leave permanent marks due to the make-up powder.

Using a lot of force during the cleanup process is sure to work the makeup into the fibers of the carpet and make your problem a lot worse than it was. If you work the makeup deeper into the carpet fibers, you will have a much harder time removing it and getting rid of the stain that comes with it. Finally, grinding is absolutely forbidden as it will leave a stain permanently on your carpet and if it can be cleaned, you will need expensive chemical products to clean it off. Therefore, be gentle and act calmly when trying to remove makeup powder from your carpet.

You can deal with spilled makeup in two main ways. The first method involves the use of a soap and water solution to gently blot and remove and the second method goes straight for some makeup remover instead. Let’s look into how both of these methods work.

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Removing Powder Using A Water And Soap Solution

If you drop some of your precious powder on the carpet, you will need several things at hand before you can get into the process of removing it. First off, go find yourself a blunt butter knife or spoon so that you can easily scoop off some of the excess powder that has not made its way into the carpet fibers. It is important to do this as quickly as possible as it will prevent the powder from digger deeper and causing a more annoying stain.

Next, you need to draw up a concoction of some dishwashing liquid and water. Mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid with some cold water and grab a paper towel. However, if you have microfiber cloths, they will serve you even better, but a paper towel should be just fine.

Your next task is to lightly dab and blots the affected area using the paper towel dipped in the dishwashing liquid and water mixture. Be very careful, as excessive force will work the makeup into the carpet and due to the dampness, make it much harder to remove later. Another point to note is that you should be working into the patch, from the outside. This makes sure that you do not make the mess spread further than it already has, and keeps it within appreciable bounds.

Until you see that there is little to no powder left on your carpet, keep blotting around the powder and use new paper towels when required. Eventually, you should see that most of it is gone. From there, you have let the carpet dry out for a bit before grabbing the vacuum and doing the final stage of cleaning.

For the final step, start the vacuum up and clean up the remaining traces of powder from your carpet. After all your efforts, you will be left with a clean and stainless carpet.

Removing Powder Using Makeup Remover

Similar to the previous methods, you should be careful when using makeup remover on your carpet. It is quite easy to spread the mess and very likely that you will end up using too much of the liquid makeup remover and end up moistening the carpet a little too much. In order to avoid these catastrophes, be sure to get yourself a piece of cloth or paper towels.

On the paper towel, add a few drops of the makeup remover and blot the affected area repeatedly until only traces of the powder makeup remain. From there, grab a fresh dry paper towel and dab away on the area while it dries.

In some cases, using the soap and water solution might not be enough to get rid of the entire spill, and this is when the makeup remover comes in handy. However, it is important to remember that you should be extra careful when using the makeup remover, as allowing any of it to seep into your carpet backing can cause some damage to the carpet.

A Friendly Reminder

The solution you use to remove makeup powder from your carpet is up to you and how careful you can be with the solution. Exercising caution is the most important thing when it comes to removing stains from your carpet. Remember to be gentle and slow, and always work into the stain, not outwards. Working outwards will spread the stain more and ruin your carpet even further. Moreover, never use a lot of pressure when dabbing the damp cloth. Working makeup powder into your carpet fibers will lead you down the road of a more expensive cleaning procedure where you will need to hire carpet-cleaning professionals to come down and give your carpet a thorough treatment.

If you want to prevent getting makeup on your carpet, you can always try to lay down an old sheet or a towel under your mirror or your dressing area, and allow that to catch any makeup spills instead of letting your poor carpet handle the mess. This saves you the hassle of cleaning up your carpet if you get some on, and if you end up staining your carpet by any chance, you will not have to pay for extensive cleaning costs, which might be expensive in some cases.

Guest Contributor, Lara Buck

Simple Ways to Make Your Home More Secure

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Simple Ways to Make Your Home More Secure

No matter where you live and how safe you think you are, the chances are you probably aren’t as safe as you feel. There are lots of threats that could put your family and your home in danger, and fighting these is the only way to stay protected. From burglars to weather disasters, making your home more secure is a must, so here are a couple of simple ways to do that.

Focus on the front doors

This is the main point of entry for potential burglars, which is why your front doors need to be as protected and safe as possible. Securing them is a must, and some of the ways to do that include installing a deadbolt, adding a strike plate, or, if you’re a fan of smart technology, upgrading to smart locks that perform better than your traditional locks. Hire someone to inspect your front doors and determine how secure they really are, and, if necessary, replace them as soon as you can.

Check the windows

The windows are another easy way for burglars to enter your home, and this is quite a big problem for people living in old houses with outdated windows. These do basically nothing for your safety, which is why installing new windows is needed. Alternatively, you can reinforce the glass with some security film, add window bars, and install sensors that alert you if something bad is happening.

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Change the locks

This is another amazing way to make sure nobody enters your home without you knowing it. Changing the locks on all your doors – from the front doors to the garage doors – and giving the key only to the members of your family is crucial. If you have kids, teach them how to be responsible and never lose their key, but don’t worry if that happens anyway. You just need to figure out a way how to solve the situation, which is why you might want to find reliable locksmiths in your area and call them if you get locked out. Changing the locks is a simple solution that goes a long way, so take it into consideration straight away.

