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Protect Your Deck Or Patio With Outdoor Blinds Or Shutters

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protect Your Deck Or Patio With Outdoor Blinds Or Shutters

Australians love spending their leisure time outdoors, and this is reflected in the popularity of decks and patios that are used as outdoor rooms. Unfortunately, sometimes the extremes of weather may make your deck or patio a less than hospitable place to be. For this reason, you may be considering installing a product that will provide you protection from the weather while you’re enjoying your outdoor space. Here are two of the most popular choices for this purpose. Outdoor blinds Outdoor blinds are a popular option for protecting your deck or patio. This is because they’re highly effective and very easy to install. Outdoor blinds work in much the same way as indoor blinds and can be lowered or retracted as they are needed. Because of their slimline fitting, they are unobtrusive and won’t detract from the lines of the architecture of your home. Outdoor blinds also come in a variety of shades, so you’re sure to find one that will complement your home. Most outdoor blinds provide protection from the heat of the sun and its damaging UV rays. They also provide protection from annoying insects, such as mosquitoes and flies, which can plague outdoor areas, especially during summer. More basic models of outdoor blinds are hand operated and can be lowered and retracted using cords located on the sides. For a more functional and high-tech option, there are outdoor blinds that are run on electricity, which can be operated by the touch of a finger via remote control. Outdoor shutters Outdoor shutters are another stylish and popular way to shelter your outdoor living space. Shutters allow you to completely control the level of protection by having them fully closed, fully retracted, or using the louvers to allow a certain amount of light and airflow through. Shutters are an excellent option for decks and patios in parts of the country that suffer from cold winters. They are very good at blocking out chilly winds and offer excellent insulation if the louvers are made with an insulated core. This insulation also works in hot climates by reflecting the heat of the sun through the summer months. Shutters come in a large range of colours and can also be painted to exactly match the colour of your home. This gives them a streamlined look, which will make them look as though they were a part of the original design of the house. Adding blinds or shutters to your deck or patio means that you’ll be free to use the space no matter what the elements may throw at you. They will turn your outdoor area into a truly functional outdoor living...

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Gutter Cleaning | 3 Instructive Tips To Determine Your Gutter Cleaning Frequency

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gutter Cleaning | 3 Instructive Tips To Determine Your Gutter Cleaning Frequency

While gutters are essential for directing rainwater away from the roofs of your home, dry leaves and other debris can accumulate and clog them over time. When gutters are clogged, they will not be able to direct rainwater away, causing pools of water to accrue on your roof. This may cause unwarranted roof leaks over time, so you’ll want to undertake gutter cleaning every once in awhile to prevent this from happening. Here are some tips to determine how often you need to clean your roof gutters. Gutters Subject To High Levels of Surrounding Foliage Require More Frequent Cleaning You probably love the idea of a beautiful, lush, green landscape around your home, but it also comes with a few extra household chores. If you have plenty of green trees and bushes around your home, then you will need to undertake gutter cleaning more often. Gutters tend to become clogged because of leaves and other debris accumulated on them. With more trees and greenery around your home, the chance of leaves accruing in your gutters is higher. Small animals like birds and squirrels may also choose to nest on these accumulated leaves and will cause more congestion around your gutter. You may need to undertake gutter cleaning a few times a year.  Your Timing Will Determine Your Cleaning Frequency Like most household maintenance jobs, timing is everything for the best results. Cleaning at certain times will make your job easier and will reduce your gutter cleaning frequency. For example, fall occurs when trees shed their leaves to prepare for the onslaught of winter. Gutter cleaning at the end of fall ensures that you tackle as many leaves as possible in a single attempt. If you clean your gutters before fall begins, you may end up having to clean them once again at the end of fall anyway –– causing you to clean your gutters more frequently than you desire. Install Gutter Guards To Reduce Your Cleaning Frequency Gutter guards are designed for minimising leaf litter and debris accumulation in your roof gutters. If you want to reduce your gutter cleaning frequency, you should consider installing them. With gutter guards, you may only need to clean your gutters every few years because of the added protection from leaves, insects and other debris. Keep in mind that these guards don’t make your gutters invincible, so you will still need to inspect your roofs to check for gutter cleaning every once in awhile. Use these instructive tips to determine the frequency of your home’s gutter cleaning needs. You can also contact professionals, like those at Oz Wide Gutter Cleaning, for more tips or to be put on a regular maintenance...

