If you are reading this article, I bet that you have watched a few seasons of The Block and reckon you have decided to find some tips and tricks on house renovating. But before you begin knocking down structural walls to bring an indoor Zen garden, experts say there are loads of approaches to give your place a Moët makeover on a VB budget. To prevent over spending, it is important to follow the guideline of ‘never to spend more than 10 percent of your property’s present value on the job’. Below are some tips and tricks to renovating your home whether for property worth, or for your own.

  1. Break it down

To avoid getting overwhelmed, renovation specialist Barry Du Bois, from Channel 10’s The Living Room, indicates you split up each job into small tasks.

Split the house up into chambers, split it up in the tasks within each area so you can see your progress as you go. Otherwise, it may get too large and you may lose an eye on where you are headed, and then shed enthusiasm and motivation. Perhaps find a tradie to help out at the beginning of renovating; this may help you to figure out the plan and process of renovating.

  1. Make kerb appeal

The great Australian dream is a large backyard, but unfortunately the rear and front yards are the most neglected areas of most properties. 81 percent of gardens and outside jobs are left unfinished by Aussie home improvers, found by a survey of Experts Home Improvement. Perhaps install new garden beds and plants, rejuvenate old concrete pathways and drives with a gurney and paving paint for greater visual appeal.

These are all tricks you can use to make people believe you have spent more money than you really have.

  1. Small things, big difference

You do not even need to get out the tools for some small cosmetic procedures. Small tasks and finishings, like heating and cooling in rooms, cleaning filthy exhaust fans, upgrading doorknobs and handles, and painting doorframes, are all things possible buyers notice. Cleanliness and presentation are paramount to people enjoying the house and seeing themselves living there. If this is the first DIY renovation, the first room you try should be the laundry room, in contrast to the kitchen or bathroom as you are just a beginner and the less mistakes made on the bigger rooms, the better it is for your house value and your own self esteem to keep renovating.

  1. Look the part

If you wish to get discounts on hardware, appliances and contracting work, do not do it while wearing your polo Ralph Lauren. Like it or not, sales people judge you on your appearance. However, if you walk into a shop to negotiate sporting designer sunglasses, they are going to attempt to extract each and every cent from you – so actually appear to be a tradie.

And when online shopping is more your speed, make sure you are getting the right deal online. Do your research and find the best site for you, so you can save money and time shopping in the future.

  1. There is a program for that

Save money, time, and frustration by downloading these free popular house apps.

Paint My Position: Never purchase sample paint pots again. Trial more than 30,000 colours from bestselling brands, by taking a photograph of this area you want to paint and virtually changing its colour.

DIY Handyman Toolbox: Performs common handyman calculations; converts between metric and imperial measurements; computes in square or cubic metres, which can be useful when purchasing materials for flooring, concreting, gardens and painting.

Houzz Interior Design Ideas: Find plenty of interior decorating inspiration from 1.5 million layout ideas which you may save to a digital scrapbook.


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The number of individuals working from home is rising: some might have a completely independent set up whereas others are interested in a way to make additional money in conjunction with their daily job.  

A home-based business can be understood as: 

The foundation for a company e.g. a tradesperson working from their home base and onsite at the client’s premises, the place of business e.g. a hairdresser working in their own home, a consultant, business coach or contractor using a home workplace, frequently visiting clients, or the foundation for an Internet business. 

There are a number of things you will need to know to in running a business from home. 

Registrations and licenses

When working from home some companies require special registrations or licenses, in addition to a council planning permit. In order to accurately identify what is most appropriate for your home business contact your local council for more information on planning licenses and other local permits and requirements. 

Insuring a home-based Small Business

A frequent misunderstanding among home businesses is that because they are working out of home, they think they are adequately covered by a domestic Home and Contents insurance cover which may not always be the case.  

Tax deductions

There are two types of deductible expenditures, running and occupancy expenses. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) allows you to claim these two forms of expenses normally associated with running your house. Should you put aside a particular work area then you can claim both. If you haven’t put aside an area just for the company, then you can only claim running expenses. 

Home-based business running costs include power, printer consumables, cleaning and telephone expenses. Home-based business occupancy expenses include mortgage interest, council rates, rent and insurance premiums. Additionally, the expense of travel for business functions is usually deductible, which means you may have the ability to claim the expense of trips between your house and other places if the travel is business associated. 

Take note that if you use part of the house for a company, you might need to pay capital gains tax if you sell the house, even when you did not claim any deductions for mortgage interest or occupancy costs when you conducted the business.  

Contact information for your home business

You will have to give contact information to your customers and suppliers, and on receipts and invoices. If you do not have customers and clients visiting then you might choose to avoid supplying your home address. Establish a post office box or locked bag with Australia Post or alternatively, get a street number address if you would like to avoid supplying a PO Box as your address. 

Virtual office

This choice can simply supply a street address and replying service, but could also provide printing, copying and courier services as well as boardroom and meeting room hire for things like small business coach training. There are lots of business centres offering virtual office facilities across Victoria. 


