The kids are back at school, the holidays are over, a New Year has begun, and the beautiful weather is begging you to work outside and add a bit of change to the home. Freshen up the look of your home and add a bit of kerb appeal for 2018. Don’t worry too much about cost. You can add a new look for the year without breaking the bank and work with a landscape designer to add appeal to your property.
Many front yards are still looking like golf course greens. The grass requires ongoing maintenance and a lot of water during summer. If you eliminate the grass you will avail yourself of more time and save a valuable resource – water. Think of the area without grass as a blank canvas on which you can create something new.
Older style houses had a front porch on which you could sit and enjoy the fresh air and watch the world go by. New designs provide just a small entry area now. By adding a small courtyard, you can recreate that welcoming entrance your grandparents used to love. Plants and a paved patio will help to make a private and relaxing setting. If you add a well-designed water feature then the sound of running water will greet your guests as they visit your home. If traffic noise is a problem, the water feature will help lessen the sounds from the street. Imagine yourself having a nice morning coffee in your courtyard or a cold drink after a day at work.
Backyards, secured and private, and spacious are standard in Australian neighbourhoods. Australians use their backyards for all types of relaxation and recreation. Private means unable to be seen by prying eyes of passers-by and sticky-beak neighbours. There are many different styles of fencing from which to choose. Securing your backyard can be done without costing a fortune regardless of what material or design you choose. Listed below are a few options available for residential fencing and that will give you privacy and security at the same time.
These type of fences work as physical barriers between the outside world and your backyard. You need to check with your local council and your neighbour when planning height, cost and material. The usually acceptable height for backyard boundary fences is 1.8 metres. As well as being legally correct it’s also about the right height to obstruct visual and physical access. The front fence is a different matter altogether. You have a large range of designs and materials to consider that can create a personalised appearance. As there are no limits, you can even have a fence custom built to suit an individual taste. While most residential privacy fences come in wood, there are many other materials to be found as well. A popular alternative is metallic decorative strips that suit garden fencing.
If you are looking to shade your home or garden, it would be very frustrating to have one installed only to find the shade is cast in a different place from where you wanted it, or that it didn’t throw enough shade. If you’ve ever been to a park or other public place where shade sails have been erected, yet found there was very little or no shade, you may wonder if they really work.
Part of the problem is that you may have been there at a time when the sun was in a different position than the one chosen to give shade. For instance, early morning shade will be missing if the angle of the sail was set to provide shade at midday or later in the afternoon. This is why you need to give some thought as to exactly what you want your sail to do.
If a sail is to throw shade onto the walls of the house, the angle of it will need to be different from one that is to provide shade on the ground at noon. The shape of the sail must also be taken into consideration. In addition, you’ll need to ensure the sail is stretched in the right way to avoid wind shear and prevent water or wind-blown debris from sitting in the middle and weighing it down.
If you are tired of the 9-5 routine you may have considered setting up your own business, there are many work from home opportunities available these days and it can be quite easy to set up something to bring in an income when you use the computer and internet. But if you like being more hands on, you might prefer something else, such as landscaping.
So what do you need to be successful in this area?
A love of working outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.
A reasonable amount of muscle, since you will be doing a certain amount of lifting and other hard physical work.
A friendly disposition so your clients feel they want to hire you. And so you can get them to tell you exactly what they want and you can suggest even better solutions.
The ability to work machinery. This depends on whether you choose small jobs or want to get into the larger landscaping of schools grounds, hospitals and other organisations.
Handyman skills so you can offer additional work such as concreting pathways, building retaining walls, fencing, installing a swimming pool or adding a gazebo. Unless you outsource that work, which will make it more expensive for the client.
The ability to work for yourself. You may think that sounds easy, but if you are not disciplined about showing up when you are supposed to and working a full day, your business will not be successful.
When the US PGA, 2017 finished, everyone focused on the game the winners played, rather than the turf. The winner was an American golfer, Justin Thomas. The golf course was the famous Quail Hollow, and for those who don’t think watching golf on TV is like watching paint dry, they would have seen the way the course was prepared for a major championship. The pros of golf like Australia’s Jason Day, Adam Scott and John Senden play on the best courses.
