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The Difference Between Smooth and Rough Texture Stone Cladding

The Difference Between Smooth and Rough Texture Stone Cladding

Limestone is a sedimentary rock made from layers of calcium carbonate from organic matter, usually in the bottom of a shallow sea. It is pressed into a dense mass over many years by the pressures above it.  Some types are very hard, while others are not so hard, depending on where they come from.

Limestone is one of the most popular building materials these days, with its durability and strength as well as the many beautiful finishes that enhance many building projects. One of the main attractions is that you can have either a smooth or a rough texture for stone cladding.

This is achieved both through the cut of the tiles and through their placement. For instance, rough cut tiles have a finish that is rough to the touch, while you can run your hand easily over the smooth textured tiles and it will have a more silky feel.

Usually, the rougher tile is used for fencing or external feature walls while the smoother texture is great for flooring, indoor cladding and features such as a barbecue, seats or tables. The smooth tile is good for floors because it can be more easily sealed.

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How to Ensure Your Rental is Profitable?

The only way you can start to make a profit on your rental is to get it leased out. This means you need to have a home or commercial building that presents well; it must be spick and span, with no obvious faults and definitely not shabby-looking. So maintenance is the order of the day as soon as your present lessee moves out. Of course you have to make essential repairs while tenants are in your rental, but there are other things to do that can’t be done until it is vacant.

Walls get shabby after a house has been lived in for some years. Cleaning doesn’t always make them look any better. Repainting the interior will make your rental look like new again, with more modern colours and that new look and feel. Some homes also need new carpets or other floor coverings and new curtains or blinds to make them look like a home.

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Why Your Home will be Cool with a Colorbond Roof

Some people may wonder if their home will be cool with Colorbond roofing. After all, it is thin steel sheeting and that may seem as if it will be hot. However, there are several reasons why this will not be the case. A Colorbond roof is indeed, quite cool and can even save you a great deal on the cost of cooling and heating over the lifetime of your home.

For a start, Thermatech Solar Reflectance Technology, the special technology that is now used when painting the colours onto the steel in the factory, actually reflects the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them. There are only two colours that don’t do this; Colorbond stainless steel that is not painted at all and Night Sky, which is black.  And not many people would want to have a black roof, anyway. Even the other, darker colours reflect the sun’s heat well. When something reflects the sun’s rays, it also reflects the heat away from the surface, making it cooler.

This not only makes your home more comfortable, it saves on the cost of air-conditioning because there will be many days that you won’t feel the need for it. The cooling effect of Thermatech technology is a lot less in the winter because the sun is lower in the sky, changing the angle of the sun to the roof. Also, the days are shorter and often they are overcast, so your home remains warmer rather than cooler.

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Pool Finishes

Pool Finishes: The Hidden Secret

The hidden secret of the pools looking splendid are the exclusive pool finishes. The pool finishes have been divided into three types such as- Tile Finishes, Plaster Finishes and Aggregate Finishes. These finishes when installed can transform your backyard pool area into an exclusive party zone or a beautiful vicinity designed to relax and unwind after a long day.

  1. Tile Finishes: Tile Finishes are frequently used on the pool floor, the waterline or steps to achieve a vibrant look. A long-lasting pool finish, they come in a huge range of styles, shapes, sizes and colors making infinite designs possible.
  • By appearance, tiles are shiny and provide the pools a chic look
  • In comparison to other finishes (plaster or aggregate finish) they are the most long lasting finish that takes longer installation time.
  • Tile finishes hardly ever need a replacement when applied correctly
  • Maintenance required is minimal
  • They are the most pricey pool finish
  • Tile finishes comprise of Ceramic, porcelain, stone and glass tiles

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cvg.net.au cheap-scaffolding-avoided

Why Cheap Scaffolding Should Be Avoided

Scaffolding is an important part of most building projects, but especially those where the buildings are above the reach of employees. Skyscrapers and even buildings with one storey could not be built without some kind of scaffolding in place to enable workers to access the work areas. Even many home projects need some kind of scaffolding, be it ever so simple.

No matter what kind of project it is for, if scaffolding is needed at all, it should be strong and sturdy, otherwise you risk nasty accidents happening to employees or to yourself if you are doing a renovation job on your home. There are several parts to scaffolding and all need to be strong.

  • The framework is what holds up the walkways and gives the entire structure stability and strength to cope with the loads it must bear.
  • The flooring should be strong as this also bears the weight of workers and other loads such as a wheelbarrow full of cement and other building materials.

