06 AM | 02 Sep

Keep Calm and Stay Cool: Dealing with Common Air Conditioning Problems

air condition

air conditionAn air conditioning unit can help you cool down and relax, especially during the summer months. There may also be days when it gets too hot that turning on your AC system is the only way to feel comfortable. That’s why you need to make sure your unit is always working fine; regular cleaning and maintenance should be part of your to-do list.

To determine if your system is in good condition, you must first understand the problems that cause it to malfunction. Here are common AC problems and the ways to fix them:

Sudden Bill Increase

If there’s a sudden spike in your energy consumption but you don’t have a new appliance, your AC might be the source of the problem. A clogged condensing coil or dirty air conditioner filters may be causing your AC unit to malfunction. This normally happens when the cooling fins accumulate too much dust and debris. Regular tune-up can help you avoid this problem.

Failure to Launch

If your air conditioning unit wouldn’t turn on at all, it may be because of a wrong thermostat setting or the power line isn’t reaching the unit. If this happens, set the thermostat to “cool”. Check the property’s circuit breakers to see if there’s a damaged fuse. Call professional AR air conditioning services to assist with this problem.

Unusual Noises

If you hear rattling, ticking, buzzing, or any other unusual sound when the AC unit is starting up or in operation, there is a problem. The cause can be a wobbly screw, which is easy to solve by tightening and lubricating the screw. A bent motor or fan blade can also be a possible cause, which may require replacing.

Coolness Reduction

If your room doesn’t become as cool as it did before using the same AC unit, its refrigerant lines should be properly insulated. Problems involving the insulating sleeve may only cost you about $5 for the repairs. If it needs a thorough system recharge, the cost may go as high as $150.

No one would want to experience unbearable heat and discomfort while at home. Watch out for these signs, so you can fix the problem before it causes more trouble for your AC unit and entire home.

07 AM | 01 Sep

Adding On: Planning and Designing Your Home Extension

Home Extension

Home ExtensionNow that you have decided to do a home addition, it is important to plan everything before you even start your project. This will not only help you extend your existing home, but also increase the total market value of your home – if you plan to sell it in the future.

To eliminate the stress when designing and renovating, here are some home extension ideas:

Create an Open Space

No matter where you look at it, open space looks more spacious than it actually is. That is why knocking out or breaking walls in your kitchen can enhance the looks of your home and expand its overall floor area. Be sure to ask for the assistance of qualified and professional home extension builders in Perth, such as GrannyFlatsWA.com.

Maintain Your Landscape Regularly

Regular pruning and maintenance of plants and trees can make your backyard look more beautiful and less crowded. Unkempt trees and bushes can darken your interiors, obscure your views, and contribute to mould growth in your home. Poorly maintained trees can even cause property damages when left unattended.

Let There Be Enough Light

Have a better and clearer look on the things around your home by fixing the lighting system. A simple repair on your broken panes can create an illusion of space. Use high wattage bulbs to make small spaces in your home appear larger. You can even use soft lighting to make an empty room warmer and cosier.

Home extension is a practical solution to getting more space in your home. Before you jump into extending your space, you must consider several factors, such as the structure and style of your home. To make things easier, always consult the experts for their opinion.

12 AM | 01 Sep

New Look: Prepping Your Home for a Painting Job

Painting Job

Painting JobPainting your entire home exterior is one huge task. But sometimes, your home may not require a complete paint job. Some quick repairs and regular maintenance can actually help you keep your home’s appearance in great condition and even extend the life of your previous paint job by several years.

So, whether your plan is to paint a porch or the most weathered area of your home, the prepping process is generally the same as painting your entire home. Barker-Whittle Master Painters & Decorators says here’s how you can prepare your home for exterior painting before the professionals arrive:

  • Examine the exteriors of your house thoroughly. Go beyond the exterior walls and check the areas around windows and doors, under the eaves, and along the foundation. See if there are split shingles and siding, mildews, rust stains, popped nails and peeling or blistering paint. After identifying the problem areas, make the necessary repairs as long as they’re minor.
  • An excellent paint job requires a clean surface. Use a pressure washer with the proper detergent to clean exterior siding thoroughly. You can also use a simple garden hose if you have one at home, especially if the surfaces aren’t yet suffering from too much flaking or peeling. You can also get rid of stubborn dirt by using a scrub brush and warm, soapy water.
  • Get rid of loose paint. Get a wire brush and scrape any flaking paint in areas that the hose or washer didn’t reach. You won’t have to scrape the bare wood if the old paint is still intact because it can be painted over after sanding.
  • Remove old caulk. Also, re-caulk around the windowsills, door trim and other areas that requires sealing using a paintable exterior caulk. Also, repair and re-putty windows by getting rid of the old ones and applying new glazing. Before painting, make sure it’s completely dry.

