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Outdoor

Patio Roofing Options – What Should You Choose?

patio with roof, wooden floor and brick wall

Building or adding a patio to your home can be a great way to take advantage of summer weather and relax in your own alfresco area.

Patios can be simple and affordable to construct, but what are the best options for your home?

Whether you’re thinking of a sleek, modern look or a clear, protective skylight, here are some design and material choices to consider.

Designs

The design of your patio can make a big difference to the ambience of your outdoor area. Popular patio roofing designs include:

Gable

A gable design has a long, peaked roof, similar to that of a house. This design lets rain flow easily off and to the sides. A gable patio can be attached and extend out from your home, matching your home’s roofing and giving a consistent style.

Flat

Flat patios are an affordable option to create an outdoor alfresco area. This design is simpler to build and install but is still able to cover a large area. They are a great way to provide shade and shelter for your home.

Skillion

Skillion roofs are similar to a flat roof design, except that they are angled upwards on one side. This makes them the perfect choice for providing shade at key times in the day. Rainwater also isn’t a problem for the skillion and can be easily directed off.

Pyramid

The panels of a pyramid roof come together into a triangle shaped point. This design works best for square shaped patios and gives your outdoor area a spacious, airy feeling. Pyramid patios also often use a mix of clear and opaque panels to let in light.

Dome

Dome roofs are increasing in popularity, due to their stylish design. Dome patios offer the same utility as other roofing options but add a sleek and modern style which can be the perfect complement for your home or garden.

patio with roof, wood flooring, fireplace, rattan furniture

Materials

Choosing the right material for your patio roofing can ensure adequate protection. Popular options for patio materials include:

Colorbond steel

Colorbond steel is a durable, high-quality building material. Products in the Colorbond range are part of a 22-colour set, which means patios built from this material can complement Colorbond home roofing. It provides excellent protection from the sun and typically has an extensive warranty.

Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is a lightweight and durable roofing material which is made from high-grade, reinforced plastic. Polycarbonate roofing can be transparent, opaque or a mix of the two. This allows homeowners to choose the best design to let natural light in.

Certain brands of polycarbonate roofing are made specifically for warmer climates and are highly rated for their resistance to the sun and overall UV protection.

Insulated

Insulated patio roofing is a combination of roofing materials such as steel and polycarbonate, which is then insulated, usually with high-quality polystyrene. Insulated roofing can keep your outdoor area at a lower temperature and can be added without any additional construction.

Sunglaze

Sunglaze roofing material is similar to polycarbonate but is completely clear. While it can resemble glass, it’s lightweight, strong and offers increased UV protection. Using Sunglaze will make your outdoor area feel light and open, while still giving you protection from sun and rain.

Which is Best?

The best type of patio for your home will depend on your location and circumstances. When dealing with hotter climates, insulation and sun protection become more important. Quality of materials and construction are also factors to consider.

Choosing between an attached or detached patio roof can change the overall cost and length of time required for construction. While detached patios require a separate structure to be built, patios which are attached and extend from the home can be a more affordable option.

The overall design and style of your patio should ideally complement your house and outdoor area. With many different designs and colours available, why not take advantage of clever construction to control temperature and sunlight regardless of the season.

No matter which materials you choose, a well- designed and constructed patio can provide a useful alfresco area year-round.

 

Author’s Bio:

This article was written by Daniel Defendi, who recommends Great Aussie Patios. You can catch Daniel on LinkedIn to discuss this piece.

Above Ground Pools: Things to Consider in Choosing a Modular Swimming Pool

bathroom with large mirrors ceramic basins and artwork
Modular swimming pools are a fantastic way to enhance your home in an affordable way. Not only can they provide you and your family with a refreshing break from the scorching summer sun but they also offer a wonderful space to play and entertain that can be easily modified to fit your garden. Above ground pools can also look great to prospective buyers if you ever wish to sell your property.

But what factors should you consider before buying your above ground pool?



above ground pool with trees plants and wooden planks

WHEN: The best time to buy a modular pool


Even though the products themselves don’t change, prices tend to fluctuate depending on the season. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that modular pools are in higher demand during the summer and warmer months. So, if you’re thinking about getting one, start browsing during the winter to ensure you get the best possible price.

