Category Archives: Home Makeover & Design

Flooring Materials and Their Health Impacts

A person polishing a wooden floor Keeping your floor clean, upgrading it through floor sanding and finishing services, or completely replacing it can have tremendous benefits for your house and your family’s health.

Here are some of the flooring types and their health impacts.

Ceramic and Other Hard Tiles

Although there are few health issues with this kind of flooring, the sealants used to install these materials may contain volatile organic compounds that can harm your family’s health when inhaled in excessive amounts.

Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) sealants can be a substitute for this material if it becomes a health concern.

Wood and Bamboos

Laminated floors usually employ formaldehyde-based glues. This substance may bring health risks, and excessive amounts may even cause cancer. This is why experts developed a formaldehyde testing and rating system since this chemical are naturally occurring in timber and joinery products.

Choose the material tested for formaldehyde content.

Carpet

Though carpets can generate VOCs and harbour allergens, it can undergo reduction if properly maintained through regular cleaning and steaming. You can consider natural fibre rugs with natural or non-synthetic rubber so that a trade-off might be required.

Vinyl

Vinyl is plasticised PVC with controversial chemical compositions that may disrupt hormone balance and cause cancer. Choose a vinyl that has certifications on the contrary, or that they are healthy if you opt to use this kind of material.

Linoleum

This is popular to have no adverse effects on the health, especially when you use low-VOC sealants to install them on your floors. If this fits your requirements, it is highly advisable that you go for linoleum.

The material of the flooring can have a huge impact on health. Thus, choose the kind that fits your need and the material that you can maintain to keep your family healthy.

Basics First: Understanding Backyard Cottage Kits

Wonderful backyard cottage The construction industry saw the increased popularity of backyard cottage kit homes, mostly due to their energy efficiency and stylish designs. Kit homes also allow homeowners to play a part in the construction process.

Building a backyard cottage kit home requires an architect to first design the house plan off-site, before gathering the necessary materials and building the house at the construction site. Other kit homes, however, do not follow this standard. Some require you to build the home on the site. Here is some other important information if you’re planning to build a kit home.

The Ease and Use of Eco-friendly Options

It is easy to build a kit home, especially when the architect has already laid out the plan and technical details. When deciding which materials to use, consider using eco-friendly options. You can also optimise the thermal efficiency of your kit home by installing solar panels and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

Customisation of Home Size

With a kit home, you can customise it to fit all your needs and preferences by choosing the size and number of the rooms. You can also alter the style of each room if you have a specific design or use in mind.

Construction Costs

It is cheaper to build a kit home than a conventional home. The total construction cost depends on the type of materials and design and labour. Cottage kits usually bring the building cost to only a third of what you will spend on a conventional home, though.

Gather enough information and have the necessary resources for an easy building process when you decide to go for a build-it-yourself kit. If you are not sure you can manage, however, consult an experienced home-builder for a quote and let them shoulder the task for you.

Easy Tips to Make Your Home Unique

Beautiful home designFor most people, owning a home is a dream come true. It is the reason people invest so much in making their home as unique as possible. If you’ve been thinking about adding some personality to your home, there are many ways you can do this without exhausting your savings. Here are some smart tips you can try out.

For railing, use balustrades

The prime reason why people use balustrades in New Zealand is because of their aesthetic value. Balustrades bring beauty to a home that other materials cannot. There are many options to choose from. Go for a stylish design that truly represents your personal tastes and preferences. You can use them on your stairwells, balcony, or around your pool.

Use wood for your floor

There’s a certain beauty and character that a wooden underfoot adds to your floor which you cannot get from synthetic materials. For best results, go for bamboo or natural wood. One of the benefits of a wooden floor is that it brings warmth to your living space. Additionally, a wooden floor doesn’t trap allergens easily.

Add bloom to your exterior

Grow beautiful flowers on boxes and pots and arrange them creatively on your deck, near your front door and in other spaces around your home. Flowers give your home a cheery appearance while adding a sweet fragrance to the air.