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cvg.net.au brief-history-colorbond

A Brief History of Colorbond

Colorbond steel roofing and walling is a firm favourite today and it has an interesting history. Way back in 1843 a bright spark in England realised that making corrugations in a thin sheet of steel strengthened it considerably. Corrugated iron, as it was called in those days, made an ideal building material because it was so light and could stack easily for transportation. It didn’t even need to be painted, although many people did paint it just to enhance its looks.

Within a decade of its invention it was brought to Australia by John Lysaght where it quickly became the most popular building material around. It was affordable, durable, quick and easy to erect and could even be transported on camels. Many buildings were made totally from corrugated iron for these reasons. Some were painted but most were not; why spend money on paint when it was not necessary?

It took a whole century before a way was found to bond paint to the galvanised iron. Two companies in America worked together on this aspect; Lithostrip Corporation in Chicago and Pre Finish Metals. It was once again John Lysaght that brought the technology to Australia. He and others invested a great deal of time and effort, not to mention finances, into getting the product just right for Australian conditions. They had to build a factory to work in and this was located in Port Kembla, Wollongong. It was 1966 when the first roll of coloured steel came off the painting line and became the talk of the industry.

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eco

Simple Ways to Improve the Eco-Friendliness of Your Home

Becoming environmentally friendly is more than just a passing craze, it is an important commitment to doing what is right for the planet now and for our future. There are many ways that you can live an energy efficient and environmentally friendly life, and one of the best ways to start is by improving the efficiency of your own home. Everyone should be doing their part to reduce their energy and resource consumption. It will help reduce your monthly costs and bills and it is good for the planet as a whole. Here are just a few of the ways that you can make your home more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Home Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling costs are often the largest part of a home’s energy usage. Modern homes are almost always built with energy efficiency in mind, but there are ways you can renovate an old home to make it more efficient as well. Using building materials with a good insulation rating is key to keeping that valuable cool or warm air inside your home. Older homes can refit their home with additional insulation or new windows that are double or triple paned for added efficiency. Homeowners that are designing their own home have a lot more freedom to choose materials based on their energy efficiency throughout the design process.

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fencing

Fencing, Walls and Property Lines

The whole purpose of a fence or wall is to place a barrier or obstacle between your property and the rest of the world. Whether it is there to keep your pets in, or a security fence to keep the world out, the purpose will dictate what kind of fence you use. If it is purely for function and form isn’t a consideration then the choices are fairly simple to make. If you want it to look a good and add to the look of the property rather than detract from it, then you need to give things a lot more thought.

Deciding what you wish the fence or wall to achieve is the first step. If you have pets then of course, it needs to be able to contain them and offer sufficient peace of mind you won’t spend every moment away from the property worrying if the dog just got out and is off terrorizing the neighbourhood. Some pets are great diggers and can burrow under a fence in no time. Others, like cats, are good climbers and it would need to be a pretty high fence indeed to deter the average feline.

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paint

How to DIY a professional paint job

Painting your house is something that most people can do with a little preparation and planning. Repainting a room can add value to your home, add some excitement to the room, and give you a new perspective. Here are some easy steps that you can follow to get a DIY professionally finished paint job:

1. Choose your colour

The first step is to pick the colour you want to paint the room. The trick is to get the paint chips and choose a colour that matches with your existing furniture and decorations (or your new ones if you are replacing those). There is no limit to what colours you can use, but keep in mind that if you want to sell the house one day, not all buyers will like your hot pink bathroom. When buying your paint it is best to invest in a high quality one, preferably water based and make sure you get mould resistant paint for your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry, and if in doubt about the kitchen, you can always seek help from the kitchen design experts. Many people skimp on brushes, this is a huge mistake as the cheaper brushes lose their bristles and end up getting stuck within the paintwork – it is worth paying the extra for a better quality brush.

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Kitchen-Cabinet-Door-Styles

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles

These days, we have so many choices when it comes to kitchen cabinets (and every little aspect of them), that it can be tempting to give up and just choose one without a whole lot of thought. But once you start to carefully consider the different materials, finishes and colours that are available, you’ll begin to form an idea in your mind of the type of cabinets that will best suit your kitchen and lifestyle.

