Construction Ventures Guide

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dusty-carpet-cleaning

First Aid for Your Carpet During Renovations

Having renovations done to your home can increase the value and enhance your lifestyle, especially if it gives you more room. But if those renovations are internal, your carpet will be likely to suffer. Why? And carpet cleaners will tell you that a carpet acts as a filter that takes all of the dirt and dust in your home and hides it within the fibres.

This happens because those little bits of crumbs and any sticky substances on the floor or even particles from outside stick to your shoes or bare feet – until you walk on the carpet. The carpet fibres act as a brush and sweep your shoes and feet clean, but the dirt stays in the carpet until you clean it out. So what about when you are renovating?

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Luxurious Verandah

How to Have a Truly Luxurious Verandah

The typical verandah or patio is a rectangular extension along the back or side of the house that allows you to enjoy a place of relaxation without going outside. Since it is completely roofed over and attached to the house it becomes part of the house, but still allows you to step out into fresh air without being ‘outside’ as it were.

Some people break with the traditional idea of the verandah and create an outdoor space that is truly luxurious, being much larger than the usual long, narrow area. The result can make a stunning addition to the home that is both exotic and beautiful. Here’s how to do it.

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Flooring for Pets

Best Flooring for Pets

Many people think a hardwood floor would be the best choice for pets, especially dogs. But when you think of choosing the best floor for your pet, you need to take the animals welfare and comfort into account, as well as your budget and the maintenance likely to be needed over the lifetime of the pet. Here are some thoughts on the best flooring for pets.

Carpet

Many dog types love a soft floor to lay on, especially those without much fur on their tummy region. Their choice of floor covering is usually carpet, though often their owners disagree. It is true that carpet can be damaged by pets, especially if they have an accident on it. However, fond pet owners to whom their little doggie friend means everything may not care.

If you want carpet and pets, you can put down mats at doorways to minimise dirt getting tracked inside. Choose carpet with a cut pile that will not get caught in claws. This would be uncomfortable for your pet and is likely to ruin the carpet as one pull will undo a whole row of stitching. Vacuuming the carpet frequently will help minimise pet hair and dander. Scheduling regular carpet cleaning should keep your carpet looking brand new.

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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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profit-on-your-rental

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 calls in the removalists and 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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cvg.net.au home-will-cool-colorbond-roof

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 for new homes or renovation and re-roofing projects – 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 don’t need to call the removalists because 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.

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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 employing a landscape design company or doing a full home renovation project, 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.

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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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New-or-Remodeled-Kitchen

New or Remodeled Kitchen

Should You Get a New or Renovated Kitchen?

If your current kitchen has grown old and tired, and you know it’s at the point of needing an update, the big question is: do you remodel your current kitchen, or do you install an entire new kitchen from scratch?

How much money you have to spend will largely determine how far you can go, but in many cases, a new kitchen can come out costing a very similar amount to a remodelling job. Therefore your decision will likely be based on just how much you think you can salvage from your current kitchen, versus how much you desire a totally fresh new look.

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landscaping

How Hard Can Landscaping Be?

If you believe that art imitates life, then a quick scan of the TV Guide will have you believing we can all sing, cook, renovate, dance, lose weight, catch alligators, find antique bargains and of course, landscape our gardens to manicured perfection. So how hard is landscaping anyway? And what, precisely, is it?

Make no mistake, landscaping is a very lucrative industry and there are literally dozens of providers in any local area and hundreds, even thousands in each state. Some focus on the big end of town and do corporate work for big firms, making the surroundings of their factories and office complexes blend in harmoniously with the bushland (or urban) setting of their new premises. Others work out of a ute and a mobile phone with just an ad in the local rag and perhaps a Facebook page put up for them by the wife.

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property

Property Investing – A Few Things To Think About

The property boom years prior to the Global Financial Crises of 2007-2008 saw everyone and their dog becoming property investors. It was a crazy time for many with people buying anything to get ‘on the property ladder’ and the ‘reality’ TV shows of the day making it seem so easy. All you had to do was buy a dog at an auction for well below street value, then do ‘a reno’ and sell it, again at auction, for way over the reserve. Simple!

