House & Garden

prefab homes
The Future of Construction: A Simple Guide to Prefab Homes

You’ve always had a clear idea of how you wanted your future home to look like, and now it’s finally time to make it a reality. Unlike buying or renting a property, building a home from scratch is the best way to tailor your living space to your precise needs and wishes. But constructing a house the traditional way is a time-consuming and expensive task, which is why you’re having second thoughts about it. Read More →

A Simple Guide to Choosing the Best Bathtub Water Spout for Your Needs

When it comes to buying a bathtub spout, there’s basically no limit to what you can purchase. There are so many finishes, styles and price points to consider. If you want to replace your old one with a similar model then you probably know what you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’re in the middle of a complete remodeling of your bathroom and want to buy a completely different type and style of bathtub spout then there are some key factors you should consider.

Installation

There are different types of bathtub water spout models all requiring different installation methods. For instance, a bathtub spout that is a combination of a tub and a shower should be installed on the wall (although you can also find some tap-mounted options). Usually, these sets consist of a showerhead, one or two handles (one stationary and one is hand-held) and a tub spout. Another type is wall-mounted spouts – the are usually installed above the bathtub and when installed the proper way they evoke a sense of luxury.

Free-standing tub spouts are available in single and two-handle configurations while some models come with a handheld showerhead for easy rinsing. Deck mounted tub spouts are either mounted right to the tub or on the deck surface. If you enjoy taking a relaxing bath you will love these fixtures as they offer more room to stretch and soak.

Style

Style is also an important factor to consider. Contemporary style spouts feature reflective surfaces, curves, and have a sleek design. Rustic models are warm and clean evoking a feel of a quieter, simpler time. Modern spout options are usually sharp angled along with gleaming surfaces and geometric angles. Transitional models are simple without a lot of details.

Finish

Even though the fixture may be hidden behind the shower curtain, matching the style and finish of it to the bathroom’s existing style and decor is a good idea. Mixing metals is very trendy right now, but if you are not really sure how to do it, consult with a professional. On the other hand, a matte black bathtub water spout and brushed gold hardware work great together because these two finishes complement each other. A mix of brushed nickel faucets and polished chrome creates a very nice profile as they are two sides of the same colour family.

If you are buying a new bathtub spout to replace the old one, make sure you know the brand of your current fixture and buy a new one of the same brand. This way you won’t have to replace the valve that is hidden behind the wall and do extra work.

Salt Water Chlorinator 2
A Simple Guide to Buying and Maintaining a Salt Water Chlorinator

Keeping your swimming pool safe from contamination typically involves using chlorine to deal with bacteria and other microorganisms. However, as great as chlorine may be for this purpose, it does have some drawbacks. For that reason, many homeowners are turning to an alternative solution – the swimming pool salt water chlorinator. A salt water chlorinator takes advantage of dissolved salt as a means of cleaning the pool. Although it still contains chlorine, the way in which the chlorine is created is an entirely different process.

Read More →

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.

 

 

Page Navigation