Plumber in Crestwood Illinois.jpg

Tips on How to Build Your Dream House

Building a dream home is the feat of a lifetime. After all, you are meant to start off with a mere cornerstone and end with the place where you will likely spend the rest of your life. This might sound like a daunting concept, and indeed the very process can be grueling and challenging on a deeply personal level, but the end result is definitely worth it. That being said, this hardship can be ameliorated at least a little bit with these tips on how to build your dream house.

Plumbing Company in Crestwood IL.jpg

Choose The Right Place

Melbourne is one of the most coveted urban areas in Australia and everybody would like, ideally, to build their ultimate home within the city limits of Melbourne or Sydney or Brisbane. However, you should keep your expectations realistic and choose the best lot for the most opportune price.

Even if it’s a bit far off from downtown, it will still be a short car ride away. Your priority is the quality of the ground and the quality of the neighborhood. It’s always smart to go for the calmer environment that leaves enough “breathing space” for cultivating lush greenery.

Prioritize Spending On Professionals

Expensive materials are all fine and dandy but the structural integrity of your household mostly depends on the quality of hands that build them. Thankfully, Melbourne boasts a lot of experience contractors in nearly every field of construction, so finding the responsible and reliable professionals should not be that hard.

Your greatest tool in this regard is the internet browser – it gives you convenient access to rich information as well as customer reviews and discussion forums you can sift through to find the exact building contractors you need.

Crestwood IL Plumbers.jpg

Security Is Everything

When the lot turns into a construction site, security is everything. Most workers will be insured, but you should be adamant about them wearing all the necessary protection – like helmets, worker gloves and fire-resistant uniforms – as well as to utilize the benefits of crane hire from Melbourne. These cutting-edge cranes are mobile and modular in a way that makes the building process both safer and quicker.

In addition, you should definitely be in contact with the manager of each of the hired contracted building companies and insist that each piece of electrical equipment used is checked and maintained throughout the process. It protects both workers on your plot and the aforementioned structural integrity of your house.

Be There Every Day But Don’t Intervene Too Much

However, you should be fully aware of that fine line between meddling with business you do not fully comprehend and managing the construction of your dream home. For starters, it would be smart if either you or some other family member could afford to visit the construction site at least once a day for an hour or two. This will keep some of the slower workers on their toes and it will convince them how much you care about the construction.

However, you should avoid any sort of excessive meddling. You can offer your helping hand but don’t insist on it. Remember – you are not the professional constructor, and even if you are, the fact that you have contracted workers to do this job for you should be respected. If you trust your own judgment when you’re hiring professionals from around Melbourne, you should get what you bargained for.

Plumbers in Crestwood IL.jpg

Size Matters

Of course, as the layout of your home is drawn, you should make sure it accommodates the number of household residents it will hold, or potentially might hold, but don’t be overindulgent! Two extra rooms that basically have no function is square space wasted, and you should keep in mind the fact that you’ll have to pay considerably higher bills and mortgage payments.

In addition, going with the functional size of the household equates to green thinking – as you will be going out of your way to reduce your energy/carbon footprint. Of course, going for ENERGY STAR mode as you look at water and electricity saving technologies and appliances also pays off in the long run.

Finally, as you get into the process of building your first home, you have to be prepared for numerous goofs. Such endeavor goes through a lot of trial and error, and despairing over every single setback can make matters exponentially worse in the long run. Just stay flexible throughout the process and approach ever problem, predictable or not, with a sense of resolve. The vision of your dream house you are trying to reach should be enough of a motivator.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith



Many home owners notice that their yard never looks as they imagined it would. That’s because it’s not neat and there’s always clutter in the yard that makes it look less than what it could be, even if your plants are all doing rather well.

There are ways to fix this problem and return your yard to its true glory. This doesn’t require that much work or that much investment, if you discount the work that you’ll need to put in. However, making sure your garden is clean will be a long-term job.


The first step may seem like a rather simple one, but it’s the one that will take the most work and the most planning. You should start by throwing out everything in your yard that isn’t actually used. It’s possible to hire professional junk removal from Sydney if there are a lot of items that you need to throw away at once.

It’s important to be strict with this and to throw away just everything that isn’t supposed to be there, regardless of how old it is and whether it could be useable at some point.


There are many tools that you’ll need to maintain your yard and most of them are used seasonally, which means that storing them until they are needed becomes a problem of its own. That’s why some yards have a pile of tools laying in a corner somewhere until they are actually used.

