Keeping Up With the Jones Family

Choice and Maintenance: How to Make Sure Your Awnings Will Do Their Job for Many Years to Come

Posted by on 6:16 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Choice and Maintenance: How to Make Sure Your Awnings Will Do Their Job for Many Years to Come

It’s said that your eyes are the windows to your soul. So, perhaps your actual windows are the eyes of your home? Sure, some windows really do look like eyes, and your windows help to give your home its distinctive look, and even its personality. “Eyes” that are constantly exposed to the often harsh Australian heat need a bit of protection, and this is why outdoor awnings can be a fantastic idea for your windows. They give your home an entirely new look while still complementing its existing design. Outdoor awnings also keep the sun out without being intrusive. Awnings can be a significant investment, so you want to do everything you can to prolong their life for as long as possible. With a few simple steps, you can ensure that your awnings will be there to do their job for as long as possible. Choosing Your Awnings The initial choice of outdoor awnings is the most important step for determining their longevity. Most awnings are made from synthetic fibres or treated canvas. These materials are water resistant to minimise mould and mildew. Which Colour is Best? The choice of colours and patterns are entirely yours. Having said that, you should stay away from patterned awnings, as fading will be more obvious than with plain coloured awnings. Choose a colour that repels the sun, such as white or beige. Plain coloured awnings are far less susceptible to fading from the sun and will look newer for longer. To Retract or Not to Retract? Retractable awnings are slightly more expensive, but allow for more variations, which in turn prolongs their life. You can retract the awnings during the winter months, which then greatly reduces the fabric’s exposure to the elements for long periods of time. Prolonging the Life of Your Awnings Once you’ve chosen the best awnings for your home, you just need to follow a very simple process to keep them looking as good as new. If any organic debris come to rest on the awnings (leaves, dirt, bird droppings), simply brush them off as soon as possible. Brushing the awnings on a weekly basis is a good idea, and you can just use a broom. Any mild stains can be removed using your garden hose, and some light scrubbing might be required. Just use a soft brush and some household detergent. Don’t use an abrasive cleaner, as this can strip the fabric’s protective coating. Be sure to oil the retraction mechanism before extending the awnings after the winter. This will ensure that they won’t become stuck, leaving you with a half extended awning. Never retract the awnings when wet. Even treated fabric can develop mold spots when the water is trapped against its surface. Wait for the next sunny day to ensure they have adequately dried. Choosing the best awnings for your home will ensure that you’ll get the most use out of them. Once that choice has been made, maintenance is a breeze, and you can get decades of use out of your awnings.  For more information, contact home improvement stores, like Blind...

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Choosing the Best Landscaping Tree for Your Yard

Posted by on 4:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Choosing the Best Landscaping Tree for Your Yard

When choosing a landscaping tree for your yard, you want to ensure you choose something that will look good and also thrive in your environment. Trees are affected by the soil, sunlight and weather, just like all your other landscaping features. You also need to remember that not all trees grow the same, so you should consider their foliage and overall mature size before planting them. Note a few tips to consider before you visit the local nursery for plant supplies. 1. Deciduous trees versus evergreen When shopping, you may notice that trees are described as deciduous or evergreen. Deciduous trees have leaves that change color in the fall and then drop away, whereas evergreen trees don’t lose their leaves or needles. If you enjoy the look of fall colors, then deciduous trees are good, but evergreen trees may provide a nice backdrop for the blankets of snow you’ll get during wintertime. For smaller deciduous trees that will fit your yard, look for crabapple or flowering dogwoods.  2. Large versus small trees If you want shade for your home, then you might choose a large tree, but note that you should opt for something very strong that can withstand harsh weather elements without losing branches or toppling over. This will keep your home safe from damage caused by falling branches. Look for oak, maple, and elm; these are very popular in residential neighborhoods because they’re so strong. For smaller trees, look for anything that offers fruit or flowers. This would include apple trees or cherry trees. Japanese maple trees are also smaller and may fit right next to a home and offer very striking colors. 3. Soil and weather conditions Planting a tree in your yard will mean challenges for the tree, as man-made structures as well as pollution, salt during wintertime, and other such factors can weaken the tree and its roots. Some of the strongest trees that can withstand poor soil conditions such as a lack of drainage include maple and oak, or a Washington hawthorn.  It’s also good to purchase trees that are specific or native to your environment if you live anywhere with extremes in temperature. For example, pine trees are exceptionally strong against winter weather, whereas palm trees are native to warm and humid environments and can withstand harsh sun. While you may love the look of a certain tree, note that it may be too delicate to grow in your area and may wither one summer or die away during a rough winter, so shop according to your zone or standard weather...

