Category Archives: DIY

Room to move: when size matters

Planning the type of home that you want to build or purchase can be a balancing act. Finding the funds to allow you to purchase enough living space can be tricky whether you have a growing family, run a business from home or simply want more space to yourself. Read below for some of the features that you should look out for when house buying whether it’s an established home or one that you are designing yourself.


Even in tighter living environments, such as apartments, you’ll typically need your own washing machine, rather than the communal set ups common across America. The European laundry which is really a cupboard, is commonly provided. If this is the case, try to select a configuration that also provides a laundry sink. This can be used for soaking, disposal of water unsuitable for the kitchen sink, and can even provide storage when not in use. Some places pop the washing machine in the kitchen, which is commonplace in the UK. If you have a dedicated laundry room, consider adding in additional storage and a small bench along with the usual sinks, washers and dryers. This will convert the space into a mudroom where heavier coats and jackets can reside as well as shoes, especially the muddy ones! Racks and rails for cleaning product storage can free up space on shelves which can be used for linen, sports equipment or quick hideaway spot for miscellaneous items when guests come to visit.

Open plan living

Although the shift away from the kitchen as a smaller separate room is common across most newer builds, the open plan model is also being tweaked now to maximise liveability. Issues such as noise bleed and a high traffic demand in a concentrated area can make a wonderfully larger space a little less suitable for a contemporary lifestyle. Therefore, we are seeing a design shift towards the creation of zones or ‘quiet’ spaces that provide partial or full privacy such as a studies, small lounges or recreational rooms for children just off the main living area.


A smaller block or square meterage will often result in a reduction of bedroom size to shrink a floor plan. Provided there is ample storage within them and throughout the rest of the residence, this isn’t as much of a problem as many people think. Having natural light, and a location that experiences the least amount of outdoor noise will make for a more comfortable space overall. Furthermore, if the home provides break out areas for studying or even a larger retreat at the top of a stairwell, items such as desks and related furniture and books may not need to be housed in a more petite bedroom.

So whether you’re looking at a house and land package in Geelong, a penthouse in Sydney or a freestanding house in Queensland, take some time to review some floorplans before you visit a residence in person so you can get a feel for room dimensions.

A Familiar Problem: Don’t Make These Classic DIY Errors


Having a DIY disaster might be something you can laugh about later when you look back at what happened, but it doesn’t seem that funny at the time when water is pouring everywhere or you have inflicted damage on something you intended to repair.

Here is a look at some of the regular rookie DIY errors that you might just be able to avoid once you know what to look out for and accept that your skills have limitations.

Water everywhere

Some of the worst DIY disasters involve water escaping into your property as a result of a plumbing job gone wrong or when you unintentionally damage a water pipe.

If you want to avoid this nightmare scenario always take a step back before you start drilling or banging nails into a wall or floor and consider whether there might be a water pipe lurking behind the surface.

Once you drill into that pipe it is going to be carnage, so invest in a wire and pipe detector so that you can get a clear idea of whether you can drill and make holes safely without damaging any pipework or electrical cables.

You can get tools like that here and for a modest investment in something like a detector you can save a whole lot of aggravation and money.

Fixture fails

Even the simplest of jobs can go wrong if you don’t use the right tools and fixings.

A good example would be when you decide to put up some shelves or hang something on the wall like a mirror. The act of fitting the item to the wall shouldn’t be too challenging in itself but a classic error is not using the right length or style of fitting.

Always consider your options carefully and work out the correct length of screw and fitting that you need to insert in the wall in order to hold your item in place and cope with the weight.

A cabinet or mirror falling off your wall can be frustrating as well as damaging and dangerous, so follow the manufacturer’s guidelines or check with someone who knows if you are not sure what fixtures you need to use to do the job properly and successfully.

A false economy

There are countless DIY jobs you can manage by yourself but it is always advisable to know your limits and accept when it might be time to call upon the services of a professional.

