7 Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring

Solid wood flooring can be expensive and comes with many drawbacks such as a lack of flexibility in humid conditions. But when you choose engineered wood, you get a stylish product with many advantages. It makes the best use of natural resources and it’s just perfect for any room in your home. 1. Hard-Wearing Engineered wood is manufactured from multiple layers of timber. The lower planks are usually of less decorative wood such as pine. They can even be made from economical, ecological, recycled timber by-products or fibreboard. Several thin layers with a density similar to plywood are glued together. Then the top layer of real oak or a similar wood is applied to the surface. It’s this layered effect that gives engineered wood amazing flexibility and additional resistance to excessive footfall compared to a solid wood floor. It means your flooring can withstand the rigours of family life for many years to come. And providing you remember to give it a little attention every so often, it should still look as delightful as the day it was installed. 2. Economical Unlike its solid timber rival, engineered wood flooring is a cost-effective option. It only uses a thin top layer of attractive timber such as maple, beech or oak. This drastically reduces the expense of the timbers used for your floor despite the longer manufacturing process. The investment you make in choosing engineered wood flooring should be recouped when you balance out the expense of inferior materials. Vinyl and laminates are far less robust and only last for a fraction of the time. They’ll need replacing every ten years or so. On balance, the durability of engineered wood flooring makes it an ideal choice for your home against cheaper forms of flooring. 3. Fast Installation The manufacturing techniques to produce the timbers for engineered wood flooring incorporate all your installers need to make the job mercifully quick. Each plank includes shaping along each side for tongue and groove connection. It makes each plank simple to fit the next and produces a beautifully smooth surface that’s fixed firmly in place. Cutting each plank to correspond with the dimensions of your room is easier with engineered wood than with solid timber. It means your installers won’t have to work so long to complete the flooring. This helps with reducing the cost of installation. It gives you the chance to have your floor looking and performing perfectly due to a professional installation. But if you’re super confident, you can always opt for DIY. 4. Long-Lasting When you provide your home with flooring made of engineered wood, you know it will last for...

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How Smart Homes are Impacting the Interior Design Industry
Jan10

How Smart Homes are Impacting the Interior Design Industry

Photo by Expect Best from Pexels Last year I talked about smart technology in our homes that can better our lives but this year I want to delve a bit deeper into the topic. The interior design industry is constantly changing but some core principles are becoming an essential part such as sustainability and inclusivity. A modern home should be aesthetically pleasing, create a sense of relaxation and have a balanced appearance that’s easy on the eye. In 1905, the world’s first interior designer, Elsie de Wolfe, aimed at an uncluttered antidote to the overbearing Victorian homes. Nowadays, smart technology has taken her ideals one stage further by incorporating intelligent devices that save not only the energy from your electricity supply but your own energy too! In this article, I will take a look at the main aspects of “a smart home” and why it is important to incorporate them into your own property. Intelligent Lighting One of the most important aspects of high-quality interior design is lighting. It’s used to add atmosphere, illuminate workspaces and increase the beauty of furniture, walls and floors. LED light bulbs have become indispensable for all types of interiors. They don’t emit harmful ultra-violet rays, they last for years and operate with very little energy. I’ve always found them incredibly versatile as they can drift through a range of colours and intensities. By adding smart technology and you can save energy by taking full control through your smartphone. One exciting development is motion sensors. In hallways, bathrooms and staircases, your presence is detected as you walk through and the lights automatically switch on, then they turn themselves off when you’ve left the vicinity. Clever Window Dressing Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels Natural lighting affects interior design through illumination and by drawing attention to windows. No matter what size the panes of glass are, it’s how they are framed that adds to the image of a room. Sleek, sophisticated blinds or elegant swags harmonise with the general decor while providing natural light to enhance colour schemes and textures. But window dressing has just got even Smarter. Window blinds and curtains can incorporate smart features such as remote control via your smartphone or voice control through a home automation system. It means you needn’t ever stir from your comfy armchair to adjust them. They can even be pre-programmed to open at set times to wake you up in the morning. They can also automatically close at night to fool would-be burglars into thinking you’re still at home. Capable Kitchens The kitchen is often a challenge to interior designers. It has to look amazing, yet...

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7 Ways to Make Your Home More Handicap Accessible
Jan10

