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Managing Your Build or Renovation

Pros and Cons to DIY Home Renovation

Completing home renovations yourself can be backbreaking but rewarding work. Saving money is never a bad thing but there’s a time and place for frugality. Cutting corners on certain home repairs may be hazardous to one's health.



Knowing the difference between a money-saving opportunity and when splurging on professional resources is required is no easy feat. Read on to get a better idea of when saving or spending may be most prudent.

paint rollers painting green red orange and blue

Money Saver


PAINTING: A fresh coat of paint is hardly laborious, a quick and thrifty option. Breaking out the rollers and brushes can dramatically change a room. Interior painting — trim, walls, and doors — can transform a dull space into the dream room that you’ve always wished for. Additionally, painting is an activity that can involve the entire family. Enable everyone in your home to make decisions and allow them input in color selection. Painting is a low risk way to try out different personas for each room. Here you'll have the ability to experiment with different colors, shades and borders knowing it can easily be changed in the near future. Through the use of painters tape you can get more complicated and feature intricate designs, like a striped accent wall or other fun personal elements.

WINDOW TREATMENTS: Similar to painting, updating window treatments has the ability to frame a room in an entirely new light. Window treatments may not seem like the most exciting design element but there’s surprisingly many options to consider and play around with! Valances, drapes, and blinds are only the tip of the iceberg. While choosing something in line with current fads is not always wise, window treatments are a great way to be in the moment without committing to a long-term DIY project.

window with white curtains

Experiment with patterns and different fabrics to find something that fits in your space. Different window treatment lengths and textures can be used to adjust, or filter, the amount of light in a room. Allowing more light into a space can make the room appear larger than it truly is.

REFINISHING FURNITURE: Refinishing a piece of furniture can make something rather bland into a fresh and new statement piece. Taking garage sale finds and making them into a one of a kind piece of furniture is a great way to cut costs and hone your eye for design at the same time. Refinishing furniture is quite an umbrella term and can include staining/painting, reupholstering, adding new hardware or anything else you feel can elevate a piece that you’ve become bored with or is a “new to you” find.

man doing home renovation

Splurge


ON INSPECTIONS: Splurging on inspections is very important. Unless you have proper training there’s no way to DIY test for some of the most common household toxins. Having your home tested for toxins before any major, or minor, home renovations is an important first step to safeguard the health of you and your family. Some of the most common household toxins to inspect for are asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead, and radon. All four toxins are invisible to the naked eye, meaning there is no way for the average person to easily identify if it’s an issue in their home. Both asbestos and lead were commonly used in older homes so before completing any renovations that involve deconstruction professionals should be sought if your home was built prior to 1980.

MAJOR DECONSTRUCTION PROJECTS: Even after completing the necessary and recommended inspections there is always risk involved with major deconstruction or demolition. Contractors and construction crews should be hired if you want to dramatically change the layout of your home in order to eliminate risks related to; exposure to poor air quality, improperly removing necessary structural elements of the home (example: wall removal) or self-injury.

pile of DIY tools

Reasons for Splurging


HEALTH BENEFITS: The splurges may seem a bit costly, but investing in your home now can save you from unnecessary medical spending in the long run. For instance, asbestos abatement is pricey costing thousands of dollars but exposure to the toxin can result in mesothelioma cancer. Prognosis is poor for cancer and it can ultimately cost you your life. Lead, carbon monoxide, and radon also have negative health consequences that can lead to increased medical bills and poor quality of life.

TOXIN AWARENESS: Being aware of the potential toxin risk that may be hidden away if your home can help to cut costs effectively without compromising on your health. Find healthy and fun outlets for creativity that allow ownership of a space but don’t be stingy when it’s necessary to outsource the higher risk repairs.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day is September 26 - take this day as a reminder that every action has a consequence and empower yourself with the facts necessary to make DIY fun and harmless.

 

This article was shared by our friends at  Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, a group of professionals dedicated to providing resources, information, and support to individuals and families suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

 

How to Install a Towel Rack on Ceramic Tile

Updating your bathroom involves new fixtures, lights, taps and rails. Now when most of us know, by common sense, that there are just some jobs that require a tradie. There are also some DIY tasks that we may do on our own, like installing a towel rack on ceramic tile. Just make sure to practice safety at all times.



two folded towels on towel rail

Step-by-Step Instructions:


1. Measure


Measure the wall where you wish to install the towel rail and place masking tape on the areas to be drilled. The tape will help the drill stay in place, keeping it from slipping on the tile glaze.

yellow measuring tape

2. Drill Bit


Selecting the drill bit is an important step.  You need to consider the hardness of the material you are drilling through. In many cases, a carbide drill bit will do the job.  Hardware stores usually have "glass and ceramic spade bits" and "diamond" drill bits too. Our testing on normal spade bits highlighted they get very hot and do not last long. The diamond drill bit is probably the best for very hard tiles - although it requires a bit of skill to use.

