House & Garden

Ficus
Simple Guide to All the Specifics of Growing a Rubber Tree Plant

You know you’re truly a grown up once you start taking care of other things besides yourself like for instance, houseplants. For years I thought my black thumb was preventing me from enjoying luscious greenery in my home, but it turned out, I was wrong. You see, it’s not that difficult to grow a houseplant once you choose the right one. Plus, I have killed enough plants in the past to know which species are difficult and which ones are super easy to take care of. Today, I’d like to introduce you to the high impact member of my low maintenance green family – the rubber tree plant. Read More →

Side Table
Outdoor Furniture: A Simple Guide to Side Tables

Your living space does not have to end at your front door. Everyone should strive to extend their comfort zone far beyond the “Welcome” mat and onto the front porch, deck, or patio because that’s still your space and you should make the most out of it. After all, it’s summer, and what’s the use of it if you’re not able to host garden parties, barbecues, and simply enjoy the fresh air every single chance you get?

However, in order to do so, you’ll need to pick some great outdoor furniture pieces that will bring comfort, style and function to your spot under the stars. A staple piece of any outdoor lounge area are side tables as they help capture that living room ambiance and establish a gathering point. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes which makes it even easier to choose one that will best fit in your space.

Consider the material that you want your outdoor side table to be made from and make a smart choice on this one as the unavoidable rain and piercing UV rays will adversely affect its look and longevity. If you’re looking for quality, teak is the material that tends to wear most gracefully when being left outdoors for long periods of time, even after a couple of years. On the other hand, many pieces made of timber can have the lifespan of a banana. So, why is teak so much different?

The reason teak is considered as the best choice for not only outdoor side tables, but all kinds of outdoor furniture as well, is that it contains high amounts of naturally occurring rubber and oils which can serve as a shield against everything that nature might throw its way. Teak can ensure that your centrepiece side table is protected against water, insects, rot, and chipping paint, allowing you to enjoy an investment that lasts longer.

You’ll be using your outdoor area to relax, so of course you’d want to make it as comfortable and inviting as possible. Even if you have no space for chairs, you can use several bulky cushions and place them around the side table. Not only does this set up look quite interesting and comfortable, it can also contribute to a very intimate feel which is especially welcome during warm summer nights. Add some candles and wine to the mix and you have the perfect romantic atmosphere.

And finally, outdoor side tables need just as much colour and details as living room side tables do. Add playful décor pieces like a tray or a vase full of fresh flowers. You can also add a bold rug underneath the side table or under your whole seating area to give the space a light and colourful touch.

Hot Tub
A Simple Guide to Dealing with Hot Tub Leaks

A hot tub was something I wanted for years. But living in a tiny apartment in the city meant I could barely squeeze a sofa, let along a whole hot tub. Imagine my delight when I finally moved into my new house and discovered how enormous my terrace was. There was only one thing on my mind – Finally, I have the perfect place to make my wish a reality. And oh, how amazing it is to have a hot tub on your terrace. You get to soak in warm, bubbly water while you soak up the delightful sun rays. This, combined with a spectacular view makes for quite a magical feeling. If you ever have the opportunity to add a hot tub to your terrace, I strongly encourage you to do so. Read More →

Hot Tub
Invite Relaxation Into Your Home: Simple Guide to Getting a Hot Tub

So, you’ve decided you want to enrich your life with some permanent relaxation and are ready to add a hot tub to your home. Now the question is what kind of hot tub should you get. It’s no secret that hot tubs are an expensive investment, so before you can take the plunge, you should carefully consider all options and find one that will satisfy your needs and space requirements. This can be a bit overwhelming for someone who has never made such a big home improvement step. As you go around and compare small and large hot tubs, here are some things you should consider.

What Size is Right for You?

What is the ultimate reason you’re getting a hot tub, and be honest? Want to impress the neighbours – install an outdoor one, it’s sure to get heads turning! Would you like to share it with friends and family – make your pick from the wide selection of large hot tubs! With models ranging from 5 – 8 seats, these tubs offer plenty of room for everyone. Plus, a large outdoor spa can also be the centre point of some hellishly awesome summer parties.

On the other hand, there are also models that can accommodate one person if having some alone time is the ultimate relaxation for you. Or perhaps you’d prefer a 2 person hot tub where you can have some romantic time with your partner, sipping on champagne – it’s sure to get sparks flying. If you have a bathroom with plenty of free space, a smaller hot tub can fit right in. Large hot tubs, on the other hand, are best suited for yards, decks or balconies.

Materials and Construction

If you want a quality spa that will be your relaxation haven for many years to come, look for one made of the durable acrylic shell material. Acrylic has anti-scratch properties and is also resistant to moisture, cleaning chemicals, and the elements. This is especially important if you’re planning to use the hot tub outdoors because the material has great resistance against corrosion and can prevent mildew from forming.

If you truly want to get durability for your money, also look what hides underneath. Unfortunately, some hot tubs are still built with the same design from the 70s and 80s – being supported by wood frames on the inside. If you apply enough logic, you’ll realize this is bad practice, since wood absorbs moisture. However, hot tubs have come a long way since then, and today you can find models with an ABS sealed base which provides a sturdy, impenetrable foundation that acts like a seal, preventing heat from escaping and keeping moisture out.

