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Tips for Making the Most of Small, Built In Wardrobes

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Making the Most of Small, Built In Wardrobes

Regardless of the size of the residence, a common complaint for homeowners tends to be storage space. You always seem to be looking for more ways to store your items. This is especially true when it comes to clothes as you gradually accumulate them over the years. Short of having to sell them at a garage sale or opt to donate them, you could look for ways to enhance the storage space that you already have. If you are dealing with a small, built in wardrobe, you could consider these tips for making the most of the space available to you. Experiment with shelving heights Conventional wardrobes will typically have shelves of similar height. This may not be convenient as clothes do come in all sorts of sizes. A good idea would be to opt for minor renovations to your wardrobe so as to incorporate shelves of different heights. This will make it easier to store your clothes in accordance to the amount of space that they take. For instance, shirts will almost always take up less space than dresses. Thus, a higher shelving height for your dresses could complement a shorter shelf for your shirts. Go crazy with hooks Hooks can be a great addition to your built in wardrobe when it comes to maximising on space. The good news is that since these tend to be cheap, you can purchase as many as you need. Hooks can be used to store a variety of items ranging from ties, scarves, belts and more. This enables you to make use of the dead space on the doors of the wardrobe rather than have these items take up the space in your closet. Invest in dividers Dividers work toward segmenting your drawers. This is a great way of maximising on the space in your drawers. When you store different items in your drawers such as socks, stockings, lingerie and more, they tend to look messy. In addition, since these items are folded differently, chances are it will be a snug fit. To bypass all this, the dividers give each category of items their own space. This not only makes the drawers more organised, but it also makes it easier for them to fit. Install a shoe carousel Built in wardrobes will typically come with a shoe rack on the floor. Although this may seem like a convenient mode of storing your shoes, the rack does take up valuable space that you could use for other items. Instead, you should opt to have this removed and install a shoe carousel instead. This still allows your shoes to be organised, while leaving you extra floor room and height to use as you see...

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Split System Aircon | 4 Smart Steps to Prepare Your Outdoor Unit for Winter

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Split System Aircon | 4 Smart Steps to Prepare Your Outdoor Unit for Winter

A split system aircon consists of both an indoor cooling unit and outdoor condenser unit, acting as a lifesaver as it cools the home during the blazing hot Australian summers. When the cold temperatures of winter set in, you will no longer need your split systems. Harsh winter elements like rain and ice can damage and rust the outdoor unit, so you must find a way to protect it until summer arrives once again. Follow these protective steps to prepare your outdoor unit for enduring winter. Turn Off the Air Conditioning Circuit Before undertaking anything else, be sure to turn off the air conditioning circuit located near the outdoor unit. This usually has a metal or plastic lid covering, which needs to be opened to flip the switch off. This will prevent the air conditioning unit from turning on when it isn’t needed and will ensure that water from a running air conditioner doesn’t collect in the unit and freeze up. Clean the Air Conditioning Unit The outdoor unit of a split system aircon is subject to all kinds of natural weather elements. Apart from that, bird droppings, grime, leaves, debris and dead bugs can also settle on the unit, which will damage it over time. Hose down the unit to remove all kinds of dirt and debris, and allow it to dry completely before covering it up. Remove all the debris thoroughly, because they will damage and rust the unit over time. Cover the Air Conditioning Unit Cover the exterior exposed pipes with foam pipe covers to protect them from damage during heavy winds and rain. The foam covers will also provide adequate insulation to the pipes to prevent ice formations around them. Once you’ve covered the pipes, cover the entire unit with a strong vinyl or plastic waterproof cover. Make sure that the cover sits properly over the outdoor unit. Wrap the cover with bungee cords to keep it secure against the air conditioner. You’ll have to wrap the cover tightly to prevent it from flying away with heavy winds. This protective measure ensures that heavy winds and rains, which are common occurrences in winter, don’t damage your unit when it isn’t in use. Undertake Periodic Checks Every fortnight, be sure to check your outdoor unit to ensure that the cover remains secure and undamaged. Brush any ice and water off the unit and remove branches, twigs and leaves that may have seeped in through a loosened cover. Secure the cover tightly if it has come undone. These protective steps during winter will prolong the life of your split system aircon.  For more information, contact a local air conditioning company like ACSIS Airconditioning...