The reality was that while not as easy as that, it wasn’t that hard and part of the reason was that banks were virtually throwing money at anyone they felt could make the payments and even if they couldn’t, they were re-selling soon so no problem. At least that was how it often looked. It is true banks and lending institutions did relax considerably the lending criteria they had applied for decades and it was simpler to get a mortgage. Of course when interest rates soared in 2008, although nowhere near as high as they had in 1986-87, many were left holding paper on properties that were not fetching anywhere near what they were mortgaged for.

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Swimming-Pool

Swimming Pools – Paradise in Your Backyard Or A Potentially Lethal Money Pit?

Owning a home with a swimming pool is a lot like owning a boat. Some say the two best days are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. At least that is one side of the argument. The other side, both for boats and backyard pools, is that they are the best thing since sliced bread and well worth the cost and effort to get the most out of them. The difference in these points of view is often down to how much use the owner gets from either the boat or the pool.

Obviously a swimming pool is not a cheap proposition; either to build, operate or maintain. They take up large chunks of real estate and if the landscaping isn’t well thought out, can become little more than green, slimy leaf catchers. Even properly fenced there is always the risk of tragedy occurring.

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fireplace

Choosing the Right Fireplace For Your Home

A good fireplace is not only the focal feature of a room, but also the metaphorical heart of the home. It provides warmth and a sense of coziness that other modern types of heating cannot match. A fireplace is a great blend of function and design that will heat your home as well as add to its beauty and charm.

Many people falsely believe that fireplaces are not an environmentally friendly way to heat their home. They reference high levels of emissions and poor fuel burning efficiency as reasons why a fireplace is not good for the environment or a source of heat. Fortunately, fireplace design has come a long way over the years. A well-designed modern fireplace will maximise the heating efficiency and minimise the amount of emissions and contaminants that are released into the home.

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fence

Don’t Forget That Fences Affect Wildlife, Too

If you live in an area that’s a habitat for endangered wildlife, you might want to think about the possible problems with fencing off large property in terms of how it affects wildlife. This article shows what happens on North America along prairie fences, captured with hidden cameras. As adorable as those two antelopes are having a visit over the barrier, it gives you pause to think that we could be affecting the habitat in unpredictable ways – this is why many governments enact “safe corridor” laws where wild critters can pass through unimpeded.

Plants

Great Ideas For Border Plants

HGTV has some great suggestions for 11 great plants for borders and screens. These are all just ideas to think about – you’d of course want to individualize for economy and local climate. This article tells you why border plants are important. They can enhance the feeling of containment and order, and taller ones help enhance privacy.

house-design

Get the house design you want and need

The key to getting the design of your new home right can be described in one word – communicate. You can argue that you are not an architect, a draftsman or a builder. For most of us that’s true but nevertheless, if you don’t get involved, if you don’t communicate, decisions may be made and action taken which you may later regret. You may argue that you don’t know how to get involved. Well communicating is simple. Talk to the professionals involved in your design. Never stop talking because communication is what can produce the best result for you.

One very important fact to keep in mind is that the design of your new house is not just things like the number of rooms, the size of those rooms and how they relate to one another; it is also the quality of the materials. Of course you want the layouts and number of rooms to suit your needs and lifestyle. But do make sure that the design also covers the quality of the materials to be used.

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contract

Basic things to know about the contract

Have you heard the expression, “A trap for young players?” It means that if somebody is inexperienced in an aspect of business, such as building a new house, then there are a number of things that can cause them financial pain unless they manage to avoid them. The contract is a most important document. It is a legal document and if there is a dispute between you and your builder and the matter goes before a tribunal, court or regulator, then the contract will play a significant role in any finding made by the court. And yet the contract is the perfect breeding ground for traps for young players.

