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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

Filtering by Category: September

Hidden Costs of a House Renovation

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How to avoid hidden costs of house renovation

Every now and then, your home is in need of an update. Whether it’s a simple repair in the bathroom or a complete kitchen makeover, home renovations can amount to a sizable sum. However, with careful planning and a detailed approach, you can renovate your home without breaking the bank.

Start by creating a plan and a budget

It’s not uncommon for home renovations to cost more than you’ve expected. This typically occurs because homeowners didn’t really take everything into consideration. Therefore, you should avoid making this mistake and start planning your home renovation on time and in detail. You should make a list of all the necessary materials you’ll need, determine different stages of renovation and try to come up with an efficient approach. You should also set up certain deadlines to prevent any unnecessary delays.
Furthermore, you should definitely set a budget for your renovation. This will prevent you from spending more than you can afford. When doing so, make sure to add around 20 per cent for unplanned costs.

Decide whether to DIY

Hiring contractors and architects isn’t only expensive, but also time-consuming and tiring. However, you should evaluate your skills and experience realistically and determine whether you should DIY or call a pro. If you already have some experience in home renovations, or you’re apt at design or construction, you can probably take on a range of renovation projects. However, if you have no experience in the field whatsoever, it’s better to call the experts.

Invest in quality projects

The most profitable home renovations are the ones that will help you enhance the value of your property, make your living space more comfortable and provide your home with timeless appeal. You should definitely steer clear of passing fads and trends because they are a waste of money. Instead, make sure to invest in high-quality materials, green improvements, projects that will enhance the comfort of your home, such as better insulation, or remodels of your home’s exterior. Also, if you’re currently living in a home that was built before 1990’s, it is strongly advised that you hire asbestos clearance professionals. Asbestos was once one of the most commonly used building materials. However, it was eventually found out that prolonged exposure to this hazard may cause a variety of serious health problems, including cancer.

Find opportunities for increased savings

Renovating your home will definitely cost you some money, but there are still opportunities to cut your expenses. For instance, you should take some time to shop around, find great deals and even discover some discounts. Researching your options will allow you to compare prices and find offers that fit into your budget limits.
You should also consider purchasing used and recycled materials, or repurposing your old materials. This solution is both budget- and eco-friendly, so it’s definitely one of the best options. You can repurpose old slates, bricks, wood and even furniture pieces.

Update your roof

If you’ve noticed some missing shingles or other roof problems, you should definitely give your roof an uplift. Not only will this project boost your home’s curb appeal, but it will also help you prevent other serious problems that may cost you even more later on. You don’t even have to go with complete re-roofing, but opt for partial one and change only the damaged parts. You can save even more by finding a low-cost scaffolding hire company that can rent you all the necessary equipment. This is also advisable if your own equipment isn’t sturdy enough – safety is the number one priority.

Opt for green improvements

When renovating your home, you can go with eco-friendly and sustainable upgrades that will provide you with numerous benefits. Energy efficient installations are a popular choice because they can help you save money on electricity in the long run. You can also go with other simple green improvements, such as installing LED lighting, low-flow toilets and shower heads, etc. Designing a lush green wall is another beautiful project that will provide you with numerous benefits, including improved insulation, better air quality and an infinitely charming look. Furthermore, this mesmerizing addition will fill your home with a sense of serenity and tranquility. If you want to spend a bit more, you can install an energy efficient water heater, a sustainable heating system or an entire renewable energy system. Although these projects may require a bit more money, they are an investment worth making.

Style up your kitchen or bathroom

Modern and functional kitchens and bathrooms can increase the value of your home significantly. The best part is the fact that you don’t even have to go with complete remodels. Instead, you should implement minor changes that will enhance the appeal and functionality of your bathroom and kitchen. Replacing the hardware, painting the walls, introducing more storage solutions or updating the floors can actually bring a higher return on your investment.

With a detailed and carefully planned renovation approach, you’ll be able to remodel your home without spending a fortune. Furthermore, you’ll even be able to undertake projects that will help you increase your savings in the long run.