When it comes to golf, the pros know their turf. And if you are talking about golf turf, then golf course superintendents аrе рrоѕ аt mаnаgіng golf turf. It’s their job to know their grasses. What are the best types for toughness and durability and grasses that make a golf course look so beautiful?
The job of maintaining the course is the responsibility of the course superintendent. They make sure it gets fertilised, watered, mowed and shaped so that the result is great looking greens and fairways. To be honest, a great golf course, properly maintained, helps even the golf hackers to improve their scores. Golf course designers and superintendents understand that there is the need a variety of different turfs to create the best surface for a particular part of the course. Taking care to choose the best kind of turf will ensure the golf course becomes a popular one.
Many homeowners are restricted in what they can put in their garage due to the small area available. Even many luxury homes are designed for just two cars and that leaves nowhere for the boat, a caravan, a jet ski or golf buggy to go, not to mention the golf clubs, the children’s bicycles, or as they get older, perhaps motorbikes.
In fact, it’s time home designers took a leaf out of Sam Sorgiovanni’s book. Sam Sorgiovanni designed the yacht Anastasia in 2008 and he included plenty of space in the ‘garage’. Much more than you’d find in most luxury homes. So what is in the Anastasia’s garage?
4 tenders (smaller launches) ranging from over 9 metres to almost 7 metres.
4 Wave Runners
Several Jet skis
A storage rack for 8-10 full body wetsuits
Other water toys such as windsurfers and snorkelling gear
Storage cupboards for the above.
The Anastasia also has a full gym, Jacuzzi and aquarium for the enjoyment of guests. She sleeps 12 guests and has room for 20 crew. Of course, she is 75.5 metres long, so there is plenty of room.
DIY renovations can save money and give a great deal of satisfaction to those who love working with their hands. Whether you love working with timber, painting, or simply planning it all out, the working out when electrical contractors and other trades should come and fitting the other pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle, doing home renovations is what makes life worthwhile for many people.
If you are into home renovations and improvements it is essential to know what is legal for you to do and what is not, when council permission is needed and what all those other rules and regulations are. No one likes red tape, but it is a fact of life and ignoring it can be costly. Here are some ways to avoid any problems with your renovations.
Cost out the job. If it is going to cost more than $3,300 you will need council permission.
Work with the council in finding out what is needed in your state as the rules and regulations vary by state.
Make sure you don’t do work that needs a licensed professional, such as an electrician or plumber, even if it looks simple.
Make sure all your tradies are fully licensed and have insurance.
Have your plans are approved by council and get the necessary inspections as the work progresses, even if it means a delay waiting for the building inspector to come.
Don’t attempt to do work you are not qualified for or skilled enough to do. It may seem like it’s going to save money, but in the long run problems can pop up and can be more costly to fix.
A lovely landscape design not only adds value to your property, it can transform your outdoor area into a beautiful place to sit and enjoy Mother Nature’s bounty. Most homeowners don’t have the training that professional landscapers have undergone, so their attempts at landscaping fall far short of what is possible. The result is they don’t get the best out of their block of ground and the value of the home is less than it could be.
Even if your block is not as large as you would like, there are many lovely garden designs that can make it look larger or in many other ways enhance your enjoyment of life. If you are lucky enough to have a large block, proper landscaping can really enhance your space and provide an outdoor area that is totally amazing.
A good garden design can –
Create small, private pockets that delight your heart
Give privacy from the roadway, public path, or the neighbours
Create a windbreak that enables more delicate flowers to grow well
Offer shade in an otherwise hot area
Provide a delightful, safe and shady spot for the children to play
Cover up an eyesore such as an old shed or fence or wall that is not on your own property
Lead you into other areas of the garden
Create a peaceful oasis in a busy cityscape
Provide an aesthetically pleasing area to entertain or to relax and enjoy some down time
When it comes to modern kitchen design there are several elements that may easily be missing in older kitchens, or in those flat-pack kitchens that are popular with many builders. To truly enjoy working in the kitchen you need to have one that is more than just functional. Hotel kitchens are functional; that doesn’t mean they have all the elements a modern kitchen should have.
