Outdoor Blinds: Before You Buy

Prior to purchasing new outdoor blinds, you need to do a little research. Think about what you want to see in your space. Create a budget and stick to it. Learn about the different kinds of blinds so that you can make the most informed decision possible. This article reviews five points that you should think about before you buy café blinds.

What Are Café Blinds?

Café blinds are constructed from strong, marine-grade material. There are some versions that are also created from mesh fabric, so they last even longer. Café blinds can help protect you from the sun, but they still give you a chance to take in the view. Many families love these blinds, because they help to protect their children from the sun’s rays but still allow them to keep a watchful eye on what is going on from a distance.

There are many advantages to installing outdoor blinds. Café blinds can help protect an outdoor space from the elements. They also cut back on exposure to ultra violet rays. While they serve many useful functions, café blinds are so much more than that; they also look great and serve as a decorative feature for your home.

Find out more about the advantages of outdoor blinds here:

How Much Should You Spend?

There are a lot of types of outdoor blinds in Sydney, which means that the price for this product is going to vary. Before you shop, figure out how much you are willing to spend and try to stay within those parameters. You can certainly pick up an inexpensive brand if you don’t have a lot to spend. There are also custom options that cost more, particularly if they come from Australia. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what kind of café blinds you get; it depends entirely on what you need them for and what purpose you want them to serve. Remember, though, that you pay for quality. If you pick up an inexpensive brand, do not hold out too much hope that they will last longer than a few years.

How Do You Want Them To Look?

Take a look at how your house is currently decorated. The café blinds that you purchase should fit in with the overall look and feel of your home. For example, if your home is fairly neutral, your blinds should be neutral as well. If you have a contemporary look to your space, factor that in when making your purchase.

When it comes down to it, though, go with your gut. Buy the blinds that you like the best so you will be happy with them. Determine what features matter most to you; for example, is automation on your list of must haves? Would you rather have clip and tension blinds or blinds that are in a track? Your budget may also dictate what features you look for.

Learn More

The Internet is a great tool and can help you find out more about café blinds. The only problem is that sometimes there is too much information to wade through! Take your time and don’t be too hasty when making a purchase. Keep in mind that price should not be the only selling point. While one brand may be more expensive than another, it could also be much higher quality. It might offer a better warranty or the company may provide better customer service. Do your research before making a final decision.

After you figure out what you want to purchase, think about having a professional installation. It can save you a lot of time and may ultimately save you money from a costly repair as well. Unless you are very familiar with café blinds, installation is one job that is best left to the experts.


3 Fundamental Outdoor Design Tips

Have you ever wondered what exactly makes the exterior of a home visually attractive? Why do certain houses on a street make you want to stop and stare in awe of how beautiful they are? Most likely those stunning houses you have encountered follow some fundamental design principles. Every design, whether it is exterior or interior, must follow some basic design rules in order for the final result to be visually appealing.

The following are 3 basic exterior design principles you can use to transform your home into an attractive haven:

1. Balance Shapes Using Symmetry

Symmetry and balance play a critical role in helping you to accomplish a well-designed space. Every home’s facade must have some sense of symmetry and balance to appear to be properly designed and attractive.

Whether it’s the attractive nature of the symmetrical Georgian house, with its centered door and windows equally flanking each side, or a house where balance is accomplished via dormers equally placed over the exterior or through pointed roof lines.

There are many different ways of achieving a home exterior that is proportional – some are through symmetry that is quite obvious, while others might not be as readily apparent. A properly designed home, either way, has a balanced and proportional exterior.

2. Form Follows Function

The form follows function phrase was coined by Louis Sullivan, who was the mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright. Basically what it means is that a building’s purpose should be the design’s starting point.

What is your home’s purpose? What are you planning on using your house for? You need to take all of your family’s needs into consideration and then determine what is needed in order for your home to meet all of these needs.

Your home’s exterior should mimic the interior design’s form that you have selected. Perhaps you are an artist who selected large windows based on the fact that you need to have natural lighting in order to create and paint. Maybe you need to have a granny suite over your garage, and therefore your home’s exterior has a dormer to make the room’s window appear to be balanced. You always need to keep in mind that the exterior design is always affected by the interior design of your home also.

3. House Textures And Materials

With all of the numerous options that are available these days, it can be quite hard to decide which materials you want to use on the exterior of your house. Between steel, stucco, wood, brick, aluminum, vinyl siding, cedar shingles, and more, how do you make your decision?