After you’re done with all the preparations, call your chosen painting service provider. If there are still some areas you left that need prepping, the painters may actually do the job.

12 AM | 01 Sep

What’s With All The Racket About Fake Turf in the UK?

Turf

TurfThe UK usually comes to mind when people think of extensive lawns. Combined with well-maintained structures, these things even attract tourists to visit this country. Recent trends, however, suggest that artificial lawns dominate homes and offices in the UK more than real greens.

Grass specialists from oakleighmanor.com cite some reasons for the people’s fascination with fake turf:

Long lasting

Foot traffic and harsh weather may cause real grass to break easily. The maintenance of grass is not an easy task, and if the grass withers for any reason it is twice as hard to nurse it back to health.

Synthetic lawns consist of durable materials so they are summer-resistant and not prone to damage. In addition, a fake lawn may last for more than a decade depending on the quality and frequency of maintenance. The longer its lifespan, the less likely people will spend money for a new lawn.

Less costly

Real grass is less expensive than synthetic grass, costing around £6 per sq m. However, the maintenance required for it will cause the total price to go higher over a certain period.

Fake grass is more affordable in the long run, as prices vary between £10 and £30 per sq m. It lasts long so maintenance cost is not an immediate concern.

Easy to install and maintain

Real grass requires regular sowing, mowing and watering to thrive. In addition, it takes a while to see the results of gardening efforts. Thus, it is not an ideal addition for those who do not have the time or the means to hire a gardener.

On the other hand, artificial grass is a better alternative since it only takes a one-time installation and requires minimal maintenance thereafter. People may replace it easily should they want variety. This reduces the hassle and cost of maintenance.

Safe

Real grass may harm kids and athletes if it is not thick enough to cushion their fall. Artificial lawn is less likely to wear and tear so it may prevent accidents by serving as a buffer. This, to a certain extent, reduces medical bills you would otherwise incur with falls and scrapes on real grass.

With all these features, no wonder more people prefer artificial turf over the real deal.

12 AM | 27 Aug

The Fast Rise of Redundant Fencing

Fencing

FencingWho doesn’t love a good fence? They keep bad things out, good things in, and don’t let anyone pry into what you’re doing in your own yard. In fact, some homeowners love fences so much that employ a technique known as redundant fencing to double the benefits they enjoy from their fences.

Always Have a Back-up

Redundant fencing is when residents erect a second internal set of fences within the property, creating a fence within a fence. The idea is to have an extra layer of defence against whatever is on the other side of the first fence. People unfamiliar with the technique might think such a setup looks silly. But anyone who’s ever had to live with a troublesome neighbour, a commercial building or difficult pets recognises the need for such defences.

A redundant fence is an effective control measure for people having trouble controlling their dogs. If the animal is aggressive, a second fence minimises the incidents of fence fighting, escapes, or sticking their noses in places they don’t belong. A redundant fence doubles all the benefits of a single set, offering greater protection, privacy and style.

Double the Fence, Double the Flair

In fact, style is one of the biggest factors driving the popularity of redundant fences among homeowners. It all began when designers started looking at a second set of fences the same way they did to a set of curtains or shutters. They took the opportunity to create a look that complemented and enhanced the environment that already exists around the fence.

For example, if the existing fence is a metal vertical slat fence, why not build horizontal slat aluminium fence to create a visual cross pattern. It’s a creative choice that best displays all the benefits of redundant fencing, in addition to creating an imaginative aesthetic design. This gives the property a significant boost in curb appeal that very few other homes can replicate.

There are very few fencing options that can help improve both the practicality and aesthetics of a property. Redundant fencing is an effective design technique that more people should adopt for their own good – even if they don’t live next to a noisy neighbour.