Guest Contributor, Lucas Bergman

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Lucas is a real estate agent and renewable energy consultant with many hobbies and passions, but above all, he enjoys the most spending time with his wife – Mara. He also likes Lord of the Rings. He, actually, very much likes Lord of the Rings. He is a regular contributor at

Points Which Underlines The Importance Of House Leveling 

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Points Which Underlines the Importance of House Leveling 

Any structure whether it’s a house or a commercial building stands tall and strong on its foundation. Foundation of any structure bares all the weight of the house and thus it is very important that it remains strong. If anything happens to foundation, then it affects the entire structure whether big or small. Thus, it is very important to deal with any problems related foundation carefully. The most common problem related to house foundation is damage caused to its leveling. And if you are not careful enough and tend to keep on ignoring the issue, then it can cost a fortune.

As soon as you encounter any issue related to foundation, immediately call for house leveling experts. They will help you with the whole process and will correct it. So, to make sure that these signs do not go ignores leading to the house rumbling down, here are some the signs which showcases the importance of house leveling.

Jamming of Doors and Windows

No one likes jamming of doors and windows and sometimes they often get stuck due to various reasons. This happens especially with wooden doors and windows, as due to moisture they swell and thus becomes stuck at times during rainy season. One of the reasons of jamming can be loose hinges causing jamming of doors and windows. If these reasons are not the cause of jamming, then it is definitely the case of problem in house leveling. As when the roots of any house start to change then its signs are visible in the doors and windows as they are moving parts attached to the house structure. Uneven base of the house causes the nonalignment of doors and windows thus if that’s the case you need house leveling.

Gaps between Seams and Ceilings

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If we define a house leveling then it is a process of making the base of the house stable, so that everything build upon it remains stable in a straight level. But sometimes due some reasons, the base gets uneven and thus the first signs that one can get is by observing the gaps between seams and ceilings. This cracks or gaps created overtime can turn bigger over the period causing a damage to its foundation. Thus, when you spot a crack, it is sure sign that you need a house leveling done to your home before it’s too late.

Bent basement

The best way to know whether your house needs a leveling or not is by checking the basement. Basement is the closest to the foundation thus it shows the signs. When you start observing that the basement walls have started bending, then it is a result of shifting the foundation and due to which the entire structures are jeopardized. To overcome this situation, one must consult house levelling experts as soon as possible.

Water Damage

When the foundation of your house start losing its ground then it creates some unprecedented situations which can directly affect your house. For instance, when the foundation has shifted it creates space for rain water to sip in and accumulate in those gaps. Drainage system can also get affected with uneven foundation. Another sign which ensures that you need a house levelling done is the constant repairs needed to drainage system.

Crooked Floors

Crooked floors occur when you observe that the flooring is not levelled as before. When things start to roll on its own then its time to correct the foundation of house. Thus, house levelling is required to be done to correct the mess.

All these points when kept in mind properly will help you out in getting the idea that you need a house leveling.

 Guest Contributor, Amelie Lawrence

A Practical Guide To The Home Building Process

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A Practical Guide to the Home Building Process

Choosing your new home is certainly one of the most important decision you’ll be making in the course of your life. However, it’s not an easy and quick decision to make, as you’ll want a home that is filled with character, matches your lifestyle and offers all the desirable amenities.

The whole idea becomes instantly more serious when you decide on building your home instead of buying a finished one. It can be a quite stressful and overwhelming process, so to make sure it all goes smoothly, you need to understand how it works.

Here are all the essential phases a typical builder will undertake in building your dream home.

Planning and professional help

While still in the planning stages, consult a professional, such as an architect and a project manager, as they will walk you through the design ideas and building phases. In this way, you’ll have the chance to address any safety concerns, costs, permits and various ways of turning your desires of a dream home into reality.

Building a home is not simple so without professional help of experienced project builders and designers, you’ll hardly be able to make any substantial progress. The construction market in Australia is growing rapidly and whether you’re looking for new apartments in Sydney or houses that will satisfy all your needs and grow with you, turn to the best property developers you can find to ensure the highest quality service, and attractive and innovative design.

Phase 1: preparation and foundation

With the exception of a wooded lot, one crew usually does all site preparation and foundation work. The work starts with clearing the lot of debris, rocks and trees, which is then levelled out, wooden forms are placed, holes are dug and the footing positioned. If the plans include a well and a basement, it will be done in this phase as well. Only after all that can the foundation be poured. After it cures for some time, foundation walls are built up, drains, sewer and plumbing are installed.

This is when you can expect the first visit from a city inspector who will ensure everything is properly installed and up to code.

