Insulation Basics – Double Glazing

Large single glazed windows are one of the biggest reasons for heat loss in a modern house.

It is also a major source of heat coming into the house in summer.

So what can you do?……………here is a comparison between single and double glazing.

Single Glazing
A single glazed window with an aluminium frame has a U value of around 7watts/degree C/m2 (an R value of 0.14 )

So if your house has got 30m2 of windows and its 5 degrees C outside.

You will be losing the following amount of heat through the windows if you keep the house at 20 degree C

30 x (20-5) x 7 = 3,150watts = 3.15kW/hour

For refrigerated cooling from 300C to 200C you will need the following amount of cooling to balance heat gain through windows:

30 x (30-20) x 7 = 2,100watts = 2.1kW/hour

Double Glazing

If you have double glazing with timber or uPVC frames you will reduce the U value to around 3 watts/degree C/m2 (An R value of 0.33 ).

For the same conditions as the above example the heat loss through the windows will be reduced to:

30 x (20-5) x 3 = 1350watts = 1.35kW/hour

For refrigerated cooling from 300C to 200C your heat gain through windows will be reduced to:

30 x (30-20) x 3 = 900watts = 0.9kW/hour

Other ways to reduce heat loss are

  • Reduce window size. As walls are better insulation than windows this can offer significant reductions in heat loss
  • Curtains or Blinds. Will provide similar performance to double glazing. . . but only during the time when they are closed.

Extra Benefits of Double Gazing

Improved Security: Its much more difficult, and noisy, to break in through a double glazed window.

External Noise Reduction The bigger the gap between glass the better the performance.

See Insulation for similar Posts

For Posts about Green Building see Sustainability

 

What Is Pipe Relining

And How Does It Work in Australia?

Guest Post By Asab Shoab

Roots in sewer pipe

Pipe relining is a way to repair damaged pipes from inside without digging a trench.

Its could be when a pipe is cracked and collapsed, or old joints fail and roots start to block the flow.

It’s called pipe relining because the blockage is removed, and the repair makes a new pipe inside the old pipe.

This process does requires preparation and planning.

Pipe relining also takes place when swimming pools, dams and water tanks, near to existinng pipes.

Pipe relining is one of the most used procedures in Australia.

It has helped many homeowners and contractors to avoid the costly process of replacing their entire sewer pipe.

How does it work?  

Relining underway

Pipe relining can help you save a lot of money and save a lot of mess in your property.

There is no need to dig up the old pipes, which might be under a concrete driveway or treasured garden.

Contractors use specialist high pressure water cutting machines to remove any blockages and collapsed pipe.

They then pull through the line of the old pipe a fibre reinforced epoxy resin ‘Sock’

The sock is is then pressurised with hot water to cure the resin, forming a strong circular liner only slightly smaller than the original pipe.

Not a DIY job

If you are getting regular blockages in your sewer or drain line its probably worth thinking about pipe reling

When this occurs it’s time to call in a renowned professional in Australia like Down Under Pipe Relining who knows how to do its job effectively.

They have the specialist machines and liners that are unavailable to members of the public.

It can provide the best solutions to your problem as best as possible.

Planning

Several factors should be considered before resorting to pipe relining.

First, you need to know the approximate cost of the procedure, which varies depending on the size of the pipe, its location, and the surrounding environment.

Then you need to make sure it’s legal in your area and find out if you will still be able to receive compensation should your pipes leak or break down again.

Pros of Using Pipe Relining 

It’s very affordable compared to other alternatives.

It saves you money because you can just reline the damaged section rather than the whole pipe.

It doesn’t require you to dig up your entire yard and replace the whole section of the pipe.

It is approved by building control authorities agencies as there are no known health or environmental issues that come with using it.

It is relatively quick to install with most installations being carried out in a few hours.

Cons of Using Pipe Relining 

It works well with straight pipes with no junctions but if there are lots of junctions the cost can increase significantly.

Electrical Planning – Kitchen

I was walking around a ‘Good Guys’ electrical store last week looking at the kitchen equipment.