WHERE: The suitable site for your pool


The main advantage of modular pools is that they can be modified to fit the space you have. This doesn’t just mean physically fitting the pool into your property, it also refers to the layout you use to make the most of your pool in the most functional and aesthetically pleasing way possible.

Before buying your pool, think about where you’d like it. Think about how it will look and fit in the space. Take measurements and think about various shape and size options. Think about how it will function within that space and how you can make the most of the rest of your garden.

man and child swimming in a modular pool

WHAT: Reasons for getting an above-ground pool


Think about the purpose of your pool. This may sound like a simple question but consider when it will be used, how many people will be using it and for what purpose. This will help you identify what size and type of pool you need.

Drainage That Works


Above ground pools are popular because they are generally cheaper and easier to install. But they do still need proper drainage channels. When considering drainage options, make sure you think about functionality and durability as well as aesthetics.

pool drain channel

Budget That’s All-Inclusive


Modular pools vary in prices. Think about your budget and don’t forget to include all the related maintenance equipment in your calculations. Also, consider the installation costs. Remember, safety at all times so keep that in mind when budgeting your pool and ask the professionals as they will know what the regulations are.

Water Preference That’s Well-Suited


Above-ground modular pools can use salt or chlorinated water. Think about which type you would prefer. Each has its own pros and cons, from the chemicals used and their effects on users’ skin to the amount of maintenance each water type requires. Before making your decision, think about who will be using your pool, what conditions it will operate under and what your maintenance routine will be.

girl with goggles swimming in pool with blue water

Local Laws on Swimming Pools


Depending on your location and the depth of your pool, there may be some safety regulations you must adhere to. In most cases, Council approval may also be required. Make sure you do the necessary research based on your local area and the features of your pool. Your pool supplier should be able to point you in the right direction and provide you with the model specifications and engineering paperwork to submit with your application.

Conclusion


Above ground pools are a great addition to your home. Don’t rush into buying the first one you see. Think about the space you have and how your pool will look and operate within it. Seek professional advice before installing an above ground pool and remember to check in with your local council before making any purchases.

 

Author Bio

Treacy Koster is a passionate blogger who frequently writes about tips related to living and lifestyle. She is also a travel enthusiast.

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 to Upgrade to a Modern Outdoor Kitchen

The popularity of outdoor kitchens is continuing to rise. Over the years, there has been an increase in quality furnishings and appliances available for open-air eating, which has made it possible to create fully-functional outdoor kitchen spaces. Well-appointed outdoor kitchens can now provide the same practicality and convenience as their indoor counterparts. You can keep your modern outdoor kitchen design can be as simple or luxurious as you’d like. It all depends on your budget, the size of your section and of course your own personal taste. Here are some key ways to upgrade to a modern outdoor kitchen.



[caption id="attachment_14581" align="alignnone" width="1200"]outdoor kitchen in backyard patio Photo Credit: Pixabay under CC0 Public Domain License[/caption]

Update Outdoor Cooking Appliances


Outdoor cooking goes far beyond the classic charcoal barbecue. From wood-fired pizza ovens to stylish freestanding gas barbecues, the availability of quality outdoor cooking appliances is constantly growing. Purchasing a new high-quality cooking appliance is a worthy investment that transforms both your kitchen design and outdoor dining experience. Just make sure to do your research on the different types of grills before buying a new one.

stainless_steel_sink_kitchen_laundry_strong_modern_contemporary

Use the Right Materials for a Modern Outdoor Kitchen


The materials you use to design your outdoor kitchen play a critical role in its durability and style. In particular, the right type of flooring can really take the whole space to the next level. Tiles are a popular choice because they come in a variety of colours and so can be easily matched to the indoor flooring of your home. Porcelain is a good material choice for outdoor tiling, as it doesn’t absorb much moisture. No matter what type of surface material you use, you will need to ensure that it is specified for outdoor use.

