Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Fittings to Suit Your Style

Guest Post by Richard.Kayode

The kitchen is undoubtedly one of the most important places in the home, and that’s the reason we need to design the accessories in it for every aspect of our daily lives.

The ideal kitchen design has to do with the process of combining surfaces, appliances, design detail, and layout to create an enjoyable and easy-to-use space.

Since kitchen fittings were introduced, it’s revolutionized the market, thereby making homeowners realize that comfort and functionality can be infused into the same design.

The thing is that there is a vast array of products that fit into the category, so it can be quite daunting to choose the perfect fittings.

We have revealed some ideas that can assist you in making the perfect decision after you are done planning the space.

 

When selecting kitchen fittings, it would be best if you started with the sink as that’s a necessary step in allowing you to design your kitchen around it, thereby creating a functional space to use for several kitchen tasks and using the right colors, elements, and finishes for your kitchen.

Kitchen Sink

When you want to select your kitchen sink, you need to consider quality because you’d not like to replace it every couple of years.

It is the most purposeful thing you’ll buy when it comes to kitchen equipment, so your best bet is to choose well.

We’ve got some things you need to consider when selecting your sink, and it starts with your budget.

Always remember your budget and think about how you’d like to use your kitchen space.

If your kitchen space is limited, then you should choose a single basin sink so it’ll enhance style and functionality without the room being overwhelmed. . .but if you have enough kitchen space, it would be best if you opt for a double sink as it provides more flexibility, including a neater look.

One important aspect of your kitchen design is ergonomics, so select the ideal mounting options – a top-mount or under-mount sink, make sure the height is right, and make sure that there’s enough space to move comfortably around the kitchen.

If you want a modern and sleek kitchen appearance, then you should choose an under-mount kitchen sink.

For more storage options, then you can choose the top-mount sink.

Besides storage space and good design, when you choose well functional and quality products for your kitchen’s operational side, they can make you have an exciting and joyful time there.

You can also decide to add sink accessories that’ll make it easier and more functional to use.

You can get accessories that offer both safety and comfort, from soap dispensers, baskets, and drainer trays to colanders, chopping boards, and more.

Lighting

Selecting the amount and type of your kitchen’s lighting fixtures is a popular and important task recently, as homeowners are now aware of the necessity of proper lighting in the kitchen.

Ambient lighting is from the ceiling or main wall lights with central control.

The purpose of accent lighting is more specialized and will add highlights and detail to the kitchen, while task lighting is specific to a particular activity or area so that you can get ideal lighting while washing the dishes, eating, or cooking.

Hardware

The aesthetics of your kitchen is important, and every element needs to align with your style – from cabinet drawers and doors to kitchen taps.

Hardware is highly impactful on the feel and looks of your kitchen, and you can select from several different finishes, styles, and shapes till you see the one that suits the space of your kitchen.

Tapware

Maybe you have never thought about this, but a cool kitchen tap is something that can make your kitchen space design better.

You can select from a range of finishes and designs, and that can sometimes be quite overwhelming.

If your kitchen is a modern one, then you can select minimalist tapware that has clean and sharp lines and excellent shine finishes.

If your kitchen is country-style or traditional, you can choose a tap with decorative details and curves to complement the look.

Choosing the ideal finish will require you to stay true to your kitchen space’s overall décor, so search according to its theme.

Polished chrome and stainless steel are excellent choices for modern kitchens, while country-style and traditional options can go for copper and brass.

So the entire space can come together, make your tapware finishes align with that of your kitchen appliances and door hardware to create a cohesive look and elevate your interior design.

No matter the type of kitchen fitting you decide to go for, the most important thing is that it fits your style and also the overall theme of your home.

Feng Shui

When people see Lion Dogs outside my house they sometimes say “Surely you don’t believe in Feng Shui” to which my initial answer is “ Not really, but I’m told it works whether you believe it or not.

The real answer is a bit more complicated

A lot of the principles of Feng Shui make good sense in making a house more liveable and welcoming.

Things like:

  • Not having a mirror directly opposite a door.
  • Avoiding long straight passages, or at least breaking them up.
  • Don’t put the bed head in front of, or below, a window/
  • Controlling the amount of clutter.

The reason why Feng Shui has lasted is that these sort of principles work.

