What Repairs Are Landlords Not Obligated To Fix?

29/06/2020

 

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If you’ve just moved into a new apartment and are new to the whole rental game, you could be a little confused when it comes to whose fixing the repairs – you or the landlord. While it may be a natural response to contact your landlord whenever any problem arises, they’re not responsible for everything. 

That’s right, some repairs aren’t under a landlord’s care. Most cities and states require landlords to keep their properties habitable, and that involves most of the larger things around the home. When it comes to the smaller things, however, you’re in charge of keeping them in order. Not sure who’s in charge of which? The list below will provide insight into repairs that aren’t your landlord’s responsibility.  

Dead batteries  

While tenants are in charge of fixing things that they break, it can be a bit of a hazy boundary when it comes to things like a flat smoke detector. While you didn’t cause the batteries to die, there isn’t a need to call your landlord to come and fix them. Instead, just go purchase more batteries and have them replaced on your own.  

Related: Guide: How To Renovate a Bathroom in a Rental Property

Burnt out light bulbs  

Similar to the battery situation, you shouldn’t be calling your landlord to replace your light bulbs. Instead, purchase some long-lasting, low-energy bulbs for your home. When you move out, you can take those bulbs with you as well. If you didn’t replace them, don’t take them with you as it’s inconsiderate, and unfair to the next person who moves in.  

Broken devices  

This one’s a little tricky and it can go either way. It’s highly dependent on what’s listed on the lease as some landlords may explicitly state that appliances aren’t part of the rent. If that’s stated, you’d be responsible for fixing whatever breaks. To be prepared, you should review the lease before moving in and understand everything that’s detailed on the document.  

Dripping faucets  

While it’s not pleasant to have in the home, it’s not something that your landlord is responsible for – especially if they aren’t causing any mold or significant structural damage. If there’s a severe problem, however, you’d need to contact your landlord immediately so they can look into it. This might involve them stepping in to remodel the bathroom to ensure that it’s safe and habitable for you to live in.  

Minor plumbing issues  

If there’s a burst pipe in your home, then you should definitely contact your landlord right away. If it’s just minor plumbing issues however, it’s most likely due to something you did or didn’t do. Try not to shove big pieces of food down the waste disposal and rinse your plate to avoid any food build-up. All of these actions will help with reducing minor clogs from happening.  

 

Related: Australian Renovation Grants: The New HomeBuilder Scheme Explained

Pest problems  

This is highly dependent if pests existed before you moved-in or if they were present because of your current living habits. If you moved into a place that already had pests, you can speak to your landlord and have them handle it. However, if this happened the other way around, you could be financially responsible for rectifying the issue.  

Holes in the drywall  

Drywalls can be relatively fragile, and any number of actions can cause a hole in your wall. Since it’s caused by your own actions, your landlord isn’t responsible for repairing it. Luckily they aren’t too difficult to fix either, and you can patch it up on your own. Just remember to be honest with your landlord when you’re moving out.   

 

Related: How Long Does It Take To Renovate A Kitchen?

Summing up

As someone that’s renting a unit, you aren’t responsible for as much around the house as a homeowner. Even so, it doesn’t mean that you need to approach them for every single problem that occurs at home. At the end of the day, this is the place that you reside in and you should treat it as such. 

Keep open communication with your landlord if any issues happen around the home, and if it’s not causing any massive damage you should also repair them. Keeping the channels of communication open will help with any misunderstandings in the future – especially when your lease ends. 

If you are a landlord and considering renovating your rental property or your own property, 

give us a call on 1300 304 367. We offer cost-effective home renovations Sydney and home renovations Melbourne; get a free, online renovation quote today.

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How Long Does It Take To Renovate A Kitchen?

18/06/2020

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the home. And, if it’s combined with a dining area, your kitchen diner is likely to be the centre of daily life. So, if you’re planning a kitchen renovation, you will have to prepare for some disruptions to normal life. Here we’ll answer the question, “How long does it take to renovate a kitchen?” and provide a detailed kitchen renovation timeline. 

Forget the hassle

You’ll have to make new cooking arrangements, relocate some big appliances and find somewhere to store all the food and everything else that normally lives in the kitchen. That makes “How long will it take?” a big factor in choosing the company to handle your renovation. 

Here at Houseace, we aim to make your kitchen renovation as quick and hassle-free as possible. So, when you come to choose your supplier, ask the right questions and make sure you take all the factors into consideration. 

Small refurbishment or complete renovation?

Don’t be fooled by the television make-over shows that transform a kitchen in a single episode. Normal life isn’t like that. Realistically, with experienced crews like ours, we’re talking about four to eight weeks, depending on the scope of your renovation. 

Just installing new units and worktops from a DIY store is straightforward and quick. But, if you’re considering custom-built units, repositioning some major built-in appliances and new flooring and lighting, that will take longer. 

 

Related: How To Choose A New Kitchen Benchtop

All the skills you need

Also, take into account who will handle the work. Some small firms claim one person can do it all. That’s a lot of skills for one person! Others might bring in subcontractors to handle the specialist jobs like plumbing, electrics, cabinet making, flooring and tiling. That’s fine, but if some of the specialists can’t turn up on the days they’re needed, the schedule will slip. 

At Houseace, we’ve got all the skills on our crew, so we coordinate everything for you. You’ve got one point of contact and one number to ring if you’ve got any questions. Our experienced crews usually take around 6 weeks, but of course, it depends on the scope and size of the project. Here’s a more detailed kitchen renovation timeline. 

Kitchen renovation timeline

Clear the old kitchen (2 days) 

This is the messiest stage. The cabinets come out, flooring is removed, tiles come off and all the fixed appliances are removed.  If necessary, the sink is removed and any water and waste pipes sealed off. The crew check for any structural damage to the walls or floor and make sure gas and electrical supplies are safely secured.

Making good (2 days)

The crew have an initial clean-up and carry out any repairs – filling holes in the wall, repairing any damage to the floor or removing any wiring or piping that’s to be replaced. 

Cabinet-making (10 days)

This takes place in a specialist workshop and the work is scheduled so the cabinets are ready for installation when all the other work is complete.

Plumbing (2 days)

The plumber makes any changes needed to water and waste supplies for the sink and dishwasher. 

Electrical work (2 days) 

The electrician runs cables to the correct positions for any new lighting, power points for the worktops and fixed power points for the major appliances. If appliances are in new positions, the electrician will have to cut and make good new channels in the walls, connecting and testing new cabling to existing circuits and updating the safety switch. 

Plastering (2-4 days plus drying time before painting)

Plasterers make good any damaged surfaces around old tiling or power points. In some cases, they may install a ‘dry wall’ to conceal any pipe work or other surface fittings. Then they apply a first coat, allow the plaster to dry and finish with a skim coat. 

Painting (2 -3 days)

Painters apply a first watery coat on new plaster once it has dried, which can take several days. They finish with one or two coats of the chosen colour

Tiling (2-3 days)

Tiling is probably minimal in a kitchen – a splashback behind the sink and a protective layer of tiles or a heat-resistant panel behind the cooker. 

Flooring (1-2 days)

Flooring might take place before or after cabinets and fixed appliances are installed. Vinyl flooring takes just a few hours, but stone, tiled or wooden flooring will take longer, particularly if there are complex shapes to cut around cabinets or island units.

Installation (4-5 days)

The crew can now fit cabinets and worktops and install the fixed appliances. The electrician connects and tests appliances, power points and lighting, and the plumber connects the sink, dishwasher and any gas appliances. The painter might have to touch up any areas damaged during installation. 

Inspection (1/2 day)

Any electrical, gas or plumbing work is inspected to make sure it complies with local regulations.

 

That schedule takes around 20 working days or longer allowing for each stage to follow on immediately. However, any small problems or delays in starting the next stage can easily stretch the finishing time. However, a new kitchen is a great investment for your home, so you’ll probably find the wait is worthwhile. 

 

Read More: How Much Does A Kitchen Renovation Cost?

Get a kitchen renovation quote today! 

From wow-factor kitchen renovations to small kitchen refurbishments and kitchen makeovers on a budget, we conduct a huge array of kitchen renovations in Sydney and Melbourne —each one is completely tailored to your individual wants and needs. All the Houseace team are fully qualified and vetted experts in their trade. They will transform your kitchen with utmost care, as though it were their own.

 

Why not read our customer testimonials and find out why Houseace is trusted by thousands of Australians for kitchen renovations, or give us a call today on 1300 304 367? Or, get a free online kitchen renovation quote in just two minutes through clicking the link.

 

Are you eligible for an Australian renovation grant? Get all the latest information in our article: The New HomeBuilder Scheme Explained.

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Australian Renovation Grants: The New HomeBuilder Scheme Explained

13/06/2020

If you’re thinking of building a new home, or you want to renovate or extend your existing property, this could be a great time to do it. The government has released details of its new HomeBuilder scheme offering tax-free grants of $25,000 towards your new build or renovation costs. The scheme is already proving popular with newspapers reporting more than 8,000 applications and 130,000 visits to the HomeBuilder website in the first week after the announcement. 

Here at Houseace, we welcome the government’s move. It will be a real bonus for people trying to get their first home. And, homeowners can now make more of their properties or create more space for growing families.

Time for your first home 

The government believes that a large proportion of applicants will be people looking for a way to get their first home, particularly people on lower incomes who might have found it hard to get a deposit together. $25,000 will make a big contribution to the cost of a new house and land package or the price of a house that’s already under construction on a new development. 

According to the government, the average cost of building a new home is around $350,000. However, commentators think that this grant will be more useful to people who want to build or buy a new home in areas where property prices are lower. Essentially, that means the suburbs or areas away from major cities. And, with property prices varying by region, the opportunities are quite different. 

The grant is intended for new homes that are your principal residence and are valued at up to $750,000, including the cost of land. That would rule out larger homes in major cities like Sydney where average values are around $1 million and Melbourne, over $800,000. Suburbs more than 20-25 kilometres from those city centres would be the nearest to qualify. 

Brisbane city dwellers should qualify with average prices around $560,000. New homes in regional towns and cities would be more likely to qualify, although Western Australia is limiting its grant to $20,000. 

 

Related: Energy Efficient House Design: Ideas & Solutions

Related: Laundry Renovations: Tips and Design Ideas

Extend or renovate your home

If you’re finding living space is cramped with a growing family or your home needs some important renovation or repairs, this grant could help you put your plans into action. 

To qualify, your renovation or extension project must cost at least $150,000 up to a maximum of $750,000 and your property must be worth a maximum of $1.5 million dollars before any work is carried out. You will have to fund the additional costs yourself from savings or loans. 

The criteria also mean that the project must be a substantial one. According to the government guidelines, the work must result in an ‘improvement to accessibility, safety or livability’. Typically, that could mean adding new rooms in an extension, an additional storey with a loft conversion, knocking down walls and reconfiguring rooms, or renovating kitchens or bathrooms. In some more drastic cases, the grant might cover demolition of a small building or a building in poor condition to replace it with a larger one. 

The grant can also cover a combination of projects like a bathroom renovation and loft extension, for example. However, the grant would not cover the addition or renovation of annexes that are not attached to the main building or outdoor facilities like swimming pools, spas, saunas, tennis courts, sheds and garages.

 

Related: The Ultimate 2020 Bathroom Renovation Cost Guide

Related: How Long Does It Take To Do a Bathroom Renovation?

Make sure you qualify

Apart from the rules on the scope and value of the work that can be carried out, there are other eligibility criteria that apply to both new build and renovation/extension projects. 

  • Applicants must be Australian citizens and current or prospective homeowners. Grants are not available to investors or companies. 
  • There’s a time limit; a project must have a contract signed between 4th June and 31st December 2020 and work must begin within three months of the contact date. 
  • The income limit is $125,000 per year for individuals or $200,000 per year for couples. 

