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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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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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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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How to Troubleshoot a Faulty Furnace

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It’s never fun when your furnace stops working, since a faulty furnace seems to always shut on the coldest day of the year! While it’s good to call a professional when the repairs to your furnace are outside your area of expertise, you might also be able to troubleshoot the problem and address it on your own quickly and easily. Note a few common problems that occur with a faulty furnace and how to fix these, and see if this doesn’t work for your furnace at home. 1. Pilot light keeps going out If you have a gas furnace and the pilot light keeps going out, first be sure that it’s set to be large enough and strong enough to stay lit. There is usually a small screw that adjusts the size of the flame of the pilot light, which should be an inch and a half to two inches in height. Anything smaller and it’s likely to simply die out. You can also use a pipe cleaner to clean out the orifice where the flame comes out to remove any debris that may be getting in its way. 2. The furnace doesn’t kick on If you’ve checked the circuit breaker and your home’s thermostat and know that they’re both working as they should, you might check the power switch to the furnace itself. Many homeowners fail to realize that the furnace can be switched off and doesn’t simply get plugged in or hooked up to gas lines to work. You may have inadvertently shut off the power switch to the furnace itself. If this doesn’t address the issue, it may be faulty wiring to an electrical furnace or something wrong with the gas lines to a gas furnace; these fixes usually require the services of a professional. 3. When the furnace cycles on and off too often If the thermostat to your home is working properly and set to the right temperature, a furnace that cycles on and off too often usually has a clogged or dirty filter. This can cause the motor and blower to work too hard to push warm air through your vents so that it then shuts down as it overheats; the furnace then starts up again as the thermostat of your home reads the space as being too cold. Check your filter and replace it as needed. If this doesn’t fix the problem, the blower itself may be breaking down and cannot support a constant demand for heat, so it then cycles on and off too...

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The Pros and Cons of Displacement Piling

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Piling refers to the different methods that are used to support a firm foundation deep in the ground so that the structure built upon that foundation is sound. Displacement piling is one of the ways through which a foundation can be supported. It involves pushing piles (such as screw piles and precast concrete piles) into the ground so that they displace the material in their path. This article discusses some of the pros and cons of this piling method. Use this information to help you as you select the best piling method for the home that you want to build. The Pros There is no debris to deal with. Displacement piling is a very popular method because there is no excavation involved. There is no waste to transport to a landfill. Thus, displacement piling causes minimal disturbance on the surface of the worksite. The method is self-testing. Piling contractors like Allstate Screw Piling normally examine the site before determining the design of the piles that will provide the needed support for the proposed building. It may not be necessary to conduct any tests to confirm that the piles will do their work once the piles are driven into the ground. This is because the piles will be inserted into the ground until they can no longer move. That point at which they can no longer move any further confirms that they have reached the depth where the contractor wanted them to reach. The piling process is swift. Displacement piling is also very good because it expedites the construction process. The piles do not need any time to set because they are prefabricated. Construction work can commence as soon as the piling contractor drives the last pile into the ground. This is in sharp contrast to other piling methods (such as replacement piling) that require the piling material to be left for several days or even weeks so that it can set. The Cons Noise and vibrations can be an issue. Displacement piling involves using mechanical means (such as an auger attached to earthmoving equipment) to force a pile into the ground. This process generates a lot of noise and vibrations. These can be problematic if the construction project is near a sensitive location such as a hospital. It is hard to go past obstructions. Displacement piles may be hard to force through obstructions such as desiccated clay. This can prevent the pile from reaching the intended depth in case there was a delay that resulted in installing the piles when ground conditions had altered after a prolonged dry spell. This limitation can compel you to use an alternative piling method if conditions change just before you install the displacement piles. Seek for guidance from a piling contractor before you make a final decision about the method of piling for your home. That professional will take you through the different options and suggest how the limitation of a chosen method can be overcome when work commences....

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What Type of Wastes Can You Put in a Skip Bin?