In addition to the items we have got there must have been 20 or 30 items we haven’t got.

For example appliances for making: bread, pies, crepes, yoghurt, popcorn, donuts, hot dogs, etc, etc.

Well here are the Appliances you will most likely need power for:

  • Oven and Hob. Even if they are gas you will probably need power to run the ignition system, warning lights and timers. If you go for one of those electrical commercial ranges you may need a heavy duty supply.
  • Range hood. Some people question them but I wouldn’t be without one, with extraction to outside!
  • Microwaves. We have got one but I have heard of people having two, and can understand why.
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Kettle, unless you have one of those boiling water taps
  • Toaster

Beyond these items its up to you what you think you will need.

In our case its:

  • George Foreman Grill
  • Slow Cooker
  • Coffee maker
  • Milk frother
  • Stick mixer

Non cooking items include:

  • Lap top charger (See Mission Control)
  • Phone charger
  • Cordless phone charger

For the worktop items you will need plenty of sockets either just under or just over the benchtops.

For fixed appliances its best to have the power inside the cupboards.

In addition to the power lighting is fairly important. We have the following:

  • Centrally mounted ceiling fitting for general lighting
  • Wall lights either side of the hob
  • LED downlights over the bench

What are your ‘must have items’ that’s not on my list?

For similar posts see Electrical

More Electrical Planning including 24 pages of Check Lists in the‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’

 

3 Reasons To Upgrade Your Sink Mixer

Guest post by Christopher Reid

People probably haven’t given it some attention, but there’s a lot of water being wasted each time they open their traditional taps.

Traditional two tap mixer

Whenever someone turns their taps, they might keep it open a little too long trying to figure out the right mix of hot and cold temperature for the water. . . But if they saved all of this spillage, they might be surprised how much of their money is going down the drain for water they didn’t even consume.

Australians are some of the world’s top consumers of water, as In Sydney alone, people use up quite a volume of water cleaning up and watering gardens.

Not too many of them notice that there’s so much being wasted in their homes with their old, traditional taps.

If you need some help with your kitchen taps or you’re considering a modern sink mixer for your home, you can check out Plumber Sydney and other similar sites.

Here are a few reasons which might help you consider why you should upgrade your taps to a sink mixer:

Mixer Taps Are Easier To Use

What makes modern mixer taps easier to use is you no longer have to turn each tap just to regulate water pressure or heat.

You can do this by turning just one lever.

When you turn it, you’ll be able to find the right amount of water pressure and heat you need.

A traditional mixer tap is essentially just two pillar taps that have been joined together.

The idea behind having two pillar taps sharing one spout is to give the person using the tap independent control over pressure and temperature.

With just a single spout, you can get a consistent mix of pressure and safe temperature of hot and cold water.

The mixer tap is most commonly installed in kitchen sinks. But at times, you can also see it installed in bathtubs.

Bath mixers can also have the added feature of a shower hose, which is called a shower trap.

If you’ve seen bath mixers with shower taps, the button that you can push against the wall or the tub is what’s used to switch from the mixer tap to the shower.

Saves You Money

Mixer taps can help you save money since they’re economical to use.

When you have to turn two spouts just to figure out how to get the right temperature you need, you’re most likely going to waste water while you try to figure that out.

This might not seem a lot each time you use the spouts, but if you sum up all that wasted water in a week or a month, it’s going to add a considerable sum to your water bill.

Instead of having to grope your way with two spouts just trying to figure out whether the water is hot or cold enough, with a mixer tap, you’ll know immediately whether you’re getting it right.

This will help you cut down on waste of water every time you open the taps and linger a bit too long trying to get the right mix of hot and cold.

Stylish Functionality And Designs

Flexi Spray Mixer

Aside from its advantage over other faucet models in terms of helping you save water, modern flexibe spray mixers will also give your kitchen sink that modern look and stylish functionality.

They’re a significant upgrade with the stylish jointing of two pillar taps coming together into one spout. And when it’s used, it’s amazing how hot and cold water stream into one flow.

They are single lever mixer tap with cartridge faucets.