Related: The Need-To-Know Australian Kitchen Trends for 2020

Getting the work done 

You can’t do the building or renovation work yourself. The work must be carried out by a registered or licenced building contractor, holding a licence that was in place before 4th June 2020. The contract must be between two independent parties, so you couldn’t ask a relative, for example, to handle the work. 

Having a professional carry out the work means that the project will be completed to a high standard in compliance with building and other regulations, so that is a useful safeguard, particularly on larger or more complex builds. 

Get a quote for your project today! 

From kitchen refurbishments and major renovations to new house builds, we carry out a huge array of building work in and around Sydney and Melbourne — each project is completely tailored to your individual wants and needs. All the Houseace team are fully qualified and vetted experts in their trade. They will complete your project with utmost care, as though it were their own.

Better still, you can get an online quote for any renovation project – just type in your postcode to get started; or check out our renovation calculator for an instant estimate of how much your project will cost.

Why not read customer testimonials on our website and find out why we’re trusted by thousands of Australian homeowners for high-quality building work, extensions and renovations, or give us a call today on 1300 304 367 to discuss your project and get a free, no obligation quote. 

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How To Choose A New Kitchen Benchtop

20/05/2020

When you’re planning a new kitchen, you face many different choices and one of the biggest is the benchtop. In some countries kitchen benchtops are known as worktops for a good reason – they’re probably the hardest working surface in the kitchen, so choose carefully! Remember you’ll be preparing, chopping, cutting, mixing, spilling, cleaning and maybe eating on it many times every day. Appearance alone might not be the best way to make your decision. 

Fortunately, benchtops are now available in many different materials to suit your cooking and cleaning style. And, the range of finishes is huge so you’re sure to find the right mix of style and function. 

To help you make your decision, we’ve listed the main materials available and the factors you should take into consideration. And, if you would like some professional advice on the right choice, our kitchen design experts at Houseace can help. 

What to consider when choosing a kitchen benchtop

The main factors to consider are function, appearance, maintenance and cost. Function tops the list because the kitchen benchtop is where you do all the work. If you’ve got a large family or you entertain regularly, your benchtop will have to be hard-wearing. Some benchtops also function as eating surfaces, particularly if you’ve got a kitchen-diner, so you’ll want a surface that’s easy to maintain.

Appearance is equally important. The benchtop surface colour and finish has to harmonise with all the other kitchen elements – walls, cupboards, appliances and flooring. And, it has to be hard-wearing to maintain the appearance. With wear and tear, scratches and stains, the showroom appearance can soon fade.

Health and hygiene are essential in the kitchen, so the surface must be easy to clean and maintain. Some materials might react badly to common kitchen cleaning products. Surfaces that are easily scratched can harbour dirt and be difficult to clean. 

Kitchen benchtops vary widely in cost from basic laminates to top-of-the range stone materials. Installation costs will vary too, particularly if you need complex island shapes or special cuts for sink inserts or awkward corners. 

Related: The Need-To-Know Australian Kitchen Trends for 2020

Kitchen benchtop surface materials 

Laminates are a practical, affordable choice. They come in many different styles and colours, and they are easy to clean. But, be careful, laminate kitchen benchtops can be damaged by heat or scratches. Cost averages $50/$100 per square metre. 

Acrylics are increasingly popular, with Corian one of the best-known brands. Like laminates, they are practical and very easy to maintain, but are also easily damaged by heat or scratches. Corian kitchen benchtops are easy to install without seams and they can be repaired. Typical cost is around $1,000/$1,300 per square metre. 

Engineered Stone takes you into the realms of stone benchtops at an affordable price. They are very durable, don’t get damaged by heat or scratches and are easy to clean. But, avoid excess heat and clean up stains quickly. Engineered stone kitchen benchtops cost from $300 to $800 per square metre.

Granite is a very attractive surface and not too expensive. It is hard wearing, easy to clean and doesn’t get damaged by heat or scratches. However, granite kitchen benchtops have to be sealed regularly and they require specialist installation. Typical cost ranges from $700 – $2,000 per square metre. 

Marble is considered a luxury surface, although it falls into a similar price range to granite. It is simple to clean, but must be sealed and can be easily damaged by stains, chipping or cracking. Marble kitchen benchtops have to be installed by experts and this can add to their cost, which ranges from $800 – $2,200 per square metre. 

Stainless steel is an affordable surface material that is widely used in commercial kitchens, but is popular with owners who want a contemporary look. Stainless steel kitchen benchtops are extremely durable, easy to clean and are not damaged by heat, stains or chemicals. However, they are easily scratched and require specialist cleaning products. Costs average $900 – $1,100 per square metre.

Timber is a popular choice for people who want a natural look to their kitchen. Although they are easy to maintain, timber kitchen worktops have to be sealed to avoid damage from heat, stains and scratches. Costs vary with the type of wood, but expect to pay $500 – $1,500 per square metre.

Concrete is a choice for anyone that wants an industrial look to their kitchen. It’s obviously a tough, durable surface material but is prone to dents and chipping. It must be sealed to prevent damage from heat and stains and it has to be installed by a specialist to avoid cracking or damage. Polished concrete kitchen benchtops range in price from $1,000 to $1,800 per square metre. 

Related: Home Renovation Financing: 5 Ways To Fund a Renovation

Get a quote for your kitchen worktop today! 

With so many options to choose from, you’ll be glad to hear that we can provide a comprehensive range of all the surfaces listed in a wide range of finishes. And, we’ve got the specialists to handle any kitchen benchtop replacement including the more difficult materials. All the Houseace team are fully qualified and vetted experts in their trade. They will transform your benchtop with utmost care, as though it were their own.

Why not read our customer testimonials and find out why Houseace is trusted by thousands of Australians for benchtops or complete kitchen renovations, or give us a call today on 1300 304 367. Get a free online kitchen benchtop replacement quote in just two minutes! 

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How Long Does It Take To Do a Bathroom Renovation?

12/05/2020

If you’re planning to refurbish your main bathroom, one of your most important questions is going to be – “how long does it take to do a bathroom renovation?” Normal life goes on, especially if you’ve got a busy family. So, ask a few firms of builders for a timeframe. Prepare for a sharp intake of breath! You could be without a working bathroom for anything up to two months. At Houseace, our experienced crews usually takes  3 – 4 weeks, but of course, it depends on the scope and size of the project. Here’s a more detailed bathroom renovation timeline. 

It all adds up

Your next question is bound to be why — it’s not like that on the TV makeover shows. You may have seen the neat project charts that show all the stages in a refurbishment following smoothly on from each other day-after-day. That’s a sensible starting point and it will help you understand the big picture. But the reality may not be the same.

 

For a start, there tend to be unexpected problems to deal with, deliveries that don’t come on time, fittings that don’t fit and specialists who aren’t available on the days they are scheduled to be on site. And, there’s also a lot of work to get through, with preparation time, drying time and finishing time to add on for good measure. 

 

Related: The Ultimate 2020 Bathroom Renovation Cost Guide

How many people 

Another big variable is the size of the site team. Are you hiring one person who will do all the work, or a team of plumbers, electricians, plasterers, tilers, flooring fitters and painters? One person could handle a simple project on their own. They might concentrate on your bathroom throughout the project. But, they may have other jobs on at the same time and that’s when lead times start to slip. 

If you’ve got a bigger team of specialist contractors, like we employ at Housesace, they could complete the refurbishment in a shorter time. 

Be realistic 

Whatever approach you take, it’s best to be realistic and expect longer. Then you could be in for a surprise. To help you understand what’s going to be happening over those weeks, here’s how a typical small bathroom refurbishment should go. 

 

Related: Small Bathroom Renovations: Designs, Ideas & Solutions

Bathroom renovation timeline

Out with the old (2 days)

It all starts with a very messy, dusty demolition of your current bathroom – fittings removed and into a skip, tiles off the wall, flooring lifted and an initial clean-up. Hopefully, the demolition won’t reveal any hidden structural damage caused by leaks or nasty surprises like asbestos. 

Making good (2 days)

Before the new work starts, there may be a few repairs. This stage might include filling holes in the wall, repairing any loose or damaged floorboards or removing any wiring or piping that’s now in the wrong place. 

Plumbing (2 days)

The plumber lays water supplies and waste runs to the correct positions. This could take longer if baths, showers, basins and toilets are relocated to make better use of the space. 

Electrical fittings (2 days)

The electrician runs cables to the correct positions for lights, shaving points and power for showers. That may require cutting and making good new channels in the walls, connecting and testing new cabling to existing circuits and updating the safety switch. Any switches or other fittings are connected later. Inspection of the electrical work should be completed before any plastering starts. This could add a delay if an inspector is not available for a few days.

Plastering (2-4 days plus drying time before painting)

Plasterers have to make good any damaged surfaces before they start work. In some cases, they may install a ‘dry wall’ to conceal any pipe work or other surface fittings. The first coat of plaster requires a day to dry before a final skim coat. 

Painting (2 -3 days)

A painter can’t begin until the plaster has dried out completely. This may add several days to the schedule. The first coat of paint on new plaster is a special watery mix, followed by one or two coats of the final colour. 

Tiling (2-3 days)

Tiling time depends on the quantity of tiles to be fitted. If you are only having a splashback around the wash basin and tiling or a wall panel in the shower, tiling might only take a day. But larger areas with difficult joints or complex patterns could take two to three days.

Fitting and flooring (2-3 days)

The best part of the job for everyone involved. The plumber and electrician can now install, connect and test all the fittings – bath, shower, toilet, lights, blinds, cabinets and accessories. When everything is in place, flooring can go in. Laying vinyl flooring takes a matter of hours, but wooden flooring with some difficult trimming around fittings could take a day. 

 

As you can see, that schedule takes up to 21 working days allowing for each stage to follow on immediately. But, it’s clear to see how small problems or delays in starting the next stage can easily stretch the finishing time to 6 weeks or more. However, a new bathroom is a great investment for your home, so you’ll probably find the wait is worthwhile. 

Related: How To Renovate a Bathroom in a Rental Property

Get a quote for your bathroom renovation today! 

From wow-factor bathroom renovations to small bathroom renovations and bathroom renovations on a budget, we conduct a huge array of bathroom renovations in Sydney and Melbourne and each is completely tailored to the individual’s wants and needs. All the Houseace team are fully qualified and vetted experts in their trade. They will transform your bathroom with utmost care, as though it were their own.

 

Why not read our customer testimonials and find out why Houseace is trusted by thousands of Australians for bathroom renovations, or give us a call today on 1300 304 367? Get a free online bathroom renovation quote in just two minutes! 

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Are Energy Efficient Homes Really That Efficient?

27/04/2020

Energy-efficient houses are built with energy-saving features to reduce emissions and their environmental impact. However, building new energy-efficient houses can actually result in increased carbon pollution. 

Energy Efficient Homes

Passive housing design and construction have improved in recent years. But, in some cases, making homes more energy efficient has led to increased emissions. From indoor pollution to increased energy demands, many homeowners are finding that their greener homes are not living up to expectations. 

Furthermore, efforts to reduce operating emissions by installing greener technologies and design features to existing homes can actually increase embodied emissions. This can lead to further carbon pollution. 

Increase in carbon pollution

While energy-efficient homes are a great step toward reducing carbon emissions, most of these houses only target operating emissions. 

There are two main sources of emissions from a household; operating emissions and embodied emissions. 

Operating emissions are those associated with running a household, e.g., appliances, heating, cooling, and lighting. These emissions are offset by green technologies and features such as solar panels, LED lighting, motion sensors, etc.  

Embodied emissions, on the other hand, are those associated with the manufacturing, transporting, and assembling of the materials that are used to construct the house. 

The real problem with most energy-efficient homes is that most builders are only targeting operating emissions and not embodied emissions. This makes sense since the majority of carbon emissions from a house’s life cycle is from operating emissions. However, as energy-efficient houses become more sophisticated, embodied emissions become a larger focal point.

