When doing a home improvement project, there are things to consider first before having to spend some money or have something in your house be replaced. First, identify what you want to change in your home’s current design. For example, living room setup, kitchen equipment, bathroom shower, and many more. Next, after you identify the areas you want to improve, you would want to list down what are the things you want to change or upgrade in that area. Another example is if you want to change the design of your sofa.

There are two categories that need to be considered which are functional and aesthetic. But for home improvements, both of these factors are needed. Here are some checklists for Home Improvement projects.


Functionality of the house is very important. It should be the top priority of every home. Every homeowner should have maintenance to their plumbing system, electrical wiring, water supply, etc. The aesthetic of your house is also important. There are several ways to add aesthetics to your utility tools such as having more modern showers, modern faucets, and even light switch plates that can now be decorated. Although the light switch cover doesn’t get much attention, it is actually great to have designs even in the smallest details.


To have more creativity and uniqueness in your home, consider having rearrangements in your home. To avoid having a boring and somehow repetitive layout in your house, try changing the things in your house from time to time to add a new perspective.


Paint jobs are also one of the factors to add to the checklist for home improvements. If there are signs of paint chips, faded colors, cracked, peeling, or when you no longer like the color of your paint. Consider having your house repainted so your walls will be protected. Having a new paint job can also have your house look elegant instantly. When choosing the right color of paint, choose the color that you really like to match your personality.


If you are no longer comfortable in your bedroom, consider buying a new mattress. When choosing  a mattress, it should be made from a high-end material that gives comfort and coziness. Choose a mattress that gives both durability and comfort at the same time. Since you will be using your new mattress for a really long time.


Tools can also have an expiration date, if you are using a microwave for a really long time, it might not work perfectly as it was before. Buying out new tools for your home can also avoid you from getting infections and bacteria. For example, if you still use the same kitchenware for years, some of its properties might peel off and be included in your food. So it’s best to change it from time to time. Another examples are knives, when it becomes dull, it is time to change it. Appliances are also included in this list since it becomes a tool that you use every day. Having functional home results in an elegant home.


Exterior walls also need to repaint, pathway and walkways also need cleaning maintenance from to time, and windows needs to be treated. The roof also needs to be checked from time to time, especially if there is bad weather. It’s better to spend some money on repairs rather than getting wet from leakage when it’s raining.


In conclusion, for every household, there will be a different checklist for home improvement. The lists that were mentioned earlier are just an example. Home improvements vary for each individual. So to have the right checklist, always identify the things that you wanted to improve first from your house and create a list on what you want to do after figuring out what are the areas in your home that needs improvements.


Have you ever wondered how to self-install your new internet service? You can usually achieve this by following the instructions given to you by your service provider. 

It’s often a simple process that involves plugging in the modem and router to a central location of the home and signing onto the network using a default password before updating it to a password of your choosing.

While it might seem overwhelming to take on such a technical task, we’ve done it before and have helped many others complete their own internet self-installation, so you can do it, too.

Below, we share how to self-install your new internet service with step-by-step instructions. While details may vary depending on your service provider, these instructions should help you get up and running.


Before you begin the process of self-installing your new internet service, it’s crucial to check that you’re eligible to do so. Your eligibility is typically indicated by whether or not you were given (or offered) a self-installation kit when you signed up for the service.

If you don’t have a self-installation kit, that usually means you’re not eligible to self-install and will need to wait for a technician to do it for you. Waiting for a technician can take days or even weeks. If you’re eager to get online, self-installing is your fastest option.

Some addresses may not be eligible for self-installation if there has never been internet provided at that address by the provider before. You can find out if you’re eligible by entering your street address as you order your internet online. Another option is utilizing chat or their customer service phone number to check.

Other providers may not offer a self-installation option. Some popular providers that do offer this option include:

  • At&T
  • Century Link
  • Google Fiber
  • Cox Communications
  • Spectrum
  • Verizon
  • Xfinity

If you’re eligible for self-installation but still prefer to have someone do it for you, that’s possible, too. However, you’ll need to wait longer for an available technician.

Also, if you have a provider like Verizon, your self-installation might be a bit harder. Here is an extra resource on this


If you’re eligible to self-install your new internet service, you should have received (or been offered) a self-installation kit. Your kit will include everything you need to get online, including the:

  • Modem
  • Router
  • Coaxial cables
  • Ethernet cables
  • Printed instructions or a link to access online instructions

If you didn’t receive a self-installation kit, don’t worry. You can try ordering one from your internet service provider’s website or customer service line. They may even send one to you overnight so you can get started as soon as possible.

You may need to return your old equipment before they ship you a new self-installation kit if you’re upgrading your internet speed and need a new modem that’s compatible with the higher speeds.