Every modern outdoor kitchen needs a surface area for food prep, complete with a functional sink and faucet. The best materials for outdoor kitchen countertops include stone, tile and concrete. Concrete is fairly popular due to its clean, contemporary look. When you first install concrete, you must make sure that it is sealed properly – and subsequently reseal it regularly. If it’s not installed correctly, it runs the risk of cracking.

swedia-isak-sink-mixer-polished-stainless-steel

Sinks and faucets come in many different styles and are made from a range of materials. For an outdoor kitchen, high-grade stainless steel sinks and taps are ideal. Stainless steel is stylish, easy to clean and made to stand the test of time. The thickness of the steel is a key factor to consider. Thicker steel offers better resistance to heavy objects placed in the sink and will last longer in outdoor environments.

[caption id="attachment_14582" align="alignnone" width="1200"]outdoor dining setup Photo Credit: Pxhere under CC0 Public Domain License[/caption]

Create an Outdoor Dining Area


You can create a fantastic outdoor dining area perfect for BBQs and parties by adding some simple furnishings to your kitchen space. Keep in mind that any outdoor seating you use needs to be heavy and durable enough to withstand changing weather environments. Fortunately, today’s outdoor furniture offers a great variety of stylish, weather-tolerant fabrics.

When you create your outdoor dining area, take ambience and lighting into account. Most outdoor lights are easy to install – and a few well-placed outdoor lights will let you and your guests see better at night and also illuminate your outdoor kitchen with a romantic glow. To save money on your electricity bill, opt for LED lights instead of incandescent lights. They last longer and require much less energy to operate. However, if your outdoor kitchen space has no electrical source, solar power lights are a good alternative. The combination of tasty cooking, landscape lighting, and a comfortable dining area will offer the perfect balance of function and ambience.

 

About the Author

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based writer who loves discussing travel, home and lifestyle topics. She enjoys spending her free time working on her DIY home improvement projects or hosting backyard BBQ parties for her friends. Find more of her work https://johannacider.tumblr.com/

How to Choose the Best Grass for Your Lawn

Picking out the right kind of grass for your lawn is crucial in making sure you don’t continually struggle to keep it green and healthy. With so many things to tend to at home, you may not always have the luxury of time to care for your lawn.

house seen from lawn grass

Indeed, effective lawn maintenance is the key to enjoy the season-long beauty of your turf. But beyond this, you should also know the best grass type for your area as getting the right kind will determine whether or not your lawn will thrive or not.

Here are some important things you should consider when choosing the best grass for your lawn:

Location


The place you live in is a vital factor that can affect how your grass will perform. Determine which among these zones your area is classified.

  • Transition Zone – A region with cold winters and hot summers which makes it a challenging area for lawns. Tall fescue is the best choice in this zone as it shows good tolerance for both heat and cold. Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass, and zoysia grass also grow well in homes located in a transition zone.

  • Northern Zone – A region where winters are cold and summers are moderate. Cool season grasses like perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass are your best choices.

  • Southern Zone – A region with moderate winters and hot summers. Southern zone areas have a temperature where warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass and centipede grass can thrive well.


woman reading while laying on grass

Yard Conditions


Part of what you have to consider in your location is your yard condition. If there are no specific problems, then you should be able to get good results from any conventional grasses appropriate for your region. But if you have a particularly challenging geography that has limited water, salty soil, or which is densely shaded, very specific grass varieties may adapt better.

  • High-Traffic Sites – Perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass work well in this type of area. But if you want a grass type that can recover promptly from wear, Bermuda grass is also preferred.

  • Salty Sites – For sandy coastal sites affected by salt sprays, seashore paspalum is an excellent choice.

  • Low-Input Areas – For areas with a low supply of water or fertiliser, the hardy buffalo grass is much preferred. Fine-leaf fescues and centipede grass are also good for low-input or low-maintenance sites.

  • Shaded Sites – The most tolerant in this type of site are fine-leaf fescues. However, if you only need a fairly shade-tolerant grass type, St. Augustine grass will also do.


garden path in the middle of lawn grass

Variety


Every grass type is available in different varieties and each of them bears qualities that may tolerate pests, diseases or harsh weather. You must first take a look at the climate in your location and the condition of your yard before you pick out a suitable grass variety.

Cool Season Grass Species


These grass types thrive in fall and spring but stay green all winter. They don’t enjoy the heat of summer and often turn brown without additional watering.

