Your Electrical Appliances

Electrical Appliances

Life has been made so easy for us these days. It all started with that guy Edison turning on the lights in New York city about 135 years ago. We suddenly had electricity and that was the beginning of the end of the dark ages – literally. That was also the beginning of the technicians that learnt and worked with electricity – electricians. It’s all very well having great technical advances but almost everything is run by electricity and when stuff goes wrong, we need expert help to get things fixed.

Vacuum Cleaner
It all started with the foot in the door salesman spilling a heap of trash on your carpet, then turning on the cleaner, which sounded like an old Boeing 707 starting its jets, and then sucking up all the spilled mess like magic. Now, we have robot vacuums which not only clean your floors automatically but are a source of great enjoyment for cats to ride on and get filmed for YouTube. Regardless of the style and fancy attachments, when it stops, call an electrician.

Microwave
Gone are the days of cutting firewood, lighting the fire in the stove, and cooking your food. Keeping the home fires burning made sure you had hot water and a hot house, even in the midst of summer. Now, you open your microwave, adjust your settings and you can reheat leftovers, cook a whole chicken, and explode eggs, popcorn and small animals, if that’s your thing! When the microwaves stop waving – call an electrician.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Always Have Fire Protection Gear On Your Premises

Fire Protection

If you are the owner or manager of a business or a commercial building, you have a few responsibilities under Australian law. The most important of these is to ensure the safety of your employees, customers and any others in and around your building. Fires present a significant risk to workplace safety, which means that you should always take appropriate precautions – such as installing fire extinguishers – to reduce the risk of fire damage.

However, fire protection equipment comes in a lot of different forms, not just as fire extinguishers. Depending on the type of business you have, you should consider installing things like fire alarm systems, hydrants, fire blankets and fire hoses. Some of the reasons why you should always have fire protection gear on your premises include:

  1. Fires Can Be Dangerous, And Potentially Fatal

Fires have the potential to be deadly, especially when they aren’t managed properly. A fire in a workshop or office setting is always unexpected, and it is important to be able to react quickly and cooly to make sure that preventable damage or injury doesn’t occur.

A fast response to a fire can be aided by making sure that your building contains the most up to date fire protection equipment, and that your staff and team members are trained to use it fast and efficiently. If someone is injured because of lax preparation, you, the business owner or manager, will be held responsible.

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Spectacular Bathroom Basin

Bathroom Basin

These days, with a greater emphasis on personal grooming than there may have been in the past – we are spending increasing amounts of time in the bathroom. Homeowners usually don’t need too much persuading that they should give some thought to decorating their bathroom, but the questions that then arise are ‘how?’ or ‘what bathroom decorating themes should I employ?’ and will I need a plumber?

Modern (Contemporary) Bathroom Décor
Contemporary bathroom décor is best characterized by its clean lines and gleaming surfaces. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that this type of décor is more commonly found in your modern urban apartments. Stainless steel fixtures such as –
• basins
• mirrored cabinets
• bathrooms
• shower walls
• taps

All feature heavily in contemporary bathroom decor and are available in a wide variety of shapes. Glass and ceramic fixtures are also very popular these days. Lighting also plays an important part in the bathroom with fixtures ranging from simple to funky and available in all colors, shapes and styles.

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5 Things to Do Before Moving

moving-into-new-office

Moving to new business premises can be a stressful process, and it’s one that takes far more planning than a standard house move. You often have to factor in the needs of several different staff members, plan the new floor area, and then pack up hundreds of items. This is all before the removalists even arrive! Because it’s such a hectic time, it’s no surprise that very few businesses actively choose to move if they can avoid it.

However, if the time has come to relocate your business to smaller or larger premises, there are several things you and your staff must do to make the process go as smoothly as possible. If you can avoid letting your stress levels peak, there’s every reason to do so. We’ve outlined five things to do before moving offices below.

  1. Have a clear-out

Every office has a room that no one uses or even enters. It’s that room filled with odds and ends, outdated software, old fax machines, filing cabinets, and broken chairs. It’s a dark and dingy space with floppy discs lining the shelves, and a flickering light that makes it seem all a bit spooky. While you avoid that place, except to discard your broken furniture, it’s now time to clear it out.

Have all heads of departments take a walk through their own areas to determine what needs to be thrown out, and what can be sold before the removalists arrive. Anything not of use to anyone both in your current premises and your new one can be discarded. By removing all the unnecessary clutter, you’re saving time and money with your removalist company, while also ensuring you go into your new premises with a clean slate.

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Add Value with Timber Flooring

Timber Flooring

With good home design, timber flooring not only looks great in your home, but adds significant value. It is so hard-wearing that it’s more than likely it will outlast the residents! Unlike carpets which retain dust, they are far easier to keep clean, and as a result, they are a good choice for allergy sufferers.

When a homeowner chooses timber flooring, they end up with the most beautiful and long-lasting floor that adds value to the home, be it a new one you are building or an old one you are renovating. The timber comes in many different shades and hues so matching with existing home colour schemes will make life easier. There is a natural ambience with timber and it has a sort of golden glow that seems to fit in with many different styles of décor.

Cleaning
With just a quick mop or a vacuum to remove the dust, the timber is easy to keep clean. Unlike carpet spills that will leave a wet patch or a stain, spills on a timber floor can be wiped clean in a jiffy. There’s nothing like timber flooring to enhance the looks of any room. In rooms like the dining area or the kitchen spills of grease and food can be easily wiped clean. Even in the family or living room, the timber floor can make it easy on the eyes with no reflection, unlike vinyl or tiles.

Décor
Bedroom furnishings look super over a timber floor – and you can add a pretty mat if you like to opt your toes on something soft when you first get up. Timber can even be used in the bathroom and laundry if they are properly treated to keep the damp out. Sometimes it’s not hardwood that is used for the flooring. In the case of softwood, the timber can absorb moisture, so humid or damp conditions might make it warp.

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Get the Best out of Your Lawn

Lawned Garden

After a hard day at work, there’s nothing like retreating to your garden to get the stress out and relax. Your garden, be it the turf in your front lawn or in your backyard with plants and flowers, is more than just a feature that enhances your property. Your green space, your creation, is part of your character and it can have a number of different functions, depending on your lifestyle.

You can transform the whole yard into a great, enjoyable living space. Apply a bit of creativity and a few resources and you will have an exciting as well as relaxing place to spend your downtime.

Here’s a few tips that might help:

Tip #1: What do you want from your lawn?
It doesn’t matter whether you are redesigning an existing area or starting from scratch, what is your overall plan? Do you want some water elements, as they will add energy and peaceful sounds? How about a porch or a patio where you can sit and look at your view? You might love flowers, so flower beds will be the go. Vegetables? Everybody loves growing their own vegies. A herb garden?

The design is up to you. You have to make it work, so don’t do a half-hearted job or make it so the garden needs more maintenance than you have time to spare.

Tip #2: Speaking of maintenance…
It’s not a project that ends when the fat lady sings. Keeping your garden in tip top condition is an ongoing labour of love. Keeping your lawn healthy and your plants looking as though they belong in a flower shop is all about maintaining, watering and positioning – sunlight and shade. Make sure you have put down the right type of turf that grows best where you live.

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Commercial Shade Sails – Plan Before You Buy

Commercia Shade Sails

Without customers a business will go broke, not matter what kind it is. That is why most businesses try to cater to the needs of their customers, including providing shade sails in an outdoor setting. If you are considering such a purchase, it is wise to do some planning beforehand so you know just what is needed and where, before you go ahead. After all, no one understand your business the way you do.

One thing you have to realise about shade from a sail and that is, it will not be there all the time. As the position of the sun shifts throughout the day the shade the sail throws will move.  So when planning on the position of the sail, you’ll need to have shade in a specific area at the time when you have most customers.  That way you’ll be able to please the most people and get the most value from your investment.

The reason for the sail is important
However, you may be installing the sail for a different reason. It could be to stop the glare of the late afternoon sun shining through your shop window where it not only fades the colour of goods displayed, but makes it difficult for customers to see the floor display from inside, if they are looking towards the window.

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Why Patios are So Suitable for Outdoor Fun in Perth

Patios Perth

When it comes to patios, Perth residents really appreciate having the chance to enjoy some time outdoors with shelter and shade when necessary.  Perth is in an area of Australia that experiences hot, dry summers and cooler winters. But those cool winters are nothing like many other areas; no snow and little in the way of biting cold wind.

