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Steps to Help You Choose the Right Home Builders

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Steps to Help You Choose the Right Home Builders

Your choice of home builders is one of the most important considerations to make if you intend to build your home. However, with a little planning and research you can end up with builders who perfectly meet your unique requirements. There are many factors to consider when selecting a home building firm, but this article outlines eight of the most important ones: Determine what you need Not all builders can proficiently construct all houses. Many builders specialize according to building materials used, price range and home styles. Find builders who can build the kind of home you want. Experience It’s important to consider the past record of your potential builders prior to hiring them. That being said, don’t be too quick to discount a new construction firm – especially when the team is made up of experienced personnel. Everyone built their first house once. References All home builders (except first-timers) should provide a list of referrals/references for your perusal. Call these previous clients and find out whether or not they were satisfied with the work done, with reasons for their answers either way. Licensing and insurance This is not a requisite in every place, but ensure that you only use licensed home builders if your state requires it. In addition, ensure that the building firm and its workers are insured for all eventualities that may arise in the course of their work should they be hired. Design leanings Much like the first point, don’t choose a builder whose portfolio is made up of design styles that are vastly different from what you would like. While there are builders who are conversant with a variety of home design styles and architectures, look for one who has significant experience building the kind of home you want. Service and warranty You want to look for builders who give a structural warranty of ten years and above, as well as those who respond promptly and courteously for services under warranty – the references from (3) above can shed some light on this. Resale value Good home builders have their reputations preceding them. Look for builders that construct homes which retain value over time, even if you don’t think you may ever want to resell. One idea is to look through Realtor listings for mentions of builders – there’s only one reason a realtor would put a builder’s name on their ad: they’re good. Reconnaissance Finally, make a point to visit homes constructed by that builder – both new and much older homes (if you’re dealing with an experienced builder). You may need to make an appointment if it’s a private house, but there’s no substitute of getting a look and feel of work done by your potential builders. Look out for signs of quality as well as attention to...

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Window Curtains | 3 Ways to Synchronise Wall Colours with Curtains

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Window Curtains | 3 Ways to Synchronise Wall Colours with Curtains

When choosing curtains for your windows, you’ll want to pick something that resonates with the personality of your existing furnishings and wall colours for an aesthetically pleasing finish. Curtains should blend well with wall colouring because they are offset against each other, so you wouldn’t want something that sticks out like a sore thumb. For a cohesive appearance, here are some smart ways to synchronise wall colours with curtains.  Blend into Wall with Matching Colours If you’re looking for a colour coordinated look for complete continuity, choose curtains that blend into the wall –– this requires you to choose a colour in the exact same shade as you existing wall colour. You can choose matching patterned lace curtains for added texture and depth. For example, choose floral-infused white or ivory patterned curtains to merge into your white or ivory wall. If you have colourful walls, repeat the colour in the design of the curtain fabric for a homogenous finish. Choosing a colour that perfectly matches the wall creates a level of continuity that can make a room appear larger. Choose Complementary Colours with Monochromatic Tones Monochromatic colouring is the use of similar shades and tones that are either lighter or darker than the base. For example, choose brown or darker beige curtains against beige walls to create a monochromatic effect. Similarly, if your walls are dark blue, you may want to choose lighter blue curtains to create a complementary effect. Burnt orange curtains work well for apricot coloured walls. The slender contrast between the walls and the curtains will add character and style to any room. The subtle colour difference requires you to stay within a few shades of the wall colour (either lighter or darker), so you don’t create an incompatible appearance. You can either choose to have a monochromatic-pattern or solid-coloured curtain to offset your wall, depending on your personal taste and preference. Stay Neutral to Match All Types of Décor If you have bold colours on your walls, then you may want to tone down your curtains by choosing neutral colours. For example, white curtains look great when offset against bright blue and orange walls. Similarly, champagne curtains work well with reds, greens and browns. Other neutral colours include ivory, buttercream and pale yellow. Since your walls are already bold with colour, you may want to choose solid-coloured neutral curtains that can match different décor settings. This is especially useful if you plan to change the look of your walls over time. Be sure to follow these tips to synchronise your wall colours and curtains for a harmonising...