If you bite off more than you chew and end up making a mess of your DIY job it could end up costing you more than if you called for help in the first place. Think carefully and honestly about what your limitations are or you could be putting yourself and your home at risk if something goes wrong or isn’t done right.

Major plumbing and electrical work are definite examples of jobs that you might not be qualified to tackle yourself, but with minor repairs and decorating projects, you should be able to get the job done if you have the right tools and avoid some of the classic and avoidable DIY errors.

DIY: How To Determine Whether To Repair, Restore Or Replace Your Gutter

If you have gutters, sooner or later you will be faced with the tough decision of repairing, restoring or replacing them. In order to determine what the best course of action is, you will need to first assess the overall condition of your gutters. To do this you will need a ladder and a buddy to hold the ladder while you are on it.

Safe Use Of A Ladder

Climb the ladder up to the gutter carefully, ensuring that someone is holding the base of the ladder. One way to determine if your gutters need replacing is if you notice there are structural weaknesses in the gutter where water seeps out. While you could try to apply an epoxy filler to seal the crack, it is just a matter of time before the problem would resurface. The issue with climbing ladders is you could fall off and injure yourself so it may be more prudent to reach out to a firm that specializes in gutter assessment and replacement if you do not feel confident in scaling a ladder.

Importance Of Having Gutters

Something that we should touch on is the importance of having gutters on your roof. When it rains, water will roll off your roof onto the ground. If the ground surrounding your home does not have adequate drainage that water could pool which could damage your foundation leading to some real problems over the long-term. With a properly installed gutter system, all of the rain that hits the roof would roll off into a designated area away from your foundation. Now that you know why having a gutter system installed is so important, you really do need to make sure it is working properly.

Getting The Right Gutter Repair Support

While we touched on DIY when it comes to gutters, generally speaking this type of work should be left with the experts that have been doing this type of work for a considerable number of years. A gutter system may look very simple but there are finer nuances of the installation process that if not properly addressed, could lead to significant headaches for you down the road. The angle of the gutters is of particular importance.If it is not set up just right the water will not drain properly and will seep into the roof leading to a host of problems.

Saving Money On Gutter Repair And Replacement

To save money on gutter repair and replacement services, you have to reach out to firms that have the required experience and have been doing this for quite some time. As we mentioned earlier, installing and repairing gutters takes specialized skills to be performed properly. By having the gutters serviced, you will have peace of mind knowing your foundation is safe from water building up during rain storms. The sooner you deal with this gutter issue, the happier you are going to be over the long-term.

How To Choose the Right Plumber

If you need a plumber, time is usually of the essence. You do not really want to endure days upon days with plugging that does not work or water that leaks in the most inopportune of places. While many homeowners try to do the job on their own, this is not usually the prudent way to go about it, as more harm than good can be done. For this reason alone, it is best to contact a professional Atlanta plumber to come in and save the day. That being said, there are some factors to consider when choosing the best plumbing for you and your situation.

Expect Great Customer Service

You can learn a great deal about a plumber by the way his or her office treats you when you contact them. You should expect great customer service, as this will speak to how you will be treated should you select them to perform the needed repairs at your home. This means that your plumber should be courteous and respectful when you contact them on the phone. You should also expect a swift response to any emails that you have, especially if you have asked a question or voiced a concern.

Timeliness of the Response

You should know what to expect your plumber and they should honor that commitment to you. It is quite possible that you have taken off work to be at home when the plumber arrives. Your time is valuable, and a professional plumber should understand that. If your plumber keeps changing the time of arrival on you, or they do not show up altogether, it might be time to consider someone else.

Professionalism Matters

Plumbing is a profession. Sure, you plumber is not going to show up at your home or office in a suit and tie, nor would you want them to. At the same time, they should conduct themselves with professionalism at all times. You should expect them to clean up after they are finished, speak to respectfully in your home at all times, and in general just to respect the sanctity of your home. A professional plumber is one who will treat your home like theirs with each and every service call that they make.