You might require an extra telephone line for business calls. Another telephone line helps keep business costs separate for reporting and taxes. An answering service may help provide a professional appearance if you are busy with a client, or on the road and unable to answer your mobile phone. 

Use your Community council

Council websites frequently have information about business activity within their area and support for home-based companies. This can be a fantastic way to work out who’s your competition and plan how you are going to market your services or products.  

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Beach décor is not necessarily a seasonal or geographical trend. It can stretch from metropolitan to rural landscapes and can be achieved with a few minor changes.  

The very best interior design suggestions for beach homes revolve around the colours, accessories, and textures of the ocean and the seashore. Vibrant bright colours, demanding sand-like textures and interesting accessories which help to bring the outside in are all vital elements to a beach styled home. Practicality is also vital.  

If the house is at a beachfront location furnishings and fabrics have to be sturdy enough to withstand the salt air and humidity, as well as serving their purpose of stylish coastal interior design 


You do not need to go overboard with shells and pieces of driftwood to achieve the relaxed coastal vibe. Instead, a subtle hint of this style is going to have more impact. Washed-back picture frames, large glass bottles or bowls and vases in teals and blues all work to create the right feeling. 

To bring warmth and comfort into the warmer colors related to a coastal residence, use lots of soft furnishings, such as throws, cushions, rugs and wall hangings. 

With decorations, think about items which might have washed ashore or earn a marine mention: blue, white and grey coral; cubes (such as nautilus and tiger cowrie); gnarled bits of driftwood; baskets and mats made from woven grass or strand; hurricane lamps; an older oar or boat steering wheel; a telescope; or even a marine map. 

Large indoor plants work nicely for the coastal vibe since they help to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor. Colourful and tropical blossoms in huge pots add a lush, lively appearance and feel, while still supplying some extra drama to the area. 


Timber works nicely in such surroundings, be it raw, stained or painted white. Consider timber dining chairs and tables, coffee tables, bookshelves, stools, side tables and bedheads as almost any area in the home may gain from a wood-style finish. Painted or polished floorboards along with tiling in the functional wet places is ideal. Carpets can also be ideal as they offer a means to introduce colour and texture. Open-weave rugs in organic fibers work well in almost any room for the coastal appearance.  In bedrooms and living rooms, natural woven rugs made from sisal, seagrass or wool provide a sense of warmth and comfort. 



Beach furniture includes couches that are plump and comfy. Calico and lace fabrics add great feel. Adding an upholstered chaise, leather ottoman or rustic wooden armchair may add personality and extra room for guests and family. Utilizing slipcovers for upholstered pieces is an excellent way to maintain the couch and chairs looking fresh regardless of continual wear.  

Other crucial coastal furnishings for a beach-style house include a sizable kitchen/dining area table which is large enough to seat family members and many guests. A big wooden plank-style dining table with easy chairs or chairs is best. 


For the walls, a  weatherboard or a woven wall covering such as seagrass background may add a decorative element to what’s basically a pared-back design. Using natural textures found in coastal regions such as granite and limestone for tiles and benchtops links the house into the surrounding coastal environment.  

White is the main feature in a coastal interior, representing sea foam as well as the snowy sand. Steer clear of whites using an excessive amount of yellow in them, since this can make an antique feel instead of a new, light-filled finish. Coastal colors like blues, greys and aquas are also common. To soften the color scheme, attempt rugs in the colours of sand, taupe, brown or cream. 


Among the easiest methods to provide a coastal vibe is to open up your windows and allow the natural light in. Taking down any heavy winter drapes replacing them with gentle sheers, which will allow the breeze and coastal feel in. 

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In a state with a population of over a billion, almost a quarter have a personal online connection. And of the small percentage, only a very tiny handful are now taking action to secure their Internet connection. Nowadays, if you are using a broadband Internet connection then you would have a Wi-Fi access point set up on your property. Securing this connection is extremely straightforward, and not doing so is just inviting trouble.

With information caps, consultants of an IT service company in Melbourne say that you can risk freeloaders using your network without your knowledge, resulting in you spending more money, unnecessarily. If someone uses your link for an illegal action, it may be traced back to your own Wi-Fi system, which might cause problems too. Merely purchasing the finest high-speed online connection isn’t enough – it is unquestionably important to make certain that your Internet connection is protected, and here are a few easy ways to achieve this.

1. Change the password of your router

With the most basic technical abilities, any rookie can hack into your router’s admin panel. So as to guard your Wi-Fi from freeloaders enjoying your Internet without your consent, you will need to begin by securing your router’s firmware. Even before you actually connect your router to the web, ensure to login into your router’s admin panel and change the default username password.

Most users can get the admin panel by typing in the address bar of the browser. This can be router’s default IP address, if it doesn’t work, it may be or based on the manufacturer of your router. The default username and password should be recorded in your router’s documentation, on a decal on the side of your router. Many IoT devices get hacked because of use of default passwords.