The best thing to do is balance aesthetics with durability. You of course want your home’s exterior to be a reflection of your personal style. If you happen to be a country girl or guy, then you might want to have cedar shingles and tumbled stone. On the other hand, if you are a modern minimalist then you might want to have simple wood panels or sleek steel lines.

To avoid expensive mistakes, the best thing to do is consult with an experienced and highly skilled design architect. Many online visual tools are also available that can assist you with seeing what your choices in materials look like before making your final investment.


The Advantages And Features Of Plantation Shutters

If you’re considering some kind of new coverings for your windows to replace broken-down blinds or faded and dusty drapes, then you should consider having shutters installed in their place. If you want to make a great choice for your office space or home environment, then keep reading to learn 10 great advantages and features of beautiful, dependable shutters.

Regardless of whether you choose outdoor plantation shutters or an indoor variant, they all work like they’re a part of the greater window. As such, they give you privacy, shade, and even some security.

1) They’re attractive:

When you pick the right shutters, you get something that has a patented finish applied, meaning the color doesn’t fade over time. So, you can use them a permanent substitution for curtains that date and fade easily. Shutters are always a fashionable choice, and the tidy appearance they give fits with the styles of any year or season. Shutters have a demonstrated effect in boosting how aesthetically appealing a room is, so in many cases, their installation actually increases the value of a home. Shutters are attractive, reliable, and durable, so they don’t need replacement, which other options like blinds and drapes eventually will. The decision to get them seems pretty straightforward when you consider how versatile they are, since they look just as good outside as they do inside. The variety of colors available can easily provide a tone that matches your decor.


2) Manage the temperature indoors:

Shutters are usually made out of Thermalite, which is a material that can help you manage the interior temperature of a room, office, or home. Thermalite actually keeps your home a bit warmer in winter weather by preventing drafts from coming into a room. On the other hand, the same material in the summer will prevent sunlight from penetrating interior space and heating up a room. You can save money on both heat and air conditioning.

3) Block out the sun:

Do you get sick of rays of light beaming into your early morning room? Shutters can cure this ailment. You can sleep in without the sun shining in your eyes when you close your shutters during the night. No matter how high the sun gets in the day, you can sleep in with a room that stays cool and dark. You can even manage the degrees of sunlight by setting your shutters at angles. Shutters keep out more light than any other window covering option, so you can get all the rest you need to get through your day.

4) Allergy management:

You can clean shutters far easier than fragile curtains or bulky drapes. Spring cleaning is no longer a burden. You just wipe over them quickly, and they look fresh and new. Other forms of coverings for your windows are practically dust magnets.

5) You save some money:

When you buy the appropriate shutters for your home, you can keep your utility bills in check. Shutters act as insulation, keeping out bothersome heat but also drafts of cold air. When you use them to manage the temperature of a room, you don’t have to fire up the heater or turn down the air conditioner as much. Shutters are also cheaper than many other window covering options, so your installation and purchase doesn’t offset your utility savings that much either.

6) Durability:

Shutters are designed, manufactured, and installed to last far longer than any potential alternate covering for your windows, so the need to replace shutters doesn’t happen for many years into the future. If you buy them from a trusted and reliable business, and they get installed properly, then shutters have the durability to possibly last as long as the home itself does! Design Plantation Shutters Sydney offers their shutters in durable basswood or thermalite insulated foam.

7) Enjoy more privacy:

Privacy is something that you should be able to enjoy inside of your very own home. Curtains can sheer, and blinds can break, all leaving your home far easier to see into from outdoors, making privacy a difficult thing to attain. Shutters offer you lots of privacy, and you can determine how much by varying the tilt on them to your own preference.

8) Easy access:

Anybody, even little kids, can open or close shutters without difficulty. Blinds can get caught or choke, and curtains or drapes might come tumbling down. Shutters open and close free of heavy ties, mind-boggling drawstrings, or other awkward contraptions.

9) Sizes available:

The sizes of your windows really don’t matter. Shutters can be custom made and uniquely ordered to the size and shape of any window you have. This is a great way to give your home a custom accent.

10) Enjoy no strings attached, and that’s not figuratively:

Shutters do not have strings attached. Many other forms of window covering have strings that you must tug or pull in sequence in order to turn them, close them, open them, spread them out, or move them to the side. These strings are potential choking and tripping hazards and not always safe for pets and kids. Even when not a danger, then can snag or get tangled and even break. Shutters are durable, easy, and safe.

Fact Check: Asbestos in Your Home

How do you figure out if you have asbestos?