So patios make the ideal way to extend the floor space of their homes and enjoy an outdoor room during the day or evening. The main reason for shelter in Perth is the heat of the sun, which is why many patios come with insulated roofing. Even if there is only one wall, that type of roof acts like a dense, green tree; it keeps the shade underneath pleasantly cool, even on hot days.

Like many areas, Perth gets its share of wind, both hot and cold. So if you are considering adding another wall to the patio to block the cold wind, make sure you don’t also block that cool, refreshing breeze coming in from the ocean in the summer. Then it will be the ideal place to cool off in the late afternoons. Once the patio is installed, think about the best way to furnish it to suit your lifestyle.

Many people add a fireplace to the patio so they can use it even in the winter months. In Perth, a fan would probably be a better option. A comfortable outdoor sofa, a colourful rug underfoot and a table will certainly help to make the area suitable for alfresco meals and leisure time relaxation.

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Advantages of a Split System Air Conditioning

Split System Air Conditioning

Some summers are much hotter than others. Whatever the reason for hot weather, it is really lovely to be able to relax in a home cooled by a split system air conditioning unit when the outside temperatures are soaring. You sleep a lot better when it’s cool, so you feel much more energetic the next day instead of going around feeling like a wilted lettuce.

If you don’t yet have any air conditioning in your home, here are some of the advantages of having a split system installed.

  • Biggest advantage? You’ll feel much cooler day and night.
  • A split system is easy to retrofit, meaning it can go into a home that is already completed, no matter how old it is. So long as the home has electricity.
  • It is quiet. You will hardly hear it inside and even outside, the more modern units are whisper quiet, so you don’t have to worry about annoying the neighbours.
  • It is relatively inexpensive, much less cost to purchase and install than a ducted system.
  • If you get a reverse cycle one, it can be used for heating in the winter as well as cooling in the summer, so you get more use out of it.
  • It is easy to maintain. All you have to do is clean the filters. It should also be checked every so often by a professional.
  • It is cost effective to run, especially the later models. You’ll find it costs less to run during winter than radiant heaters and especially fan heaters that are notorious for gobbling up power.
  • It doesn’t interfere with the view from the window like a smaller one would and it is aesthetically pleasing.

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4 Important Components of Interior Design

Components of Interior Design

When it comes to a high end hotel, getting the interior design right is all important. Without it, your hotel will not be what your guests rightfully expect, even if the food and service is amazing. A great deal of pleasure in life comes from what we see around us, so if that experience is lacking in a hotel, the guests will not be as impressed as they should be. In fact, they will be seriously underwhelmed.

There are 4 main components of fitting out a hotel or any building: –

  1. Fixtures and fittings -includes lights, door knobs, taps and other bathroom fixtures
  2. The furniture – beds, tables, sofas, easy chairs
  3. Soft furnishings – bedding, linen, pillows, cushions, drapes, carpets
  4. The accessories – decorative items such as mirrors, artwork, vases, sculptures, chandeliers, lamps.

Each and every part of these things should be of the very best quality, but they should also be chosen to complement and in some cases, contrast, with the overall decor and style.  This is where an experienced interior decorator will be needed. They have the training and experience to know what goes with what and how it should all be set up to make the most of the space.

Placement is almost as important as the item to be placed.  When things are placed in just the right spot everything integrates as a whole and the room is harmonious. For instance, guests will be comfortable and have everything they need to hand, while being able to enjoy the view through a picture window or from the balcony.

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Ways to Heat Your Pool

Heat Your Pool

While lots of people enjoy their swimming pools in summer and warm days in the off seasons, in many climates spring and autumn are really too cold for swimming in cold water. To get more use from your pool you may want to consider heating the water. This can be done constantly if you use the pool a lot, or occasionally if you are not into swimming every day. Heating the pool means you can jump in for a dip even in the winter.

Here are 3 main ways to heat the water in your pool.

  • Solar heating. This doesn’t use solar panels like solar electricity. It uses rubber matting on the roof of the house. The sun heats the matting and a pump pushes pool water through it. The water is warmed before returning to the pool. This is good for people who live in sunny climates and have a large roof space. It may not be so good an option for those who live in areas where there is often cloud cover. It is most effective if the matting is installed on a north or west facing roof and the area of matting equals about 80% of the pool surface. It may seem strange, but this same set-up can also be used to cool the pool water down, for those who live in tropical climates. The water is simply pumped through the matting at night instead of day.

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How to Choose the Best Outdoor Furniture for Your Needs

outdoor-furniture

There is a lot to consider when purchasing outdoor furniture and to get the most suitable, everything should be taken into account. Things such as your usual weather, if you will want to move the furniture around, if it is to be placed close to a pool and what kind of surface there will be under it are all important. It is a decision that should not be made in haste if you want it to be the best for your lifestyle and climate.

However, there is another important factor and that is comfort. If the furniture is not comfortable you will not want to bother using your outdoor haven no matter how balmy the weather is. So your comfort level should be assessed and taken into account before making the final decision. How? Here are some tips.

  • Think about what chair you find most comfortable to sit in when inside. Is it a lounge chair or dining chair; a bean bag or a bench seat?
  • Do you like to have a soft or firm backrest – or none at all?
  • Do you have a bad back or an injury that needs support when you sit?
  • Do you like to have your upper legs supported as well as your seat?
  • Are armrests essential or don’t you care one way or the other?
  • Is your idea of relaxation putting your feet and legs up, or do you prefer to keep your feet on the ground?
  • Do you love to gather around a big table with your family and friends, or would you prefer to have the chairs spread out with some side tables for when you need them?

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The Benefits of Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic-Pool-Cleaners

Everyone who has a pool will know the work involved in keeping the water clean. The PH can easily be changed by leaves, dust, dirt and insects that fall or are blown into the pool. So the task of cleaning it and maintaining the right PH is ongoing. However, robotic pool cleaners can do some of the work.

An kreepy krauly pool cleaner can be placed into the pool at night and left to do its job. All the debris will sink to the bottom where the cleaner can scrape or suck it up. That leaves the walls to be cleaned. These should be scrubbed down on a weekly basis so the algae that forms there will fall to the bottom and can be sucked out by the pool vacuum cleaner.

Most people use chlorine and other chemicals as their pool cleaners, however chlorine is not an environmentally friendly solution. These days there are alternatives that make your water so pure there is no need for dangerous chemicals such as chlorine to be added to the pool. Of course, even then you’ll still have leaves and other debris falling into the pool so will need to clean it out.

The long-handled pool scoop is ideal for removing larger items such as leaves, twigs and bigger insects. However, it can’t scoop up fine dust. That is why you have filters in the pump. These too, should be cleaned out regularly for the pool water to remain cleaner. If pool cleaning becomes a daily habit, it will reduce the need for more chemicals.

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How to Get Fleas Out of Your Carpet

Get-Fleas-Out-of-Your-Carpet

Anyone with pets is likely to have fleas in their carpet, whether they allow the animal inside or not. If there are fleas in the yard, there will soon be fleas inside because they come in on your clothing and you don’t even notice. You can also tread flea eggs or larvae in on your shoes or bare feet and because they are so tiny you can’t tell. The right kind of carpet cleaning by a professional company such as www.brilliancecleaning.com.au is essential to get rid of this pest.

Actually, professional steam cleaning is the best way to treat carpets when there is an infestation of fleas because it uses hot water that will kill them. The main trouble is that flea eggs become embedded in the floor cracks under the carpet and these can survive if the water doesn’t quite reach them. The eggs can then hatch, even up to 12 months after they were laid. That is why you may think that the carpet treatment didn’t work at all. Treating carpets for fleas is a long term job.

Here are some steps to take that will help you deal with that flea problem.

  • First and foremost, treat your pet for fleas on a regular basis. Never allow the treatment to be done late, not even by a day. Dogs and cats can pick up fleas when they go outside the yard, since they are hosts to this pest.
  • Wash all their bedding in hot water 3 times a week until you are sure no fleas are left in it.
  • Vacuum the carpet thoroughly every day for 3 weeks paying particular attention to the crevices and edges – and get rid of the vacuum cleaner bag each time. If your cleaner is a bagless one, empty the dust into a plastic bag and then spray it with insecticide for fleas before knotting the end. That will ensure no fleas escape from the bin back to your yard.
  • Also vacuum the hard floor surfaces at the same time, making sure to get under the furniture and in the corners.