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Various Advantages of Opting For Fibreglass Pools

Posted by on 11:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Various Advantages of Opting For Fibreglass Pools

If you have been contemplating the addition of a swimming pool to your residence, you should be thinking about what kind of material to use. Conventional swimming pools have been made from either concrete or vinyl. However, what most homeowners do not realize is that the popularity of these materials has been gradually diminishing over time. One of the more popular alternatives for in-ground swimming pools is fibreglass. There are numerous reasons why this material has been gaining in popularity. Here are some of the various advantages of opting for fibreglass pools. Easy maintenance When you install a swimming pool in your yard, the work does not stop there. Your pool needs regular maintenance to ensure that it is safe for swimming. In addition, maintenance is required to ensure that the materials that make up the swimming pool do not degrade before their time. With this in mind, homeowners should seek out alternatives that will enable them to keep maintenance costs low rather than haemorrhaging money in pool maintenance. Fibreglass pools do not need excessive chemical treatments to keep them in pristine condition. In addition, they are easier to clean thus not a lot of manual labour is needed to ensure they remain aesthetically appealing. They are eco-friendly Fibreglass pools are designed to last for a significant amount of time. Since these pools do not need to be lined for them to be used, you also ensure that vinyl liners are not being dumped in landfills and polluting the earth. In addition to this, the surface of fibreglass is smooth as well as non-porous. This means that algae cannot breed in the pool like in concrete pools or vinyl lined pools. Since they do not harbour the growth of algae and other bacteria, you also do not need to use many chemicals to ensure that the pool water is clean and healthy. They are compatible with salt One of the components of fibreglass is salt. This means that you can opt for salt-water chlorination without having to worry about the surface of the swimming pool degrading. The same cannot be said for both steel as well as concrete alternatives. Over time, steel will begin to rust due to excessive exposure to the salt water and this not only affects the pool water, but the pool’s structural integrity may be compromised too. Easy installation Another great advantage of fibreglass pools is that the mould that makes up the swimming pool is pre-manufactured to your specifications. This means all the contractors have to do is come in and fit the pool into the area created for it, and then fill it with...

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Troubleshooting a leaky bath tub

Posted by on 5:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting a leaky bath tub

A bath tub that leaks can soon cause major damage to the flooring of a bathroom. Rather than simply fixing a small hole or crack, the homeowner can be facing a major repair job. It is critical that you can not only locate a leak, but can also fix the leak if it is not in the drainage system or piping; for this, it is probably best to call in a plumber as soon as you can. This article looks at how to locate a leak and then concentrates on fixing smaller leaks that are within the capabilities of a DIY homeowner. Finding The Leak There are three main areas to concentrate on — the bath tub body, the grout and the tap. Although close inspection of the grout and the tap will be enough to let you know if they are leaking, it can be a bit more difficult for the tub itself. A good idea is to tape some newspaper to the exterior of the tub — once you have made sure the outside of the tub is dry. Then, slowly fill the tub with water and look to see where the newspaper gets wet the fastest. This will help you to locate the leak. Fixing The Tub And The Grout Both of these areas can be repaired using a heavy duty type of waterproof sealant that can be purchased from all DIY outlets. Before attempting to seal the grout, let it dry fully beforehand. Applying the sealant to a wet area will last only a very short time before you have to repair it again. Cover the grout with the sealant and allow about three hours for it to dry. For the tub, follow the same process; ensure that the exterior of the tub is fully dry, apply the sealant and wait for around three hours for it to dry. You can then use a fine graded sandpaper to smooth off the surface of the sealant. Fixing The Tap The tap is a little more difficult to fix but still well within the capabilities of almost all DIY enthusiasts. Begin by taking off the plastic cap or cover that is located in the centre of the tap and you will expose a screw behind it. Carefully remove this screw so the handle can be taken off. Under this handle, you will notice a bolt that secures the tap stem in place. Remove this with a ratchet and remember that some water may spray out at this point. Inspect the gasket — this is a small rubber hoop — for wear and tear. If it looks damaged, take it to a plumbing outlet and get an exact replacement. Replace any other parts that look in poor condition, such as the stem washers. Reverse the procedure to open up the tap once the new parts are in place. Always ensure that the main water supply to the property is switched off before starting any of these fixes. If after fixing a tub leak yourself it continues to leak, or if the solution doesn’t last long, it might be time to replace the whole tub. Talk with a professional from a company like Acqua Bathrooms to learn about replacement...

