Tag Archive | Hire a Hubby

Spring life back into your outdoor furniture

Is the furniture on your patio or deck looking a little old? After being exposed to the elements throughout the year, it’s easy to see why outdoor furniture can start to look at a little worse for wear.

The good news is it only takes a little bit of elbow grease – and maybe other oils and paints – to restore its rustic charm, so this week we thought we’d give you a step-by-step guide on how to spring your outdoor wooden furniture back to life.

Clean

Outdoor furniture has an uncanny knack of gathering dust, dirt, leaves and cobwebs, so the first step is to give it a good clean before you get to work on restoring it. Use a brush or broom to give it a good scrub, and then give it a good hose down.

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Strip

Flaking and peeling paint is a telltale sign of weathered furniture. It also seals in moisture causing the wood to rot. The next step in restoring timber furniture is stripping it down to its natural wood.

Smooth

The next step involved removing rough surfaces by sanding down the piece, going with the grain of the wood. The effort put into this stage affects the overall result and it will be made easier if a good job has been done with the stripping.

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Stain

The furniture may now look like it’s been robbed of all colour but a stain will quickly remedy this. Apply the stain with a rag or a brush and leave time for it to penetrate through the wood (the longer it is left on, the darker it will be). Wipe off any excess stain with a clean rag and allow it to dry.

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Finish

Finishes are the final protective layer for your furniture piece. There are plenty of options to choose from with different application methods but varnishes are generally popular because of its durability and high-gloss shine. Whichever you choose, follow the instructions on the packaging to finish with a flourish.

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For more information on working with wood, give your local Hire A Hubby a call on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

Remove winter gunk with a spring pressure clean

Has mould, grime, grease or algae built up around your home during the cooler months? Driveways, eaves, windows, patios and decks are hot property for winter gunk, and it only becomes more noticeable as the weather improves.

Unlike in years past when a hose and scrubbing brush meant cleaning the home exterior was a multiple-weekend job, pressure cleaning makes removing exterior gunk relatively simple – and you guessed it, spring is the perfect time to do it.

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High pressure cleaning combines air and water and sometimes cleaning chemicals to quickly blast surfaces clean. It’s an effective way to clean large surface areas without using excessive water and cleaning agents and through periodic cleaning you can prevent long-term depreciation to your home.

Here are some of our tips for spring pressure cleaning:

High and low pressure

Ensure you’re using the right machine with the right pressure output for the surface you’re cleaning. For example, washing the outside of your house only requires low pressure cleaning as it’s less abrasive and won’t remove paint. Likewise, timber decks can be damaged if the pressure is too high.

Safety first

Always wear protective equipment for property maintenance. When using any pressure cleaner – low or high – goggles and enclosed footwear should be worn and the nozzle should never be directed at any part of the body.

Call the experts

Know your limits and consult a professional if the job is beyond your skill level. High pressure cleaning for heavy duty tasks such as cleaning concrete, the driveway or roofs should really be left to the experts. Professionals consider different attachments, pressure settings, the use of hot or cold water, and whether or not chemicals should be used.

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Seal of approval

A relevant sealer such as paint or decking oil will prevent the need for regular cleaning and make cleaning next time much easier. However, ensure the surface has dried before application.

For more information on pressure cleaning an area around your home, visit www.hireahubby.com.au or call your local ‘Hubby’ on 1800 803 339.

Giving a new life to the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of many Australian homes. After all, it is where families spend a lot of time together. However, when was the last time you really looked at the space? Are appliances dominating the bench tops and taking up cupboard space? Are your lights boring, and is your kitchen starting to show its age?

This week we’d like to share a few simple tips on how to spruce up your kitchen.

Make the most of existing space

Installing a pull-out shelf with a gliding draw in base cabinets can make it much easier to access hard-to-reach items. Most of the time these will need to be custom built and, while it may appear to be a simple job, detailed carpentry work is required to execute it properly.