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Timber vs. Tiles For Your Floor

Timber-vs-Tiles

If you are planning to build a new home you will find many decisions need to be made. One of the more important of these is the materials you want the various components of your home to be made from. But before anything else can go into the home, the floor must be put down, even though the coverings – if there are any – will need to wait until later.

It is important then, to decide what material you will have your floors made from. There are several choices:

  • Solid timber
  • Floating timber that is installed over something else, often done for renovations.
  • Flooring panels that must be covered with something such as carpet or vinyl (although you need a professional carpet cleaning service like www. brilliancecarpetcleaningperth.com.au close at hand).
  • Polished concrete
  • Tiles – ceramic, cork, porcelain or stone

Advantages of a solid timber floor
Solid timber is a very popular choice of flooring, even though it is fairly expensive. It has several advantages; durability, strength, aesthetics and variety in colour and pattern that can be achieved by using parquetry.

For a solid timber floor, you would usually have tongue and grooved planks that fit together and are laid directly over the floor joists. This kind of flooring is extremely durable and long-lasting. It can last a lifetime. Once it is finished properly it will not scratch too easily, but after some years it can be re-sanded and finished to create a floor that is almost new again.

Maintenance is relatively easy with damp mopping and vacuuming the two best ways to keep it clean. Modern finishes mean polishing is not necessary.

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Why Pursue Limestone Floor Tiles

If you are after home improvement ideas, then Limestone flooring features superior comfort all the time. It has the endurance that most people would like. It is also presented in various colors that would match any kind or type. Basically, it will always be a classic flooring selection to pursue. It is recommended with its organic color palette which may always add an old and classic charm to a décor.

Today, there is the modern limestone floor tiles starting to gain attention. This may be cut in large-format. There are times when it can be in plank. Other instances, it may take geometric shapes. This only goes to show that it is really versatile.

The Benefits of Limestone Tiles

It is an efficient substitute for hardwood
Limestone tiles have always been a neutral palette. In appearance, they are highly textured. A tile flooring made up of limestone is a perfect example of natural beauty. It somehow resembles the look of hardwood. With this, one thing is for sure – this property will give user a natural stone product which is hard-wearing and long lasting. This is also perfect for people who want to achieve a modern take on their classic limestone. This tile has the semblance of the natural variations of hardwood. It is just that in this take, it is packed with natural stone. This will add a textured and rustic charm to a room. That is for sure.

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12 Reasons Why Colorbond Roofing is so Popular in Australia

Even in the last decade the popularity of Colorbond roofing has increased by a large margin. There are various reasons for this.

  • Put simply – it looks good. The clean, elegant lines enhance just about any housing style you could think of from old-fashioned country homes to the most modern urban development.
  • You can get it curved so those that want this particular style for the veranda are happy.
  • There are many colours to choose from and many of them blend in with the Australian environment. Various shades of greys, browns, green and creams are taken from different aspects of the Aussie landscape such as eucalypts, mangrove swamps, sand dunes, coastal coves, outback deserts, and even some wildlife colours are used to create a palette of colours to delight everyone.
  • Because there are so many colours it is easy to choose one that will match in with the rest of your home. You can even add a feature wall or fence to match, creating a cohesive look to the whole property.
  • Colorbond roofing is a strong and sturdy material that has been developed especially for Australian conditions, so people know they are getting a product they can trust.
  • Many people are also happy to support an Australian company by purchasing their products.
  • It has thermal properties that help to reduce the costs of heating and cooling a home over its lifetime.
  • It is ideal for bushfire prone areas as it is fire resistant and provides few niches for live embers to get stuck in. Rather, they blow off or go out before they can set fire to your home.
  • It is low maintenance, so you spend less over the lifetime of the product.

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A Safety Guide To Avoid Hazardous Plants For Residential Landscaping

homecenternews.com safety-guide-avoid-hazardous-plants-residential-landscaping-min

What is Residential Landscaping?
It is the art of decisively changing the natural features close to your residence for the purpose of making them more beautiful and useful. Moreover, residential landscaping is the best way to alter the region adjoining your house into your own individual ecstasy, so you have a soothing place to come home to after a tiring day.

In order to have the beautiful and blossoming landscape, one can either hire a professional landscaping designer if one is unaware of the ways to alter the surroundings as an expert will have the proper knowledge and skill to carry out the activity in a much skilled manner.

While performing the process of residential landscaping, it is important for a gardener to differentiate between the plants that you should grow and avoid. Planting hazardous plants might not only have a bad impact on its other fellow plants but might spoil the land as well. So it is necessary to find and conclude, which plants can prove to be dangerous to grow.

The following few plant, trees, and shrubs should be avoided for a hazardous free residential landscaping. They are explained in brief.

Annuals:

  1. Elephant ear: The botanical name of elephant ear is Colocsia esculenta. The entire plant is poisonous and dangerous.
  2. Easter lily: The botanical name of Easter lily is Zephyranthus spp. Easter lily also is completely toxic and unsafe.
  3. Morning glory: Ipomoea spp. is the botanical name of Morning Glory. The seeds and roots of Morning glory are toxic.
  4. Impatient: Impatiens spp. is the botanical name of Impatient. Its stem, leaves and roots are harmful.

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12 Things to Do Before Moving into Your New Home

12-Things-to-Do-Before-Movi

Not everyone is highly organised, but when you have to move into a new home, the more organised you are the better you will cope. That said, being organised doesn’t have to be difficult. Just like professional removalists do, if you write down a list of things to do and stick to doing them, you will be organised. The trick may be in knowing exactly what to do, especially if you have never moved before.  Here is a list to help you.

  • Sort through your things and dispose of everything that you don’t want. This will make packing easier. Disposal can take time if you are selling things, so leave enough time to do it. Taking photos of the goods and writing descriptions if you sell online all take time too, which is why starting early is a good idea.
  • Make that phone call to book professional removalists early, making sure they have a truck large enough for your goods, insurance and a good reputation. Another phone call a week or two ahead just to confirm is also a good idea.
  • If you are renting your current home, you will need to start cleaning early in order to reduce stress and get your bond back. It is much easier to clean walls and cupboards well before moving day rather than leaving it all till the last minute. Don’t forget on top of the kitchen cupboards and in the groove of sliding windows and doors. That’s where the estate agents will look.
  • Weed the garden and tidy up the yard too.
  • Pack all those things that you don’t need, such as books, decorations and pictures, out of season clothing, crafts/hobbies and some of the children’s toys. Getting these packed toys back after moving will delight the children and keep them out of your hair while you unpack.
  • Pull down the swing/slides/trampoline and pack them away a few weeks ahead of moving date, especially if your children don’t use them much.

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How is Scaffolding Designed?

How is Scaffolding Designed-min

Scaffolding is a temporary structure that allows workers such as painters access to a building enabling them to work on parts that would be out of reach without it. According to common building advice, many different kinds of buildings need scaffolding and it can also be needed for maintenance and cleaning a structure such as a clock tower or large statue that would otherwise be impossible to get to.

There are six main components in most scaffolding: –

  • Standards or uprights – upright posts that support the rest of the structure and transfer the load to the ground or a lower level. The legs stand on base plates that help to spread the load and give stability.
  • Ledgers – connect the standards together. They are fixed in a horizontal position and are often hollow tubing.
  • Transoms – are vertical posts similar to the standards, but shorter. They rest on the ledgers rather than reaching to the ground. The main transoms are fitted close to the standards and hold them in place. They also support the boards that are the deck on each level. The intermediate transoms provide additional support for the boards. Toe boards are used at the outside edge of the deck to prevent tools or materials being accidentally kicked off the deck. This helps to prevent injury to people working below
  • Fittings are as most people know, things such as bolts, nuts, screws and anything else that is used to attach pieces to each other and to the uprights.

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The Best Plants for a Balcony Garden

You take your love of gardening to a whole new level — to the balcony! A balcony garden could be simple or complex, depending on the type of plants and the garden style you choose. Since balconies have a different climate than natural ground soil, the plant choices may vary too from your backyard garden.

However, there are some aspects to keep in mind while planning for a balcony garden:

  • How large the space should be, has to be the fundamental question in your mind when planning planting in your balcony. The choice here has to be specific and has to be noted for the size of plants to choose from.
  • The sunlight your balcony gets every day (for how many hours) has to be noted. Approximations work sometimes, but if plants selected for your balcony garden are sensitive to the scorching heat of the sun, then it is better to have accurate estimates of the sun’s exposure.
  • How much time would you be able to give to your plants out of your busy schedule?
  • Water availability is also an important factor to keep in mind while selecting plants for your balcony garden.
  • The budget has to be the first consideration as further planning is dependent on it.