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Nine Reasons To Carry Out Kitchen Renovations

Posted by on 6:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Nine Reasons To Carry Out Kitchen Renovations

The kitchen is the centre of the home for many households. Carrying out kitchen renovations is a challenging task. It cannot only be costly but also inconvenient for many people. However, regardless of this, home owners still find good reason to carry out certain renovations to remodel their kitchen. There are many different reasons as to why home owners may decide to renovate their kitchen. Deterioration Peeling counter tops, cracked tiles, broken cupboard doors, old appliances and the fact that the kitchen seems to be falling apart may all help towards a decision to carry out kitchen renovations. Lifestyle Perhaps the layout of the kitchen was ideal for the previous home owners, but you would like something different such as a breakfast bar where you and your family can grab a quick bite together without having to use the dining room. Value Kitchen renovations are often carried out on a property to increase its value. A newly-renovated kitchen will be more appealing to prospective home buyers than an outdated one. Carrying out kitchen renovations may also help to sell the property more quickly, as new buyers don’t have to worry about the cost of carrying out the alterations themselves. Energy Saving Energy savings may be the reason for kitchen renovations. Adding skylights to a kitchen can allow more natural light to come through, saving on energy bills. Solar water heaters and energy-efficient appliances can reduce utility bills. Gourmet Kitchens For those home owners who consider themselves to be gourmet cooks, the main reason for carrying out kitchen renovations is to create their dream kitchen. Gourmet cooks need modern equipment and all the amenities. Modernness Kitchens can be clean yet appear outdated. If your kitchen has a retro appearance, but you want it to be modern, then renovations may be the only solution. Home Improvement TV Shows Such TV shows can inspire a person to make changes to their homes. They might not have ever thought of performing such a project until watching a home improvement program. Special Needs Kitchen renovations are sometimes necessary to meet the needs of a disabled family member. If a family member is in a wheelchair and can’t reach high cupboards, kitchen renovations can make things easier for them. Change Some home owners may simple require a change. Even though their current kitchen may be fully functional and attractive, they may just want a change of...

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Troubleshooting Garage Doors

Posted by on 8:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Garage Doors

Installing garage door systems can cost you a lot of money, but replacing them is even more expensive. This is why it can be a massive headache when your roller door breaks or stops working as expected. If you can’t pinpoint the exact source of the problem, this headache can balloon into a migraine. Here is a troubleshooting checklist that will help you find the source of the problem. Take a look around The starting point of the troubleshooting process should be to look around for any external causes that might have broken down your garage door. You might be surprised at how many problems can occur by pieces of equipment or small tools becoming trapped somewhere in the assembly of the garage door. Clean up If not subjected to regular maintenance, your garage door might accumulate a thick, gooey substance on the tracks and its rollers. This usually happens because of accumulated debris, or it can also happen as a result of excessive lubricant use during the maintenance process. The friction that results will cause some parts of the garage equipment to become stuck, which means that the door won’t be able to function properly. This gooey substance can be removed by using any regular cleaning agent or a mild soap. Make sure to dry everything properly before using the garage door again in order to avoid any problems. Check the springs Once you have made sure that everything is clean, the next step should involve checking the cables and extensions springs. The extension can easily be found on the sides of the garage door running from pulleys. Make sure that neither those nor the cables are rusty; if they are, contact a local professional from a company like United Doors Pty Ltd in order to determine if they need to be replaced or simply cleaned. When replacing the springs, always replace them in pairs so as not to create any imbalance. In most high-end garage systems, a torsion spring is used, which can be quite complicated to repair by yourself. Tighten down Just like anything else, roller doors are subjected to wear and tear. Hinges, screws, and bolts are no exception to this rule, especially since you probably use the garage door daily. Check the bolts and screws of the opening mechanism, and make sure that none of them wobble. If you’re lucky, your problem can be solved by tightening these screws. If there are loose holes and the screws can’t be tightened anymore, you can use a piece of wood to serve as filler....