It is not easy to determine whether asbestos are present just by looking at a scenario with your eyes. Typically, building materials that were put into a property prior to the late 1980s could have asbestos. Still, you can’t be sure unless a laboratory evaluates a sample of the materials.

Prior to working on the property, or tearing it down, you should wait to get confirmation that asbestos are actually present.

If you feel that the testing process is too lengthy or expensive, operate under the assumption that the material does have asbestos.

Are asbestos present in newer properties?

They are not. Ever since late 2003, Australia has banned asbestos and anything with asbestos in it. It is against the law to sell, install, store, import, provide or use materials that contain asbestos. However, the ban does not affect asbestos materials that were put in before 2003.

As far as residential building materials go, no asbestos have been used since the 1980s. They were replaced with cellulose fibres. In addition, insulation products have non-asbestos fibres, like glass. Still, it is important to note that these materials are not completely safe. If you breathe in the dust from the materials, you may experience irritation of the throat and skin.

Asbestos Materials

When building homes prior to the 1980s, there were two kinds of materials that had asbestos. Non-friable asbestos, also known as bonded asbestos, was one. The other is known as friable asbestos, or loosely-bound asbestos. If you are unsure you should always find an expert that does asbestos disposal Perth to test your materials and determine the best course of action.

Non-friable Asbestos

These materials have a certain amount of asbestos fibres contained within the hardened cement matrix. Bonded asbestos are the type that are normally found in people’s homes and are also known as AC sheeting, asbestos cement and fibro. Around fifteen percent of their composition is normally asbestos, but that number can go as high as forty percent. The building materials used today contain cellulose fibres instead. It is important to note that this type of material is thought to be the lesser of two evils. They can also be dealt with a little better than their counterpart. Still, if the materials are loose or coming down, they must be handled appropriately so that there is no dust generated.

You may also find this type of asbestos material in insulating boards. Insulating boards were used for residential homes as well as commercial and industrial properties. They help with fire protection, sound insulation and heat insulation. Typically, they are located in electrical panels, circuit boards, walls, and ceiling tiles. Up to 45 percent of their composition may be asbestos.

Friable Asbestos

Loosely-bound asbestos typically are not found in homes. They were usually put into industrial and commercial properties as a way to keep the buildings fire proof. They also provided insulation and a sound barrier. Typically, glass fibres are now used instead of asbestos.

It is possible to find this type of asbestos in a home, however. In particular, older hot water systems, domestic heaters and stoves may have them. In addition, hot water pipe lagging and ceiling insulation could contain them as well. These materials can be entirely composed of asbestos and they are loose. It does not take much for them to dissolve into dust.

Therefore, this is a very dangerous material. Do not attempt to take it out yourself and instead contact a licensed professional.

Keep These 5 Tips in Mind When Home Building

Transforming your dream house to reality means you will have to go through some challenges to make it a successful venture. However, the home could become a stressful one of you do not handle the process properly. In regards to this, we shall be going through a few common mistakes made by first time home builders to help you avoid disasters.

Hiring Unsuitable Experts

This is one of the most common mistakes that most of us make when it comes to almost every field. Well, architects need to be qualified by going through a series of tests and exam and years of apprenticeship in order to gain their licenses. By hiring an inexperienced and unqualified architect, then you are in for a series of problems during the construction process. A custom designed home will call for qualified contractors and so, do not overlook this aspect.

Attempting To Do It Yourself

Handling the project, by skipping on hiring an experienced person to manage the project might look like it will save you money at first, but it ends up costing you even more when the project does not go as planned. Since this is your first time in the industry, you might end up with scammers and unscrupulous tradesmen that will only suck your money. Getting someone who has been in the field for years will be able to weed out the good , bad and the ugly to ensure that the entire project is less risky.

Cutting Corners

Even if you are on a budget, it does not make sense to cut corners on the materials and design. It is not wise to compromise the quality of your build such as bricks, tiles, windows, etc. Just because you want to save money. Ideally, do not cut on labor costs. Yes, high quality workmanship will demand a lot of bucks, but it leads to a property that is well built and with a higher value.

Making Changes After Finalizing The Building Plans

Once your architect gets as seal of approval, any changes made after the finalized plan could trigger a disaster and make a huge change in costs. For instance, if you wish to move the doorway, it might sound like a simple process, but the current position might be supporting a beam and so, if moved this part of the house would call for an alternative support. In such a case, the engineer would have to revise the plans so that the change can be effectively made. This means more time and money.
So, ensure that your planning sessions with the architect give you a plan that is exactly what you require for your dream house. Do not commence the building until you are fully satisfied.