2. Secure Wi-Fi with a strong password

Although this might seem obvious, even today a lot of people don’t realise that any password that’s easy to guess (such as your name, mobile number, or date of birth) is the main reason why neighbours are commonly the first one’s piggybacking on your Wi-Fi without your knowledge. Despite the fact that we’re more reliant on the Web than ever, ‘123456’ stays the most frequent password. In case you have to talk about your Wi-Fi password with acquaintances or friends, ensure that you change your password after. Gradually changing your password may sound like a task that you’ll have to login again from all of your devices, but the biggest advantage is that each and every time you reset it, you reset the amount of people who can connect to your network back into one – just you.

3. Update your router’s firmware

Firmware controls how your device behaves as it is the software that is embedded into your router. If you are facing any problems with your wireless signal and need network security and services in Melbourne, upgrading your router’s firmware from a local network services company may just resolve your problems and give stable connectivity. Periodically check for any available updates in your router’s firmware and enjoy latest security patches, security updates, performance enhancements, and improved network connectivity.

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Setting up a house for future retirement is an important aspect of any retiring household. To do this, plans must be put in place to ensure a safe living environment that will minimise your risk of injury when combined with other intervention strategy like falls prevention training. This should involve modifications to your house that creates a more secure, safe space that is a lot easier to reside in. We have compiled a listing of aging suggestions to assist you for the modifications you may make to your own, or even a loved one’s house. These ideas include house remodeling jobs, or smaller tasks, which can overall increase the safeness of your home. Our expectation is to motivate you to take charge of your own wellbeing in your home, which makes the transition to retirement easy and pleasurable.


Doors and Openings

Each interior door in your house must be 32″ wide at minimal. This allows for easier access by foot traffic and makes them reachable (A 36″ width is recommended). In case you need to replace a door, then you need to replace it with as 36″ doorway, if at all possible.

Effortless opening Drawers and doors

To create all exterior and interior doors, cupboard doors, and cabinet doors can be made reachable by altering the way open them. All door handles should be altered from standard door handles to lever grips. All cabinet drawers and doors should possess “D” type door handles. Open shelves and cabinets or slide-out shelves are much better.

Carpet and Flooring

All carpet and flooring have to be maintained in good shape. Ripped or loose carpet can raise the odds for falling or tripping. Consider replacing any worn carpets using a safer low-risk style or alternative floor covering for a more secure method of living.

Slippery Flooring

By removing or diminishing slippery surfaces, you will lower the prospect of falling. You might want to look at replacing or covering slippery floors with low pile carpeting or anti-trip surfaces. Additionally, it is suggested to keep floor surfaces clean. This is particularly true in areas such as the kitchen and bathroom to reduce slipping.

Throw Rugs

Eliminate all throw carpets and/or rugs. Unsecured rugs are a top cause of falling and tripping. Rather, maybe look at using non-slip flooring without, throw rugs whatsoever for a safer environment.

Proper Lighting

Lighting is extremely crucial for keeping a secure atmosphere. Low light is tough on the eyes and also reduces apparent eyesight, which may raise the probability of tripping. Adding extra lighting in rooms, cabinets or other regions that require just a little bit milder (job lights are more affordable than adding lighting fittings and permit you to get the lighting precisely where you require it) may lessen the possibility of tripping. But, adequate fittings in each room is essential.

Light Switches

Convenient light switch places which are easy to achieve is quite critical in almost any family. The ability to switch lighting off and on before entering an area is essential to guarantee safety. Rocker switches are perfect for usability, or you might also contemplate installing lighted switch discs, which will aid in finding the light switch when it’s dark.

An individual’s ability to get about their home and socialise with their environment will ultimately determines their success (and pride) with aging in place.

Appropriate preparation and alterations can permit you to move around safely in your house. Making minor adjustments can greatly enhance your wellbeing. As an example, installing grab bars can help you maintain your balance on your toilet and widening doorways are able to allow you to get around on your house easier. Also consider furniture as well; a quality bed with a hospital mattress can help you get in and out easier. Having usable and accessible shared places should also be a target if remodeling for aging in place to boost home security, and to make aging a pleasant experience for everybody.

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The possibility of pulling down a house is a daunting one, so it is not surprising that we tend to look towards renovation once we need a new look. But, rebuilding could be the ideal decision financially. According to John Everitt of Coombes Everitt Architects, if you are simply looking at a fundamental extension then it’s not likely to make financial sense to knock down your house, take a look at mortgage broker websites for more information on costs.

But if your house requires a significant refurbishment then the rebuild route may provide you with some substantial cost savings, consulting broker websites for tips would be helpful before making this decision. So, what’s ideal for you, and what do you want to consider? A choice of experts answer a few common questions about rebuild projects.

Where to begin and how to make the big decision

If your home isn’t working for you but you do not want to move, how can you decide whether to reconstruct something brand new – such as this Sussex home built on the site of an old barn – or renovate? Start by being practical: think about the overall state of repair of their property. Nicky Bryden of CLPM says that if the home is in a very good state, but just is not in the design or configuration you need, it may make more sense to renovate.