Once you have your self-installation kit, it’s time to get started. The first thing you’ll want to do is read through the instructions provided. Either read the printed material that came with your kit or follow the link to online instructions.

It’s crucial to follow the instructions since they are specific to your service and equipment. Don’t try to shortcut the process, as it could result in problems later.

If you have questions about the instructions, don’t hesitate to contact your internet service provider’s customer service department for help.


One of the first things you’ll need to do is find a central location to install your modem and router. A good location should be somewhere near an outlet and close to where your main computer or TV is located. 

You don’t want to place it on either end of the house, as the WiFi signal may not reach the other side. Try to find a place that’s in the middle of your home so it can reach every room. It’s also important that the location has enough ventilation to help keep your equipment cool.

If you’re not sure where the best place to install your modem and router is, take a walk around your home and look for potential locations. Once you’ve begun the installation process, you can try doing a test WiFi connection from that location to double-check the strength of your signal from various spots in the house.


Once you’ve found the best location for installation, it’s time to set up your modem. Start by plugging the power cord into an outlet and then connecting it to the back of the modem.

To do this, take the modem out of the box and use the cord to plug it into the wall. You may be plugging it into a:

  • Phone jack
  • Coaxial jack
  • Optical or Ethernet jack

The specifics will vary for different providers, so refer to your specific provider’s instructions.


Now, plug your modem into your router to connect the two using an Ethernet cable.


Plug your router in so that both devices are plugged into the wall and connected to each other.


After about 30 seconds to 1 minute, check the light status on your modem and router. They should be blinking or solid, depending on your provider’s instructions.


Check the back of the router or the box it came in for a network default password. You’ll use it to sign on to your WiFi for the first time.


Using your default password, connect to your WiFi network. Once you’re connected, you should be able to follow the instructions given to you by your provider to change the password to something you’d prefer.


By following these simple instructions, you should know how to self-install your new internet service without any problems. 

If you have any trouble along the way or run into issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider’s customer service department for help. They’ll be more than happy to assist you.

Guest Contributor: Andreas Grant


Our dogs are our family members, and every family member deserves to feel comfortable, safe and welcome in their own house. So if you’re planning to conduct some home improvements in the future, don’t forget to surprise your pup with some improvements for their own comfort. If you need dog-friendly renovation ideas, you’ll find plenty here:


Let’s start your renovation from the bottom up by installing new flooring. If you have an indoor pup, choose the flooring that’s easy to clean and resistant to slips. For dogs, concrete, tile and hardwood floors are the best choices that can’t be damaged by your dog’s claws and accidents. And consider installing heating under the floor—this will feel so good on your senior dog’s joints and bones.


Suppose you don’t like the open space concept, then you know how annoying it can be to constantly go around the house, opening the doors for your pup. Well, you can make your life much easier with built-in doggy doors. There are costly but super-practical sliding doggy doors that are built into the walls, but those that install on your regular doors are a great option too.


If you regularly walk your dog or let them into your yard (as you should), you know how much dirt your furry friends can drag inside. This can be solved with a practical mud room. This small room is usually built near the entrance of the house and can be used to leave dirty clothing and shoes, as well as wipe your dog’s paws and store their personal items. If you have space to work with, you can also install a small dog shower in your mud room and have a practical grooming station in a safe and easy-to-clean place.


Dogs usually love to be surrounded by people, but sometimes even they need some peace and quiet. When there’s a lot of noise and chaos in your home, or when you have visitors over, your dog will love to retreat to their sanctuary and avoid over-stimulation. You can easily designate a corner under the stairs or in your catch-all closet to make a cozy dog nook. Make this place soundproof, and boost the comfort with a cozy dog bed for sweet dreams and relaxation. The best bed options are doggy cots which are lightweight, easy to move and wash. Providing your dog with a safe space will create a calm and secure dog without stress and anxiety.


If you want to additionally boost comfort for both you and your dog, then build a designated feeding area. This doggy dining room will ensure they get all the privacy they need while eating without taking away any space in their kitchen or living room. A practical solution for a feeding station is a pull-out drawer with bowls for feeding. Next to it, you can build a cabinet with kibble bins for easy access. Since these cabinets and drawers close after use, they prevent the spreading of any dog food odors and allow you to avoid spillage.


We usually allow our dog access to all the parts of the house, but sometimes, we just need to limit their access to certain rooms, either for their safety or for the safety of other people. What most people resort to are baby gates, but these can be very ugly and short. A better solution is a sliding half-door with a metal railing resistant to scratching and biting. These are easy to build between the kitchen peninsula and the wall, on top of the staircase or between rooms.


Some dogs are very susceptible to joint and spine issues, especially in their senior years. To make your pup easier to navigate their home, you can consider building ramps to your entrance, couch or first floor. This can often be a very cheap improvement that will mean a lot to your pup.