This is different from the mixer tap with two pillars connected at the joint.

With a single lever tap, you can turn the lever to make the water hot or cold, and you can also mix them as you do with the independent tap models.

Even if you tried getting some sleek and modern-looking lever for your traditional tap, what you’re going to come up with will still look much more traditional and older in style and design.

It might even look out of place if you have a modern sink.

You won’t be limited by this when you upgrade to mixer taps. They’d be able to provide that stylish appeal, which would match the designs and styles of modern sinks.

Conclusion

The taps you have in your kitchen sink are probably the most often used but taken for granted part of your household plumbing.

You use it for washing your hands, washing the ingredients for cooking, washing the dishes, and a whole lot more.

Without noticing it, you’re wasting a spillage of water each time you use your traditional taps.

You might want to think about the reasons given here why you should upgrade to a mixer tap for your kitchen sink.

Christopher Reid

Christopher is a construction and home renovation specialist. He also does some contracting jobs for general plumbing, heating and ventilation systems, and renovation works. When not doing projects or writing blogs, he heads to the beach for some surfing and diving.

5 Must-have Items for your Home Garage

Guest Post By Petar Bekarovski

The garage is the favorite part of the home for many people.

Men especially love spending time there because they feel like they are on their own turf.

They know where everything is placed, control the situation, and the equipment stored inside helps them handle their business perfectly.

Men are builders, creators, and they love having an ideal personal workshop filled with all kinds of things.

If you don’t like how your place looks at the moment, then you might need to do some remodeling.

In this article, we’re sharing some tips to help you understand what the essential items to have in your garage are.

Follow up if you want to know what you’re missing and what you need to purchase and install for having a top-notch garage!

1. Linoleum flooring

The type of flooring is critical for many reasons.

When the house is being built, the contractor will often leave the flooring as it is – probably concrete as a final finish.

Concrete’s fine as it is durable, strong, and nearly unbreakable, but it’s not perfect.

Installing linoleum flooring on top of it will make the place truly perfect.

The linoleum looks stunning and can be decorated depending on your wishes.

On top, it is easily cleaned even if you spill oil on it.

It will give the interior a much better look and is much simpler for maintenance than concrete.

2. Professional toolbox

A garage without tools is like the ocean without fish. . . It simply makes no sense.

Everyone must have a professional toolbox in the garage.

There are many types of toolboxes, and you should choose one that’s durable, elegant, and has enough space for your most valuable tools.

Look for those made of stainless steel, aluminum, and other durable materials.

If you plan to move it from one place to another frequently, get an aluminum one, as they are more lightweight, like this caravan toolbox by OZY that is made remarkably.

If you’re not planning to move the toolbox, you can choose a more robust option, like a steel one.

These are much heavier, and once you place them in the garage, there’s no more moving around.

Have that in mind before purchasing anything.

3. Tools for every possible occasion

Once you get the perfect toolbox, it’s time to fill it up with the best possible tools.

Imagine wanting to work on your car, but you don’t have the appropriate tools.

Having an oversized garage and still need to go to the mechanics is devastating, especially if you know how to fix the car on your own.

That’s why you must go to the store and get everything you need that you don’t have in your garage.

Make sure you get all the necessary tools, but also those you love working with.

Also they are of the appropriate size so you can store them inside the toolbox.

Getting yard equipment won’t fit inside, and you’ll have to find another place for them.

4. Hooks, shelves, and brackets

As we just mentioned, you’ll have to get some trimmers, loan mowers, and various other tools used in and around the house.

They need to be placed somewhere – you can’t just toss them on the side by the wall.

A good-looking garage is neatly arranged and maintained.

A set of wall hooks, brackets, and shelves will do the job. Install as many as you can, and be sure that you’ll never have enough of them.

You can hang all kinds of items on them, and the shelves will be there to store things you’re not using frequently.

You can even set a small corner with family pictures and decorations to make a more pleasant atmosphere.

5. Perfect lighting system

Most of the tasks men do in the home are done in the garage.

That’s why the perfect lighting is essential.