In fact, many kitchens, commercial or not, are poorly designed. They may not have good lighting, or the food preparation area may not be located conveniently to the sink or the stove. While they still work and the person who does the cooking gets used to the inconvenience, they could be much better.
Inconvenience in a kitchen is not only annoying and frustrating; it is also tiring. If you have to continually walk from one end of the kitchen to the other to get what you want it takes longer to prepare the meal. If you have to dodge doors that open into your standing or walk space, it can cause bruises when you bump into them.
So what are the elements of modern kitchen design?
A work space that is properly designed so the above problems are addressed.
Lighting that gives you spot lights for preparation rather than dark corners or working in your own shadow.
Plenty of storage in the correct places so that everything you need is right to hand. Many housewives dream of a walk-in pantry or storage area for those things that are not used every day.
Enough bench space to prepare meals so cooking for a larger family or entertaining is not difficult.
A pleasant look and feel. If you love colour and your kitchen is plain white or grey, you may hate being in it, no matter how functional it is.
Home handymen might think making a cabinet is an easy project. All you need is a few pieces of timber, some nails and screws, a tape measure and square. But professional cabinet makers such Colray Cabinets would tell you it is not as easy as you may think. First you have to think about the style of your kitchen cabinets.
For instance, do you want modern, contemporary or some other kind of style? Unless you know what style you are going to build you will not be able to purchase the right materials. Then again, once you settle on the style you want, will it actually look good in your kitchen, or will it stand out like a sore toe? You will need to be sure the cabinet suits the other components in your kitchen.
Getting the measurements right can pose another problem. You might measure the gap where that cabinet is to go only to find after the cabinet is built that the top measurement differs from the bottom one for some reason. Maybe the floor is not perfectly level or perhaps your fingers slipped when you took the measurement.
You will need to decide whether the cabinet should be a built-in, or if you will make it out in the shed and simply slot it into place when it’s finished – if it fits. Then you’ll need to fill in the gap between it and the wall if you don’t want it to fill with dust and things that fell off the back of the cupboard. And there are the gaps on both sides to deal with.
Growing plants in pots on a balcony is even more difficult than having them on a veranda or in the back yard. Why? On the balcony there is very little else to catch the eye, so if the garden pots are not beautiful, or if the plants in them look jaded, it will be really noticeable and the pretty display you were aiming for simply won’t materialise.
So the best pots for balconies are those that both look really attractive and have several other elements that help the plant to grow well. Pots with thicker walls offer a bit of insulation from the heat that many balconies suffer from. They are also heavier so can withstand winds that are often much more forceful on a high rise balcony than at ground level. However, they should not be too heavy as balconies usually have a maximum weight load owners must adhere to for safety.
Drain and stain
Pots for balconies should also have a saucer underneath or be designed so that excess water won’t run out the bottom and stain the cement on the balcony. Dirty water can drip off your balcony and fall or blow onto the one below. Not a good way to be friends with the neighbours. Pots should be chosen to suit the growth habits of the plant in them. If the plant is going to grow really tall, the pot needs to be larger and heavy enough to prevent the whole lot blowing over.
If you are wondering whether to put in a pool or not, it may be because you are not sure whether it will be worth it. Concrete swimming pools last a long time so there are many years for the pool to get substantial use, especially if you have children and a kreepy krauly pool cleaner. Here are some of the ways in which you can use your pool to ensure you get the best value from it.
It is usually the children who use the pool most. They’ll run home on a hot summer day and jump straight in. Swimming and playing in the pool is an excellent way for kids to get healthy. They will lose weight as they exercise in the pool. They can swim laps and when they take swimming as a sport it will really help them to come first in races if they can practice at home every day.
When the children are old enough, you can host their birthday parties beside the pool. Pool parties make it really easy to entertain the kids. A few pool toys will help them have great fun. The food and drink can all be set up outside and this keeps your home much cleaner.