Indoor pollution and increased energy demands

The new construction of energy-efficient homes or the green renovation of existing homes can increase carbon pollution and energy consumption. This is because efforts to reduce operating emissions are actually increasing embodied emissions. 

This will come as a shock to many homeowners, particularly when more and more Australians are taking out personal loans to fund green renovations.

According to Ratesetter, “Borrowers in the Northern Territory have the highest average green loan amount of $11,462.51. Comparatively, Western Australia has the lowest average green loan amount of $5,982.75”.

Energy-efficient ‘add-ons’’ such as improved insulation is making homes more airtight, increasing indoor air pollution. Furthermore, renovating homes to make them more efficient along with the teardown and replacement of single-family homes are adding to the increase in carbon pollution.

The teardown cycle is preventing many single-family homes from surviving long enough to pay back the initial impacts caused by embodied emissions from construction materials. 

And while many energy-efficient homes can reduce stress on the grid, they can also exacerbate their impact. Depending on the combination of thermal efficiency and appliances used, energy-efficient homes can impact electricity network reliability and lead to peak electricity demand. 

Creating a carbon zero home

Achieving a carbon zero status requires careful planning and design. Decisions that you make about your home today will continue to have consequences throughout its entire life cycle. Therefore, it’s more cost-effective to design and build these homes to be energy efficient now rather than seeking to address them via retrofits or green renovations, later.  

Building an energy-efficient house from the outset of the project using renewable materials and cleaner modes of transport and construction is the most effective way to reduce carbon pollution.

Summing up

It’s important for homeowners to understand that their efforts to improve the energy efficiency of their homes is not a waste. Any steps that are taken to reduce emissions and environmental impact is a step in the right direction and can help to save a lot in energy bills. 

To avoid increased carbon pollution, higher standards need to be applied to construction and building codes. Homeowners can also look to investing in building a new energy-efficient home from the ground-up. This will ensure that all features are checked for quality and efficiency for the long-term life of the house.

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5 Apartment Trends To Dominate 2020

26/03/2020

With Millennials entering the property market, as well as an increasing and ageing population, the apartment sector will see certain trends dominate in 2020. In turn, these trends will have a significant impact on both investors and people looking to buy an apartment. If you fall into one of these categories, here are the five apartment trends you should keep an eye on this year. 

  1. Repurposing Industrial Buildings into Apartment Blocks

With an increasing population and the pressure for housing (and profit) rising, vintage/industrial buildings are being repurposed into apartment blocks. The Former Town Mill, a 19th-century mill in Graz, Austria, was transformed into a modern apartment complex. Loft-like flats on four storeys were created for a young and urban clientele while preserving the mill’s large, open, communal spaces and showcasing its beautiful timber skeleton.

 

Station F (previously known as Halle Freyssinet) is a large 20th-century train shed in Paris, France that was turned into the “world’s biggest start-up campus”. But it doesn’t only accommodate tech-based start-up businesses, it also houses 100 6-bedroom apartments where young entrepreneurs live together and share amenities.

 

The United States is taking up this trend as the population continues to grow and less land is available for new apartment developments. More vintage and industrial buildings will be converted into apartments, which is good news for both buyers and investors alike.

 

  1. Kitchen-free Apartments

A report by UBS found that Millennials are three times more likely to order takeaway than their parents. This has resulted in fewer kitchen islands and minimal counter space being built in new apartments marketed to young people. By 2030 most meals currently cooked at home will be ordered online and delivered from restaurants or central kitchens, which means kitchens in apartments will gradually shrink and eventually disappear altogether.

 

One factor driving the gradual extinction of the kitchen is the rise of food delivery services, with food delivery apps in the top 40 most downloaded apps. This is due to the fact that ordering-in is more convenient and cost-effective than making a meal from scratch. So if you don’t find a kitchen in an apartment, you’ll know why (and it’ll be cheaper to buy too!).

 

  1. Optimising for Retirees

 

New research from the Property Council revealed that retirees prefer apartment living because paying for an apartment, particularly in a retirement village, is cheaper than buying a two-bedroom house. As a result, almost 30% of new retirement villages have apartments compared to 15% of existing developments.

 

What’s more, modern retirees want easy access to health services on-site and recreation spaces, so 97% of new developments have facilities and services like cafés, cinemas, hair salons, community centres, social programs, and emergency call systems. Installing modern lifts or upgrading old lifts for seniors will also enable them to move up and down floors safely and easily, maintaining their independence and ability to get out and enjoy life.

 

If you plan on retiring this year, you may want to consider buying an apartment in a retirement village. If you’re an investor and considering Australia’s rapidly ageing population, you could invest in a retirement village apartment for higher returns.

 

  1. Rise of Micro-apartments

The co-living trend has also taken off in Australia, with real estate agents reporting an increase in demand for micro-apartments in the inner city, which usually costs less than $500,000, as banks refuse to lend larger loans to buyers. This shows that it’s a good idea to buy or invest in a micro-apartment this year.

 

A micro-apartment is a single-room apartment with just enough space for sleeping, sitting, a tiny kitchen, a limited amount of shelves, and a bathroom. The laundry and common areas are shared with other residents and a community manager is responsible for keeping the place running. Your social, housing and expense needs are all handled in one place.

 

  1. Walkable Communities

 

Whether it’s in the city or in the suburbs, walkable communities have also picked up the pace with an increase in restaurants, retailers, and services opening within or near apartment blocks. Everything is within a 5 or 10-minute walk, so people can live, play, and sometimes work without having to drive their cars. This is great for singles and empty-nesters who don’t want big yards and long commutes.

 

The factors giving rise to walkable communities are fewer people driving cars, less newly developed land, and preference for small retailers over giant retailers that are often located far away. It may be expensive to buy an apartment in a walkable community but it’s good for investment and for buyers who want to be close to everything.

 

Looking to buy or invest in an apartment?

 

If you’re considering buying or investing in an apartment in 2020, keeping an eye on apartment trends can help you make important decisions and determine what’s best for you, especially when it comes to price, location, and features. As a buyer, you want to ensure that you’ll be satisfied with your choices. And as an investor, you want to ensure that you get a good return on your investment.

 

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Hardscaping 101: Design Guide for Patio Pavers

04/03/2020

When designing their houses, a lot of people tend to neglect the exterior in favour of the interior. This is a common mistake and it makes the house look rather poor and unfinished from the outside. Therefore, if you want to avoid this outcome, you should invest in the exterior of your home. This means you have to design your backyard or have someone else do it for you. One of the most important parts of your backyard is, of course, the patio. The process of putting the patio in your yard is called hardscaping. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Hardscape consists of the non-living elements of landscaping, such as a brick patio, a stone wall, or a wood arbor. Today, we are going to share some basic hardscaping lesions and help you to design the best patio for your home.

Borders and Banding Make The Patio Look Clean and Classy

Some people are using pavers to create borders or banding, which separates the patio from the rest of the backyard. This distinguishes the patio from the landscape so that it doesn’t feel like the patio just suddenly ends. You can use a simple row of slightly different pavers for this job, but you don’t have to use only one border. Some homeowners use double or even a triple border with different coloured pavers. This will give your patio an interesting and exciting look.

Also, you can add banding across your patio, not just along the edge. This will make your patio look rather intriguing. If you are daring enough, you should also consider a unique pattern at the centre of your patio for an original and brave design.

A Unique Pattern is Always a Good Choice

If you are lucky enough to be able to design your own home, you don’t want it to be boring and plain. Don’t get us wrong, simplicity is not the issue here, the simple design is ok, the dull design is your enemy. So, the best thing you can do is to be creative and choose a unique pattern. In case you can’t decide on a pattern or you simply don’t know how to do it yourself, hiring experts like Premier Pavers is the smart thing to do. Here are some of the most popular unique patterns you can try out in your backyard – Herringbone, Running Bond, Stretcher, Bond, Diamond, I-Pattern, Random, Basketweave, and the Circle Pattern.
If, however, you want something unusual, you can try Travertine pavers. This is an ideal fit for any wall or floor space, outdoor garden or patio area. The best thing about this pattern is that there are no exactly identical pieces. It doesn’t matter if your home is rustic or contemporary, this design will definitely make your home special.

Play With Colours

These days, lighter-coloured pavers are trending in the world of patio design. Homeowners are 

looking for brighter and more cheerful patios, so playing with colour is definitely a good thing today. Light colours are always a good idea if you have a small backyard because they make the backyard seem bigger than it is. Even though lighter colours are a great option for your patio, there are other colour options as well. You can mix and match contrasting colours if you are going for a creative and unusual look. If you have some elements that tie the whole backyard together, you can play with different colours when creating your patio. Also, borders and banding represent a great opportunity to add some intriguing colours. However, if your existing pavers are damaged by the exposure and weather conditions, you can refresh their colours by painting them. You can do it yourself, but considering this can be a bit tricky, you should maybe hire painting experts.

Building a unique patio is a wonderful way to decorate your home. We hope these tips will help you to build a backyard you always dreamed of having.

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5 Smart Home Trends That Will Inspire You

18/02/2020

Image Credit: Unsplash

Smart homes have multiple connected devices you control from a central hub or smartphone. You choose the devices you want to automate and personalise the features as you like – from a coffee machine programmed to have your morning cup ready as soon as you get out of bed to a heater that warms up your interiors before you get home. 

Well-designed systems can have all your devices and systems working in a harmonised way together for convenience and seamless experience. So which are the most exciting smart-home trends to consider for your household in the coming year?

 

  1. Intelligent home security

Smart technology has always proven its worth in home security, and its utility and sophistication in this area are likely to continue growing in 2020. This year, smart home security systems will offer even more remote access and monitoring features. 

In the coming year, more households will control their alarms and door locks from their phones. Smart locks will replace keys with your phone and offer one-time entry codes for contractors like cleaners. Your system will be able to identify visitors by using facial and voice recognition.

 

  1. Automated kitchens

How much time do you spend thinking about, buying, and preparing food? What if your kitchen appliances could take care of the details for you? Think of your kitchen appliances quietly making your coffee and preparing dinner for you as you go about your day. 

Smart fridges monitor the temperature and alert you when food goes off. You can use them to order groceries and meals, and get recipe ideas based on the fridge contents Use your smartphone to turn on the oven and have dinner ready when you arrive home and set up appliances to report issues to the manufacturer.

 

  1. Smart gardening

Your interiors have reaped the benefits of smart technology, and now it’s time for your garden and lawn to catch up. One of the most exciting trends in smart gardening is in bringing the humble lawnmower into the digital age – with robot lawnmowers. 

Sit back and let your lawnmower bot do the hard work. These bots are also likely to be more energy-efficient. The smartest lawnmower bots automatically adapt motor power depending on the condition of the grass so you’re not using more energy than you need to.

 

  1. Gesture controls

Voice commands might be convenient, but if you prefer the naturalness and intuitiveness of hand gestures, you can now add these controls to your smart display – your smart home control panel – and other smart tools around your house. 

For example, you can set up your smart display to turn down the music when you hold a finger to your lips or if you hold up your hand for silence. There’s a practical benefit too: in a noisy room, it can be hard to use voice commands.

 

  1. Alerts and notifications

Real-time monitoring might be a selling point for some smart-home features, but what if householders didn’t need to initiate check-ins and constantly monitor their phones? With the latest smart home technologies, you can set up alerts for just about any type of triggering event. 

For example, get a text on your phone or a sound notification throughout the house when a package is delivered. Leaking pipes, garage doors left open, and overheating stove-tops are other possible alterable events. 

 

Conclusion

Smart home tech is enabling incredible new levels of responsiveness and automation inside your home. Automated temperature control, including by-room heating and cooling; air purification; lighting; and entertainment have been around for years.


In the coming years, it’s likely more smart homes will be adopting cutting-edge technologies like gesture controls and smart security systems. Smart homes aren’t about gimmicks but delivering real benefits for you and your family. 