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Light up the space

Strategically placed, funky lighting could be the missing element to your kitchen. Consider the type of lighting required for preparing food – such as beaming white light for chopping – and how you could feature bench tops or the kitchen sink with cool lighting displays. Always call the experts when working with electricity.

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Show off your crockery

If you’ve got quirky and interesting plates and mugs, why not make them a kitchen feature? A plate rack is a very modern way of adding colour and vibrancy to your kitchen. It’s also a simple way to store regularly used items. Again, positioning, style and colour is key to it working well.

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For expert advice on revitalising your kitchen please contact your local ‘Hubby’ on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

Do share your kitchen face-lift stories (and nightmares) with us, too.

On the road with … Neil Gibbins, Hire A Hubby Gladesville and Ryde, Sydney

This week we’d like to introduce you to Neil Gibbins, our top ‘Hubby’ in 2012. Neil runs two Hire A Hubby businesses in Sydney’s north western suburbs around Gladesville and Ryde. Neil and his team work with a range of domestic, real estate and commercial clients.

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What is your background?

I learnt my handyman skills growing up in the country. My career led me into  corporate banking and operations management where I worked for 27 years with companies including ANZ Bank, Citibank and AMP. I joined Hire A Hubby in 2003 because I wanted to do work I enjoyed and found satisfying and that gave me the flexibility to see my sons grow up and participate in their school activities. I enjoy applying my corporate skills to my own business where I receive the direct benefit from my efforts.

How does your average day stack up?

Each day is different – that is one of the great things about what we do. Every day includes interacting with customers, working on the tools, preparing quotes and invoices, managing my staff, running and growing the business.  It is very satisfying when your customers appreciate what you do for them.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently we are working on some large preparation-for-sale jobs, presenting people’s homes in the best way they can be to maximise the sale price. We also have regular work from our domestic, real estate and commercial clients.

What does it take to be a ‘Hubby’?

Success is driven by how you interact with people. Hire A Hubby is a repeat and referral business and we deal face to face with our clients and build long term relationships. We want to be the first point of contact for our clients for any property maintenance need, large or small. We always strive to do an excellent job so our clients will invite us back for more work and also tell their friends.

Five Must-Haves in a Men’s Den

You may recall a certain beer TV commercial (see below) that went to air a number of years ago. Man cave or man sanctuary, rumpus room or pool room – call it what you like – this conjoined garage inspired thousands of blokes across Australia.

Every man dreams of having his own place in the home to do as they please (at least in the decorative sense).  So to coincide with the early rounds of the AFL and NRL footy seasons this year, this week our Hubbies are offering their thoughts on five must-have features in the ideal Aussie men’s den.

1. Liquor cabinet and bar

What’s a men’s den without a place to store your collection of limited edition scotches or prized beer glasses? Whether you want an all-in-one bar and cabinet, or a shelf unit fixed to the wall and a stand-alone bar, there are a number of materials and designs to choose from. Ask your local Hubby about what design would work well in your room.

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2. Wall of Fame

No man cave is complete without somewhere to display your montage of sporting memorabilia, photographs and the signed jersey from your favourite sporting team. This is the ‘feature wall’ of the room, so choose a wall that would make Don Bradman proud.

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3. Trophy display cabinet

You might cop a bit of flak from your mates, but you didn’t win your under 16s grand final for no reason. Your man cave needs a cabinet or shelving system for your trophies to adorn. This is also the spot to store all your other items such as model cars, collectables and autobiographies.

4. TV to rival all others

A man cave is a proud reflection of your inner bloke, so bring the footy game to life with the biggest TV you can find. Ask your local Hire A Hubby about building a bespoke timber cabinet, or the best way to fix it to the wall if you’re tight on space.

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5. Lighting

Ask your local Hire A Hubby about the best lighting for the room so you can undertake all mandatory man cave activities from watching football and movies through to playing billiards.

