Author: CVG (Page 2 of 3)

automatic-pool-cleaner

What Kind of Automatic Pool Cleaner do I Need?

If you have already engaged a pool builder or have one at your home already, and want to enjoy the benefits of your swimming pool and cut down on the work of cleaning and maintaining the pool, using a pool cleaner like a kreepykrauly is the way to go. Robotic or Automatic pool cleaners work without any more effort than putting them in the pool requires. There are several different types of these pool cleaners and which one you choose depends on the type of pool you have.

Here are some things you’ll needed to know to choose a cleaner suitable for your needs.

  • If your pool is a square or rectangle with sharp corners
  • If you have steps and corners in your pool
  • If the bottom of the pool is tiled or smooth
  • If your pool has curved walls or curved corners rather than sharp angles
  • If your pool base is very smooth
  • If you have lots of leaves or larger leaves fall into the pool
  • Whether your pool is small or large

Naturally enough, your dealer for automated pool cleaners will be able to advise you on the best cleaner for your needs.

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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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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 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.

What are the benefits of being eco-friendly?
This is a wide ranging term, but can cover everything from the materiel you use (particularly wood types), to how much energy your appliances use, your water and plumbing setup and your kitchen waste management. It does not necessarily have to cost more to build or renovate an environmentally friendly kitchen either. The biggest benefit is in long term savings, in particularly with water and electricity savings, and the benefits of utilizing waste as best as possible.

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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. If you choose to install composite decking, 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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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 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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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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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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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 alarms and 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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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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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 face-lift. 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 back-splash,  or even just replacing the cabinet and drawer handles.

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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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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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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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Fences

House Plans and Your Fence

Fences come in all sizes and shapes and in many materials. Before selecting the style and kind you want for your house, check with the local council regulations about what is allowed. There are regulations for size, where it can be erected, and the style. For front fences or walls, the council may not even allow one. Your builder should be aware of all these anyway. Once you know the regulations, you can select the style that best suits your house plans.

The reason for the fence

What is the fence for? Is it for keeping children and pets safely in the yard? Is it for safety around a swimming pool? Is it simply for adding style and individuality to your space? Your choice will depend entirely on the level of privacy or the look you want to achieve.

Fence Style

Privacy usually means a solid face and built at a height of around 1.8 metres. Semi-Privacy may mean a shorter fence with open lattice work at the top. Or you can opt for shadow box style which is fence panels or boards placed on either side of the support rails. Decorative usually means picket fences which can at least keep pets and kids inside the yard. The last option is to make it a natural fence, a living fence. You can do this by planting hedge or bush type plants along the boundary. Depending on the height to which they can grow, and their density, they provide privacy as well as sound absorption.

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good-electrician

Why you always need a good electrician

Have you noticed exposed wires or smoking electrical outlets at your home? Are you dealing with flickering lights, power outages or other problems that are keeping your business from operating as usual? Have you spotted electrical wires in water at any place in your home, your workplace or your industrial worksite?

If your answer to any of the preceding questions is yes, it may be time to call for the help of an experienced emergency electrician.

If you believe you have an electrical emergency, don’t hesitate to call a professional electrician. It is preferable to call for emergency help and have a false alarm than to leave an electrical issue unresolved. Some electrical problems, like exposed wires, wires in water or smoking outlets, can lead to fires, explosions or catastrophic personal injury or death. Quite simply, it is always worth it to call a professional electrician when you aren’t sure about the severity of an electrical problem.

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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 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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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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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.

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.

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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Ducted Air Conditioning

What You Need for Ducted Air Conditioning

When considering what air con system is right for them, many people choose ducted air conditioning. This is because it allows them to cool the whole house, with vents in every room that can be switched on or off at will. So they can reduce the cost of running if needed, by closing vents in the bedrooms during the day. And if they have it on throughout the night hours, they can close off the living room and kitchen vents.

While this type of air conditioning is not the most efficient, it is still popular. Why isn’t it considered efficient? That’s because cool or hot air is lost during the transfer from the head to the vents – that is, through the ductwork. This can be mitigated to some extent by using ducting that is made from material that is insulated. This may cost more initially, but it will on running costs over the years and be more eco friendly.

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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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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, a major landscaping mistake. 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.

Of course a dishonest builder, an incompetent builder or simply a builder who doesn’t care about the standard of their work is a disaster waiting to happen. There are television programs devoted to the problems people have with sloppy workmanship so yes, things can go wrong.

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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 Brilliance Cleaning to care for your carpet during home improvements or just generally – and both are important.

  • Protect your carpet from the extra dust and dirt that comes with home improvements by covering it up, or vacuuming it daily. Weekly is enough normally.
  • If you are painting the room, be sure to cover up all the carpet before you start. Don’t just cover half at a time in case paint gets on the bottom of your shoes. Anything is likely when you are painting.
  • If your dog has a special place on the carpet he like to sleep, place his doggy bed there and coax him into using that instead. It will save a patch of soil on the carpet as dogs scratch off dirt and dander and have oil in their skin that will all go into the carpet.

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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 home builders find finance for the project

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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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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 home builders 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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