Use light to make your garden enchanting

Light has a natural charm that can add character to your home, especially in the evenings and during the night. Go for various elegant light fixtures such as string lights, floodlights, lanterns, and globes, and install them in different parts of your yard to add colour and romance.

Your home is your sanctuary, so take the time to personalise it with unique decorations. You need not do everything at once. Every simple touch will, in the long run, make a significant addition to your home’s character.

Keeping Things Comfortable: Why You Need Insulation

Home InsulationIf you’ve never given it much thought before, perhaps it’s time you took notice of how insulation does more for you than you realise.

What It Does

Insulation keeps the interior of your house at your ideal temperature. Properly installed, insulation can keep both excessive heat and cold out of your home, leaving you feeling comfortable all year round.

It is most common for the walls to be insulated as this is typically where the greatest amount of heat and cold escape. You can also choose to insulate your roof, floor, even the windows and doors.

Not Just for Temperature Control

How do you control indoor temperature? Especially when it’s cold out, heaters are necessary to keep the temperature at a comfortable level. If your home isn’t properly insulated, the heat can escape, and it will take more electricity to continue generating the heat you need.

With insulation, the heat generated is trapped inside, and the cold air is kept out. This means less wear on your air conditioning and heater system and more electricity and energy savings for you.

Types of Insulation Material

Most homes have glass wool insulation from providers such as Premier Insulation BOP installed either in the form of sheets or loose fill. If you are particularly concerned about the environment, it may provide some comfort to you that some glass wool insulation is made of recycled glass. Other types of wool insulation include rock wool and slag wool. This insulation has the added advantage of being incombustible.

Another eco-friendly option is cellulose insulation which is loose and made of recycled paper and other similar materials. It is the most fire resistant insulation. However, people who tend to be allergic to paper dust may find this disagreeable for their health.

Often used around windows and doors, polyurethane foam is light-weight and is applied by spraying it onto the surface that needs insulating. The last option, polystyrene, is flammable and needs fireproof coating, but is equally effective in maintaining temperatures as well as insulating from sound.

To DIY or Leave it to the Pros

It is usually best to leave installing insulation to the experts. Doing so reduces the chance of potentially costly errors, and you can sooner enjoy a more comfortable home.

Learning Important Facts about Lawn Mowing

Man mowing his lawnAmong the major causes of lawn problems is improper mowing. However, you can easily deal with these problems by changing when and how you mow your lawn.

Here are facts that reputable lawn mowing service providers in Minneapolis will readily tell you.

To Mow or not to Mow

Should you mow your lawn often? Regardless of how frequent you mow your lawn, grass will grow by 4 to 24, depending on the kind of grass you have. Inconspicuous flowers may begin to grow, and these flowers produce allergy-inducing pollens. In time, the grass will fall over, making your lawn look neglected.

Even if you do just a little mowing job, your lawn will look much better. Mowing helps grass grow thicker because the tips of grass blades contain hormones that suppress the horizontal growth of the grass. These hormones are removed when you cut the tips.

Mowing Damages the Grass

On the flip side, when you mow, the grass is injured since the cut end leaves an open hole that may allow pathogens to get in. Mowing likewise triggers the plant to exert more energy in growing taller, instead of spending the energy in strengthening the roots. Thus, mown grass has less robust and weaker roots, compared to its unmown counterpart.

Importance of Proper Lawn Mowing

Simply put, the overall health of your lawn is primarily influenced by the way and the frequency you mow. The importance of correctly mowing your lawn cannot be stressed enough. So, how do you do it?

Height – Each grass variety has an ideal mowing height. It must be tall enough to recover from constant mowing and keep healthy roots. It must likewise be short enough not to get too stemmy and prevent a rough look. The grass is typically healthiest when there is a balance between its roots and blades.
Don’t Scalp – The grass is in balance if mowed at the correct height. Scalping will force the plant to stop growing until it recovers fully. Understanding these facts will help you in providing better care for your lawn.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Installing a Metal Fence

Black iron fence in front of a brick house

A steel fence is a classic option that wise homemakers go to if they want the look and feel of wrought iron gates but do not have as much money to pay for such an expensive choice. It generally comes in a classic design made up of posts, railings, and thin pickets, connected together to put up significant privacy and security protection.

