Plantation Shutters Gaining Popularity with Australian Homeowners

Plantation Shutters Gaining Popularity with Australian Homeowners

May. 23, 2017 by

When choosing window treatments, I must admit plantation shutters are among my favorite. When installed correctly, they can increase the value of your home while also being a more affordable option than some more expensive window treatments. You can even include the cost of plantation shutters when financing the purchase of a new home. Why would they do that? Because plantation shutters are typically a permanent addition to your home that will remain with it should you choose to sell the home in the future.

Plantation Shutters have been the fastest growing window furnishing in Sydney lately and for good reason.

Plantation shutters are especially popular for kitchen remodels. If you’re considering interior shutters, make sure you find out whether you’re getting shutters that are custom fit for your windows or if you will be receiving stock panels that will be cut down to size. Typically there is little difference in price.

As you can see from the picture, these shutters have a narrow divider rail. This feature allows you to adjust the upper and lower louvers separately, which is appealing for those who prefer a little privacy after the sun goes down.

There are many styles and sizes available in plantation shutter being sold today. The photo shown here is an example of a 2 1/2 inch louver size, which is quite popular for living rooms in many areas.

thermalite-window-fixtures

As you can tell from this picture, the louvers on these shutters seem to be of the 3 1/2 inch louver style. When choosing your plantation shutters, there really is no correct louver style or size, it primarily comes down to a matter of personal taste. However, a common rule of thumb to keep in mind is smaller louver sizes are more appropriate for small to average size rooms. Larger rooms should aim for a larger louver size, typically at least 3 1/2 inches.

If you’re in the market for plantation shutters, keep these features in mind before purchasing. A reputable custom shutter provider will take exact measurements of your windows and will make sure your shutters are built to be a perfect fit. TheĀ Sydney plantation shutters price will vary depending on the size of the window and the types of material you pick – basswood, cedar or polymer foam.

For bathrooms, shutters with divider rails are often the shutter of choice. This feature allows you to close the louvers on the bottom while at the same time leaving the upper louvers open which allows natural lighting in while protecting privacy. You’re not likely to get that sort of dual functioning out of curtains or generic window blinds.

Often buyers consider going with half shutters because they believe they will be sufficient. I advise those folks to reconsider because half shutters will cost nearly as much as full shutters, so there will be little if any savings recognized by doing so. Further, half shutters provide less insulation and less sunlight control. With full shutters, you can enjoy plenty of natural lighting while at the same time filtering much of the damaging sunlight that can fade furniture and carpeting. So before committing to half shutters, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of making such a decision.

By having shutters custom fit for your windows, you will have more design options available to you.

Some folks have no intention of opening the panels that are against the wall, in which case opening from the middle is acceptable. For others who plan to open them who may have obstructions that would prevent them from doing so, choosing bi-fold is the better option. This shutter style works much the same as bi-fold doors, and allows louver panels to open around whatever happens to be in the way.

custom-plantation-shutters-sydney

2017’s Hottest Trends In Home Design

2017’s Hottest Trends In Home Design

May. 22, 2017 by

Are you interested in the latest and greatest home trends? Consider a voice-activated home helper able to provide your weather forecast as you pull pre-warmed coffee mugs from a new-fangled drawer? If those options do not tickle your fancy, fear not! 2017’s design trends are certain to include something that is up your alley.

1. Brass with satin finishes. It is hard to deny the resurgence brass fixtures have experienced of late. Part of the reason is that brass can lend a golden flourish to interior spaces without a tremendous amount of sticker shock. It should be noted, though, that designers are generally favoring brushed or satin brass finishes over those with a more reflective surface. The advantage of brushed and satin styles have in terms of warmth is clear.

2. Voice-activated web assistants. These fun and practical tools have caught fire in the past year. Alexa from Amazon works by way of devices such as the Echo Dot, and it can serve as an easily-activated interface for a whole host of smart home appliances and devices. Also recently-launched in this category is Google Home’s version of these innovative efficiency aides.

Devices of this nature can be quickly put into action by using the relevant activation words, and they are always attuned, waiting for their owner to make a request. Once an audible command is given, these devices can do a wide array of tasks, such as play particular types of music, power up an appliance or even dim the household’s lighting.