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Familiarizing Yourself with Granite Countertops for Kitchen Renovations

Posted by on 5:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Familiarizing Yourself with Granite Countertops for Kitchen Renovations

One of the most important aspects of a kitchen is its countertops. If you plan to opt for kitchen renovations, simply switching to granite countertops can give your kitchen a face-lift.  There are numerous reasons why this tends to be a popular choice: Advantages of granite countertops For one, granite is one of the hardest stones that one can come across. As such, one can expect these types of countertops to be quite durable and last for a significant period. In addition to this, these countertops are unique. It is highly unlikely that one will find two identical slabs since this is a naturally occurring element. Thus, you can rest assured that the way you renovate your kitchen would be unique to your particular home. Another reason that makes these countertops quite popular is the fact that they are quite low maintenance. One does not have to spend hours on end cleaning them and trying to ensure that they remain stain free. Lastly, as one of the hardest stones, these counters are resistance to most damage. One does not have to worry about burns, scratches or even chips as they are resistant to all of these things. Different finishes for granite countertops There are a number of techniques that are applied when it comes to the finishing of these counters. These finishes include having the granite slabs honed, flamed, polished or brushed to give it a unique look. The most common method of finishing is through polishing. Polishing is the most preferred since it makes the granite slabs look elegant thus increasing their aesthetic appeal. Over the years though, more and more people are opting for honed finishes. This is because this type of finish will make your kitchen look casual without compromising the elegance of the slabs. If you would like textured countertops that are slip resistant, a flamed finish would be your best bet. In this instance, the countertops are exposed to high heat thus making the stone melt and crystallize. Care and maintenance of your granite countertops As aforementioned, these counters are quite convenient since they do not need much work in the form of maintenance. However, this does not mean that you should let them be and go about your business. One of the best ways of ensuring their longevity is by having them sealed. Granite is a porous stone and having a sealant will prevent liquids from seeping into it and staining it. Another way of maintaining these counters is by wiping them daily. This is just to ensure that they are clean and come be done with a soft cloth and some warm soapy...

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Energy Efficiency | 3 Winning Strategies To Control Air Conditioning Running Costs

Posted by on 10:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Energy Efficiency | 3 Winning Strategies To Control Air Conditioning Running Costs

In the sweltering Australian summers, air conditioning comes to the rescue every time, cooling down the place dramatically to deliver a comfortable lifestyle throughout the year. But the cost of running air conditioners can weigh a ton on your finances in the form of exorbitant energy bills, if you’re not careful. In fact, 40 percent of the energy used in homes comes from heating and cooling. A few strides towards energy-efficient planning will mean more savings for you in the future. Here are some winning strategies to help you control air conditioning running costs. Seal and Insulate All Ducts Poor or leaking ductwork from your air conditioning unit could be the reason why you’re paying elevated energy costs every month. To help your air conditioning unit run more efficiently, you must seal and insulate all the ductwork that runs from your unit to different parts of the home. Look for any air leaks in the ducts and use a mastic sealant or metal tape to insulate and seal accessible ducts. Remember that regular duct tape will not work in this case, as it isn’t durable. By sealing the leakages, you will ensure proper airflow through the ducts without any energy wastage. Set an Ideal Temperature Air conditioning units that are too low in temperature will work too hard to run and will result in poor energy efficiency. Setting the temperature a few degrees lower than outside should be good enough to offer comfort. A temperature between 25 to 27 degrees Celsius in summer is ideal for most rooms. If you have an air conditioner with a timer, make sure you set it to reduce the number of hours you use it. For example, set it to go off for a few hours while you’re asleep in the night and you won’t even notice it shut — but you’ll certainly notice the difference in your reduced energy bills. Insulate your Windows You can make the air conditioning unit work more efficiently by reducing the size of its job, so that it doesn’t have to work so hard to cool down the room. For example, adding a layer of insulation, treatments or protective films on windows will prevent the harsh glare of the sun from entering the room through the windows to keep it cool. These window improvements will reduce the energy required to cool down the room. While an air conditioner is running, you may want to shut all curtains and window shades. Keeping your home’s interiors cool will ensure that your air conditioning unit uses less energy to maintain comfortable temperatures — while reducing the burden on your energy bills. Air conditioning units are a blessing in summers — follow these winning strategies to control your running...