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Are You Getting New Window Blinds? Here’s What to Do with the Old Ones

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are You Getting New Window Blinds? Here’s What to Do with the Old Ones

When you make the decision to install new window blinds in your home, there’s something that you need to consider. What about the old blinds? Blinds are generally extremely durable, so this might be the first time you’ve ever had to dispose of old blinds. Simply throwing them away with your rubbish can be a waste, since many types of blinds are made from materials that can be reused or recycled. Allowing these old blinds to be reused or made into something else is great for the environment, but how do you go about doing this? Aluminum Blinds These blinds are exceptionally easy to recycle. You just need to remove the ropes and pulleys (as these sections cannot be recycled along with the aluminium). Your local council recycling centre will accept the blinds, and they will then be completely recycled. The headrail is also aluminium and can be recycled along with the blinds. If you have a large amount of metal that can be recycled, you may wish to take it to a scrap metal dealer and get some money for it. Attempting to sell the old blinds to a scrap metal dealer will not usually yield much cash (unless you have a lot of them). Dealers buy by weight, and the blinds are too lightweight to really be worth much on their own. Bamboo Blinds Bamboo blinds (also known as woven wooden blinds) cannot be recycled due to the fibrous texture of the material. They can be taken to a charity shop and donated, but of course they will only be of use to someone who has windows the same size as yours. Bamboo blinds are generally made from untreated material, which means they are biodegradable. You can cut them into small pieces and dispose of them with your rubbish or even add them to your garden compost. Fake Wooden Blinds Fake wooden blinds are generally made of a composite material (wood pulp held together with glue or a plastic resin) and cannot be recycled. These should be donated to a charity shop. Wooden Blinds Wooden blinds can only be recycled if they are untreated. Wooden blinds that have been painted or have had a heavy coat of lacquer applied are generally unsuitable for recycling. Your local council recycling centre will be able to tell you if they are able to be recycled. If this is not the case, the most appropriate method of disposal is to simply throw them away. Your windows will soon be adorned with beautiful new blinds, and there’s no reason that your old blinds can’t be of good use. Whether they end up in someone else’s home or being made into something else, it’s best to consider your options before you throw them...

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Why You Should Integrate a Deck into Your New Home

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Should Integrate a Deck into Your New Home

Maybe you’ve just finished building a new house. Or perhaps, you’ve just spent thousands of dollars purchasing a pre-existing home. Now that you already own your home, the next thing on your mind is probably what you can add to it. Building a deck has numerous far-reaching benefits for today’s homeowners! Although it may look like yet another reason to dip into your pocket even more, adding a deck to your new home is a worthy investment decision as the following advantages will indicate. Create more functional space in the outdoor area A deck structure creates extra livable space in your home’s exteriors for you to enjoy with your family and guests. With easy access to the interior parts of your home, it provides invaluable room for casual living ranging from hosting some friends for a barbecue, to having a house party, to enjoying meals with your family outdoors during those hot summer days. When you’re building a deck, only your budget and the size of your yard will limit your ability to add more useable space in your home. If your home has a large compound and your budget allows for the construction of a large deck, then you can even partition the deck into different functional areas for whatever functions you like. Improve curb appeal Installing a deck can enhance the overall design of your new home, making it look more beautiful. In most cases, decks are built using timber material, perhaps due to its low-cost advantage and ability to stand out as an attractive building material for so many years. The wood used in building the decks can be stained or painted to complement the natural palette of vegetation found in your landscape. Notwithstanding, the options you have when it comes to improving the visual impact of your home by adding a deck are almost infinite, be it using building materials, e.g. prefabricated railings and stylish exterior tiles, or adding extras like flower pots, outdoor furniture, artwork, etc. Quick installation Provided you have professional deck builders, like those at Lifestyle Patios, working for you, a small deck can most likely be built in a couple of days while a larger one may be completed within a few weeks because most of the materials used are usually preassembled. As such, you will save your neighbours the burden of tolerating the disturbing noise coming from the construction site. The installation process will be completed in the shortest time possible so that you can all go back to enjoying the usual serenity of the...

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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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