For any gate, you’ll have a variety of styles and materials to choose from. Will timber, bamboo, metal, aluminium or wrought iron complement your home and landscaping best? Do you want a decorative gate or do you prefer a modern, minimalist design? Or you may want to think outside the box and have your gate custom designed.
Do you want your gate to obscure what lies behind it or entice visitors to come inside for a closer look? Timber slats can be closely spaced to obscure your driveway or spaced widely apart to give a glimpse of your home design and landscaping.
Your driveway gate may be there to protect your car from thieves or simply to keep neighbourhood children from wandering on to your property. You will want a sturdy gate, but may not want it to block the view of your house or prevent cool breezes from circulating. If that’s the case, you might want to consider having a metal driveway gate installed. To make entering and exiting your driveway
You need more room for your family, entertaining guests or your personal enjoyment. The problem is that you don’t want to go through the time and expense of adding on a room or extending an existing room. Extending your living space with a decking area may be just the solution you’re looking for.
We often think of a deck as an area we use for relaxing in good weather. With a little planning and some relatively inexpensive renovations, a decking area can become an integral part of your home. What are the steps you need to take to get that extra living space you’re looking for? It depends on your budget, but there are some essentials you don’t want to overlook:
- The decking should be directly outside of the living space you want to extend.
- You should have easy and direct access to the decking area.
- You should be able to eliminate barriers between your living space and your decking area
These are the essentials, but you may also want to consider building a cover over your
You see an ad for inexpensive “security doors.” Is the door really a security door or is the advertiser stretching the truth? Unfortunately, not all security doors provide you with the protection from intruders you may need. You will have to pay more for a real security door, but if it’s security you’re looking for, you won’t be wasting your money.
What is a Security Door?
There are no strict laws surrounding the term “security door.” If it looks like a security door, it can be advertised as such, even if an intruder could get past it in minutes. A real security door has to pass two Australian Standards: AS5039-2008 and AS5040 (the standard for installation). Look for AS5039-2008 on any security door you purchase and have it professionally installed to be sure it conforms to the Australian Standard for installation.
Types of Security Doors
Security doors can be little more than decorative doors that protect you from “intrusions” by flies only or they can provide you with real protection against intruders.
Are you looking for a stylish and unique driveway, patio or other outdoor surface? If you are, you want to know about decorative concrete stencilling services. What is concrete stencilling? What effects can be achieved? Read on and learn more about this increasingly popular process.
What is Concrete Stencilling?
Concrete stencilling is a concrete resurfacing process that involves the use of stencils to create unique patterns in a concrete surface. In most cases, one base colour will be used. This predominant colour will cover the bulk of the area, but other colours can be used to create a pattern or design in concrete.
The process begins with choosing your design. Then the concreters prepare the old or new concrete surface for the stencilled pattern. Surface preparation is an important part of the process because it enables the coloured concrete to firmly adhere to the base concrete.
Stencilling can be flat, but concreters often use a stamping technique to give the surface depth. When this is done by experts, it’s difficult to tell the difference between a stencilled surface and pavers or natural stone.
Concrete Stencil Design Ideas
You can leave
The various health risks associated with being overweight or obese are well known, but a new study now suggests that this extra weight may also make your annual flu shot less effective.
What’s more, obese and overweight people may be at higher risk for more severe illness if they do catch the flu, according to the findings published online Oct. 25 in the International Journal of Obesity.
Flu vaccines work by causing protective antibodies to develop in the body. In the study, obese, overweight and healthy weight individuals all developed antibodies to flu viruses within the first month after vaccination, but the antibody levels in the blood waned more rapidly among obese and overweight individuals.
Specifically, there was a fourfold decrease in antibody levels 11 months after vaccination in half of the obese patients, compared to one month post-vaccination. By contrast, less than 25 percent of healthy weight participants showed this degree of decrease in their antibody levels after 11 months, the researchers found.
In addition, a type of white blood cell called CD8+ T-cells, which play a key role in priming the body’s immune system, doesn’t work properly in heavier people. When vaccination
Become an Owner Builder
If you have time and some necessary carpentry skills, you can become an owner builder and potentially save 25 to 35 percent on construction costs.
