Home and Garden

Outdoor Shutters: A Good Idea for an Energy-Efficient House

Home and Garden

Many homeowners these days would rather use their air conditioning and heating systems less often because these appliances increase energy consumption. One cost-effective solution to regulating indoor temperature is the installation of outdoor shutters. These products can help keep heat from getting out and minimise the amount of cold air that goes inside the house.

Apart from providing a low-cost, natural means of climate control, outdoor shutters also offer several other benefits. These include the following:

Additional privacy

Outdoor shutters give your home some added privacy if you haven’t installed curtains or internal blinds. They help keep your home safe from prying eyes. Outdoor shutters also shield your valuables from potential burglars, effectively deterring them from carrying out their dastardly deeds.

Energy savings

Outdoor shutters can help with your energy budget. In summertime, they deflect the heat and minimize the need for air conditioning. During colder months, the shutters keep warm air from going through the glass so you won’t have to turn on artificial heating systems. These benefits allow you to save on energy bills even long after you’ve installed the shutters.

Minimal maintenance

Most outdoor shutters available in Perth are easy to clean. Apart from requiring less maintenance, they also reduce the amount of work needed to clean the window glass. They keep dust from accumulating on the window itself as well as on surrounding fittings.

Windows are an important part of every home. They are the source of natural light that improves the appearance and mood of the interior space. This doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t have any need for outdoor shutters.
Installing outdoor shutters offers your home both practical and aesthetic benefits. They protect the windows from dirt and the elements while providing additional privacy. It also doesn’t hurt that they improve the look of your home from the outside.

The Importance of Maintaining Your Home’s Plumbing

Home and Garden

For many, good plumbing simply means that your toilet flushes and there is water in the sink. Because of how complicated the prospect of tackling a system of pipes and drainages is, many do not give it a second thought. It is important, however, to be aware of the risks of faulty plumbing. Here are just a few of them:

Dreaded leaks

Companies such as PerryPlumbing.com agree that “the most basic and common problem you might experience with your plumbing system is leakage.” Most of the time, you will only find out that you pipes are leaking when you see your next bill or when you suddenly run out of water. The biggest danger, however, is that a leak makes your entire plumbing system susceptible to contamination.

Water leaks can also physically damage your home, regardless if it is made of wood or concrete. The risks range from ‘simple’ bathroom leaks to entire renovations that can be costly depending on the damage.

A higher risk of infection

As most bacteria thrive in water, having faulty plumbing in your home increases the risk of infections. Legionella, for example, can spread through plumbing systems and is responsible for most waterborne diseases in the United States. If your plumbing is faulty, chances are the chlorination system has been compromised, which means that bacteria and other harmful organisms will thrive.

These are just some of the dangers you expose yourself when you have faulty plumbing in your home. When you do face a potentially disastrous plumbing problem, it is better off that you leave the work to the professionals, as they are more experienced in handling these situations. Your plumbing system may not be your biggest priority, but you should pay attention to it. After all, no household is safe from the damage that leaks can cause.

Top Tips to Prepping Your Home for Sale

Home and Garden

For homeowners planning to sell their home, the steps taken before putting a property up for sale are crucial. It takes more than tidying and decluttering. Real property buying is competitive, and sometimes, all it takes to stand out and get the price you want is a fresh coat of paint.

Adding an Extension

Major alterations in terms of living space can not only attract more buyers who want a more spacious accommodation, but also take your property to a different price level in the field of property and house valuation. Perth buyers prioritise space and comfort.

Go for alterations that produce more living space, such as extending the kitchen to an al fresco dining area at the back or adding another bedroom over the garage. Even smaller projects can boost your property a few ladders up. Build a tiny balcony by the window or a sitting area mid-staircase.

Kitchen or Bathroom Redo

Push your property to its maximum value by revamping your bathroom and kitchen. The Australian property buyer population is a group that is more likely to buy a house with a luxury kitchen and bathroom, instead of a big cottage with a charming garden and three well-appointed bedrooms.

Do not forget the little things, too. Fix the towel rail, redo the tiles if it looks chipped and old, clean windows or install new ones, if necessary. You only get to impress your buyers once, so tidy up everything. Even the smallest fixes will make a difference.