12 AM | 27 Aug

Want to Add Value to Your Property? Fence It!

fence

fenceIn the early years of the American government, claiming a land was as easy as fencing it. While claiming-by-fencing could result in lawsuit complications today, it still pays to add a fence. Perimeter fencing is one of the important things to consider when building a home or buying a property.

Advantages of Adding a Fence

Fencing gives you privacy and security. It protects your family, employees, or properties from uninvited guests or stray animals. It also increases the value and marketability of your home and other properties, especially if you install an attractive fence.

Types of Fences

There are many types of fences — wood, wrought iron, vinyl, close board, wire, chain-link, concrete, and aluminum, to name a few. Because of its strength, metal fences – like steel and aluminum – are top choices in residential, commercial, and industrial properties.

One of the most attractive types is aluminum fence. You can easily paint an aluminum fence to complement the design of your home or property.

Materials to Use

Choose a premium quality material for your fence—those that resists corrosion and withstands damaging effects caused by extreme weather conditions. Premium fencing materials can also help you save money in the long run because you don’t have to replace it often.

Greatfence.com, a provider of metal fencing panels, suggests using low-density materials because these are lightweight yet durable. Doing this will also make it easy for property owners to install the fence without the help of a professional.

Fencing secures your property and makes it more appealing, improving its value in the process.  Choose the fencing type with your property’s design in mind.

06 PM | 26 Aug

Plan Your Vacation to Have an Enjoyable Trip

beach hut

beach hutMany people love the idea of taking a vacation or going on a trip without even planning. Most think that it will be a great adventure and make the trip more exciting. In reality, however, an unplanned vacation rarely turns out well. You will enjoy your trip a lot more if you take some time to plan ahead.

If you want to make sure that your trip will turn out the way it should, make sure to organise it. Here are the things you need to do when planning a vacation:

Determine Your Budget

Finalise where you want to go to determine your holiday budget. Vacations abroad can be expensive, so make sure to write things you want to include in your vacation such as the places you want to visit, the activities you like, weather-appropriate clothing, preferred way to travel, and anything else that will make the trip special.

Travel Insurance

While your goal in travelling is to enjoy, it is important to stay safe. Don’t forget to get a travel insurance health plan to make sure that you’re protected financially should you fall ill once you’re there. It is best to have a comprehensive coverage wherever you are going. Your travel insurance plan can provide information about the levels of plan protection and coverage you can get.

Time Left for Planning

Find out how much time you have left before your vacation. Even a low-budget trip requires some planning months before the vacation. If you plan to stay at your choice destination for week or months, be sure to plan several months before to get the requirements and to save up.

Look for Travel Deals

Research online to find travel deals that fit your desired itinerary and budget. If possible, find at least three potential itineraries. Look into three tour companies that offer what you like. If you want a sailing vacation, for instance, an all-inclusive cruise may suit your budget and preferences.

Make Reservations

Book your vacation and check to make sure that your hotel reservations and transportation tickets are arranged. Create a packing list based on the weather and preferred activities at your destination.

Make your vacation fun and memorable by planning ahead. Consider important things to increase your chances of having a safe and enjoyable trip.

12 PM | 25 Aug

Home Sweet Home, not Home Wet Home with Gutters

Gutter

GutterProtecting your lovely home is like protecting your investments and dreams. The state of your house reflects you as a person. It is your duty to keep your house in good condition and shape.

Sometimes, the smallest thing can cause the greater worry. Rain, for example, may seem so insignificant but little do people know that it can slowly destroy your house and leave you nothing but distress and sorrow.

Enter gutters. Gutters prevent these dilemmas from happening. You think that it is not that important? Well, here are few reasons that will convince you to get those gutters going and to enlist guttering services to install and maintain them.

Keeps the Wood Sturdy

You may not seem to notice it but when the wood gets wet over and over again it will start to rot. The outside may seem good but inspect the inside and you’ll see the hidden problem. Gutters prevent rot and lengthen the life of your walls.

Stronger Foundations

When the rain reaches the ground, it doesn’t stay there. The water seeps into the soil, making it soft and muddy. The same thing happens in your house. The rain seeps into the foundations of your house and gets weaker. Gutters prevent these from happening by directing the water to a much appropriate receptacle or channel.