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Whether you want to create a man cave for yourself, or you’re doing it for your husband or partner, give your local Hire A Hubby a call for advice and an obligation free quote on the best way to go about it.

Call 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

Top tips to keep the sun shining through autumn

Ever been short on ideas to transform your home into a vibrant and welcoming place? Last week we looked at how to create warmth in the bathroom during autumn.

This week our Hubbies are looking at the different methods to create a glow around the home using the colour yellow, to not only put you in a great mood during the colder months but also to potentially add value to your home.

Choosing the right shade

There are plenty of shades to choose from ranging from light and airy through to deep and dense – depending on what mood you are going for. Choosing light yellows or eggshells for the interior will make your home appear larger.

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Warm Entrance

Paint the front door for a great first impression of your home and compliment it with items that have hints of yellow near the entrance. This may include paintings or decorative ornaments.

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Enticing Living Room

A yellow feature wall surrounded by other items containing splashes of that colour also creates a crisp and consistent look and feel for a room. See the image below for a yellow feature wall with white and yellow curtains. There is also matching furniture and fittings.

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Lively Kitchen

Kitchens are often the focal points of a home, and installing coloured cabinets and drawers is a great way to add rich character to it. You can team it with grey walls and countertops for a vibrant but warm space. If you’re not sure how to do the installations yourself, give your local Hire A Hubby a call.

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There are endless opportunities to brighten your home with a warm glow this autumn. These are just a few ideas to get you started.

If you need help or advice with your projects please give your local Hire A Hubby a call for an obligation free quote on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

5 ways to create warmth in the bathroom during autumn

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It’s the start of a new season, so why not look for areas around the home you can jazz up with a bit of creativity?

This week our Hubbies are sharing five tips on how to use different techniques and styles to embrace the colour orange in order to create a warm and vibrant atmosphere in the bathroom.

Feature Wall

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One of the best ways to add colour to a bathroom without overpowering the space is to include a feature wall. Choose a wall that won’t reflect onto the mirror, as this may leave an unattractive orange glow.

Mosaics

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If you are going for tiles in the bathroom, try to incorporate a mosaic wall of different shades of orange to give the shower or feature wall added texture. If you’re feeling adventurous, try to fit orange tiles into the floor.

Cupboards and Shelves

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For a contemporary look, integrate orange into your storage space. Whether it’s shelves or cupboards you’re looking to work with, this pop of colour is guaranteed to brighten the room up.

Orange Fittings

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Feeling spontaneous? Get yourself an orange bathtub or sink. Pick one that isn’t too bright. This vintage claw foot bathtub is the perfect shade of orange.

Hints of Orange

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To give the bathroom a fresh look without burning a hole in your pocket, include hints of orange in the trimmings around the windows and along the floor. This is a great way to make quick, easy and affordable additions to a plain bathroom.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of a few good ornaments such as vases or soap dispensers!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’ll be doing this autumn to create a different atmosphere.

For more information or for a free quote on a job you’d like to do this month, call your local Hubby on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.

Preparing for Australia Day

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Australia Day is this Saturday, which means households across the nation will be hosting BBQs and spending the day lounging around decks and backyard pools. This week our Hubbies are giving you some tips on how to make the most of the space around your house to host the best Aussie Day bash yet.

Balcony

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If you don’t regularly use your deck, balcony or veranda and it’s in desperate need of some attention, it would be a good idea to get your local Hire A Hubby to come over and fix up a few things. It’s surprising what a coat of oil, or repainting and replacing broken railings can do for the overall look of the area.


Backyard

There’s bound to be a game of backyard cricket at some stage throughout the day, so If your lawn or garden is looking a bit unruly, ask your local Hire A Hubby to come out and tidy it up for you.

Create a ‘you beaut’ garden atmosphere by placing pot plants around the perimeter of your backyard and seating facing inwards to create intimacy.

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No Pool? No worries!