It’s best to avoid this by setting up a small shed. That’s both better looking and it will keep the tools useable for a longer period of time, simply by hiding them from the elements. The sheds could be pre-made and installed in a yard within hours.

crestwood plumber


A lot of the times, the yard isn’t crowded and ill designed at all – it’s just not maintained as it should be. Plants grow faster in the summer and they could quickly overtake your yard if they aren’t pruned and maintained on a regular basis.

It’s best not to wait for the plants to grow, but to have a schedule for pruning and mowing the lawn that you’ll stick to regardless of how grown the plants are at any moment. The same goes for watering, which should be done on the schedule based on what plants you are planting.


The yard needs to have at least a few garbage bins and recycling cans. You’ll end up using them more often than you think and it’s best to always have one nearby. However, these cans don’t look that nice, especially if you’re going for a clean look for your yard.

There are ways to hide them, that will still keep the recycling accessible and easy to organize, but won’t damage the overall look and feel of the yard. The cans could be painted green and hidden behind bushes or within wooden and decorative containers, for instance.

Yards can easily get crowded and cluttered if they are not maintained properly and with care. This can make even the most beautiful of yards look bad and it can easily be avoided with a little bit of work and a little bit of planning.

The work starts with throwing away all the things that are laying in your yard and that shouldn’t be there. It’s also important to have a storage area for the yard alone, since you’ll need a lot of tools and you need a place to store them away. The yard should also have plenty of recycling bins but they could be hidden not to spoil the overall look.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith


Six Houseplants That Are Great for Bathrooms

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The Aspidistra does well in the humid conditions

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Guest Contributor, Ryan from Fast Partitions


Spending most of the time outdoors has become the new normal for many. Following the rules of social distancing, homeowners with large backyards made the most of their gardens with a variety of trendy furniture, privacy solutions as well as an array of tech solutions. From having fire pits in their garden to enclosing the property with fencing solutions, homeowners have made a lot of effort in turning their gardens into their favourite hangout spot. Want to know more about the outdoor trends that we loved in 2021? Keep on reading. We may just let you know what’s coming in 2022 too.

Furniture to die for

Multipurpose furniture gives you a full spectrum of possibilities and uses. Having a comfortable sofa to sit on while also having a spacious storage space underneath is very beneficial. Modular tables are another favourite trend of ours. Who wouldn’t like a table that can be pulled apart to accommodate seating and social distancing? How about a table with hidden beverage compartments? All of those sound perfect and have been very popular among homeowners everywhere in 2021.

Outdoor kitchens

Taking the indoors outdoors is another trend that many followed. Instead of cooking delectable meals inside, homeowners decided to have outdoor kitchens and do all the work in the yard. The convenience of preparing food outdoors allows you to spend time with everyone as you cook. A satellite kitchen features several additional cooking elements, including pizza ovens and grills. Another option is an independent kitchen that features prep space, a sink, storage, and refrigeration. On top of that, you’ll also have cooking elements to complement the rest of the kitchen space.

Added privacy

While lounging outdoors tends to be very enjoyable, it can be rather uncomfortable if you have neighbours’ prying eyes on you. That’s why they need for secluded spaces in the garden skyrocketed. Whether you want to lounge with friends, practice yoga or sunbathe, having an outdoor drapery panel or an outdoor screen. You can also consider various fencing products to enclose your property and make it both more secure and private as well. Having a fence will increase the net value of your property too, so if you ever consider selling your house, that will be a good investment in the long run.

Making the most of the outdoors with technology

The more time you spend in the fresh air, the more you realise what you could use to entertain yourself. When hanging out and landscaping finishes, you can easily continue on with streaming movies. You don’t have to go inside, just to watch your favourite film. All it takes is a Wi-Fi booster to allow you to have a strong signal in your yard and enjoy your favourite flick whilst kicking back in the garden. Bring along outdoor music speakers or portable sound systems and have a full-on cinema-like experience. Incorporate LED lights for added comfort and ambience by stringing them across your fence or the privacy structure you chose. As announced by trendsetters, in 2022, designer metal sconces and floor lamps in the garden and at the corners of the terrace or balcony will be another huge trend that will allow you to make the most of the outdoors and extend your time in the garden.