Phase 2: the rough works

Phase two sees all walls, floors and roof systems completed. OSB sheathing or plywood is put up on exterior walls, doors and windows are built in, and the roof and walls are covered with house wrap, a protective layer that reduces risks of mold and wood rot.

After the siding and roof have been installed, electrical and plumbing work is done through the ceiling, floors and interior walls followed by HVAC system installation.

Phase 3: insulation

An essential element in creating a comfortable and cozy interior and improving the energy efficiency of your home is proper insulation. The most common types of insulation are fiberglass, foam, cellulose, mineral wool, concrete blocks and rigid boards that will insulate exterior walls, basement, attic and floors.

Phase 4: completion

At this point, construction works are coming to an end and usually include finishing drywall, interior textures and trims, flooring, cabinets, countertops and finally exterior landscaping, pathways and the driveway.

Phase 5: the final inspection

The last phase calls for the final inspection so you can get familiar with all the new features, future maintenance and warranty coverage. It’s also a valuable chance to spot any details or imperfections that need a touch-up or adjustment.

Regardless of how long and meticulous the home construction process is, it’s necessary to ensure your home is properly built, and safe for you to enjoy in the following years.

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins

Guide For New Apartment Owners: Do’s and Don’ts of Moving

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Guide for New Apartment Owners: Do’s and Don’ts of Moving

Wohooo, you’ve got yourself a new place! This is super exciting time and a new beginning for you and your family, but it can also be a pain in the back (literal and figurative). However, if you get familiar with all do’s and don’ts of moving, you’ll settle in your new apartment in no time!

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Don’t leave everything for the last moment

Sure, no one likes packing and unpacking, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to start your new life. So, don’t procrastinate, but start packing as early as you can. A few weeks before the actual move will leave you enough time to make a good schedule, divide tasks and book removalists. Also, on the day of the move, try to get it completely done, even if you’re moving just a few blocks away. Many people decide to leave a few things behind and go pick them up in the next few days, but that’s not a great approach. Once you’re in your new place, you want to focus on settling down and leaving your old apartment completely behind!

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Do learn the house rules

Every building has house rules that you must respect, otherwise you might be facing fines and strikes. For instance, some buildings in Australia require elevator bookings for moving, while others have a moving fee that you have to prepay. Speak to your landlord or building superintendent about the rules and stick to them. You don’t need any extra expenses during this time!

Don’t move at weekends

Most people choose to move at weekends when they don’t have to work, but moving often takes longer than expected and most removalist companies are super booked during that time. But, if you opt for a weekday move, you can easily extend your moving truck lease with no additional charges or stress. Speaking of moving truck services, most of them also offer dolly renting. So, if you don’t own one yourself, make sure to rent it together with your truck. They will make moving the boxes much quicker and easier!

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Do ask for help

Of course, moving your entire apartment isn’t a two-people job. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your family and friends for a helping hand (just make sure to repay the favor or organize a great housewarming party). If you’re moving to another city, like from Sydney to Brisbane, hiring professional movers might be your best bet.

Don’t leave anything broken

Before you even start bringing in your stuff, make sure to thoroughly inspect the place and contact professionals to take care of everything that is not in top shape. For instance, many Australians, especially those living in Brisbane, have issues with electrical installations and electricity supply systems during heat waves. So, if you notice any exposed wires, malfunctioning switches or dead outlets, don’t hesitate to ring up an experienced electrician in Brisbane to handle your problems. It’s much easier to deal with these shortcomings while the apartment is still empty!

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Don’t wing it

Making even a loose plan of where you want your things to go is better than just dumping them all inside without any particular floor plan idea. For instance, if you know where the couch or bookcases will go, it will be much easier to finish your unpacking!

Do pre-stock the fridge

Get some refreshing drinks, snacks and precooked meals and store them in your new fridge. This way, you’ll always have cold beverages and revitalizing food to give you new energy for unloading that truck!

As you can see, as long as you have a good plan and know your do’s and don’ts of moving, you’ll have a smooth and stress-free relocation. Just remember to have some fun in the process—it will definitely make things even easier!

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith


The Damage Is Done: What to Do When Builders Damage Your House During Renovations

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The Damage Is Done: What to Do When Builders Damage Your House During Renovations

Things are going smoothly with your home reno.  You had great referrals for your contractors which has proven successful, the job is on schedule and the work looks amazing.  Then, it happens.  You come home to hear that there has been an accident.  Thankfully, there were no injuries and everyone is okay, but the same can’t be said for your house. 

