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Health-Friendly Homes; Tips to Building An Allergy Friendly Home

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A healthy home is a must have as an allergy sufferer. Imagine having a dream house that provides you with lasting health benefits. As an allergy sufferer, the condition of your indoor air can affect your quality of life. Product selection is one of the most important steps in minimizing discomforts while building a new home. Truth there is no place that is better as an allergy sufferer. It’s not where you need to build your new home that matters; it’s how well designed your home will be. While designing your allergy friendly home, here are important tips to improve the quality of a health-friendly home. Specification on flooring  Given your allergies, it’s important to pass on carpets and other soft or fabric materials that are allergen friendly. A stylish concrete floor is ultimately a good choice of flooring for a low-allergen home you can also opt floor constructed with hardwood for design flexibility. Other than being attractive, hardwood doesn’t capture mold, dust mite or allergens. For wet rooms, such as the bathroom and kitchen you, go for slate, stone, or tile materials since they are less likely to harbor bacteria, and are also easy to clean. Cabinets and counters Natural wood is a far better option for cabinets since it doesn’t release Volatile Organic Compounds(VOC). Natural stone such as quartz is great for countertops since its durable, stain resistant and doesn’t emit VOC. Building materials Chemically treated timber wall frames creates a home with an indoor climate that only timber can create. Timber framed structures can be easily clad with brick and cement to achieve a similar appearance to masonry counterparts. Timber wall frames present healthy home building materials while at the same time promoting sustainability. Timber creates the best indoor climate that provides you with lasting health benefits.  Other than being zero-VOC timber wall frames help in controlling temperatures, buffer moisture, and humidity and provide a mold resistant option. All these qualities are very important to a healthy allergen-free home. Wall finishes Use sourced healthy paints that contain zero-VOC for both interior and exterior applications. This ensures that the quality of air inside your home is not compromised. Heating and cooling system In floor heating systems are great for allergy sufferers. They reduce the spread of common allergens since they don’t push fire particulate matter around the house. Install proper filters on cooling and air conditioning systems to remove completely remove all allergens from the indoor environment. Install a proper ventilation system to increase air flow and reduce...

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Why You Should Consider Engineered Stone for Your Residence

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

One of the building materials favoured by both homeowners and contractors alike is natural stone. This should not come as a surprise considering that natural stone materials are not only incredibly beautiful, but they are also absolutely functional and long-wearing too. However, natural stone materials tend to be quite expensive and may not be financially viable for a considerable amount of people. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you cannot enjoy the benefits of stone in your home. Another option that you could consider is engineered stone. This material is made by integrating aggregates of both granite as well as quartz and mixing them together with special resins to form solid surfaces. The following are some of the reasons why you should consider engineered stone for your residence.  Engineered stone is highly durable One of the biggest reasons why engineered stone is ideal for any household is its high durability. This type of stone is highly resistant to superficial damages such as chipping, scratching and cracking. As such, you can rest assured that the material will remain in pristine condition for a significant period of time. In addition to this, engineered stone is also highly stain resistant. This is unlike other types of natural stones with high porosity, which leads to fast staining that indelibly changes the appearance of your stone surfaces. Lastly, engineered stone has a high heat resistance. Therefore, you do not worry about it acquiring damage when hot items are placed atop of it.  Engineered stone is suitable for an assortment of applications Another reason why engineered stone is ideal for any household is that it can be used for a myriad of applications. When investing in construction materials, most homeowners would like to make the most of them by being able to integrate the same materials in different areas of their home. Engineered stone is one such material as it can be used for flooring, to construct your walls, as benchtops and more. As such, you have the flexibility to use engineered stone in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the living room, on walkways and any other area that you can think of.  Engineered stone is cost efficient If you are renovating or constructing your home on a budget, undoubtedly you would prefer to use materials that will not stretch your finances. This is why engineered stone is an ideal alternative. With engineered stone, you get the chance to spend less money than you would if you were repurchasing natural stone materials. Moreover, you do not get to compromise on the quality of materials that you are using on your...