7 Ways to Make Your Home More Handicap Accessible

With the passing of the years, more and more people realise the importance of inclusivity and the thinking of others. In the previous article, we talked about the environment and how you can embrace an eco-conscious and sustainable design. Another important way of working towards a better world is creating a space that is comfortable for disabled people and the elderly. So, if you just bought a home you’re planning on living in for your retirement, it’s smart to consider a few changes that will make it more accessible for you in the future. And if you’re looking to renovate your property with the goal to sell it, then these disabled-friendly changes will definitely add value to your home, making it attractive to people that have difficulties finding the right house for them. Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels Sturdy Grab Rails Installing simple handrails in strategic places can help everyone in your family. The bathroom in particular can be hazardous if you lose your balance. There are tragic cases where fit and healthy young people have lost their lives through head injuries sustained while slipping on soapy floors. Consider your bathroom design and place grab rails where they are easy to reach for youngsters as well as yourself. Grab rails can also be placed along hallways and stairs. Make them appear part of the overall design with bold wall colours above and below and they won’t look like disability aids. Ramps for Stairs My home is a typical Australian house with a few steps leading up to the front door. Some homes with a split-level design even have two or three stairs on the inside to connect between different rooms. With impaired mobility, it might seem impossible to negotiate those steps using a wheelchair. You could choose a permanent solution involving expensive architectural work to install slopes. But a quick and easy fix is to invest in a sturdy stair ramp. Many designs fold for easy storage and manoeuvrability. They are lightweight to move from one room to another and won’t spoil the architecture of your home. Elevators and Stairlifts Photo by cottonbro from Pexels Speaking of stairs, they can be hard to climb if you’re experiencing mobility problems with your knees. But there are plenty of options to solve the problem. A stairlift is a popular choice. It can be installed quickly and allows you to sit comfortably while being transported up or down the staircase. It can even travel around corners if your staircase has a sharp mid-point turn. An alternative is a small lift or elevator. It can be fitted into a hallway or a...

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Can Solar Panels Save You Money in Australia?
Oct18

Can Solar Panels Save You Money in Australia?

In the typical Australian home, high-quality solar panels should save you money long-term. They could even eliminate using electricity from the grid. However, the average energy costs of an Australian home can vary. The variations of location and individual demands can drastically alter the money-saving potential of solar panels. How Much Money Can You Save with Solar Panels? The following calculation suggests the savings that an average Australian home can make through the installation of solar panels. It doesn’t include a feed-in tariff, where you sell surplus electricity to the grid. Energy usage in different households varies enormously depending on individual requirements. But when you make a balanced estimation, the typical Aussie home might use 8,000 kW per annum. This could cost you around $3,200 for the year. A standard solar panels installation could generate the 8,000 kW you need in its first year of use. But let’s assume it only provides three-quarters of your requirements, with the remainder supplied by the grid. You could still save $2,400. Recouping Your Investment in Solar Panels The cost of solar panels with an average 6.6 kW output could be approximately $6,500. A high-quality system should last at least twenty-five years. Based on the above savings, you could recover the installation costs in about three years. It means that for the remaining twenty-two years, you could save a massive $52,000. But what if your electricity consumption was so great, solar panels could only supply half your needs? You should still be able to pay off the initial cost after four years. You could then save around $33,000 over the lifetime of your solar panels’ system. Of course, over twenty-five years, your household’s requirements could alter. Your kids might leave home, reducing your electricity usage even more. But then, this benefit could be offset when you switch to vehicles that require electrical recharging overnight. Can Solar Panels Increase the Value of Your Home? The threat of irreversible climate change is encouraging the use of renewable energy such as solar panels. Government data reveals there were 2,897,835 new installations by the end of July 2021. Let’s assume these are high-quality installations of at least 5 kW. They’ll not only provide savings on electricity bills, but they could also increase the value of each home by an estimated $30,000. What if you invest in high-quality solar panels worth approximately $6,000 immediately before selling your home? They could theoretically pay for the installation five times over. You’d make a profit even after investing in solar panels for your new home. Effective Battery Storage Self-sufficiency from the grid is only realistically achievable if you add battery storage....

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The New Smart Home in 2021
Mar17

The New Smart Home in 2021

Embrace the future with these technological trends to make your home smarter and more convenient! The posibilities are endless.

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Importance of Maintaining Your Pipes Regularly
Mar08

Importance of Maintaining Your Pipes Regularly

In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, it sometimes takes effort to find the time to stay on top of the plumbing, but this should not be the case. A piping system is an essential part of anyone’s home as they provide convenient ways to transport water in and out of your home. It is the exact reason why even a problem is not a matter of emergency it should not, in any way, be left ignored. A toilet that is not flushing, a sink that is not draining, or a shower floor that is overflowing is no fun at all. It may appear easy to remedy but can quickly turn into a significant problem. Why a Healthy Pipe Matters Either studies or personal experience can validate that a well-maintained pipe lasts long, even past its expected lifespan without a hitch at all. In plain language, the plumbing system’s longevity comes down to how it is used and maintained. There are several reasons why it is essential to upkeep the plumbing, read some below. To Keep your Pipes in Top Condition Watching what you put down the drains has always been a good starting point towards a healthy pipe. When you put this into practice, you can tremendously save yourself from dealing with clogs. Clogs can overwhelm your drainpipes and consequently ruptures. As a rule of thumb, never let anything that does not breakdown or melt down the drain. Food waste that has grease, oil and fats, eggshells, coffee grounds, even hair are just a few items that are terrible on your drainpipe. To Save Time and Money A plumbing repair is no laughing matter, both in your pocket and your time. If you ever have a plumber at home, you know that they will never go to your house free of charge, unless the plumber is your friend and is giving you a pro bono service. Everything comes with a price, and unfortunately, the bigger the problem, the more you need to spend. If your pipeline is excellently working, you will never have to pay a plumber for a service or have your water service disconnected at all. Avoid Inconvenience Did you ever have to cut short on your shower, or plunge your toilet because the water is taking forever to drain? What a bummer! I am sure you can imagine how disappointing it is to deal with such a nuisance. If you want to get away with this, spare no effort to watch what you put down your drain. Placing a drain guard in your sink and shower drain will pretty much keep you from...

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