Last year, the Alexa platform was expanded to include third-party players such as Honeywell, Nest, Lutron, Samsung Smart Home and others to expand the user-friendly nature of their devices and to offer expanded services to customers.

3. Storage walls for tidy kitchen spaces. Because there never seems to be enough room in a kitchen, many in the design world have shifted their focus away from traditional upper cabinets in the direction of creating all-encompassing storage walls. The overall effect is clean, neat and organized.

4. Introducing contrast to the island. In terms of backsplashes and cabinet doors, white remains a perennial favorite. However, in large kitchens, so much white can create an overly sterile impression. Therefore, designers everywhere have been counterbalancing this effect by painting center islands in contrasting, darker hues to achieve an appealing sense of balance.

Cranes Used to Build Rail Line

Cranes Used to Build Rail Line

Jan. 29, 2017 by

Five new stations are being built by the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removing Project in Carnegie, Hughesdale, Clayton Murrumbeena, and Noble Park. In addition, nine level crossings are being removed.

Also, the project involves upgrading rail, power and signalling systems along 72 kilometres worth of rail line to Southern Cross Station from Pakenham and Cranbourne. Station platforms will also be extended for supporting 65 new and lengthier High-Capacity Metro Trains. By late 2018, this will be finalised and allow for an extra 20,000 passengers per day, representing a 42 percent increase in capacity for the line.

Design

A proposed design was released in February 2016 by the Victorian Government for an elevated rail solutions.

In April 2016 it was announced that, based on feedback from the community, that a number of various measures would be incorporated by the project, including improved security for train users, enhanced PSO facility at Noble Park, minimizing how bulky the elevated structures are as much as possible, changing the location of the Noble Park substation to offer more open space, more car parking, more bike paths, better lighting, noise walls and privacy screen along the structure, and escalators having power supply that is uninterrupted at all the new stations.

In November 2016, a number of different improvements for the new building design for the Murrumbeena Station were announced. They included lowering the station canopies and installing a secondary entrance.

The design to remove nine level crossing is going to create over 225,000 square metres of new open space, parklands and community spaces along with 17 kilometres of pedestrian and cyclist paths which will result in a continuous path being created from Caulfield to the EastLink trail. Overall noise will also be reduced by the design throughout the corridor in addition to the surrounding area, making it possible to keep more mature trees as well as provide the chance to plant new larger specie trees close to the rail line. The local heritage value of the stations is also reflected in the design.

Construction

Major construction has begun to create new open spaces over the Cranbourne-Pakenham line, remove nine level crossings and rebuild five new stations.

Various methods will be used by the construction team to build the new elevated structures.

A gantry crane will be used by the construction team to build the elevated structure given that the rail corridor is so narrow between Grange Road and Poath Road. The narrow rail corridor of this section means it won’t be possible to crane in sections for the structure. An advanced gantry crane is being used instead by the project for the automated carrier to be fed. The carrier will drive along the elevated structure with deck sections being laid on top of its support piers.

In Clayton and Noble Park the elevated rail section will be built using traditional crane methods by a Crane hire company Sydney. After the large beams get delivered to the site, they will be lifted into place by large cranes.

Construction is occurring simultaneously in several difference work areas. Numerous cranes are working across the whole corridor and can move across different work sites quickly, which allows for flexibility in meeting the construction deadlines.

Innovative Construction Methods

Lift:

Segments of concrete will be delivered by track. Gantry cranes will then be used for lifting them off the ground. There will be 40 metre concrete spans created by stressing segments together. The elevated rail deck will be made out of the concrete segments. This new span will then be lifted up by gantry cranes onto the elevated structure.

Shift:

The span is lifted and then placed on the straddle carrier. It then gets taken to the elevated rail deck to the area where the new span will be located.

Place:

The launching beam slides out to allow the straddle carrier to place the span on top of the support pliers.

Each span is latter pinned to the support pliers with steel.

Repeat:

Next the launching beam is moved into place again to allow the straddle carrier to be driven back over the elevated decks and to the Murrumbeena Assembly Area for picking up the next concrete span. The launching beam is then tied into position before the next span arrives.

Advice to Business: Secure Your Operations

Advice to Business: Secure Your Operations

Jan. 5, 2017 by

It’s important to have a business security plan before you need it. This plan should include the property, the money, and your personnel. A quick risk analysis will help you to find any security threats that your business may face.