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Essential Tips for Choosing a Wall Tile for the Bathroom

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The wall tile you choose for your bathroom, either just for the shower area or to go over the walls in the entire space, is very important; it needs to be tough and durable but also easy to clean. Mould tends to collect on the face of that tile as well as behind the walls, so you want a durable tile that you can clean with a brush and bleach without damaging the tile itself. You also want a tile that looks good and that is easy to replace if there is damage done. Note a few simple but very essential tips for choosing wall tile for your bathroom. Abrasion and durability of manmade stone You want wall tiles, and especially those used in the bathroom where they’ll be cleaned often, to be resistant to abrasion. You don’t always need to be an expert on manmade stones themselves to make the right choice. Look for what is called the PEI rating, or Porcelain Enamel Institute rating, to determine a manmade stone tile’s level of hardness. These ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5; the lower the PEI rating, the more porous the tile and the more likely it is to show abrasions. Tiles used in commercial settings usually have the highest rating, but these can look very industrial. Look for a PEI rating of around three for your bathroom so you can easily clean the tile without damaging it. Natural stone is not graded according to this PEI scale, so you would need to note if your home can manage the weight of more durable yet heavier stones like limestone or granite. These stones are durable but they may need added bracing along the walls to hold their weight; if you’re unsure of how to do this, choose a manmade tile instead. Texture If you’re matching the tiles on the wall with those on the floor, look for a textured stone or other materials. A soft and smooth surface such as limestone can mean more risk of slipping and especially as the surface gets wet. Replacement tiles If tiles in the bathroom should get damaged, you want to note how easy and affordable it is to replace them. Subway tiles have a larger size so you can replace one area that’s damaged more readily than a section of smaller mosaic tiles. Tiles that are adhered to a web backing rather than large single tiles, such as limestone, can also be easier to cut away and replace when they get cracked or discoloured. Talk with a contractor from a business like Herrmann Tiles to learn more about your bathroom wall tile...

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Essential Tips for Maintaining a Home’s Concrete Driveway

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

All concrete eventually chips or cracks or otherwise needs repair, as the material absorbs water and expands or gets brittle in cold weather. However, the way you maintain your home’s concrete driveways will have a lot of impact on how long it lasts before those repairs are needed. Most homeowners know to seal their concrete driveway regularly, but there is much more to maintaining it than this. Note a few essential tips you’ll want to consider. Clean it properly Many homeowners use a pressure washer to clean the concrete driveway, but too much pressure will mean hitting areas that are cracked and broken and making them worse, or taking off some sealant and allowing water to seep into the material. Unless you’re concentrating the spray on a stained area, use only the pressure that’s needed to remove leaves and dirt and nothing more, and only use a detergent meant for concrete in particular.  Avoid patching what can’t be patched Concrete patching kits are readily available at hardware stores, but these are not a cure-all for everything that might be wrong with your concrete driveway. These kits are usually meant for hairline cracks and pits; if two sections of concrete have broken apart, that patching compound is not meant to hold them together. If you use such a material, this won’t protect the exposed layers of concrete and your driveway will simply hold more moisture in place and suffer greater damage. For very severe cracks or broken concrete, get a fresh batch of concrete mix itself and use that for repair. Be careful of chemicals Concrete is a very tough material, but it’s not indestructible. Chemicals can be especially rough on the surface, softening the concrete and even eating away it, causing cracks to form. Chemical deicers are one common culprit; rather than using these on your driveway, rely on sand or just an old-fashioned snow blower instead.  Anything that leaves a stain or mark on concrete also usually has chemicals that damage the surface, and this can include any number of fluids from your car. This can also include chemicals you might use for your hobbies or work around the house, such as paint thinners, acids for etching, and the like. If you work in your home’s driveway for any reason, be sure you put down a plastic tarp to protect the concrete and then clean anything left behind very quickly. This will protect the concrete from being damaged and then eventually...

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Top Reasons To Switch to Solid Timber Flooring