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The Ultimate 2020 Bathroom Renovation Cost Guide

11/07/2019

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Bathroom Renovation Cost Sydney

Bathroom renovations are one of the most common types of home renovations out there. But how much do they actually cost? The bathroom renovation cost Sydney can vary greatly depending on the size of the room as well as the costs for materials, labour, fittings and other expenses. These variables will play a key role in determining the total cost of a bathroom renovation project. This guide will cover the essential information and most commonly asked questions you need to know about the cost of a bathroom renovation.

How Much Do I Need to Spend on a Bathroom Renovation?

The total cost of a bathroom renovation will depend on a number of variables. As a general rule, however, a bathroom renovation can be broken down into three primary price ranges: budget, standard, and premium. Let’s take a closer look at these three price ranges to uncover what, exactly, you will get at this range.

Budget

A budget-friendly renovation ($5,000 to around $15,000) is primarily a cosmetic renovation and will cover a smaller bathroom size while using budget-priced materials and fittings. Budget renovations tend to keep plumbing and electrics the same, while swapping out cosmetic items like tiles, adding a new shower or vanity, etc.

Standard

bathrrom renovation

A standard priced renovation ($15,000 to around $30,000) is a middle-of-the-road renovation with both cosmetic and additional work, completed using standard range materials and fittings. Most people end up with a budget in the standard range, which includes the ability to choose more cosmetic options as well as upgrading but not massively changing plumbing or electrics. For instance, you might have a new, more upscale bathtub installed. 

Premium

bathroom renovation

A premium priced renovation ($30,000 and up) is considered to be a luxury-style renovation which uses materials and fittings that are top of the line. Premium bathroom renovations can include changes to the floorplan, installing or altering plumbing and electrics, and using higher-end materials for a more luxurious look and feel.

How to Plan Your Bathroom Renovation Budget

Planning your bathroom renovation budget is essential when you want to make sure that you stick within your financial limits while still achieving a renovation of your bathroom. This will require determining what renovations you wanted completed, the average cost of materials for those renovations at different price points, as well as labour costs.

Try our free Bathroom Estimator below:

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The most common areas of the bathroom that are changed or altered during a renovation are:

Each of these areas and elements has different material options depending on your budget needs. For instance, bathroom tilers can cost as little as $35 per square metre to $120 per square metre.

What to Do When You Can’t Do A Complete Overhaul

If you find it impossible to complete the bathroom renovation of your dreams on your budget, then you will need to think of an alternative plan. Even if you can’t complete everything on your dream wish list, you can still give your bathroom a new and fresh look on a budget.

Ideas for alternatives that will suit anyone who can’t afford a complete renovation include:

These alternatives are budget-friendly and will alter the look of your bathroom without costing much money.

Bathroom Renovation: Schedule and Time Estimates

One of the most common questions people have about bathroom renovations is: how long will it take? The exact schedule and time of your bathroom renovation will depend on a number of factors, including how much time it takes for the renovation to be researched and planned, the exact scope of the project, and how long it takes for the work itself to be completed. As a general rule of thumb, expect around 6-8 weeks for a bathroom renovation to be planned and 1-4 weeks for the renovation itself to be finished.

Step by Step Guide to Renovating Your Bathroom

It’s important to know what will happen during a bathroom renovation so you can prepare yourself for the project. The following is a step by step guide to what will happen during a bathroom renovation.

 

Step One: The Design

First, the bathroom renovation will be designed. The design includes mapping out the current layout of the bathroom and designing the new layout or the addition of the new elements, such a moving or altering fixtures, adding tiles, and so on.

Step Two: Removing the Old Bathroom

Before renovations can begin, your old bathroom needs to be removed or stripped. What this exactly involves will change depending on the scope of the project. For instance, if you are replacing your floor and wall tiles, the stripping process will involve removing the existence tiles completely. 

Step Three: Plumbing Alterations

If your renovation includes alterations to the plumbing in the bathroom, then the next step will involve a professional plumber and/or electrician team marking up the new plumbing schematics, measuring dimensions and double checking that everything will fit smoothly in your newly renovated bathroom. 

Step Four: Prepping the walls and floors

Before the walls and floors can be retiled, they need to be prepared. This involves two processes: rendering the walls and floors so they have a smooth finish and prepping them with cement bedding.

Step Five: Tiling 

Once the walls and floors are prepped, they can be fitted with new tiles.

Step Six: Installing new fittings and fixtures

After the tiling is completed, it will be time to add in any new fittings and fixtures, such as new toilets, vanities, basins, lighting, and fans and so on.

How to Hire a Bathroom Renovator

When it comes time to hire a bathroom renovation, there are a few things to keep in mind. One, your bathroom renovator needs to be licensed. Plumbing, installing tiling and electrical work requires using a licensed contractor with an up to date license in their respective field.

Before hiring a renovator, make sure you ask them the important questions, including: Do you have your license? How long do you project the job will take? Can you provide me with a written quote? Do you have any references? Could I see examples of previous work? The more you can find out about your prospective renovator, the better you will be able to judge if they can make your bathroom renovation turn from dream to reality.

Every renovation crew on our platform is vetted to the above standards and we constantly undertake quality assurance tests to ensure our contractor are holding up a high standard.

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The Need-To-Know Australian Kitchen Trends for 2020

11/11/2019

Australian kitchen trends for 2020

When it’s time to update your kitchen, you need to be in the know on current trends from Australia’s top interior designers. Whether you are trying to make your kitchen more stylish, or you’re simply replacing some key fixtures or fittings, going with on-trend designs can really maximise your kitchen’s potential. So without further ado, here are the need-to-know Australian kitchen trends for 2020.

Need a quote? Get an instant kitchen renovation quote in just a few clicks.

Innovative storage

You’ll find that a lot of Australian designers are trying to find new and interesting ways to deal with storage. You might think that where you store your pots and pans and various spices in the kitchen would simply be a matter of necessity and practicality, but why can’t you have all that and couple it with sleek, modern design? This is the question that today’s designers are trying to answer, and they do so by making the storage spaces subtler so that they blend right into the lines of the kitchen. This is known as hidden storage. 

Another way that storage is being modernised is through the use of plentiful storage spaces. This means that everything in the kitchen has a place, so there are no cluttered counters. Yes, you’ll have to spend a bit more time getting out the things you need, but having clear counter space makes your kitchen so much more attractive, clean looking and stress-free. 

Related: How Much Does a Kitchen Renovation Cost?

Bringing nature inside

There are a lot of ways that you can play with incorporating natural objects or textures in your home, and you have to be careful about overdoing it in the kitchen. A smart modern designer will include some minor touches of nature in their work. This could be as simple as placing a plant on the counter or as in-depth as adding wood panelling on some of the kitchen walls or on the cabinets. To give that panelling a more natural, rustic look, the designer may leave it looking rough and unpolished. 

Durable laminate, raw tones and other touches that look just a little outdoorsy are a great way to create a sense of character for your kitchen. You can also use some old-fashioned fixtures, such as vintage taps or art deco cupboards to complement the natural components. 

Related: Hidden Costs to Look Out for When Renovating a Kitchen

Create a feature space

Feature walls are a big trend all over the world, and they really make a kitchen stand out with a modern look that isn’t too expensive to create. By adding some task lighting on one wall, along with a splash of colour or texture, you can create a highlight for your kitchen that instantly draws the eye. A lot of homeowners choose to do this with the backsplash behind the stovetop or in one of the main workstations in the kitchen. This creates a centrepiece for your room and can allow you to get a little creative. 

One way to achieve the feature wall effect is to use brickwork or some other textured surface only on that portion of the wall. So, instead of changing up the entire kitchen with an expensive surface texture, you simply do one small portion and realise a marvellous effect that stands out beautifully.

Terrazzo countertops

When it is time to update the countertops, you can go with a trendy look by making them out of terrazzo. This chip-style marble finish is very decorative, but also smooth and practical. Terrazzo is a huge trend right now for hard surface areas, and it is commonly used in modern bathrooms and kitchens to create a more ornate surface where normally there would be something plain and boring.

Spice up your kitchen and stay right on trend with this fashionable countertop option. If you are looking to spend a little less than what it would cost you to cover all your kitchen countertops with terrazzo, you can either just do a single countertop or island, or you can opt for a cheaper alternative that offers a lookalike surface similar to genuine terrazzo. There are some high-quality imitations being offered by contractors that may work well for someone on a budget. 

Create accents with brass

Once again, we are looking at a trend that you can use as sparingly as you like and still get some great results. Brass really stands out in a plain-coloured kitchen, especially a kitchen with lighter hues. If you change out your current tap for a brass one, the highlight effect it creates will be incredible. Try replacing cabinet handles, shelf supports or any other minor metal components in your kitchen with brass. Using this metal sparingly will allow it to have the greatest impact and will help to keep your costs low as well. 

Handmade touches

A lot of Australians are adding their own creations to their kitchen or buying handmade items from friends, relatives or local craftspeople. These objects are sometimes items that have practical value and that would be useful in the kitchen, and some of them are simply decorative. What makes them appealing is the imperfections and how they add something special to a modern kitchen. A handmade vase, sculpture or trinket can become a talking piece for your kitchen and make it feel like a more personal space to you. 

The organic shapes of arts and crafts make them perfect for the trendy kitchen, as bespoke items are hugely popular these days. They can cost a bit more than a manufactured item, but they also make your kitchen somewhat unique, since no one else will have something quite like it in theirs. 

Making your kitchen trendy

Are you looking to have a kitchen that is on trend for 2020? If you think one of these is right for you or you want some other ideas, then give us a call on 1300 304 367.  Check out our renovation calculator for an instant, fixed quote for your kitchen renovation project.

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Cost To Paint A House Guide 2020

18/07/2019

Curious about the cost to paint a house in Australia? Let’s take a closer at the costs associated with having your home professionally painted in Australia.

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Estimated Cost to Paint a House (Through a Professional House Painter) 

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It’s usually not possible to give an exact quote for house painting without seeing the actual work, but with Houseace’s online quoting tools you can get a fully inclusive quote in under 2minutes. You’re welcome to use this post as a guideline for cost but for a more detailed quote follow the link below:

https://www.houseace.com.au/services/painting

The cost of a professional house painting will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size and scope of the job, the materials and tools needed, the condition of the walls or surface that needs to be painted, as well as the company’s personal rates. On average, however, homeowners can expect to pay about $40.00 per hour for a standard house painting job. Simpler jobs may cost less–around $35.00/hour–whereas more complex jobs will cost more, around $45.00/hour.

 

Cost Per Room and Size

kitchen renovation

Homeowners who want one or more rooms finished during a single painting job can benefit from estimating the cost on the number of rooms and size of the rooms being painted. As a general rule of thumb, it will cost anywhere from $250 to $400 per room to have them painted; however, the more rooms you need painted in a single job, the less the cost per room will be in the end. For example, if you have 5 bedrooms that need painting in a single job, you will pay less per room than if you had only 1 bedroom that needed to be painted. It is therefore more cost effective to have multiple rooms painted in a single job, since you will save money in the long run.

It should be noted that the cost per room does have a wide variable due to the many factors that can alter the overall cost per room, such as the size of the surface that needs to be painted, price of the paint, condition of the room walls, and so on. For instance, if the painters will need to resurface your wall due to holes and cracks, this will add to the overall costs.

 

Cost Per Hour/Day

house painting Sydney Lexicon® Quarter. Image Source: Dulux

Another way that homeowners can calculate the cost of house painting is by the average cost per hour or per day. Professional painters have rates that vary between around $35 and $45 per hour for the average home; this price per hour does not include the cost for paint and materials, however, which will need to be added into the total cost. The average cost per hour will also vary depending on the type of painting that needs to be done; exterior painting, for instance, costs more than interior painting on average.