Next, speak with estate agents to make sure you know your local home market and can correctly predict the value of your current house and the renovation versus a new construct. If demolition begins to appeal, call in more pros: get a building project construction management firm, in addition to a team of quantity surveyors, involved early on. They can talk you through the best way to make your choice and advise you on the potential costs of all your alternatives.

Asses the age and state of the property

What is the architectural value of the present building? Occasionally period buildings have more visual appeal, and so lend themselves nicely to renovation. Less attractive homes, for example those constructed in the 1950s or 1960s, are of less value and are more often less contentious from a planning standpoint.

Think about the general state of repair of the home. If, for example, the house is in a good condition, but isn’t from the design or configuration you need, it may make more sense to renovate.

Consider the environmental impact

Generally, you may use up more energy and create more waste for landfill in the process of knocking down and rebuilding, as opposed to renovating. But if your newly-built house is constructed from renewable materials, and is constructed to a high degree of energy efficiency, these first energy differences could be offset by reduced ongoing energy usage.

If you’re planning on renovating your home then this is the perfect time to reassess your energy situation. You’ll have to stick to building regulations anyway, so going beyond the minimum standard, and making your home as energy efficient as possible, is a sensible choice.

The more energy efficient you can make you house now, the less it will cost to heat later on. It’s also possible to create your home more saleable in the future. Get an independent company specialized in workforce mobility and quality management system tools to carry out a home-energy audit, that will calculate how your house is doing now and provide you costed options for how to improve its own performance.

Generally, the information involves installing higher amounts of insulation or better windows and then installing the right size of energy efficient gas boiler with contemporary radiators or underfloor heating system. For houses not on propane gas, it might also include the suitability of renewable technologies like air-source heat pumps or wood-pellet boilers to replace older oil boilers.

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Walk through Snell Island, the Old Northeast or other areas near downtown St. Petersburg, and it’s hard to disregard the quantity of residential building and construction, there is a lot of it.

In years past,  St. Petersburg has witnessed a significant increase in the license varieties offered for new, single-family houses– 191 in 2015 alone. That’s almost 7 times as numerous as in 2009 throughout the depths of the economic crisis. The majority of those new houses are colossal compared with the ones they replace and this is triggering a reaction from residents; who are frequently outspoken in their views, and city authorities, who are considering modifications to assist the leviathans who fit in much better.

Snell Island resident Joyce Otazo, for one, likes the two shotgun-style McMansions that were squeezed onto a surrounding lot where a small duplex once stood. An additional two of the thin houses are expected to be built on the same block; with a view of the golf course and will be valued at one million dollars. However, at a recent meeting of the Snell Island Residential and Commercial Property Owners Association, several residents raised issues about the leviathans altering the look of their neighbourhood.
A few blocks have totally altered in the previous three years, there is almost one huge new home on every block on Snell Isle

Douglas Ellingsworeths’ house sits across from two lots with four tightly fitted brand new homes on the corner of Monterey Boulevard and Almedo Method NE,  and he believes that the houses are an eyesore that take up too much of the property leaving little surrounding land left. The irony being his house is 1500 square feet. City authorities state they understand the issues and are aiming to stabilize the need for new construction with the desire to maintain the human scale and leafy appeal of recognized areas.

Elizabeth Abernethy’s staff have been critically assessing the impact of significant modifications to zoning allowed in 2007. In the intervening years, St. Petersburg has gone through a real estate bust that almost stopped new building followed by a stunning recovery that sustained a rush to take down smaller houses– numerous with less than 1,800 square feet– and construct big and larger.

Because 2007, the city has actually permitted 932 new houses with a median size of nearly 4,000 square feet in areas zoned “neighbourhood rural” (Snell Isle, Jungle Prada); and 2,315 square feet in areas zoned “neighbourhood traditional” (Old Northeast, Euclid-St. Paul, Crescent Lake).

A notable proposed alteration to legislation wants to establish a maximum “flooring location ratio”– the ratio of developing to the location of the lot. Contractors could be allowed to go beyond the FAR provided they implement design alterations like obstacles on the second floor; that will reduce the large appearance of the house from a street view perspective.

In addition to that would be a “building coverage limitation”, limits on how much of the property could be covered by just the home indemnity insurance. That’s to prevent circumstances where a lot of a lot’s surface area is eventually built on and impervious to rainwater that runs and triggers flooding instead of leaking into the ground.

So if a contractor constructs a lot of structures and does not leave themselves much room to come back and put in a swimming pool, a deck or pool surrounds, it could become a concern later on when new tenants move in.

In an analysis of houses built in the past two years, Abernethy’s staff discovered that 16 would be considered too big under the proposed limitations. Six of those are in low-lying Snell Island and Shores Acres.