Don’t worry, you’re not a bad dog parent if you sometimes leave your dog alone at home—this is a sad necessity for many of us. However, you can also expect your dog to get bored while you’re not there. One thing that can give them something to do is look outside the window. Build a practical window seating for your pup so they can get a nice view outside, keep an eye on the intruders and watch squirrels play around outside—it’s like a blockbuster for dogs!

Like any family member, your dog deserves to have their needs met at home. With these practical home improvement ideas, you’ll not only make your dog’s life better, but also make your house easier to clean, maintain and keep beautiful and stylish. You’ll get to spend less time stressing over your house and more time cuddling with your dog!

Guest Contributor: Diana Smith


Insanitation concept. Woman holds lens, shows there are bugs in bedclothes, detects bad insects demonstrates dirty conditions. Dirtiness, unhygienic conditions and uncleanness

Bed bugs have always been a looming problem in both residential and industrial areas. While both business owners and homeowners have been shown bed bug removal methods they can do by themselves, doing the wrong thing could lead to mishaps.

DIY isn’t entirely wrong, but it should be well-informed and done right so as to avoid hazardous issues. But just to be on the safe side and avoid further mishaps, the best option for treating bed bugs is to contact a professional that can do bed bug heat treatments in Sacramento, CA.

Here is a rundown of some bed bug DIY mistakes that should never be done at home.


Of course, pesticides are highly toxic and hazardous. Even the ones that are registered by the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have been linked to multiple health problems such as acute poisoning, certain types of cancer, hormone disruption, asthma, neurotoxicity, organ damage, and more. The use of these pesticides are more dangerous than their benefits.

That’s why it’s important to check with a professional exterminator. After assessing the infestation, they will come up with a proper treatment plan to deal with the bed bugs in your area. They also have the right tools and equipment to carry out these treatments.


Nowadays in the cleaning industry, steam cleaners are one of the fastest growing technologies. We’d even go as far as saying that these are a heaven-sent item for anyone that’s wary about bedbugs. Vapor steam cleaners look similar to a vacuum, but they are much more powerful. Steam cleaners use water and electricity to clean, disinfect, and deodorize any surface. These are safe for use in homes since they don’t need any kind of chemicals. 

Vapor steam cleaners are great for maintaining a bed bug-free environment because they generate  a tremendous amount of heat, eliminating pests from clothes, furniture, and beddings. The steam vapor can also reach nooks and crannies, just where bed bugs like to hide most. If you’re trying to steer clear of bed bugs, vapor steam cleaners are worth an investment.


Bed bug monitors/interceptors have been one of the most useful devices ever invented for bed bug monitoring and management. These devices are usually shaped like a plastic dish with an outer shallow part designed to catch and contain bed bugs. They function on the assumption that bed bugs do not have the ability to climb slippery, vertical surfaces. So with these things, you can breathe easy for a bit knowing bed bugs won’t reach your pillows.

Other uses for a bed bug monitor and interceptor include the following:

●      Keeps bed occupants from bed bugs

●      Sees and counts bed bugs present

●      Assess the effectiveness of certain bed bug treatments

●      Serves as an early detection system for bed bugs in hotels, apartments, houses

●      Used as part of a DIY bed bug management practice


Most, if not all, pest control companies will require homeowners to do significant preparations prior to the start of a treatment. These requirements may differ based on the type of treatment as well as the type of residence. Unfortunately, some clients don’t think this is necessary, leading to a myriad of problems that pest control companies are all too familiar with.

The actions they require Below is a sample checklist for clients to complete before their bed bug service begins.

Below is a list of the preparations homeowners should take note of before having exterminators begin their treatment:

●      Lift mattresses and box springs out of the bed frame

●      Empty all closets, dressers, drawers

●      Wash and dry all clothing within the room on high heat

●      Bag all personal items that cannot be laundered

●      Empty all luggage and travel bags into untied bags

●      Remove all sofa, chair, and other upholstered furniture cushions and accessories

●      Remove all sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and other bed coverings from the mattress and box spring and dry for at least 50 minutes on high heat

●      Thoroughly vacuum your mattress, box spring, inside of dresser drawers, all carpeting throughout your entire home, floors, area rugs, sofas, futons, recliners, upholstered furniture, and physical bugs you may see

●      Remove and dry all curtains and window dressings on high heat

●      Inspect items that cannot be washed such as books, electronics, picture frames, and plastic toys

●      Place them into plastic bags only if you do not find bed bugs on these items

●      Reduce clutter under your bed and around the room

●      Encase your mattress using specialized mattress encasements

Unless homeowners do these themselves, technicians will leave the room just as it is. This results in a lot of mishandling in materials that could spread bed bugs throughout your home, or even destroy your beddings and belongings. Neglecting proper preparation could prolong the whole treatment process.