Paying upfront

Paying workers in advance is another common mistake you do not want to make. If a builder doesn’t trust you enough to commence on the work without upfront payment, then there is no reason to trust them either. You should set up terms and pay in various stages during the project. Then make sure you check off each step of the way.


Basement Renovation Ideas

Our basements give us a truly unique opportunity for a great remodel. Unlike other parts of the home, the basement is not limited to a certain purpose. Bedrooms are for sleeping, kitchens are for cooking and dining and bathrooms are for washing. Well, basements can be for anything the owner wishes. With such a versatile room, you have a lot of options when you decide to remodel. Picking the ideal use of the basement is a sure way of bringing enjoyment and excitement to you and your family. However, poor planning could send you back to the initial planning sooner than you think, or make the entire basement useless.


Basement Bars

When it comes to basement remodeling, bars might not be the most appealing option, but the mass extravagance makes them a certain hit for most of the people. Once adorned with decorations and waterproofed, the space will not only look good, but it also gives a sense of individuality, making it one of the most favorite places to relax alone, or even entertain others. You could add a pinball machine, a pool table, or even a huge TV screen and you will have a good spot that you, your family and your friends can enjoy while catching up. For the wine, scotch or even beer lovers, the basement is ideally a great place to keep a great collection of liquor. This is because the basement easily offer as consistent temperature making it a good storage space for your loved labels. You can also be able to compliment it with a tasting room just to make it a bit more enjoyable.

Remodeling Your Basement For Multiple Purpose

We all know what they say about putting all your eggs in one basket. Well, by ensuring that the basement is not just a one hit wonder, chances are that your investment will be well used. Building a place where you and your friends as well as family can gather, or a place where a visitor can also crash will score you some points in a major way. Another great idea is to have a studio in your basement. You ca easily add soundproofing to the room and increase its uses without compromising on the appearance. A soundproofed basement is also ideal for practicing bands, operating loud power tools as well as other loud activities. However, it is not limited to only that as it would act well for a night of board games and cards.
Regardless of the manner in which you intend to use the space in your basement, the fact remains that you will not knock the ball of the park without some good planning. There are some activities such as woodworking and photograph development, that will be suitable for such a space, but they will not do that great without extra ventilation. Ideally, if you intent to turn the space into a bar, then you might want to consider adding a bar sink to make operations smooth and more convenient.


Don’t Take These Renovation Short-cuts

There are plenty of renovation mistakes that occur in various construction projects – some are big while others are small, but they have one common denominator: They do not need to happen. Below, Scott shares a list of the most common home renovation mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.

1. Inadequate preparation.

Any renovation project requires a lot of preparation. A detailed plan must be put in place to help keep you on budget and on schedule. When talking to your contractor, come up with an extremely specific agreement before the project begins and be sure to have everything in writing. You should clearly see on paper how your renovation project is going to unfold before any work commences.



2. Buying materials prior to planning.

Never buy materials or appliances prior to planning and all measurements have been made. You might be tempted to buy a lot of thin
gs when they go on sale, but that 24-inch dishwasher you got for 50% off would be a great waste of money if you can only accommodate an 18-inch model.

3. Ignoring important issues.

Tearing down walls or ripping floors apart often brings some issues to the surface, especially when the project involves an old home. Plumbing and electrical issues, for instance, must be fixed before closing the walls back up. Such issues may not be part of your expected renovation costs, but dealing with them can help you save much more money in the long run.

4. Taking shortcuts.

Just don’t do it. Similar to ignoring issues, taking shortcuts when it comes to materials or finishes almost always results to future problems. It’s always a good decision to do it right the first time instead of going back and having to redo everything. Be sure to hire competent people, buy high quality materials and take the time in completing all the required steps in the construction project.

5. Unlicensed trades.

There are renovation projects which can be handled by any reliable contractor; but there are specialized projects which are best left in the hands of a licensed professional. Plumbing, electrical, HVAC, asbestos removal and any job that deals with the structure of your home must be carried out by a licensed professional that specializes in that particular trade.

6. Going overboard with DIY.

Homeowners who want to get involved in home renovation projects are admirable, but there comes a point when the job is better left in the hands of professionals. Cabinetry installation, sophisticated carpentry and complicated tile work are usually beyond the skill and knowledge level of most homeowners and can even bring down your home’s value if done incorrectly. My take on the matter? Get your hands dirty in the demo – it’s the part of of the renovation project that offer the most fun, anyway!