Building a house is a complex operation. Depending on the size of the building, access to the site, the weather and other factors, the whole process can take many months. Things can happen in that time, changes can be made. If you wish to change any aspect of the contract — this is usually called a variation — you could take a hit to your hip pocket. Obviously prevention is better than cure so try and get the contract right before you sign it. However, if you do wish to make a change, understand it could cost you.

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building-house

4 Things can go wrong when building a house

Now do not be put off by the wording in the heading. Yes there are things which can go wrong in this hugely important task of having your home built. And you can reduce the chances of things turning sour by taking certain steps. But from the outset please understand that many people have their new home built with few if any worries. Almost everyone will have some minor hiccups but with any luck you can be in your home on time and look back thinking this was a pretty stress free few months.

But yes, there can be glitches or hiccups or sadly, major problems. There are a number of reasons why this can happen. It can be the fault of the builder and sometimes it can be the false of the owner. You, the person having their house built, can make mistakes. Do you maintain a regular and honest flow of communication? Do you constantly keep in touch with your builder? Sometimes it’s a lack of communication which causes a simple problem to become much worse than necessary. Communicate.

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how-to-take-care-of-your-carpet

How to Take Care of Your Carpet

When home improvements are imminent we often forget about the carpet in the excitement of what is about to happen. Even when nothing is planned we tend to forget about the carpet and simply take it for granted. But if you have carpet that is still good, it is essential to care for it properly so that it lasts as long as it is supposed to. Here are some tips from carpet cleaners to care for your carpet during home improvements or just generally – and both are important.

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land-package

Why buy a house and land package?

This is an interesting situation and like so many things in life you need to compare apples with apples. One common situation is when a builder offers a house and land package. The builder owns a number of blocks and for the one price you get your block of land and your house built on it. At first sight it sounds like a darn good idea. You don’t have to go around looking for a block of land and then, having purchased it, start looking for a builder. With a house and land package you may well be dealing with the one person.

But every house and land package is not the same. Every builder is not the same. So what are the pros and cons in this situation? Let’s talk about changes to the contract, let’s talk about variations. Some builders who offer a house and land package have a very fixed view on what you get for the price. They would argue that the price is as low as it is because they don’t allow for variations. You may want to change the colour scheme or have higher ceilings or a different type of floor covering or you may not want to have the landscaping which comes with the contract.

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home-finance

Tips on financing your new build

It’s an exciting time preparing to have your new home built. Of course every borrower and every building or even landscaping project is unique but there some things which apply specifically or certainly generally to everyone. If you have obtained a mortgage before, please understand that the finance for an existing property is not the same as obtaining finance to build a new home. In fact the more research, the more hard work you do on the topic the better prepared you will be. And as this is such a large project and almost certainly the largest financial investment you will ever make, getting things right first time requires a bit of effort on your behalf. Remember the age-old advice — if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

Now making an application for finance involves a fair bit of form filling. You’ve got two main avenues of attack.

  • You can approach your bank and make application or
  • You can go to a financial broker who is experienced in helping homebuilders find finance for the project

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inspection

Building standards, regulations and inspections

You are preparing to build your new home, or more likely have someone build it for you. You need to know many things one of which concerns standards, rules and regulations. Within this topic there are at least three areas of expertise you should know about – state, local and consumer.  To be aware, to have the knowledge at even a layperson’s level, gives you peace of mind, saves time and saves money. Do some reading, ask questions and make your building project a winner.

State governments have statutory authorities and what they say goes. Their documentation is freely available and online. You don’t have to leave home or pay for documents. Each state and territory will create and operate their own building codes. These are statewide regulations and these can be found on your state’s building commission’s [or whatever statutory authority name they use] web page. A typical link would be headed something like Regulations and Legislation. Current issues such as removal of asbestos are the responsibility of state authorities.

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cons

Avoid building construction rip-offs

So you’ve decided to go ahead and build your new home. Congratulations and good luck because for some new homebuilders the experience can be difficult. You want to increase the chances that the whole experience will be successful or, reduce the chances of things going wrong. You can influence the end result. Here are some ideas to help make your project a winner.

Broadly speaking, you have two major tasks. The first is to find a builder and the second is to make sure that the work done by the builder is up to scratch.