Dealing with bed bugs takes so much time and energy, but that’s why there are pest control companies that can help. These companies have exterminators that are properly trained and equipped with the right tools for carrying out bed bug heat treatments in Sacramento, CA. DIY methods may be cheaper, but these may not be as effective and some mistakes can even cost you more money instead.


Most people store their water heater out of their sight, and keep using it without checking

regularly if there is any problem. If any glitch occurs then only they think about repairing it.

However, it seems that a lot of people don’t know that, like other mechanical systems, it is

also needed to check water heaters regularly, and then repair accordingly if there is any glitch to help in making it serve for the possible longest time. On a side note, if you are aware of

any kind of need to repair your water heater by now, then you must be thinking of investing in a water heater. So, if you are already looking for repair your water heater , we recommend you to check out the best water heater repair in San Diego.

Here, in this article, we have discussed some of the most common water heater issues you’re most likely to face, and there are some ways to solve these problems.


There are a lot of problems that can be caused due to not having enough hot water such as : There should be some problems with the size of your tank, that is why your water heater is not able to provide enough hot water. To solve this problem you can easily change your

current water heater, and bring a larger one which can fulfill your demand with its sufficient amount of size.

The problem of having too little hot water can also be solved, you just need to manage the temperature on the tank’s thermostat. But keep in mind, while adjusting the temperature, be careful that you do not increase the temperature too high, as this can cause an accident.

Furthermore, if you have a tankless water heater, there could be a problem that your water heater might not be powerful enough. There is a chance that you might add more than the required number of fixtures to the unit’s power. You should always check the number of

fixtures that your unit is capable of running and adjust them accordingly.

So this type of problem may cause you to replace your water heater with a more effective one. Although, it is advised to talk to a local water heater repair for identifying the system and its ongoing problems before changing your water heater tank or buying a new one.

There is another problem that you might face is that your water heater is not producing any hot water, which is mostly dependent on what type of water heater you are using. First you need to figure out the issue, if it is a gas-powered water heater, and you are getting cold water even after switching on the hot water faucet, there is a high chance that a pilot light might have blown out. There is another chance that your thermocouple might have errors, and it

also needs to be replaced. Also, for an electrical water heater, the issue could be that your water heater has a wrong heating element that also needs to be replaced.

Again, it would be better to consult a repair professional to get this job done because replacing the thermocouple or the heating element is a risky task to do on your own.



There are few things that could cause terrible noises from your water tank. The most common causes of this terrible banging sounds are some scales might have built up on the heating

elements inside the water tank. To solve this problem, you need to clean the tank monthly to get rid of scales. If you still face the noise problem even after cleaning the tank, you need to contact a water heater repair professional to fix the issue. This can also result in leakages.

Although, leaks are the problems that are caused from loose connections. To solve this problem, you need to tighten them. But if the leak is caused by your tank, that means again your tank needs to be replaced. Leakages can cause a huge problem, so do not ignore if such problems occur.

Therefore, to solve the problem of leakage always contact the best water heater repair in San Diego.



If you’re facing the issue of having smelly water, then most probably, it’s because bacteria is present in your water tank. You can easily solve this problem by yourself just by cleaning the tank, and pouring a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. After that, let the solution stay in the tank for about more than two hours, and then clean the tank out with new water.

Even after cleaning your water tank you still face the same issue, then you need to reach out to your local repair professional to get help.



If you find that water from your tank has a dirty, dark color, there is a chance that your water tank has some corrosion inside. You can simply replace the tank to get rid of this problem.

Also, a failing anode rod can also be the reason for this issue.

So, you need to flush the water tank to replace the anode rod to check if the problem will get solved, before heading to buy another tank. If the problem still occurs, then again contact your water heater repair professional.




So, as you can see whatever your water heater issue is, it’s vital to identify and fix the error as soon as possible. But most of these issues should be handled by a professional, whether it is a leakage, or a heat issue. You are always free to contact us for the Best Water Heater Repair in San Diego.


Author Bio :- Angela Louise

Angela is a marketing manager at EZ Plumbing USA. She has a great interest in educating readers about various leakages that can happen in their home or offices through her articles. With extensive knowledge of water leak and slab leak detection techniques as well as HVAC systems, Angela wants to make readers aware about the warning signs indicating leakage and predictive AC and Heater maintenance and also how to fix them to refrain from dangerous and costly consequences. 

Read articles to get more valuable information about detection and damages of water and slab leak repair, techniques to fix clogging, and installation and maintenance of AC & Appliance in San Diego.

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/EZPlumbingUSA1


When looking for a new home or property, we often pay more attention to its location and aesthetics. However, you should also consider the structural integrity of the building. 