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Questions People Ask About Underfloor Heating

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Questions People Ask About Underfloor Heating

Most homeowner’s rely on two main methods of heating their home:  central heat that flows through ducts installed in the ceilings or walls, and radiant heating where radiators or portable heaters radiate heat to warm up a room. But if you are looking for another heating method that can provide you with advantages over these two types of heating, you should think about underfloor heating, which is becoming increasingly popular. To help you understand everything you need to know about this type of heating, here are the answers to some common questions. What is the Process of Underfloor Heating? — Underfloor heating works with piping or wires that are installed under your floor that generate and conduct heat through all areas of your home. The flooring material doesn’t matter, meaning that whether you have timber floors, tiles, natural stone or vinyl, the underfloor heating will still work. Underfloor heating is often less expensive to install than central heating because there is less labour involved in setting up the wires or pipes used in the system. What Are the Installation Methods? — With underfloor heating, there are two ways in which contractors make an installation:  electrical and water-based. The electrical method is a process in which a contractor installs insulated wiring under the flooring. The wires are attached to a central controller that regulates the heating process. As the controller triggers the wires, heat surges through them and generates enough heat to rise up through your flooring and into the rooms. The water-based method utilises a storage tank which holds boiling water that flows through pipes built under your floor. The pipes gradually get hot and that heat radiates into your rooms. Your contractor will determine which method best fits your home, but if you already own a heat pump, then the water installation method is the best option as it eliminates the need to install a storage tank. What About Heating Through Rugs and Carpet? — If your home flooring has a lot of carpet or throw rugs, a contractor may choose the water installation method because the pipes generate a higher level of heat than the wires used with the electrical method. Underfloor heating works best with natural stone floors and tile flooring because these types of surfaces conduct heat in the most efficient manner, which makes it easier for your rooms to get warm in a shorter period of time. Does It Take Long For a Room To Heat Up? — Underfloor heating does take longer to warm a room than central heating or radiant heating. But the amount of time necessary to achieve warmth depends on the size of a room and the ambient temperature. The initial warm-up time when the system is first used may be several hours, but once the system is operating, the flooring will heat up much...

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Your El Nino-Proof Garden Plan

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your El Nino-Proof Garden Plan

The Bureau of Meteorology has officially declared that Australia is in the midst of a new El Nino weather pattern. While this may be good news for drought-stricken parts of the USA who will receive higher than average rainfall, in Australia it means a long, hot, and dry summer ahead. Many areas may face strict water conditions, and gardens usually suffer because of this. However, there are several ways that you can help your garden to survive the drought. Use water saving crystals Water saving crystals are an ingenious way to maximise water usage in your garden. They are small, hard crystals of an anionic polyacrylamide polymer. The crystals absorb and hold a massive 500 times their weight in water, and can be dug through your garden beds, lawn, and pot plants. Using these crystals means that, when you water your garden, any excess water will be stored for later use instead of simply running off or being evaporated in the heat of the day. Your garden will need far less watering to stay green and healthy. Water saving crystals are available from most landscaping supply stores and online. Mulch your garden beds Mulching your garden beds is an excellent way to drought-proof your garden beds. Mulch works in the same way that insulation on your house works. It keeps the heat from the sun out and keeps the moisture in the soil in. There is a fairly large range of mulch available from landscaping supply stores. Pebbles or stones work just as effectively as organic mulches. However, the advantage to organic mulch is that it breaks down over time and will actually increase the long-term fertility of your soil. Divert your grey water In drought conditions, there is usually a strict hose-pipe ban. This means that unless you have bore water, your lawns and garden beds will become rapidly parched and may even die. Even homes that have water tanks may find themselves reluctant to use their precious tank water to water the garden as their supplies diminish due to lack of rain. The simple solution is to divert your grey water for use in the garden. Grey water is the dirty water from your washing machine and sinks. A plumber can divert the water so that, instead of going into the sewer, it is stored in a special tank. It’s best to use washing and laundry detergents that are designed for grey water use so that your garden isn’t affected by the chemicals in standard detergents. There is no question that El Nino and the resulting water restrictions will cause your garden to suffer. The degree of the suffering can certainly be minimised by getting in early and implementing the above ideas before the true heat of summer is upon you. If you need help with implementing these ideas or coming up with others, contact a local landscaping company like Great Southern Lawns &...