When the contractors were lifting a new beam, it slipped and fell from the top floor where the renovation is underway, and now there’s a gaping hole in the new floor and the ceiling of the next floor just below.  What now?

This is just one of many scenarios that can unfold whether you are making minor changes or major changes to your home.  Builders can do some amazing things, but the fact is, accidents happen, so you need to be prepared for a worst-case scenario.   Typically, the work starts long before an accident occurs.

Start with Your Home Owners Insurance Policy

Many insurance companies cover the cost when a builder damages a home, but there are some cases where it is not bound to do so.  For example, if you move out of the home while the renovations are underway, coverage may be in question.  The same may also apply if the damage occurred in an addition being built on to the home. 

The safest move you can make is to reach out to your insurance company before the renovations begin so your agent can explain what is and is not covered.   In many cases, your insurance company will recommend builder's risk insurance or home remodelling insurance.  

If you don't have either of those, you still have options, one if which is to look at the coverages in your current home owner’s policy. The other option is to pursue the contractor’s insurance company to cover the cost of the damages.

The Contractor’s Insurance Policy

Along with getting referrals, you were also hopefully savvy enough in your research to make sure your contractor has proper insurance coverage. 

All contractors should have general contractor liability insurance.  If you don’t already have a copy of the insurance information on hand, ask your contractor and give that information to your insurance company. This will be used to cover the cost of the property damage.   The same applies to sub-contractors.  If they don’t have insurance, you could be on the hook for any damage they caused to your property.

It isn’t common, but in some cases, both insurance companies will deny coverage and refuse to pay for the damages.  This is a worst-case scenario for any homeowner because you not only have the cost of your renovations but now you have the unexpected cost of damages that come out of your pocket.  If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll need to take more drastic measures. 

Do You Need a Lawyer for Property Damage During House Renovations?

Legal experts agree that suing your contractor is not ideal.  The time, costs and delays to your home reno project are all major factors, so if you can solve the dispute out court, everyone involved will fare better.   You have few options before calling in the reinforcements of a legal team. 

Reach out to your contractor’s county or state licensing agency. They may be able to step in and handle the dispute with a call in your favour.  Also, consider mediation or arbitration.  Both most likely come with a shared cost between you and your contractor.  Small claims court is an option as well if your claim it within the small claims guidelines.  All those options are viable and will be much less in cost than your last resort.

If you’ve exhausted all avenues to no avail, you may need to hire an attorney.  You’ll need a lawyer who has vast experience in contractor litigation. 

The Road Ahead

The idea of the home reno project was to improve your home.   Never did you imagine the damage that would incur, and know that you are not alone when it comes to the woes of home improvement projects.  If you have it to do all over again, make sure you check in with your own insurance company.  The right coverages – and the right contractor can mean the difference between a home reno gone way off kilter, or one that goes perfectly according to plan – even in the case of an unexpected accident.

About the author

Luke Oleenik serves as the Managing Director of XL Building, a trusted building company specializing in second storey additions and custom home construction across Melbourne. Prevent your dream home from turning into a nightmare with his free ultimate building guide.

Guest Author

Fresh Trends in Contemporary Kitchen Renovations 

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Fresh Trends in Contemporary Kitchen Renovations 

There is nothing that portrays a family home imbued with love and happiness like a beautifully-designed kitchen space where everyone can gather in the morning before the day begins, and share their experiences in the evening. Arguably one of the busiest rooms in the entire household, the kitchen needs to be designed for aesthetics and pure functionality.

If you’re considering renovating your kitchen, you need to keep in mind that form should always follow function, but that there needs to be balance rather than compromise. So, let’s take a look at some fresh trends in contemporary kitchen renovations and how you can create a beautiful, multi-functional space the entire family will love.

Discover Your Perfect Layout

People will often advise you to work with what you’ve got, and to leave the layout as is to avoid costly renovations, structural issues, and other problems down the road. While it is true that it’s easier and more affordable to simply renovate around the existing pipeline and electrical systems, you should never settle for something you’re not completely satisfied with.

Nowadays, you can find amazing kitchen contractors that can completely transform the setting without you ever noticing that the appliances were in a completely different place in the room, so if money is no object, you should definitely work with your designer to rearrange the layout to your liking. Remember, simply utilizing the space in a different way can have a profound impact on the aesthetics of the entire room while creating a functional setting you can fully appreciate.