Most times, you will need the help of a professional to evaluate the “health” of the building. But what if you can’t afford to hire an inspector? How do you know if the property has been managed well?


Surely, property managers and owners can conceal major issues with fresh paint or some minor upgrades, but they can’t totally hide major repair problems. 

Here are the five most important components of a house or building that can help you decide whether it’s worth investing in it.


The roof is often the most susceptible to wear and tear as it is directly exposed to different elements. 

Well-maintained roofs can last thirty years or more, however, poor-quality shingles and tiles can significantly reduce their lifespan. You should be able to see from the ground if there are broken or missing shingles. 

Make sure to ask the seller how old the roof is, and inspect the gutters and drainage systems if they are in good condition. A well-maintained gutter system helps avoid water damage issues especially in ceilings, which can be difficult to detect in plain sight. If the roof isn’t old enough but still needs some repairs, ask the seller to lower the price so you can save money for repair work.

Don’t forget to check the sidings too. Like roofs, sidings are also prone to damage. You should be able to quickly assess the condition of the sidings by simply looking at them. Things like missing or rusty nails, cracking caulk or crooked joints, fading or missing paint, rotting, mold, and water stains are major issues to consider.


Mold is every homeowner’s toughest enemy. It is a fungus that comes in different colors, such as white, green, and black.

If there is water damage or leaks on the roof, the property most likely has an issue with mold, even if you can’t see it. You should also check for water puddles near the exterior walls of the house and look around for watermarks, which are a major sign of leaks.

Some other common places where mold is likely to take hold are around leaking pipes, windows, and basements. If you notice an unpleasant odor inside the house or building, it’s another tell-tale sign of mold problems. Ask the seller if the property has mold or water damage problems and make sure to add a mold-related contingency to your offer if you really are interested to buy the property.


An easy way to check if the previous owner of the house has taken good care of the property is by checking the bathrooms. A bathroom should be renovated every four or five years. Check to see if the fixtures are still in good condition, such as the shower, sink, toilet, and bathtub. 


It takes more than a quick freshening up to reveal how well-cared-for a building is. You can’t mask stains on tiles or floors, dirt stuck on walls, and a poorly organized interior space.

Look for a home or property that boasts a clean and well-maintained interior. This means the walls are freshly painted, and the floors have no stains and cracks, so do the countertops and tables.

A well-cared-for building will also have highly maintained furniture. Even if the furniture pieces are quite old, they are still very functional and have no sign of major damage or cracks. With such an interior, you won’t need to shell out more money on repair or renovations. In most cases, all you need is to add stylish home decor to make your new home more like “you.”


Look for a home that has proper ventilation. Poor airflow is a common sign that the existing HVAC system is no longer functioning properly. This means that the previous owner hasn’t taken much effort to clean air filters or have their air conditioners or heating systems regularly checked by technicians.

A well-functioning HVAC system also suggests the absence of water leaks which can quickly damage a home and even lead to serious structural issues. Air conditioners that make low-level noise as they start up and shut down are okay, but any rattling or buzzing noise is a red flag.


Buying a home or property is no easy feat. You should take time assessing the building to make sure it’s free from costly damage and is worth your investment. Remember the pointers we discussed above when inspecting a property.

If you really like the property but you uncovered some issues, talk to the seller and negotiate the price so you can allocate budget for repairs.

 Guest Contributor: Leila Amber


Choosing an exterior paint color for your home is just one part of the paint-selection process. As a homeowner, you want to ensure that your exterior paint withstands harsh weather conditions and UV radiation. While exterior painters will expertly prepare your home for a smooth, long-lasting paint job, your chosen paint finish can either make or break the final look and longevity of the paint. This handy guide will help you choose the best paint finish for your home exterior.


Paint sheen is not just about aesthetics. Paint finishes affect how long exterior paint lasts on siding, trim, doors, and other exterior surfaces. There are four different types of paint sheens that professional painters typically use on home exteriors and each has unique benefits when used on the correct surfaces.


While flat paint finishes used to be the most popular, they aren’t used much on exteriors these days. Flat paint is matte, porous, and susceptible to fading and mildew problems. Most customers desire paint finishes that are shinier and more durable, but flat paint doesn’t have to be ruled out completely. Because flat paint isn’t shiny, it can be a great option for disguising flaws on older homes. However, a flat finish is only recommended for exterior walls, and not areas that are touched often such as doors, railings, or windows.

When to use a flat paint finish: If your home has older wooden siding, or you need to conceal siding imperfections, flat paint can be a good choice.