  • Fine-leaf Fescue – Has a thin blade and wispy appearance that can tolerate shade and drought. It’s less attractive than other lawn grasses but is also low maintenance.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass – Has a medium texture and dark colour which makes for a highly attractive lawn. It also fills up bare spots on its own and can tolerate harsh winters. The downsides with this type are that it’s prone to thatch, languishes in heat, is intolerant of shade, and is a favourite meal of grubs.

  • Perennial Ryegrass – This is an appealing grass that germinates quickly and tolerates traffic well. The only disadvantage of this variety is that it won’t fill in bare spots.


Beautiful young mother helping her adorable little boy to walk on grass

Warm-Season Grass Species


These grass types love heat and are well-suited to hot summers. They go dormant without supplementary water so you may need a wireless irrigation controller to hydrate your lawn when you are not at home. Moreover, these grasses are not quite cold-tolerant and mostly undergo winter dormancy.

  • Bermuda Grass – A vigorous spreader that can quickly recover from wear. However, it’s prone to thatching, is intolerant of shade, and can invade plant beds.

  • Buffalo Grass – This is best used in low maintenance sites as it tolerates extreme weather conditions and requires little mowing. Unfortunately, it's slow to establish, doesn’t tolerate traffic well, is dormant in summer and winter, and turns brown most of the year.


Whatever the type of grass you choose, you have the option to establish your own lawn by seed, sod, or sprig. Pick out which one you can conveniently look after, and take into account your location and yard conditions.

But if you’re always pressed for time yet want a gorgeous, thriving lawn, get a professional lawn service onboard to take care of it for you. Remember, a green healthy lawn all year round depends on the choices you make.

house exterior with lights on seen from lawn

Easy Ideas to Help Spruce Up Your Outdoor Home Window Design

Ensuring your home’s exterior is pleasant to the eyes and is in solid shape is an important part of maintaining your home’s value and boosting its curb appeal. The outside of your home is the part of your house that all visitors will notice first, so it’s important to help it appear welcoming and eye-catching.



Exterior upkeep and decorating don’t always have to involve massive renovations or expensive additions, as often times, it’s the small details that end up making a big difference when setting the tone for your home. Windows are an area of the home that can easily be transformed to instantly add some flair, sophistication, or creativity to your outdoor home design, but they are overlooked during the design process far too often.



If you’re looking for some easy ways to spruce up your outdoor window design and draw some positive attention to your house, you may find some inspiration in the following ideas:

Add or Improve Trim and Pediments Around Your Windows


The before-and-after effect of adding trim to a window is striking without being showy. Unless you choose an extremely elaborate design, the decorative touch is subtle, but when you compare how windows look with either no trim or with a dull, chipped trim, you can see how it drastically helps them stand out.

There’s also a practical element of adding exterior window trim to your home. Both the head casing’s drip cap and the window sill help to prevent the elements, such as rain, from getting into any broken seals or gaps and entering into the interior of your home.

Window pediments are another great option when you’re trying to spruce up an otherwise plain exterior window. If you find the right pediment that matches or complements your desired trim, it can easily transform your design by adding a sophisticated touch.

The trick is to find a pediment that is the right proportion to the window, and it should also blend in design-wise and color-wise. If you have a large colonial-style header and it’s placed over a small contemporary-style window, the design will look clunky and messy instead of cohesive. When picking out both the trim and the pediment, choose colors, materials, and shapes that will harmonize with the overarching tone of your home’s exterior, not distract from it.

Install Home Window Awnings


Home window awnings will accentuate and elevate your outdoor window design, but they also serve another practical function. Because they are designed to block the sun’s rays from entering your home, they reduce the indoor temperature of your home, resulting in lower home cooling costs. According to a study conducted by the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, awnings can help households save up to $200 on cooling costs annually.

If you want to focus on energy savings and staying as green as possible with your home design, you can look into solar-powered window awnings, which automatically extend and retract based on direct sunlight.

Home window awnings typically come in a variety of fabrics, colors, and designs, so it’s easy to find one that will best flatter your home. As a bonus, because awnings reduce the amount of direct sunlight that enters into your home, they will help prevent fading from sun damage on your indoor paint and furniture.

Add Cheer With Window Boxes


Window boxes are one of the easiest tools you can use if you’re truly trying to make your window design pop. They instantly add a splash of charm and warmth to your home and depending on what you fill them with, you can get pretty creative with your design.