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Invest in Lighting, Air Flow, and Ventilation

Proper lighting is essential in a kitchen, not only for safety reasons, but in order to introduce that homey vibe every household needs as well. Start by layering the lighting strategically, introducing overhead lights first above key areas such as the island, the dining area, and the stove. After that, you can position complementary lights on the walls.

When it comes to air flow, keep in mind that it should not be synonymous with ventilation. You want to use your windows to bring fresh air into the room throughout the day, but your ventilation system to quickly air out the space and eliminate cooking smells, especially in the stove area during the cooking process. The best part is that ventilation systems can serve an aesthetic purpose as well!

Give the Floor a Durable and Aesthetic Coating

When it comes to renovating a kitchen, most homeowners think about the floors at the end when in fact flooring should hold top priority on your list. And it’s not just about form, it’s also about function and how your kitchen floors will be able to withstand the test of time and constant use.

To that end, you want to consider polyurethane coating regardless of the type of surface you have, in order to protect the surface from bumps, drops, spills, and all kinds of corrosive agents that might find their way into the pores. This is especially important for stone, marble, and hardwood surfaces – which will retain their aesthetic appeal with the use of the right kind of coating.

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Complement the Color Scheme with a Beautiful Back Splash

Another primary consideration for every homeowner should be the color scheme, how it works with other elements in the room, and how accommodating it is for accentuating features such as the backsplash. To come up with the ideal color arrangement, consider the theme of the room, with your primary colors acting as the foundation for all future work.

This can be something as simple and timeless as a pure white palette, or something as chic and sophisticated as dark charcoal, or you can be playful with a pastel arrangement. Regardless, a great aesthetic and functional addition would be to invest in a striking back splash that will not only protect your wall from spills, but also take the look of the room to a whole new level.

Accentuate the Setting with Natural Materials

Lastly, contemporary kitchen designs cherish a deep connection with nature, as attested by the popular Scandi approach. To keep positive energy flowing through the setting at all times, consider introducing strategic greenery on the windowsills, potted plants in the corners, and standalone flower arrangements on select surfaces such as the dining table or the corner of the fridge.

Renovating a kitchen, however time-consuming and costly it might be, shouldn’t be a stressful or daunting task. Rather, it should be an exciting and enjoyable experience that will set the stage for a lifetime of happiness surrounded by family, friends, and an aesthetic setting that breathes positivity and well-being.

 Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

How To Clean and Maintain Your Kitchen Sink Drain

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If you like your things to run and work smoothly, you need to maintain them. Your kitchen sink drain needs maintenance. It’s very easy to maintain your kitchen sink drain. 

1. 1/2 cup of baking soda

2. 1/2 cup of vinegar

3. Lemon juice

Let the baking soda and vinegar sit for 30 minutes, then add the lemon juice. Give it a few minutes, then rinse. Follow these steps once a month, and you should have a very happy kitchen sink drain.  

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to maintain your kitchen sink drain.  


Best Luxury Home Remodeling Ideas For An Elegant Vibe 

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Best Luxury Home Remodeling Ideas for an Elegant Vibe

Let’s make one thing clear—you don’t have to have a beach side villa or a two-story mansion to get some luxury into your life! Every home can benefit from a few luxurious remodeling ideas that will increase its elegance and comfort. Here are our best picks from tiny decorative changes to home additions and health boosts! Choose your favorite and give your home a fresh and rich vibe this year.

Improve your kitchen

The living room is the center of every household, right? Well, not anymore! A modern and up-to-date kitchen replaced the living room as the heart of the home, so make sure to give your 80's kitchen a little makeover. If you want to achieve an elegant look, go for smooth surfaces with defined lines. Metallic accents will also leave a great impression for very little money!

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Light it up

Not many people pay attention to lighting even though it makes all the difference in a space. It can help highlight all that is good and hide all that is bad in your home! So, make sure to replace your outdated bulb lights with something modern and sleek. Today, you can find elegant hanging pendants, sculpture-like ceiling fixtures and futuristic under-cabinet lights that will all give your home a fresh and elegant vibe.

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Boost comfort

In today’s hectic and busy world, comfort is often the biggest luxury. So, don’t hesitate to improve the look and feel of your living spaces, especially your bedroom. After all, this is where you spend one-third of your day—you deserve to make it comfy and pleasant. Feel free to splurge on a good mattress that will provide your body with good support and ensure you get enough quality sleep!