Fire pits for added warmth and ambience

You can never have too much cosiness. That’s why adding a fire pit to your yard is one of the most popular outdoor trends in 2021. Whether built-in or freestanding, they’re breaking records in popularity in 2021. Making you feel maximally cosy at any time of the day is the goal. Once the sun has set, you won’t have to go inside to be warm. Just decide on having a fire pit between your outdoor sofas and chairs to keep you warm and comfy. Heat lamps will do a similar thing, making you prolong your outdoor times by keeping you warm. For cooling down, consider misting systems and fans.

With 2021 being in its final quarter, we thought we could sum up some of the biggest outdoor design trends for you. Some of them announced the arrival of 2022 trends, while others may prolong their ruling and stick in the year ahead of us.

Guest Contributor: Diana Smith


When you buy an older home, you preserve a piece of history. You also have a unique property worth more when you go to sell. Although, these houses often require structural upgrades to keep your family safe. Here are seven renovations you may want to consider.

1.  Electrical

Older homes tend to have outdated electrical systems. For example, your home may still have knob and tube wiring installed. This was popular before the 1930s but isn’t safe for modern homes. The system used porcelain knobs to the run wires. However, the rubber insulation can dry out, leading to cracks and exposed wiring. Also, insurance companies may not provide coverage until you replace it.

Along with an outdated structure, here are some other signs to look out for:

  • Frayed wires
  • Excessive heat marks
  • Tripping circuit breakers
  • Smoke
  • Dimmed lights

If you notice any of these issues, upgrade your system before moving in. To do this, hire a professional electrician. It can cost between $3,500 and $8,000 to rewire an older home. However, the price may vary depending on labor and material expenses. Your home’s size and the scope of the project will also impact the cost.

2.  Plumbing

Your plumbing is another system that could be upgraded. Materials used to construct pipes in older homes often consisted of lead. Over time, the tubes become corroded, and the lead can seep into your drinking water. This causes health concerns, such as abdominal pain or memory loss. Galvanized pipes were also commonly used, but the zinc corrodes over time. This leaves the pipes susceptible to breakage.

Another issue is if your home is using a well system. This could lead to higher levels of sulfur in your drinking water. Too much sulfur can cause diarrhea or dehydration. It can even damage your pipes. So, consider disinfecting your water heater with chlorine to remove the sulfur.

Also, be sure to hire a professional plumber to update all your pipes. Consider installing copper pipes for their durability and heat resistance.

3.  Replacing Your Roof

An outdated roof can cause structural issues. The worn-down material leaves your exterior vulnerable to the elements. Also, a weaker awning can lead to water leaks and mold growth. Keep in mind slate or copper tiles last about 50 years, and asphalt shingles last about 20 years. So, if your roof is past its prime, consider replacing it.

You will want to hire a roofing contractor. The cost will depend on many factors, such as the roofing material and the square footage of your roof. Also, consider hiring a contractor during the off-season to reduce costs.

4.  Strengthening the Foundation

Older homes may have foundation issues that you need to address. Check for signs of cracked walls or uneven flooring and keep an eye out for any signs of rotting wood. These may appear on window frames or siding. To fix any foundation issues, call an expert.

The cost to repair your foundation could be hundreds or thousands of dollars, but a successful outcome means the investment keeps your family safe. Professional contractors can also help prevent any costly or unsafe mistakes. Plus, some areas may require a permit for this type of renovation.

5. Repairing Your Windows

You may not necessarily need to remove your windows entirely. Making simple repairs and adding weatherstripping can be a suitable alternative. You can even glaze them or add additional carpentry to minimize heat loss. These updates can keep the character of your home intact while improving its function.

6.  Checking for Lead Paint

Many older homes feature lead-based paints, which can cause health issues. Check to see if your paint is crumbling or cracked. Also, one way to determine whether its designers used lead paint is to find out the year your home was built. For example, 87% of houses constructed before 1940 used some type of lead paint.

You will also want to hire a certified professional to conduct an inspection. If you have any lead-based materials, you’ll want to remove these from the surface. You can do this through various methods, such as wire brushing or using liquid paint remover.

7. Updating Your HVAC Unit

Your older home may come with an outdated furnace, boiler, or air conditioner. Updating this can make sure you have a properly functioning and efficient climate control system.

When updating your heating unit, consider upgrading to an Energy Star-rated one. This can improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your electricity bill. In 2019, Energy Star-rated products saved residents about $39 billion in energy costs.

How to Remodel Your Old Home

Historic homes have such a unique charm! When it comes to renovations, the key is increasing functionality while keeping its character intact. Consider these renovation projects to do just that.

Guest Contributor: Rose Morrison