You can also entertain guests poolside. Install a barbeque and entertainment area, deck chairs and a table and you are ready to go. Guests can swim or not as it pleases them.
These days it is the trend for windows to be large enough to let in that warming sun throughout the winter. Larger windows also increase the natural light in a room and allow you to enjoy the view from the privacy of your home, but are they carpet friendly? Most people don’t realise that large windows without the right window coverings can actually ruin your carpet. But Brilliance Carpet Cleaning Perth know that sunlight can fade the carpet just the same as it can fade the curtains.
These days we have rubber backed curtains or blinds that don’t fade to protect the curtains, but we often don’t think about the floor, except that there is a nice warm patch of sunlight on it for the toddler to play in. Unfortunately, that nice warm patch is gradually getting lighter in colour. Even carpet that is already a light colour can fade due to sunlight.
How can you stop that from happening? There are several options, depending on the location of the window and style of your home: –
Draw the blinds or curtains during the time the sun pours in the window. This will mostly be winter mornings or afternoons, depending on the orientation of the house, so it doesn’t mean you never get to look out the window.
Grow a shrubby bush outside the window for shade.
Put up a window awning – might be your next home improvement DIY project?
If you are considering upgrading the landscaping around your home or commercial building limestone blocks are a good choice for many elements. Limestone is a durable material that is beautiful in its own right. It is strong enough to withstand being out in the weather all the time so is ideal for seating that does not have to be brought inside overnight to protect it from the weather.
Retaining walls. Most blocks that are on a slope will require retaining walls to ensure the soil does not wash away in a storm. But retaining walls can also be used as a garden edging where it needs to be that bit higher than a normal edging. Knee high or even hip high walls are often used to contain plants on a sloping piece of ground. Retaining walls can be used as a feature to enhance the garden or lawn.
If you have created a beautiful outdoor area for alfresco meals or entertaining, a wall of limestone can be used as a windbreak, for privacy or to throw some shade onto the area. This can be the ideal finish for your outdoor area to make it pop. It can take what looks a bit plain and convert it to something that is really different and pleasing.
When you decide to add a patio to your home you will need to make certain decisions such as where to put it and what to use it for. You will also need to decide on the style. While styles for may be limited due to the simplicity of the structure, the roof will be what sets it off and adds to the look of your home. There are at least 6 different roof styles for patios.
The flat roof. As the name suggests, this roof is entirely flat. This makes it ideal for a carport when added to the side of the home. However, it may not suit the front of the home so well, unless your house also has a flat roof.
The gable roof. This is a pitched section in the middle with a flat part at each side. A pitched roof gives a bit more air space to keep things cooler and adds interest to the look.
A curved roof patio is similar to the gable, only instead of two sides rising to form a peak in the middle, that section has a graceful curve that can really suit the contemporary home.
A gazebo style hip patio roof is somewhat more sophisticated and much more interesting, with the hip part in the centre extending out past the edges of the structure. It is supported by an extra leg, so if an uninterrupted view is important, you might want to choose another option.
The heritage gable patio roof is not flat anywhere. Instead, it sloped from the centre down to each side and a sloping extension at the front extend to the whole length of the patio, making it more of a square than a rectangle. Ideal for those who want a larger patio.
Property maintenance is more important than you may realise. When it comes to the look of a commercial property it is essential that everything is in pristine condition if you expect customers to come. If anything about the property looks neglected or run-down, potential customers will be turned off, because (a) they will think your business is run the same way as your premises look and (b) they simply don’t want to go into a building that does not look welcoming.
Statistics don’t lie
It has been proven statistically that people flock to a public or commercial area that is attractive and pleasant to be in, while they avoid those places that look neglected or ugly. This is because our surroundings affect our mood just as much as being with happy people makes us feel happier too.
So if there is no one to do your property maintenance properly, it will soon become run down and begin to look unattractive. You will then lose customers. The trouble is that when you hire staff it is to help run the business, not to do repairs on the building and make it look nice. So you actually have to hire help to do this, because your own time is taken up in running the business – as it should be.