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Whether you have carpeting, tile, or faux wood flooring, you might be considering installing the real thing. Solid timber flooring provides a wide range of benefits, from the aesthetic appeal to the quality that is hard to beat. Here are some of the top reasons you should consider switching out your current flooring for solid timber flooring. It Can Increase the Value of Your Home Even if you love the house you are currently in, there may come a time in the future when you decide to sell it. At this time, you will be glad you made certain improvements to increase its value. Having real timber flooring installed is one of the improvements that can increase the value of the home. Timber flooring doesn’t depreciate, so while the condition of the flooring might change the value, age won’t make a difference. Solid timber is Very Durable Because timber flooring does have a risk of warping or water damage without proper sealing and care, people often have the misconception that it doesn’t last a long time. However, as long as you take good care of it, your flooring can actually last a very long time. Timber is actually very durable, so while you will be paying a little more for the materials and to have it installed, the investment can be worth it. Just make sure you take care of it and get it sealed routinely. This protects the surface of the wood so that it doesn’t experience scratches and other forms of damage. Sealing the wood can also protect it from termites and other pests that tend to target wood. It is Eco-Friendly One thing you may not realise about solid timber flooring is that it can be eco-friendly, especially when comparing it to engineered timber. With engineered timber flooring, it goes through a chemical process that often includes using hazardous chemicals. Solid timber is the real thing and doesn’t need to use any harsh chemicals. You can also find timber flooring that is made from recycled wood, which is another way you can lower your carbon footprint by using it. You Have a Lot of Options As far as colour, grain, and type of wood, there are many options available to you. You can go with a classic maple, a popular oak, or an upscale teak. Even trees like cypress are sometimes used for hardwood flooring. There are many different shades from light and medium to dark and cherry-coloured wood. This allows you to customise it for your...

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How to decorate a tiny bathroom

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Decorating a small bathroom can be a challenge; however, with a little bit of thought and careful planning, you can create the illusion of spaciousness in even the tiniest of en-suites.  Choose the right sink Large pedestal sinks can look beautiful in a standard-sized bathroom, but, in smaller spaces, their physical bulk makes them unsuitable. Not only do they take up far too much room, but you’re also much more likely to bang into them and potentially injure yourself each time you use the bathroom. The solution to this is to opt for a corner sink. These are both physically and visually unobtrusive. If you go for this style, make sure to choose one with under-sink storage to maximise the functionality of this area of the room.  Keep the colour palette simple In small rooms, lighter colours are almost always a better choice than their darker counterparts; this is because the brightness they provide makes the space appear larger than it really is. As such, when selecting the colour palette for your bathroom, go for either white, cream or pastel shades.  If this type of neutral palette seems a bit too dull for your tastes, don’t worry; you can always create some visual interest by adding in a row of patterned, colourful tiles  as a bath, shower or sink backsplash. When shopping for tiling supplies, try to choose slightly larger, glossy tiles, as these can help to give the illusion of  a much bigger space by bouncing light across the bathroom.  Another easy way to inject some personality into an otherwise neutrally-decorated bathroom is through the addition of a brightly coloured shower curtain, hand towel and soap dish.  Make the most out of the wall space When it comes to decorating a particularly tiny bathroom, it’s crucial to use every inch of available space, including the walls. Hanging a large mirror on one is a very effective way to visually expand the room, whilst fitting some towel racks and hooks will create some additional storage space for towels, bathrobes and other linen items.  If the layout of your bathroom allows for it, you might also want to consider installing a few open shelves, where you can place toiletries and a few decorative items. If you want these shelves to be as inconspicuous as possible, opt for glass panels. Light entering the bathroom will then be able to travel through the glass, creating less of a visual barrier than standard opaque...

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Four Tips When Enhancing Interior Walls with Paintable Textured Wallpaper

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Sometimes, when homeowners are doing remodeling projects (through professionals such as Prefab Technology Pty Ltd), they are often undecided on whether to paint their walls or install wallpapers. Paintable wallpapers are a preferred choice when you want to get the better of these two worlds. The popularity of the wallpaper stems from its ease of use and versatility. Furthermore, paintable wallpapers are available in different patterns and distinctive textures that can be customized to individual preferences. This article highlights four tips when remodeling using paintable textured wallpapers. Install on a Few Walls — Many people prefer to plaster paintable wallpaper on interior walls of the entire house. However, the best practice is to use it in small doses. The boldness and uniqueness of textured paintable wallpaper are accentuated when glued installed in few walls. For instance, you can hang the paintable wallpaper on the lower parts of the living room wall to act as a decorative wood panel. Similarly, have the wallpaper installed on the ceiling or bedroom to give the rooms a little color. Priming Interior Walls — For durability and longevity, ensure that your walls are primed before installing the textured wallpaper. Patch any holes and nicks that might cause air bubbles to damage the wallpaper. Use a gypsum-based filler to patch the wall. After the patchwork, smooth the wall with sandpaper before painting with a primer (preferably acrylic). A primer guarantees that the wallpaper will stick properly to the wall while helping in future removal.  Let the primed wall dry before hanging the wallpaper.  Hanging Textured Wallpaper — Some versions of the wallpaper come with a paste that is designed to prevent wall damage when removing the wallpaper. Apply a special glue to your wallpaper if it is not pre-pasted. Submerge the pre-pasted wallpaper in a tray of water to soften the paste in readiness for installation. With the adhesive side facing each other, fold the ends of the wallpaper together. The next step is to apply the wallpaper to you preferred wall using a smoothing knife. Use a utility knife to remove extra wallpaper, and a seam roller to secure its edges to the wall. Use a dry cloth to remove excess paste from the textured wallpaper. It is recommended that you let the installed wallpaper settle undisturbed for at least a day.  Apply Low-gloss Paint — Individual taste determines the type of paint you will prefer on the wallpaper. An eggshell, satin or semi-gloss paint will give your wallpaper an excellent texture. However, these finishes can be somewhat exaggerated especially in a well-lit environment. As an alternative, you can apply a low-gloss paint to produce a sophisticated, but subtle texture. You should test the paint on a small surface before applying on the whole wallpaper. Based on the type of wallpaper, one or two coats of paint will be adequate. Paintable wallpapers enable you to change colors as your preference and sense of style...

