The following info is provided as a guide to assist you through some of the big decisions you may need to make. You can contact us for a no obligation chat about your project.
Should I restrict my thoughts to whatever is most current?
If you're about to embark on the first design and decorating project in your new home, you may wonder how important it is to be aware of the latest trends in interior design. You do want to make sure that whatever design and decorating scheme you select will enhance the resale value of your home ... So should you really restrict your thoughts to whatever is most current?
Many expert designers would say interior design should reflect you and your personality, not necessarily what is trendy and fashionable. However, if you are the type of person who is first in line to buy the latest electronic gadgetry in a never ending quest to be up to date, the latest trends in interior design may be very relevant. Attempting to ‘reflect one’s personality’ is often more for television show commentary than for real world property decorating.
It can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends as they have a way of changing quickly, sometimes from season to season. Fine decorating magazines you can look through at your local library are great sources as are Home Improvement Design and Decorating Trade Shows. Designers also tell us that sorting through contemporary decorating trends and comparing them with classic styles helps us to define what we don't like. Sometimes this is a great help in getting a clearer picture of what we do like. There is a final principle of design to consider ... To borrow from the world of modern architecture, the form - or the physical appearance of a room - should flow from its function IE. how you want to use the room. Suppose you sit down and spell out precisely how you would like to use your kitchen and your lounge room. You give it a lot of thought and develop a big list, the last item being: it must be easy to keep clean. As a functional principle, that may be a bit of a stretch; but it is important to you, so it's certainly relevant
For your lounge room one of the latest trends is the use of natural stone look wall panels. These are very dramatic, giving a 3D effect through their varying use of stone-look raised patterns. The grooves and nooks and crannies provide depth and texture for a stunningly dramatic effect. But these same grooves are dust and dirt magnets. Be informed and ask questions.
Now it's on to the kitchen, where natural stone countertops continue to grow in popularity. However, the shiny glazed finishes of granite tops are becoming less fashionable and the latest trend is the honed stone finish. This finish is produced by high speed machine buffing which yields a low luster finish that resembles stone in its natural environment. The finish is also highly porous so the maintenance requirements are equally high. The stone must be thoroughly sealed with an expensive sealer and repeated frequently. Even when sealed properly, the countertop can be more difficult to clean than the less fashionable polished granite top. The highly polished shine resists adhesion of food particles to the surface, which the lower luster finish does not. Finally, if the seal fails, the countertop can stain. Be informed and ask questions.
One question you should ask yourself is this: "Is having the latest trend more important to me than easy cleanup?"
Some designers advise trend lovers to play it safe with the expensive decorating items - like the countertop - and go with the latest trends in your selection of room accessories. Regardless of what you decide, the process of searching for the latest design ideas will be well worth the investment of time and effort. It’s also fun, and if you’re comfortable with your budget and ability to stick to it, you’ll enjoy the whole process.
Timber Deck Maintenance - Is your deck safe?
To achieve satisfying long-term performance from your timber framed deck, you will need to perform regular and effective maintenance at appropriate intervals, including re-application of the decking finish and a physical inspection for deterioration of timber work and fixings and termite activity.
Oil or stain finishes should be re-applied at least every 12-18 months while the timber retains some water repellency. Water ‘beading' on the surface indicates that the water repellency is effective. Water absorbing into the surface indicates that the water repellency is being reduced or has been lost. Carry out preparation and reapplication in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.
When applying decking oil or stain as a maintenance coat use a similar technique as for the initial coat. As with the initial coat, only apply as much finish as the timber will absorb and don’t load the applicator too heavily and push the finish well out along the timber. If more finish has been applied than the timber will absorb, brush any excess out along the boards or removal by wiping with a soft cloth.
Undertake regular competent structural inspection of the underside of the deck (eg annually) for signs of deterioration of the footings, footing brackets, structural and decking timber and fixings.
If you don’t not feel that you are able to perform suitable inspections we suggest that you employ the services of a licensed professional building inspection service to perform the inspections and provide you with a written report of the condition of your deck and any maintenance which may be required. Restrict access to the deck while you are carrying out any inspection for safety. If you have found significant deterioration, leave the area immediately and restrict access to the deck until you have had the structural safety of the deck confirmed and affected timber work repaired or replaced.
All homes, whether new or old require ongoing maintenance.
With our windy weather, storms, rain, sun and everything else that Brisbane can dish out, it’s a good idea to inspect your gutters and downpipes regularly (3 times yearly) and clear any blockages. A blocked roofing system due to weather or poor workmanship can be catastrophic. In heavy rain it is not uncommon for gutters to overflow, and in extreme situations water may enter your ceiling and damage the plasterboard. By removing any leaf debris you can help to reduce this overflow and potential ceiling damage. A long term solution in high debris areas could be to install gutter guard, which will dramatically reduce the amount of debris that could potentially collect in your gutters.