Extenuating the large look of many Leviathans is changes to floodplains which now require 10 feet of elevation instead of 8 feet on brand-new buildings. While that lowered the city’s flood score and reduced flood insurance premiums, it means that the bottom levels of numerous new homes are boring, windowless expanses of concrete, but at least covered by insurance for owner builders.

In one area, almost identical two-story houses were built with small porches and stacked stone porches by Tampa-based developer Domain.

In total, Abernethy’s staff have proposed almost 60 revisions and specifications to the zoning codes. The City board and Development Review Commission will hold several public hearings to consider these new proposals, with a decision on whether they will be adopted expected in May.

Both the zoning changes and time could soften the opinions towards the new, larger homes, once the building is finished, just the landscaping constructions remain and the trucks and port-a-potties are gone, it won’t feel so overwhelming.

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For centuries, wood slabs have actually been the supreme product for domestic floorings among home decorators. Integrating extraordinary sturdiness with unique great appearances, oak, walnut, cherry or other solid-wood floorboards include worth and charm to any house they grace. However nowadays, good-looking lumber planking is not just discovered underfoot, however likewise on the ceilings and walls of lots of trendy homes, whether recently constructed or newly refurbished.

“Wood beams and wood panelling have actually constantly played essential functions in historic and modern property style, and continue to do so,” states Linda Jovanovich of the American Wood Information Center. “However in addition to these timeless applications, we have actually seen a strong pattern towards making use of floorboard-style wood slabs on ceilings and walls to accommodate features of timber frames Property owners are discovering it’s an excellent method to produce interiors that are tidy and modern-day yet still have a conventional heat.”

“I have actually set up wood-plank ceilings in numerous tasks, both in the city and the nation,” concurs New York City-based interior designer Laura Bohn. She states. “The ceiling is typically a forgotten surface area, however I want to think about it as the 5th wall in a space– a blank canvas that can boost the architecture of an area.”

A case in point is a villa in Aspen, Colorado, where Bohn utilized tongue-and-groove red oak slabs on the floorings and living-area ceilings. “It’s a huge, stretching home,” Bohn states. In some areas the wooden ceilings extend past clerestory windows to produce covered patios that connect the interior of your house to the mountain landscape exterior. More drama is supplied by the natural light that streams through the clerestories and throughout the ceilings, altering the appearance of the red oak boards throughout the day.

Rebecca Ascher, principal at Ascher Davis Architects in New York City and Newport, Rhode Island, explains that just big, high-ceiling spaces, particularly highly characterful woods like walnut or hickory, can accommodate such aesthetically unique overhead treatment without being overwhelmed. “In smaller sized, lower areas, a plank ceiling with excessive character can feel overbearing. In those scenarios, I would most likely define something basic like poplar beadboard finished with a light, natural stain. That would look crisp and airy, including visual interest while staying nicely subtle.”

House renovators found that setting up brand-new wood floorboards overhead is not just a guaranteed method to revitalize an interior– even alter its character totally, if so wanted– however likewise a reliable approach of covering old, broken ceilings with relative ease. “Tongue-and-groove can be set up straight over drywall, plaster, engineered timber, and other ceiling products,” Ascher states. “Simply ensure it is safely connected to the joists beneath.”

Comparable ornamental and architectural changes can be accomplished by covering existing walls with wood planking. A function wall dressed in honey-colored oak or some other unique wood can provide a space focus, bringing a sense of company and objective to exactly what was formerly an amorphous or baffled area. It can likewise include heat, color and texture to smooth, modernist interiors that can often feel cold or austere. That is exactly what Texas-based Foundation Architects carried out in a modern Austin home. The ornamental temperature level of the bedroom– a coolly classy plan of steel and glass, polished concrete and white plaster– was raised a degree or more by turning the whole wall behind the headboard into a spectacular stretch of burnished walnut boards.

Setting up wood planking on existing walls has actually ended up being even easier in the last few years with the advancement of self-adhesive boards. “All you require is a wall surface area that has actually been primed or painted and is tidy, dry, and fairly flat,” states Jack Shannon, III of Rustick Wood Co. in Tennessee, among a growing variety of produces producing sustainably grown, stick-on wood boards. The 5-inch broad slabs can be found in lengths in between 2- and 5-feet and can be used in lots of possible patterns– timeless end-to-end horizontals and verticals, graphic herringbones and chevrons– the property owner’s creativity is the only genuine limitation.

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When homeowners start to work on the landscaping of their property, the cost seems to always leave them shocked.

For some reason, people tend to think that landscaping would cost the same as gardening, but they are left surprised when they find out that wood for decks and retaining walls cost a lot more than plants and flowers.

The average backyard renovation starts at roughly $20,000, and some projects even cross the $1 million mark.

There is such a huge price range for landscaping so how do you know how much you should be spending on your outdoor renovations?

A common mistake that people make when it comes to outdoor renovations is that they envision exactly what they would like in their yard down to the wall hanging art, before they set the budget for it.

Homeowners need to set their budgets based on percentages of what their home is worth. Realtors and housing experts say that front yards have been getting more attention because of first impressions. A home’s first impression has a value of about 5-8% of the home’s total worth.