Ensure you use the correct size drill bit for the anchor plugs you are installing.  It is better to be half a millimetre less than more as you can always shave a bit off the anchor.

using a cordless drill on wall

3. Drill


Make a pencil mark on the tape where you wish to drill. Place the drill bit on this mark and drill slowly into the ceramic tile.  It is usually best to pick a point away from the edge of the tile or the grout line, as it is more likely you will shatter or chip a tile if drilling on its edge.

Do not drill too quickly, or you risk overheating the drill and removing too much of the tile from the drill site.  And do not use the "hammer" setting on your drill or you risk shattering the tile.  It can be helpful to spray a mist of water on the drill hole while drilling - this is essential for a diamond drill bit.  For a diamond drill it is also helpful to start the hole with the drill bit at 45 degrees until it pierces the outer layer, then straighten the drill.

aguzzo-heated-towel-rail-round-matte-black-with-three-towels

3. Anchor


Push plastic screw anchors into each drilled hole to firmly secure the screws inside the tile, and keep the towel rail from slipping out once installed.

4. Balance


Line up the rail and screw directly into the rail's escutcheons evenly on each side, if you're installing a one-piece towel rail. Do not tighten down the screws until all screws have been inserted at least part way and the rail is balanced.

montangna-double-towel-rail-brushed-900mm

5. Brackets


If installing a rail with brackets, screw each bracket into the wall, tightening them down securely. Look at the side of the towel rail's escutcheons for a small grub screw, and unscrew it until it clears the inside of the escutcheon.

Place the escutcheon over the bracket and use a screwdriver or supplied hex key to tighten down the small grub screw on the side. This will attach the escutcheons to the brackets. Leave the escutcheons slightly loose.

Insert the rail into one escutcheon at a time, tightening each one down completely once the rail is in place to hold it securely.

 

Happy Renovating!

 

(If you would like to know how to choose a heated towel rail that's just right for your bathroom, read these Tips For Choosing A Heated Towel Rail.)

A Pro’s Secrets to Surviving Your House Renovation

No matter how new, spacious and amazing your home is, it surely needs a few touch-ups here and there. Renovating it bit by bit means you’ll always be in the renovation mood, and that’s not something most people can endure for a long period of time.

Therefore, deciding to perform your huge renovation projects at once makes much more sense, although it’s harder and takes more time and energy. Luckily, there are certain ways to survive the renovation process and the key is to follow a few simple rules. If you don’t know how, here are a few tips that might help you go through this process easily and efficiently.



home renovation collage

Know what you want


This may sound like the simplest thing in the world, but it’s actually far from that. Most people know that they want to change something in their homes but aren’t sure what exactly. They’re aware their kitchen isn’t functional or their living room needs more natural light, yet don’t know how to solve these problems.

That’s why defining what you want to accomplish with your renovation or remodeling is crucial if you want these changes to be meaningful and effective. Once you’ve decided what needs to be done and how you’re going to make your dreams come true, you can finally begin the process.

man with hardhat sawing wood outdoors

What can you do?


Home renovations cost a lot of money and most homeowners are happy to do some of the work on their own if that means they’ll cut the costs. However, they may not be as handy and skilful as they think and, despite their best wishes, they don’t help the process at all.

So, if you want to be useful and save some money, you have to know what exactly you can and can’t do. Painting the walls, fixing kitchen cabinets, laying tiles, decorating the space and organizing the furniture are just some of the ways to make a contribution and feel useful during your home renovation, and you’ll still save a few bucks here and there, which is always welcomed.

busy couple with papers and calculator at home

Define the budget


Speaking of financing, this is the most important thing in your home renovation process and something that’s going to decide whether you’ll be able to make changes in your home or not. These projects cost more than people usually think and planning a budget in advance is a step you shouldn’t avoid.

You’ll have to invest all the money you have, borrow some from your friends or family, and get acquainted with a few financing options since you’ll need home improvement financing if you want to get the job done. Once you define your budget, try to stick to it and don’t invest in too many new ideas just because they look good on paper – instead, stick with what you’ve decided to renovate and leave the rest for another time.