Energy Efficiency

If you want your hot tub to help the environment, while also helping you save some money, pay attention to how insulated it is. A well-built hot tub should have full foam insulation in order to prevent the heat from escaping easily and keep the water warm longer. Also, consider the quality of your spa cover. Does the material offer good insulation, and does it fit over the hot tub for optimal energy conservation. In addition to this, plumbing can also affect your energy savings. How so, you ask? Well, if there are more pipes involved there will be more energy used in order to pump water to the jets. Therefore, look for a model which requires a minimal amount of plumbing.

Enhancing Home Security
A Simple Guide on Enhancing Home Security

Becoming the victim of a burglary is a common occurrence in Australia and statistics can prove this. Every year, more than 200,000 robberies are recorded all over Australia. On national level, incidents of home thefts are more prominent in Western Australia and the Northern Territory than in the Australian Capitol Territory (ACT), where there are lower burglary rates. The fact that we have higher burglary rates than most European countries including Spain, Germany and Sweden is a clear indication that the incidents of home thefts are a serious problem in the country. Read More →

Fire Fighting Pump
A Simple Guide to Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Fire Fighting Pumps

 

Given that our country is expected to be hit harder by climate change than the rest of the world, with high temperatures, it’s needless to say we can expect a rise in droughts and the dangerous bushfires. If we thought we had enough fires up to now, imagine what’s expected to follow. And then there’s the rise in storms, that leads to a rise in floods.

This makes me come to the conclusion if we thought fire fighting pumps were essential to households, and industries, previously, we can bet they’d become a basic need in the years to come in terms of safety.

This doesn’t just apply for other chores such as gardening, pressure washing, and irrigation, which is why it’s important that we all have the knowledge in how these power tools work, the system as a whole, and how to best maintain them to prolong their longevity.

Since the pump is at the very core of a pumping system, it’s important that it never fails because it could put safety in jeopardy, and that makes constant care required.

There’s weekly inspection, and testing, monthyl, and then there’s annual like the flow test, so to be on the safe side, without breaching any laws and regulations, it’s best to entrust this to a person qualified for the job (for instance an FM global engineer).

Since there are different types of fire fighting pumps, that have different properties, and operations, you can expect there to be different check up systems. What works for the diesel, or petrol pumps, may not work for the electrical.

From the weekly checks, the focus is going to be on valves, and the piping, whether the suction is in order, the valves are open (and in most cases locked), and the piping has no leaking spots.

Though the start up system can be manually operated, it’s usually the automatic that’s mostly used and needed in emergencies, which is why it’s crucial to check and see if it functions properly.

Not only would you check the starting devices meanwhile, but the pumps operation itself, or more specifically the engines, by running them for some minutes (half an hour for diesel, 10 minutes for electric). Speaking of engines, the diesel engine has to be clean at all times so it can run smoothly. Also, check if the batteries and the charger are operating as they should, and instances of corrosion monthly.

Other components of pumps and the pumping system, such as the pump controller, pressure relief, cooling, water supply, and pump room temperature also have to be looked into. While the controller has to be in automatic start mode, the pressure relief valves not letting water through, there should be neither overheating with the casing and bearings, nor more vibration than normal.

As for the water supply, you must make sure weather doesn’t take its toll: dry weather can reduce the water supply, cold weather can cut the suction source and supply lines of the needed operating heat.

Speaking of heat, the pump room minimum temperature has to be at least 4º C, while for internal combustion engines 21º C, and unless you provide that temperature, you’d be better off getting a lubricating oil heater so that temperature could be maintained above 21º C.

To ensure everything is done properly, it’s best filling up a pump test form, noting all the properties of the pump (type, manufacturer, model number, year of installation, psi/gpm, and RPM rating). Every detail matters as it’s to do with safety.

 

 

Kids Outdoor Teepee
Take the Boredom Away: Kids Teepee Is the Perfect Playspace for Imaginative Play

DreamWorks’ animated movie “The Boss Baby” is the perfect example of how vivid a kid’s imagination can be. But this is an excellent thing, because by making use of imagination, children expand their cognitive and artistic capabilities. Imaginary play gives children the opportunity to explore the world from different perspectives and encourages their social development as well.

Read More →

Teepee for Kids 2
A Simple Guide to Making Your Home Your Kids’ Paradise

Life can be so hectic for modern day people, this is something I’m sure you’d all agree with. It’s not always job-related though, it’s also the burden of carrying out certain responsibilities that are part of our daily schedules, so having too many tasks to take care of can really be overwhelming. Having all this in mind, it’s not without reason we grown-ups look back on our childhood days with such eagerness, wanting to be back in time of simplicity. Since we don’t have the time machines to rely on to take us back to our days of fun (for now), at least we can go through that wonderful experience through our kids.

Read More →

A Guide to Preparing for the Australian Bushfire Season

Unfortunately, bushfires are a part of the Australian ecosystem. Animals and plants have adapted to the occasional destruction they cause, and so have a lot of people. But still, all it takes is a little bit of carelessness to create a huge fire that will ravage everything in its way, cause millions in damage and even worse, be the cause for loss of human life. It’s everyone’s responsibility to prepare themselves to reduce, or if possible, stop the fire from spreading. Read More →

Page Navigation