Again, it’s crucial to find one that complements your exterior color and design scheme, as even a small detail such as a window box can fiercely clash with your intended ambiance if it’s not chosen carefully.

Flowers and herbs are easy go-to options for window boxes and the colors and vibrancy that plants exude add an immediate liveliness and cheerfulness to your home. If you don’t want to make the commitment to care for any plants, there are always faux flowers you can plant in there too.

If you want to get a bit more creative, you can add a festive effect by decorating the boxes for each holiday or season. For example, add mini pumpkins in the fall, mistletoe, and pinecones around Christmas time, or bright flowers with colorful faux eggs for Easter spring. No matter what design you choose, window boxes will help draw attention to your windows in the best of ways.

Provide Security and Add Style With Window Grills


Window grills can add style and enhance your home security, helping to add value to your house. Today’s designs stretch much further than the typical steel-bars-over-windows look, so you don’t have to worry about your home looking like a prison.

Whether you want a grill that looks Victorian, is diamond-patterned, or resembles delicate lace, there are countless shapes and styles to choose from. You’ll be able to rest a little easier knowing your home is better protected against any break-ins, all while adorning your windows with a captivating look.

Keep Your Design Clean and Polished


No matter what type of embellishments you adorn your exterior windows with, your efforts won’t reach their full potential unless you commit to properly maintaining your design. Sometimes all it takes to spruce up your windows is polishing up what you already have. This means keeping your windows themselves clean on the outside and inside, repainting any trim or window sills that are chipping away, keeping your awnings debris-free, and removing dead plants and foliage from any window boxes.

The point is to regularly maintain your windows and any accessories so that they appear well cared for, not run down and neglected.

In Summary


Hopefully, these tips help give you some direction on where to take your new window design. If you’re handy, you can complete many of them yourself, or you can easily find an expert renovator to safely add any accessories you’d like.

 

Just like all parts of your home, your window design should be a direct reflection of your own personality. After all, you peer outside of the windows to get a glimpse of the world, and in turn, others can take a look at your window design and get a small sense of the unique person who lives there.

Happy designing!

 

Prepare Your House for Summer with These 6 Improvement Tips

The summer’s coming! That’s the beauty of our planet, there’s always summer coming somewhere. Regardless of how you feel about summer weather and the heat you need to prepare yourself and your home to make the season more enjoyable. Spring is a good time to start thinking about this and to book that holiday if you haven’t already. There are a couple of things though, to take care of, for the time you won’t be away as the summer is usually much longer than the getaway booked.


Keep your home airtight


Assess the damage done by the winter and insect the house to see whether insulation, windows and the roof have been damaged. Replace any broken roof tiles and repaint and service your windows to erase traces which water and wind may have left on them. Unless you have done it recently, check the state of your insulation and redo it if necessary. If there is a layer you can add, do so to keep your home more energy-efficient and thus cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Prepare Your House for Summer with These 6 Improvement Tips www.renovatorstore.com.au

Do the Spring Cleaning


Believe it or not, spring cleaning is going to make your house lighter for the summer coming. It is not only about hygiene and a detail wash, it should mainly be about decluttering. Assess your belongings, especially the content of your wardrobe and dispose of everything you did not use this winter. If you use solid fuels, have your chimney cleaned. Clear out the storage area.

Paint the bright face


Now that your home is all fixed, there is one last thing you need to do, repaint those walls. Painting should go hand in hand with the cleaning. You can use the opportunity of having to clear out space to declutter, as once you take things out, you do not have to put them back in. Do not wash the windows until the painting is done. Do as much as you can so as to avoid double work. Consult the professional to help you use color to open up space. A group of Sydney painters advises using warm, bright colors in communal areas with a lot of daylight as they tend to complement each other.

Your piece of nature and fresh air


Even though your home is now probably close to perfect, you still need to create a little nest for you and your family outdoors. Work on your garden or your balcony to create a pleasant and inviting environment, a place to have coffee in the morning or drinks with friends in the evening. Clear out any debris winter has left you with and enhance the greenery as much as you can. Consider adding a form of sunshade which will protect you from the sun, but won’t keep the hot air trapped underneath. You can purchase garden fans to keep you and the air fresh and cool.