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inspecter

10 Things some builders won’t tell you

Now at the risk of causing you disquiet or stress, I need to say that there are some builders who not only cut timber they also cut corners. This is where we come up against the situation where the rules are followed but the end result is not necessarily good.

Let’s take a typical situation. You want a new home to be built so you employ a builder to erect it. The local authority has approved your plans, the builder is registered and during the course of construction, the approved inspector checks the work and when finished gives it a certificate of occupancy. Your new home is ready for you to move in.

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builder

Tips on choosing the right builder

When you think about it, if you’re having a new home built, it could be the biggest financial investment you’ll ever make. That fact alone should send out messages loud and clear to get it right, to do your homework and to hasten slowly.

Everyone should plan well but especially so if you are a novice when it comes to building a house. You have the greatest reason to plan well. Remember if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail. So here are some practical steps even a newbie would-be home owner can take to ensure they get what they pay for, on time and to a really high standard. These steps don’t guarantee perfection but they do lower the risk of problems.

Millions of homeowners have had a great working relationship with their builder and been very satisfied with their new home. Sadly some have fallen out big time with their builder and their tales of woe make for heart-rending reading. Here are some helpful tips.

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wood

How Whimsical Can A White Picket Fence Get?

For the plain, white, wooden picket fence, you wouldn’t think there was much you could do in the way of decoration. But one garden artist figured that once you think about how the top of the fence is cut, the sky is the limit. So check out this city skyline rendered on a fencetop, and marvel at how many corners you have to think around just to come up with that. The only downside is that, from a distance, it looks like the fence was chewed down by a teething raptor.

money

Money – Don’t Let It Manage You!

Today there is little you can achieve without adequate funding. We can all talk about bartering and off the grid economies where we swap something we own or can do for something someone else has that we want. Realistically this rarely stretches past a few dozen backyard chook eggs or a quick service of the second car. Adequate funding means having the right amount of money to get the job done in the way we want it done, in the time we want it to take and to a standard we are happy to pay for.

The secret to getting any project done within budget and on time, which is what we are talking about here, is to have a proper budget in place. Whether you are renovating the bathroom, building a holiday home or looking at an investment property, you need to have a budget.

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lawn

Your Lawn – Seeds or Turf?

We are already half way through winter and spring is quickly approaching, and thoughts turn to lawns. No matter if you’ve just built the house of your dreams, or you want to redesign your garden space, a lush green lawn will complete your home’s overall look.

When it comes to growing a lawn, there are two options – you can opt for the quick fix of turf or take your time and grow it from seeds. Here are the facts about both:

Grass seed

Grass seed is an option that offers more control and less expense, often recommended for large areas.  However, it can also be the most work intensive and has a high risk of being eaten by birds, or being blown away by the wind.

To successfully grow grass seed, first you need to determine the type of grass that grows best in your climate, it is generally a choice between cool-season or warm-season grass. Once you have established the best grass for your climate you need to determine the best time to sow the seeds. For cool-season grasses it is ideal to plant them in late summer to early autumn, when the ground is still warm enough for them to germinate and they have the winter months ahead to allow them to become established.  Spring is the best time to sow warm season grasses, giving them a few months to get established before the hot weather sets in.

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plubming

Plumbing – We All Need It

When Australia became a nation in 1901, most homes didn’t have indoor plumbing. Having a toilet inside the home was considered unsanitary to say the least. Today, 21st Century Australia enjoys hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing and a standard of hygiene that adds considerably to our quality of life. As vital as modern plumbing is, we still seem to resent having to call the plumber and pay the fees they charge. Often $80 for a call out and the first 15 minutes is about what most are charging, on average. In upscale suburbs it can be over the $100 mark just to have him park his white van in your driveway.

Yes, we are somewhat at their mercy because we need our plumbing to work and we take it so much for granted until it stops working. The other day we discovered out hot water tank’s relief valve drain pipe was no longer dripping water as it had for, admittedly, some months. Now it was flowing out. Time to take action! The replacement part cost $189.50 including GST and delivery and it was a fit it yourself affair. Or, we could have a plumber come and replace it for $225. We rang around and got a better quote of $190, fitted. Proof again were any needed of the value of not taking the first quote offered.