Move out


This is a proposal homeowners usually react to in two different ways: some of them are happy to move out while their home is being renovated, and others just hate this idea. Nevertheless, while keeping track of all the things that are going on is quite all right, it can be tiring, stressful and hard, so moving away from it all might make more sense in the long run.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit your home at all – this is your life, after all, and not an episode of Nate & Jeremiah by Design! You should be involved, but from a distance, and visit your contractors from time to time. Ultimately, surviving renovations is going to be much easier if you move to your friends’ or parents’ for a while instead of living right in the middle of a construction site.

man wearing hardhat with plans looking at house

Be flexible


Knowing your wishes, your budget and your deadline is important, but you need to remember one more thing: Be flexible. Home renovations don’t always go as planned, mistakes sometimes happen, and you need to be prepared for them.

Having a backup plan and trying to remain calm is essential if something goes wrong because panic doesn’t help anyone. Talk to your contractors, fix what can be fixed and move on with the process. In short, leave all the negativities behind and focus on the positive sides of your renovation.

 

As you can see, surviving a home renovation is, in fact, possible but only if you know what to expect and how to avoid stress. In the end, be prepared to enjoy your home and all the good things this renovation brought your way.

 

Author Bio

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is also a mum who likes to spend her free time with her daughter. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is an editor-in-chief at Smooth Decorator.

The True Cost of Building and Owning a Deck

The true cost of decking can be difficult to determine. Factors such as material, labour and plans for your deck can make a big difference. However, when done properly, they can make the perfect addition to your home and garden.



carpenter-cutting-wood-with-handheld-building-a-deck

One of the most surprising costs of owning a deck is the long-term expense of maintenance. The cost of the materials and labour needed to wash, sand, stain and seal decking can add up.

While decks constructed from natural timber must apply oils and other chemicals frequently to protect their decking, options such as composite wood have a much lower maintenance cost and don’t require oil or chemicals to protect them.

Timber decking does come with its own benefits, especially with its lower initial cost. However, over time it can often be a cheaper option to choose decking with a reduced maintenance cost.

home outdoor cedar deck with furniture and open umbrella during nice bright day

What is the Cost of Decking Material?


Decks can be constructed from cheaper treated pine through to heavier and more expensive natural timbers.

When it comes to the price of your decking materials, factors such as type and thickness of your timber, as well as the size of your deck can all influence your cost. Prices included here are averaged from Australian costs.
Soft Woods

Soft woods are the cheapest option for decking but are more prone to splinters and other maintenance issues. They can be stained or painted and are relatively easy to work with. Soft wood decking may require re-application of oil or sealant every six to 12 months, depending on the amount of use and exposure to the elements. The most common softwood option for decking is treated pine.

Average Cost: Treated Pine $50 pm²
Hard Woods

Hardwood timber decking is generally more expensive than soft wood timber. While it’s stronger and more durable, it can also be more difficult to work with.

Hardwoods are more commonly used for decking and come in a range of popular options including Merbau, Blackbutt, Jarrah and Spotted Gum.

Average Cost: Merbau $60 pm², Blackbutt $85 pm², Jarrah $100 pm², Spotted Gum $110 pm²
Composite Wood

Composite wood is made from recycled timber fibre and plastic. It comes in a variety of styles, is easier to work with and is naturally resistant. Rather than depleting natural resources, composite material is used from wood that is already in circulation. It also doesn’t require staining, sanding, oils or other maintenance.

Average Cost: Moku, $105 pm², NewTechWood $125 pm², Trex $162 pm², Millboard $250 pm²

Moku Haru Natural Oak - European Oak Engineered Floorboards

What is the Cost of Construction?


The circumstances and location of your deck can all influence your deck construction cost. These factors can include:

  • Slope of the ground

  • Elevation of the deck

  • Shape of deck

  • Fire risk of local area


If the deck is built on a slope, each relative increase in the steepness of the slope can increase the total cost by an average of $1,250. Each metre that the deck is elevated above ground can add an additional $2,500 to total costs.

Additions to your deck can also increase your construction costs and include:

  • Balustrades

  • Lights

  • Stairs

  • Roofing


Balustrades made of wood and steel wires cost an average of $150 pm, whereas glass balustrades cost an average of $250 pm. Adding LED downlights along the decking, including a switch back to the house will cost roughly $100 per light. Adding stairs to your deck can add an average $200 pm² to the total cost, while adding a roof to the deck can add on another $200 pm².

outdoor patio table with cold bottled beer in bucket and drinking glasses on cedar wood patio colourful trees in background

What is the Cost of Maintenance?