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3 Major Decisions You Need To Consider Before Restumping Your House

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Restumping, or reblocking, is a major undertaking for any homeowner. You should seek the service if your floor has started showing signs of settling or if the stumps are nearing their age limit (applicable for wood). In any case, if you do decide to go ahead and seek a restumping service, there are 3 major decisions you should make before the work commences. Find out what they are below.  Concrete, timber or steel stumps? The old stumps under your house can be replaced using three options: timber stumps, concrete stumps or steel stumps. Concrete is common because it’s very durable. It cannot be gravely affected by moisture and other risk factors. It’s also cheaper than steel. Steel is also common because it offers great structural integrity. However, there is a slight chance it can be affected by moisture to cause rust. You may also opt for timber stumps. However, timber stumps have high chances of being affected by pests and moisture. Therefore, they have to be replaced periodically, unlike steel and concrete stumps that are permanent. Partial or total restumping? Another major decision you’ll have to make at this point is whether to restump only the affected areas or the entire house. As your contractor will tell you, it’s a tricky decision. However, the rule of thumb dictates that if more than a third of the stumps are damaged, then you should have the entire house restumped just as a precaution. That’s because it’s highly likely that the rest of the stumps will need replacing eventually. As you can imagine, no homeowner would like to carry out a second restumping process while they had the chance to complete the job the first time. It’s more costly to restump the whole house but it’s worth it in the long term. House levelling or house raising? During the restumping process, your contractor will first level the house to reverse any slab settling that may have occurred. It is also possible for the contractor to raise the level of the house at this time. That is if all the stumps are being replaced. While not mandatory, house raising has some benefits such as keeping the sub floor farther away from ground moisture, storm water, and pests. It can also improve the view from your house, albeit just by a fraction. Whichever decision you make amongst the above three queries will have far-reaching effects on the restumping process. Talk it over with your restumping contractor or a building consultant and make a decision before the process...

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Things to Consider When Hiring a Skip Bin

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Renovating your home and even moving means that you will have lots of trash to throw out, and if you’re not looking to make hundreds of trips with your own personal vehicle to the landfill, you may want to consider an alternative method of getting rid of the rubbish. A skip bin is a great idea for times when you have a lot of things you need to dispose of, and there are many companies out there that have skip bins for hire. Most people already know that skip bins come in a variety of different sizes, but there are a few other things you should be informed of before hiring one. Location of the Skip Bin Is Important – First and foremost, you need to decide where you are going to place the skip bin that you hire. Some skip bins are mobile, but unless you have a permit, you won’t be placing your skip bin on a sidewalk or anywhere considered public property. You need to know ahead of time where you want the skip bin to be placed, because once it has been placed, there is no moving it, short of calling the company and requesting they send someone to move it. If you think you’re going to need to move your skip bin, opt for a mobile one instead. Will You Need Doors? – Another thing to consider is whether or not you will need your skip bin to have doors. If your skip bin does not have doors, you will need to lift the trash up over the top of the bin and throw it in, however, doors make everything easier. They open downward, allowing you to save time and money and throw your trash in much easier. What Can Be Thrown In the Skip Bin? – One of the most important things about a skip bin is knowing what you can and what you cannot throw into it. Company policies vary, but you will find that if you throw prohibited items into the skip bin, you may be looking at a pretty hefty fine. Usually, you will not be allowed to throw liquids of any kind, including beverages, paint, solvents or oil, into the skip bin. Electronic items such as computers, TVs or video game systems are also prohibited, and you’ll want to avoid items such as car batteries and engines as well. Finally, items that may contain asbestos are not allowed by any means. For more information and tips, contact a local skip bin company like Binshoot Bin...

