Category Archives: Home Makeover & Design

Building to Last: Best Materials to Use

Plantation Shutters

A house is built to last. The materials you use to build your house determine its life. Here are the best materials to use from roof to floor, for windows and doors.

Roofing

Going by the research statistics by the National Association of Home Builders, under normal weather conditions, most roofing products are designed to last several decades.

Statistics by this same association say that clay, slate, and concrete have a life expectancy of 100 years or more.  Metal roofing ranks second with a life expectancy of between 40 to 80 years. Asphalt shingles come third with a life expectancy of about 20 years, but high-quality ones can go for up to 50 years.

Flooring

Although there is no substitute for the warmth of wood, ceramic or porcelain tile is the durability champ. Despite the fact that this floor is virtually resistant to most elements, the fillings surrounding are usually impervious, which means you shouldn’t use acidic products to clean this type.  Different rooms in the house have different flooring needs. You can decide to install wood in your sitting room and ceramic in the kitchen.

Windows

Among the other window treatments, Plantation shutters are becoming popular because of two inarguable qualities: their versatility and practicality. You can use them in the kitchen, living room and practically anywhere else in the house, notes an expert from The Timbershades Group.

Besides, they provide privacy and insulate your house from heat.  Since they come in different sizes and materials, as you shop for plantation shutters in Melbourne, compare the prices, look at the sizes and go for the most durable material.

Doors

Wood still stands as the number one option both in longevity and aesthetics. With good maintenance, you can be sure to have a door that last decades. To protect wood from inclement weather, either laminate or apply high-quality lacquer. For wooden doors, the finishing process dictates longevity.

Fibreglass and steel doors are other durable options. Fibreglass doors mimic defined grain of authentic door. They come in different colours and offer the lowest maintenance. Steel doors, on the other hand, are the most durable but prone to rust if improperly primed or painted.

The best always comes at a higher cost. If you pay the price, then expect to enjoy the rewards for a long time.

 

Maintaining Solar Panels: The Must-Knows

Solar Panel

While solar panels are virtually maintenance-free, you still need to clean it from time to time. This will ensure that your panels are working at its best capacity. Here are the best ways to clean your solar panels at home or at your office or business establishment.

Before trying these hacks, you need to check with your solar panel manufacturer and distributor and ask if they have recommended cleaning methods.

  1. First, choose the right time to do the cleaning, says Solargridpanels.com.au. Solar panels can be really hot during the mid-morning and afternoon. You either clean them very early in the morning or late in the afternoon or wait until it’s relatively cool to start the maintenance.
  2. Dirt and dust can easily accumulate on your solar panels, even if they’re on the roof. A garden hose can do the job but for caked-on dirt, try to clean it with soapy water. Make sure you’re using clean water.
  3. Make sure you’re using a soft cloth or a sponge to clean caked-on grime. Do not use any abrasive commercial products to clean dirt and grime as they can damage the materials. Scratches can affect your solar panels.
  4. If you spot any oily stains, you can use isopropyl alcohol for spot cleaning.
  5. Make sure the wiring underneath the solar panels is not wet. There is also no need to clean this part.

The important thing to remember is that solar panels require almost no maintenance. This means that unless cleaning is needed; leave them alone to do their job. Unless dirt is clearly visible, there is no need to clean them as rainwater and the sunshine usually do the job for you.

This is why solar panels are a great investment. Purchase and installation are easier and they provide clean energy for up to 40 years.

 

 

Your Window Coverings Need a Life Too

Window Coverings in BrisbaneMost of the inherent qualities of freshly-installed awnings, shutters, drapes and blinds evaporate when these window coverings get dirty. Well, you expect your windows to get dirty often, and you clean them from time to time to maintain their sparkling look; but it seems few people give window coverings the much-needed attention to keep them equally clean.

You will need to carry out a little bit of maintenance on custom made blinds and shutters of your Brisbane home to keep enjoying the full benefits that these window coverings can bring. The practice is worth it.

Here are two few helpful tips to making your window coverings look brand new every time:

Call in a sonic cleaning company…or, simply, vacuum it!