Deck Sealant: $13 per litre
Deck Surface cleaner: $25 per litre
Decking Oil: $12-$25 per litre

Decking usually requires about one litre of material per 10m² with a minimum of two coats of oil. More coats can also be applied for a darker colour.

The average cost of a twice-yearly clean, oil and seal for a 25m² deck is $375 per year.

Over the expected 15-year minimum deck life the average maintenance cost a timber deck, not counting labour or repairs, is $5,625.

What is the Total Cost of Decking?


According to data from tradesman contracting service Oneflare, the average labour cost of installing a deck is $4,900. Taking this into account, we can determine the average total cost for a 25m² deck, constructed without any additions and on flat ground.

Softwood (Treated Pine) 25m² Deck:
Materials: $1,350 + Construction: $4,900 = $5,850 + 15 year maintenance = $11,875

Hardwood (Blackbutt) 25m² Deck:
Materials: $2,295 + Construction: $4,900 = $6,795 + 15 year maintenance = $12,820

Composite (NewTechWood) 25m² Deck:
Materials: $3,375 + Construction: $4,900 = $8,275

While natural timber decking has its own benefits, over time it can become a more expensive option. No matter which decking material you choose, with the right plan in place for your budget you’ll enjoy a beautiful outdoor deck for years to come.

 

Author Bio

This article was written by Daniel Defendi, who recommends NewTechWood for composite material projects. You can catch Daniel on Google+ to discuss this piece.

How a Removalist Can Help You Save Money During a Major Renovation

Renovating your family home can be hugely beneficial in the long term: You can capitalise on much-needed living space for your growing family, restore the structural integrity of your property, or ensure you get the best possible return on of your investment. The only drawback is that renovations can often be tricky, both logistically and financially.



Luckily, enlisting the help of professional removalist services is one of the easiest ways to reduce both the costs and the stress of any home renovation. Here are some of the advantages (and cost-saving benefits) that you can expect when entrusting your valuable goods and property with seasoned removalists.

removalist men loading box onto truck

Secure Storage


One of the key advantages to hiring a removalist service is that they’re likely to offer affordable, secure storage solutions. You can rest easy knowing that all your household goods will be safely stored in an environment free from wear, tear and weather damage.

Effectively, you end up getting two services for the price of one – storage and transportation. You don’t need to invest time and money in multiple companies with varying standards of protection.

Self-Packing


If you can find a removalist company that offers a self-pack removal service, this can save you a pretty penny during your renovation. In fact, when you perform the packing yourself, you can save hundreds to thousands on the associated labour costs. Opt for a provider that will deliver strong and durable shipping containers in which to store and transport that you can pack and load yourself.

While this may require some additional planning, you’ll be assured that all your most precious and valuable items get into storage scratch-free, and without stretching the budget. This is by far the most cost-effective way to get your goods where they need to go during a house renovation!

empty boxes on sofa and floor

Cover Your Goods


The last thing you’d want to happen to any of your goods and valuables is to sustain some sort of damage while you’re completing your house renovation. Removalist insurance can seriously reduce the costs associated with having to replace damaged goods. This means that if the worst happens and your household goods do become damaged, you won’t be spending out of pocket.

This is especially important for products that are either very difficult to replace or need to be used immediately as soon as you reach your home renovations are complete. Things like white goods, personal electronics and books – all of which can be cumbersome and unnecessarily difficult to transport in a plane or scenic drive – can be personally and financially valuable individually, so it’s worth getting them covered for the cost of what they’re worth.

Reliable Transport


If you happen to be renovating your home while moving interstate, enlisting the help of a professional removalist company can really help you save money.

While you could freight your goods completely on your own, this isn’t always the most economical or even convenient solution (especially if you factor in children). Not only will have to hire a moving van or truck, and deal with the stress and strain of moving on your own, you’ll also need to cover the cost of:

  • Food and water

  • Petrol (which vary considerably from state to state)

  • Temporary accommodation (which may not have the appropriate storage for a trailer)

  • Vehicle maintenance

  • Road tolls

  • Insurance on the moving van or truck

  • A whole range of other miscellaneous costs


woman packing a table lamp

Taking everything into consideration, the costs can add up considerably. This is before you begin to think about having to account for the discomfort of travelling in a very tightly packed car with an anxious family in tow, braving some of the nation’s toughest roads.

Furthermore, accidents or damage sustained to your moving van or truck will need to be covered, which can in some cases put you out of pocket by hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. Obviously, you’ll be able to avoid this with smart and safe driving but that puts a considerable bit more risk and strain on an already stressful process.

A removalist service can help here by taking care of the process of relocating your property to where it needs to go while your renovations are underway. Removalist services will insure your property for damage, vastly reducing the risk of any out of pocket payment being necessary.