Plumbers can truly save the day if they are good and experienced. This is what you are looking for. You will want to take some time and conduct your own research before deciding on the individual that you ultimately choose to invite into your own home. This will help you in the long run, and it could lead to a long and prosperous relationship for the both of you in the end.

Tips for getting back in your home after unforeseen damage


Whether you’ve experienced the devastation of a home fire, water damage, storm damage, or you need fast mold remediation to keep your family safe, choosing a company with the expertise to get the job done quickly and professionally is extremely important. In fact, for those times when help just can’t wait, 24 hour emergency services are essential. There are times when waiting can cause additional damage, so having a reputable contractor to call, even if it’s in the middle of the night, is essential.

A Reputable Restoration Company

Water damage can leave your home vulnerable to continued deterioration if not handled quickly and professionally. It’s important to choose a company that has a proven track record of handling this type of home restoration. Whether your home has water damage as the result of faulty plumbing or accidental flooding, extracting as much water as possible is the first step, then a reputable company like DKI will develop a comprehensive plan for drying your property.

It is important to remove as much moisture and humidity as possible. This needs to be done quickly in order to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Your restoration contractor will also evaluate other risks, such as the type of water that caused the damage. Water is classified into 3 different categories; generally sanitary, significantly contaminated, and grossly contaminated. The classification of the water will determine the methods used for cleanup and restoration.

Services Offered

A leading restoration contractor will offer a number of services designed to get your home back into good condition. These services typically range from water damage restoration to mold remediation, and even fire and smoke restoration services. Professional remediation and restoration will help ensure that the job is done right, so you can rest assured that there won’t be any further problems.

Fast Response for Emergency Situations

A leading water damage mitigation contractor will provide fast response in emergency situations. There are times when waiting until normal business hours is simply not possible. Fortunately, 24 hour emergency response by a reputable restoration company can help minimize damage while working to get your home restored as quickly as possible. The faster water is extracted and the drying process is implemented, the less chance there will be for additional problems.

When your home is at stake, it’s imperative that you choose a contractor with experience in handling home restoration problems. With fast action and a knowledgeable contractor, you’ll be able to minimize the amount of damage and get your home back to its original condition as quickly as possible.

How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Hot Tub Space

It used to be common place that your hot tub would sit in a sheltered area of your garden, perhaps on a patio or decking. Add a couple of garden lights and you were ready to indulge in a dip. However, garden design trends have come on leaps and bounds and people are wanting to create an experience around their hot tub.

The outdoor room is a popular trend that enhances the area around your hot tub to create the perfect area for relaxation and entertainment. If you want to find out how to create a hot tub haven to escape to, keep on reading.

Let’s Get Started

The process of creating your perfect hot tub space can be broke down into manageable chunks. Initially, you will want to determine the best place to create the space; you will need a solid foundation and safe electrical connections.

Next, if you haven’t received your hot tub yet, have a look online to get its measurements. You will want to make sure the tub fits in the desired place. When measuring a prospective area for your hot tub and outdoor room, remember to take into account any design features you want to include.

Once the previous steps have been achieved, you can get to work on your dream space! However, if you don’t have the time to be erecting different out door room features, there are a number of pre-made garden buildings on the market to house or partially cover your hot tub. You can then add lights and furnishings to make the outdoor space your own.

Simple Outdoor Options

If you have your heart set on creating your outdoor space from scratch, there are a number of simple design options that can pack a punch. Laying down new decking or paving can completely transform your hot tub’s outdoor space. Alternatively, you could paint your fence a vibrant colour, or encourage climbing plants to grow up walls and trellises around your tub. Simply adding some comfy chairs, fairy lights, and a chimenea around your hot tub can create a wonderful effect. You could also turn your outdoor space into an entertainment area, with a BBQ and bar!

Things to Remember

If you have the money, it can be worthwhile utilising the expertise of a landscape gardener if you want to create drastic changes for your outdoor room. However, you will need to be very specific about the work you want done, so that it reflects your personal style.