When aiming for higher returns, front walkways, sitting areas, front porches, and shade trees contribute the most to reaching that goal. Plants and garden beds look great, but having them in the front yard can potentially intimidate buyers because it gives off the perception that the home is high maintenance. Try keeping things simple in the front because buyers usually want low-maintenance homes.

Try to keep landscaping at 7% of the budget. However, that number does not include the driveway, even though it will probably be at the front of your home.

Backyards are usually more about function than a front yard. Having a great landscape design can offset the shortfalls from the inside of the home with adding outdoor elements that meet the same need. An example of this would be that if you have a small kitchen inside your home, then adding an outdoor kitchen with a barbecue is a very smart investment.

Having a good patio or deck in your backyard that provides you with a large area to host people can increase the value of your home by up to a staggering 12%.

It will be spring in a couple of months time, and that means that it’s time to get outside and getting your home ready for entertaining during the summer time. You just have to make sure you budget your money accordingly. Set aside 20% of your budget all to be put towards the outdoor renovations that may include eye catching suspended ceiling systems.

All of this may seem like a lot, but with all of the housing market numbers showing large returns in landscaping, you can renovate knowing that you are spending your money wisely.

To read more, visit http://www.torontosun.com/2016/06/23/measuring-the-true-cost-of-landscaping

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in-the-night-time-4-1527517-639x426Many options exist for offering something like industrial lighting in a house, from incorporated architectural options that need professionals and tradesmen, to ornamental lamps that need just be put on a table and plugged into the closest outlet. Although some types of components are more typically related to a specific layer of lighting – ambient or accent – most components are versatile enough to be used in a number of ways.


Installed or suspended from the ceiling, mounted lights includes a linear real estate including several heads that can be positioned anywhere along a track; the direction of the heads is adjustable also. Mounted lights are often used for job or accent lighting.


Suspended from the ceiling, chandeliers direct their light upward, usually over a table. They can improve the decorative design of a room. Chandeliers provide ambient lighting.


This kind of component is mounted directly to the ceiling and has a glass or plastic shade concealing the light bulb. Ceiling components have actually been common in homes for almost a hundred years, typically offering all the ambient light in a room.


Installed under kitchen cabinets, this kind of lighting can be linear or a single puck-shaped fixture. Undercabinet lighting is incredibly popular as task lighting in a kitchen area.

Wall Sconce

Surface-mounted to the wall, sconces can direct light upwards or downwards, and their covers or shades can add a stylistic touch to space. Wall sconces supply ambient or job lighting.


Suspended from the ceiling, factory lighting directs its light down, generally over a table or kitchen island. A pendant can improve the ornamental design of a room. Pendants can offer ambient or job lighting.

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Are you wanting to make the best outdoor entertainment area so you can host all of your friends and family like the one below? Are you secretly hoping that you get so many compliments on it and hope it’s the best in the street? Well here are a few tips to help you create the perfect space.


Before you start to do anything about the area you’re creating, you must have a layout planned. You have to consider the things you definitely want to include. If you have quite a large space to work with, it is best to spread things out and make different zones.


Flooring is everything. You want to have a floor that is sending a warm and inviting vibe up through the space. Having gorgeous engineered timber is a major hit and creates such warmth. Having pavers that compliment the colour of the timber you have chosen is a beautiful feature. Just remember, the flooring you choose has to match your home to keep the same vibe. Acquiring the help of a landscaping contractor could most certainly help you create the best outdoor area.


Putting lighting around the yard will make the space feel more lively and will allow you to spend more time out there on those beautiful warm summer nights.

Focal Point

Every garden needs a focal point. It could be a stunning vertical garden, a gorgeous outdoor dining set, or it could be just a feature. Including something in your outdoor design that gives off a wow factor is key to draw people in.

Bringing The Outside Inside

Have you ever planned to host people over and then when the day comes it rains and you can’t have everyone outside? Well to avoid having to shuffle everyone inside, create an outdoor area that can be closed off when it is cold and rainy. Putting bi-fold doors in the room is a fantastic feature and allows you to accommodate to every time of year. You just make sure that you keep the same design in both areas. For example, if your home has a lot of timber throughout it, make sure you include various timber products in the outside area to keep the flow.

Outdoor Kitchen

You might think, ‘why spend money on an outdoor kitchen when you already have one inside?’ but hear me out. If you are cooking on the BBQ outside and you have all of your guests outside, why would you want to carry all of the dishes all the way into the house? You could also include a stove and fridge in the outdoor kitchen, which means that you can cook more things on the stove and you don’t have to keep walking through the house just to get a drink out of the fridge. Spending the extra money is definitely worth it, and plus, it gives you more room in your main kitchen!

To get some inspiration, watch the video below:

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Thinking about renovating your home? That’s great! It can add value to your home and can improve your lifestyle a lot through your residential interior design. But that’s only if it’s done correctly. Here are 5 common renovation mistakes that you need to stay away from.