They may be passed on in a spiritual language but the principles, like the ten commandments from the Judea/Christian religions, do make sense in a civilised world.

A word of warning is that Feng Shui was developed in the Northern Hemisphere for the conditions that apply there.

When you live in the southern hemisphere some of the directions are reversed and you need some ‘Aussie’ Feng Shui such as:

  • During the day the sun is in the north so open that side of your house to the ‘Phoenix’.
  • The South side needs to be protected from the cold weather by the ‘Turtles Shell’.
  • The sun still rises with the ‘Dragon’ in the East, and Sets in the West with the house protected by the ‘Tiger’ so these two aspects stay the same as the Chinese texts.

And as for the Lion Dogs, well they are a bit of fun and a good conversation point.

What Feng Shui principles work for you?

 

See Design for more posts.

 

3 Tips For A Successful Concrete Driveway Installation On Your Property

Guest Post by Anello Darsen

If you’re planning to upgrade your driveway or you looking for an option to improve your house’s curb appeal, you might want to invest in installing a concrete driveway to your home.

Aside from that, it’s low maintenance because it’s durable enough to stand any vehicle in your garage.

You also have an option to customize it by employing different designs as long as you consider the size, shape, and surface material.

Moreover, a concrete driveway is considered a big investment.

You can always attempt to do the job of installing it on your own, but it’s not usually a good idea.

Since the project is large-scale and often ridden with errors, you should leave the process to the professionals.

In line with that, read below for other tips to have a successful concrete driveway installed on your property.

Estimate Budget

Hiring the right professionals that can install your new concrete driveway first needs to have a plan from you which specifies your needs and preferences.

You have to know two things which are the total square meterage of your concrete driveway and what you expect it to appear after the job.

To know more about concrete driveways’ estimated costs, Concrete Driveways Adelaide and other companies can provide you with more information.

The cost of a concrete driveway is determined via careful calculation rather than the price per square metre.

Asking the latter could get you overcharged most of the time.

Once you receive the estimated price for your new concrete driveway, make sure to review the contract and make sure you get a reasonable price.

Get to three bids before concluding your final decision.

You must note that the price should not be solely dependent on a single deciding factor.

You must consider the quality of the work, experience, and reputation before making a final decision.

Obtain Permit

A residential driveway provides car access for a single-detached house.

Before you plan to build a concrete driveway to your house, you should check your local council to see if you need to get a permit.

This depends on where you live. In Australia, there are two types of applications for residential driveways, these are self-assessment and full assessment.

The difference between the two are:

  • Self-assessment: This enables you to assess your compliance against your city council’s requirements. This should be accurate and causes no negative impacts on the environment. For more information, check your council’s ordinances.
  • Full assessment: This provides you added assistance in designing a driveway that complies with your Council’s standards. To apply, you must submit a site plan with the area of the proposed driveway and complete an online application on Council property. Your property will be inspected within 20 working days by a Council officer to complete the assessment. Be prepared for other approvals if there’s a detected impediment in the path of your proposed driveway.

As for driveways not associated with a single-detached house, you should maintain your concrete driveways are safe and comply with your local city council requirements.

This includes the curb and channel.

Plan Size, Shape, and Route

You might encounter a dilemma of how you’ll manage to install a concrete driveway due to the constrained topography of your property.

It could be difficult to pinpoint the desirable spot for the slope of your driveway.

It should neither be too flat nor too steep.

If it’s too flat, drainage will become a problem.

On the other hand, if it’s too steep, the surface will become slippery and dangerous.

Another general rule is that your concrete driveway should be around three meters wide.

If you have a huge space, you can provide a larger area at the top for additional parking when needed.

As for the shape, your decision is partly based on its aesthetic value and its functionality, such paths to consider includes:

  • Curved: It adds more impression and depth rather than a straight driveway.
  • Straight: You can opt for this if you have limited space or a very short distance from the street to your garage.
  • Circular: You should consider this if you live on a busy street because it provides the option of not having to back out.

Takeaways

Deciding to build a concrete driveway for your home is a big investment.

Whether you’re planning to improve your house’s curb appeal or upgrading your old and tattered driveway, you should always plan.

Concrete driveways are durable enough so it needs little to no maintenance. You can also customize it depending on your preferences.