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Features to Consider For a New Dual Occupancy Design and Construction

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Features to Consider For a New Dual Occupancy Design and Construction

A good way to make money from rental properties is to have a dual occupancy design, which would mean a townhouse or duplex with more than one person living in the structure. You can earn the rent of two occupants while only paying property taxes on one building, making it a good financial investment.  If you acquire a dual occupancy design townhouse that is currently under construction, note a few features you’ll want to discuss with your contractor to ensure you can charge the most rent and have the happiest tenants. 1. Separate access While your dual occupancy home may not be able to have two separate driveways if the garages are built in the middle of the home or city codes don’t allow it, consider what you can do to separate the access of the home for each occupant. This will ensure no one parks their car in the way of their neighbor’s access to the home. You might request that the contractor widen the driveway and then split it with a landscaping feature or other barrier so each occupant can stay on their own side of the access easily and not block their neighbor. 2. Separate outdoor space If the new construction you’re considering is a duplex, consider adding a privacy fence in the back to split the outdoor space and allow each tenant to enjoy their space separate from their neighbors. A chain link fence won’t allow for privacy and a good separation of space, so invest in something solid and that marks off each side of the property. If possible, build the outdoor patios and decks on separate sides of the home for added privacy and enjoyment for your tenants while they’re outside.  3. Sound barriers A home builder that specializes in dual occupancy buildings will have suggestions for how to increase sound insulation in each unit, and it’s good to invest in the best sound insulation choices you can. This can mean blown foam insulation rather than fiberglass, as the foam can fill in every crack behind the walls and absorb sound waves better than fiberglass. This also might include thicker drywall on the walls that connect the two areas of occupancy, and double or triple glazed windows that keep sound inside one space and block sound waves from entering from outside. The more sound insulation and barriers you include in your dual occupancy design, the happier your tenants will be...

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Common Causes of Air Conditioner Problems

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Causes of Air Conditioner Problems

The air conditioner is an essential module in a residential building because it allows cooling, ventilation and even heating. When the system is operating optimally, you will enjoy proper functionality and relatively low electricity bills. On the other hand, if the air conditioner malfunctions, it will result in poor operation and high costs in terms of repairs and energy bills. Therefore, it is important for you to understand the root of common problems such as unstable temperatures, failure to turn on, increased energy demands and even strange noises. Here are the primary causes of most air conditioner problems. Refrigerant Leaks The refrigerant is the compound that allows heat exchange in the air conditioning system. It absorbs heat from the interior spaces and dissipates it through the outdoor units. In addition, it cools the air flowing into the home and consequently regulates the temperatures. If the system is no longer cooling your building effectively, there might be a refrigerant leak. This is caused by a perforation or a tear in the tubes which allow the flow of the fluid. It is crucial to engage a serviceperson for repairs if your refrigerant-charged system is experiencing this type of problem. In a ducted central air conditioner, lack of cooling could also indicate a leak in the air ducts so ask the repair experts to scrutinise the system for other problems. Electric Control Failure The electrical system is responsible for powering the air conditioner; therefore, its failure will cause appliance malfunction. The fans and other moving components in the AC unit are susceptible to wearing out when the system is forced to shut down and turn on the power frequently. In simple terms, the air conditioner operates intermittently to keep the temperatures consistent. If the system is oversized, the electrical flow will have to be interrupted repeatedly, leading to a breakdown. Problems can also arise from the corrosion of wires and damage of terminals so check the condition of these elements if you suspect the issue is electrical. Poor Maintenance Maintenance is essential in promoting proper functionality of every air conditioning system. Unfortunately, most homeowners neglect important servicing tasks until the units finally break down. You can eliminate the need for extensive repairs by changing the filters to promote proper air flow. If these are clogged they will cause the system to work harder and strain. You should also wipe the AC coils to promote proper heat exchange between the air and refrigerant. Visit a site like to learn more about AC servicing. You should always engage a licensed repair professional for the repair tasks to avoid mediocre...