The cabinet doors are one of the most noticeable parts of your kitchen, so making the right choice will pay dividends in the long run. The cabinet doors need to fit in well with your overall kitchen design and renovations. Luckily, the doors are generally available in a huge range of finishes and colours, as well as materials and designs. You can get matte styled cabinet doors, glossy type, textured or natural timber.

If you have a traditional styled kitchen, such as country decor or traditional European style, cabinet doors that are hand painted can lend an incredibly authentic feel to the room. It also allows you to truly customize the colours of the kitchen cabinets. Some of the most popular kitchen cabinet options are of course solid timber, as well as timber veneer doors.

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Kitchen-Cabinet-Interiors

Kitchen Cabinet Interiors

Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Design
Creating an eco-friendly house is becoming more of a priority for people these days. Between caring for the environment, and realising the long term financial benefits of doing so, the desire to be environmentally conscious has grown considerably in recent times. If you are lucky enough to be building a brand new house from scratch, then you can plan to be eco-friendly in every aspect of the build. If however you are just renovating, upgrading or simply redesigning the interior of your kitchen, you can simply consider any small aspect of the process that can result in a more ecological beneficial choice.

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outdoors

Outdoor Living Is Not Living Outdoors!

Australians love to enjoy the great outdoors, often without going any further from home than the back deck or patio. Outdoor living is not the same thing as living outdoors; the latter requires putting up with the extremes of climate we experience in this country, not to mention the numerous biting things and of course, the need to find adequate sanitary arrangements.

You can enjoy the sun and the seasons within the comfortable confines of your own home or apartment with just a little outlay of cash and a lot of time and effort spent figuring out exactly what you want to achieve. For some, it is simply a place to set up the BBQ and perhaps a table and chairs under a large umbrella while other people might prefer a purpose built BBQ facility with entertainment deck and weather proof overhead protection from sun and rain.

Taking the simpler end of the equation and exploring further, even people living in rented apartments with relatively small balconies can enjoy the fresh air. A small gas BBQ keeps things clean and saves having to mess about with charcoal or heat beads and fire starters. Charcoal always takes forever to set on fire and then when the cooking is done, the coals finally become absolutely perfect for grilling those snags and steaks but by then it is too late. A lot of so called BBQ experts will waffle on about the way food always tastes better when cooked over charcoal but the truth is, it doesn’t. Unless you are using expensive wood fuel like hickory, the flavour most absorbed by the food is usually a petroleum based fire starter variety. Add flavour through your marinades, herbs and spices and not the flames.

Even on smallish rooftop or balcony gardens, a table and a few chairs can be placed under a large market umbrella to set up a cosy al fresco dining situation for a ‘couple of couples’, space being limited you need to keep the guest list in proportion to the available balcony area. If you are stuck for space but have lots of friends, consider picnic style get-togethers where you can enjoy the outdoors for a few hours, then come home in time for dark and your favourite TV shows.

It really isn’t until you get a home of your own that you can seriously consider outdoor entertaining for more than just two or four friends at a time. Even townhouses and modern villa homes have small but useful outdoor living areas you can do a lot with. Some of the best outdoor living areas exist in more modern homes where the kitchen flows into a family oriented space that flows outside onto a patio, deck or some covered space. The large French windows or sliding doors allow the home owners to open up the house to the world and let the traffic flow in and out like the rise and ebb of the tide. Easily navigating the space between kitchen and outdoor living area facilitates moving food and drink from inside where it is stored to outside where it will be consumed. Don’t make the mistake of impeding this free flow with too much furniture, enjoy the space.

If you have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor living then by all means do so. It is one of the great things to enjoy about living in this country. While you are out there on your balcony, deck or patio, spare a thought for the poor souls overseas, stuck indoors for months on end just so they can have a few extra weeks of good skiing! For some great ideas for outdoor living checkout; landscapers in Sydney,

Avoid-Kitchen-Design-Mistakes

Avoid Kitchen Design Mistakes

Avoid These Kitchen Design Mistakes

Although your kitchen style comes down to individual preference, and there are certainly no hard and fast rules about what’s right and wrong, there are certainly some traits that are often thought of as undesirable when it comes to kitchen design. This is of particular significance to think about if you believe you may sell your home at some point in future, but also for practicality reasons. What may look good on paper or in theory, may not necessarily be practical in reality.