The windiness and overall temperature has to be monitored for some specific plants. Also, in case of growing edibles, more careful selection and processes would be involved.

The plants grown in your balcony garden are a part of house interior and need to be kept tidy and aesthetically appealing at all times. Following are 4 plants ideal for balcony gardens:

Boston Fern
Also known as the Boston sword fern, this plant grows like a shrub and is ideal for pots. For balcony garden, a dense plant like this makes for a tranquil green background for the more colorful smaller plants to be grown in the fore.

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Benefits of an Office Garden

Office gardens! That sounds green. Who said you need to wait for retirement to enjoy the gardening sessions and aesthetics plants offer? Offices can have gardens too, in the front yard or rooftop, depending on the space available!

As with the practices of corporate social responsibility, companies are increasingly going green inside the office premises too. Firms are realizing the advantages of converting some area of office space into natural space with greenery and beautifully designed landscaping that not only capture the attention of the visitors but also keeps the environment fresh and energetic. They’re often known as Corporate Gardens and are a growing trend nowadays regardless of what the organization has as a business offering.

There are numerous benefits of a garden in office space where employees have access, such as:

1. Teamwork and problem solving
The corporate gardens possess nature’s rejuvenating qualities that inculcate optimism in humans. The greenery allows the brains of employees to relax and focus better on the tasks at hand. Teamwork and problem solving skills are enhanced with healthy brain activity and engagement in gardening tasks in spare time. This allows them to focus on the pressing issues at work and fosters better problem solving.

2. Meditation
No time for yoga after work? Not an issue at all with your corporate garden. These gardens are naturally engaging and some amount of manageable exercise in these gardens help release endorphins that are the stress buster hormones. Meditation is an essential tool to relieve oneself of all the worries and ruminations, and provided a chance at the workplace, your employees are more likely to stick with your organization for long.

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Water Conservation in the Garden

water conservation in gardens

In dry times or when El Nino haunts our thoughts, we tend to save as much water as possible and one of the first things to do is stop watering the garden. Water restrictions usually come in whether we want them too or not and it is painful to see precious plants in the garden droop and die for want of a good soaking. Nevertheless, it is something that all gardeners in dry areas must come to terms with. Here are some ways to conserve water in the garden.

Irrigation

When you install a watering system, go for drip irrigation. This will deliver a small amount of water right to the base of the plant where it is needed, rather than spraying heaps across the whole garden, path, fence, driveway and the wall of the house. You can now get systems that can sense whether the garden even needs watering. DIY guide (Drip Irrigation)


Time of watering is also important. If you water in the morning, there are 8-10 hours of heat that will evaporate your efforts. Watering in the evening means the water will not evaporate to any great extent until the next day. That means your plant roots have all that time to soak it up, thus making the best use of the water you give them. Professional reticulation installers should be used at all times.

Two Kinds of Mulch

Choosing the right plants will reduce the need for water in the garden, but mulching will also help. Using mulch keeps the soil cooler and slows down evaporation. Straw, mushroom waste and sugarcane mulch are all good additions to the garden as they break down slowly and add fertiliser.  You don’t have to buy straw if you have a lawn that needs mowing on a regular basis. All you need to do is save the clippings – and the fallen leaves from trees and shrubs.

How to use Sugar Cane Mulch

However, you can also add the kind of mulch that does not break down and this, too, will help to conserve water in the garden. Pine chips or bark, or even pebbles in a smaller garden help to conserve water.

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Benefits of Installing a Proper Irrigation System

To keep your yard alive, you need to water it on a regular basis as rain water alone, will not be enough for the plants and grass in your garden. However, different plants require different amounts of water to remain healthy; therefore, you need to install a proper source for watering your plants that will make your yard greener, while being economical as well.

To aid them in this purpose, many people use irrigation systems to supply their yard with the water it needs, as frequently as is desired. If you want to make landscaping easier, you can also install such a system, regardless of the size of your yard, and additionally, hiring a professional for the job who will hire the equipment for the project which will make the process even more convenient.

Following are the benefits of installing an irrigation system in your yard.

Better Water Conservation

A study states that 70% of the water consumed by the household is for outdoor upkeep. However, irrigation systems will reduce the excess water usage and make your yard eco-friendly.

Many systems even come equipped with a sensor that can detect soil moisture and shut the system off, on its own, when the required level is met. These devices also have weather sensors which adjust the water setting according to the moisture level in the air, and give water to the plants only when necessary.

Greener Garden

When your plants consume the right amount of water daily, they grow healthier and look beautiful. It is better to spend on an irrigation system than being dependent on a gardener for your yard’s upkeep. Also, since your plants look amazing, any potential buyer will notice your yard, and eventually, the value and demand of your home in the market will increase.

Is Not Time Consuming

A lot of people opt for an irrigation system, mostly because they feel that watering their plants is just another household chore, which takes up a lot of their time. Irrigation systems, however, will save this time, which you can utilize more productively for other tasks.

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Premium Security Doors vs. Old Style Grille Doors

Door frame cross section

These days more than ever, security doors are essential to keep our homes and loved ones safe. Since most thieves try to enter by the door first and foremost, this is the most important place to ensure security. This is usually accomplished by adding a screen security door, but are these as strong as they look? Unfortunately, many of the old style grille doors are not and here is why.

Main Points of Weakness

There are three main points of weakness in a security door; the place where the mesh joins the framed edge, the screws that hold it all together and the hinges. Even though the lock may be strong, if the hinges are weak anyone can easily remove the door on that side to enter the home. In addition, in some of the older style doors the actual mesh could be cut rather easily, so they don’t really do a good job of providing security at all.

The Kick Test

Many of the old style security doors used wedges to join the mesh to the frame. One good kick and these will pop out, allowing the mesh to be easily removed. Premium security doors have screws instead of wedges. The screws go right through the mesh into the other side of the frame, making it kick-resistant. The screws are specially made to fit the mesh and clamp it into place, deep within the frame.  No amount of kicking or pulling will remove the mesh from the frame using this kind of technology. In fact, such doors meet or exceed all the Australian Standards that are now in place for security doors.

Mesh Strength

The strength of the mesh is another important factor in providing good security. Old style doors had mesh that could actually be cut with a sharp knife. Premium doors use new technology to make mesh that can withstand such objects. In addition, they have the horizontal mesh – that takes the most punishment in an attack – over 26% thicker than the old style mesh. And because it  is tensile stainless steel mesh, it is not going to rust out like the mesh in many of the older style doors did. It passes the Shear Test, the Knife Test and the Pull Test to mention just a few. You can be sure that any burglar is likely to give up in despair before ever getting into your home when you install premium security doors.

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Benefits of Installing Elevators

With increasing floors being built in commercial buildings, such as shopping malls, hospitals, or offices; installing elevators has become a prerequisite. However, elevators used for commercial projects often differ from those installed in residential structures. This is because when it comes to commercial buildings, different types of elevators can be installed for different functions.

Since the elevators installed in commercial areas are for the use of the general public, there are also some laws that state the requirements for their proper installation. Hence, any incidents concerning a commercial elevator may lead to a lawsuit against your company. Therefore, it is necessary to meet all the requirements to the letter.

Below mention are some benefits of installing commercial elevators in your official building.

Better Mobility
Hydraulic or electrical elevators are commonly used in commercial buildings as they are better equipped for high speeds and lifting heavier weights. These types can carry up to six thousand pounds of weight. Furthermore, the hydraulic elevator can carry loads at the rate of 200 feet per minute; whereas electric elevators can move with the speed of 500 feet per minute.

Aside from offices, elevators are also quite useful in hospitals; not just for people with physical conditions that do not permit them to use the stairs, but also for moving patients on stretchers to different floors in a lesser amount of time. People on wheelchairs can also commute easily on such elevators as they are usually designed with wider doors and have space and weight capacity for a larger number of people.

Easy to Set Up and Maintain
Setting up and maintaining commercial elevators, is far easier than you think! Even if you did not leave any space for installing an elevator within your architectural design; you can install small commercial elevators whenever the need arises. Different types of commercial elevators such as; porch lifts and LULA (Limited Use Limited Application) are also widely used at workplaces. These are cheaper as well as easy to accommodate in small spaces without needing any changes in the building structure.