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10 Hospitality Trends to Look Out for in the Upcoming Years

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If you travel often, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most for your money when it comes to your accommodations. Today’s motels and hotels are offering many more options and amenities for their guests than ever before. Before you book your next room, you might want to note some top trends in the hospitality industry that would make your travels easier and more enjoyable overall, and be sure to look for these amenities and conveniences in your next motel. 1. Pet-friendly options Traveling with a pet can be difficult as you usually need to find a type of doggie daycare that will accommodate your pet while you stay in a motel. However, many facilities today are offering pet-friendly options that not just accommodate pets, but which treat them as guests. This can include everything from special pet beds to baskets of treats for your dog or cat when you arrive, and some might even offer a dog walking service. If you want to travel with your pet, check out those amenities before you book a room and only stay where your furry friend will be welcomed. 2. Focus on fitness It can be difficult to stay fit when you’re constantly on the road, which is why many motels today are offering fitness options for all their guests. This can include a clean yoga mat in the room, fitness classes in their onsite gyms, and even guided runs through the local city with a fitness trainer. This is in addition to upgraded gyms with state-of-the-art treadmills, elliptical machines, and other equipment. 3. Smartphone apps and other technology Using your smartphone to access the internet and book a room is not the only high-tech amenity being offered by motels today. Some allow you to check in through a kiosk rather than standing at a front desk to check in, and to use an app on your smartphone to lock and unlock your hotel room. This means not having to carry a card or key with you. Other chains may offer a free iPad in every room and may provide touch screen controls so that you can adjust the temperature, turn on the television, and even open and close the curtains without ever getting up. This technology can make your visit much more enjoyable for you and even easier, since you won’t need to worry about losing your key or standing in line just to check in. Check out these or other options by contacting resources like Ashfield’s Philip Lodge...

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Decorative Windows | 3 Marvellous Blind Ideas For Bedroom Windows

Posted by on 6:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Decorative Windows | 3 Marvellous Blind Ideas For Bedroom Windows

Blinds are the perfect solutions for bedroom windows because they control the light and insulation of the room impressively. Choosing the right blinds will set the tone of your bedroom − whether you are looking for casual chicness or sophisticated style.  And while visual appeal is key, you need to consider functionality to decide the level of privacy, insulation and light you desire in the room. Here are some marvellous blind ideas for your bedroom windows. Vertical Blinds As the name suggests, vertical blinds have upright slats that provide excellent control over the amount of light and privacy you desire in your bedroom. They create a clean and modern feel to improve the look of any bedroom with their casual trendiness. Vertical blinds work on a pull mechanism that can slide completely towards one side for maximum light. Because of their linear appearance, they look especially good on large windows to make the room seem higher. The material you choose can affect light, privacy and insulation. For example, if you are looking for complete darkness and good insulation, select wooden or block-out vertical blinds for your bedroom. Roller Blinds Roller blinds are basically window blinds that are fitted on a roller, operating on a simple mechanism to infuse the room with elegant appeal. They allow you to control the level of light and privacy you require in your bedroom by opening or closing the blinds partially or completely. For the best operational functionality in the bedroom, you may want to consider dual roller blinds. These are two blinds fitted on one window. Dual roller blinds are extremely versatile because you can choose between two different fabrics for different purposes. For example, choose a block-out fabric for complete darkness and a solar screen for light to enter the room. This enables you to control the level of light, insulation and privacy you desire by offering you the best of both worlds. Roman Blinds Roman blinds are made from materials that will draw up into pleats to create soft layers, exhibiting a sophisticated and stylish feature for the bedroom. Roman blinds are perfect for bedrooms with delicate and soft décor, because of their well-groomed appearance. Keep in mind that the simple up-and-down function offers less control over light and privacy. Block-out fabric works best for people who want added privacy, insulation and light control in the bedroom. The decision to select the right blinds for your bedroom will depend on your requirements and personal style, but this information can help you as you work with local retailers like Creative...

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