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Invest in health

Remodeling isn’t all about the looks! A complete luxury home remodel should also do something beneficial for your health and the health of your loved ones. The best way to start making your home a healthier space is to invest in a good HVAC system with a high-tech electrostatic filtration that will clean your air. If that’s a bit too much of a change for you, you can invest in practical and less expensive air purifiers. Manufacturers like Oransi offer all sorts of HEPA air purifiers that can filter out allergens, smoke, dust, dander, mold and even some odors that can disturb the comfort of your home. This way you’ll not only have an elegant, but also a healthy and cozy home!

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Go green

Another way to improve the look of your home and do something good for your health and the well being of our planet is to boost eco-friendliness! Choosing green materials, eco-friendly building techniques and energy-saving appliances will reduce your carbon footprint and make your home a safer and healthier environment. Plus, going green today is very popular, so your house will be trendy!

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Treat yourself to some extra space

If you have some space and money to burn, why not invest it into building a dream addition to your home? Sure, gyms, game rooms and media rooms are amazing, but there are other, more original things you can do to boost luxury. If you love to be mindful, create a Zen meditation room as an extension to your outdoor space. On the other hand, if you’re a die-hard bohemian, treat yourself to a private wine tasting room or an elegant cigar lounge! All of these rooms can be designed to fit your specific tastes and they can even add some serious value to your home.

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Don’t neglect your outdoor space

An elegant home treats its outdoors spaces with the same care and attention as its indoor spaces. So, make sure to give your backyard, patio or deck a new and fresh vibe that will tempt you to go out, get some sun and fresh air. Building a nice pergola will instantly improve the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space and make it look elegant and timeless. Are you into technology and gadgets? Don’t worry, you don’t have to opt for a traditional pergola! Check out some new models with automated roofs you can control with your smartphone!

These updates will definitely reward you with some well-earned luxury, but also boost your property’s value if you ever decide to sell! It’s a truly win-win situation!

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith


Fall 2018 Decoration Trends

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Labor Day Weekend is over, which means Fall will be here in no time. Most of us love to decorate for Fall. Here are my Top 2018 Fall Decoration Trends. 


Pumpkins falling out of the fireplace and spiders hanging off the fireplace, genius. 


Yes, it’ll take this extra cool Halloween dessert table for my house. Plus, you have to admit those lights look pretty cool. 

simplicity goes a long way in this porch, beautiful colors.

simplicity goes a long way in this porch, beautiful colors.


Fall is the perfect season to decorate inside your house. I love the entire thing, I'm just not sure if I could live without being able to use my kitchen island. 


You can either have a pre Thanksgiving dinner with this table or use this table for Thanksgiving. Which ever dinner you go with, it will be a hit with everyone. Just make sure to invite us.


So simple, but it came out great. The red door adds to the decor. Great job. 


This makes me want to paint my door orange for Halloween. 


I love real flowers, but if you’re going to get fake flowers make sure they look real. This is a winner. 


What are your favorite trends for this Fall?  

Do you have anything special in mind?  

Share your pictures with us, we love hearing from you. 


-Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing  


Is The Kitchen The Most Valuable Room When Selling Your House?

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Source: Unsplash

“The kitchen is the most important room in your home,” says Candy Scott, founder and creative director of Mood Design and Build in Chicago. “I can’t think of one kitchen renovation we have done where our client hasn’t shared with us how much time is spent in their kitchen.”

It makes sense. The kitchen is where it all happens. It’s where the morning huddle takes place as families get ready to tackle the day, its where meals are made, and family and friends gather to eat and share conversations. The kitchen is the heartbeat of the home.

What this means for you is that an upgraded kitchen can make or break the sale of your home. But unless you’ve done it before, upgrading a kitchen is no walk in the park. With so many DIY TV shows and blogs that make home renovation seem easy and fun, it’s tempting to fall into the trap that you too, can do it -- only to find that you’ve spent more in time, money and aggravation in the future.

By the same token, you may not be looking for a complete kitchen rehab. Maybe you need to freshen it so there are some projects you can probably tackle on your own. Whatever the case may be, this article will discuss what’s popular with home buyers to get an idea of what people are looking for. We’ll also dig deeper into what type of kitchen upgrade you need, and we’ll share some projects you can try on your own too.