The Pros

There are various advantages that steel fences can offer, making it a formidable choice against other available home fencing options. For one, it is durable enough to last you many years. Steel construction does not bend or dent easily. For another, it offers valuable protection against burglary and intrusion. Steel is strong enough to keep anyone who might have intent to get through the gate at bay.

One other advantage of having a steel fence installed is its decorative appearance. A steel fence offers a handsome appeal that can make any home look charming. It is also available in a wide variety of finishes, making it easier to blend into the rest of your home decor. Most homes love the look of black-colored metal fences, although they can be also obtained in gray, brown, green, and white.

The Cons

There are very minimal drawbacks to steel fences. One of them is the maintenance requirement. Any sign of scratch must be addressed accordingly, so it does not create bigger problems in the future. The good news is, a simple touch up with paint can instantly resolve the trouble.

A steel fence makes for a great choice for those who yearn the classic appeal. Once you found a reliable supplier that can deliver quality panels made of outstanding workmanship, which will not dent or rust over time, you will barely have anything else to do but just sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty and security that steel amazingly offers.

Identifying the Best Plumber to Hire

Plumber working on a sinkThere is nothing as devastating as getting home to find that it is flooding due to a leaking pipe or tap. This happens as a result of a faulty or improper pipe installation or plumbing work. Many people would prefer fixing a broken pipe themselves, but it would be better to call a professional.

Here are five things you need to look for when hiring a plumber.

Licensing

It is necessary for a plumber to work with a license. This is acquired after attending a training school and passing the qualifications. To ensure quality work, Walton Plumbing recommends working only with a licensed plumber.

Insurance details

Accidents can happen when you try fixing the problem yourself. The insurance certificate serves as your protection in case a mishap occurs while your plumber is doing the work.

Experience

Check the plumber’s experience in the industry. You need to see proof of experience or existence if you are working with a plumbing company. Dealing with someone who has been in the market for a long time is a smart choice. Experience shows that the plumber knows what he is doing. Look for a plumbing company that has been doing business for many years.

Warranty details

Make sure all the materials used by the plumber have a warranty. This is will be important in case something goes wrong before the warranty expires. The labour done should have a warranty as well. This will show you how reliable the plumber or plumbing contractor is.

There are many individuals and companies offering plumbing services in New Zealand. Your goal is to find a service provider that you can trust. Use this guide to make sure you are dealing with a professional who knows how to fix your plumbing problems the right way.

How To Increase the Value Of Your Home

Beautiful HouseIn good economic conditions, the value of homes appreciate. However, this appreciation is slow and cannot benefit those willing to sell in the short term. Here are five sure ways of increasing the resale value of your home instantly.

1. Air conditioning

An air conditioning system can boost your home’s value especially in warm climates where air conditioning is expected. However, old fashioned air cons will not cut it; many home buyers are concerned about domestic utilities such as power bills.

A new system is likely to be more energy efficient than older models installed years ago, and Conduct Air Conditioning says buyers find them more favourable. Consult a trusted provider of air conditioning service in your area for advice on the best systems to install.

2. Optimise your home for energy efficiency

Utilities such as heating and lighting can be substantial and most people today are looking to keep them at a minimum. The National Association of Home Builders found in a 2015 survey that energy efficiency appeared second on a list of factors that would most influence a home purchase decision. You might want to consider high-efficiency windows and LED lighting if you want to stay on top of things.

3. Capitalise on the kitchen

In a 2016 survey, more than a third of the respondents considered a modern kitchen as the most desirable quality of a home. To benefit from this popularity, you should give your kitchen a facelift. Rethink your countertops and opt for more contemporary materials such as quartz or stainless steel. Upgrade your appliances, add a touch of colour to the cabinets, and don’t neglect the floor.

4. Add a bit of tech

Although technology changes fast, you can never be wrong with a little upgrade. Smart homes are a buzzword today and could be the hottest thing in real estate in a few years to come.