Homeowners can also consider the average cost per day rather than simply per hour. Using the average cost per hour, homeowners can expect to pay about $280 to $360 for 8 hours of work per day. The number of hours needed to complete the job will depend on the size of the job, the complexity, and other factors that could lengthen or shorten work time. Homeowners will also need to consider how much work a professional painter can get done in an hour; the more time the work takes, the more it will cost per hour.

 

Common Painting Jobs

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There are many common house painting jobs that homeowners prefer to have done by professionals. These common painting jobs include both interior and exterior painting work. As a general guide, the most common house painting jobs that professionals can handle are:

 

  • Interior painting: Painting interior rooms and spaces such as bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms; interior painting may also include repairing walls or altering wall texture for better painting on the surface
  • Exterior painting: Painting exterior areas of the home; this is typically done every 5-7 years, with exceptions for exterior painting done for aesthetic purposes
  • Roof painting: Painting the roof; this job requires special equipment and safety protocols
  • Wallpaper: While this is not a painting job, many professional painters offer wallpapering services in addition to painting services
  • Fence painting: Painting exterior fences using outdoor paint that can withstand the elements and other outdoor conditions such as debris and frequent contact
  • Timber maintenance: While this is not a painting job, many professional painters offer professional timber maintenance

 

How to Find An Affordable House Painter

Finding an affordable house painter does take some patience and planning, but it is possible to find a professional painting team that offers reasonable prices in exchange for professional work.

Before you start looking for a professional painter, make sure that you know all of the details of the job you need done, including: the number of rooms you need painted, the size of the rooms, the type of paints and finishes you want, the colours you want, and so on. The more you can answer about these questions, the easier it will be to find a professional house painter who can meet your needs.

When it comes to finding affordable house painters, you need to consider your location. As a general rule of thumb, homeowners in Victoria and Queensland pay the least amount per hour and homeowners in New South Wales and South Australia pa the most. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find an affordable house painter if you live in the more expensive areas–it just means that you’ll need to have more patience and work harder to reach out to professional painters to find the companies with the most affordable rates.

If you are looking for affordable house painting, keep the above guide in mind to help you plan out expected costs but feel free to use our online quoting tool, you can get an online quote for house painting in under 2 minutes.

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Bedroom Flooring Trends for 2020

03/01/2020

Each year, a new flooring trend is introduced, and it becomes something that people become more inclined towards. Because of its newness, it becomes extremely popular. Flooring trends are actually considered to be one of the essential parts of house décor. 

Modern technology allows you to visualise what you want your floors to look like, and even helps you create the style most suited for your home. 

In the past few years, hardwood flooring was extremely popular. It is believed that in 2020 a new trend is about to become a favourite, bringing with it originality and excitement. Most of the time, flooring trends become internationally popular, Vinyl flooring in Sydney being one of them.

More than anything, the flooring in your bedroom is the most important. Your bedroom floor is the one that cannot be compromised on. It has to be according to your taste. 

This article will help you narrow down top flooring trends that are most likely to become popular in 2020, so you can get a head start on designing your home. It may seem challenging to find and create a flooring arrangement by yourself, but it is a lot easier than you think.

Luckily, flooring trends don’t usually go out of style. Nowadays, they stick around and stay trendy for a long time. 2018 brought the trend of mineral streaks and knots, which had its unique aesthetics. Since then, styles have evolved with 2019, focusing on a darker tone. 2020 has been predicted to bring a flooring trend of faux wood, which is of plain colours like beige, grey, and opaque tones. The colour spectrum is now going from darker tones to lighter tones, and the results of that could be quite amazing.

2020 will be consistent in hard surfaces such as wood, laminate, tile, and vinyl. Replication of natural wood is also one of the prominent trends for 2020, bringing a cheaper alternative to more expensive trends like real wood. The replication is made from tiles that are designed to look like wood. In which case, they look the same, but the ones made from tiles are waterproof.

So, let’s get started on the biggest bedroom flooring trends of 2020. Here is what is predicted to be the most popular style of the coming year.

 

  • Blonde or Fair Glossy Tiles

 

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This style not only looks glamorous, but the feel of it is nice too. There is a great feeling of walking on glossy tiles that makes you want to have them in your home. Though glossy tiles have been known to get stained easily, having them in your bedroom makes them less likely to get anything spilled on as compared to having them in your kitchen or bathroom. The blonde glossy tiled look brings a light colour into your bedroom and adds brightness to the overall look. Plus, it is appealing to look at.

  • Light Vinyl Hardwood

 

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Vinyl hardwood has been known to be the most effective in places with high moisture, like a bathroom or kitchen. However, they also look great in bedrooms. Plus, vinyl hardwood itself is cheaper and more attainable. They also last considerably long and match with almost any kind of furniture. Light vinyl hardwood has been one of the most popular styles for the past two years. This doesn’t seem to go out of trend any time soon – which is why it’s definitely on the list of trends for 2020.

 

  • Laminate, Vinyl or Tiled light Grey and Bleached Blends

 

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Grey is a colour that has several different tones. 2019 has been a year where the flooring trends were on the darker colour spectrum. But, as mentioned before, with 2020, the focus will be on the lighter side. Grey and bleached blends are becoming part of the trend with their cool tones that aren’t too harsh. These colours are also more neutral for blending in with most furniture and won’t create too much contrast in your bedroom. Compared to the darker grey tones, lighter grey and bleached tones also give a softer look.

 

  • Light toned Wood

 

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Lighter tones of wood have also been one of those trends that have been popular for the past few years. This neutral coloured tone goes with almost any type of furniture and provides a sense of warmth in the bedroom. This tone can also be used in laminate, vinyl, and tiled flooring too. You can match practically anything with this type of flooring. Plus, the lighter tones are soft on the eyes.

 

  • Distressed or Textured Flooring

 

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Some floors often look like they have a texture to them, but in reality, that is just the look of the tiles or the wood. These types of floors look just as real as actual wood. Textured floors usually undergo some process that gives them the desired result, in which case the wood is not usually authentic. Distressed flooring gives a rustic and old vibe to your floor, and the result is quite stunning. It goes through an artificial ageing process that makes it look old and slightly worn out.

Now that you know what styles are in store for 2020, you should get started on finding the right place to get your flooring from.

Remember that flooring is just as important in decorating a house as the furniture and everything else. The right flooring creates the right atmosphere, and it starts in your bedroom. However, before you start looking for places to get your flooring installed, you need to keep a few things in mind. 

  • Flooring depends on what your home is like. 
  • Common household pets such as dogs, for example, can slip and hurt themselves easily on smooth floors such as glossy tiles. 
  • Vinyl flooring is best for being water resilient, which is why you should opt for that kind of floor if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain. Laminate floors tend to absorb water more, so be careful when installing those floors.

Most importantly, opt for the floors that are easy to maintain, look the best to you, and are durable. After all, it’s your home where they will be used. Hopefully, all the floor trends of 2020 are something that will suit to your liking and create the mood you are looking for.

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Water Damage Restoration Steps and Renovation

13/01/2020

Water restoration is defined as the process of vacuuming up the water and later drying out the room with waterproof flooring. It may involve rebuilding overall sections of the home.

By restoring your living area, home or already damaged condition of your liveable generally involves removal, refinement, and aeration procedure of the water.

It is imperative to take precautionary measures and afterward measure in case of water damage. If you don’t take moisture and standing water seriously, then you are providing an ideal environment for the mold, germs, and bacteria. To live in such a situation for an extended period can result in spreading diseases and allergy that can adversely affect your health.  

In case you have neglected water restoration and want to learn how to fix it, then you are at an ideal place. The present discussion is informative, as we will explain to you some significant water restoration steps. Moreover, you can grab the desired details regarding how a renovation can be done ideally.

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Water Damage Restoration 

One of the most important things that require complete consideration is that it becomes essential to rebuild the water-damaged home. The reason is that carpet and drywall with infected engrossed water may catch the bacteria rapidly, and later on, it becomes difficult to remove it. We strongly recommend you to replace the material rather than water for the time when the infected organisms drench the air.  

Following are the different materials that require proper replacement including;

  • Shelves
  • Floor
  • Clothing 
  • Walls
  • Ductwork 
  • Hangings 
  • Ceilings
  • Air conditioners 
  • Heaters 

Before we proceed further, let us explain to you a bit about what are the key steps involved in the water damage restoration process.

Water Damage Restoration Steps 

If you have decided to repair the damage at home, then first and the critical step is to inspect the cost thoroughly, it will give you an idea about how to fix the floor, ceiling, and walls. Moreover, the inspection will let you decide which area must be replaced instantly.

 

  • Step 1: Inspection 

 

A well-skilled and professional person can get a clear idea about the extent of water damage. Importantly, inspection helps in determining the class or a category of water damage, i.e., whether it’s significant damage or a minor one. Another benefit of defining the type and category of water damage is that you can better repair yourself for the renovation according to the damage.

Different Classes of Water Damage 

Following are the different classes of water damage including; 

Class 1

It is the first class of water damage that involves minor damage, including a room that absorbs a little moisture. It is usually considered as the least or insignificant class of water damage as it doesn’t create much loss.

Class 2

It’s a bit serious damage as the whole room gets infected with it. Moreover, here the infected water gets absorbed into walls and carpets as well.

Class 3

This class is considered as the worse one as here the damaged water-drenched most of the area and absorbed into walls as well.

Class 4

This class of damage requires a particular drying procedure because of the harm done to different materials, including concrete, hardwood, and stone.

As we have identified different significant classes of water damage, the next step is to highlight some of the core categories of water damage including;

Water Damage and its significant categories

Following are the different categories of water damage including; 

Category 1

It’s the most straightforward category of water damage as it involves loss from purified water sources including pipelines, toilet tanks, and water supply pipes, etc. if you don’t take this first category of water damage seriously, then it can result in category two or category 3 type of damage. After that, it becomes difficult to find out the easy solution to water damage renovations.

Category 2 

This type of damage is mainly due to the greywater. By greywater, we mean the contaminated water, the water of dishwasher, or washing machine that contains surf or detergent. The urine from the toilet is also considered as category 2 of water damage.

Category 3

It is one of the most severe categories of water damage as it contains dirty water that may cause serious infirmity, fatal infection, or death of a person as well.

The water of category three usually comes from the river flooding, sewage, or the standing water that can result in spreading bacteria and fatal germs. The contaminated water starts growing microbes and bacteria, and it becomes quite challenging to cure them quickly.

  • Step 2: Removal of Water 

The second important step is the removal of water, and it can only be done by using vacuums and pumps. Vacuum and pumps help in removing water that is causing severe damage. Any other type of equipment depends on the extent of the damage being done by the water.

Pro Tip: The procedure of water damage must start as soon as the bacteria start growing. Please don’t wait till it gets more complicated, severe, and critical to handle.

 

  • Step 3: Drying 

 

The third important step is drying. Once you have entirely vacuumed the porous surfaces and standing water, the third procedure of dehumidification and drying starts. This step cannot be skipped at any cost, as it is vital to clean the rest of the humidity and moisture after the proper removal of water. Drying up procedure is not easy, and it may take several weeks to complete the process.

  • Step 4: Cleaning 

Once you are done with the drying procedure, the next important step is to clean all your valuable personal belongings thoroughly. This step cannot be skipped as you have to ensure that you have protected your stuff from bacteria and other germs. You must clean the drapery, carpets, and other clothing stuff as they can catch the bacteria anytime. You can use air scrubber for this purpose. It can better clean the moisture and gives a better cleaning effect.

 

  • Step 5: Restoration 

 

Last but not least, restoration is one of the most important steps as the process of restoration carries vital significance. In this procedure, you have to change and replace material wadding and drywalls.  Usually, the method is not considered much complicated as it’s the matter of installing a few panels of drywall. If the case is quite severe, then you will have to replace the whole wall as it can cause severe damages. Revelation to toxic substances, including asbestos and lead, may cause severe damages but can be resolved during restoration. Older homes may have a higher chance of getting it.