Start by researching owner builder regulations in your area. You may have to attend classes and/or pass a test to get an owner builder permit, but once you have your permit, you can do much of the work yourself. You will need to hire and electrician and plumber for those essential jobs, but may be able to do the bulk of the building work yourself or with the help of a qualified carpenter.
A granny flat doesn’t have to be a large structure, but it requires certain elements to qualify as a granny flat. Read Getting Approval to Build a Granny Flat for details about the approval process. You will need to get a building permit, so don’t skimp on detailed drawings by a qualified drafter. The drawings will help speed up the approval process and provide you with a construction blueprint to work with.
Get Quotes for Sheds
You can build your granny flat from scratch, but don’t rule out getting quotes from
1 Small room? Make it white
It’s true that white can lighten and brighten a room, giving the illusion of space. Yes, darker colours will have the opposite effect, but they can also give a dramatic lift to the space – not to mention turning it into on that you love and will want to spend more time in. And if the room is tiny anyway (say a hallway bathroom or guest room) then adding a moody hue is unlikely to make it appear any smaller.
2 Small room, small furniture
They say only small furniture should be in a small space, and bigger pieces must only be placed in large rooms. But that’s not necessarily true.
Turns out, you can place one big piece of furniture in a small room. The effect? It anchors the space. Just be sure to balance it with smaller pieces.
3 Everything must match
We don’t know where this rule originated, but it’s definitely one to ignore. Who said furniture should match? Certainly, if you want a home that looks like it’s been lifted out of a catalogue, then match away. But arguably
The history of plywood dates back to ancient Egypt. It all but disappeared until it started being commercially manufactured in Western countries. In Australia, plywood was first manufactured in 1907 and became widely used until veneered MDF (medium density fibreboard) came into vogue. While plywood is still used extensively in many building applications, it was largely overlooked as a DIY building material until recently.
Plywood is back in the spotlight. Inexpensive, relatively easy to work with, strong and uniquely attractive, there are dozens of ways you can use plywood in your home. If you’re handy with common tools and prepared for some work, working with plywood can be a viable DIY project. If you’d rather let the pros handle the work, here are some ideas to discuss with your builder, cabinet maker or kitchen cabinet maker.
Plywood Shelves and Shelving Units
Plywood is ideal for building shelves and shelving units. Even the edge of some types of plywood have an attractive layered look, so depending on the look you are trying to achieve, you may not even have to apply edging. Very wide shelves or shelves that have to carry a lot of weight may
Do you have unused roof space? Then why not transform it into something truly beautiful and functional with a rooftop garden?
Whether you make an edible garden, or one that’s just for show, here are our top ideas for creating a rooftop garden:
1 Involve a professional
Creating a rooftop garden isn’t a simple weekend DIY project. You’ll need to do proper preparation and planning, as well as ensure effective water flow and other essential elements. So if you’re not experienced in the area, it could be well worth your while to hire a professional landscaping and gardening expert to help.
2 Make it edible
If your property lacks space outdoors to plant a veggie garden, take it to the roof! You’ll need to do some research into the best fruits and vegetables to grow up high depending on the climate and environment where you live, and then it’s simply a matter of designing the space and planting your edibles.
Done properly, you’ll then have a rooftop greengrocer for your healthy eating year-round.
3 Rooftop resort
Why not turn your rooftop into a holiday that feels far
If you’re thinking of installing a shed, you have a variety of sheds to choose from, but most sheds have one thing in common. Before you erect a shed, you will probably need to have a concrete slab poured for it to rest on. How much is the slab going to add to the cost of your shed?
How Concretors Calculate Their Rates
Concretors will give you per square metre rates, but the same concreter will charge different per metre rates for different jobs. Why don’t they charge a flat rate? If they did charge a flat rate for every job, sometimes the client would pay too much and sometimes the concretor would lose money. Square metre rates are calculated according to the job to make pricing fair for everyone. Some of the factors that affect a job’s rate include:
- The thickness of the slab
- The size of the job
- Whether the surface is flat or sloping
- Access issues
- Your location
Most sheds are relatively small and are located at the rear of the property. For a concretor, this means they have to take travel and set up time into consideration. While they might be able to pour
You want to own a swimming pool but can’t afford an inground pool. The solution may be an above ground pool. Above ground pools can be much less expensive than inground pools and in some cases, DIY installation is possible. How hard is it to install an above ground pool? How much does installation cost?