You won’t always work in the daylight, so you must install the proper lighting over your head and have a few portable lights for situations when you’ll need to look under the car.

Make sure the lights are bright enough, adjustable, and won’t cause a headache.

Choose light bulbs and a type of light that are going to fit your needs perfectly.

Conclusion

These are some of the most valuable items you must have in your garage, especially if you love spending time there.

Tools for every occasion, proper storing for all things around the garage, and excellent lighting and flooring.

As you can see, we covered all sides of the garage, the walls, the floor, and the ceiling.

With these installations, your garage is going to look like a scene from a movie.

We all want the best for ourselves, and you surely deserve to feel good while spending time in the garage fixing or creating something for yourself and the family.

7 Things To Think About Standing On A Block

So you have visited the Developers Office and been shown a site plan with some blocks for sale that are the Size, and Orientation, you want.

The next thing is to get a copy of the Title Plan and go and look at the blocks you think may be OK.

Here are some things to think about.

  • Find the Boundary Pegs Normally the actual boundary peg will be driven in so the top is at ground level, there is normally a tall peg next to it to help locate it. Once you have found the pegs you know the piece of land you are thinking about buying.
  • Manholes Sewers and Drains A lot of blocks have Easements for sewers and drains which will restrict how much of the site you can build on. (The Title Plan will show the Easements) If you can see a manhole you will also need to think about how this might limit what you can do in the garden.
  • Site Slope As little as a 1m slope from front to back can add $3-4,000 to your site cost. A 1m slope from one side to the other can add even more. The steeper the slopes the more the builder will charge for site costs.
  • Below or Above the Road Where there is a sloping development site some blocks will be above the road and others below. Sites above the road are less likely to flood and can be more private than ones below the road.
  • Effect of Building on Neighbouring Blocks. Shading and blocking views are common problems that can affect your proposed house and garden. If you are keen on building a solar pasive house you can minimise the effect if the block you choose is higher than the one to the north. Obviously if the surrounding blocks are already developed its easier to consider the effects.
  • Road Crossover Many blocks now come with a driveway crossover if this doesn’t suit your design it will cost quite a bit to get it changed.
  • Look Up One thing I didn’t notice on my first visit to my current block was the overhead power cables just outside the block. They aren’t big pylons or anything and the poles are some distance away so its just a single cable. It does however restrict the size of tree we can have in our garden.

 

You will be very lucky if you get a perfect block so you are probably going to compromise on some of the above points. Good Luck!

 

Also see Choosing Blocks

 

How To Incorporate Solar Power Into Your Home: 6 Pro Tips From Solar Electricians

Guest Post by Travis Sanchez

With the steep rise in electricity prices never seeming to come to an end, it’s time to look into other energy sources, one of which is solar power.

The sun shines in unlimited quantities onto the earth’s surface every day.

If you can take advantage of this under-tapped natural resource, you’re set to see huge savings on your energy bills.

Suppose you stay in a popular and populous city like Albany in Western Australia. In that case, you’d want to look for the best electricians in Albany who’ve done hundreds or thousands of solar installations in the area.

Skilled electricians can significantly help provide you with advice on incorporating solar power into your home.

Interested to know more?

Here are some pro tips from solar electricians that you may want to follow if you want your solar power venture to be a success:

Get As Many Solar Panels As Possible

One of the most commonly-asked questions regarding solar power is how many solar panels will a household need to create an efficient energy source.

This is one of the questions that can be professionally answered by electricians in Albany WA.

Of course, it also pays if you have a working knowledge about the concept and how many you need for your home.

If you ask any solar electrician, they’ll undoubtedly say the same thing: you can have as many solar panels on your roof as possible.

It’s even recommended if your goal is to reduce power costs since the number of panels can greatly determine how fast the payback period will be.

If you really want to understand how to maximise your solar power investment, be sure to talk to your installer.

Don’t Just Focus On North-Facing Panels

You may have heard that north-facing panels are likely to generate the most electricity overall.

While this is correct, such panels are give most benefit if you and your family are mostly home during the day.