Whether you want a Moroccan themed space, a nautical themed space, or minimalist Swedish look, make sure your plans reflect your style. Below are five design tips to remember when planning your outdoor room and hot tub area:

  1. Accessories are a must when it comes to giving your outdoor space the right ambience. If it will be a quiet space just for the family, a barbeque, minifridge, and solar powered lights will add a cosy feel. Plan on entertaining? Pop in bar, with obligatory stools, and an outdoor stereo system. Perhaps even some disco lights!
  2. You will definitely need a solid foundation for your outdoor room, especially considering the positioning of a hot tub. Paving and decking are both great options, but there is no reason why one side cannot be edged by a lawn if it fits in with your design plans.
  3. Like any room, lighting can make or break a space. Fairy lights, softer bulbs, and subdued lighting can create an intimate and tranquil outdoor room. Colourful, bold, and bright lights are fantastic for entertaining. You can always have a mix of both, that can be turned on and off as your desire.
  4. Many assume that you need bricks and mortar to create a room, but this isn’t true. Many outdoor rooms and hot tub spaces are created using screens, gazebos, hanging plants, hedges, and trellises. You just need to think outside the box.
  5. Always ensure that the furnishings you choose for your outdoor room reflect the look and style you are going for. When choosing materials, make sure they are waterproof. Or, in the case of chair covers for example, that they can be removed and stored somewhere dry easily.

Stylish décor tips for a family-friendly home


The arrival of children means that changes will inevitably happen in your home, but having a family does not mean that you have to compromise on style in your interior space.

For many parents, having a stylish and welcoming home is a point of pride that allows them to welcome in new family friends without ever feeling embarrassed by their surroundings.

While kids are well known for causing chaos in a home, following a few simple tips can help keep spaces looking current and contemporary while remaining practical for family life.

Choose family friendly floors

When there are 2.4 children and perhaps a pet dog running in and out all day, the floors of your home can really bear the brunt. So, families who want to stay stylish with little effort should consider their floor coverings very carefully. High-traffic areas such as hallways will benefit from the addition of hard flooring such a wood, tile or laminate, as muddy boot stains can be easily washed away at the end of the day. Adding rugs and runners that can be thrown in the wash provides colour as well as improves grip to help prevent toddler tumbles.

Stylish window safety

Windows are a key feature of an interior room, and they are also a factor that parents should consider carefully once the kids come along. Why not replace dangerous corded blinds with a set of stylish window shutters that will offer the family privacy as well as allow for the flow of natural light? Shutters also provide an additional barrier between little ones and glass panes, which not only can be a bonus in terms of safety but also means that there are less greasy fingerprints to wipe away!

Do use the dining room

The dining room is one of the most important areas that parents can create in the home, as family meals have been proven to be beneficial to relationships within a household. Make sure that this room is a space where everyone will want to be by creating a welcoming interior with energising colours and great lighting.

What about a wet room?

If your bathroom looks like a war zone after wash time, then you might want to consider remodelling it with a more family-friendly style. One popular choice of bathroom for parents is the wet room, where there is a single floor covering and drain, meaning that splashes and spills are a lot less of a problem. A wet room simply allows excess water to flow away down the drain at the end of the day.

Use that utility and repurpose the porch

If your home benefits from a utility space at the back door or front porch, then this can easily be repurposed by parents to serve as a stylish and functional cloak room for the family. Adding coat hooks and boot racks will encourage family members to leave wet and muddy outer clothes here before heading on into your home. Labelling pegs and baskets can help children stow away their own accessories at the end of each day, making it much easier to locate all that is needed the next time you are looking to leave.

Space under the stairs

In many homes, the space under the main staircase is not used to its full advantage, so it is up to you how to best design and designate the space to suit your own family’s style. Some parents with older homes opt to turn this area into a second bathroom to prevent children from traipsing up and down stairs when they need to go. For others, it becomes an invaluable area for storing the necessities of all the activities that the offspring engage in, and adding custom storage can help hide away the detritus of daily life so that the hall area is uncluttered when guests arrive. Other parents find that this space is a great place to add a mini office, allowing children access to the Internet for homework tasks while they remain under the watchful eye of the rest of the household.