Termite or ‘white ant' infestations treatment and prevention - Do you have termites in or around your home?
Underground termites, often referred to as ‘White Ants', because of their creamy colouring and ant-like appearance, are active throughout Australia. With over 350 species of termites in Australia, of which some 20 species can damage timber homes, they cause more damage to homes each year than do floods, fires and storms combined. According to independent surveys 1 in 5 homes will be attacked with termites causing $780 million damage per annum Australia-wide where the average cost per damaged home over $8000.
How do termites behave?
The termites that cause most damage to homes are subterranean. Termites search from underground for food and it is during this search that they will find your home. But because they attack through hidden access points, it is unlikely you will see them until it is too late and they have caused damage. Termites avoid light and rarely come out into the open and are often found within timbers where they leave a wafer thin layer to protect themselves from the outside environment. Sometimes they conceal themselves within mud-like tubes or galleries, which can often be a sign for the homeowner that termites are present.
How can homes be protected from termites?
New homes should be protected against termites by the use of any of the following methods:
Physical barriers are so-called because they rely on the physical resistance of the material to resist termite attack. These are usually installed during new constructions, but some can be retro-fitted to existing houses and are usually made from metal, crushed rock or other materials that termites cannot chew through.
Chemical barriers are so-called because they rely on a chemical to resist termite attack. The chemicals are usually insecticides. These barriers can be placed under concrete slabs, foundations and around houses. Chemical barriers can be installed in new and existing structures, but can only be installed by licensed pest controllers. A reputable builder will include this process where necessary.
Homes should have regular inspections of all accessible timber and potential termite entry points. Inspections should be carried out by a licensed pest controller who can identify timber problems and advise on individual solutions.
Whether or not the nest can be found, the termites must be prevented from continuing their attack on the house. Therefore remedial treatments generally use chemicals in one form or another, applied as:
- Barrier treatments - a chemical soil barrier applied under and/or around the house
- Dusts - chemical dusts are applied to the infested area where termites are active, the dust is then spread through the nest by the termites
- Baits - Termites are encouraged into a baiting system, where they feed on food containing an active chemical ingredient, which is taken back to the nest, if enough active ingredient is ingested, then it is possible to eliminate the colony.
For further information please visit: http://www.csiro.au/resources/Termites.html
Tips on how to make your home energy efficient on a budget - Is your home ‘green'?
When it comes to green re-modelling, the number one concern is also the most practical: energy efficiency. Just a couple small changes can make a world of difference to your family budget.
Everyone loves to save money, no matter if they are a millionaire or someone on a basic wage, and with your home it is easy to do. If you can save money in the operating costs of your home and help the planet as well, then why not give it a go. Whether you are renovating, carrying out a small re-modelling project or building a new home, it will be worth the effort. The main areas where you can make a difference to your energy bill are:
- Insulation - it is relatively easy to install insulation in the roof of most homes and if you are doing a new home building project then you have the opportunity to insulate the walls and under the floor whether it is timber or concrete. The loss of heat from your home during winter or the allowance of heat into your home during summer can easily add 25 % to your energy bill. This will certainly mean you are carrying out a green renovation project. Another way to insulate your home is to install insulated curtains to as many windows as possible. They should wrap around and touch the walls on the side, the floor on the bottom and have sealed pelmets at the top. After the roof insulation window insulation has the biggest impact on saving energy and money.
- Light Fixtures and Fittings - It is becoming mandatory in when you renovate your house or replace light fittings to get energy efficient light fittings. Replacing lights to an energy efficient model will help your home become energy efficient as will adding dimmer switches which also save energy and money. Another great way to save on your power bill is to open up your curtains and blinds and natural light pour in during the day and close them at night to help insulate your home.
- Appliances - There is a large amount of energy cost that goes towards using your home appliances. The best way to save energy here is to shop for new appliances that have high energy star rating. Sometimes the cost of these products may be higher then normal but they are worth the extra money in the long run.
- Solar Panels - Although one of the more expensive options, adding solar panels to the roof of your home can save money and energy. It is still one of the best ways to make your home energy efficient as they use natural resources of the sun to create energy. Solar panels can come in the form of a solar thermal collectors that help the suns energy heat water and then either generate your hot water or even your own electricity. It is a great way to use the suns natural energy and to make your home energy efficient. This is a complex area though and is always changing, so seek unbiased advice before deciding.
- Bathroom Fixtures - The bathroom can easily be designed to significantly reduce your water consumption - Simply by using dual flush toilets and water restricting shower heads you will make a significant difference to your overall energy and home operating costs.
InLine Construction comply with all of Energy Efficiency rules and regulations in new homes and renovations and are qualified to give professional advice.
Contact Us by phone or email:
Phone Sam Alsop: 0402 697 353
Phone Peter Kent: 0410 314 645