Above Ground Pool Installation: A Brief Guide
Many above ground pools are designed for DIY installation. Installation instructions vary depending on the pool you buy, but ground preparation is an important part of the process. The ground must be firm, smooth and weed-free. To ensure weeds don’t return, many above ground pool suppliers sell special herbicides that do not harm the pool shell.
While installing an above ground pool is relatively easy, you need more than just a pool. If your pool is deeper than 300 mm, you will probably need:
- Council approval
- Registration is required in NSW
- Pool fencing is required by law in most of Australia
If you are installing a larger above ground pool, you will also need to provide access to the pool and may want to build decking around your pool. You will also need
Having a happy and harmonious household is all about habits. The systems you set up can help create comfort and convenience…and that means fewer arguments about who put what where!
To get started, try these healthy habits at home:
1 Set up a cleaning schedule
Download or create a cleaning checklist for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks – to keep your home fresh and free from allergens and bacteria.
Allocate tasks to everyone in the household, and set up a reward system for the little ones so they have an added incentive to pitch in.
Regular cleaning is sure to have everyone feeling and breathing better.
2 Declutter, organise, store
It’s hard to clean a cluttered home. So go through each space and only keep things you use or love. It can be hard at first to get rid of things, but the results can be liberating and help you fall in love with your home all over again.
Hire a professional organiser or ask friends and family to help sort items to keep, sell, donate, recycle, or bin. Go through the process every few months.
One: Focus on the Location
Where will you be installing your kitchen tiles? If you’re installing tiles behind your cooktop, they will will need frequent cleaning. Choose tiles that can stand up to grease and are easy to clean. If you’re choosing a plain colour, a glossy tile might be a good choice. If you want decorative tiles, you still want non-porous tiles that you can easily wipe clean.
Two: Consider the Style
Is your kitchen a modern or traditional style kitchen? Do you like the minimalist look or do you want splashes of colour? Do you want feature tiles or do you want to stick with one colour? Have a look at our Kitchen Design Ideas pages for inspiration.
Three: Think About Tile Sizes and Shapes
You have a variety of tile shapes and sizes to choose from today. You can choose tiny mosaics or large format wall tiles. Tiles are generally square or rectangular, but you’re not limited to a “straight lay” with parallel and perpendicular grout lines. Let’s say you’ve decided to stick with white, cream or a neutral colour. Which size and shape will work best
When most people talk about home improvement projects, return on investment (ROI) is often mentioned in the same breath. This is an eye-opening thought to many homeowners who have never considered that certain types of remodels actually add value to a home. However, there are also home improvement projects that literally pay for themselves by lowering bills.
Much of ROI depends on the market, and not just the current real estate market, but the specific area where you live. Certain cities are on the decline, while certain neighborhoods in those cities continue to rise. The point is if you are looking only at ROI, there are many factors involved, but if you are looking for upgrades that will quickly and permanently save money, there are plenty of items that can save you money no matter what market you live in.
If you don’t have one, get one. If you absolutely must to have the top of the line model, it will set you back $150, but many cost as little as $72 to install. These devices can be programmed to heat or cool specific sections of your house, not to mention they can be
The recession has lowered prices in nearly every sector of the economy, including home remodeling costs. Like many businesses, many remodeling contractors are just trying to stay in business during these lean times, offering low bids that drive down prices industry-wide. At the same time, the cost of common remodeling materials such as lumber, aluminum, and stone are also decreasing as unsold inventories build and manufacturing costs decrease. Yet, these declining costs are the natural and indirect effects of the recession more than they are a sign of a burst home remodeling bubble. As such, it won’t take much of an economic recovery to see a return of rising home remodeling costs.
How Recent Home Remodeling Costs Compare to Inflation
Of course, it comes as no surprise that the cost of home remodels increases year over year. That’s the nature of inflation, but a look at the numbers shows that average home remodeling costs are increasing at a faster rate than inflation—in some cases substantially faster. These average remodeling costs are provided by Remodeling Magazine‘s annual Cost vs. Value Report. General inflation was determined using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator.