How to Replace Basin Taps in the Bathroom in Five Easy Steps

Fresh bathroom fixtures can instantly upgrade the look and feel of your bathroom. Whether you just want an upgrade of your basin taps or it definitely needs a replacement, we have outlined how to replace basin taps in the bathroom.



Usually, bathroom basins have an installation manual included in its package that you can refer to. But in this handy step-by-step guide, we show you how to quickly change an old basin tap to a new one, in five easy steps.

how to replace basin taps in the bathroom

 

1. Turn Your Water OFF


First, you have to make sure that your water supply for both cold and hot taps from the mains supply is turned off. Then, make sure app your taps in the house (both hot and cold) are left open to drain any excess water.

Clear out everything you can from under the sink, including any shelves. This will give you more room to work and use your tools more easily. Once ready, add a bucket or tray below the tap to catch any drips.

cortina bathroom basin

 

2. Remove Your Old Tap


Get under the basin - you can spread an old towel across the floor or the bottom of your under-sink cabinet to catch any spills. Start unscrewing the nut that locks your basin to the old tap. If your existing tap was fitted using compression fittings, you might need two adjustable wrenches to undo the nuts. Once you have removed this, your old tap can now be pulled out.

 

3. Install Your New Tap


Connect the threaded post to your tap, then feed into the basin hole, so your tap sits on top of your basin, with the thread poking out below. Again, there may be a washer included or needed to make sure the tap sits snugly. Screw the nut tightly onto the threaded post, your tap is now gripped onto your basin.

 

Top tip from DIY.com


Balancing water pressure


The water supply should have a reasonably balanced pressure from a common source (e.g. hot and cold supplies both from the same storage or both from a supply pipe). Where the fitting is supplied from unbalanced supplies (e.g. hot and cold supplies from separate sources) Water Regulations or Byelaws in your area may require an ‘approved’ non-return valve or single check valve to be fitted to both the hot and the cold pipes that are connected to the mixer tap.


Where this is the case, simply fit the valves below the flexible tap connectors with the arrow on the valve pointing upwards. Once fitted, this will ensure that cold water is not pushed back through the hot water pipe when both taps are on, stopping the hot water temperature from cooling too quickly.


Once your tap is gripped onto your basin, the hot and cold pipes should feed directly from your wall to your new pipes. Don't forget to check everything to make sure there are no leaky or loose connections.

 

4. Connect Your Plumbing


Screw the flexible connectors into your tap. After that, connect them to the copper domestic pipes, with a compression fitting in between (this will keep the pressure between the two pipes regulated and safe).

 

5. Switch Your Water Supply Back On


Now you can turn the water supply on from the mains. If your new tap is set to ‘closed’ when the air rushes through, it could potentially damage the tap. We recommend all taps be set to ‘open’ for a little while after turning the water supply on. Remember the other taps in your house may still be open, so remember to switch them off once water comes through again.

 

VALE Brighton basin mixer

 

You did it! You have placed your newest bathroom fixture!

8 Ways To Increase Your Property Value - From These 6 Property & Interior Design Professionals

Everyone wants to get the most out of their property, whether that be in terms of space, style or value. Here are ten ways you can increase your property value, from the expert advice from these ten professionals.



Sophie Kost | My Beautiful Abode

[caption id="attachment_13684" align="aligncenter" width="381"]Sophie Kost Image from: Mydeal.com.au[/caption]

Hire A Professional For A Consultation

“When my clients come to me ready to prepare their home for sale I have a series of tips that I always aim to implement....by the time we have finished the project, I often receive the cry of 'The house looks so good now, why didn't we do this earlier?' My best advice is to have a consultation with an interior decorator or stylist about how to make the house as a whole feel good from front door to back, you will then reap the benefits of an attractive (and higher valued) home.” Find out more about My Beautiful Abode by following them on Facebook and Instagram.




Emily Ayers | Service.com.au

[caption id="attachment_13685" align="aligncenter" width="750"]bathroom Image from: Mydeal.com.au[/caption]

Upgrade Your Bathroom (Or Add A Bathroom)
“Bathrooms are one of the most fundamental rooms when it comes to selling your home. New bathrooms (or simply more bathrooms) will make your property a more attractive proposition. Upgrade your bathroom suites and refresh the décor ahead of a sale. A modern looking bathroom will do much more to attract the attention of buyers.” Find out more about Service.com.au by following them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

MyDeal Pro tip:
Just like the bathroom, your kitchen probably needs some love. Even if you’re Carrie Bradshaw in the flesh and you store your jumpers in your oven, it’s important that you upgrade your appliances, make sure your tiles are up to scratch and keep all fixtures such as kitchen taps in ship-shape. The kitchen is a real breadwinner for your home’s value, so keep it looking its best. At points, a new kitchen, or a kitchen upgrade can add up to $60k value on your home. How crazy is that?


