Spotlight on Composite Decking- Part 2

Spotlight on Composite Decking- Part 2Welcome to the Restumping Melbourne blog! If this is your first visit, we’re so happy to have you here. If you’re an expert in the space or a regular reader, we welcome you back just as passionately. This is our little home on the Web, where we get to share with you the topics, products and stories that we’re most excited about. Frequently, these fall specifically into the restumping space. We share the newest trends, where Restumping jobs have turned up in the news (in good ways and in bad ways), as well as what’s going on with our team and our company. But sometimes, we take a step outside of the box, so to speak, and expand our offerings out to home renovations, landscaping and the like. Today, the two are rather married as we dive deeper into composite decking.

In our last post, we talked about its general benefits and what exactly it is. A refresher? It’s a great alternative to wood if you’re building an outdoor deck. It’s durable; it’s often less-expensive and avoids many of the pitfalls that can come with a wooden deck. These include mould, warping and those pesky insects that tend to take bites out of wood. Today, we continue the journey, first with considerations that you should keep top of mind.

Installation instructions are a big one. If you’re not a big do-it-yourselfer, you should always, always call in the experts. It’s never worth it if you make a costly mistake and negate all of the hard work that you’ve put into your home renovation project. There are some styles of low-maintenance composite decking boards that have few steps to follow for installation. All you need to do is track down reverse thread screws and screw down the wooden planks. The reason that you want to source the reverse thread screws is that you will mitigate any “mushrooming” issues on the surface, where the boards may push up in the middle, giving them a mushroom-like look. An alternative is the different products with grooved edges. The grooved edges mean that you can use hidden fastener clips that no one will ever see.

You’re probably wondering exactly what these boards are made of, and that can be an important. The key materials here are polyethylene plastic or polyvinyl chloride. These are more commonly known as HDPE/LDPE and PVC. These materials are then mixed with rice hulls, or wood fibres, or other fillers to create the look. You can cut and treat them just look wood decking, but keep in mind that most decking is installed horizontally over 16” and diagonally over 12”. You’ll be even better set up for success if you look to the manufacturing companies for accessories and any other needs the system might have associated.

Bottom line, every home is different. Composite decking may be the solution for you. Questions? Comments? Give us a shout. The Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

Spotlight on Composite Decking- Part 1

Spotlight on Composite DeckingWe get to do a lot of fun things here at Restumping Melbourne, jobs that we’re experienced in and passionate about. Obviously, the core of our business is the restumping jobs that we do, but those jobs have taught us a tonne about the makeup of any home. We’ve learned about verandas and porches, and balconies and decks. We’ve learned that makes them good and strong and what can tear them apart easily. We feel very strongly that part of our success as a company is ensuring that our customers feel properly educated about these topics. The best case scenario in our minds is that our customers feel totally comfortable with our work because they know exactly what we’re doing. That’s why we take the time to info-share on this blog so much. It ensures that we all win. Today, we’re focusing on composite decking.

Unfamiliar? Composite decking is (lifted from How Stuff Works) a man-made building product that includes an approximate equal mix of recycled wood fibres and recycled plastic. Because composite decking products are so durable and impervious to rot, they have a much longer lifespan than wood decks.

There are dozens and dozens of manufacturers and each brand and style has different benefits that might make the most sense for you. There continue to be more and more each year. In fact, composite decking has come a long way since the 80s and 90s when products tended to be a bit less durable and lower-quality. Back then, you got what you paid for. Now, there are far more low-cost products available that will still get the job done. Products distributed these days are also far less likely to breed mould and mildew, to fade and to stain.

It doesn’t matter what colour or stain that you’re looking for; there is a brand and product out there for you. You can choose from natural looking colours or go for a bolder look. There are even variegated tones that truly reflect exotic hardwood grain patterns. If you can imagine, this is creating a very niche market called “deck fashion”. How the times have changed right?