If you are, north panels will work best for you since you’ll be there to use power as generated by your solar system.

Likewise, it’ll be easier to shift demand using different devices and appliances any time of the day.

However, suppose you’re like other homeowners who work during the day and won’t be home until late afternoon to evening. In that case,

it’s recommended to look into different solar panel directions. East-facing solar modules, for instance, generate more electricity earlier in the morning, and west facing later in the day and evening.

You can also consider having an east/west split orientation as this is suitable for homeowners who won’t be in the house during the day.

Run Your Hot Water Pump During The Afternoon

Another culprit of rising home energy bills is heating water.

In chilly temperatures, it’s normal to want to use warm water for virtually every household chore.

A solar power system would suffice to heat water for all your household needs.

One of the best and economical ways to heat water at home is to run a heat pump during the afternoon.

Doing so also means that you’re using solar power instead of simply importing it.

As such, you’ll save money compared to using gas.

Do The Same When Heating Your Swimming Pool Or Spa

Thermal Solar Panels Installed on the Roof of a Large House.

A heat pump can also be used to heat your swimming pool or spa

Just like how you would in your household water needs, it’s best to run the heat pump during the afternoon to save more on power and gas.

Additionally, it’s also a great way to make sure your warm pool or spa will be ready for you to enjoy when you get home. There’s nothing more relaxing than spending time in the warm water to ease the stress away.

Another way is to cover the entire pool with a solar blanket. Leaving the cover intact for about 12 hours increases the water temperature by about 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

For best results, try the transparent ones that effortlessly allow solar radiation into the pool.

Alternatively, you can use solar rings in the pool, which takes the form of 59-inch-wide inflatable disks.

You only have to place as many of them in your pool to cover about 80%. They work the same way as solar blankets.

Use Solar Power To Store Energy In Batteries

With the significant drop in solar battery prices these days, it’s only logical to assume that storing solar energy is also cost-effective in more ways than one.

Suppose your system produces a surplus of electrical power.

Having a battery bank lets you store the excess energy rather than sending it back into the grid.

Just imagine how advantageous it’ll be to have power stored for emergency use.

It’s a great way to maximise the benefits of your solar power system.

Make Use Of Timers In Your Appliances

Thanks to the advancement of technology, many modern appliances now come with built-in timers that allow you to run them during peak solar times.

You can opt to set the timers so not all appliances will be working or running at the same time.

It’s also a relief knowing that when you’re not home, you can choose which devices will continue to run as needed and set them off when it’s time to do so.

For example, you can time the washing machine in the morning around 10 to 11 a.m.

When it’s done, you can set the timer for the dishwasher or other appliances, depending on your preference.

In Conclusion

When it comes to improving your home, going solar could be the best decision you’ll ever make.

However, if you want to maximise its benefits and make the most out of your investment, you can consider the above-mentioned pro tips from solar electricians.

That way, you can incorporate solar power into your home more efficiently, productively, and cost-effectively, too.

 

Travis Sanchez
Travis Sanchez is an electrical specialist. He has been in the industry for more than nine years. He shares his skills and expertise through guest blogging. During his free time, Travis enjoys fishing, hiking, and boating.

Electrical Planning – Garage

In my current garage I had three double power points installed. . . . which I thought was plenty.

With the amount of power needs on my workbench, including battery chargers I had to fix this power board to the wall.

What We Had Installed

I asked for double outlets at:

  • The corner close to where my beer fridge is, about 1m from the floor level.
  • Behind the shelves where my power tools are stored about 1m from the floor as a recharging station.
  • A low mounted point on the wall where my workbench is located.

What I Would Do Differently

  • Rather than the low point located behind the workbench I would have put two double points, one at either end of the workbench. They would be set above the height of the bench, say about 1200 from the floor.
  • Have task lighting above the workbench.
  • A single point on the ceiling, which would have made wiring the garage door opener in a lot easier. (We had that installed a couple of years after the build.)
  • An extra double 1m from the floor on the opposite side of the garage to the workbench near the main door. To run the pressure washer when cleaning the car on the drive. It’s also where I store my compressor.