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Identifying your waste type prior to hiring a skip bin is important, given that specific waste types are barred from being placed in certain skips, and more often than not, the type of waste determines the price of skip bin hire. Therefore, it is crucial that you correctly state your anticipated waste type since placement of other trash may lead to further disposal charges once the bin is collected or might lead to the skip not being picked up until it is corrected. Here is a guide to show which type of bins to hire depending on your waste type. Light bin With this type of bin, you can pack all your general household wastes. These include wood, cabinets, boxes, clothes, carpet, plastics, white goods, toys, furniture, steel, cardboard, paper and timber. Additionally, light green wastes, including branches, grass clippings, shrubs, and woodchips are also allowed. Note that the seemingly heavier wastes should be placed at the bottom while the lighter green wastes should be placed at the top of the skip bin for proper balancing. Heavy bin As the name implies, this type of skip bin accommodates all manner of heavy waste types from household demolitions and renovations including concrete, bricks, roof tiles, pebbles, rocks and general renovation waste. Sand bin This type of bin is suited to handle soil, dirt and sand alone. Anything that isn’t dirt, sand or soil should not be filled inside the sand bin. Asbestos bin Asbestos is basically a fibrous material that is hazardous when exposed to the air. If you wish to dispose of any material bonded with asbestos, skip bins specialized for asbestos removal can come in handy. You can only put asbestos materials such as fibro sheeting and asbestos contaminated wastes inside the asbestos bin. This means that no other type of waste, material or trash should be put inside the asbestos bin. Unacceptable waste Skip bins are perfect for removing most types of wastes; however, due to legal or practical reasons, a number of items and materials cannot be disposed of in a bin. The following waste types should never be placed in any type of skip bin: Food wastes, paint, chemicals, oils, gas bottles, car batteries, empty chemical containers, TV/ monitors, plasterboards, fluorescent tubes and electrical appliances and equipment. Generally, putting the wrong waste type in a particular skip bin may cause the skip bin company to refuse to collect it or charge you considerably more. Always specify your intended waste type and order the right skip bin. For more information, contact a local skip bin hire...

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Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid in Your Home

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Trying to handle your own plumbing needs at home can be a challenge, as plumbing is often more difficult to manage on your own than you may realize. Making just one simple mistake can mean a plumbing disaster in your home, with expensive repair bills down the road. Even a supposedly simple job can be more complicated than you realize, so note a few common plumbing mistakes you’ll want to avoid in your home when you decide to tackle your own plumbing issues. 1. Bending pipe instead of using fittings If pipes need to change direction to run around vents or other materials in your home, you don’t want to actually bend the pipe. This can mean interrupting the flow of water because there is no smooth transition in the direction of the water flow when you simply bend a pipe. Fitting should be used instead. These will gently curve away from the pipe so that water can continue to flow in the direction it should without getting interrupted by a bend that is too sharp or that causes the pipe to become too narrow. 2. Not using temperature limiting devices There are typically legal limits as to the heat of water coming from showers and hot water taps, but don’t rely on the thermostat of your hot water heater to keep water from getting hotter than it should. The hot water heater may actually allow water to go past this acceptable limit and then it simply shuts off so that water can cool down, but if you use the shower or faucet in that time, you could get scalded. When installing your own plumbing, you need to use temperature limiting devices on the shower and the faucets or a mixing valve on the hot water heater to ensure that water doesn’t scald or burn you when you turn it on.  3. Failing to protect against nails There are actually stud guards that are applied around plumbing that comes too close to nails in studs and beams, so that these nails don’t bump into the pipes and cause them to break or crack. If you fail to use these guards, the pipes can start to knock around as water runs through them and bump against the nails. You may see eventual cracks in the pipes if this happens, so don’t make the mistake of not protecting the pipes against these nails, screws, and other such hazardous connections behind the walls.   For more tips or help tackling a big plumbing problem, contact a company like Murphy Plumbing Pty...

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