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Some Benefits of Lime Stabilisation on Your Property

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re a homeowner looking to build a new home on a lot or add another storey or addition to your existing home, you may have been told to consider lime stabilisation for your soil. Lime is also often added to gardens and landscaping features to treat the soil, and is typically done when soil is very dry or overly dusty. If you’re wondering why lime stabilisation may be used on your property and why it’s so important, note a few benefits of the process and then discuss this option with your building or landscaping contractor so you choose the right processes for your property.  1. Creating strong soil Lime is added to increase soil’s overall expansion when it’s very moist, so that it becomes stronger than soft, wet soil. Lime is typically added to the building pad of a construction site so that the soil is then strong enough to support the weight of the building or any additions you’re adding to your home. The soil becomes more compact very quickly when you add lime to it, so that it can then be built on rather quickly. Trying to mix aggregates into moist soil can be done but these processes can be time-consuming and not always effective, whereas adding lime creates a soil base that is ready for construction. 2. Reducing dust If you have a vacant lot on which you will build, it may be recommended that you add lime to the soil to reduce the production of dust through the clearing process. Lime helps to compact the soil and keep it together so that there are fewer dust particles as the lot is cleared and leveled. This can make cleanup of the site easier and also make clearing it more eco-friendly, as resultant dust won’t settle into water bodies or other areas and cause drying or contamination. 3. Acting as a moisture stabiliser Because lime is added to soil to make it more compact, it then also allows more moisture to be held in the soil where needed. This can reduce the risk of soil erosion in dryer areas, and ensure that gardens and landscaping features have sufficiently moist soil in which to grow. This process can also be used to control the direction of moisture on your property; rather the building a retaining wall to keep moisture from collecting around your home’s foundation, you can add lime to certain areas of your property to hold moisture in place and protect your home and better control the overall nature of your...

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What Makes Epoxy Coating Good for Concrete Garage Floors?

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Epoxy coating can give you a brilliant finishing touch, whether you are installing a new concrete floor or resurfacing a severely deteriorated concrete floor. Given that garages are increasingly becoming more than just homes for cars, the benefits of epoxy coating have made it one of the most sought-after finishing options for garage flooring. Long-lasting Aside from looking stunningly attractive, the thick, hardened application that you remain with once the epoxy has changed to solid polymer forms a coating that is considerably durable and resilient to wear caused by staining, chipping, surface abrasion, and chemical reactions. Hence, you won’t have to worry about easily damaging the concrete floor when a metal bar hits falls over. Because epoxy flooring is impact and abrasion-resistant, you can even drive your small farm tractor into the garage and not damage your newly-finished floor. Moisture-resistant Epoxy flooring is also offers remarkable resistance to moisture buildup on concrete garage floors, which are often susceptible to water spills and leaks. This is of crucial importance to people who reside in wet or snowy climates where high humidity is commonplace.  Easy to clean Once the epoxy coating has toughened on the concrete, it becomes impermeable and can therefore resists a whole lot of dirt, making it is much easier to clean. All it takes to clean out stains, motor oil, grease, and other forms of unwanted substances from your epoxy-coated garage floor is a clean rag and a little soapy water. Icy brines that can stay on concrete floors when it is wintertime can also be cleaned out extremely easily. Restorative qualities Concrete garage floors that are worn down can be brought back to life with an epoxy coating. In essence, this coating is in itself self-leveling and can provide a smooth, refined finish that can seal all the cracks, blemishes and failings of your existing floor. Epoxy coating is a nice way to revive the initial charm of your garage floor, which may have been lost with time as the regular paint applied quickly faded away. You can even try something new from the extensive array of colors or textures available to brighten up your garage space. Good for environmental sustainability Last but not least, epoxy coatings are an eco-friendly option for your garage floor because of the reduction in demand for new concrete material. Because of its restorative qualities, epoxy coating is a superb alternative to installing a completely new floor where one already...

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