1. Ignoring the existing issues in the house

If you live in an older house, when ripping up floors and knocking down walls make sure you hire extension builders as there is a higher chance that you will stumble across an unexpected issue or issues with object support. As soon as you stumble across an issue, it is always better to address it straight away. It will be a lot cheaper to address straight up, especially if it’s plumbing and has something to do with the hot water system, or any electrical issues because you can fix them before you close floor or walls back up.

2. Constantly changing your mind

If you keep changing your mind, your renovation will cost you a lot more money. If you change your mind late in the process, it will cost you a lot more. The mostly costly thing you could do would be to change the design. If it is a change to the actual layout, then depending on how drastic the change is, you might have to get a new planning approval. However, changing your ideas about small interior details such as internal blinds or furniture, is not such a bad thing.

3. Doing the renovation yourself

Renovating your home is really exciting. A lot of homeowners love the idea of being of becoming home decorators for a short time and getting involved and doing it themselves. This is fine when it comes to small tasks because that’s what makes your house feel like a home, when you personally add your touches. However, there are a lot of times where you need to hand the job straight over to the professionals. For example, if you’re working on the backyard, doing minor construction (if you trust your skills) is fine, but before you do, you need to hire a landscaping contractor to come in and work with you so you’re getting the best possible outcome. You also need to ensure you hire the best people for slab crane and franna services – as your renovation’s quality comes down to the people planning and implementing it. Backyards are used for entertaining most of the time, and so don’t you want to show off an amazing yard when you have visitors?


4. Settling on the cheaper fixtures

Saving some money to buy the cheaper fixtures seem like a great idea for the short term, however, it isn’t wise in the long term. Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses and so invest a bit more money into getting some great quality fixtures for the bathroom and kitchen, making them phenomenal custom showcases . Items that you use the most, need to be a quality product, otherwise they just won’t last and you will have to get repairs and replacements and that will end up costing you a lot more. A classic example of this is external blinds. They have to put up with all weather conditions so it is recommended that you spend more on them in order to save yourself having to keep replacing them.

5. Hiring a relative or friend as a trade

When it is time for you to spend money, it is common for people to look for the cheapest option to save as much as they can. That’s why a lot of people think it’s a great idea to get their friends and family involved in the construction of their home extensions. However, you have to consider the following before doing so:

  • You must ensure that they are a licensed professional if they are doing work with plumbing, electrical, gas, slab cranes and other crane hire, and anything with the structure of your home.
  • In case of an accident occurs, the tradie must have the necessary insurances in place, otherwise as the homeowner, you will be held liable.
  • There can be a lot of unforeseen problems that could occur. If you are unhappy with the work of the landscape design for example, how will you ask them back to change it? If they see that you’re unhappy with their work, could that lead to a break-down of your relationship? If you hire someone else to fix their work, what will they think/say when they visit your home next? What happens if you don’t agree on the cost? There’s so many issues that could come out of this, so our advice is, just don’t go there.

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Choosing the right electrical contractor is more complex than just picking the first one you see and giving them your money to do the job as quickly as possible. Picking the right person for the job is a big deal because if there is an electrical fault, your house could end up burning down or someone could get badly hurt, and so you want to make sure that you don’t muck around with something serious and get a trusted professional for the job. Also, be aware that there are electricians who specialize in different areas, such as street lighting and car park lighting.

When hiring one, it’s smart to consider the following points:

  • electric-panel-1624568What work needs to be done
  • Is the electrician licensed
  • Where are they based
  • Are they reliable and trustworthy
  • What are they going to charge for the job

When do I actually need to hire an electrician?

Everyone knows that electricians install and repair electrical systems. However, what people don’t know is what kind of electrical work you will actually need to call an electrician for.

You must get an electrician for even the small things such as:

You’re probably thinking about how that all sounds like pretty basic tasks and that you reckon you can do that yourself, but don’t. DIY electrical work can be extremely dangerous. It can result in damage, injury, fire, or even death, not to mention that if any of that happens, you will be completely liable for it if you haven’t been using a qualified electrician.

Hiring the right person

Here are some tips on making sure you’re hiring the right electrician for the job:

  • Find someone who is local to you – this is a lot more convenient and also ensures that you aren’t being charged for the lengthy travel time
  • Get numerous quotes – it is smart to compare a few quotes to keep your options open. Not all electricians will charge the exact same amount for the same work but they should be quite similar
  • Ask other trusted contractors – if you’re getting other home renovations done, the builder or any other contractor you are using will probably know a good electrician that they like working with
  • Check their license – it should not be a problem for your electrician to show you their license. However, if they refuse to show you, hire someone else

For more tips on making sure you hire the right electrician for the job, visit http://www.build.com.au/how-choose-electrician to read more.

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 1. Work from the inside out

To have a successful design, you must have a good floor plan. Each space in the house should be tailored to suit the people that live there. Create spaces that flow and function well before you start to even consider things like colours, accessories, and the backyard landscaping.