Money:

If your business deals with cash daily, you’ll need to have an emergency cash management plan in place. Here are some examples to consider:

  • Keep a small amount of “change” in the cash register and the rest of the money in a safe.
  • Transfer the money from the register to the safe whenever it reaches a specific amount.
  • Limit who has access to open the safe or give two employee’s each half of the access code.
  • Store any cash compartment keys securely.
  • Keep cash locked up whenever you leave the register and keep the key with you.
  • Memorize your portion of the combination to the safe and have it changed often.
  • Ensure that customers don’t see where you store petty cash.
  • Use security devices on premises.
  • Use electronic security alarms as these can help prevent crimes. They are an ideal tool for your businesses. They can alert other businesses to the situation and call for authorities automatically.

Consider some or all of these options for security in your business.

Motion Detectors

These alarms can detect and alert any unauthorized movement. Just link the sensors to lights to control your lighting and they will come on if anything moves.

Window And Door Alarms

These will detect any glass that breaks as well as the door opening. They work on all kinds of doors.

Smart Phone Access

You can access all of your alarms with your smartphone and see what is going on as well.

blinds-internal-security

Close Captioned Television Recording

You can record everything that goes on in your building with CCTV recording to help reduce theft and detect anyone coming or going from your facility.

Protect Entry Points Like Windows and Doors

This will vary depending on your business, but reinforcing entry points is very important. This means using solid doors with deadlocks, and installing tough glass or window bars on windows. Alternatively for windows you can also install window roller shutters which can be opened when the business is open and then shut when the business is closed. Sydney roller shutters can also protect your business from storms and bushfires – an added bonus.

Smoke Detectors

These will alert you whenever there is smoke or a fire. They can also call for emergency services.

Access Control

These will control the entry and the exit of all employee’s with the swipe of a code or card. Integrate them with the time clock and you can add an extra measure of security.

Use pre-installed security alarms to alert you to people entering and exiting the facility.

  • Understand how your security system works.
  • Be clear about what you want it to do and make sure that you fully understand how it works.
  • Keep to your budget and remember that cheaper isn’t always the best way to go.
  • Determine if you want a monitoring system or a siren and strobe system.
  • Consult with only reputable companies.
  • Get more than one quote for your security system and ensure that they are reputable before you go with them.
  • Make sure that the system meets all of the Australian Standards.
  • Decide who will attend training sessions on the security system.
  • Understand what constitutes a false alarm activation.
  • Make sure that your alarm system comes with a battery backup.
  • Find out if the system will reset automatically after a time of going off. This can minimize annoyance to others if you’re out of town. Some offer this as a remote option.

Insurance

Be sure to keep business insurance in place as well. This will help you in your business insurance and may get you a discount. Review your insurance on a regular basis and keep it up to date. Be sure to adjust it as your business grows.

Business Continuity Plans

Any security breach can cause interruption on your business. Keep a continuity plan in place so that you will have a lower impact on your business should there be a disruption. This can greatly help keep your business going regardless of the disruption.

Sorting out hazardous waste

Dangers Of Asbestos in Australia

Dec. 15, 2016 by

Asbestos refers to a number of occurring mineral fibers that belongs to two groups, with one being serpentine group, which is made of chrysotile. The other group is amphibole, which is made of crocidolite, anthophyllite, actinolite and tremolite. In the past, asbestos was viewed as one of the best minerals because of how flexible it is, as well as for its strength, flexibility and insulation from chemical inertness, heat and electricity.

Many industries used the materials and it has over 3000 applications, and Australia was one of the highest users of asbestos. That was up until the mid-80s, and about one third of all homes built in the country used products that contained asbestos. However, asbestos material has a deadly legacy because of how much it was used around the world.

Until late 1984, asbestos was mined in Australia. Between the 30s and the 80s, about 1.5 million tonnes of asbestos was brought into Australia.

When you find asbestos you should always use a professional contractor forĀ safe asbestos removal Melbourne to be certain that all the correct regulations and guidelines are followed.