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Find Out What The Different Types Of Flower Packaging Mean

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Find Out What The Different Types Of Flower Packaging Mean

When buying flowers, most people pay most of their attention to the different flower species, the arrangement and the decor aspect of their purchase. However, beyond that, you should also consider the packaging and presentation that your flowers have. This will not only determine how the overall flower arrangement looks, but packaging also plays a big role in flower placement and longevity. Read on to see how. Bouquet  The bouquet is the most popular flower packaging available. Though synonymous with weddings, bouquets are also popular with flower gifts, anniversaries and ‘get well’ flowers. The bouquet is the simplest packaging for flowers. The plastic covering is light and keeps the colour pigmentation of the flowers from getting on your clothes. However, flowers in a bouquet can get damaged easily and are therefore better for short term use. If you want flowers to last longer, you’ll have to put them in a watered container as soon as possible. Box You can also order your flowers in a box. The flowers have a bouquet wrapping but are also placed inside a box carton. Boxed packaging makes it possible to place your flowers on a flat surface, e.g. desk or table, for better presentation. This is especially vital for flower arrangements that are meant to be positioned vertically. Boxed flowers are suitable for all manner of events, from hospital gifts to event placement and home decor. Baskets You can have your flowers placed in a woven basket as well. Apart from adding character to your flower delivery, baskets serve as a better mode of packaging for bulky flowers. They can hold larger arrangements without risk of damage, even if dropped. The handles on the baskets also make it easy to carry the flowers where transportation is involved. Flower baskets are great for picnics, ‘get well’ presents, romantic gifting and corporate applications. Vase You can also order your flowers in a vase. There are different types of vases available. These include glass vases, glass bowls, ceramic bowls and earthen pots. All these vases have one thing in common: They enable you to place your flowers in water and keep them fresh for longer. A vase also enables you to keep your flowers upright for better display. However, vases are delicate and require better care to avoid accidents or flower damage. Next time you visit a florist to order flowers, take a minute to ensure you get the perfect packaging...

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Kitchen Renovation | 3 Ultra Smart Tips To Introduce Fabulous Cabinets to your Kitchen

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kitchen Renovation | 3 Ultra Smart Tips To Introduce Fabulous Cabinets to your Kitchen

If you’re planning on installing new cabinets as part of your major kitchen renovation or simply to improve the aesthetic value of your kitchen, you’ll need to apply careful thought and consideration to choose the perfect pieces that resonate with the rest of your kitchen décor. Before purchasing new kitchen cabinets, you need to be aware of all your options to decide the style and material that easily integrates into the kitchen renovations you’re planning. Transform your kitchen from drab to fab with these kitchen cabinet ideas.  Integrate Seamlessly with Kitchen Design Whether you’re planning a major kitchen renovation or are simply remodelling parts of your kitchen, you have to consider the design of your kitchen before making your cabinet choice. For example, are you planning a restaurant-style kitchen with lots of stainless steel? Then you’ll need to consider large stainless steel cabinets that reflect your theme. If you want a rustic kitchen with lots of soft earthen colours, then wood is a good choice to echo your idea. Some of the popular woods used for kitchen cabinets include maple and oak. You can also choose laminate to replicate the finish of wood. Plan your kitchen renovation design with the cooking habits of your family in mind and integrate your cabinets seamlessly — without losing the personality of the overall design.  Be Smart with Storage and Size Perfect kitchen cabinets naturally fit seamlessly into your kitchen décor while providing you with ample storage to meet all your kitchen storing needs. This means you no longer have to worry about unsightly utensils and kitchenware cluttering the look of your kitchen. A good start would be to measure the existing free space in your kitchen for planning the size and storage of your kitchen. The right size and storage are smart ways to declutter your kitchen appeal. Choose the Right Cabinetry Function  You also have a vast choice when it comes to choosing your cabinetry functions. You can choose to build your kitchen cabinets from scratch or you can purchase the ready-to-assemble options available in the market. Some homeowners may also decide on stock cabinets, but these ready-made versions are only available in a limited number of sizes and may not meet your needs precisely. You may also choose custom cabinets that are made-to-order based on your specifications and designs. Custom cabinets are naturally the best option when it comes to seamlessly fitting into your kitchen space, because you get to decide the size, colour and style you desire. But with the flexibility comes the added expense, so make a decision based on your budget. Premium cabinets with good quality materials could set you back anywhere between $5,000 to $12,000 with additional labour costs. If you’re planning an extensive kitchen renovation or are simply making cosmetic changes, be sure to consider these vital factors for your cabinets. Consult with a contractor from a company like Kitchen Connection to determine exactly what can be done to improve the look and functionality of your...

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Why Opt for an Electric Roller Door for Your Home’s Garage?