Variety of Choices

You think that it won’t be appropriate in your roof? No need to be sad. Gutters have so much variety in shapes, colours, and prices, with every combination thereof. Guttering services are generally not expensive so you can protect your home without compromising your budget.

No matter how grand or beautiful your house is, if you don’t protect it, it will be all for nothing. Gutters don’t just protect your house, it keeps it the way you will always remember – and your grandchildren, too.

09 AM | 25 Aug

Granny Flats: Moving Out Yet Still Close to Home

flats australia

flats australiaMoving out of your parents’ house is the first big step towards independence. It’s probably an exciting thought for you, especially since you’ll be free to explore and do whatever you want in the world. Sadly, the thought of moving out isn’t always as idyllic, and there may be things that’ll limit how much you enjoy your brand new adventure.

Money, without a doubt, is the biggest hurdle and you probably don’t have enough funds yet to buy your own property. Instead of renting an apartment, consider ‘moving out’ of your parents’ home and into a granny flat.

Close to Home

ClassicGrannyFlatsWa.com.au notes that granny flats or secondary suites are becoming popular housing options within the country for teenagers and young adults moving out. Traditionally, these small houses were simply extensions of the main home designed for elderly family members who don’t want to move into nursing homes.

Nowadays, moving into a granny flat has become one of the most appealing alternatives to renting out or purchasing property for the younger generations considering how expensive housing is in Australia these days. These dwellings have just enough space and are more affordable, whether you’re renting one out or purchasing it.

The biggest draw to these secondary suites is that they can be built within your parents’ property, provided that the lot has enough space for a detached house extension. You’ll enjoy the benefits and responsibilities of independent living while still close to home.

Great Investment

If you’re still trying to convince your parents to build or purchase a granny flat, let them know that one of the things they can get from these smaller properties is steady rent. You’re not the only teenager or young adult looking for affordable accommodations after all.

These secondary suites are great investments as they provide a rather steady income from rent and have nearly every necessity and amenity a person may ever need. A two-bedroom granny flat can even attain a weekly rent similar to a larger two-bedroom apartment, at half the price.

If you’re ready to venture out into the world, but want to live close to home, consider moving to a granny flat. It’s fast becoming the more practical housing option in a country where property prices are increasing.

12 AM | 24 Aug

What You Need to Know about Cladding Systems

cladding

claddingCladding is a non-load bearing skin or layer attached to the outside of a home to shed water and protect the building from the effects of weather. It is a key element in the aesthetic appeal of the home and directly affects both building costs and property value.

The choice you make for your cladding will have a significant effect on the environmental performance of your home. Professionals from Peter & Lesley Bracey Home Improvements balance the maintenance and durability of the cladding against environmental impacts that affect its life span. These impacts include embodied energy, resource, depletion and recyclability.

Cladding Basics

The basic role of cladding is to control the infiltration of the elements and the outlet of water vapour while providing a durable, visually pleasing appearance. Its other roles also include fire resistance, sound and thermal insulation, and the capability for cleaning in polluted, dusty or vandalised environments.

Your choice of cladding systems should be based on careful assessments and prioritisation of each of these roles. By choosing cladding materials specific to an elevation exposure, you can often achieve the best in physical performance and aesthetics.

Cladding systems commonly include sheet materials or smaller overlapping panels like shingles and tiles, as well as horizontal or vertical boards on occassion. Each system uses different methods to prevent wind and rain entering through the joints. The effectiveness of each system varies depending on wind direction, speed and the degree of exposure to rain.

Cladding Opportunities

Cladding selection is a chance to reduce the overall environmental impact of a home by choosing environmentally preferred material and systems.

The use of high mass cladding in lightweight framing systems like brick veneer can actually decrease thermal performance. Thermal lag can contain higher temperature differentials across insulation layers well beyond normal diurnal cycles.

Where the internal load bearing element is high mass, transparent cladding materials such as glass with high solar heat gain coefficients can contribute to passive solar heating. In this case, the whole wall must be passively shaded.

Do you know the secret to achieving that shiny exterior of your house? It lies with how good your fibre cement cladding is. Always go for the best quality because it looks absolutely stunning and saves you money in the long run.