Private Garden at Sunset, Autumn

2. Avoid doing the work yourself to “save money”

When it comes to people renovating their house, a lot of people think that they should do the work themselves in order to save money on the renovation. However, DIY renovations can backfire very easily with blocked drains and a burst pipe. For example, if you decide to do electrical work yourself and not hire a reliable electrician, it could potentially result in a person being hurt or a fire. If the quality of work is not up to a professional standard, it can diminish your sale price, which may eliminate any profit you might have made.  Therefore, getting the help of a professional might be pricier, but it will turn out better and improve your profit possibility.

3. Put your hard earned cash where it shows

You work hard for your money and so when you’re investing it into your home, it is vital that you spend it where it shows the most. Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses and so you need to focus majority of your money and attention on those places. If you have an amazing kitchen and bathroom, that adds a lot of value to your home and it’s definitely something all of the neighbours will be jealous of.


4. Research your architect

When you want to do some home renovations, it is smart to bring in an architect to construct a plan best suited for your home. It is recommended that you take the time to review past work and speak to some past clients about their experiences. One thing to remember is that trends come and go, so it’s best to keep things simple.

5. Landscaping is important

The Australian lifestyle is to be outside and entertain, and so you must allow for a percentage of your budget to be spent on the outside of your home. The exterior and yard of your home needs to have a lot of attention and so that way it complements the work you’ve done inside. If you have a minimal budget, a lot of greenery and a clean and functional outside entertaining area that should also include a nice awning to suit your home will definitely improve the appeal of your home, with keeping the cost to a minimum. It is great to acquire the help of landscaping contractors to make sure you’re doing what’s best, especially making it easy for a handy man to do hot water service repairs. However, if you find yourself having a bit more money to splurge, getting a beautiful outdoor area is key. Invest some money into getting some architectural timber beams to create a roof with a modern and industrial feel.

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1 Budget

A budget! renovation-1-1518968-1920x1080 I can’t mention it enough. I’m an optimist who constantly believes that if you invest money on a quality reno instead of cheaping out, the necessary funds will magically appear. In reality, we understand that isn’t really true! So make certain you do your research. Speak to a friend who has actually been through a comparable reno, do as much window shopping and cost-comparisons that you can do. Ensure that you tack on at least an extra 20% for those inevitable concerns that will spring up. And check your spending plan with your professional or trades routinely making sure you’re on track. Finally, do not borrow to renovate if you can. A reno is much more satisfying if you save up the necessary funds before your remodel. Believe me.

2 Find the ideal professional

We’ve all heard the scary stories (and I’ve definitely been witness to a few of them). My typical suggestion is that the best specialists can be found through word of mouth. But if you can’t find a great referral, I am happy to say that you can discover terrific contractors on the Internet. Ensure you get numerous referrals prior to you signing any arrangements!

3 Be realistic

Dreaming is the start of any excellent remodelling, however to have an excellent experience, you have to be realistic about exactly what you can achieve based upon your budget, resources and your existing house. A lot of people (particularly in this age of low interest rates and fast home equity loans) will live beyond our means-just to have that gorgeous premium cooking area or marble bathroom. If you are definitely dedicated to the vision of something that you cannot pay for, see if you are able to remodel in stages. For example, in my first home, I actually wanted a stone floor in my kitchen area. The cost well surpassed my spending plan. I didn’t wish to compromise so I decided to wait to do the flooring till I might pay for the stone that I truly desired. I wound up painting my subfloor a putty grey and had the millworkers design my cooking area with an extra-high kick which permitted me the space to set up the stone flooring later on. Ironically, I ended up selling the house. Among the important things that the new house owners enjoyed was the painted wooden kitchen floor!

4 Do your research

Talk to good friends who have actually renovated as well as other real estate and reno specialists. It’s actually vital before you embark on the restoration rollercoaster that you have a clear understanding of what to expect. Plus, you need to make certain that you bring your ideas and research to the table. Clip photos from magazines of rooms that you enjoy. Search shops and the Internet for the current and biggest. Have a basic idea of how you desire the space to feel and look. If you are overwhelmed, find a designer who can help you blaze a trail. If you wish to find a respectable interior designer, go to the Internet.

5 It’s all in the details

Thinking broadly should be applauded, however we understand that information is exactly what can make or break a reno. I will never ever forget standing naively in the dungeon that was eventually to become my gorgeous brand-new bathroom, pleased with myself that I had actually bought my faucets, my tiles and my vanity. “Where are the rough-ins?” bellowed my plumber? “Rough-ins?” I asked, an unstable note of nervousness colouring the tone of my voice. Within moments, the glory of having actually supplied everything to my tradey had actually vanished as I recognized that I had actually not purchased the “cake” of the faucets, only the glossy chrome icing. My mistake held up my reno for another two weeks. So make certain you have a list (or multiple lists for each space), and make certain that you validate and reconfirm that everything has actually been purchased, has been delivered, etc

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