Improve Hallway and Ceiling

According to studies, most buyers take only around 20 seconds to decide whether they like the home or not. Make your entrance, hallway and foyers more imposing to keep potential clients glued and interested to look around more.

Do not break the effort and sustain the improvement to your ceilings. Make sure that when they look up, they will be unable to make any bad critiques. Dirty ceilings are among the biggest buyer turn-offs. You do not have to skin it all off. Skim it over with plaster and a fresh coat of paint.

Improving your property’s curb appeal can also help you achieve maximum property value. Before visits, do another run around the house to make sure the blinds are straight and all the cabinets open. The last thing you want during valuation is disappointing property agents.

A Tropical Staycation: 3 Tropical Interior Design Ideas

Home and Garden

Even if you do not have the time to visit the exciting and relaxing tropical resorts and beaches, you can still do so—not with a plane ride, but simply with a touch of design magic. With a little bit of timbre materials, palm leaves, and lattice prints, you can indulge in a view of your favourite exotic and tropical land.

It does not need to be a full renovation; it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. You simply need to add a few pieces time after time until you get the right amount of tropical feel.

Here are some tropical interior design ideas for your beautiful home:

Tropical Colour Palette

The first thing you need is coming up with your colour palette. Go for shades of green for vegetation, browns and beiges for the sand, and blue for the ocean. It’s seems simple, but choosing the right hues is the most difficult part, especially if you are looking for specific shades to represent your own version of a tropical paradise.

If you want a more modern look, use white as an accent colour. For a more traditional look, go for bold tropical colours, such as red, orange, and yellow.

Furniture and Fixtures Made from Natural Materials

The furniture and fixtures you choose is an important part of setting a tropical paradise in your home. Find stores that sell furniture and fixtures made from natural materials, such as a matching set of bamboo furniture or timbre blinds in Perth, WA, for example.

It’s okay not to match, too. For example, you can mix and match elements, like bamboo and timber with a teak and stone coffee table. Nature is not a perfect match, anyway, so why should your home be?

Palm Plants

Potted palm and other lush, green houseplants can introduce a tropical vacation vibe into your home. You can also toss beautiful ceiling fan covers that look like palm leaves, or paint patterns of palm leaves on your wall to bring the island outdoors into your room.

See? You don’t need to fly or drive away to get to the tropics. These interior design ideas can create a room where you can relax and enjoy your tropical staycation.

Easy Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

Home and Garden

A properly maintained air conditioner functions with optimum energy and cooling efficiency, and regular checkups extend the lifespan of your unit. This avoids paying for expensive repairs down the line.

Do not wait for the summer heat to begin when you finally decide to check your air conditioner for problems. Here are some easy do it yourself maintenance tips as recommended by Sandy air conditioner repair specialists.

Replace or Clean the Filter

One of the easiest ways of ensuring proper operation of your AC, no matter the type or model, is by replacement or cleaning of the filter. Airtime Heating & Cooling mentions that dirty filters can no longer clean the air, resulting in excessive energy consumption. This aggravates allergies of sufferers as well. Check your manual how to remove and replace your AC filter, or at least clean it, whichever is most practical.

Make Sure the Vents are Clean

This should be a no-brainer as dirty vents affect the quality of air coming out of the unit. This means that if you have not done this in a while, it is high time to do so, preferably before the summer season begins.

Get a clean cloth and dab it with water, then wipe down the dust that has accumulated in the unit. You may also call a professional to clean the air ducts and vents of the AC.

Check the Condenser Unit

The component of your air conditioner that draws air into the system should be free of any obstructions whatsoever. This is usually outside your home, so check if there are any plants or shrubs that have grown tall enough to block it. Take some time to clean the condenser unit of any dirt and debris that may have accumulated.

Have Freon Levels Checked

You cannot do this on your own, so you need to call a reputable air conditioner cleaner. They will check the unit for any signs of leaks, especially with the older models, and look if the level of freon is still adequate.

A properly functioning AC unit leads to a carefree and comfortable summer. Do not wait for it to breakdown. Practice some preventive maintenance for optimal unit functionality.

