Archive | September 2012

Makeover Series Part 2: Kitchen

Makeover Series Part 2: Kitchen

Last week, we offered some advice on getting started with a home makeover – budgeting, quoting and timing. This week, our Hubbies are exploring some simple ways to makeover your kitchen.

Kitchens are one of the most used rooms in many Australian homes and whether you have a timber house, brick home, unit or townhouse, there’s no denying it’s often the first room to show signs of aging.

Is your kitchen reminding you of a set on the Brady Bunch? Cupboards looking a little sad? Floor stains too much to look at? Don’t panic. The great thing about kitchens is there are easy, cost-effective ways to update them on a limited budget.

Here are a few tips to get you thinking.

Painting

You’ll hear us say this a lot, but painting does wonders. It is a cost-effective way to brighten up most areas. Almost all surfaces can be brought to life with a fresh lick of paint. Talk to an expert about the best type of paint for your given surface. When choosing a colour scheme, brights are a great way to give an area life but don’t overdo it and make sure your brights are mixed with neutral shades.

Cupboards

Got lime green cupboards hanging off their hinges? Talk to one of our Hubby’s about giving them a makeover. There are so many options on the market for finishes – stainless steel, wood veneer or even sanding and painting. Replacing old handles will give your cupboards an upgrade. Look for slim, modern handles that avoid showing finger marks. Don’t opt for cheap materials, as they don’t tend to last as long.

Lighting

Changing your kitchen lighting is a simple and cheap way to give your kitchen a totally fresh appearance. Good lighting illuminates space and gives it atmosphere. There are a number of different lighting options to choose from, ask your local Hire A Hubby for advice on lighting and arranging installation.

If you’ve got ideas you’d like to discuss with an expert, call Hire A Hubby on 1800 803 339 for an obligation free quote or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au for other property maintenance ideas.

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Makeover Series Part 1: Getting started

One of the benefits of home ownership is being able to make a house your home by adding personal touches to it through renovations and makeovers. From large scale jobs like decks and room transformations to small upgrades like painting walls or new curtains and flooring, putting a bit of work into your home can improve liveability and lifestyle as well as add property value.

Over the coming weeks, Hire A Hubby will be running a series of home makeover blogs to give you expert advice on a range of things you can do with your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room and outside area, and give you a bit of a guide on where to start and how to do it on a budget.

This week, we’re looking at the hardest part – where to start. Budgets, quotes and dealing with suppliers can be time consuming and a headache, so our Hubbies have broken it down to help you out.

Budgeting

Think about the bigger picture and the return on investment when budgeting. Don’t exceed your financial means and always allow for unexpected costs. Ultimately, you will eventually sell your home, so think from an outsider’s perspective what you’d want to see in your house. Value-adding can come from a fresh coat of paint, revamping drab floors or tidying up a garden.

Quoting

You may have received a few quotes already to help you with your budget, but now is the time to find the best quote. Talk to friends and family about who they’ve used and recommend. Hire A Hubby is a great place to start because they are the all-round experts and trusted advisers of the best contractors in your local area. Take your time comparing quotes so you’re getting the best value and quality of work for the price you are paying and ensure quotes are consistent with the work you require. If you’re engaging with contactors or suppliers, compare apples with apples and look for examples of previous work they have completed.

Timing

Whether you’re making over your living room or renovating your bathroom, think about how the time of the job will affect your living. Some work requires turning the water or electricity off or blocking doorways and driveways, which isn’t a problem if you plan for it. Listen to the advice of experts, but remember what you want and don’t be talked into something else.

In the coming weeks we will be taking our renovation series a step further by exploring makeover ideas in each section of your home. Stay tuned for next week when we’ll be looking at kitchen makeover ideas.

For help with budgeting and obligation free quotes, call Hire A Hubby on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

Get your deck in check for Summer

If you’re planning on getting the most out of the warmer months, start with the one place you’ll spend most of your time – outside. Decks, patios and verandas are the heart of all Australian homes during summer, but sometimes we neglect them during winter. This week, our Hubbies have some advice to help you get your deck in check.

Sweep clean

To get a good scope of the job at hand, remove leaves and debris. You might be surprised what a good clean can do to improve the appearance of the area. A broom is adequate and a leaf blower is also handy.

De-grease your BBQ area 

Since last summer, you’ve probably got fat splatter and oil built up around the BBQ. The best way to remove it is with a little elbow grease and good scrubbing brush. If your wooden deck is stained or painted, avoid using any detergents that may strip the finish (always do a test patch first). If the stains are really set in you may want to look at using a high pressure hose.

Weathered wood

Australian summer can wreak havoc on a wooden deck. Strong UV exposure and rain can fade, crack, and rot wood but it can easily be restored to its natural beauty with a bit of TLC. Preparing your deck for a recoat can be a time-consuming process to do it properly. It requires preparation, choosing the right decking oil to match your timber and a professional approach to application.

Deckoration!

Is your outdoor area still looking a little old or boring? If cleaning and recoating isn’t enough, try adding the final touches with furniture and potted plants. This might be just what you need to spruce up your outdoor area. New furniture like a sun bed will give you a reason to spend more time outdoors and plants can make the area feel more alive. Be sure to choose plants that require only the care you’re prepared to give!

The appearance of any outside space can be improved with a little attention. Remember our safety tips if using any chemicals to clean and if the job looks too big to handle on your own call your local Hire A Hubby on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

Keep safety on top of your list this spring

It’s that time of year when we tend to tasks around the home that have been ignored for twelve months. But whether it’s garden maintenance or clearing gutters, all areas of spring cleaning can result in injury if proper precautions aren’t taken.

Even if you’re not planning a top to bottom overhaul of your house, taking appropriate precaution can ensure you’re fit and able to enjoy spring and summer free from injury.

This week, our hubbies are offering a few safety tips to avoid unnecessary injury.

Creepy crawlies: Australia is home to some of the world’s deadliest creepy crawlies. If you are moving rocks or items that have been housed for a while, be wary of snakes and spiders.

Heavy objects: Back injuries can be quite debilitating yet they are so easily preventable. When cleaning out the shed or cupboards, make sure you always lift with your legs. If the object is large or awkward always ask for a hand. Stretch first to help avoid any strain.

Working at heights: Working at heights can be dangerous for even a professional. Avoid becoming unbalanced when you’re up high by ensuring your ladder is firmly grounded with all legs flat on the ground. If you are attempting to go up onto a roof, it’s always good to have another person on the ground to help stabilise the ladder. Make sure you have appropriate footwear on (boots not thongs) to help avoid slipping or falling.

Clothing: Clothing protection should be a number one priority when using dangerous equipment or working outdoors. Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, saws and chemicals are all culprits when it comes to injuries. Hire a hubby recommends wearing sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen and protective clothing to avoid injury and sunburn when doing your odd jobs.

Chemicals: A thorough clean sometimes might require a strong cleaner for the job. Some cleaners contain corrosive ingredients and could be harmful to your skin. Make sure proper protective clothing and eye wear is worn when handling any form of chemical and ensure they are always stored safely away from children and in their correct containers. For an emergency call the Poison Information Centre on 13 11 26.

Tools and equipment: If you are planning on building, sanding or tearing out the garden you might need to use equipment you aren’t familiar with. Always read safety instructions and if you are hiring equipment, always have the provider take you through proper use. Check your equipment is safe to use if it’s been stored away for a while. Check blades are secure, safety guards are on mowers and cables or electrical cords are not eroded or exposing wires.

Always think about safety when doing any kind of work around the home. If the job requires a professional approach, call Hire a Hubby for an obligation free quote on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.