There are many benefits when it comes to low maintenance. Real wood materials need to receive a different level of maintenance and support that composite decking doesn’t have to undergo. You do need to stain composite decking, you don’t need to seal it and you don’t need to paint it – it’s ready to go. If you’re willing to pay a slightly higher price point, your composite decking may even come with a warranty that then protects you from insect damage, from rot and from cracking and splitting. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you pull the trigger on your decision. Make sure that whatever installation you move forward with has been evaluated by a materials testing laboratory, and make sure that the laboratory is accredited. The reason for this is that you want to be certain that the decking that you’ve chosen meets baseline architectural standards.

More to come in our next post about other things to keep in mind and what style would work best for you.

February Home Renovation News

February Home Renovation NewsIt’s about that time again, once again the Restumping Melbourne team is on hand to deliver the latest and greatest of home renovation news. For those newer to our site, welcome! We like to consider ourselves experts in the home renovation sphere and a one-stop-shop for all things landscaping, home renovations, interior design and beyond. It’s due in part to our decades of experience. It’s also due in part to our ever-increasing passion about what we do. We’re a tight knit bunch and we’re committed to bringing the dream homes of our customers a reality. A huge part of that for us, is info sharing. We strongly believe that the more knowledge our customers have, the more fun and imagination they can have while designing their dream homes. That’s why, regularly, we share a round-up of the best of the Web. Read on for informative and entertaining articles.

Looking to lower your monthly bills?

Read this now. It’s never any fun to pay your monthly bills and there are fewer greater stressors than watching them increase over time. Conversely, it’s always fun to identify ways to keep these bills down and that’s specifically the goal of this article. To be even more detailed, we’re talking about homeowners’ insurance. It’s one of those bills that you’re not going to avoid, but you’d be surprised to learn exactly how you can pinch pennies and limit this cost. Click here to learn more.

Not feeling confident about home inspections?

Read this now. Again, this is a check off of the to-do list that you’re not going to be able to circumvent. Home inspections are the best way to guarantee that your new house is exactly the home that you thought it would be, and that you want it to be. We can’t tell you the number of times that potential homeowners have told us horror stories about hidden mold issues or even damage to the home’s foundation. Now it’s time to take this one step further. This article discusses the benefits of pre-listing home inspections. Click here to learn more.

Overdue for a deep clean of your garage or basement?

Read this now. We all put them off. We all say that “next” Sunday will be the planned date for a deep clean. But this article, detailing exactly what you shouldn’t leave in your garage or basement may speed up that timeline. Some of the eight items may be obvious, like propane tanks, but did you know that natural fabrics may also be a red flag. Since humidity levels can be higher in your basement spaces, these can actually be just as flammable. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention even notes that linen and cotton fabrics can grow mold at 80 percent humidity. Click here to learn more.

Questions? Comments? Give us a shout. The team here at Restumping Melbourne would love to hear from you.

Foundation Horror Stories- 2018 Edition

Foundation Horror Stories- 2018 EditionWe know it’s not Halloween, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t like to share creepy stories when we can. These are not to alarm, but rather to educate and inform the valued customer base of Restumping Melbourne – always our number one goal. If you’re newer to the Restumping Melbourne site, welcome! We’re glad to have you here. You’ll find that we’re your one-stop shop for all things foundation reinforcement. If you’re old hat on our site, then you already know the name of the game.

We pride ourselves on our work and we pride ourselves on our customer service. Our support remains long after your restumping or underpinning job is done, and we’re always around to answer any questions that you may have. That also means that we like to have a little fun with you. Read on for some of our favourite foundation horror stories, that hopefully also serve as a reminder of the importance of our services:

The one where they didn’t vet their contractor

We’re going to lump many different stories that we’ve heard into one giant hypothetical nightmare, here. And reinforce exactly why it never pays to go the cheap route when it comes to labour. We’re talking about your home after all. This is the tale of a family who picked their contractor off of the internet and didn’t vet them or ask for references. They were so motivated to get the work done, that they allowed the contractor into their home and let him well enough alone. Imagine their surprise when they came home at the end of the day and all of their belongings were gone. He wasn’t a contractor at all.