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How To Fit A Belfast Sink

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Fit A Belfast Sink

A traditional, ceramic Belfast or butler sink can be a real aesthetic focal point in a newly renovated kitchen.  Belfast sinks look great in a country-style kitchen and can be bought new from kitchen retailers or picked up more cheaply from antique fairs or reclamation yards.  This is not a project for a beginner and would best suit those with some DIY and woodworking skills.  If you’re unsure of what you’re doing, you’re best advised to consult a professional installation contractor, such as Wallspan Kitchens & Wardrobes.  The whole job should take you a day to complete. Here’s how to fit and install your Belfast sink. What to do First of all, make sure that the existing pipework and plumbing will comfortably reach the site for your new sink.  You may find that you have to extend the hot and cold pipes and the waste disposal system pipework in order to comfortably accommodate the new sink.  Carry out any necessary alterations to the pipework before you begin the installation.   Because of its weight, a correctly-fitted Belfast sink should have an overhang to the front and rear of at least 10mm.  When making the cut-out in the work surface where the sink is to sit, ensure that it’s deep enough to allow the top of the front top edge of the sink to overhang by half the thickness of width of the sink wall.  This ensures that the sink is adequately supported and stable in the work surface.   The cut-out must be accurate.  Rather than using a jigsaw for this job, use jigs and a router to get a more precise result.  (Jigs and routers are electronically-powered woodworking tools used for cabinet-making tasks like hollowing out and planing).   When assembling the rails and supports, remember to allow at least a 5mm gap between the edges of the sink and end walls to allow for expansion.  It’s a good idea to have a trial run and fit everything together roughly before fixing it permanently into place.   When you’re happy that everything fits correctly, fit the under-sink rails and work surface supports beneath the cut-out, ensuring that all the incumbent fittings are in the correct position. Use beaded silicone to fix the sink to the base unit and allow the fixing to set.  It’s best to allow at least 24 hours for the silicone to completely ‘go off’.   Re-connect all the pipework, making sure that the cold and hot water pipes are connected to the correct taps.   Finally, take the aerator off the tap and flush the system by turning on the water at the shut off valves.  Allow the water to run for a few minutes then reconnect the...

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5 Options To Enhance the Privacy of Your Patio

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Options To Enhance the Privacy of Your Patio

In Australia an outdoor area such as a patio is the perfect way to entertain friends and family while providing the space to enjoy a flexible indoor/outdoor living lifestyle. Privacy is a key consideration when designing a liveable patio solution, especially as blocks are becoming smaller and new homes are built closer together. To prevent your patio being overlooked by neighbouring homes and those from the street, these five options all offer varying levels of privacy, with a number of different designs to suit different home styles.  1. Privacy Screens Privacy screens are among the most popular option to add privacy. Depending on the style of screen chosen they usually include timber or aluminium slats. These slats vary in width, but are usually between 3-5cm, with about the same size gap to allow light and air to pass through. There are also privacy screens with no gaps between slats but instead with adjustable louvres. These allow homeowners the flexibility of opening or closing slats, similar to Venetian style blinds. Bi-folding shutter-style solutions that can be pulled back or partially closed are another option. Privacy screens are available in a number of colours and often are used in modern properties. 2. Latticework Latticework is a crisscross pattern of timber strips in a diagonal pattern, but it may be also available from other materials. Lattices can suit many different styles of traditional homes, especially heritage or plantation style homes, raised Queenslander homes and workers cottages. Often latticework is heavy in its appearance, but it provides a high level of privacy and a natural look with pine being one of the most affordable types of timber to use. Be sure to use treated timber to prevent fungal growth when wet and to deter termites. One of the other benefits of latticework is that it can be used in conjunction with climbing plants such as jasmine or bougainvillea as a way to decorate and add additional privacy to a patio. 3. Privacy Sails Shade sails are one of the most inexpensive ways to provide a high level of privacy, while still allowing enough transparency for light to pass through. They are usually made from a tightly woven synthetic fabric. As well as being stretched across the side or front of the patio to add privacy from neighbours, sails can also be used as a roof to provide shade in uncovered patios but will not provide shelter from wet weather. 4. Trees and Shrubs Trees may take time to grow but can be a completely natural way to block unwanted views and also shield your home from prevailing winds. Trees and shrubs can also help to provide a natural shade and cooling solution for the patio area and other areas of the home. Be sure to consider roots, soil type and the adult size of the tree so there is sufficient room for growth. 5. Privacy Walls Of course if you want to block out neighbouring homes completely and ‘build in’ part of the patio, a custom constructed privacy wall may be the best permanent solution to enclose one end or section of the patio. These can be made from a number of materials, with masonry solutions such as retaining walls some of the most attractive, but also the most expensive. Brick walls may...