Conclusion 

Even if your homes have minor water leakage issues or significant water damage, it is imperative to notice it in an initial stage. You can find out the better solution if you start taking the things seriously at the initial stages. 

The current discussion is productive if you don’t know how to perform water damage restoration and renovation systematically. To fix the things at the initial stages is always ideal because, later on, it becomes challenging to fix the things.  The restoration process must be repeated more often, as it takes a month to get the whole procedure done.  

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How The Heat Impacts You And Your Home

16/12/2019

Feeling the heat? You’re not alone! As the silly season rolls in, so too does the hotter weather in Australia. While the summer can be a joyous time of social events and outdoor activities, the last place you want to feel hot is inside your home. Houses that are too warm can lead to poor quality sleep, feeling flustered and uncomfortable, and could be potentially dangerous for pets or older members of your family. 

 

Australia is a seriously hot country

Australia is well-known for its warm summers and mild winters – it’s one of the many reasons tourists flock there year after year. The hot temperatures pair perfectly with trips to the beach, rooftop bars and laid-back social outings. But our warmer weather brings along with it some issues as well, with Australia suffering catastrophic bushfire seasons, many heatstroke cases, and even deaths from scorchingly hot temperatures.

 

The impacts of heat on you and your house

These hot conditions not only cause problems for citizens but also have an impact on our homes. Specifically, appliances, electricity, and pets within the home are affected by hot weather conditions. Fuzzy Rescue explains that certain pets are more at risk of overheating or heatstroke than others, so take particular care if you care for an animal who is old, very young or has a respiratory or heart condition. 

Human health

Heat causes a decline in air quality, making it harder to breathe. The potential of the air to contain particles of ash or dust which can enter the lungs is also much higher within the warmer months. These particles can cause health issues such as bronchitis, asthma or emphysema.

Hotter weather can also bring along with it a decline in mental health. There are more incidences of low mood, rage, and conditions such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the summer months, as the heat can quickly cause exhaustion and insomnia.

Heatstroke is another major issue to watch out for in Australia’s summer months, which occurs when someone’s body overheats. This can cause the sufferer to collapse, or experience dizziness and confusion. Dehydration is a huge risk factor for developing heat stroke, and drinking more water should always be undertaken during high temps. 

 

Appliances and electricity

Heat can affect fridges and freezers that are kept in areas where there are high temperatures, such as in the back shed. When the appliance is heated to high levels, it must run hotter, faster and longer to function at normal capacity. This results in your fridge or freezer wearing out much faster, and a replacement could be expensive. It’s a good idea to keep your fridge indoors in a cool area of your home.

High temperatures can also bring electrical storms, which can cause power surges and render your appliances useless. Avoid overuse of anyone appliance during storms, as this can cause them to wear out quickly.

Pet health

Pets living with you at home can suffer from heatstroke as easily as humans can, which is why it’s so important to make sure your pet has adequate access to shade, freshwater or cooling appliances. Prevention of heatstroke is easier and cheaper than an emergency trip to the vet, and preparing in advance for upcoming hot temperatures will help you keep your pet healthy and comfortable.

 

Tips for keeping your house cool

If your home doesn’t have built-in air conditioning to keep the temperature inside at a cool constant, there are a few things you can do to cool your house down. Rental home dwellers may look into purchasing a portable air conditioning unit like the ones here, fan or air dehumidifier to help keep the temperature low. 

Keeping your blinds closed will help keep the heat out, and are even more effective if they’re blackout curtains. Once temperatures drop as the sun goes down, open the windows and let the cooler breeze through to cool down your home. Turning your lights and appliances that produce a lot of heat off will also cool down your home.

Fans can be easily turned into misting fans with some DIY and ice, cooling down not only you but the air around you with the humble use of wind and water. Another way to recreate this effect quickly is to have a cold shower, don’t dry off, and stand in front of the fan. Your body temperature will be instantly lowered as the air cools and dries the water on your skin.

Some people swear by placing their sheets or pillows into the freezer before they go to bed, so they can enjoy one last cool blast as they drift off to sleep. You can also fill and freeze water bottles to keep nearby your feet to cool them down as they sleep.

 

Final reminders for tackling the Australian heat

With a little preparation, the summer heat doesn’t have to feel overwhelming year after year. Preparing frozen bottles of water ahead of time, escaping the heat by using public transport, or visiting places with air conditioning will help keep you cool and in control. 

If you can’t beat the heat, join it! Head to the beach and create new memories with your friends, or take your pet to the park and enjoy the breeze together. Australia’s hotter weather is there to enjoy, so slip slop slap and head outside! For further reading, check out this excellent article on Air Purifier Reviews & Ratings.

 

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Five top tips for choosing interior plantation shutters

16/02/2020

A luxuriously furnished home is everyone’s dream , decorating home with furniture, vases, electrical appliances, curtains, plantation shutters is quite a conventional approach; there are various unique ideas to design your home.

The idea of window treatment is often underestimated by people when they decorate their homes, but it is one of the areas which has the potential to transform your place picturesquely. The window treatment includes the use of simple curtains, blinders, roller shades, blackout, plantation shutters, roman shades and many more. 

The task of adorning your windows should be given due importance because they are also the source of the sunlight and ventilation for your home. Therefore, your window treatment will either make the room beautiful and desirable to live or make it worse to stay.  

Plantation shutters are the new product in the market, offered by many companies in timber, wooden, aluminum, and polymer materials. Choosing the best plantation shutters will not only control the light entering your room but the privacy and security too. Additionally, these add to the elegance, style, and decency of the place. We recommend Empire Window Furnishings in Sydney and Shuttersmith in the Gold Coast.

Tips for choosing plantation shutters

  • Identifying the place

Plantation shutters first may require the exact spot where they are supposed to be installed. They are available in different sizes and colors suitable to the living room, drawing room, bathroom and for the main entrance as well. Each size, design, and color is somehow native to the specific type of room that can be ruined if not placed correctly. 

Shutters bigger than the windows would not fit in properly. Moreover, they can narrow down the place for other things and can make the room look more congested. On the other hand, shutters smaller than the actual window do not even fulfill the purpose for which they are placed. Shutters are also specifically designed for the bathrooms too.

  • The fabric of shutters

Plantation shutters are available in different materials in the market as mentioned above. The top-selling types are aluminum, wooden, timbers, etc. depending on their advantages. 

Generally, a shutter is easier to get cleaned, unlike the fabric curtains. While buying a shutter, make sure that the fabric of the shutter is moisture-adopting so that wetness and steam onto it can be absorbed right away. Otherwise, its color, which is usually painted, will fade away. 

Other beneficial features of shutters are that they are anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic, recyclable, dirt and water-resistant.  Quality shutters do not split, warp or crack, and these are created for best-engineered performance. Hence, they are fire-resistant, repairable, humidity and termite resistant too. Moreover, timber shutters are rated as best for the fabric of shutters. Timber shutters are light weighted with graceful stain finishing.  

  • Style of shutters

Among other benefits, shutters are available in different styles and sizes too. These are available in circular, triangular, and rectangular shapes according to the style of windows. They do not split but can easily be folded back to have proper sunlight. Other types of window clothing, however, take the full space and cannot get sided easily. Shutters have been reported to be used in ancient Greek times too to protect from unbearable weather conditions, including rain, snowfall, summers, and winters. Commonly known styles are specified as full height, café style, and tier-on-tier shutter styles. As the name explains, full-height shutters are single units that open and close as a whole and not in parts. They, therefore, cover the whole window, if opened or closed. The costs of the shutters also vary according to the size and coverage area it provides. The material also adds significantly to the price of the shutter.  

The other type is the café style shutter that covers the lower part of the window providing privacy and natural light both. The third type is tier-on-tier, which is widely preferred because this shutter is divided into two parts. These two parts either from upper or lower, can be opened independently. In this, one can remain open and other closed depending on the requirement of time.

Solid shutters are also in the market, best suitable for the children’s room as they can be stretched from top to bottom as one unit. The tracked shutter is also one of the styles of the shutter that opens with slide. Moreover, these shutters can be customized by many of the companies providing the customer with the ease of one style and design for the whole house in different sizes. It can be customized according to the framing and dividing rails of the window. Customization is more costly but can be more reliable and comfortable for window treatment. 

  • Color of shutters

Coloring of the shutter is yet natural but the most challenging task to choose. It will give brightness and elegance to the room if chosen correctly, according to the color scheme of the room. Just like the fabric curtain, which is always preferred, keeping in mind the base color of the room, the shutter should also be either in contrast or with a combination of the base color of the room. It can also be in bold contrast to the base color of the room or in any way suitable to the person who is supposed to be living in the room. 

Color shutters can give the wall a featured wall look. This can be the focal wall of the room.  In this wall, a wall clock, sticker, hanging pots or motif can be placed to give a vibrant look. If one is not wholly committed and comfortable with the colored look in the long term, simple white or ash white is the best tone to choose. Colored shutters will add to the coziness to the room in winters and will help in keeping the room cold in summers. It will endure the night mode in the room and most of all will shutter the noise coming into the room disturbing the sleep of the person.

 

  • Affordability and durability

 

Plantation shutters, as the window treatment, can be expensive as well as cheap for the pocket of the person. It becomes costly, depending on the style, shape, design, and fabric. Therefore, points like weather conditions with suitable color schemes, resistance to humidity and bacteria, should always be considered. These things do not change daily, therefore, they should be chosen after much thinking and consultation.

Conclusion

Plantation shutters available in the market are engrained with more hygienic features attracting the customers to buy them. While top tips, as defined above, for choosing the plantation shutters should always be kept in mind for the best results. 

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Post Renovation Cleaning Checklist

03/12/2019

Once renovations are over, the work isn’t done. Of course, if you’re renovating with Houseace our team make sure everything is spic and span. But if you’re DIY there is a lot of cleaning up to do, and it can seem overwhelming if you don’t have a post renovation cleaning plan in mind. 

What is post-construction cleaning?

Post-construction cleaning is done after remodelling, renovation, commercial construction or residential project to prepare the property for its new residents оr for further interior touches. Post-construction cleaning can be done for all kinds of buildings, such as restaurants, hotels, education, government and manufacturing facilities.

Post-construction cleaning is done by a team of professionals that carefully inspect the property and clear out anything left from the construction process. Here is a handy post-renovation cleaning checklist to help you sort through the mess and get your house looking great again. 

Before you start your post-construction cleaning:

Before you start the post-construction cleaning there are a few things that you need to consider:

  • Seal all rooms that have not been renovated to prevent dust and heavy particles from spreading.
  • Protect your furniture. Use old sheets to protect your furniture and other belongings. If possible, move them to another room.
  • If you’re renovating only part of the house, try to contain the dust in the work area. After that, gather as much dust as you can, before you move on to cleaning in detail.
  • Block all vents and ventilation openings. Otherwise, dust will settle in there and spread around when the HVAC system is turned on
  • When you’re using plastic sheets and tape to protect walls and other surfaces, use tape that will not damage the paint when removed.

Why is post-construction cleaning important?

Post-construction cleaning is done mostly for safety. Construction dust contains toxins and carcinogens that can be dangerous to the new residents of the building.

Also, there might be nails, sawdust and broken glass and other material leftovers waiting to poke someone’s feet.

If you’re not well equipped, if you lack the knowledge and the experience needed, better don’t try to tackle this job alone. Being unaware of the risk and hazards from a poorly-handled construction cleanup can be very dangerous.

The worst post-construction cleaning mistake

The main mistake with post-construction cleaning is that people usually don’t know what they’re doing. You might think that post-construction cleaning is like regular cleaning аnd the place is just a little dirtier.

However, it’s a different beast altogether. It’s not a deep clean, it’s not a maintenance clean. It is a standalone category of professional cleaning. That’s why it’s best to let the experts handle it.