Scott Pendlebury | Renovator Store

renovator store
Upgrade Your Fittings And Fixings

An easy way to add value to a property is to upgrade all the fittings and fixtures in the home. This can dramatically improve the appeal and styling of a house. Everything from floorboards, bathroom fixtures and tapware, the kitchen tap and sink, innovative storage systems such as pull-out pantries, and new lighting and door/cabinet handles can create a refreshed modern appeal to potential buyers. Upgrading to such architectural designer fixtures and surfaces can greatly enhance the luxury feel and value perception of the overall property. However, to profit from such an upgrade it is important that the cost of the new fixtures should be less than the expected increase in the value perception. Therefore concentrate what is within your control: (1) the quality and design of the new fixtures, and (2) the cost of these fixtures. When it comes to cost there is a high variance in the price of high-quality fixtures. Some of it is fair, and some of it is very overpriced. Some showrooms can be more than twice the cost of buying the same fixtures online - remember that when you buy from a showroom a lot of the price goes to paying for the showroom costs, the displays, the salespeople, and the retail margin they demand. You can profit a lot from sourcing smart online - but be sure to avoid the lower quality products and ensure you can return items that do not meet your expectations. Once you get used to shopping from your couch and saving lots of money you will be a happy smart renovator!” Find out more about Renovator Store by following them on Facebook and Twitter. Find out more about increasing your property value with Renovator Store’s free eBook, which you can download here.


Janette Baker | Wallstudio


[caption id="attachment_13689" align="aligncenter" width="522"]Janette Baker Image from: Mydeal.com.au[/caption]

Paint Your Home

“Painting has to be the cheapest and most effective way to increase a property's value. It is one of the most popular DIY projects that homeowners take on. It takes very little skill, it's not too physically intense and the “bang for buck” factor you get from a fresh coat of paint is just so rewarding. When choosing paint colours, it's important to go for fresh, neutral, on-trend colours if you're wanting to increase the value of your property. Try and steer away from bright or bold accent walls, instead use different strengths of the one colour. It gives a continuity through the property and doesn't disrupt the visual flow of the house.” Find out more about Wallstudio by following them on Facebook and Instagram.



Josh Mammoliti | The Blue Space

[caption id="attachment_13692" align="aligncenter" width="662"] Image from: Mydeal.com.au[/caption]

Upgrade Your Current Lighting

“Replace your lighting. Have you ever wondered why real estate agents turn every light on in a home during an inspection? Tired and inadequate lighting can really let your home down come selling time. Simply adding extra or brighter down lights, modern pendants or even floor lamps will give your space kitchen and bathroom warmth and make it feel more inviting.”
Find out more about The Blue Space by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

MyDeal Pro tip:
If you’re planning to sell your home, a great way to increase your property value is by avoiding a renovation that’s too trendy. Sure, you may think that millennial pink is the hottest thing right now (which it unfortunately is), but it doesn’t mean you should douse every room in the house that shade. If you would like to inject a certain trend into your home, why not stick to something simple? You can create a feature wall with a staple colour or a jewel toned rug for your living room. As an alternative to having a permanent addition to your home that is conclusive to a trend, it’s a better option to have something semi-permanent in your home that can be easily taken away.


Tania Bell | Green Room Interiors

[caption id="attachment_13693" align="aligncenter" width="413"]Tania Bell Image from: Mydeal.com.au[/caption]

It's All About Presentation

“Presentation is everything when it comes to giving your home the best chance of gaining the best possible sale price. The obvious things like neatening up the garden, making sure all repairs are carried out, projects finished off and bringing in rented furniture can be stated here. However, there is so much more that buyers are expecting these days. You need to appeal not only to the sense of sight but all the other senses. It is proven that any kind of citrus smell in a home gives the impression of increased value. So burn some citrus scented soy candles just before or even during open for inspections. It gives the feeling of cleanliness and freshness.
Additionally, play soft, easy listening music throughout your home, people will be entertained and want to linger longer in this home that seems so comfortable and can imagine living there.” Find out more about Green Room Interiors by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Upgrading your home doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune or changing the entire face of your home. It means upgrading the important things; which can often be the smallest, things you don’t even realise can make a huge difference.