You can opt for building your concrete driveway or hiring a contractor for the job.

Although, it’s usually recommended to hire a contractor because it’ll save you the hassle and avoid errors that will soon cost you money.

 

Anello Darsen Anello Darsen is a real estate supervisor. He’s been in the industry for 10 years. He shares his skills by training aspiring real estate agents. He also writes blog posts and guest posts. Anello enjoys hiking and camping during his free time.

Costs for Variations Compared with Retail Price

One area of annoyance for home buyers is when they want to vary something and the variation price is much more than the difference between retail prices.

For Example

An example is the builders standard oven may be $700 at your local discount store while the oven you want is $1100.

When you ask for a variation you may be quoted an extra $700 or more.

Even if you buy the oven and supply it to the builder he may only offer a cost reduction of $400 rather than the $700 you expected!

Why?

What’s the reason for the extra $300 over the retail price difference? . . . . . . .Well its not always the builder ripping you off.

A big builder is possibly buying over 100, or more of the same type of oven so he may be able to buy them direct from the manufacturer for less than $500.

When it comes to buying the different oven the builder is only buying one so he might be unable to get much if any discount.

The difference in price to the builder is thus around $600. Even if you buy the oven the builder only saves $500.

They may also have extra costs due to

  • Organising and administration of a single purchase,
  • Installation costs because the different oven may not build into the kitchen cupboards as easily as the builders standard oven.

I hope this helps you understand that some ‘additional’ costs can sometimes be justified.

6 Must-Include Items In Your Preventative Home Maintenance Checklist

Guest Post by Olivia Madison

To ensure everything in your home is in good condition and functional, you’ll need to implement preventive home maintenance.

While you can’t go all out with buying everything a hardware and home depot store has to offer, there are basic tools or equipment that are already helpful enough to get you through effective home maintenance.

Home maintenance is about practising and doing simple chores and tasks daily or periodically to avoid some of the most common household problems.

Thus, repair or cleaning tools are worth having to get the job done right.

This article identifies some of the most common tools and equipment you’ll need to keep your home well maintained.

Hammer

One of the essential tools in a preventative home maintenance checklist is a hammer.

Each type of hammer also has a different purpose.

Regardless of its type, you can do so much with it, such as for general carpentry.

For instance, you can use a hammer if you need to fix damage to your furniture, fix a protruding nail in your house, or ensure that the decorative items on your wall are hung properly.

In addition, hammers are useful in maintaining your roof.

If the damage is not that major to call for a roofing re-do, you can use a hammer to remove or fix damaged shingles.

All that’s left to do is to get the required materials from a store that offers Sydney roofing supplies to fix your roof.

Ladder

A ladder is a beneficial tool when cleaning and checking damage in your house.

With a ladder, you can reach higher areas in your home when doing the inspection and home maintenance.

For instance, a ladder is helpful when you’re cleaning your windows, repainting your walls, getting rid of cobwebs, and accessing your roof’s gutter to remove leaves and dirt.

Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner is another item that’s very important to have in your preventative home maintenance checklist.

Every day, you may want to vacuum the high traffic areas of your home, like your kitchen and dining area, to get rid of crumbs and food droppings after every meal.

Doing so will prevent dirt build-up on your floor or carpet, allowing you to avoid ants in your house.

For the rest of the house, a vacuum cleaner is also essential, as you need to vacuum your bedrooms and living rooms at least once a week to keep them clean and ensure that your rugs and carpets are in good condition.

Hence, go for a vacuum cleaner with multiple attachments.

You can easily change the attachment according to the dusting chore you need to do for the day.

When you vacuum your home, you’re keeping it clean and free from dust or dirt.

This way, you can also keep your family healthy, as you can avoid allergies due to dust.

A Good Sponge

Sponges are very versatile and essential when maintaining your home.

You can use it to clean the interior of your home, exterior, and even small and delicate areas.

For instance, in the bathrooms, if your tiles are too delicate for a brush, using a sponge is a good alternative. Giving it that good clean can avoid the build-up of moulds and mildew, which can be damaging to your home and health.

With a tool as small and straightforward as a sponge, you can do so much in your effort for preventive home maintenance.

Wrench

A wrench is also an essential tool in your home maintenance checklist.