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What To Consider When Designing Your Ducted Vacuum System

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Consider When Designing Your Ducted Vacuum System

Ducted vacuums system is an exciting product to have. It works differently from other vacuums since you don’t have to drag a bulky vacuum along as you work, it’s installed throughout the house and it offers more subtle function thanks to a discreetly tucked-away motor. If you’re planning to get a ducted vacuum system for your home, it’s important to make sure you tailor your product as per your home layout. To do so, you need to evaluate a several factors: How many inlets do you need? The number of inlets you choose for your ducted system is very important. That’s because you need to ensure the inlets you choose service the entire house perfectly. If you choose too many inlets, you’ll end up installing more ducts and that will raise your installation costs. To determine the inlets you need, you first need to map your entire floor space. Large rooms like the living room can have a dedicated inlet. However, smaller rooms like bedrooms can be served one inlet located close by on the corridor. You should strive to keep your inlets as few as possible but enough so that you can clean each part of your house easily and without needing a very long hose. What motor size is right for your home? Next, you also need to evaluate the size of motor you need. Ducted vacuum motors are available in different sizes. Larger motors provide more suction power. However, they also consume more power. You therefore need to find the right balance so that your ducted motor is large enough to suck dirt from all the inlets but is not too large such that it’s consuming too much energy. An installation technician can advice on the appropriate size (usually rated in Airwatts) after inspecting the size of your home. Bagged or bag-less vacuum? Size aside, ducted motors also collect dirt differently. Some feature dust bags while others (bag-less) use filters. Each offers different maintenance needs. With the former, you need to empty the bag periodically. With the latter, you need to clean the filters and replace. Self-cleaning filters that need less maintenance are also available. If torn between the two, you can choose a motor with both options and later test which works best for you. Choosing your accessories Once you have chosen your motor and mapped where to install your inlets, all that remains is to choose the accessories. First up is the inlet. You can get these in different colors to accentuate your walls. You can also install floor-mounted inlets ‘vacpans’ which let you sweep and remove dirt from the floors through the vacuum system. Next, choose a hose set that best suits your needs. Here, you get to choose the hose length you need plus different brush types e.g. carpet brushes, tile brushes and even mattress or sofa vacuum brushes. Once done, you can now have your unit installed as you wait to use your powerful, light and contemporary cleaning...

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Tips For Choosing Blind and Curtain Fabric

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Choosing Blind and Curtain Fabric

The choice of materials available for blinds and curtains can be overwhelming.  If you’re struggling to decide what to use, here are a few tips to help you make a decision. Location, location The location of the window will have a big influence on the type of fabric you choose.  If the window is exposed to bright sunlight for much of the day, you might want to choose a thick fabric, like damask for instance, that will block out the sun and protect your furniture and carpets from fading.  Alternatively, you may prefer a lighter-weight material that will give you privacy but still allow the light in.  Be careful if you decide to use silk, as prolonged exposure to sunlight could cause this natural material to rot over time.  You can protect silk curtains and blinds from sun damage by lining them with cotton which is more robust. If the window is situated in an exposed position, where it’s prone to letting in draughts, choose a heavy-weight fabric.  Draught-excluding materials are available for both blinds and curtains, or alternatively, use heavy-weight cotton to line a light-weight fabric. Lastly, give consideration to the style and look of the room.  Plain, block colours will look better against contemporary décor and furnishings, whereas cheerful chintz would complement a country-style room. A good tip is to obtain samples of potential fabrics.  Hold the sample up to the window to see just how much light it lets through.  See how the material’s colour and texture works against the other elements of décor in the room before you make a final decision.  Curtains, blinds or a combination of both Whether you choose curtains or blinds is partly a matter of taste and partly down to practicality.  For example, blinds work better in kitchens and bathrooms because you can choose special water-resistant materials that won’t bubble, fade or shrink in steamy conditions.    Some fabrics work better for blinds than for curtains.  For example, heavy cotton material will stay in shape perfectly in a Roman blind, but a lighter fabric will lose its form over time and won’t hang straight. Another consideration when choosing fabric is whether to go for a plain or a patterned look.  If you have a small window, don’t choose a large pattern. You won’t be able to see enough of it, and consequently, the window dressing might look too small and out of place.  A good look for large windows is a combination of patterned curtains with a colour-coordinated, plain Roman blind placed behind them.  How much you have to spend Your choice of fabric for your window dressings will depend, to an extent, on the budget you have available.  There’s no doubt that blinds are the cheaper option, as less material is needed to make them. The cost of curtains can be reduced by using a cheaper fabric but lining it with good quality cotton or silk to give the finished item a more luxurious feel.  Buy a small amount of expensive fabric in coordinating colours and use it to make accessories like cushion covers or bolsters instead. There are many things to take into consideration when choosing fabric for your blinds or curtains.  Think about the purpose of the window dressing, the style that you’d like to use and...