Think fresh and functional

Whatever changes you are looking to make, the key to creating a stylish and family-friendly home is to focus on function and keep maintenance in mind. Choosing surfaces that will wipe clean, looking at the ways that a space can work and making it easy to disguise any disorder will allow parents to have their home quickly looking its best again when it is time to welcome visitors.

6 Simple Tips for Improving Your Home’s Exterior in Winter


No matter what climate you may live in, winter can leave your exterior looking a little drab. But the winter season doesn’t mean that the outside of your home should look barren or empty. The following are simple tips to brighten your curb appeal.

Remove Dead Plants and Leaves

Many homeowners find winter projects to do to give their home’s interior appearance a lift. When the leaves have fallen, and your yard appears barren, your exterior may also need some additional TLC to improve its look. You can begin by trimming back plants and flowers that are no longer blooming. Leaves that have fallen for the season should be raked or mulched. Trees and bushes should also be trimmed back. If you have planters on the porch, remove the dead flowers and replace with winter greens. Lovely displays filled with evergreens, holly berries and pine cones can bring a welcome burst of color to your exterior. You could also select a bouquet of faux flowers and greenery for your outdoor pots.

Home Maintenance

Chipping paint, missing shingles and old siding can make your home look unkempt, especially in the winter. You can improve the look of your structure by painting the trim a neutral color to match your home. If you’ve experienced blistered siding, hail damage or dry rot, new siding for your home can do wonders. You may also want to consider updating your siding if you’ve added a new addition or your siding color is outdated. Another way to boost your home’s aesthetics is by replacing missing roof shingles immediately after a storm.

Paint or Replace Front Door

If the sun is less visible in your region during the winter, you may need to find other ways to lighten up the look of your exterior. For a front door that has seen better days, you can replace it with a sturdy wood version. You could also repaint your current outside door in a bold color such as red.

Install a Memorable Mail Box

Your mailbox does more than play host to your cards, letters and advertisements. It can also add character to your home. Although old fashion post boxes are sturdy and serve its purpose, look for something to match your home. If you have a Victorian house, look for a design with ornate architecture. If your house is modern, a colorful box with sleek lines can liven up your outdoor curb appeal. You could also paint your mailbox in a color that complements your dwelling.

Increase Lighting

The days become shorter and darker during the winter months. If it’s difficult to see outside your home at night, you want to increase your exterior brightness with good lighting. If you have walkways and a driveway, add lights to the front porch and rear of your house. You can also install motion detector lighting on your garage that will activate when it senses movement. You could also install post lighting near the end of your driveway. When visitors or the pizza delivery driver is looking for your house, the post will act as a beacon to your guests.

Invite Nature

Inviting nature to your home with an array of bird feeders can have a huge positive impact on your home’s curb appeal. Feeders are designed to attract a variety of species in various colors such as cardinals and blue jays.

With the onset of darkness early on during the winter months, your home may look less than appealing. But by using the above simple tips, you can spice up your curb appeal and make your home look inviting and unique.

Decorative Wall Hooks for the Sophisticated Renter


When it comes to decorating an apartment, the little things count just as much as the big ones. Of course, it is important to choose the right color scheme for your living space and to decide where to place all the furniture bought from furniture stores. However, the picture frames, throw pillows, wall hooks and other stuff that are easy to ignore can truly bring out the attitude in a room.

The Perfect Blend of Practicality and Style

Decorative wall hooks are very useful items to have around the home. Depending on their size and style, they can be used to hang coats, photographs or just about anything light. In the Philippine real estate space, these hooks are also perfect for hanging little reminders on – about what to get from the shops, for instance, or whose birthday is coming up. These hooks are such everyday items that they are often overlooked when you are decorating your apartment. However, taking time to choose some beautiful hooks for your wall will truly lift your apartment aesthetic.