A wrench can be used to tighten bolts and nuts.

This item is also useful to ensure your plumbing system is functional and in good condition, as you can use a wrench to dismantle taps and unscrew or tighten your pipes and pipe fittings.

As there are different types of wrenches, get the one that fits your home maintenance needs.

Pliers

As a multipurpose tool, pliers are essential to have in your home maintenance checklist, especially when doing electrical or electronic work.

In general, you can use pliers to cut, strip, or bend wires, hold objects, as well as bend and twist thin metals.

By having pliers at home, you can easily do your basic maintenance tasks.

Conclusion

Having the right tools is crucial to keeping your home well maintained.

The list above are only the basic tools, but they’re already great to have in your preventive home maintenance checklist.

By having the right equipment, you can easily do the tasks that are required to avoid any damage to your house.

This way, you can finally be on top of keeping your home well-maintained.

 

Author Bio: Olivia Madison is the founder of a home repair service company. She’s been working in the industry for five years now. When she’s not helping her clients with home repairs, she enjoys writing on her home maintenance blog. She’s also passionate about helping her clients with proactive measures, going beyond fixing their homes.

Plumbing – Kitchen and Laundry

Make sure you have thought about all the following plumbing fittings:

Kitchen

There are a wide range of sinks the choice is a lot wider than one basin or two so you need to spend some time looking at various options.

Similarly there a wide range of mixers.

Boiled /Chilled Water Service used to be an office fitting but they are becoming more common in homes. (I think they can waste a fair bit of energy and are a scalding safety riskn so I can’t recomend them myself).

Dishwasher are normally installed as cold fill but there are some hot and cold fill machines around or you can just use the hot water.

If you like refrigerators with a chilled water you will need a water supply to the refridgerator location..

Butlers Pantry

In many larger houses a Butlers Pantry is included rather than a simple larder.

This is somewhere where the messy part of food preparation can be done when you are entertaining.

Depending on how much room you have these can be almost second kitchens so they may need a similar range of plumbing fittings

Laundry

Do you really want a laundry trough?…….. why not have a standard sink basin?

If you go for a trough why not think about a smaller size.

Whatever your choice you will need either a mixer or taps.

Washing machine – although you may only have a cold fill machine its always worth getting a hot water service installed.

People that do a lot of gardening like a toilet with wash basin off the laundry to avoid them going through the house with dirty boots.

Roof Water / Recycled Water

With roof water tanks and recycled water becoming more common in suburban properties you need to think about where you will use this supply, which has to be kept separate from the mains supply.

Will it be toilets only? or are you going to use it for the laundry?

Its simpler if you live on a rural block because it will be all roof water!…………. If so I would seriously think about a domestic water filter, although I wouldn’t bother for a suburban house with mains water.

Addititionally

My son is a concretor and I work for a drainage company so my wife prefers to wash our overalls in an old washing machine on the back veranda and keep the newer washing machine for her clothes and our non work outfits.

 

For similar posts see Plumbing

More plumbing information and 24 pages of Check Lists

in the ‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’

 

A Step-By-Step Guide To Building A Pool In Your Backyard 

Guest Post by John Davidson

Building a pool in your backyard could be challenging if you don’t have the necessary knowledge, skills, tools, and equipment to construct one.

These are essential factors to ensure that its structural integrity can weather the tests of time, erosion, and other issues.

For that purpose, you may need to hire a reliable and experienced contractor.

In addition, knowing the basics of pool construction is necessary so you could observe whether or not the standards and quality of your pool construction are met.

For that purpose, here’s an article to guide you. So, read on!

1. Talk To A Swimming Pool Inspector

Before digging a hole for your pool, you may need to secure some papers to ensure that your project follows legal standards.

You need to comply with building construction requirements from your local government and the homeowner’s association you belong to.

If you’re in Victoria and its nearby areas, you may need the help of a certified swimming pool inspector like Pool Compliance Victoria and others.

They will explain to you the Australian general swimming pool construction standards including but not limited to:

      • a minimum of 1.2-metre-high fence around the pool
      • no trees and other structures near the pool
      • a self-closing gate shall be present
      • child-proof safety railings and barriers should be present

2. Choose A Space 

Although your contractor will do the work, you may need to monitor the construction regularly.