Eco-Friendly Home Renovations for 2017 and Beyond

When renovating a home, owners are faced with quite a number of decisions they have to make. Making good decisions that will pay off in the long term, whether you choose to sell the house or keep living in it, can seem a bit challenging and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need is some planning and thinking ahead.



Unfortunately, not many think about a green and eco-friendly approach when refurbishing their homes. It may be due to the lack of awareness or simply because they want everything to be finished as quickly as possible, but what most people don’t know is that you can save a lot of money going green. You can help the environment and really make a difference.

We’ve scoured the web and we’ve collected some great eco-friendly renovating tips that you can think about when you start your home renovations. These tips are basically simple guidelines meant for helping you understand how to save money through some green refurbishing ideas. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Eco-Friendly Home Renovations

Use Smart Flooring


One of the things you should definitely consider when you embark on the renovating adventure is changing the flooring of your house. For example, bamboo is an amazing material for bathroom flooring. It’s quite durable, grows without pesticides, and grows back faster than wood, and most importantly – it’s water resistant.

Keep in mind that vinyl flooring is one of the most harmful plastic materials in production, so if you have a choice always choose linoleum. Look for reclaimed wood or cork, as they don’t have any volatile organic compounds and they regrow quickly. The production of these materials is also more energy efficient, so there’s another reason why use them.

Become Water Wise


Nowadays it seems that water is becoming somewhat of a luxury. The prices are constantly rising, and with the climate change, people are wondering how to address this water issue. How can you save money on water when you need it so much? Well, there are some things you can consider, first of all – installing a low-flow toilet. Low-flow toilets use significantly less water, which helps you preserve it.

If there’s a possibility for such project, you can include a rainwater tank and connect it with the toilets. You can even use rainwater for gardening or for washing your car, and it would save you quite a penny. Make sure your water taps are efficient. Put the high-flow taps in the bathtub and near the appliances to make sure their water supply is regulated properly, and put low-flow taps at the sink, as you won’t need such a strong water pressure there.

Fix Your Appliances to Make Them Energy-efficient


You would be amazed how much money you can save by becoming more energy-efficient. Let’s not talk about how big of an impact it would make on the environment, but strictly from a financial point – going green is extremely good for your wallet.

When it comes to energy efficiency, most of us think about solar panels and LED lights. These are just some of the great things you can think about implementing when you decide to renovate. Having a solar panel generate some of the energy reflects significantly on your bills, while LED lighting can both be more affordable and more interesting to use than regular lighting. But there are other things you can think about.

Make sure your appliances are functioning properly and check them up regularly. Fixing old appliances may seem irrelevant, but the Total Appliance Repair Centre experts from Sydney have stated that quite a lot of old appliances spend more energy than they should. Refrigerators use more electricity, ovens are overheating, and with just some basic repairs, you can save quite a lot of money.

increase your property value

Increase Your Property Value


Planning a renovation isn’t that difficult. It calls for some time and thinking ahead, but it’s something that can be done easily once the plan is completed. Eco-friendly renovations can help you elevate the value of your property, and it can pay off in the long-term if you decide to stay, so basically, thinking about green renovations is a win-win situation. There are quite a lot of different eco-friendly solutions that can help you out like changing windows, or insulate the place with green materials, so it’s all up to you. Think what you want to achieve and start planning today.

How Much Should I Pay My Tradesmen ?

Paying your chosen tradesmen right is important in building a healthy working relationship with them. Being in good terms with a tradesman will make any homeowner comfortable, knowing that this person will work around their house all the time. Plus, the reno project will be completed on time just as you planned it if the money is right.

Before starting with your reno project, you and your tradies should agree on certain payments. If in case the tradesmen claim they are underpaid, chances are your reno project will be halted. Underpaid tradies might also file a complaint against the homeowner and eventually make them pay the remaining balance in a lump sum. On the other hand, overpaying your tradies will definitely make a huge hole in your pockets.

Here at the Renovator Store, we will help you make sure you avoid overpaying your tradies again.

Builder


Paying Your Builder The RIGHT Amount Is Best Practice All Round
Builders are ultimately every homeowner's hero as they are responsible for putting together the renovation project from two-dimensional drawings. Builders will need to be involved from the start of the planning process because they can greatly contribute in coming up with the most practical and efficient ways to execute the renovation project. It also minimizes time in sourcing the proper permits as professional builders keep good contact with local authorities and suppliers. No matter how small or big your renovation is, it is best to seek professional assistance from builders.