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savings

4 Ways to Save Money for a Home Deposit

Buying a home is a major milestone towards adulthood for most people. However gone are the days when you could just turn up to the bank and score a 100% loan. Today banks want to see evidence of some genuine savings before they hand over the cash to fund your first home.

If you want to have your own little place to call home you will need to save up at least a 10% deposit.  Now with the soaring prices of property and rapid increase of general living expenses, many people have a tough time saving up enough money for a home deposit – actually it feels near impossible. However with strategic planning and budgeting you can turn your dream into a reality. Here are four ways you can save more money and build your balance faster.

1. Get Other Debt Out of the Way First

It is hard to focus on saving the money you need for a home deposit when you are overwhelmed with trying to pay off all your other debts. If you have debts with high interest rates, such as credit cards or personal loans, you are better off putting all your money towards paying these debts off first. By paying these debts off first you are saving yourself a lot of money on interest, money which can be better put towards a home deposit. Once all your debts are paid off, open up a new savings account and put any money that you would have put on your old debts into your new savings account – watch how fast your deposit grows.

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landscape

Explore Modernist Australian Landscapes

A jaw-dropping photo essay we have to share is over at Grass-Trees and Butterfly Chairs, showing off a delightful outdoor decorating bonanza. Even any one of these photos would make great inspiration for a full-scale design, but the rich combination of all of them makes it all too much. If we lived here, we would never go inside.

rainwater

Make Your Home Eco-Friendly with a Rainwater Tank

There are many good reasons to make your home more environmentally friendly. Generally, taking steps to improve the eco-friendliness of your home will save you money in the long run, allowing you to reduce your consumption and resource usage. Installing a rainwater collection tank to catch the rain falling off your roof is one way to do such that. With warmer summers, less rainfall, and higher populations, having enough clean water is becoming more of a pressing issue.

The government is starting to restrict water usage in high priority areas. The Water Corporation is also launching a campaign alongside swimming pool builders to help home-owners find ways to reduce their water consumption by 60 litres a day per person. It is possible to use less water without having to alter the way you live, and a rainwater tank is one great way to do just that.

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bedroom

Designing a Relaxing Bedroom Retreat

The bedroom is often the last place people pay attention to when designing or renovating a home. Far too many bedrooms wind up being uninspiring boxes with little to no architectural details or features that make them stand out. A good bedroom or master suite is far more than just a room with a bed in it. Any well-designed bedroom should be functional and peaceful, which takes a lot more planning than you might imagine. Your bedroom should be a place where you enjoy spending time at the end of a long day. Here are some design features you should think about when designing a beautiful and functional master bedroom.

Storage: The number one feature that people look for in a bedroom aside from size is how much storage the room has. Having plenty of space for clothes, shoes, and accessories is a must have. While not everyone needs or wants a large walk-in closet, it is still important to have a place where you can keep your clothes neatly tucked away. Make sure your remodelling plan has enough room to keep all the clothes you own right now, as well as a bit of room to grow for the years to come. The more storage you have, the more attractive your bedroom will be at resale, provided the storage is well designed and doesn’t detract from the feel of your room.

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Latest-Kitchen-Design-Trends

Latest Kitchen Design Trends

Kitchen Design Trends To Consider
Trends are always coming and going, but when it comes to kitchens, considering the latest trends can mean your kitchen stands out and makes a great impression upon guests, and future buyers of your home.

Entertainment space
Entertaining using the kitchen as part of the space is now common practice, even in older homes. But old houses were often built with walls between the kitchen and living areas. More and more people are removing these walls, creating a large open space. Taking it a step further would involve opening up the front of the kitchen into the backyard (or other outdoor area) for a complete open living and dining experience. This kind of re-modelling of your kitchen turns it from simply a room to do the cooking, into the central and most appealing part of your home.

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