It is also your decision which area you want your pool to be constructed.

Choosing one should depend on the available space and the amount of sunlight that the area receives.

If the space is limited, you may opt to have plunge-type pools because they maximize the backyard deeper than the average pool type.

On the other hand, regular and large pools are possible if you have a vast area.

Pools in well-lit areas typically have the right temperature and are ideal for swimmers who want to dry up.

In addition, you could see the quality of water in these spaces, so you could clean immediately if necessary.

3. Design And Dig 

After identifying the area, you could start suggesting the pool design.

If the pool contractor has templates to choose from, you may select among them.

Depending on your budget, you may choose low-cost pools or more extensive types.

Also, consider the shape and slope of your space for aesthetic purposes.

You may also pick the dimensions.

Will you follow the standard sizes, such as 3 m by 6.1 m and 4.6 m by 9.1 m? . . . or will you experiment with new designs?

In doing so, keep in mind that the more complex your pool design is, the higher its cost will be.

After picking the design and finalizing the layout, the workers may start digging.

4. Constructing The Foundation 

If you’re planning for a concrete pool, ensure that the contractor has evened out the ground.

You may decide whether to have a flat or sloping bottom.

Either way, make sure that they provide steel support to the walls and floors.

Then, monitor the pouring of the concrete.

5. Install The Plumbing Fixtures 

If you want a small pool, you could install the necessary plumbing fixtures yourself.

In many cases, you’ll work on pool filtration and water circulation, so you need to install pumps, drains, skimmers, and valves.

However, larger pools may need a qualified plumber as the pipe connections may be too complex to handle.

6. Pour Concrete On The Walls And Floors 

You could rent a cement mixer to make the process easier for this step. In addition, you need to ensure that every space is filled in and every part of the concrete is consistently mixed.

Once finished, wait for a couple of days for the concrete to cure.

7. Fill The Pool With Water 

After drying up, you could rent a water truck or connect your pool to a water source on your property.

When doing this, you should check for leaks so you can patch them early and avoid further trouble.

8. Treat Your Pool 

You may also treat your water before you use your pool.

This could be a way to get rid of bacteria.

You can buy a water testing kit to know the pH level of the water in the pool.

Then, aim for a 7.4-7.6 pH range.

You may contact a water treatment company for better results, especially for bigger pools.

Wrapping Up 

Having a pool in your backyard adds beauty and value to your property.

In addition, this may be an excellent way to cool off during hot seasons.

If you plan to build one, you may start consulting a pool inspector and a pool contractor.

That way, you’re assured that the construction will be safe for decent structural integrity. T

hen, you may consider choosing among the various designs and types to make the most of your pool and backyard space.

 

John Davidson is a construction consultant. He shares his knowledge about building construction through webinars and blog postings. John enjoys his free time playing musical instruments and basketball.

 

Block or House First?

Should you choose the block, or decide on a house design first?

Cheaper Land

Well my preference has been to build on suburban blocks so we are close to shops, cafes, recreational facilities and public transport.

Blocks in these areas are relatively small so I’ve started by either sketching up the house I would like to build, or selecting a plan.

I then look for a block with good orientation that the house would fit on.

It means that I don’t even go and look at blocks that won’t fit my ideal house.

This has stopped me getting frustrated and have to start looking at a different house to fit an odd shaped block that I’ve set my heart on.

Expensive Land

With blocks getting smaller, and more expensive your approach may have to be varied.

Currently the price of the land close to cities is usually more expensive than building costs. This even applies to suburbs 40km or more from the CBD.

In can makes sense to divide your budget by two and see what size block you can get in an area you want to live in.

You are then able to look for designs that fit that size of block.

If you can’t find a block big enough for a single storey house of a size you want at an affordable price you may have to start looking for designs for a smaller house or a 2 storey house.

Rural Blocks

Of course if you want a rural or semi rural block rather than a suburban block the overall size of the block means that you can fit most houses on the block without any problem.

It therefore makes sense if you are in this market to look for blocks early.

You can then look to choose a house that makes the best use of the site.

These larger blocks do give you more choice with the house design because the additional space means that you can move away from the typical rectangular houses to square houses, courtyard layouts, or even round houses.

With these big blocks I have heard it said that you should move a caravan onto the site for a few nights or even camp there before you decide where on the block you will site the house.