Prepare Your House for Summer with These 6 Improvement Tips www.renovatorstore.com.au

Don’t forget the little-ones


You’ll never be able to relax until your kids are satisfied. Create a designated play area in your garden. Make sure that at least a part of it is protected from direct sunlight at all times. If you do not already have a pool, create an area where you can install a portable one. Do not forget a sand box as it is a pool full of ideas for new games when you are a t a certain age. If you do not have children, do not abandon the idea of having a play area. You can still use the pool, sunbathe and play ball with your friends.

Use the obvious technology


And finally, to the most obvious ways of preventing the heat. Service, replace or install an AC device. You can use it to your liking, but it is good to have it in case it becomes too hot, especially if you have children. Remember to keep it only a couple of degrees down from what the outside temperature is to avoid health issues. You can use fans, both indoors and outdoors to create a pleasant breeze. Keep doors within your home open to create a draft and allow for the air to flow.

 

Now that your home is tight, clean, cool and with an outdoors spot to relax, you are ready for the summer and nothing can catch you off-guard.

How to Create Shade in Your Backyard

Everyone loves to spend time in their backyards, but often enough you'll find the hot Australian sun will make you want to lock yourself indoors with the air-conditioner cranked to the maximum. As we're finally nudging towards the warmer months of our year it's the perfect time to start thinking of creative ways to create shade in your backyard. A fun, convenient and affordable solution to try is a shade cloth! Keep reading to find out more...



.

What Is a Shade Cloth?


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A shade cloth is exactly what its name suggests: a cloth that has been specifically designed and manufactured to create shade. This particular brand of cloth is manufactured from UV-stabilised HDPE, ensuring protection from the suns harsh rays, and is also composed from heavy duty monofilament thread, allowing it to be strong and resistant to the elements. It is also available in a range of colours and thicknesses so you can find what'll suit your home best.

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Entertainment Area Shade


[caption id="attachment_11983" align="aligncenter" width="738"]AC-Shade-Sail Source: marketcorner.trivantage.com[/caption]

You probably want to make your entertaining area as pleasant and relaxing as possible. In order to ensure you and your guests don't fry to a crisp whilst you're enjoying a nice backyard BBQ why not install a simple shade cloth over the top of your area? For example over your decking, pergola or outdoor dining table. In this area of your home stray away from typical shade cloth colour choices and instead opt for something bolder such as red or orange!

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Pool Area Shade:


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="703"] Source: www.pixbam.com[/caption]

Your permanent or inflatable pool will become a much safer area for your children to enjoy the summer heat if you choose to install a shade cloth. An Australian summers day can reach up to 45 degrees, and hence an extra layer of protection from the suns harsh UV rays is always useful.

Please note that even if you have shade cloth coverings, the use of sunscreen and protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses is essential, even on those cloudy days!

We suggest you opt for cool and calm colours such as white or cream when installing a shade over your pool to create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.


Playground Shade:


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Similar to your swimming pool, playground shade will provide a sun-smart solution to playground use during hot Australian summer days. Shade cloth will prevent equipment from being damaged from environmental factors and will provide a safe, cool area for your family to enjoy.

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Garden Shade:


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Australian weather conditions can be very harsh for our gardens. Thankfully a shade cloth can be used to protect your garden from sun, rain, drying winds, mildew, frost and chemicals. Overall it's an inexpensive and effective way to tailor gardening conditions and ensure a fruitful harvest.

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Depending on the environment, your space and types of greenery, you may want to research different types of shade cloth and choose what will best fit your backyard requirements. If it is all too confusing, please don’t hesitate to give the team at Print My Fence a call on 1300 323 322.

Author Bio: This article was written by Madina Azamy from Print My Fence – Australia’s number 1 provider of high quality printed shade cloth and custom banners at affordable prices.

Garage Dangers: An Ounce of Prevention

The garage is a pretty benign space most of the time: we park our cars and bicycles and store our tools, toys and extra items. However, garage accidents occur more frequently than you might think, and when they do, they can cause severe injury and potentially death. So what are the most frequent injuries and deaths occurring, and how can we prevent these?