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Home Security Upgrade: Reinforcing the Vulnerable Access Points

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Home Security Upgrade: Reinforcing the Vulnerable Access Points

The security status of your home should be assessed periodically to ensure that the property is sufficiently safeguarded. In addition, it is important to upgrade the security measures because the defence strategies and locking gadgets can become obsolete with time. This will protect you from unscrupulous intruders such as burglars and robbers. There are different access points into a residential building, and these are viewed as opportunities by people seeking to gain unauthorized access. Here is a list of the most vulnerable parts of the house and some tips on increasing the security. Front Door The front door is vulnerable to infiltration by burglars, particularly when you are absent. If your exterior residential door has a weak lock, an intruder will be able to pick it and gain access to your home without drawing attention. You should examine your existing door lock and consult your locksmith for thorough assessment. There are different types of front door locks in the security market so you will be spoilt for choice. One of the best products in terms of durability, reliability and general security is the deadbolt lock. You can also install keyless entry locks which require fingerprint access, combination code or a card for access. Back and Side Doors The entrances facing the side and backyards are very susceptible to attacks by burglars because they are not easily visible. Moreover, examine any specialty doors such as sliding glass doors for any apparent weakness. If you find the measures lacking, you should ask your locksmith to install a one-sided deadbolt on these doors. This will limit access from outside because the lock is only accessible from inside the house. In addition, you should consider installing floodlights, preferably motion-activated ones. This will serve to deter burglars at night and increase the feeling of security within the house. Windows The windows are overlooked by many homeowners because they seem to be out of reach. This can be a very costly mistake in relation to personal safety and the security of assets. If you have old windows which are vulnerable to breakage, you should consider replacing or repairing them. If possible, install safety glass because it resists mechanical impact better than normal float glass. In addition, install secure locks or upgrade the existing ones on all your windows. It is also advisable to make certain that the locks are visible because this can discourage intruders. Choosing the right product can be challenging, so you should consult your locksmith for technical advice. For more information, contact a business such as Nelson...

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How to Remodel Your Bathroom for Effortless Cleaning

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Remodel Your Bathroom for Effortless Cleaning

You know what style you want, you know what colours you’re after, and you’re pretty well set on whether to include a rubber duck. However, you might not have considered the way in which your bathroom renovation will affect your cleaning time. It isn’t something that people commonly take into account when they’re picking taps and inspecting baths, but it’s well worth thinking about. After all, a few changes could mean a lot less time scrubbing. Read this article for a few ideas.  Install Wall-Mounted Fixtures and Faucets Cleaning around the bottom of the toilet and sink is one of the nastiest jobs that comes with bathroom cleaning. Wouldn’t it be great if you could skip that step altogether? Good news: you can. Simply pick wall-mounted sinks and toilets. They don’t connect to the floor at all, so no grime can build up at the edges. Instead you’ll have an unbroken floor area – much easier to clean. You should also consider installing wall-mounted taps. Taps mounted directly on the sink or bath are extremely difficult to clean. Mounting them to the wall will make it far easier to clean both them and the bath or sink beneath. Use Larger Tiles on the Floor Bigger tiles make a room appear larger and more open, so they’re often used in modern bathroom designs. Of course, you might fancy laying down lots of smaller tiles instead, but you should stop to consider how this will affect your cleaning schedule. Put simply, more tiles equal more grout lines. Since larger tiles obviously cover a larger surface area, you’ll use far less grouting when you lay them down, and that means metres and metres of extra lines which you don’t need to laboriously scrub clean each week.  Even if you don’t want to abandon your smaller tiles, consider only using them as accents for larger ones. Open Up Your Storage Space Like taps and fixtures, shelves are also easy to lift off the floor for quicker cleaning. You should also think about removing the doors and making shelves as open as possible. Bathroom cabinets quickly become filled with a multitude of items, many of which should just have been thrown away. The bathroom might look cleaner, but that mess is still there. Using an open storage solution, such as shelves or door-less cabinets, helps stop you and your family from filling them up with useless junk, since everything is on display. It’s also far easier to wipe down an open shelf than it is to get into the nooks and crannies of a closed-off cabinet.  Make these changes when remodelling your bathroom, and you’ll be able to spend more time soaking in the tub and less time scouring the floor. For more information, contact local contracts that specialize in bathroom...

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