Window blinds with slats that are close together easily create a build-up of grime, and since these are hard-to-reach spaces, you could need the help of a sonic cleaning company to do the cleaning. Sonic cleaning uses sound waves to remove and suck dust and debris from between narrow-spaced slats into a holding sack.

Otherwise, you may use a vacuum with a fine-bristled attachment to reach the narrow nooks and crannies.

Use a dry cloth or a feather duster

As for wood blinds, use a dry cloth or a feather duster. Avoid cleaning such blinds with a wet cloth as the moisture can easily cause the wood to discolour or, worse, warp. But, should you need to clean wood blinds with a wet cloth, ensure you follow through with a dry rag to wipe off the excess moisture or use a damp cloth instead.

Custom made blinds, shutters and other window coverings are supposed to help you enjoy your home in Brisbane. And since they turn your living areas into cleaner and more inviting spaces, help protect you and your loved ones from the scorching sun, as well as prevent your windows from catching too much dirt, it is important that you ensure you clean them more often. A little bit of sprucing up will go a long way to maintaining the quality and service life of your window coverings.

The Apartment Advantage: Why It Trumps Hotels in SG

Accommodations In SingaporeIt is easy to see why a lot of people head to Singapore when they want to go on a vacation. In fact, from January to August of 2016, the country has received nearly 11.3 million visitors. Despite being a small country in the South East region of Asia, its charm, beauty, technologically-advanced infrastructure, culturally-rich system, and diverse ethnicities make it one of the most attractive places to bring your family.

The biggest downside to staying in Singapore is, however, the cost of living, particularly in terms of accommodations. Hotels can be costly, and do not always meet the luxury standards one would expect when paying tall service charges. Apartment rentals may not come with the furnishings that would make for a comfortable stay. But, there is one other option: high-end luxury serviced apartments like Residences at Reflections, which are available for short term or long term stays, and provide amenities for daily use. While they sound very similar to hotels, the differences are actually vast.

Space and privacy of multi-bedrooms

If you are visiting with family, and have modern comforts, you may think your only option is a long-term stay in a hotel. The amenities would consist of a TV, a bed, telephone, and a bathroom. While these are great for transit travellers, sharing the same bed as your kids after a long day of meetings is less than desirable. 

One other smarter option is a multi-bedroom apartment with well-appointed amenities. When you plan to stay for several weeks or even a month with your family, consider going for these serviced apartments because you will find several bedroom apartment services in Singapore make for a great home for your family.

Your kids can play in their own rooms while you rest your eyes in your own room. A serviced apartment allows you space and privacy just like how you would want to be at home.

Aside from price

With millions of people paying Singapore a visit and with many of them wanting to stay longer, a smart alternative to the extremely costly hotel charges is only practical. A serviced apartment not only makes a better accommodation, it provides a sense of home away from home in that you have all your creature comforts in the country that you are visiting. You will be able to prepare your own meals that most hotels in Singapore will not allow.

So forget about those pricey hotels. Consider serviced apartments instead when you head to Singapore, and you will feel more at home.

Living in Salt Lake City: Here’s Why You Should Move

Aerial View Of Salt Lake CityMoving to a new city or state is a huge decision and milestone in one’s life. Today, one of the most popular cities to move into is in Salt Lake City in Utah. It’s easy to move in Utah for various reasons. For one, it’s a great skiing destination.

Apart from this, the stunning destination offers a lot not only for tourists but also residents. Home to about 200,000 people, this city lies in a mountain valley with the Wasatch Mountains to the east and north, providing residents with a spectacular view.

In fact, according to the U.S. News & World Report, Salt Lake City ranks as 27th in terms of quality life and job market. Here are other reasons why you might want to consider moving to Salt Lake City.

The Mountains are Your Neighbor

In Salt Lake City in Utah, you’re surrounded by beautiful mountains. Well, aside from giving its residents and tourists a scenic view, it’s also a means to protect the city from tornadoes.

Affordable Real Estate

One of the best deals in moving is the affordable real estate. Homes for sale in Salt Lake City are cheaper than in other cities. Hence, it’s better to settle down and become financially secure.