Hassle Free Moving – A How to Guide

Home and Garden

Quite a few people have very hectic lives – work, family and children’s activities not to mention caring for aging parents. In the midst of such frenetic activity, having to move can be quite stressful, right behind getting divorced or dealing with a death in the family.

The good thing is that with proper planning and using checklists, a move is a manageable affair. Using removal services companies is a good way to have a smooth transition, but before contacting them, keep in mind these simple tips:

Things to do:
  1. Sit down and make a list of all the people or companies that you need to notify. The most important companies to notify are banks, credit card companies, insurance agencies, mutual funds, utility companies like the phone company, gas and electric companies, cable company, homeowner’s association and gardeners, to name a few. It is also important to notify the postal service so that they have the new address on file to forward mail – this helps prevent identity theft.
  1. Next, contact moving companies and obtain quotes. Perth removal services such as EZi Removals Perth offer free estimates on the amount of time, material and manpower it would take to move a home. Removal companies can be local or national chains – the one advantage of choosing a large company is that they have the manpower and equipment to do the job fast. They are also usually familiar with laws in different states and countries, which is immensely useful.
  1. It is always a good idea to get quotes from three different companies and get references. One has to make sure that the moving company offers insurance on the items to move. It is always better to get professional movers to do the job if one can afford it.
  1. Many people choose this time to declutter and pare down their belongings. It gives them a chance to make sure that they take only what will fit in the new house. This is because housing is expensive in different parts of the world and you may get less living space at a higher price.

As always, being organized goes a long way to make moving hassle-free. Make sure to label all your belongings and once you have chosen a removalist, to talk to them thoroughly about the fine print on their contract.

In and Out the Benefits of a Cavity Sliding Door

Home and Garden

Granny flats are smaller homes built as a second living space on the same plot of land. These have floor areas typically smaller than regular homes, so designs and plans should concentrate on saving space. This can also help increase mobility by optimising the space at your disposal.

There are many ways of saving space, not just in granny flats but in homes as well. One of this is having an open kitchen that blends into the living and dining area. One of the essentials, however, that you cannot skip is a door, as in the main entrance, bedroom and bathroom. Normal hinged doors tend to encroach on the living space available in a room because of their swinging design.

The answer to this problem is a cavity sliding door. These doors do not open out, but instead slide into a cavity in the wall.

Why Choose a Sliding Door?

This type of door frees up to 8% of space in any room. This is particularly useful for compact dwellings. Besides saving space, this also lends a sleek look to room interiors.

These doors do not have hinges, deadbolt, or a doorknob, which could take up additional space (and expense). They have other means of security, though, as described below:

Types of Locking Mechanism

Granny flat designs use either kind of door – swinging or sliding – but for sliding doors, three different types of locking mechanisms are available. These are:

1. Passage pull: This mechanism has a flush that you can grasp and pull the door to close or open. When it is closed, the pull just rests on the jamb, but will not lock the door. This is ideal for areas where privacy is unneeded, or the door functions as a movable divider.
2. Privacy lock: This is similar to the first, but with a locking mechanism to latch onto a jamb. This is suitable for bedroom, bathroom etc.
3. Door Lock: The most secure of all three. This comes with a key and lock, for burglar proofing and security.

Install the one suitable for different areas and open up more space in the second dwelling planned on your plot of land. Cavity sliding doors are one of the best ways to save space while still having the security of a hinged door.

3 Bedroom Accessories That Make a Stylish Impact

Home and Garden

Accessories can add character to your room, and say as much about you as the style and colors you have chosen. They contribute a lot in styling and practicality. An incorrectly positioned or mismatched piece can either destroy the look you want to achieve or get in the way of your day-to-day use of the room.

Here are some accessories you can add to transform your bedroom:

Wall Art

If repainting your bedroom is not on the list (or even if it is), hanging a new piece of artwork will instantly transform the look of your boudoir. If you don’t have an ornate headboard or any other architectural feature, you really need something above your head like a wall art.

Art works are an accessory that significantly defines a room, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a museum piece. Just choose a cheap work of art that you love.