Asbestos Inside The Home

About a third of homes in Australia contain asbestos. Generally speaking, if your home was built before the 80s or before the mid-80s, then the chances are your home contains asbestos materials. If your home was built between the mid-80s and 1990, then the chances are you still have asbestos materials, but if your home was built after 1990, then the chances are your home has no asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos containing materials, or ACMs for short, can be found in various areas of the home, which include the guttering, roof sheeting and capping and vinyl sheet flooring. Other areas include carpet, tile underlays, gables and flexible building boards. Fencing, imitation brick cladding and some window putty are areas where ACMs may be found. If you want to find out what asbestos looks like, then visit the asbestos awareness website.

However, you cannot simply look at materials and determine if it has asbestos in it. The only way to be 100% sure is by having a sample of the material tested by a laboratory that is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities. There are other laboratories that can conduce similar tests.

Obtaining A Survey

If you’re a home owner or renovator, then you may be interested in obtaining an asbestos survey. If you don’t know for sure whether or not asbestos is present in your home, then consider getting an asbestos survey. This will help you know where its location is, as well as how to go about managing the risk.

The Sampling Process

It’s a good idea to have testing done at a laboratory that is accredited by the NATA, but if you do decide to take the sample on your own, then make sure you take precautions because you don’t want to become exposed to asbestos fibers. You don’t want to expose others in the house to asbestos fibers. You want to make sure you are well prepared and you have everything you need and ready before you start gathering samples.

Sampling company contact details:

Melbourne Clear Asbestos Removal
10 Spence St, Burwood VIC 3125
(03) 8609 8378

Melbourne

Natural Disasters And Asbestos

Natural disasters can cause damage to properties. This is concerning when there are materials that contain asbestos is present in the property. This is because there’s a chance that asbestos fibers may be released and if they do become released, then this could pose a health risk.

Your local or state government does have contingencies in place, as well as funding to clean asbestos up following an emergency. You want to do your best to follow the instructions issued by your local or state agency. These instructions are designed to help you prevent exposing yourself to asbestos fibers caused by materials that have been damaged.

It is critical to remove and dispose of asbestos in a proper way. If you don’t know where to start, then contact your local council or your state emergency services. They will let you know what to do in the event of building damage as a result of a natural disaster, so make sure you contact them the next time your property suffers damage due to a fire, flood or any other type of natural disaster.

drought-farm

How Does Climate Change Affect Australian Farmers?

Dec. 1, 2016 by

According to a recent survey of farmers in Australia, many are very concerned about climate change. They feel that their agricultural representatives and politicians should be doing more about it.

The organization known as Farmers for Climate Action conducted the survey, which encompassed several states. Over 1300 primary producers, representing varied industries responded.

Fully 80 percent of respondents said that politicians should do much more to address climate change. They felt that there should be much more investment in research, as well as the development of extension programs focused on helping farmers adapt as the climate becomes hotter and more unpredictable.

The farmers felt that their agriculture sector reps should do a lot more to advocate for strong action in dealing with climate change.

Peter Holding is a farmer from Harden, located on the NSW southwest slopes. He has advocated for climate science for a very long time. Holding says that it is very clear that farmers desire strong political leadership on this very important issue.

Concerns About Climate Change Are Many And Varied

Many farmers are unsure about the term “climate change”, according to this survey.

Survey results indicated that around 60% of the respondents agree that climate change exists. Many more said that they are concerned about the changes they have noticed on their own land. Even so, these farmers were unsure that these problems were caused by climate change.

Mr. Holding noted that the results of the survey may have been affected by some elements of self-selection in that those who took the survey did so voluntarily. He pointed out that this did not mean that all were in agreement, however. Fully 40% said that they didn’t “believe in” climate change.

Changing Attitudes Among Farmers

Christie Kingston is a grain and merino farmer in West Australia. She says that the survey results came as no surprise to her because the effects of climate change are quite obvious in the Goomalling wheat belt district where her farm is located.

Kingston says that prior to the changes, her father-in-law was able to run double the number of sheep he now can on half the amount of land.

She says that the amount of rain the area receives has dropped by 19% in the winter months since the 1970s.

She also states that fire conditions are much worse now and that community emergency service workers say that the fire season is much longer than in the past. In fact, in Goomalling the fire season is so challenging that fighting fires takes up time that people need to take care of their crops, so even if the fires do not cause direct damage they have a very negative impact. The people are exhausted from living around and fighting against wildfires.

Mr. Holding concurred that this is a common phenomenon among modern Australian farmers.