Professional landscape design is a thing of beauty. If you are a keen gardener who is proud of all the lovely flowers, shrubs and other plants in their garden you might not be looking forward to going on holidays. Gardens are beautiful, but require someone to work in them pruning, weeding, watering and planting to look their best.
So if you are planning that overseas holiday or trip around Australia, what will happen to the garden while you are away? You cannot depend on rain to water it, but even if you have automatic irrigation installed, things can go wrong. The sensors may not work or the pipes might get blocked up. Then your garden will shrivel up and be brown and bare when you get home. All that work done for nothing!
You may live in a climate where rainfall is plenty, or you may have good neighbours to look after the watering for you. But there is still weeding and pruning to be done. You might even have annuals or perennials waiting for you to plant them out. It’s almost enough to make you cancel those holiday plans and spend time in the garden instead.
But before you do that, consider having professional landscaping done on a regular basis while you are away. In fact, this is a good idea even when you are home as it will give you a better chance to relax or take up that hobby you never have time for. Your landscape design could even improve with professionals on hand to care for it or even add to it.
It is not only aging people who have poor close-up eyesight; many younger people do too. So if you are thinking about installing frameless glass showerscreens, or if you have recently upgraded your home to include them, it is essential to know how to use them safely. Glass in the bathroom has many advantages in allowing the light to shine into every corner, visually enhancing the entire room and making it seem bigger.
However, those with eyesight that is not as sharp as it could be might tend to bump into glass screens. To prevent this from happening all you need to do is place a sticker of some kind on the glass door of the shower screen. Place it at eye level or a little lower, but not so low that it doesn’t catch your line of sight as soon as you enter the bathroom
Once you can see where the door is, you’ll have no trouble knowing where those almost invisible walls are as well. Older people may even appreciate having a sticker on each wall as well, because once they are in the shower without spectacles and with water running down their face, they may find it more difficult to keep track of where they are in relation to walls and doors.
Most people who have carpet in their home will be familiar with vacuuming, but it is important to do it properly and to ensure you do all three if the carpet is to remain clean and look nice for its whole life. Professional carpet cleaning from a company like Brilliance Cleaning is a necessity to keep you and your children healthy, with no dust mites, fleas, or pet hair and dander to cause allergies.
Vacuuming the carpet is the most common way to clean all that dust and fluff off it. Simply walking on the carpet will make it grubby over time and grit, pet hair and lots of other nasties will penetrate deep into the fibre. Yet many people simply run the vacuum cleaner over the carpet quickly and believe they have done a good job of cleaning it.
Firstly, a vacuum cleaner needs to have strong suction, which mean the motor should be strong. Cheap vacuum cleaners don’t usually work that well for carpet, even if they do a good job on a hard floor.
Vacuuming the carpet should be done slowly so that the vacuum cleaner has time to dislodge the dirt and suck it up. A second pass should be done then, at a 90 degree angle to the first one. This allows the carpet fibres to be moved in a different direction, so that any dirt trapped under them the first time can be dislodged and removed.
If you need security fencing, you must make sure it is truly secure. According to Lone Pine Fencing, not all fencing is as secure as it could be, leaving the property open to vandals or thieves. Loss of this kind can cause a business to founder, especially if it happens more than once. Not only do you have the loss of stock and damage to premises to pay for, but also your insurance premiums are likely to skyrocket.
So when inspecting the fence, look at these possible access points to ensure your property can remain safe.
The top of the fence. While the fence may be high, unless the top is lined with razor wire or bends over towards the outside, it can still be breached fairly easily. It only takes a ladder or an agile burglar to climb over by putting his toes into the diamond shaped space between the links. This cannot happen with a palisade type fence where steel posts are close together along the whole length of the fence.
The bottom of the fence. Don’t forget that someone could dig a hole under the fence, even if it reached down to ground level. Ground is not always level either, leaving a gap where the wire runs across the dip. The kind of commercial fencing with a cement base to prevent this, is the best.
Through the fence. Unless the fence is quite solid and strong, burglars may be able to get through it by cutting the wire or ramming a vehicle into it.