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Leading Residential Garage Injuries and Deathsgarage_organization_system_springfield_mo



  • Injury or death when moving garage door strikes person

  • Fingers crushed when caught in between panels of door

  • Injury or death when garage door spring fails

  • Carbon monoxide poising when vehicle or power equipment is left running

  • Injury when falling over clutter or slick fluids on garage floor

  • Fire hazard when spilling petrol onto hot engine


Suddenly the garage doesn't seem so benign, does it? Although lucky for you staying safe in your garage can be as simple as taking the necessary safety precautions.

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 Avoiding Garage Door Issues 


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  • Place the garage door button out of reach of small children and keep the remote in a safe place too.

  • Never close a garage door by pulling down on a panel edge, and teach children not to do it either

  • Consider purchasing a premium garage door that features finger-safe panels

  • Leave repair of garage door springs and cables to professionals as they can be under very high tension, and cause severe injury or death if they break


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Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Related Issues


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  • Never run a car in a closed garage. .

  • Do not use a remote car in order to prevent accidental starting of car.

  • Keep a tool such as a resqme or resqhammer nearby to be able to break a car window should you find someone locked inside a running car inside the garage.

  • If you do find a vehicle running in close garage open the garage door and call for emergency help.


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Slipping and Tripping Hazards


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  • Install some overhead storage or use hanging hooks to keep things off the ground.

  • Clean up any spills and leaks promptly

  • Install bright LED lighting for navigating the garage in the dark


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Fire Hazards


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  • Allow engine to cool before filling with fuel

  • Don’t store fuel near open flames or on a gas water heater

  • Don’t smoke whilst working with petrol or other flammable liquid

  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the garage, keep it freshly charged and know how to use it


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Overall the garage doesn’t have to be a dangerous place for you and your children. All of the garage safety tips here are common sense. Put them into practice, model them for your kids and encourage them to follow your rules. Install a garage door with the best safety features, and the necessary safety items at the ready. When you do, you will stay on the right side of safety statistics, and be able to enjoy your garage without harm.

Installing Your Own Pool vs. Hiring Professionals

It's true. You can save a huge chunk of money by installing your own pool instead of hiring professionals. On the surface it seems simple enough: just place it in the ground. No biggie right? In actuality, it's a little bit more complicated and involves permits, specialised equipment and of course expertise. Therefore in many circumstances it can be a lot easier to bring in professionals. Throughout this article we will compare and contrast the benefits and disadvantages of installing your own pool in comparison to hiring professionals to help you understand what'll suit your home best.



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Before you start you need to consider many aspects of how you want your pool to be: e.g. size, shape, depth, style etc. The more complicated you wish your design to be, the more likely you'll require professional advice.

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What Are the Benefits of Installing Your Own Pool?


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The major reason someone will try to install their own pool is because they want to save money. A basic pool installation can cost you thousands so it makes sense for an ambitious DIYer to want to cut costs.

However many of those who choose DIY quickly reconsider once they become aware of what's involved. Firstly they find out the whole process takes a lot of time and effort, but also requires permits and temporary pool fencing.

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What Are the Cons of Installing Your Own Pool? 


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Installing a pool involves excavation, plumbing and electrical work. If you're not experienced in these fields but still attempt to give it a shot the smallest mistake could cost you more than what the original job was worth – not to mention the downtime that your project will face.

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What Are the Benefits of Hiring Professionals? 


Permits, permits, permits: There are many rules and regulations imposed by councils upon pool installation and construction. Professionals are aware of all of these, and will also apply for all the relevant permits upon your behalf and ensure the workspace always adheres to safety regulations.

Insurance: Any professionals working on your property must be ensured, meaning that you aren't left over with the costs of their mistakes.

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Equipment: Professionals obviously come with the right equipment. This'll save you from having to purchase or hire your own tools.

Expertise: At the end of the day a professional is exactly that – a professional. They know exactly how to do the job right.

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Top Tips after the Pool Is Installed:



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Just remember a swimming pool is not only an investment you can use to increase the value of your property, but also something you and the entire family can enjoy. Therefore you shouldn't just cheap out and try to DIY otherwise you're going to need to repair or replace in a few years.

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Author bio: This article was written by Madina Azamy from The Temporary Fencing Shop, specialists in all temp fencing products and temporary pool fencing across Australia.
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