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4 Advantages of Installing a Home Lift

home elevators

Many people these days enjoy living in a two or even three storey home. They have more room and can enjoy the view and the upper breezes. But one thing they may not enjoy so much is going up those stairs, especially when they are feeling tired. Home lifts are the obvious choice for homes with staircases.

There are many advantages of installing a home lift; here are 4 of them.

  1. Save carrying heavy weights upstairs – a home lift is a quick and easy way to access the upper storey/s of your home when you have heavy loads to carry up. Groceries, luggage, furniture and home accessories are all too heavy to cart up stairs. Furniture is often too large and awkward to get around the narrow stairs, especially if there is a landing and bend in the middle.
  2. Ease of use – lifts are much easier for older people to use. Anyone with arthritis or other health problems that make them weak will appreciate having a lift instead of using the stairs. Children can learn to use a lift at an early age and it can save them falling on the steps. Using a lift is quieter than those rattling footsteps on stairs that are not carpeted.
  3. Easier to clean vacuuming stairs is difficult at the best of times, and they seem to get dirty more often than the floor due to the concentration of traffic on them. A lift can be vacuumed in a few minutes compared to the stairs and it takes much less effort.
  4. Safety – it is much safer to use a lift than to use stairs, no matter whether you are young old, strong or weak. There is always the possibility of falling when coming down or even going up a staircase. In a lift, there is no likelihood of falling. You can even have a chair to sit on in the lift if you want to. When you are carrying a baby in your arms, or are pregnant, it is much safer to use a lift than to go up or down stairs.

Having a lift will enable you to stay in your home even when you  become frail with age. It will increase the value of your home and make it suitable for a wider demographic should you decide to sell for any reason. Thus, the house is likely to sell more quickly so you can get on with the rest of your life.  Once you have a lift installed you will not be able to believe the difference it makes in your life, being more convenient and pleasant to access those upper reaches.

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3 Best Types of Security Fencing

Many commercial or industrial properties need to have secure fencing to keep intruders or vandals out. Some need to also keep animals out or in. The kind of security fencing chosen usually depends on the needs of the company, but other factors sometimes have to be taken into consideration. Climate, position and the type of ground – steep or flat – are all important aspects of choosing fencing to secure your site.

Having the right kind of fencing in place will give you peace of mind and reduce the costs of repairing damage. It can even avoid litigation if someone wanders onto your site and is hurt. Even though they were not supposed to be there, they can still sue the company if they get hurt.

Here are three of the best types of security fencing.

Chain link or mesh fencing. While you may think that chain link gaps can provide a toehold, the top being curved makes it very difficult for any athletic intruder to actually complete the climb in. Chain mesh fencing can be of various heights to suit your needs and the gaps can also be larger or smaller. There can be a single or double curved top with barbed wire along it to discourage climbers. It can also have a cement footing so no one can dig under it. It can be used for mining sites, sporting fields or community pools and many other applications due to its versatility. It is also a cost effective option for low security areas.

A higher level of security can be gained by using Garrison fencing. Tubular steel posts are attached to horizontal steel rails between steel posts that are cemented into the ground. Again, this type of fencing can be higher or lower, but the higher option offers better protection. It is often found around commercial properties, sporting fields, government facilities and schools. It can be finished with powder-coating – often chosen where it is important for the fence to look attractive.

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8 Tips for Economically Renovated Kitchens

Hiring a professional for kitchen renovation typically leads to one having to stretch their budget, but did the kitchen need a new look at all in the first place?

Kitchens do not need to be broken down into pieces to form a new one when you’re not investing that much capital in them. Going economical asks for ideas to renovate the most important part of the house with relative ease.  Be your own designer and revamp the look of your kitchen to give it a boost of energy and you more enthusiasm to chop on.

1. Clean it All
You don’t need a kitchen designer to do that anyway. Grab the right tools and start sweeping the floor and cleaning the entire kitchen, the first and foremost step in kitchen renovation.  It requires only a few tools and surface cleaners to give a fresh look to your kitchen. Dust off the ceiling fans and exhaust fan, remove grease if any. Cabinet interior and exterior could be wiped for a clean look inside out. Scrubbing floors and hidden corners makes your kitchen shine out in the end combined with other efforts. It’s better to dismantle light fixtures and give them a fresh look if they’re intact and there isn’t a dire need to change them.

2. Paint Around
Play with colors in your kitchen. If the walls need a fresh coat of paint and the cabinets are just shabby looking from outside, they could be renovated with a fresh paint and some bright colors to light up the place. The colors should be in contrast with the woodwork and the size of kitchen with other considerations.

3. Cabinets into Shelves
Turn the boring cabinets into shelves by removing the doors which have been broken or damaged and fill out for any void before painting them into new shelves. It is an easy to manage style and gives a good display of your crockery collection. If removal of cabinet doors makes them look too bland, you could always embellish them with wallpapers in background and glass doors.

4. Change the Faucet and Sink
With a large number of variety and styles available in faucets and sinks, you’d be amazed how choosing one for your kitchen gives the distinct modernized we’ve all been aiming for. The sink could also be replaced by a bowl and the fruits to be washed would look like fruits on display.

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Who Needs a Home Lift?

home elevators

Most people who think of lifts, envisage them being in high-rise apartments or places like hospitals. However, these days it is becoming more usual to see home lifts in private homes. You may think that is only the frail elderly that would need to have a lift in their home, but in fact this is not so. When you think of the energy expended going up stairs and the difficulty of taking goods up and down you will soon realise that having a lift in the home is a necessity rather than a luxury.

Middle Aged

Very often, the ground floor of the home is used for the garage and outdoor living accessories. That means you need to carry all your groceries and every single thing you need in the home up the stairs. Hauling all your groceries out of the boot of your car is bad enough; carting them up steps and stairs is worse still, especially when you are already tired from a day at work. So you don’t have to be elderly to make good use of a lift.

The Elderly

Of course, the elderly will certainly benefit from a lift in their home. They are the ones who are most likely to stumble and fall on stairs. Such a fall could easily break multiple bones and they may never recover. It is a shame to see their life ended prematurely all for want of a simple lift to help them up and down the stairs. Older people will be able to stay independently in their homes for much longer when they have the aids they need to make life easier for them. And if they need to use a walker, it is much easier and safer for them to use a lift than to try and get that walker up the stairs or down.

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Blinds and Shades for Homes

The work space needs ample lightening, and so does your home, but in order to moderate the searing sunlight and create an aesthetically pleasing ambiance for your office or home interiors, blinds are a great option to go for. A wide range of options is available to beautify your humble abode or sophisticated workplace; blinds are also a great option for home based offices as they differentiate the ambiance from that of a house. Pleated sheets, while being the widely used style of sheets used in offices and houses, have other competitors too.

1. Wooden Blinds

Wood works never go out of fashion, not even in blinds for your home or workplace. There is a wide variety of styles when it comes to wooden blinds, from maple to bamboo and more, depending on the produce and prices in area. The wooden blinds look amazing if the furniture is traditional in style and flooring is wooden too and surprisingly it doesn’t look like ‘nauseatingly woody’.  The workplace looks rather elegant and warm with wooden blinds and gives a classy look to the entire ambience with rich wooden office furniture.

2. Sheer Blinds
To hide or not to hide! This style of blinds is a horizontal design with sheer cloth that does not block the entire view but creates a translucent version of it. These shades are good for the areas where the light is needed but privacy has to be kept in mind too, such as bathrooms and kitchens. In case of internal glass partitions in offices, these sheer blinds work well too.

3. Vertical Blinds
The vertical blinds are often seen hung on patio doors but are not limited there. This is one of the most common styles of blinds for home and offices as this allows necessary sunlight to sift through. Also, the vertical blinds are easy to manage as they don’t tangle and very easy to clean frequently.

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How to Take the Heavy Work Out of Landscaping

homecenternews.com how-to-take-the-heavy-work-out-of-landscaping

There is no question about it; landscaping is hard work. Not only is there a great deal of digging to do when you first start to put in those new garden beds, but the upkeep requires constant attention. However, it is getting everything started that is the hardest, especially if you have to flatten areas of ground or install plants that are fully grown. However, you don’t have to have mighty muscles to be a landscaper if you hire equipment to do all that heavy lifting and digging. You can simply use the machine to do all the heavy work and it will be done faster and more professionally than you could ever do it by hand.