Other Thoughts

  1. Some people might suggest having a 15 Amp point installed so that I could run a heavy-duty welder.
  2. I have seen some garages where people have a complete kitchen in the garage for things like making big batches of tomato sauce. If you had thought of this perhaps you should be looking at the kitchen post
  3. Why not run a television aerial to the garage so you can keep an eye on the cricket when working on a project.
  4. Have a hallway light switch in the garage so that as you go through the connecting door you can switch the hall light on.

 

For similar posts see Electrical

More Electrical Planning including 24 pages of Check Lists in the

‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’

 

 Seven Important Tips for a House Extension in Australia

Guest Post by Asad Shoaib

If you feel you need more space in your home while living in Australia, it is the right time to start planning for a house extension.

It is one of the best home improvement projects that you can think of.

Since every home is different than others, you should know all the important aspects like construction, design, architecture, and a lot more to be able to extend your home successfully.

It is also suggested to have background knowledge through research before starting such an important task, otherwise, you might have to face a lot of hurdles in the process.

Here are seven important tips mentioned to help you with a house extension in Australia.

Approval

First of all, you should get all the approvals depending upon the size of the space you want to add to your home.

The requirements and policies of local authorities of every area would also be different, so you should visit the office to get all the relevant details beforehand.

Local councils can also provide you with a lot of designs and ideas for your home extension.

Once you get all the approvals on time, you won’t have to face any unwanted delay in the process.

Budget

Your budget plan will decide whether you can turn your dreams into reality or not.

If you don’t have a proper budget plan, you might end up overspending and further facing a financial crisis.

On the other hand, if you take your budget limitations into account, you can spend your money more efficiently.

This way, you will be able to stay on track without falling for any unnecessary temptations.

Moreover, you should keep the consultant’s fees, designer cost, and other charges of professional services in mind to have a clear idea about the real cost of house extensions,

Purpose

You should identify the purpose of having a house extension as well to know about the areas that need your focus and attention.

For instance, if you are a young couple living in a home, you might need an extra room for your kids in the future.

Similarly, if you are living with your family and any one of them is planning to have kids or other guests shortly, you should better start preparing for a house extension.

When you have a clear purpose in your mind, it will also help your hired designer in turning your dream into reality.

Materials

The materials you are going to use in your house extension project should be durable.

It is better if you invest some time in the research of different materials to know about their pros and cons in detail.

That will help you shortlist the best quality materials to choose one among them.

You should also consider the credibility or authenticity of the manufacturer and supplier while making the final decision.

If you don’t do your homework before starting the project, you might end up choosing low-quality material. . . As a result, you will have to face a significant loss of both your time and money.

Professional Service

Before you choose any professional service like designer or consultant, you should better read the reviews and suggestions of their past customers.

Any authentic professional would have a professional website that will consist of all his past projects and remarks from the clients.

It will help you have a clear idea of whether you are making the right decision or not.

To be on the safe side, you can also take references from your friends, relatives, or family members who have done the house extension projects before you successfully with the help of a good professional expert.

Neighbors

If you live in Australia, you must consider the consent of your neighbor before starting the house extension.

The work you are planning to start might affect the boundary that you share with your neighbor.

Moreover, your neighbors might get disturbed by the constant noise that is a part of any home improvement project.

If you don’t talk to your neighbors clearly, they might become a huge hurdle later during your project.

On the other hand, if you have a simple or direct chat with them before starting the house extension task, it is highly likely that they are not going to have any objections or limitations.

Even if they have any concerns or reservations, you can address them on time to make them understand your situation.

You can also give them multiple proposals until they agree to make peace with you.

Light

What you put in the extra space would affect your house extension project.

If you want to achieve an optimal living environment for your family or spouse, you should use the right light.

However, if you have hired an architect, you should ask him to provide you with multiple options or ideas for perfect light fixtures.

He might know a lot of ways to let more light come inside your home.

You should also allow your designer to be creative while adding light to your home through glass, windows, and other stunning features.