Invest in a security system

While this may not be your favorite way to spend money, investing in a home security system is one of the best ideas when it comes to taking the safety of your family and property to a whole new level. These systems are easy to install and maintain, but the level of safety and a sense of security they bring with them is amazing. You can even install them on your own and customize your security system so that it fits your specific needs, which is why this is a project you should definitely look into.

Purchase a safe

No matter how much money you make, having a safe in your home is a must. However, not every safe is good enough, and you should make sure it’s waterproof, fire-resistant, and protected enough to keep your valuable items safe against burglars. Find a place to hide it – your attic, your walls, your stairs, and even your floor are among the most popular hiding places – and you can be sure your safe will never be found, even if burglars somehow manage to enter your home.

Some of the other ways to stay safe in this day and age include installing some motion-activated lights in your backyard, using a smart garage door opener, purchasing smoke alarms and installing them in every room of your home, and making sure you always lock all your doors and windows whenever you’re leaving home or going to bed.

 Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

5 Safety Tips for Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

RH Business Marketing Solutions

Plumbers in Creswood IL

5 Safety Tips for Summer Home Maintenance Tasks

Home maintenance is a high priority in the hottest season of the year. With rising temperatures and sudden storms, you want to secure your property against the perils of summer weather. Beyond a broken HVAC system, a small leak in the roof could cause untold amounts of water damage to your ceiling and walls.

This is the perfect time to schedule inspections and make the necessary repairs. Fortunately, you can handle most maintenance tasks on your own with the right tools and a positive mindset. It's easy enough to clean your gutters, wash your deck and attend to similar duties — as long as you remain cautious.

Though most maintenance tasks seem pretty benign, no one plans for an accident. They happen without warning, when you least expect it, and you can potentially harm yourself if you don't take precautions. What should you do to mitigate the risk of injury when working around your home?

Here are five indispensable safety tips for summer home maintenance.

1. Only Work With Chemicals in Well-Ventilated Areas

Even a common task like cleaning a bathroom with chemical solutions is potentially harmful without proper ventilation. Other jobs, like repainting your interior or refinishing your floors, can also cause respiratory issues.

When you're working with chemicals in an enclosed space, open the windows to release any trapped fumes. Wear a respirator, safety goggles, gloves and sturdy footwear to avoid any chemical burns or eye injuries. Protective equipment will vary from project to project, so use your discretion.

2. Follow the Standard Protocol When Using Ladders

Your gutters play an important role in protecting the siding, doors, windows and foundation of your home from water. Naturally, you have to keep them clear of debris, but it isn't as simple as climbing the general-use ladder you store in your garage.

It's best to avoid orchard or wooden ladders, as they tend to wobble. Opt for an aluminum ladder instead. Examine it beforehand, checking for dents, defects, and loose bolts or screws, and ask someone to spot you if possible.

Remember these tips for ladder safety as well:

·     A stepladder will suffice for a one-story house, but if it has two or more stories, you'll need an extension ladder.

·     If you lean an extension ladder against your gutters, protect it by placing a short 2x4 inside.

·     Fiberglass ladders are also adequate for this type of job, but they're heavier and only good for shorter periods of work.

·     The ladder should have a shelf sturdy enough to hold a 5-gallon bucket secured with a lanyard.

·     Make sure to extend the ladder fully until the arms lock in place.

·     Keep your hips squarely between the two rails and try not to lean over the sides.

·     Stay off the top two rungs.

3. Choose the Correct Protective Equipment for the Job

You should also give thought to your gloves. You might own a cotton or leather pair, but these can cause problems. Cotton has a tendency to soak up dirty water and bacteria, and leather ones are often inflexible and shrink when they dry.

Thick, suede gloves are your best option. They'll ensure your safety and improve efficiency while cleaning, perfect for gutters.

4. Clean the Work Area After You're Finished

After you've finished a task, you'll need to clean up your work area. This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it's all too easy to rush as you're storing tools, equipment and various items.

·     Seal containers of sensitive liquids and materials.

·     Remove power tool leads from any wall sockets.

·     Place power tools in an area inaccessible to kids.

·     Roll up extension cords, ropes and lines.

·     Fold and stow ladders in a safe location.

·     Collect and discard remaining debris.

Whether you're completing a maintenance task or working on a DIY project, these steps are essential.

5. Acknowledge Your Limitations and Ask for Help

As mentioned earlier, you can handle most tasks on your own without the help of a professional. However, it's critical to acknowledge when you need to contact someone with more experience. Many projects fall outside the category of a DIY project, and recognizing that will reduce the risk of accidents or injuries.

For example, you should leave major jobs involving gas lines, electricity and roof work to professionals. They have an informed understanding of these areas, and though you may want to save money, your safety comes first.

Choose Safety This Summer

Home maintenance is a high priority in the hottest season of the year, and now you can manage it safely. As long as you follow the five suggestions above, you can feel confident as you complete tasks around your property, secure in the knowledge you've taken the necessary precautions.

Guest Contributor, Holly Welles 

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.