Eggshell paint is the most popular exterior paint finish for the body of a home. Because eggshell isn’t dull like a flat finish, or too shiny like a high-gloss sheen, it looks great on a variety of siding types such as HardiePlankstucco, horizontal wood, and others. Eggshell paint also offers more durability than flat paint, so it can easily be washed with occasional power washing. It’s also an ideal choice when you need to hide imperfections under the coating on older wood or stucco divots. Eggshell can also protect your home from precipitation and seasonal weather changes. This popular paint finish lays down nicely, so you won’t be able to see any brush strokes, roller edges, or spray marks after applying.

When to use an eggshell paint finish: If you’re repainting your house siding and want a low-reflective finish that also conceals minor imperfections. An eggshell finish is also perfect when you need to subtly bring out trim details.


Satin paint has a nice sheen and is ideal for exterior trim areas that are used or touched often. This highly durable, stretchy paint resists peeling and mildew. A satin paint finish is perfect for use on a variety of trim areas such as eaves, soffits, overhangs, trim boards, porch ceilings/trim, door frames, window sills, and so much more. It’s important to note that satin paint magnifies imperfections like dents, dings, cratering, and ridges in older wood trim and wood siding.

When to use a satin paint finish: If you want a beautiful sheen on your trim that isn’t too shiny, this is the finish for you. This is especially true if you live in a hot, sunny climate as satin paint contains more UV protectant to prevent fading.


A semi-gloss paint offers visible shine on home exteriors and is ideal for surfaces that require frequent cleaning. The glossier sheen makes semi-gloss paint more durable than satin, so it’s easier to clean. Semi-gloss paint can also endure harsh weather conditions and withstand excess moisture. While a semi-gloss paint finish can look beautiful on trim details, it isn’t a good choice if you need to conceal cracks, chips, or other surface imperfections.

When to use a semi-gloss finish: A semi-gloss finish is best for painting garage doors, front doors, exterior trim, gutters, shutters, metal lamp posts, railings, and window sills.


If you want your exterior trim to really pop, then this is the paint finish for you. A high-gloss sheen offers extreme durability and adds a beautiful richness to paint color. You may be tempted to paint your entire home exterior with this easy-to-clean, highly durable sheen, but it isn’t a good idea! Painting all of your siding with high-gloss paint will make your home look “plastic” and magnify surface imperfections. Simply use this finish for highlighting ornate architectural details, trim, and doors. Professional painters will happily paint your exterior walls and siding with a semi-gloss or satin paint to complement the high-gloss finish of your trim.

When to use a high-gloss finish: Use this heavy-duty paint to highlight architectural details, decorative fixtures, accent trim, shutters, front doors, black metal railings, window frames, or anything else you touch on a regular basis.

House painting tip! Semi-gloss and high-gloss paints can be brittle and chip if not applied to the right surface or with the right preparation. Gloss paints can look amazing on front doors that have been kept in great shape from porches and awnings, but won’t look nice if your door has dings, cracks, or other blemishes. Professional house painters will ensure your home is prepped and painted properly so that your paint job looks amazing and lasts a long time.


Paint finishes on your home are just as important as the colors you choose. This is why it’s critical to trust your exterior house painting project to a professional painting company. Not only will professional painters use the right painting tools and techniques to deliver a flawless finish, an expert paint color consultant will help you choose the perfect paint finishes for your siding and trim. Trusting your exterior home painting project to the professionals will provide you with beautiful, long-lasting results. Request your free exterior painting quote today!

Guest Contributor: Mark Sharp


Have you checked out our new Blue Collar Eats video over on Facebook where we reviewed Amigos Mexican Restaurant? “You guys know me, I’m always on the hunt for tacos, and we found somebody that’s giving Frankfort a run for their money”, says Kevin. This restaurant is definitely a hidden gem! We sat down and gave you the scoop, along with Ron and Jason who joined us for this delicious meal.

Ron, one of our plumbers, joined Kevin in reviewing this restaurant out. “The steak is real nice, tender, delicious, the cilantro is fresh, onions are fresh, everything is diced up real fine, it’s easy to eat. I like this taco a lot!”

Jason, another one of our plumbers, explained why everyone says this place is giving Frankfort a run for it’s money. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this place is gonna give places a run for their money.” Ron chimed in and agreed, saying, “No, definitely. Even the chicken is traditionally seasoned, not overpowering, really nice, juicy and tender. Pretty much everything you would want in a piece of chicken.”

All three agreed “now that’s a good taco!” as they cheered to the tacos and took a bite.

Kevin review a little bit of everything, from the tostados, chicken tacos, steak tacos, their guacamole, homemade salsa and burritos. He said everything was great, and the best tacos he’s ever had.

“The chicken tacos and the al pastor are great!” says Rasheed from Bear Down, he’s one of their best customers! He loves this place and talks very highly of them.

Another customer explained he loves the tacos, and his little brother likes the burgers. “There’s something here for everyone.”