What’s Popular Around Your Neighborhood?

Knowing what’s trendy in a kitchen for the people living in your area will help inspire the type of renovation you need to impress buyers. To find out, you can ask real estate professionals. You can also talk to design experts and do a bit of research on your own. People love stainless-steel appliances but are there a certain brand that appeals to people more than others right now? Are granite kitchen counter tops more desirable than marble? What paint colors are people more drawn to?

Zillow did a study in 2017 that shows that a soft blue paint color increased the sale of a home by $1,809. So, when you consider the cost of paint, is it worth painting your kitchen? Absolutely. A real estate agent has access to this type of information and knowing ahead of time, will help you figure out what you need to do.

Full Kitchen Rehab, Partial Rehab or Refresh?

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Source: Candy Scott

Once you talk to a few real estate agents, interior designers and have done some of your own research, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what buyers are looking for. Now it’s time to decide if you want a full rehab, partial rehab or a kitchen refresh. What’s the difference?

Full Kitchen Rehab

A full kitchen rehab is exactly what that sounds like. You’re going to do it all. Here is a list from Mood Design + Build:

  • Install new cabinetry

  • Install back splash

  • Replace flooring

  • Replace counter tops

  • Install knobs and pulls

  • Install new lighting under cabinet, island pendants, recessed cans

  • Install new appliances

  • Install new plumbing fixtures

  • Paint the walls and ceiling

Partial Kitchen Rehab

You may not need to do it all. Here’s an idea of what a partial rehab will consist of

  • Paint existing cabinetry

  • Install or replace back splash

  • Replace flooring

  • Replace counter tops

  • Install new or replace door hardware (knobs and pulls)

  • Install new lighting (under cabinet, island pendants recessed cans)

  • Replace appliances

  • Replace plumbing fixtures

  • Paint the walls and ceiling (if necessary)

Kitchen Refresh

You can hire interior design experts to help you with any type of kitchen upgrade but a simple kitchen refresh may be just what you need. You may even be able to tackle some of the items on the list on your own:

  • Install or replace tile back splash

  • Replace counter tops

  • Replace or install hardware (knobs and pulls)

  • Paint the walls

What’s Best for You?

Just because you have a list of over 20 items though, it doesn’t mean you have to do all of them. The extent to which you want to take your kitchen upgrade will depend on how much time you have, and what your budget is. If you’re looking to sell your home in a month, a full kitchen rehab is probably not a good idea. So when you’re doing your research, find out how long kitchen projects typically take to get a heads up.

DIY Kitchen Renovation Tips and Ideas

Crestwood Plumbers

Source: Unsplash

No matter how big or small you decide your kitchen upgrade should be, there are some DIY tips and ideas you can try too.

Simplicity and Functionality

Personality is important in any room, but if you’re upgrading your kitchen to sell on the market, a simple and functional kitchen is the way to go. As mentioned earlier, painting your kitchen using a soft blue color can boost the price significantly. Think about functionality too, such as installing vertical wall shelves to optimize space or putting in two-tiered carousel cabinets to keep counter tops clear and to find things easily.

Home Automation

Home automation is evolving at an unprecedented speed and new products are hitting the market virtually every day. A great way to impress home buyers is by setting up some automation features in your home.

You don’t have to automate your entire home though. Selecting a few areas can be just enough. You may choose to automate your kitchen lighting, the temperature in your home or home security (or all if you wish). For example, if you have windows in your kitchen (or anywhere in your home), you can invest in smart shades and blinds, or you can opt for a less expensive option such as smart light bulbs that can be turned on with an app before you arrive home.

You can also automate your home’s temperature control feature with the Nest Learning Thermostat where after a few days, will pick up on the temperatures you like when you’re home, and help you save energy when everyone’s away.

What’s Next?

Upgrading your kitchen whether you’re doing a complete gut rehab, a partial renovation or just giving your kitchen a simple makeover, it’s worth the investment. It not only adds to the value of your home but also to the helps buyers envision how they can enjoy the most significant space in a home. As you think about upgrading other spaces in your home, whether it’s the bathroom or the outside of your home such as your backyard or deck, you can apply the same principles: ask yourself what do people want? Think about how big your project will be: is this a full renovation, partial or refresh? Keep it simple yet functional, and add some high tech features to give your home that edge home buyers are looking for.

Guest Contributor, Kevin Hilton