Nice Neighbors

One of the perks of living in this city is that your neighbors are genuinely nice and kind. Salt Lake City residents are happy, helpful and hospitable, making living there, hassle-free and joyful.

Salt Lake City is a wonderful place to live in, says an expert from Hard Rock Homes. There are hundreds of Salt Lake City real estate properties for you to choose from. Apart from the city’s natural wonders, there are a lot more to expect from this location. If you’re planning to move to another city, consider living in Salt Lake City because you’ll never regret your decision.

Choosing the Right Fencing Material for Your Home

Aluminum FenceA fence adds aesthetic appeal to your home and at the same time provides security. In fact, you can choose from the many kinds of materials available in the market. Each has their pros and cons, so you have to consider which to choose. Here’s a guide to help you:

  • Aluminum – This material is durable, affordable, adaptable, and requires little maintenance. You can either hire an expert or take the DIY route, and all you need is to know the cost of your aluminum fence. It’s available in different colors and designs, as well. The downside is that it will cost more than wood initially, but this will even out as it doesn’t require frequent repairs.
  • Wood – Wooden fences are an old and classic favorite, as the material is both attractive and affordable. It is versatile and you can paint it with any color you like. The downside is that it requires costly maintenance, like treating it to withstand damage from severe weather conditions and from pests.
  • Steel – This is strong and heavy, and it can even last forever. You can prolong its condition with galvanization or powder coating. The downside to this material is that is expensive and is not versatile. It will also not serve the purpose of privacy, as there are gaps between the panels. It’s not advisable for DIY installation and is a better choice for industrial than residential properties.

These are only some of the materials you can choose when opting to build a fence around your property. Know the pros and cons of the material you want to use for you to be clear on what it can offer. After all, you want to make the most of your investment.

Should You Buy or Build a Home? What to Consider

Building a Home

Building a HomeFinding your dream home isn’t an easy task. Conducting house-searches is equally tiring, especially if you choose to take the task single-handedly. Working with experienced professionals will help you understand the new house and land packages in Brisbane. It is important that you discuss your options with the experts, so you may not find yourself settling for a home that doesn’t match your needs.

You only acquire a home at least once in your lifetime. You should get the best that life has to offer at the particular time of your search. Before making the decision of whether to buy or build your ideal home, Planbuild Homes says you need to consider the key factors.

Urgency

Buying a home can be an easy process if only you spot the house of your choice and buy it. But, if you are taking a mortgage loan, you will need to go through the entire application process. Building comes with the need to get construction permits, abide by construction regulations, and follow through all details to track the entire building process. Yet with all these commitments that come with building, the result is definitely worthwhile.

Financing

It’s easier to secure a mortgage than a construction loan due to the complexity of construction loans. Lenders only give construction loans after securing business permits, making it an unreliable option. Thus, mortgages are suitable for people who prefer buying than building and construction loans for them that choose building.

Convenience

Upon the seller’s approval of the buyer’s offer, the house automatically becomes the buyers and one can move immediately. Major renovations can take place even when the buyer is residing. On the other hand, building a home is difficult. You have to have a residing place while construction works are underway.

Looking for an existing home to meet your specific needs can be difficult. Sometimes it’s the location, infrastructure, size or, at least, one factor that nullifies the uniqueness of your dream home. Shuffling through the maze of construction regulations to build your own home isn’t an easy road either. Consult a reliable building company and explore the new land and house packages to make the right step towards finding your dream home.

How to Ensure Success on Your Next Kitchen Building Project

Kitchen Building ProjectPlanning to renovate your old kitchen or building a new one? You must be very excited to get this project started.

Such home project, however, is a major undertaking. It requires a significant budget and thorough planning. To ensure success in your new kitchen project, check out the following tips.

Know the needs

A great kitchen is more than just a stylish one. It must be built to suit you and your family’s unique needs. Ask yourself, would you need a spacious island or is it simply useless? Do you need extra space for your oven? How about a few pieces of furniture?

Think of the future as well. Smart long-term planning can save you from the need to renovate again a few years down the road.

Search for ideas

Look for kitchen design ideas. Go online to check out inspirations. Pinterest is a great place to start. It also helps to check out the portfolio of kitchen builders and designers.