Hire a Dingo

Dingos are highly manoeuvrable small machines that are ideal for many applications because of the variety of attachments that are available. If you need to dig trenches, dig a hole for a full sized palm tree or simply move loads of earth from one place to another, the dingo is the machine for you. They are also good for working on construction sites or in areas that are considered dangerous. Some types can even be operated remotely, meaning you don’t have to get close to any source of danger.

Their manoeuvrability means that they can work in areas or situations that other larger or less manoeuvrable machines could not. If you need a hole dug or some soil moved in a suburban property the dingo is the machine for the job. They can usually fit into and work in smaller spaces.

Bobcat Hire

The bobcat is the next in size to the dingo and is different in that it operates with tracks rather than wheels. This has the advantage of spreading the weight out over a larger area of ground so there is less damage, an advantage in many landscaping situations. And if the ground is very wet, they are not so likely to get bogged.

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How to Keep Your Pool Kid Friendly

Having a pool at home for the kids to play and swim in is a great idea. It gets them out of the house and keeps them active in the fresh air, instead of lolling on the sofa with their heads in the latest electronic game.  However, it is essential to keep your pool kid friendly so that they don’t suffer any ill-effects from using it.

Safety First
Learn how to resuscitate a child who has drowned and teach your older children how to do it too. It could well save a life. Drill into children safety measures like not running or pushing on the hard surface, and playing safely in the water. Teach them – or have them taught – how to swim and show them how to save someone who is in trouble in the water. This can be as simple as throwing them the end of a towel and towing them to the side. Once you have put these safety measures into place, you will have peace of mind that your pool is kid friendly.

Pool Safe Educational Video

Sunburn
We all know by now that long exposure to the hot sun can cause cancer. That said, it is also healthy for children to have some exposure as this is how the body makes vitamin D.  But if your kids are water babies, they risk getting painfully sunburned, especially in mid-summer. That is why it is a good idea to erect a shade sail over the pool. At least half their time will be spent under the sail, thus reducing the likelihood of getting burned. Teaching them to apply sunscreen is also important.

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5 Reasons Why You Need an Outdoor Entertainment Area in Your House

When you’re looking for fun, you often head off to a variety of different places. However, what if you could get all the entertainment options that you need, right within your home?

Imagine the amount of money you will save and the number of parties you could throw, and that too, at your own home! It doesn’t matter how old you are, anyone can take advantage of a designated entertainment area within the house. Following are the 5 reasons why you must have an outdoor entertainment area in your home.

1. Visual Appeal
Adding a deck, patio, or a gazebo to your home will enhance the outer beauty of your house and built up an alluring ambiance, which will make your property standout from the rest. You will also feel a sense of pride and happiness by being at home.

2. Family Gatherings
With a separate space for parties, you can easily hangout with your family and connect while having fun at home. By setting up a heater or an air-conditioner, you will also get the chance to enjoy yourself in all kinds of weather indoors.

Moreover, while making changes to the home, if you add swings and slides in your own yard, your kids and their friends can enjoy themselves within the comforts of home. That way, you’ll be able to keep an eye out for them as well.

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Fencing That Is Best For Residential Areas

A fence is not only used to create borders around your property to separate it from the neighboring plot. Rather, it is also ideal for maintaining the security privacy of your home. It also beautifies the exterior of the place and makes it look different from the rest of the structures built in the locality.

There are different types of fencing used for residential and commercial purposes, depending on the requirement of your property. For most people, security is an essential factor that contributes to the buying and building decisions with regard to fencing and they either opt for a house with a pre-installed fence or install one, themselves.

When deciding on the type of fences you need for your residence, you can choose from the following options:

Aluminum Fence
Many households commonly use aluminum fencing. However, it only enhances the exterior of the house and gives it a definite boundary. It is not beneficial if you want to enhance the security of your home. On the plus side, the only maintenance it requires is during the process of installation which includes, painting and decoration, but other than that, it is hassle free.

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Great Ideas for Lawn Design

A great lawn rarely happens by chance. It is the product of careful planning, choosing the right lawn grass, having good soil underneath, careful mowing to the right height, fertilising and of course, watering at the right times. Many Australian lawns don’t get this kind of care and it is not long before they develop bare patches which Mother Nature soon fills in with weeds – often prickly ones.

Good Reticulation Saves Water
As property sizes decrease, lawn sizes shrink with them, but that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your grass. It simply means it is easier to take care of and you will have time to play golf. Another way to have plenty of time for golf is to install an automatic watering system. The correct system for your lawn will not only transform it into a verdant carpet the kids will loving playing on; it will save water.

Modern technology has caught up with things like pumps and sensors, so you can have an automatic reticulation system hidden away under that green carpet and know that it will not automatically water your lawn even though it has recently rained.  Sensors will switch it off even if it is just about to rain.  And you can add specially shaped nozzles that will avoid watering your driveway or the neighbour’s yard.

The Importance of Mowing Techniques
Mowing techniques are important too, to keep your lawn looking good. If you allow it to get too long and then mow it short on a very hot day, there will be numerous brown patches – sunburn due to the soft stems being exposed. Sometimes this will even kill large patches of grass. On the other hand, if you mow constantly at near ground level, the grass will become weaker and soon there will be weeds growing through it.

Mowing regularly about 40mm from the ground will allow your grass to grow those leaf blades that are soft and green, yet strong enough provide a good ground cover that will keep out weeds and shade the soil. It is also important to keep the mower blades really sharp, otherwise the grass will go white in patches due to tearing damage.

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Choosing a Fence to Suit Your Home

colorbond fencing

Choosing a fence to suit your home is not difficult; it just requires a little forethought to ensure  you get the best kind of fence for your needs. And of course, you have to make sure it is of the type that has council approval. Once that is settled you can go ahead and choose from the options that will suit you and your lifestyle. Here are some things to think about to guide you in choosing the best fence for your needs.

Keep Children In and Intruders Out
What is your reason for getting a fence? Is it to keep pets or children in, or to keep intruders out – or both? Many people do not feel the need to keep other people out with their fence; they rely on their security door to do that. However, if you have little children you will need to keep them contained so they don’t wander away. Having a fence you can trust to keep them in will allow them to play outside without you having to watch them every minute – at least, once they get old enough not to fall over.

A fence to keep children safe may also need to be one that keeps intruders out, especially if your home fronts a busy street. It may need to be one that an adult cannot climb over. However, if you feel that would be unattractive, consider having two kinds of fence; one for the backyard where the children will play and one for the front that will look more attractive.

Does it Suit Your Home Design?
Certain homes suit certain types of fencing. A picket fence done with timber palings and painted white will suit Federation style homes and many other older styles of homes. You can also have a picket style fence done with steel posts that have fancy tops that make it difficult or impossible for anyone to climb over. More modern homes will look fine with Colorbond fencing or even steel mesh.

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Should I Invest in Security Doors or Home Alarm – or Both?

security options

In a day when security is essential for the home you may be wondering what kind will give you the peace of mind you need. Many people have more than one type of security, so should you have both security doors and a home alarm installed by an alarm company or a simple solution installed by a handyman or just one? If so, which one?

To decide, you need to think like a burglar. Suppose you were on the point of robbing a home. What would put you off more; a door that was difficult to get open or a shrieking alarm?

Burglars have more than one entry point to a home. If they cannot get in the door, they are likely to try the window. They may even smash down the wall with a stolen vehicle. But once that alarm goes off – an alarm that everyone can hear, they would be out of there as fast as they could go. Even if the alarm system was only heard by the police or security company, the burglar would realise that someone would soon be coming to check up on the property. Or that the people inside would quickly be aroused from sleep.

However, some homes are robbed or vandalised by the opportunistic thief. This is a person who robs on impulse as the opportunity arrives.  They may knock on a door and if they find no answer proceed to break and enter. But if the doors are the premium security type they will go away disappointed because they feel going through window is too difficult or too visible. Of course, if an alarm blared out as they smashed their way in they would run, too.

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Why the Kitchen Is The Best Room In The House

Kitchen Design

Which is your favourite room? Many people would think that the home theatre, living room or bedroom is their favourite room in the house, but in actual fact the kitchen should get a spot up there on the favourite list.  When you think of it, without a kitchen, a home is really not a home at all. This is because we need food and if we have to go out and get it all the time we won’t be home very often.

The kitchen provides food for the family, but it does even more than that. Food sustains us, but it also brings the family unit together for something that is essential but also pleasurable. Most people like eating especially when they are hungry, but when food is cooking in the kitchen the tantalising aromas draw the whole family together in anticipation.