Otherwise, you’ll find that post-construction cleaning can be a lot like cleaning after Christmas. A couple of months later you’re still finding the little bristles from the pine cones or the pine needles that have dropped.

You find one here and you find one there. With post-construction cleaning, there might dust and debris for months to come. Dust will likely be kicked up from turning on the air conditioning unit, for example. There’s dirt inside these air ducts that gets blown out only for you to find it in places that you thought were clean.

Not to mention that if the post-construction cleaning is handled poorly, it might be very dangerous. By using a professional cleaning company, you know the job will be done professionally and in a timely manner. Plus, quality is guaranteed to save you both time and nerves. 

What does professional post-construction cleaning include

Usually, post-construction cleaning is done on three levels. Thus, professional companies ensure the best results. 

  • Rough interior cleaning
    This stage includes the removal of larger pieces of debris, construction material leftovers, and tools left by the builders. It is usually done after the building systems – mechanical, electrical, plumbing are installed.
  • Room-by-room cleaning
    Deep cleaning of all the rooms is included in this stage. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most important and must be thoroughly cleaned. Freshly-installed windows, fixtures and cabinets are dusted and after that disinfected. Finally, special attention must be paid to the floors.
  • Touch-up cleaning
    The final cleaning is done before the inspection. It ensures that everything is cleaned up to the highest standard. Details are most important here – deep cleaning of carpets and rugs, pressure cleaning and window cleaning.

Detailed post-construction cleaning checklist

Kitchen

Kitchen renovations are very common, and you want to keep your kitchen super sanitised, so make sure you do a thorough clean. You’ll know if any appliances (large or small) need to be cleaned out from the inside after the work is done, so don’t forget that part of the cleaning process, if it is necessary.

  • Wipe down all appliances
  • Sweep under all appliances
  • Wipe down the cabinets
  • Clean sink and faucets
  • Clean under the sink
  • Clean the windows
  • Wash the curtains
  • Get rid of the trash
  • Vacuum, sweep and/or mop the floor
  • Clean windowsills and window tracks
  • Clean inside new appliances
  • Clean out cabinets
  • Clean doorknobs and light switches
  • Dust top of shelves and counters
  • Clean inside of cabinets and drawers
  • Dust walls, mop floors, and vacuum carpets

Bathroom

The bathroom may be small, but there is often a lot of cleaning to do, as every surface in such a small room is likely to have particles on it. You’ll need to do a thorough job in the bathroom since you want to keep this area clean and comfortable for future use. Take your time, go over the checklist a few times and ensure that you didn’t miss anything:

  • Dust the counters
  • Dust light fixtures and cabinets
  • Dust walls, vacuum and mop floors
  • Sweep the floors
  • Wipe down the walls
  • Clean the mirrors
  • Clean under any cabinets and the edge of the vanity
  • Clean out under the sink
  • Rinse off the shower curtain
  • Clean shower track
  • Wipe down all light switches, doorknobs and windows
  • Clean windowsills and window tracks
  • Clean shower, tub and tiles
  • Sanitize toilet, both inside and out
  • Remove trash

Living room

Your living room, dining room, common room, mudroom, laundry room and other areas will need to be cleaned after a renovation as well. They will be similar to the bedrooms, with some small variations as to what needs to be cleaned.

  • Sweep, mop and/or vacuum the floors
  • Get rid of the trash
  • Wipe down the baseboards
  • Clean all light switches, light fixtures, doorknobs, and electrical sockets
  • Clean under any tables, couches or chairs
  • Wipe down all wood furniture
  • Dust any upholstered furniture
  • Clean windows
  • Clean out windowsills and window tracks
  • Clean inside cabinets and closets
  • Clean glass surfaces
  • Dust and polish all surfaces
  • Dust shelves, clean drawers inside and ou
  • Dust walls, vacuum carpets, mop floors

Bedroom

The biggest issue with the bedroom is to make sure that you get under all of the furniture. You may not be inclined to move the furniture, but it’s necessary if you don’t want to keep finding debris in your bedroom months later. 

  • Wash the linens
  • Clean the curtains
  • Sweep, vacuum and/or mop the floor
  • Clean out the windowsills and window tracks
  • Wipe down the windows
  • Wipe down all dressers, cabinets and nightstands
  • Clean under all furniture, especially the bed
  • Wipe down the ceiling fan
  • Clean all doorknobs, light switches and light fixtures
  • Clean mirrors
  • Dust baseboards and shelves
  • Clean closets and drawers inside and out
  • Then dust walls, vacuum carpets, mop floors
  • Finally, remove trash

Post-construction cleaning tips

We already told you how time-consuming and dangerous can be cleaning after renovation for non-professionals. 

However, if you still want to do the post-construction cleaning on your own, you’ll need some help. Here are our best tips: 

Use the Right Tools

You might be inclined to just use whatever tools you have on hand, but if you don’t have a suitable duster, vacuum attachments or window cleaner, then it’s best to spend a little money and buy them. 

Don’t try to just make do with what’s available in your home, since you will probably regret the poor results later on. Using the right cleaners for every surface is important because you want to not just clean the surface of dirt and grime, but you want to protect your property. You can’t be using the same cleaner on the tiles that you do on your upholstery. Using the right tools as you do your post-renovation cleanup will save you a lot of headaches later on. 

To begin, make sure you have on hand all the cleaning supplies that you’re going to need. Here’s what the professionals at Fantastic Cleaners point out as a basic list: 

  • Dust mask
  • Dustpans
  • Shop vacuum 
  • Brooms 
  • Mop, mop heads, mop buckets
  • Scrub brushes
  • Trash bags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Step ladder
  • Supplies for washing windows
  • Carpet cleaning supplies
  • Other necessary chemicals 

Contractor leftovers

By now your place must look like a mess. The first step of the post-construction cleaning is to get rid of the trash. Lumber, drywall, plastic tapes, nails, screws, bolts, drop cloths are laying all around the house. Collect and dispose of all that. Be prepared to pick up a lot of trash and debris. After construction work, your flooring looks like a total disaster. Don’t worry it can be cleaned. However, it’s very important to inspect them carefully. If you see any wood damage, get back with the contractor and demand to be repaired at no additional cost. Other than that, mopping, waxing, polishing and buffing should do the job. 

Carpets

 Carpet fibres can easily trap the fine wooden splinters and all of the dust. To clean properly your carpets you’re going to need an industrial shop vacuum. As well as that, shampooing will be in order. If you don’t have the necessary equipment, it would be better to book a professional steam cleaning.  

Windows and mirrors

Dirty windows can ruin the look of every building. Especially, after construction, when all the dust has stuck to them. To restore window glass and mirror shine, use circular motions and always start from the top down. Repeat the procedure a few times to achieve the best results. 

Cabinets, drawers and closets 

 Cleaning the inside of your drawers and closets is easy to overlook since they are closed most of the time. However, whenever you decide to store something in, you’ll find out that the dust has settled in there, too. Inspect your closets, drawers and cabinets and use a soft cloth to clean them. 

Walls and baseboards

Start by checking for damages. Construction crews don’t want to ruin your property,  but they have heavy tools and equipment and sometimes the damage is unavoidable. It will need to be patched and repainted. Only after that, you can continue with the cleaning. Dishwasher detergent and water mixture works best.  

Lighting

To bring back the shine, all you need to use is a dry soft cloth. Although simple, this step is essential, because if the dust stays it will reduce efficiency and produce an unpleasant smell. 

Sidewalks and driveways

If you want to make a good first impression, one of the most important things is to take care of your driveway and sidewalks. After the construction dirt and sand have accumulated. Sweep your sidewalks and get rid of any leftover building materials. Also, powerwash the driveway and walkways. 

Everything else

Time for final touches. Dust window frames and switches, polish everything, light some candles and arrange some flowers. 

Take Your Time

There is a temptation to rush through the work just to get your house back to order, but don’t give in to it. You may want to get some help from other family members as you clean up, and that will make the work go faster. They can also spot some things you might not have noticed and help you do a more thorough job. 

Be sure to get everything, as you don’t want to keep finding bits of debris and particles in your home weeks later. We put this post-renovation cleaning checklist together for you so that won’t happen. 

You’re ready to enjoy your freshly renovated property now!

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Laundry Renovations: Tips and Design Ideas

05/11/2019

Your laundry room may be the most overlooked room in the house, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an eyesore. Renovating the laundry room can give it new life and can make it a much more welcoming area to be in. If you aren’t sure how to go about it, though, or you just want some help to make the laundry room look its best, then you should start here with our handy tips for laundry renovations.

If you’re considering renovating your laundry room in Sydney or Melbourne, click here for an instant quote or give our friendly team a call on 1300 304 367.

laundry room ideas

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Laundry Renovations and Ideas

1. Hide the appliances

The laundry room is all about the appliances, but they don’t have to be the first thing everyone sees when they enter that room. You can use a few tricks to hide your appliances and make the laundry room feel a bit more inviting and visually appealing.

One way to do this is to hide your appliances behind a small partition. You don’t have to build a full wall to cordon off the dryer and washer, but you can make a small outcropping that hides the appliances from view as you enter the laundry room. Then you can decorate this outcropping with some designs or use it in a functional way by fitting it with hooks and hanging some items there.

The appliances can be a real eyesore, and it can be cheaper to just hide them away rather to to get new appliances. You can do that by building a cabinet around your machines, keeping them tucked away until they are needed. Just be sure that this closet gives you enough space to open the doors of your washing machine and dryer and that it doesn’t prevent the rest of the laundry room from being easy to move around in.

If you are tight on money, though, be sure to consider all relevant factors when you plan for  laundry renovations. That can help save you from some headaches and budget problems later on.

laundry renovations Sydney ideas

Image Source: Fisher & Paykel via HomeBeautiful

2. Make it accessible to the outside

The laundry room often becomes a storage area for the entire house, and people put all their odds and ends in there that don’t have another specific location to go in. This means that you will need to go in the laundry for all sorts of reasons, including needing to use things from in there in your garden or deck, or to do various outdoor activities. If you don’t have a shed or other outbuilding on your property, the laundry room often functions as a place to store tools, so it makes sense that you will want to be able to go from the laundry room to the outside of your house without having to walk around to another room.

It just makes sense to have the outdoors accessible from the laundry room, and that’s a consideration you will want to make before you get too deep into your laundry renovation project.

laundry room renovations

Image Source: One Kindesign via Pinterest

3. Design for Your Machines

Whether you have a front-loading washing machine or a top loader can make a big difference in how you renovate a laundry room. You might not have a washing machine or dryer yet as you plan this renovation, so keep in mind that there are different kinds of machines that open in these two different ways. In addition to this, don’t place a shelf directly over a top-loading machine, for example. You also need to give plenty of space to the front and sides of your front loader, if you want it to be easy to work with.

You’ll also need to give plenty of space to whatever appliances you have in the laundry room. Once again, if you don’t know what kind of machine you will be getting and its dimensions, then you need to make some extra space, just in case. The Guardian says that most washing machines are 600mm wide. Front loaders tend to be about 850mm high. The actual size of yours may vary, but you can use these numbers as a guide.

laundry room specifications

Cavity sizes required for installation | Via Fisher & Paykel on HomeBeautiful

laundry room specifications

Cavity sizes required for installation | Via Fisher & Paykel on HomeBeautiful

4. Don’t forget storage space

When designing a room, a lot of homeowners will forget to add in storage space for all the small items that belong in a room. You’ll obviously think about where your washer and dryer will go, but what about your laundry detergent, dirty clothes, ironing board and other essentials that can be found in most laundry rooms? If your laundry room doubles as a mud room, then you will want to make room for storing shoes and coats.

The storage spaces can be cabinets, shelves, hooks or racks, and they need to be practical and functional. They don’t have to be bland either. You can use ideas from this article to get some motivation to change up your laundry room and give it a little more personality.

