How to clear a clogged drain, the DIY way
News from Chicago Daily Herald:

It’s funny when a toilet overflows in the movies, isn’t it? But in real life, it’s rarely anything to laugh about. And neither is a clogged sink or floor drain.

Here are a few suggestions for how to clear a clogged drain without too much drama.

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See if you can figure out where the clog might be. If only one fixture is affected, it might be directly in that fixture. But if a whole bathroom is affected, the clog probably is at the main drain for that room. If it’s the whole house, then you can assume it’s closer to the main drain.

A plumber’s snake is a great tool for getting to clogs and loosening them. It’s a long piece of heavy-duty cable that you feed into the drain until it reaches the clog and pushes it apart or pulls it out. These come in a variety of lengths and aren’t very expensive. Every homeowner really ought to have one. It’s a good way to unclog a drain without using expensive, harsh chemicals that ca…………… continues on Chicago Daily Herald
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Hit the deck: Homeowners get more creative with outdoor living areas
News from The State Journal-Register:

It wasn’t that long ago when the outdoor deck was a simple structure. Built off a back door in a rectangular shape, the wooden slab was usually big enough for a table and chairs, with a little extra space for lying out in the sun. Those who wanted to get fancy could add an umbrella to the table or erect some bamboo tiki torches for that tropical look.

Like most things home-related, decks have undergone a transformation. There are many more options for building materials, and decks are being constructed in all shapes and sizes. There are decorative features to match an individual’s tastes and functional features for more practical use. Perhaps more than anything else, they’ve gotten larger.
Rhonda Bolding and her partner, Gerianne Mazrim, have a 2,700 square-foot deck behind their home in Loami. They began planning it in 2009, although on a more traditional scale, before being hit with a personal loss.
“My father knew I wanted to have (a dec…………… continues on The State Journal-Register

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