Save images you see online and take photos of sample kitchens in showrooms. You can go over these later when you’re choosing your kitchen essentials and fixtures. It’s wise to have something visual to support your ideas as talk to your designer or contractor.

Set a budget

Nobody wants to overspend with a major project like this. To avoid this, take the time to know the prices of everything from the tiles to the countertops and from the cabinets to the lights. You can always go for luxurious options, but also think about functionality.

Brisbane kitchen designers from Enigma Interiors also suggest including a contingency fund on your budget. This shall cover unexpected expenses you might see along the way.

Hire the right people

In most cases, the success of your new kitchen project depends on who you tap to work on it. Choose experienced designers and contractors, rather than someone who is relatively new in the industry.

Check their license to see if they are allowed to operate in your area. Check out their previous projects as well to have an idea of the kind of work they do.

Follow these bits of advice to ensure a successful kitchen building project. Smart planning is the key to achieving your dream kitchen.

The Benefits Behind Restoring Old Buildings and Properties

Home Renovation in New ZealandIt’s sad to see many of the old buildings and properties are being completely demolished and being replaced by skyscrapers. Though there are practical and monetary reasons for such decisions, renovating a ruined residence or historical building has its advantages too. And the reasons involve a little more heart that profit.

Eco-Friendlier Options

Reviving an ancient structure is one of the best examples of recycling since it means making something new out of something old. Besides, building a new structure can add to construction waste and will require the use of a whole lot more resources and energy to complete than a restoration project. If worried about being “green” and eco-friendly, why not incorporate modern and eco-friendly features into the renovations?

Historical and Cultural Value

History is etched in every aged building and old residence and this will be completely erased if you replace it with a modern structure. True, many would argue that it would be cheaper and more profitable to destroy the old building and raise a new one, but the cultural and historical values of certain properties are considered priceless and unparalleled.

Tourist Attractions

These buildings can also be transformed into a tourist attraction. For those that can’t cut it as tourism spot, they can still be transformed into commercial properties that double as a heritage piece For these properties, you won’t need to keep everything inside the building as is. For dangerous stairs and lifts due to age, have a vertical transportation engineer look at options for modernising them. The same goes for any other feature inside the building that needs improvement.

With just the right experts and professionals to advice, help and guide you, any vintage acquisition can be revived into a liveable and functional edifice. The charm and grandeur of these old houses and buildings are worth preserving after all. Consider looking for the right people to do the job right and be ready to house your family or your company in a beautiful old building with character and history.

Water Softeners: What You Need to Know and How They Work

Water softeners in Salt Lake CityWater is by far one of the essential things every household should have. For the record, it should be clean, safe and potable. However, with the pollution happening across the country today, clean water is now scarce and hard to find. Hence, a lot of households choose to install certain water treatments.

One of the most common and popular water treatments used today are water softeners. Hard water may take a toll on a lot of things in the house including certain appliances. Water softeners counteract these bad effects, leaving you with safer, high quality and softer water.

What is Water Softening?

Water softening is a process wherein hard water is transformed into soft water, reducing its mineral contents. Hard water may contain certain minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfates, and bicarbonates. These minerals may take a toll on certain appliances and may lead to stains on your clothes, comfort room tiles or utensils. Soft water, on the other hand, contains none or just little amount of these minerals. Thus, water is cleaner and safer to use.

How Do Water Softeners Work?

Water softeners use a process dubbed as ion exchange to remove minerals dissolved in hard water. This will create water that is cleaner, safer and without any aftertaste. To do this, the water softener contains small plastic beads which are covered with ions of sodium. When the water flows through these beads or zeolite as many call them, there will be an exchange of places between the sodium and minerals.

Sometimes, water softeners may bog down every now and then or they may need regeneration. Water softener repair in Salt Lake City is available for services like these. It’s important to make sure your water softener system is functioning well so there will be no problem with your water supply.

Water softeners have a lot of benefits such as better hair care, better health for the family, improved functionality of certain appliances and cleaner countertops, among others. It’s important to note that the use of water softeners has been popular since everyone is now informed of the disadvantages of using hard water.