Ideas for Decorative Wall Hooks

Once you start browsing through decorative wall hooks, you will see that there are items on the market to suit everyone’s style. Whether you are seeking to create a traditional, rustic feel in your home, or whether you want something quirky and cute for a kids’ bedroom, you can be certain that you will find the perfect hook design for you. Many decorative wall hooks come in stencil style shapes, such as brightly-colored animal designs or symbols, like hearts and stars. These are perfect for helping your children keep their coats neat and tidy! Even design masters such as Charles Eames ventured into this wall decor business with his colourful Eames Hang-it-all hooks. Delve further into the inspiring world of decorative coat hooks and you will find some hooks very unique shapes – such as knives or hammers embedded in the wall or plastic hands reaching out to ‘grab’ your coat or scarf.

Ditch Store-Bought Hooks for DIY

If you want to be a little more adventurous, you can always try and make your own coat hooks with reclaimed materials, carving wooden pegs, or by stenciling designs onto plastic and cutting them out. The possibilities are endless.

With many decorative coat hooks, all that you need to do is to screw or hammer them into the wall and they are ready to use. Some hooks simply come with very strong adhesive tabs, too, which is great if your landlord does not allow you to drill holes in the wall. That way, you can be a responsible renter and still have fun with decorative coat hooks! However, if you want to make a permanent change, why not invest and look for more condos for sale on Zipmatch? Maybe you’d see that perfect unit that would accommodate even your wildest interior desires.

Upgrading Your Bathroom from Drab To Fab!



It seems in recent months many people have been thinking about doing up their houses – whether it’s kitchens, living spaces or bathrooms. Bathrooms are perhaps one of the most important rooms in the home, one which is often overlooked when it comes to sprucing things up. Depending on individual style and preference, bathrooms can either take on a homey, almost lived in feel with knick knacks and fun décor or they can be filled with beautiful, classy fixtures that provide and air of elegance and luxury. Read ahead for more information on creating the flashiest, most luxurious bathroom you can imagine.


One of the best ways to introduce some class and style to a bathroom is to upgrade your tiles. Tiles these days come in not just a multitude of colours, patterns, sizes and styles but also in finishes as well as material. Some have marble finishes, some are specifically made to be uneven such as slate tile which is meant to have a “natural, just taken from nature” type look. The tiles you choose for your bathroom can add a huge amount of sophistication and classic luxury to the space. The plus side is you can use tiles like these finishes to upgrade your kitchen as well as other places in the home such as the bathroom. Check out these bathroom floor tiles from Gul Group for more tile options to consider.

Fixtures and Key Pieces

One of the best shower heads on the market these days are the large “rain shower” shower heads, which simulate a heavier rain shower over you. These not only are fantastic for general showering but are perfect to help you unwind after a long day at work. The rain shower effect helps relax you while providing a good water flow for showering, so you can have the best of both worlds. Additionally the style of the day seems to be styling these showers against a full wall in the bathroom, and tiling the entire area to create a huge showering area, without needing to purchase a separate whole shower unit. This gives the bathroom a classy, elegant look, and also allows you more space without needing big bulky shower units, as a simple glass wall will protect from the water seeping out.

Glass isn’t just for windows, and other finishing touches

As mentioned, glass partitions in bathrooms can add a huge amount of class to any bathroom, and also helps keep that pesky shower water in its place. Other finishing touches for bathrooms can also include getting things such as towel racks, hangers, mirrors and the like all lined with or made out of the same material – such as steel or silver coloured finishes, which keeps the classiness of the room together. If you have the space you can additionally add medicine cabinets, cabinets under stand alone sinks, or even add a potted palm type plant to give that tropical vibe.

However you decide to do up your bathroom, rest assured that with the huge amount of choice and selection out there these days that you won’t have to look far for the perfect pieces to suit your space, style and yourself.