You always want to plan just a bit of extra storage space, because you never know what you are going to end up wanting to place in a room. Extra storage gives you more options, and it can always be removed later if you find it isn’t necessary.

laundry room ideas

Image Source: https://freshome.com/laundry-room-ideas/

5.  Make it a mud room

We just mentioned mud rooms, and if you aren’t failure with the concept, the mud room is simply an entry room that allows you to store your dirty shoes, coats and other clothes after time out the rain, snow or mud. The laundry room is the perfect place for your mud room, as you can just put the dirty clothes directly into the laundry baskets or washing machine. You’ll minimise how much mud and debris you track through the house this way and have everything in one convenient location.

mud room ideas

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6. Prepare it for water

The laundry room is a very hardworking room. That means there will be messes and spills there that will need to be cleaned up on a regular basis. The floor is likely to get wet or dirty, so you want a floor that is easy to clean up. Tile floors, vinyl tile or stone work really well for laundry rooms, according to The Spruce. You don’t want to use laminate, carpet or hardwood, though, as they can be hard to clean up if you have a water spill or leak.

You want a room that can handle some water issues, as your laundry room is most likely to have them from time to time. You might even want to consider installing some sort of drainage in the floor. There is no need to be paranoid about water problems in the laundry room, but you should be well prepared for them when considering a laundry renovation.

laundry renovations

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7. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation

If your laundry room has outside access, then you can simply put in some windows to make it properly ventilated. Otherwise, you will need to seriously consider the ventilation issue. If you will be using a dryer in that room, then you want to be able to vent the heat outside. You’ll also want a way to air out the room to deal with wet, unpleasant smelling clothes.

laundry renovations

Image Source: Pinterest

Get in touch for laundry renovations Sydney or Melbourne!

Your laundry room can be a special place that’s a joy to spend some time in, but you need to take some care in how you renovate it. Use these tips and talk to the friendly Houseace team (1300 304 367 or hello@houseace.com) before you set anything in stone… or concrete or tile! We offer instant laundry renovation quotes and fixed prices with no hidden costs.

laundry room ideas

Image Source: HomeBunch.com Via Pinterest

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10 Questions to Ask When Hiring House Painters Sydney

31/10/2019

If you are having a professional in your home to do work of any kind, then you want to vet them ahead of time. You’ll want to make sure that they are going to give you high quality work, that they offer reasonable prices and that they can be trusted, and you can use this list of questions to do that. If you are going to avoid being taken advantage of, then you’ll need to spend some time asking questions of your contractor before they come to your house to paint. Here are ten questions to ask when hiring house painters Sydney.

To get quick online house painting quotes, click the link or give our friendly team a call on 1300 304 367. If you’re happy with the price, our trusty tradesmen can get to work in as little as 48 hours!

house painters Sydney

10 Questions to Ask When Hiring House Painters Sydney

1. How much do you charge?

This should be one of the first questions you ask, as price is a major consideration for determining which house painters Sydney should be doing the work on your home. You’ll want to get this question out of the way early to figure out if it is worth your time to ask the remaining questions. You will need to give painter a good idea of what to expect, and you’ll want all necessary information on hand as you prepare to ask the questions. You should know how many rooms are to be painted and what their dimensions are. If you are having the contractor paint outside, then you should know the dimensions there.

You should not expect an over-the-phone estimate to be an exact price that will be kept all through the painting process, but it can at least give you an idea of how much the work will cost and whether your painter sits on the high or low end of the pricing scale.

Related: 7 Dulux Paint Colours That Are Currently Trending

2. What are your qualifications?

This may seem like an invasive question, but it is a necessary one. Ask your prospective painter if he or his staff have had any professional training, what courses they have taken and what proof they can produce to show that they have received training. Most contractors will have all this information listed on their website, so you can save this question if that is the case with your contractor.

3. How long will it take?

Even if you are getting a good price on the work, you still ought to know if it will be done in a convenient time for you. The painters should be able to come at a time that works for you and get the work done quickly and efficiently. You ought to be able to get a rough estimate of how long the work will take once you give the contractor the dimensions and other details for the job. Also ask when they will be able to start, because if they just tell you that the work will take two days but don’t bother to tell you that they cannot start for a few weeks due to their workload, you might be seriously inconvenienced.

4. Are you covered by insurance?

This is a question that a lot of homeowners don’t think to ask, but it is important. You hope you never have to file a claim when you hire a contractor to do work on your home, but you should ensure that you are protected. Make certain that the contractor has insurance for himself, his staff and the work he does, as that will safeguard you from having to pay out a lot of money should something go wrong.

house painters Sydney

5. Can I trust your crew?

Once again, this may seem to be an invasive question, but you do want to feel like you can trust whoever will be coming into your home and doing work on it. Whether you are staying at home to supervise the work or leaving the house open for contractors to work, you want to feel safe knowing that your possessions will not be stolen or damaged and that the painting crew will do a good job and report any issues to you immediately. You can also ask more pointed questions such as how long the crew members have been working there and what kind of reputation the company has.

6. What quality of paint and other materials will be used?

When you ask for house painting quotes from the contractors, they will often give you the lowest possible quote in order to sell themselves to you. They may not tell you that they plan to use a low quality paint or that good quality paint will result in a higher quote. When you get that quote from them, ask about the paint quality and what kind of warranty it comes with, as that will make a huge difference in the value of the work.

7. What does your quote include?

This may seem like a redundant question, but it is important that you ask this one specifically. Many times, a quote will just cover the cost of a single coat of paint and absolutely no clean-up. Find out how much work the painters are doing and if it is worth it for the price the are asking. The more details you know about what comes with the quote, the more informed your decision will be.

8. Do you guarantee your work?

It is possible that your contractor will make a mistake and need to rectify it. Will they charge you extra to fix their mistakes or will they guarantee the work they do? A good contractor will do everything they can to make you happy within reason, and you are well within your rights to ask a question like this. You’re basically protecting yourself when you ask this. At Houseace we offer a 100% happiness guarantee, so we won’t stop working until you’re happy.

9. What do you need me to do?

You may not be the one doing the painting, but there will be some work involved for you before the painters can come and do their job. You may need to move some furniture from the rooms that are being painted, leave the house so that the painters can work, or mow the grass near the house for any outside painting. Basically, you are ensuring that nothing is in the way while your contractor works.

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10. Can you advise me on the best paint and methods?

You won’t be asking for advice on how to do the work yourself, but you will probably want some recommendations from the contractor, if you are not very knowledgeable about house painting. Essentially, you are asking them to make some suggestions that help you hire them to do the job well. A qualified, experienced painter should be able to make some suggestions that help you decide on the kind of paint to use and how many coats should be put on the house.

Conclusion

Once you have asked your questions, you do not have to decide right then and there if that contractor is right for you. It’s a good idea to ask the same questions of a few contractors, write down their answers and compare them to make an informed, smart decision. That way you can choose the best house painters Sydney to do the job.

If you’re thinking of painting your home, office or house exterior, give us a call!

At Houseace we specialise in exterior painting, interior painting, roof painting and commercial paint services. All our painters are Dulux accredited, and we also have an extensive knowledge of paint colours and trends if you need some creative inspiration.

When you become a Houseace customer you will also be connected with an online, dedicated Project Manager, who will ensure the job runs smoothly from start to finish. They will also be on hand around the clock to answer any questions you may have.

 

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Try‌ ‌These‌ ‌Amazing‌ ‌Tips‌ ‌to‌ ‌Extend‌ ‌the‌ ‌Life‌ ‌of‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Timber‌ ‌Floors‌ ‌&‌ ‌Decking‌

27/10/2019

Timber Floor Care

Timber floors are an increasingly popular choice, and if you have them in your house, you’ll want to do what you can to maintain them and keep them looking beautiful. You have to think of timber floors and decking as an investment, and you get out of them what you put into them. Here are our timber floor care tips for extending the life of your timber floors and decking.

Never drag something heavy across the floor

You might think it wouldn’t need to be said, but it is never a good idea to drag an appliance or piece of furniture across your floors. This is something that many people find out the hard way shortly after their floor has been installed, and you want to do what you can to avoid it. If you have to move something heavy across the timber floor, then either get enough people involved that you can lift it, use a moving dolly to roll it, or place the item on something smooth (like cardboard) and push it across the floor. 

If you drag something heavy on your floor, you can not only ruin the finish but actually damage the timber and cause a problem that would be tough to repair. Wood scarring doesn’t exactly buff out. 

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Clean with a vacuum or soft broom

How many times have we seen people ruin their wood floors during the cleaning process? We know it can be tough to get up some stains or well-attached gunk on the floor, but you want to be careful what you use to clean timber with. For the best timber floor care, a vacuum and soft broom should be used, but for the more intensive cleaning you can use a mop or a soft scrub pad. Never use metal scrubbing tools, as they will leave scratch marks behind. Try to avoid using a scraping tool as well, since that can easily harm the finish and leave marks behind.

If you have a stain or some grime that is giving you some difficulty, then try letting it soak in warm, soapy water. Never use an abrasive, chemical solution that could damage the flooring or finish. If you are not sure what cleaning solution is safe or best for timber floor care, then read the instructions on the cleaner and for your flooring and finish types. You can research this kind of information online, and you want to take your time picking out the right solution so as to not cause long term problems. 

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Regular maintenance saves your floors

The way a lot of people will clean their floors is to simply do some cleaning when they see dirt or grime. It’s always better to be preventative, though, especially when it comes to something that is a big investment like wood floors. Regular mopping is recommended for timber floor care, and you should mop at least once a week. You can use a mild cleaning solution with the water, but make sure it is appropriate for the kind of flooring and finish you are working with. 

You should also sweep or vacuum a couple times a week. This will help to get up abrasive, gritty bits of debris that could create friction and cause scarring on the wood. By keeping your floors clean, you greatly reduce the risk of damage to them. When you walk on dirty floors, you can push debris into the wood and make it harder to clean up later on. 

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Your floors need a high-quality finish

This is the most important thing that you can do for good timber floor care. Cleaning is great for your floors, being careful with how you treat your floors is also a key factor in extending their life, but if you don’t have a finish that protects your floors, then you will have to replace them a whole lot sooner. You will also have to put up with noticeable damage to the floor a lot sooner and more often if there is no finish in place. 

Be sure you spring for the higher quality finish, like wax, tung-oil or polyurethane. At Houseace we offer floor staining and oil to maximise the life of your floors. We also ensure it is properly covering the wood and will protect it from possible damage. This will save you a lot of money in the long run. 

You’ll also want to replenish the finish after a few years. Find out how long the warranty lasts and how long the finish is expected to protect your floor, and then prepare to have the finish redone before that time. If you put in the extra effort for your floor’s finish, you can have a beautiful looking floor for decades longer than what you would get without the finish. 

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Let the finish harden

Here is a tip that many people need when they first have their floors installed and their finish put on: you have to let that finish harden properly before you install a carpet or put a lot of wear and tear on the floor. It is best if the floor can stay untouched for a few days or weeks, depending on the kind of finish that is used. If you are going to have furniture placed on the floor while the finish is curing, then you should make sure it has rollers or other cushioning items on it to prevent the finish from being damaged. So many people don’t get the full benefit of their finish because they move too fast with everything else. Once the finish has been applied, it’s best to wait for it to harden, even if that inconveniences you for a few days, since you get a lot more life out of it.  

Conclusion

When you need a timber floor or deck installed, then give us a call. At Houseace we offer quality flooring and finishes, including floating flooring, floor staining and oiling, floor sanding, and whitewash flooring. All with a 100% happiness guarantee. Talk to one of our flooring experts and get some ideas about what kind of option might be right for your home on 1300 304 367 or click for the link for a free, instant timber flooring quote.

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Bathroom Renovation

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Consultants

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Flooring

Interior Painting

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