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Opt for an Electric Roller Door for Your Home’s Garage?

When it’s time to build a new garage or replace the garage door, you have several options available to you. Many homeowners opt for the standard garage door that is one piece and which folds out and then slides up a track to the ceiling of the garage. While this may be a popular choice, an electric roller door for your garage can offer many advantages for your home. Note a few of those here so you can determine if it’s the right choice for you: 1. Space savings The space savings of a roller door may be the most obvious advantage, but you may not have thought about how much space it can save, and where. If you want to add a shelf to your garage’s roof, a roller door won’t interfere with this area. This can open up the space you need for storing sporting goods and lawn care equipment. However, a roller door also saves you space in your driveway. It doesn’t need clearance to swing or fold out, so if you want to use your drive for parking a second car, you won’t need to worry about moving it every time you want to open the garage door. Note too that a rolling door can be installed so that it rolls sideways and not just up and down. If you have a very low garage for some reason, drive a tall truck or have installed over-sized tires on your vehicles and need all the overhead space possible, you can install roller doors that open to the side. This too gives you all the overhead space you need. 2. Durability and repairs It’s not unusual for a home’s garage door to need repairs simply because the weight of the door pulls on the tracks every time it’s opened and closed. A roller door has its weight dispersed as it folds up into its housing unit, so it typically needs fewer repairs over the years. Because it doesn’t operate with a heavy-duty spring that pulls the garage door up and lowers it as well, a roller door may also be safer to repair on your own if something should happen with the door. Trying to repair or replace a garage door spring is very dangerous and can be costly, but if the roller door should get trapped in the housing or a chain should break, you may be able to fix it on your own or will face a smaller repair bill than with a standard garage door. To learn more, contact a company like The Roller Door...

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Creating A Mini Orchard On Your Patio

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creating A Mini Orchard On Your Patio

Do you love the idea of walking out to your garden and picking fresh apples for your daily juice, cherries for a pie or lemons for a batch of your favourite lemon curd? You may not have space for tall, sprawling fruit trees in your garden, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your own mini orchard: Choose Your Fruit Trees Wisely Opt for dwarf fruit trees, which tend to reach a maximum height of 2-3 metres and won’t sprawl any wider than 1-2 metres. Dwarf trees have been cultivated to produce heavy crops of standard sized fruit and can easily be grown in containers. When space is an issue it’s best to opt for self-fertile fruit trees, which don’t need a pollinating partner to produce fruit. Your local garden supply shop will be able to tell you if your selected fruit trees are self-fertile. Fruit trees have a bit of a reputation of taking several years to start producing fruit, but dwarf varieties start producing earlier than full sized varieties. Choose trees that are at least 2 years old and most will start producing that growing season. Prepare Appropriate Containers Dwarf fruit trees thrive with plenty of sunshine, good quality fertiliser and well-drained soil, but they also need an appropriate contain to grow in. You’ll want to choose deep pots that allow room for growth, but they should also be wide to accommodate trees with a sprawling shallow root system such as lemon and orange trees, so opt for pots that hold at least 15 litres of soil and are as wide as they are deep. Fill you pots with a premixed potting soil specifically designed for fruit trees, which should be rich in phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium, or make your own with equal parts topsoil and compost. Once you’ve planted your trees you should place the pots on pot feet to prevent waterlogging and give them a suitable liquid plant food every couple of weeks during the growing season. Give These Hardy Varieties A Go Look out for these hardy dwarf fruit tree varieties when visiting your local garden supply store: Valencia Orange – This tree produces a heavy crop of sweet, seedless oranges that are delicious eaten straight from the tree or juiced. Lemonade Lemon – This tree produces lemons that are slightly sweet and lack the bitterness that’s typical with this citrus fruit, so they are delicious in fresh juices and squeezed over salad leaves. Fresno Peach – This tree fruits in December and produces large, juicy peaches with yellow flesh. Grimes Golden Apple – This tree flowers mid-season and produces sweet, crisp fruit with golden yellow skin. Now you see how easy it is to enjoy your own mini orchard, all that’s left is to decide how many trees to get and what to do with all the fruit they’re going to produce. To learn more, contact a company like Tenkate Landscape...