Plush Chair

If you have some extra space, visit the furniture store and find a comfortable, plush chair for a great addition to your bedroom. Make sure it’s something you can retreat to when chaos reigns elsewhere in the home.

Stripes are a good choice for a chair if you are going for a traditional style with neutral colors. Stripes and florals are a great combination, so add a nice floral cushion in matching tones.

Bold or Extra Mirrors

Mirrors are necessary in any bedroom. It’s easy to put it here and there or wherever, as long as you can see it, but try to be creative on how you position them. Place mirrors in such a way that they can reflect the light from the window and create the illusion of space. The room will also instantly look beautiful when the bedside lamps are on.

A great trick to position your mirrors in style is to create a trio of matching mirrors and hang them on the wall.

Much like choosing the perfect accessories to complement your little black dress, choosing accessories and other finishing touches in your bedroom can make or break the look—so choose wisely.

Hoard No More: Unsightly Things in Your Home You Should Get Rid of

Home and Garden

Many people like to shop for new clothes, decorations or furnishings, even if it’s not necessary. As a result, their homes become unorganised and full of clutter. Some types of mess are easy to determine, such as a pair of pants that’s too tight or toys that you’ve already forgotten about. These things are easy to burn, give to someone or throw away. Most people, however, love to keep things even if they are no longer useful.

Difficulty letting go of possessions is a problem that has to do with sentimental value or just not knowing where to start. Whether you like it or not, there are things in your home right now that you should get rid of. It’s time to decide which ones can go.

Here are some things you may consider throwing away if you’re ready to make your home clutter-free:

Old Furniture

Whether it’s the ratty old couch, old-fashioned vanity or rusty table, they clog up your bedroom and your living room. You don’t want to make your home a jungle, so determine what will stay and what will go. There is no room for the things you no longer need. Put them in the trash if you can’t save or restore furniture. Industry expert Kwik Skips says it’s best to hire a skip bin if you’ve noticed there is a lot of furniture to remove in your home.

Stacks of Old Magazines

You probably have piles of papers in your living room that you can easily get rid of without a second thought. It’s time to throw away those magazines you haven’t touched in a year now. Let go of those things that you can’t use anymore, even if your best friend or cousin gave some of them. You can leave ten to fifteen magazines and throw the rest.

Piles of Receipts

Storing receipts that are more than a year old is a pain. Constantly noticing all the things that should belong in a garbage truck is stressful, not to mention unsightly. You don’t want to drown in paper, so it’s best to toss those receipts. Before you throw them away, of course, it’s important to scan them first to know the important ones. A newly cleaned home feels roomy, relaxing, and functional, so start by getting rid of those papers.

Once you’ve decided to remove those old, filthy things, you will realize how great it is to have a clutter-free place. It’s comforting and relaxing knowing you have less mess in your humble home.

A Green Alternative for Hot Water

Home and Garden

If there is one thing that Perth has in abundance, it is warm sunshine. For this reason, most Australian households make use of solar power for their household needs. With the sun providing more energy, it is a wonder why more people are not harnessing its power.

This has led to the use of such energy saving systems such as solar heating. Cold showers can be a jolt to your system, most especially during early morning or late evening showers. It takes nice, warm water to enjoy a truly relaxing, refreshing bath. Unless you are living in a far off warm, tropical country, the truth is you can never get enough hot water. This is especially true during the winter, and even up to springtime.

Solar hot water systems generate warm water through the use of installed solar panels that collect energy from the sun. These can either be evacuated tubes or flat plate collectors worked in your home roofing.

Some of their benefits are:

• You get hot water throughout the year – It is a year-round system that can provide you with hot water any time you want it. You need not go through the trouble of heating.
• You save more on electric bills – You only need to spend for the initial installation. Afterwards, you merely rely on the most abundant energy source for free.
• You save the environment – Solar hot water is renewable that can greatly reduce carbon emissions.

You can go green and save up at the same time with solar hot water Perth residents enjoy today. The city already has many households that make use of them. Join the trend and enjoy the benefits!

Why settle for conventional water heating systems that consume precious electricity? With solar hot water systems, you go green and save up at the same time.