With the help of expert cabinet makers, the fully functioning kitchen that is designed well, the kitchen springs nourishing food to keep the family healthy, birthday cakes that may be unhealthy but are still an integral part of family life and our culture, food and drinks for snacks and so on. All these things are an essential part of life and our lifestyle, and encourage families to get together for social interaction.  When Mum – or Dad – is in the kitchen cooking, the rest of the family know where to find them and often join them to talk about matters that trouble them, or get help with homework and talk about their day in general.

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Plants that Suit Balconies

The balcony is a place where you can sit and relax after a hard day’s work. Having a few plants growing in pots on the balcony will enhance the look of the space and increase your enjoyment of it. However, it is essential to take note of just what the weather conditions are like.

High balconies are often cool, windy places; others may be exposed to hot sun all day long, while still others may be on the shady side of the building and not get much sun at all. Then there are those that have shade for most of the day, but when in sun it is scorching hot. If your balcony is like that, choose shade-lovers and use a screen to shelter them from the sun.

Most plants need a certain amount of sun to grow successfully, but if you have a shady balcony you can still grow shade-loving plants such as ferns. To get colour, use plants that have colourful foliage like coleus and begonia. So what plants are hardy enough to withstand the vagaries of wind and weather on a balcony?

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Why You Need an Elevator at your Residence?

There was a time when the installation of elevators in the residence was either considered a luxury or a necessity for people with medical conditions. However, with the lowering price of elevators, people who want to improve their way of living are now commonly installing them in their homes as well. Many countries are even passing laws nowadays and making elevator installation mandatory in buildings with more than 3 stories.

On the whole, elevators can be quite useful and following are some of the reasons why you need one at your residence too.

Eases Transportation
Other than making the commute easier and more independent for people with disabilities or any other medical condition, residential elevators can also be useful for moving furniture, luggage and other household items that might be difficult to carry down or up the stairs. It also ensures that the item you are carrying will not be damaged because of mishandling of any sort and that the transporting process will not put your safety at risk.

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Tips for Creating the Best Garden

As you sow, so shall you reap — so sow well to reap the benefits beautifully. A home garden is a dream for many, and being given a chance to design and develop your own is a bounty in itself. In the multitude of plants and beautiful landscape, your house would look like a tiny village with lush green meadows surrounding its edges.  Careful planning and projection of different needs is an integral part of creating for yourself an amazing garden, which ensures healthy growth of plants beautifying your garden.

Make a Plan
Outline a plan on paper or different software. If you have played Farmville, you know what that looks like. According to the covered area of the garden, the sections are to be divided to each plant row and the kinds of shrubs and different organic elements are all to be sketched first. It’s easier switching to a different plan if one doesn’t work rather than doing all the hard work another time.  Keeping all aspects in mind, you can plan out the location and design for your garden, type of landscape you’d like to have, which area is dedicated to make a pathway, which one is for vegetables, and much more needs to be planned for in order to maximize effectiveness.

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Great Ideas for Balcony Gardens Design

People who live in apartment complexes with no access to a backyard appreciate their balconies as a place to relax and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. And naturally, they also like to grow some kind of greenery on the balcony – it seems to be an inbuilt need for most people to have something to do with living plants and earth. Many balconies are ideal for growing plants on. Even those that don’t get much sun can be used to grow shade-loving plants.

However, a balcony is a tiny place and care must be taken when creating a garden with pot plants, otherwise it will risk looking crowded or piecemeal instead of attractive. In fact, it is easy to overcrowd such a small space and then you don’t feel comfortable sitting there – if you can even fit your easy chair in.

Here are some ideas to help you with your balcony garden design.

  • Use lightweight pots. Not only will it be easier to move them around, it will reduce the overall weight on the balcony. It’s a good idea to check what weight the balcony can bear as pots filled with moist potting mix and plants can be heavier than you may think.

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How to Make Use of Recycled Materials for Landscaping

Recycled Materials for Landscaping

Landscaping, adds to the outer appeal of your house. However, a lot of people do not like making expensive investments on their house’s exterior after having spent a large sum on a new house.

Luckily, there are many options available for people who want to indulge in landscaping or green living without excessive costs. One of these methods is the use of recycled materials for landscaping without compromising on the exterior of the house. Recycling is also a way to reduce waste, so in a way, you are not only saving your money, but also reducing the waste you produce.

You can achieve a striking garden by utilizing even the simplest of recyclable material. These materials are of three different kinds, which include; salvaged items, garden refuse, and recycled content. Below are a few of the items that are recycled for landscaping purposes.

Broken Dishware
We all have broken a dish or two occasionally, and then have thrown them away no matter how beautiful they were, but now, you can use them in your recycled landscaping project. The broken pieces of dishware can be used as little decorative pieces. You can shape them in any texture you like and paint them with the color of your choice.

Carpet
To create a new garden, cover it with any old carpet for some weeks and you will notice corrosion of the grass under the carpet, which will ease the digging process. You can also create lanes with the help of a woven carpet and then add stones over it.

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Dream Kitchen with Spacious Cabinets

Planning to splurge on a wonderfully glamorous kitchen? Why not go for cabinets even bigger in size? The total kitchen space available is the first and fundamental aspect to keep in consideration. Adding style and lighting up the most important area of the house is easy with conventional techniques, but cabinets bigger than usual could be considered for many reasons too. They could keep all your stuff sorted and give an air of neatness especially in houses with young kids. Spacious cabinets come with various benefits, such as:

More Room for Crockery and Utensils
Naturally, the more spacious the cabinets are, the more there is room for crockery and cooking utensils. With more storage space, you’ll be able to organize the kitchen equipment and everything else in this particular area of the house better. Snacks and other edible items can also be stored in kitchen cabinets along with cooking items. You could even completely skip the food pantry if you have big airy cabinets in your kitchen providing enough room for food items’ storage.

Tidy Space
A tidied space is what a neat freak dreams of, or anyone, actually. If the kitchen cabinets are spacious, they naturally have more room for storage, and that leaves the counter-tops tidy most of the time. These spacious cabinets can also be used for keeping dustbins in one of them and cleaning solutions under the sink; no more having to have these items on display.

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Pros and Cons of Sliding Windows

There are many different styles of windows, but one of the latest is the sliding window. Not that it is exactly new, but many years ago it was not an option at all, as timber was the main building material for windows and was used for holding window glass in the various styles that were available.

Sliding windows depend on aluminium for the tracks to slide them along; if it was timber the material would wear quickly or warp in the weather and make sliding them open or shut impossible. If you are wondering what kind of windows are best for your new home, here are some pros and cons of sliding windows. Note, these are sliding windows with aluminium surrounds.

Pros

  • With sliding windows you can have a much larger window space. This allows more light into the house and more cool breezes when the day is hot. You can also enjoy a wider vista if you have a nice view to admire. This would not be possible with other kinds of windows due to the weight of the glass, but with sliding windows the weight is supported by the aluminium slot – and the building material underneath it.
  • Sliding windows are easy to open and shut as you don’t have to push them up, just slide them along.
  • You can get almost any size window in this style; large, small, wide, high.
  • The locks on the windows are simple to work and secure.
  • They are easy to clean.
  • No maintenance, such as painting, is required for the part surrounding the glass.
  • The aluminium does not warp, so they never stick.
  • They take up no more space than the wall, unlike awning or hopper windows that protrude on the outside.
  • They are cost effective, being cheaper than some other styles.

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4 Different Types of Home Fencing

chainmesh fencing

Fencing is an important part of any home, not only to keep people out, but to keep them safely in, especially children – and pets. It serves to define the space that is yours and can add a great deal to the look of your home when the right kind is chosen.

There are many different kinds of fences that can be used, but before you make a decision, it is wise to find out just what your council will allow as there may be restrictions in some areas.

Here are 4 different kinds of fencing, along with the pros and cons of each.

  • Steel or Colorbond fencing. This is the choice of many homeowners these days because it offers privacy. This is especially so where homes are close together; you don’t want everything you do and say to be open to the neighbours.  It offers the best privacy – but  at the cost of a view. It can be a good windbreak for delicate flowers in the garden and also creates a small amount of shade; important in hot areas. Colorbond comes in several different colours and does not need to be painted. It is durable and strong and may even keep your dog from barking at the neighbour.