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Plumbing Upgrades: 3 Energy-Efficient Technologies in Water Heating

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Plumbing Upgrades: 3 Energy-Efficient Technologies in Water Heating

The water heater is an essential system in the plumbing system since it provides general convenience when performing kitchen and bathroom tasks. Most systems have a prolonged lifespan but you will eventually need to replace the appliance. Common problems that indicate that your residential water heater include corrosion of the water tank, serious leaks and consistent malfunctions which occur when the system becomes old. You can choose to replace your heater with conventional models which are typically tanked systems which are powered by gas or electricity. However, there are more energy efficient alternatives in the market capable of reducing the long-term operational costs. Here are the main water heating technologies that you should consider incorporating in your home. Tankless Heaters These tankless appliances are also known as point-of-use heaters and as implied, the systems do not include a tank for hot water storage. The heating units are connected directly to the plumbing lines and they will provide hot water when required. They can be powered by electricity or gas depending on your personal preference and heating elements will have to be installed in areas where hot water is required. They are typically more expensive to purchase compared to the conventional alternatives. However, you will make significant savings over time because of the lower energy consumption. The water heater does not need to work in the background to maintain hot water in a tank when the system is not in use. Solar Water Heater The sun is a clean and highly economical source of solar energy for residential property. You should consider installing a solar heater to reduce the cumulative energy costs in the home and contribute to a greener planet since the resource is renewable. This appliance consists of a storage tank, connecting pipes and water flow controller. The heating elements are solar collectors which are installed on roofs or even an open area in the compound for maximum sun exposure. The solar heating appliance in most cases preheats the water before it flows into the conventional system. However, the solar heater can cater to all your heating needs when the weather is consistently sunny. Desuperheater System A desuperheater is an auxiliary heat exchanger which uses heated gases to heat water.  This device can be connected to your heat pump or air conditioning systems which emit highly heated gases after cooling your house. The waste heat is released to the desuperheater which uses the energy to heat water. This system can provide sufficient hot water during the consistently sunny months. Learn more about these or other options by contacting resources like D.R. King Plumbing Services Pty...

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The ABCs of Turning Your Home into the Ultimate Storage Hub

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The ABCs of Turning Your Home into the Ultimate Storage Hub

Making the most of your property’s storage space is an absolute must for any homeowner. Aside from making a house appear neat, clean and tidy; intelligent and shrewd use of storage space in the home is actually able to boost resale value. After all, home buyers are always willing to pay a little extra for a house that looks and feels spacious. Listed here are four great ways to make the most of the storage space available in your home from A to D. Not only are these handy little tips easy to recall, following them can significantly improve the appearance and value of your home. Just remember A, B, C, D. A for Above It’s always a good idea to look upwards when assessing storage possibilities in your home. Aside from the more obvious spaces between the tops of wardrobes/tables and the roof, you can also make the most of storing items above head height by being a little inventive. One great way to do this is by installing a ceiling rack in the kitchen. Not only will this provide your home with a dashing, modern look, it’ll also get rid of the more awkwardly shaped items that refuse to be shoved away into drawers. Towel racks above the toilet are another great space saver, as are wall-fitted coat racks in the hallway, and medicine cabinets above the sink. To find some great sources of space, simply tilt your head back and look up.  B for Below Tucking objects away underneath furniture is a great storage method. It helps to keep the house feeling spacious, and there are all kinds of ways to enhance stocking items down towards the ground. It’s always tempting to boot things underneath the bed in order to get them out of sight, but by attaching some sliding drawers to the bottom of your bed, you can make the most of this unused space and keep your objects clean. Stuffing items below the bed ordinarily means that they’re forgotten about, and more often than not they gather huge amounts of dust, dirt and debris over time. With below-bed drawers, the space below your bed is utilized perfectly and it keeps objects clean and tidy whilst simultaneously hiding them out of sight. If you have any tables in the house with space underneath them, take a look to see if you can install a drawer below, and the same goes for any toe-kick spaces you might have in the kitchen which may even be underneath appliances. If there’s room there, it’s worth taking a look to see what you can shove underneath. C for Cubbies One of the best ways to maximize storage space is by taking a good long look around your home, and waiting patiently until that light bulb above your head flickers on with a bright idea. Getting creative is the best way to make the most of your storage space, and it’s important not to afraid to gamble on different ideas. Think outside the storage box, and analyse every single aspect of your home. One perfect example is to make the most of the walls as cubbies. Wall cubbie storage can come in many different forms, including built-in drawers, built-in book cases, and knee-wall dressers. Not only do these items look enticingly modern,...

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