Amigos reopened their doors on Thursday, October 14th at 20831 S. Lagrange Rd. in Frankfort IL. Keep in mind it is a cash only establishment, but they do have an ATM located inside of the restaurant.

Check out our video on Facebook on our page, Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing – Local Plumber and make sure to check out the restaurant whenever you’re in the area!

Guest Contributor: Tiffany Powell


If there was ever a good time to invest in a parcel dropbox, it is now. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the need for a sharper focus on health and safety. Social distancing and avoidance of crowded public places are critical steps.  

Imagine a mother having to go with the kids to pick a parcel at the post office drop box. With more than one child in tow, it can be difficult to contain them. How will she, for instance, keep them from touching surfaces. 

Maintaining the six feet distance will be another challenge. Such exposure can lead to the whole family contracting the dreaded disease.  

A home delivery parcel dropbox has so many advantages. The most obvious is the convenience of contactless deliveries. You can adhere to the social distancing calls but continue to shop as usual. 

But, do take note of how to handle home deliveries to avoid getting the virus. You should, for instance, let the package sit for up to 24 hours before touching it. Remove outer packaging and dispose of them. And, wash your hands thoroughly after touching the items.  

Investing in a secure lockable parcel delivery box ensures safety for your items. It does not matter whether anyone is home or not when the courier comes around. Once the item is in the delivery box, only you can access it using the lockbox key or combination.  

There is no shortage of parcel drop box suppliers or vendors. It can get rather confusing in choosing one. But, there are some considerations you must have in mind. So what are they?  


The first consideration when choosing the right parcel dropbox is by looking at the security features. As we mentioned, there are many delivery box options available.  

But, a strong selling point or differentiator is how they secure or assure the safety of your deliveries. At the very minimum, you want a lockable delivery box.  

Look for the type that uses the cantilever system. Once the item is in the parcel box, there is no way to get it out. The neighborhood burglar will have no luck using the entryway to access your purchases.   

Another key security feature is the material that makes up the body of the parcel drop box. You want sturdy, durable, and hard to breach. Do your part in making the burglars work a little bit harder. Heavy metal delivery boxes are a good option.  


Since the delivery box stays outside it is prone to the effects of the elements. Metal rusts, depending on the moisture levels. Wood will rot due to the same reason. 

Delivery box manufacturers apply anti-weather material to weatherproof the boxes. Ensure critical parts like seals have the relevant protection. You want to avoid having to replace the box within a short period.  


Do take note of how easy it is to install the parcel dropbox. Some are pretty simple, and with a few tools, you can have them mounted. Carefully read the instruction manuals to avoid any mistakes.  

If you think it will be a challenge, ask for expert help. The vendors or manufacturers should have no problem availing someone from their team to help you.  
Improper installation can reduce the safety of the delivery box. If, for example, you do not securely mount it, the thief can carry the box. 


There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to parcel delivery boxes. You are in the best position to determine what will work well for you.  

Look at what you typically buy as a guideline. If you stick to smaller purchases, there is no need for a large parcel dropbox.  

Heavy parcel delivery boxes work well for multiple packages. They are also fantastic if you share the home with others who receive items.   


You can place the parcel drop box almost anywhere outside of the home. Some favorite spots include driveways, front porch, garden, or gate posts. That means it is visible to anyone who visits. 

So, do look for an attractive design to add to the beauty of your outdoor space. There are many variations of colors and designs.  

Apply some creativity with a simple DIY painting job. It allows you to blend in the delivery box with your existing outdoor decor.  

You also have options with mounting or installation. You can go for those that you place on the wall, above the ground. Such are ideal for smaller parcels. 

The other option is the floor-mounted parcel delivery boxes. They can accommodate larger packages, and give more flexibility with placement. 

You could have it in the driveway, garden, or anywhere you choose. This is unlike wall-mounted options that require, well, a wall. But, again it comes down to your preference.  


Look out for available lockbox technologies.  Smart lockboxes, for instance, are becoming quite popular. Such will send notifications once the delivery man scans the barcode. 

You can set it up to send the alert to your mobile or other internet or Bluetooth-connected devices. Such allow for Integration with smart home technologies. You can lock, unlock or share access to the box using virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. 

They also allow for custom configurations depending on what you need. Other features include live streaming videos, sound recording, and motion sensors. This helps improve the safety of your deliveries.  


Enhance your safety during this pandemic period with a home delivery parcel dropbox. You avoid unnecessary exposure by having to make trips to the designated drop-off points. 

The right parcel delivery box comes down to what you need and your preference. But, do check out the security features the manufacturers offer.

Also, pay attention to the material of the parcel delivery box. It should be strong, durable, and weatherproof. Determine the best size depending on what you typically buy.  