In the past, the bathroom has been thought of as a strictly utilitarian space. You get in, take care of your business and get out. But these days, savvy homeowners are taking another look at the bathroom and finding it’s a great place to bring quality of life into the home. Bathroom design these days blends both form and function to create a space where you can relax in a spa.
Showers and Baths
The shower or bathtub is a great place to start your bathroom project. A large whirlpool bathtub is beautiful and luxurious. Manufacturers now make them in all sizes and shapes, with massaging jets, headrests, footrests, lumbar support—you name it. On the other hand, if your space is limited, stand-alone showers have come a long way. The latest trend is multiple showerheads for a more relaxing experience. “Rain” overhead showerheads are also very popular and can provide an instant upgrade for your bathroom without a whole lot of hassle.
Traditional porcelain tile is durable, straightforward and sensible, but these days, ceramic and stone are the materials of choice. Consider not only color but texture, too. Laminate wood flooring is a popular option
You guessed it. Heated towel bars are racks that warm up your towels. You may have seen them in fancy hotel rooms or when you’re spending a day at the spa. And though they sound like a high-end product made only to indulge and pamper, they also serve more practical purposes. And if used in the right way, they can even help you save some money on energy bills.
Although it’s certainly nice to have a warm towel when you get out of the shower, especially on those cold winter mornings, a heated towel bar can produce more than its fair share of real work. These units are extremely energy efficient and safe, so most of the time they are left on 24-hours a day (though they come with timers and on/off switches, of course). Why do this? Well, it costs about the same as lighting a light bulb. But the real beauty is that they can act as a low-impact heating unit for the home. They’re great for warming up cold bathrooms, which tend to chill off quickly with their tile and porcelain surfaces. And heated towel bars can also dry out the humid
The Olympics have long been the premiere place for the best athletes from around the world to come together, compete, and publicly represent their countries in sport. While every individual athlete competing in Beijing this year has worked hard to get to where he or she is, in the end, there are a few clear winners that stand above the others. In the home improvement industry, the competition is a little less intense, but when it comes to picking the right project for your home, identifying a “winner” can mean the difference between mediocre results and an improvement that’s worth every penny.
Siding and Window Replacement: A Clear Winner
There are nearly as many Olympic contestants as there are home improvement projects, but only a few of them are good enough to get a medal. When it comes to your home, window replacement and siding replacement are two of the best performers out there, and each will make a big difference in how your home functions, as well as how it looks. The area of the country you live in will have some bearing on which windows and siding are right for you, but when the outside
Every family has to deal with hectic morning rituals. Wake up the kids, get them showered, get them dressed, get them fed, and get them out the door—all this hassle just to get ready for the day. And if you have teenagers, it’s a whole new level of chaos. But the one room in the house that gets fought over the most is the bathroom. Everyone needs to use it at the exact same time, and it can be the cause of many arguments. If any of this sounds familiar, you may want to think about a joint resolution: Jack and Jill bathrooms.
Separate but Equal
A Jack and Jill bathroom is often defined as a shared bathroom that adjoins two separate bedrooms. They are often popular among larger families who have more than one child. It would be nice for everyone in the house to have their own place to get ready, but installing a full bath for each person in the house is expensive. And in big families, cutting down on household costs is essential. Therefore, these shared bathrooms offer full privacy when needed but can open up the space when busy schedule’s demand it.
When Kevin and Teresa Rose throw a party, it’s no small affair. That’s why, when it came to their dream of a 400-square-foot elevated deck for their country home outside Philadelphia, they couldn’t leave it to an average contractor.
Frustrated with a pair of less-than-stellar meetings with deck builders, Kevin turned to HomeAdvisor, where he found Erik Walz at Matthew Ryan Home Improvements, LLC, which has offices in Feasterville, Pa., and Cherry Hill, N.J. After one meeting, he knew he’d found the right resource.
“After we had agreed on a basic design and price, they asked us to describe our vision for entertaining on the deck,” Kevin said. “When I told them we’d had over 100 people at our last outdoor party, they immediately started talking about increasing the number of supports a deck of this size would typically have to make sure it would be secure. And they didn’t charge more for that.”
The new deck, built with composite materials for low maintenance and long life, was not a simple project. Attached to a walkout-style home rising three stories in back, the deck would be 10 feet above ground level. In