That seems like a great idea to me!

For similar posts about buying Land see Blocks

 

6 Home Modification Tips for Ageing in Place

Guest Post by Sarah Bellamy

Some retirees may decide that ageing in place is the right option for them.

This involves staying in the family home, rather than downsizing or relocating to another area.

There are several reasons why you may wish to stay living in the home you know.

This may include the fact that it’s a familiar space, your social network in the area, or simply that you enjoy having the extra space.

For those looking to free up some cash to live a more comfortable life in retirement, there are financial options available.

One such option is equity release.

Equity release allows you to borrow money against the value of your home, without having to sell up and move.

This is one way to access some extra cash while still living in your home.

Of course, there are a number of things to consider before deciding whether equity release is right for you.

If you decide to stay in the family home, you’ll most likely want to make a few modifications to ensure the space is safe as you age.

Below are 5 home modification tips that you may like to implement in your home.

Remove the bathtub

Walk in shower

Those that have a bathtub and shower combined might like to consider removing the bathtub and replacing the system with a simple walk-in shower.

As we age, bathtubs can become more difficult to step in and out of, and with the combination of water it can become slippery and dangerous.

Not only is a walk-in shower safer, but it can be more comfortable, especially as you get older.

Install handrails

Adding handrails in the bathroom and around the home is a great way to provide extra stability and something to grab onto if you lose your balance.

These are especially important if you have limited mobility.

Handrails can be installed in a number of places, including bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms, so be sure to discuss your needs with a professional.

Increase lighting

One thing that often becomes more difficult as we age is seeing clearly.

This can be especially challenging at night or in darker rooms.

You can combat this by increasing the lighting in your home, which can be done with both indoor and outdoor lighting.

For example, you may like to consider an outdoor motion sensor light so there is no risk of coming home to a dark space after sunset.

You might also like to place lamps in key areas, such as bedrooms and living rooms.

Install a stairlift

If you’re finding it difficult to navigate the stairs, consider installing a stairlift.

A stairlift allows you to simply sit and be transported up the wall.

This will help you get up and down the stairs with ease, without having to worry about losing your balance or making the steps yourself. You’ll likely need to call in anspecialist to help you with the installation.

Replace shaggy carpet

Shaggy carpet can be a tripping hazard as we age.

Replacing the shaggy carpet with a hard surface such as wood or tiles can help to prevent trips and falls.

Not only will this be safer, but it can also be easier to clean and maintain.

If you want to keep carpet in your home, consider installing one that has shorter fibres as this should make it less of a fall hazard.

Widen doors

If you require a wheelchair or mobility scooter to get around, you may like to consider widening the doorways in your house.

This will make it easier for you to access rooms throughout the home while using your mobility device.

There are a few different ways that doors and doorways can be widened, and consulting with a contractor can help you to learn what modifications can be made to your home.

These are just a few home modification tips to help you age in place.

Making these modifications to your home can ensure that you’re able to live in the space safely and comfortably as you age.

Be sure to discuss your needs with a professional so they can provide tailored advice that will work best for you and your family.

Choosing an Area

So here is a map of places withing 50km of where I live now.

As you can see it covers City, Suburbs, Bayside, the Coast and Rural Areas.

Here are a few things you need to think about when deciding to look for an area to live:

  • How far is the area from your work? Will it still be convenient if you change your job?
  • Are there good road links to your work? Lots of traffic lights and railway crossings can add substantially to Journey Times.
  • Is there good public transport links? In some Melbourne suburbs being within easy walking distance of the station can put more than $50,000 on the cost of the house.

How close are the:

  • Shops and Supermarkets?
  • Restaurants and Cafes?
  • Pubs or Clubs? Saves worrying about the breathalyser!>
  • Sporting facilities? Most parents will appreciate this as most Saturdays can be spent running a ‘Taxi” Service.
  • Parks and playgrounds?
  • Doctors?
  • Hospitals?
  • How good are the local schools? Or will you be sending the childeren elsewhere which can brings up a whole extra range of transport problems.
  • Is it close to relatives? Close enough to babysit .but far enough to need to get the car out is my rule!
  • Is it close to the Beach or the Bush

What’s important to you?

 For Similar Posts see Choosing Blocks