Think about the installation as well. Do you want to mount it or have it on the floor? Whichever you choose should be convenient for you and the delivery. It should also be secure enough to make it hard for the local burglar to make away with the whole box

Guest Contributor: Daniel Martin


Have you thought about using solar power in your home? If not, you could be missing out. Want to know why? Well, you can save some good money from your electricity bills. 

Solar power reduces dependence on the national supply. No more blackouts or shutdowns when the electricity company is doing maintenance.  

When shopping, go for the best-looking solar panels. And no, it is not about vanity. Do you know solar panels can increase the value of your home if you ever decide to sell? And, you will be doing your part in saving the environment. Solar energy is renewable and sustainable.  

Maybe you are not quite ready to rig up your whole home to solar power just yet. But, since you have embraced remote working, your energy bills have gone up quite a bit.

If you are looking for a solution, please read on. We will share some tips for creating a solar-powered home office. 


Powering your house using solar energy requires some expert advice. Yes, there are tons of resources, both online and offline,  you can use to educate yourself. YouTube is full of DIY solar panel installation tips. So, can you rig your home office yourself? Absolutely.  

But, look at it this way. A good solar installation kit is not exactly cheap. You will also void any warranty if you mess up the job. And remember, there are factors you may not know when shopping for solar panels.  

Yes, we did say above that you should buy the best-looking solar panels. But there is a lot more that goes into the process. It helps to know quality brands that will give you long-term usage. The experts will also advise on things like battery storage and positioning.  

And that’s not all. Try shopping for solar kits and the process can be overwhelming. There are so many brands coming in at different price points. It is a good idea to let someone with the knowledge guide you.  

Take your time to do your due diligence when looking for solar installers. Ensure the company has relevant certification, licensing, and proof of professionalism.  

Read customer reviews and talk to some happy customers. A reputable company should not have an issue availing references. Also, ask questions about maintenance and warranty for the solar equipment.  


Take the time to learn the basics of solar power installation. It will make more sense for you when the experts talk about specific components or processes. Do you, for instance, know that wrong wiring can lead to fires or electric shocks? 

Familiarize yourself with the different components. These include solar panels, mounting brackets, charge controllers, batteries, and inverters. Do not be shy about asking the consulting company questions. A little knowledge never hurt anybody.  


It helps to know how much energy you will need to run your home office. Start by listing down any appliances that need power. You may have laptops, printers, a scanner, a fridge, and a coffee maker. Also consider other factors like lighting, heating, and air conditioning.  

The requirements will depend on the type of work you do. Take the example of running a printing press. It will need more power than the basic office equipment we have listed above. The more energy you will need, the more panels you will buy.  

The experts will calculate your power needs by taking into consideration all the appliances you will use in your home office. 


Some factors will determine the solar panel placement. Let’s say your home office is in a building separate from the main house. You must consider the following. 

  • The direction of the roof – the more the orientation of the roof to the sun, the better. 
  • Shade from trees around the home office. Consider the different seasons, in winter the sun stays pretty low in the sky. The result is longer shadows which will block the sun from hitting the panels. The type of trees also matter. Take the Example of Evergreens that keep their leaves all year round. 
  • Surrounding infrastructure that could cast shadows on the roof. 
  • Roof angles and protrusions could interfere with the placement of panels.

The type of solar panels you buy matters. Some reduce output in low sunlight conditions. Others will go off. But the basic principle is the more direct sunlight, the higher efficiency you achieve in energy production. 

Also, if you are planning any roof renovations, do them before installing the solar panels.  


Components placement is also critical. The experts may recommend putting the AC/DC inverter right next to the electric meter. The electricity in the panels is direct current (DC). It will need to convert to alternating current (AC) so that you can use it to power your office and appliances. The consulting company will ask for a site visit to determine the best placement.  

A good solar kit should also come with a backup battery. It allows you to store energy during peak sunshine hours for use when you need it. You can save a lot by switching to the stored power in the evening or at night. 

The solar installation professionals must adhere to building codes when placing the batteries. Some places do not allow for the mounting or installation of batteries in interior spaces. You may need to upgrade the structure first to accommodate them. 

Do not ignore the permit requirements. It would be unfortunate to rig up your home office, only to have to bring it down due to noncompliance.  


Solar power will save you money and is very dependable. You can run your home office without having to worry about blackouts or other power disruptions. The best piece of advice we can give is to let professionals handle the installation. 

They have the expertise and in-depth knowledge to do the work. You also get advice on the best quality from the tons of options available.  

But, this is not to say that you should not take an active part in the process. Do your due diligence before hiring professional solar installers. Check licensing, customer reviews and talk to a few references. 

Also, educate yourself on the basics of solar power. There are tons of resources available online. The professionals should also be comfortable answering any questions you have. 

Guest Contributor: Daniel Martin