However, industry experts warn that not every smart feature will give you a return on your investment. In spite of that, programmable thermostats, smart lights, and intelligent security systems are some upgrades that can increase your house’s value.

5. Good old paint

Do not underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint; it can transform an old house to look new. It can also create lively interiors and evoke a feeling of homeliness. Invest in quality paints for the interiors and exteriors.

Home upgrades do not necessarily have to be expensive. With a little investment, you can substantially increase the resale value of your home.

Leave These Home Issues to the Professionals

A closeup of a locksmith repairing the lock of an old wooden doorMany homeowners like to tinker around the house, looking for parts or areas that need adjustments or repairs. This has led to the steadily growing DIY movement, and there are entire sections at home depots or department stores that cater to the savvy handyman/homeowner.

Simple repairs, cleaning and maintenance are safe enough for DIY-ers. But there are some matters at home that may be beyond the capabilities of a self-trained handyman. It’s fine if you want to replace the broken leg on a stool, but if the problem either puts you at risk or might lead to a bigger, more expensive problem, it’s probably best to call a professional.

Here are some home issues that warrant the help of an expert:

Broken Lock on the Door

It might seem like a simple issue, and you might instantly grab the WD-40, but if the problem persists, don’t get tempted to disassemble the locking mechanism on your door. Instead, Sail City Locksmiths recommends calling mobile locksmiths to help you figure it out. They can check for the damage, determine what repairs to do or recommend a replacement, which they can also install. As a broken lock compromises your home’s safety, it’s best to leave it in the capable hands of a pro.

Unclogging Drainpipes

Drainpipes and sinks, or any other part of your plumbing system, can break or become clogged. Unlike a simple gutter or downspout, however, plumbing is more complicated. Trying to unclog a sink with a harsh acid or other chemicals can damage your plumbing. Call a plumber and avoid the headache and more expensive repairs.

Servicing the HVAC

You need your heating and cooling equipment to function properly, especially when the coldest or warmest months come around. Trying to service a problem with your HVAC may expose you to electrocution or damage the unit even more. Call a licenced technician and have them service the unit. It’s advisable to have it inspected at least once a year.

It’s good to know a thing or two when it comes to home repairs. But replacing a busted fuse is not the same as trying to repair the problems mentioned above. It’s best to call a professional to deal with the issue.

4 Reasons to Choose Aluminium Cladding Systems

Aluminium MaterialExternal cladding can add a lot of character to your home. From light effects to character, weatherboard profiles are great additions to your homes. But the material you choose can make a lot of difference too.

Here are some of the advantages you can enjoy if you choose aluminium cladding systems from Nu-Wall Aluminium Cladding over other types.

1. You can play with texture.

Wood cladding systems are great, but they are harder to maintain that the metal ones. These days, there are steel and aluminium weatherboard profiles that mimic the look of real wood. This way, you can enjoy the look and vibe of wood cladding systems without the high maintenance.

2. You can enjoy great architectural aesthetics.

These cladding systems can be used both outdoors and indoors. They are very versatile and durable. So if you’re looking for upgrades that can help you enjoy both aesthetics and architectural benefits, consider installing aluminium cladding systems.

3. You can upgrade your home’s look for a fraction of the cost.

If you’re looking for quick, simple home upgrades that don’t cost a lot, consider getting aluminium siding. They can instantly change the look of your home without busting your budget for the whole year. This type of cladding system is more inexpensive than its steel and wood counterparts, so you’re getting the look but not the high price tags.

4. You don’t have to worry about rust or pests.

Unlike its steel counterpart, aluminium cladding systems do not rust, so you don’t have to worry too much about the humidity and changing seasons. And unlike wood cladding systems, the aluminium version are not prone to pest infestation, so you don’t have to worry about the little bugs eating your investments.

Making the Right Choice

External panels are great additions to any home. If you’re planning to upgrade your home’s look, consider installing an aluminium cladding system and enjoy these great benefits without spending too much.