Builders who are tasked to work on home renovations cost about $63 per hour, while those who work on a larger scale home building costs as much as $160 per hour. As much as possible, request a written quote covering all expenses for the project and ask if they will charge you for VAT. In this way, you can avoid under or over paying your tradesmen as you go along with your reno. So just discuss everything with transparency with your builder to avoid all the trouble when it comes to payments.

Plumber


Sometimes, homeowners tend to do their own plumbing at home to minimize expenses. However, there are cases where the professional assistance of a plumber is highly needed. Plumbers do not only know how to fix leaks and clogged pipes and toilets, they also know what causes these and how to ultimately avoid it from recurring. Also, they have the right tools to use in every plumbing situation that you may have.



The national average rate of a professional plumber costs about $80 per hour, which highly depends on the job and location. Plumbing jobs are quite broad, with tasks ranging from fixing leaks, installing bath fixtures, to unclogging pipes. Also, bear in mind that the plumbing costs include the materials to be used or replaced, so make sure that you and your plumber are getting quality products to lessen renovation costs in the future. And since trip charges are also included in a plumber's rate, try to hire someone within your area to minimize your costs.

Electrician


Electrical problems at home might take a toll to a household's daily routine. That is why it is best to contact an electrician to fix it right away. Do-it-yourself techniques are highly discouraged when it comes to electrical problems as it takes someone equipped with the right knowledge and tools to work in direct contact with electricity.

Depending on the amount of work to be done, electricians' rate per hour ranges from $65 to $85. If you require a huge electrical job for your home, it is best to scout for a number of electricians and compare their quotes. Also, make sure that you are dealing with a licensed electrician if their rates are too high, to ensure that you are getting your money's worth.

Flooring


[caption id="attachment_13486" align="alignright" width="353"] Installing wooden laminate flooring[/caption]

Installing flooring can be regarded as a DIY job, it is still better to hire a professional to execute it. Some floor fixtures tend to be hard to install, which eventually need the attention of a professional to make it right.

Floor tradies usually charge an average of $40 per hour, while some are charging around $30 per square meter. Weigh in on these two options in negotiating with your tradesmen to come up with the most cost-efficient rate for your project.

Ultimately, transparent communication between you and your tradesmen is the key for the most cost-efficient option for you. Establish good working relationships with them to make it easier for you the next time you will need their professional assistance for your reno.

What Renovations Make Sense for you?

If you’ve visited the Renovator Store before, you’re probably pretty familiar with our love of smart and savvy renovations. What you probably didn’t know, is that today we’re partnering up with Australian Heritage Homes, a company that echoes our appreciation of a dollar saved and a home well-designed. But sometimes renovations can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Lucky for you, we’re here to be your partners in crime, and detail- what renovations make sense for you?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind- budget, timeline, time you plan to live in the home, and long-term value. Let’s dive in!



renovation budget

Budget

Ah, the lovely four-letter type word. The one that we shy away from discussing in budget, and sometimes, aren’t even honest about with ourselves. This is the biggest mistake you can make, especially in this day and age. We’re only getting more and more creative with the ways that we can stretch a dollar—by exploring new materials or new processes. The only thing we recommend is that you’re honest with yourself. If you can only afford to update one area of the home, then go for it! Just make sure that you don’t overstretch yourself or your wallet. Side effects include major stress, and potentially skipped meals.

 

Timeline

This one is a surprise to some of our readers, but it’s just as valuable to think about. Let’s say you’ve got young ones, dozens of them, running in and out of your house every day. It’s a set-up that you can’t workaround. You probably don’t want to engage in a long-term remodel then, that renders the social areas of your space totally useless for the little ones. Again, this is an area where we can get creative, but be upfront with your contractor or designer about how quickly you need to turn a job around. They may push back, and that’s to be expected. They need to cover their behinds too. But if you’re honest from the get-go, then you can ensure that the conversations you have will be fruitful.

renovation timeline

Time you plan to live in your home

Another shocker to many of our readers and valued customers. But if you think about it, it makes total sense. Do you plan on leaving your home in the next year or two? Probably not a good investment to spend thousands of dollars on a remodel then. However, if you’re purchasing a home that you plan to be in for five plus years, then we encourage you to explore potential remodels. They can then lead directly into our last topic…

 

Long-term value!

The beauty of renovations? They can potentially add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the curbside appeal and intrinsic value of your home. You just need to be strategic about the way you think them through. Is your renovation going to appeal to the masses, or are you catering to a niche personal need? There is no harm and no foul with the latter, you’ll just want to be aware.

Questions? Comments? Give us a shout! We would love to hear from our readers. And make sure to check out Australian Heritage Homes site for more information.
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