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home-cons

Red tape, acts of God and realistic completion dates

There is a saying that ‘to be forewarned is to be forearmed’. One of the most frustrating and disappointing aspects of having a new home built is that the whole process sometimes can drag on for what seems like forever. Of course you need to get your expectations in order. If you have a completion date provided by an experienced and expert builder, generally speaking you will know pretty much exactly when you will be able to move in. From that information you can set your expectations. But don’t allow your expectations to run away from you. It may all end in tears when the job is not finished on time.

Red tape is everywhere

Now there are different aspects to the red tape associated with the building of your new home. You need to get approval to build a home in the first place, your builder needs to get permits for various parts of the building process, the contractors will need to comply with building codes, for example the glazing contractors will need to install glass to the correct safety standards and you need to get a clearance from the building inspectors at various stages of the build and finally, when your house is finished, you need to get what is usually called a certificate of occupancy. This is the final piece of red tape which allows you to actually move into your new home.

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home

Buying Your Own Home?

Everyone needs somewhere to call home, a place of their own and whether you buy or rent, you want to be comfortable, safe and enjoy spending time there. While there are some people who prefer being on the move, living out of suitcases in hotel after hotel most people like to have a home of their own. It doesn’t need to be a mansion with a home lift – even if that is their own caravan, motorhome or live aboard boat, the common denominator is that it is theirs.

In some European and many Asian, African and Latin American countries, renting is more common than home ownership. Germany for example has only 42% of the population owning their own homes and countries like India, China, Argentina, Chile, South Africa have even fewer home owners. The tenancy laws in some of these countries often favour the tenant and ensure long term security in ways that make renting a far more attractive proposition than owning your own home. In others it is because there is a higher percentage of very poor people.

While tenants don’t have the ongoing expense of property maintenance and expenses such as rates or adding tenant requested items such as security doors and flyscreens, they also don’t enjoy the capital gains that accrue from property ownership. In these markets, rents are usually far less than mortgage payments and renters can invest their extra cash in various ways to make up for not having bricks and mortar behind them.

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cabinet

Kitchen Cabinets – They’re Just Boxes, Aren’t They?

Kitchen cabinets aren’t just boxes, they are an important part of the kitchen. Great kitchens are made up of four things:

– The cabinets, drawers and doors
The bench top
– The tiles, floor and wall
– The appliances and lighting

When choosing the components of a kitchen, too often the cabinets are thought of only as the doors and handles, or drawer fronts and handles. The fact is, the sides, bottoms, tops and backs are important, too.

Lower cost or budget kitchens will save money in a couple of ways, one of which is to have no back to the cabinets. Afterall they will be fixed to the walls so the wall will form the backing plate. Sadly, the gap between the wall and the frame of the cabinet can offer ingress for cockroaches and other undesirables. Not only that, opening the cupboard door and seeing raw wall behind the crockery doesn’t enhance the experience when exploring your newly installed kitchen.

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floor

Easy Home Improvement Projects to do on the Weekend

Most people put off home improvement including landscaping like new garden rebuilds or internal renovations as long as possible because they are afraid of it being a long and drawn out process that never seems to end. Homeowners looking to make a dramatic impact on their home without investing a great deal of time or money should consider doing a small weekend project themselves. It is amazing how big of an impact even a small renovation project can have on your home. You will enjoy the updated look, the added function, and the satisfaction of knowing you did the work yourself. Here are just a few projects that you can tackle on a weekend off.

Spice Up Your Kitchen

If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen cooking or spending time with the family, then why not take a weekend to give it a facelift. Replacing a kitchen from top to bottom will cost $10,000 and up, but you don’t have to spend that kind of money to get a fresh new look. You can easily make a dramatic impact by choosing a new paint colour, installing a new backsplash,  or even just replacing the cabinet and drawer handles.

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kitchen

Where to Spend Your Money in a Home Renovation

With the value of real estate finally on the rise again, many Australian homeowners are starting to once again look into doing home renovations to improve the value of their properties. For years people have been putting off home renovation projects, to avoid putting more money in their home without seeing a similar increase in its value. However now, with the market slowly and steadily recovering, renovation projects are once again a smart way to increase the value of your property.

Finding something to remodel or upgrade in your home is typically the easiest part of the process. It is easy for anyone to point out the areas that they are not happy with or wish to upgrade. It is far more difficult to know which projects to pick, both for your own enjoyment and the resale value of the home. When working with limited funds to renovate a home, it is important to pick and choose the projects that will really make an impact. Upgrades in a few key areas of the home can make a big impact on the property value, without blowing the budget.