Many people enjoy doing home renovations themselves, getting a lot of satisfaction in working with their hands – and tools – to create an improvement to their home and their lifestyle. Many renovations require you to move furniture out of the home and it is best to get a budget furniture removal company like Brilliance Removalists Perth in to do this, because they are much fitter for lifting than you are likely to be. They also have the aids that will help them. It will save back strain to have others do that heavy job. Here are some more tips to keep you safe during renovations.
Always wear eye protection. Even if you need to wear glasses, they don’t protect your eyes from flying debris or dust. You need to have goggles that will fit over the top and seal around the edges. They are made from stronger material than glasses and won’t shatter if a nail should fly into them. People have lost all or part of their vision because they didn’t follow this simple rule.
Wear a hard hat. Sure, we know that builders on construction sites wear hard hats, but many home renovators don’t even think about it. Things can fall on you, or you can get up and bump your head on something easily enough when crawling around the small spaces such as under the floor or the ceiling cavity. You only have one head; protect it.
Wear steel capped boots. It is easy to drop something heavy when doing renovations. Timber can bounce right onto your toes when you drop it. If you are working in joggers it can break your toe or a bone in your foot.
When it comes to property renovation or building a new home, it is highly likely that excavation will be needed. Even the simple addition of a room may mean shifting loads of earth before you can start. Plant hire from professionals is best, especially if you are a home handyman renovator, because you can get advice on what kind of equipment you need and how big it should be.
The importance of size
There are many different sizes of excavating equipment and what you need for adding a room to a home on a gently sloping block would be quite different from levelling a whole housing site on a block that slopes a little more steeply. If you hire equipment that is not large enough for the job it will cost you in time – even in time taken to send the wrong sized excavator back and hire another one.
But if you hire an excavator that is far too big you may not even to able to get it onto the construction site. Many homes only have a narrow space between the wall of the house and the boundary fence. You can get a tiny excavator through, but not a large one. So size is important when choosing your equipment. You can’t always take down the boundary fence and invade the neighbour’s property.
In addition, a larger than necessary excavator – or any other equipment that is too large for the job – will cost you in terms of fuel and hourly hire, since the larger the equipment the more expensive the rate of hire would be. So it is highly essential to choose the right one.
Every building works needs some kind of scaffolding in order for the builders and other tradesmen to work on parts that can’t be reached from the ground. Scaffolding can be a simple structure for single storey buildings or a highly complex structure for the many high-rise buildings that go up in cities across the world.
One thing is for sure, the building cannot be completed without this structure and if it is not safe nasty accidents will happen. And often, lives can be lost. When the scaffold collapses it is usually because it was not designed or built properly. The fault for this lies directly with the building company who ordered the scaffold. They should know to only use a scaffold company that has a good reputation in the trade for doing excellent work.
If you are into home renovations, it is a good idea to choose those that add real value to the home because one day you may have to put it on the market and book a removal company like Brilliance Removalists Melbourne. When this happens it is good to know you can add the price of the renovations onto the price of the home and be likely to get it. So what kind of renovations are likely to give you a return on the investment like that?
Experts tell us that most kitchen renovations add good value to the home; the kind of value you can get back when you sell. The kitchen is one of the hardest working rooms in the home and so is most likely to wear out. Upgrading it can cost a great deal, so it is wise to set a budget of no more than 2% of the home’s value and stick to it. This should be plenty to make a big difference in your kitchen, but you can still do renovations for less than that. Just adding more storage will make a kitchen more efficient. Repainting the walls and changing the lighting will make it look better and adding a moveable island will increase bench space, something that many chefs want. A new splashback and cupboard doors will lift your kitchen, too.
The bathroom is another area that can usually benefit from some renovations, especially in an older home where this important room is usually small and dark. Again, benchtop space is more important in the bathroom than most redecorators allow for. Storage is essential, lighting should be ample and the hand-basin should be big enough for people with large hands. Even adding a mirror opposite the window will increase the natural lighting and enhance use. How about adding a stool or low bench to sit on or put clothes on?