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Remember to plan for a hot day by ensuring you’ve got adequate shade. Try to use the space inside your home as well as outside to not only maximise space, but to give people a chance to escape the heat. Some other old tricks are investing in a wading pool, stocking up on ice-blocks and having plenty of cold water on hand!

 

If there’s something you’d like to do around the house before Australia Day, give your local Hire A Hubby a call on 1800 803 339 for a free job quote or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au for further ideas.

Hiring a tradie for summer jobs

Heading into summer, it’s time to start afresh with the look of your house – polished decks, tidied gardens and repainting – but to get these jobs done properly, it’s usually best to call on the help of an expert.

Particularly if you’re not too good with your hands, it’s better and often cheaper to get a professional in to do it right the first time.

Hire A Hubby is the all-round expert in property maintenance, which means at times we work with a number of tradesmen in specialised fields, so this week we thought we’d offer you five questions to ask before you take on an expert.

tradesman

1. Are you fully licenced?

Looking up a professional in a phonebook is a good start, but going with recommendations from friends and other tradesmen is the best approach to avoid disappointment. Your local Hire A Hubby will be able to recommend a reliable tradesman. Also, make sure you’ve checked that they’re licensed and insured for the work they do.

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2. How long have you been in the business?

Sometimes, finding out how long they have been working in the industry for and asking them how many times they’ve done the particular job you need doing before is worthwhile. If it’s a complex job that you’re after, you should be confident in them being able to do it.

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3. How do you like to receive payment?

Agree on how payment will be made before the job commences and make sure you are completely happy with the workmanship before handing over final payment.

4. How many jobs do you currently have on the go?

Getting an indication of what other jobs they have on the go is a wise decision. Too few jobs might be an indication that he’s not that good, and if it’s a lot of jobs, while that shows he’s popular, you have to consider how long it’ll take to complete your job.

5. Can I get three references of your more recent jobs?

It comes back to word of mouth and asking your friends and neighbours for who they use, but don’t be afraid to ask for references.

If you’re looking to commence work this summer, look no further than Hire A Hubby’s website www.hireahubby.com.au or by calling 1800 803 339.

Secret to the perfect summer lawn

Grass really can be greener when properly maintained through our harsh Australian summer, even without using excessive amounts of water and chemicals. This week we’re giving you tips on how to keep your lawn in tip top shape throughout the hotter months.

Mowing

The key to nice lawn is frequent maintenance as this forces the grass to grow thick and keeps out weeds. This is the problem most people face because they don’t have the time to mow, or they leave it until it’s unruly to do something about it. Luckily, people like your local Hubby are on hand to help out! The rule-of-thumb with mowing is to only cut off one-third of grass each time as this encourages the grass roots to grow deeper, creating a strong base that becomes more resistant to disease and requires less water. Always mow the lawn when it is completely dry as mowing a wet lawn will compact the soil and the roots won’t be able to breathe.

Watering

Daily watering is unnecessary and encourages shallow roots which can weaken grass. Most grass will tell you when it needs a drink, so here are two signs of thirst:
– The soil resists when you push a screwdriver into the ground;
– Footprints across the lawn remain compressed; and

– It is a very light green colour.
If you don’t have an in-ground irrigation or sprinkler system a light water with a hose works fine, but ensure the whole surface gets an equal amount of water. Try to avoid midday watering or night water – the best time to water is in the early morning.

Fertilizer

It’s not a necessity but some people like to use fertilizer on their lawn. Fertilizer stimulates grass growth but too much will mean you need to mow more often. Excessive fertilizer use is also bad for the environment as the chemicals can wash into nearby creeks, clogging them with algae, so be mindful.

Pest control

Ideal grass is thick and free of weeds however it’s not always that simple.A few weeds can be pulled out by hand but if you need more assistance it might be worthwhile calling your local Hire A Hubby.

Embrace your lawns this summer and if you need a hand in the backyard, give your local Hire A Hubby a call on 1800 803 339 or visit the website www.hireahubby.com.au.