Makeover the Kitchen for a Big Impact

The kitchen is always referred to as the heart of a home, making it a great place to invest your renovating budget. You don’t have to be a professional chef to appreciate the beauty of a high quality kitchen renovation. A gourmet kitchen will not only become the favourite room to spend time with the family, it will become a more functional space where cooking becomes much more enjoyable.  Not only will the new kitchen look swish, it will be the first thing that prospective buyers look at should you decide to sell your home further down the track.

The elements to upgrade include flooring, counters, cabinets, taps and appliances. Generally speaking, homeowners can expect a return on their investment of approximately 75-120%.

Build a Master Retreat

A master bedroom is supposed to be a luxurious space to retreat to at the end of a long and hard day. By adding a master bedroom to your home or improving upon the existing one will definitely improve the look and feel of your home as well as increase the resell value. A home that has a master bedroom and en suite bathroom will almost always sell for a higher price than a similar home without a dedicated master bedroom.

Upgrading the master bedroom is best done by adjoining it with a private spa like bathroom. When designing the ensuite bathroom it is crucial that high-end fixtures and tiles are chosen, along with installing functional storage and lighting.

Many homeowners also like to add extensions to their master bedroom  to make room for a big walk in closet and a luxurious bath. The return on investment typically ranges from 45-85%, though a good remodelling project or addition could easily fetch as much as 100% or more.

Create an outdoor living space

Creating large outdoor living rooms, alfresco kitchens and other spaces have quickly become the most popular home renovation project. Having an outdoor room will let you enjoy the beautiful Australian weather from the comfort of your home, rather than being stuck in the stuffy indoors. The great thing about designing an outdoor space is that it can be done without investing a lot of money, especially for homeowners willing to do some of the work themselves.

The goal for designing an outdoor space is to make it a comfortable extension of the space indoors, and to achieve this a good landscape design company would be very helpful. Adding features like a large grilling or kitchen area, a dining and seating area, a fireplace and beautiful landscaping will make the backyard feel more comfortable and much more like an actual room than a backyard.  The return on investment for an outdoor living room ranges from 50-85%.

To top off your outdoor living space you will of course need a lush garden with an efficient reticulation system. This should be installed by reticulation experts.

If you have been putting a renovation project on hold because you were worried that the investment wouldn’t be worth it, it is finally time to take another look. Upgrading your home in one of these three areas will help improve your quality of life and with the right design choices, will also net you a good return if you choose to sell the home later on.

tools

Hiring What You Need

Watching those renovation shows on TV I often notice how they always have the right gear to get the job done with; something many DIYers seem to ignore. The simple truth of the matter is that you can’t do the job if you haven’t got the right tools. I know the old saying, “a poor workman blames his tools” but if the tool isn’t doing the job, or you are making do with a tool not designed for the task at hand then you are on a hiding to nowhere, as we say in the trade.

Speaking of the trade, tradesmen such as fencing contractors or window installers know the tools they need to get a professional job done. Knowing you need a left-handed, metric thingameedoo and having one at hand are two different things altogether. Often the cost of buying the tool is prohibitive, even for tradies. For a home renovator who might use it once and then never again, puling out hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars simply isn’t going to happen.

Which is where equipment hire companies step in and provide a very worthwhile and much needed service. They carry just about any tool or piece of equipment you will ever need for any size job. They make most of their money serving the trade, from handy men doing similar sized jobs as your DIY project to multi-national construction companies making everything from skyscrapers to new motorways.

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backyard

6 Tips for a Backyard Makeover

Backyards are an extension of your home, when they are carefully planned and landscaped they can become an outdoor oasis, another living space where you can spend quality time with family and friends.

Here in Australia we are fortunate to live with beautiful weather for most part of the year, allowing us  to create wonderful outdoor spaces for living and entertaining. If you are considering giving your backyard an overhaul, it may seem a bit daunting; however there are many simple things that you can do that will improve the look and feel of your outdoor space.

We’ve thought of all the things that we love about our favourite gardens and balconies, and have come up with some ideas to help you create your own green sanctuary.

Lawn matters

If your garden seems to have more weeds than grass, it might be worthwhile to lay down some new turf and get a decent reticulation service. This is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to make an instant, bright change, and it will also create a safe, soft place for little feet to play. New homes can benefit from laying down turf, for it is an inexpensive way to green things up while you wait for all your other garden additions to grow.

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