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How to Secure the Value of your House through a Beautiful Yard

A yard is often the most undervalued part of the house, but it shouldn’t be. This is because it can make the difference between an ordinary and extraordinary home. It is the first thing that a visitor sees, and it makes an impression on them with regard to the upkeep of the interior.

Hence, spending money to make the yard look appealing will never be a waste, especially when you decide to sell your house later on. The beautiful yard will, in fact, increase the value of your residence and attract potential buyers easily.

According to a research, a garden increases the value of your house up to 20%, so it is necessary to keep your garden groomed if you want to get the right price for your home. Following are the ways you can use to beautify your house and increase its worth.

Irrigation System
Maintaining the garden and watering it every day is time consuming. In order to make the task easier and simpler, reticulation should be installed in the garden. This will help in watering the grass and plants through pipes to boost their healthy growth. The only effort you will then have to make is turning the tap on and off, and the rest of the work will be done automatically through water flowing from the pipe line. This will keep your yard looking greener than ever before.

Colourful Decorations
If you want people to notice your yard, it needs to stand out. For that purpose, add colours to the garden, not just by planting colourful flowers and different kinds of plants, but by installing and painting the fence as well. To make it look more alluring, add decorative pieces such as lanterns and other interesting objects. A lot people also invest in fountains to make their yard look amazing. Fixtures like waterfalls and fountains really boost the atmosphere of the exterior and create a positive impression on potential buyers.

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The Latest in Pools

These days so many homes have pools, not just for the look of things, although that is often a factor. But pools actually keep the children at home having fun where they are safe and can more easily be supervised by a parent, rather than at the beach where they can sometimes get lost in the crowd. And there are no stinging jellyfish in your home pool.

The Shape of Things to Come
These days’ pools don’t have to be rectangular. It is the latest trend to have your pool customised to suit your block of land and your home. They can be any kind of shape and size from a square to a triangle or an octagon. And they don’t have to be down in the backyard any more. In fact, it is better for the pool to be closer to the home so that you can keep an eye on the kids more easily. Being able to dive in from the deck is brilliant, but you still need to have that safety fence, especially if the children are toddlers. In fact, most councils have strict regulations concerning pool fencing and gates.

The Latest in Pool Fences
So when thinking of the latest in pools, we also have to think about the latest in pool fencing and this is cool because clear glass panels are amazing. They allow the pool to be safely enclosed while still maintaining visibility. You can see right through the glass panels even if you are on an angle to the fence. With most other kinds of fencing there is always that blind spot that means you can’t always see what the kids are up to. Having a glass pool fence is like having a glass shower stall. Because the glass is transparent it makes the room look larger. So your backyard will not appear to be cut in two, or appear smaller than it is.

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Modern or Traditional Kitchen

Your kitchen style says a lot about your own. Kitchen is the most important and sought after area of the house, few would argue against that. Whether you’re a foodie or on crash diets, the kitchen is a family space for all. With the strong aroma of delicious food and airy windows for sunlight while you read the morning paper, this area of the house defines the entire ambience of the house and the style speaks volumes about that of the residents. There are several factors to be kept in consideration while planning to go for either of the options, such as:

  • The personal taste has a lot to do with the style of kitchen one would choose. Some may want a comfortable granny like look while some may go for bright hues and sharp edgy style.
  • An approximation of the period one expects to live in the same property plays a vital role in selecting kitchen styles as well.
  • The budget is another key factor when looking for kitchen design ideas and selection is done accordingly.
  • The dominant style of the house has to be matched with the kitchen style, and if the other interiors are already in line with that style, the kitchen needs to be adjusted according to the overall aura.

Research and exploration is done before deciding on the interior style to choose from, but generally, the decision centers on personal preferences and ideas.

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Ideal glass dividers

Want natural light to stream in to your restaurant, bathing the whole place in the invigorating rays of the sun in style? Use glass dividers. Restaurants seeking transparent space utilization will find glass dividers as the perfect solution. Glass dividers are made of tough material and can glide smoothly along an overhead track system.

You’ll find glass dividers in fixed, sliding, folding, and movable configurations, and they can be either textured or clear. The choice between the available options largely depends on preferences and use. Glass dividers serve multiple purposes, especially in a restaurant. However, it is important to know the best kind of glass dividers for restaurants to be able to make the right choice. Let’s look at some of the ideal glass dividers for restaurants.

Stained glass dividers
If you want to partition the space in your restaurant while adding décor to it, stained glass dividers are a good idea. Without blocking the light, these dividers provide privacy. You can divide the space in your restraints into two parts by using stained glass dividers, or use them to partition the different areas of your restaurant, for instance the dining area and the kid’s playing area.

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The Role of Windows in Green Homes

Green homes are those that are eco friendly, leaving a small carbon footprint. This is often done by the use of passive heating, cooling and lighting. That is where windows come in, especially in a temperate climate.  Large windows on the sunny side of the house will allow natural sunlight in to warm the room and make it lighter. Thus, there will be less need to have the heater and lights on throughout the day as is often needed for a room with small windows.

Windows and the Sun
You might think that a window that allows the sun in will make the room too hot in the summer. This is not the case. The sun is higher in the sky in the summer, so will not shine into the window as much as it does in the winter when it is low. Having wider eaves will also ensure that there is shade on the walls in the summer.

Another thing to use for passive cooling is a shrubby tree outside, that will lose its leaves in the winter, allowing the sun through. In the summer it will have leafy branches that cast shade over the windows.

Type
The kind of window is also important when it comes to being eco friendly. Remember that while sliding windows are usually large, only half the window cavity will be open. This is also true of sash windows. Louvre windows will open up the full cavity because each panel swings out to become horizontal. That said, they don’t shut as tightly as other windows and they tend to catch the dust more when open.

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Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes When Buying a Pool

Buying a pool is a long term decision. Therefore, you need to contemplate, and then decide whether you truly want to make such a big investment in it. However, the decision is never easy and people often end up making blunders which cannot be fixed after they have bought the pool. Following are the 3 mistakes you need to avoid so that you don’t regret them later.

Not Remembering the Purpose
Before you buy a pool, you need to list down the reasons you will be using that pool for, and choose the design, size, and shape according to it. Pools can be used for multiple purposes so make sure you opt for the design that fits all possible uses. It is necessary that you have these things in mind before you meet your pool contractor.

If the sole purpose of having a pool is for family entertainment, then you need to make sure it is safe for use for children as well. You can install safety features such as fences and gates to ensure that pool is only used under adult supervision. Additionally, if you are installing a pool to enhance the outlook of your yard, then things like access for the contractor for excavator hire, lighting and an exceptional backdrop can be utilized which will lighten up the mood of the area. Similarly, pools built with the objective of swimming laps for competitive sports are long and deep, as compared to pools built for exercising or recreation.

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Enhance your Office Interiors with Glass Partitions

Glass partitions are a common part of huge office designs, accentuating the interiors with a sleek and elegant look. With sophisticated aesthetics and various benefits, glass partitions are popular in office premises instead of wooden partitions. Appealing to both staff and visitors, glass partitions in offices create a great visual appeal and the halls look more spacious and filled with natural light.  It is better to hire a professional to design the office space with glass partitions as the selection has to be careful and within the budget for interior decor.

Glass walls, for instance, are an attractive option for glass partitions in offices, making for an upscale look in the interiors of the workplace. These glass walls could be tinted or clear, depending on the requirements. Sliding glass doors are another option to provide glamour to the office space that effortlessly divides the area and creates a modern look with various designs available.

Glass partitions between cubicles are usually the ones with designs so to consider the need of privacy while amalgamating the energy of the entire space. Framed partitions and frameless partitions both are readily available in the market and are up to the choice of the customer to select, both however, look stylish in their own unique way.

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Advantages of Using Fence Slats

On numerous occasions, people make the mistake of installing the wrong kind of fence for their property. However, the use of latest technological advancements has made it possible to amend this mistake with fence slats..

These fence slats are available in many different materials including aluminum, plastic, wood, etc. Whether it’s as a boundary, a wind screen, for privacy or sound control; fence slats can solve your problem and add beauty to your yard at the same time. These slats are available in a variety of colors and designs which can be adjusted and chosen according to your chain link fence.

Following are the benefits of using fence slats as boundaries of your property:

Security Measures for Kids and Pets
Chain links are often big enough for a kid’s hand or head to pass through and become stuck in it. Similarly, animals can get hurt or jump to the other side of the fence if unattended. To make sure such circumstances do not occur, slats can be placed between chain fences to make it safer for kids to play and for pets to roam around in your yard.

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