The one where they weren’t on the same page with their contractor

At least in this scenario, the family had vetted their contractor. They knew that she would do excellent work and were ready to get the process going. Then began the conversations back and forth. The family thought that they had been very clear in what they were looking for, but alas- did not get it on paper. When the work was complete, it was very different than what they had imagined. Because they didn’t have any proof on paper, they didn’t have any sort of case against the contractor.

The one where they had the wrong sort of work done

These families experienced similar scenarios but at a much greater price. They didn’t know anything about foundation reinforcement, instead, were told to execute on the work by a friend who just thought it might be a good idea. The contractor came in and did the work, received his payment and left. Two years down the road, cracks appeared in the walls. The wrong area of the foundation had been reinforced and now the work had to be completed all over again.

As mentioned, these are cautionary tales that can be completely avoided if you work with the Restumping Melbourne team. Reach out with any questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you.

Planning Ahead for the New Year

Planning Ahead for the New YearThe holidays have come and gone and now it’s time for planning ahead for 2018. If you’re newer to the Restumping Melbourne blog, we’re happy to have you here. Consider us a one-stop shop for all of your foundation needs, not just now, but always. We come to the table with decades of experience in building and fortifying your foundation so that you can get back to focusing on what really matters – creating generations of memories with your friends and loved ones.

A popular topic among the team these days is how we’re going to get after the New Year. If you’re visited our little site recently, you know that we have big plans for the year ahead and that they’re all focused on you. We’re going to push new boundaries in process efficiencies, we’re going to reach new heights in the ways that we serve you and we’re going to get after lower prices and shorter timelines so that we’re in and out of your house with as little fuss as possible.

That’s the update on our end. But today, we want to focus on you and how you can set your annual planning up for success. There are a couple of things to keep in mind-

How much time do you have this year to dedicate to projects and home renovations?

As with all of these questions, there is no wrong answer. That being said, it is important for you to have realistic expectations. If you were to put 20 different home renovation projects on your docket, you would inevitably not be able to apply the same level of care and understanding to each. Not only that, but all too often, budgets don’t stretch nearly as much as we would like them to. Pick a handful of projects that you know you’ll be able to give your 100% too. You’ll feel far better during and after the project is complete.

How much money do you have this year to dedicate to projects and home renovations?

Again, a key question. And there is no wrong answer. What we recommend here, is that you buffer. Even if you think a project will cost $300-$350, budget $500. This way you’ll either come in at budget, or you may have a little bit left over. The worst feeling in the world occurs when you’re 80% done with a project and you just don’t have the funds to bring it to completion. The Restumping Melbourne team wants to help you avoid that.

What projects will provide the best ROI for you?

If you’re unfamiliar, ROI stands for return on investment and is a great way to gauge how much bang you can get for your buck. Even if you invest $80k in a bathroom remodel now, you could end up tacking on upwards of $100k to the selling price of your home. Keep in mind that this is far more applicable if you plan on moving in the next five years.

Questions? Comments? Give the Restumping Melbourne team a shout.

Happy New Year from Restumping Melbourne

Happy New Year from Restumping MelbourneSo, the ball dropped. Y2K didn’t happen. We looked around and everyone looked oddly the same. Sigh, a new year is upon us. We hope that the holidays were fun and festive, that you were able to relax with loved ones and make a few memories. We hope that there was laughter and lots and lots of delicious food. We hope that you feel ready to seize 2018!

It’s a funny time of year, one that we reflect on, over and over, each year. We look backwards at what we did and did not accomplish. Hopefully we focus on what we did accomplish, versus what we did not. Because the great thing about brand new years, is that you have a clean slate. You have a full 365 days to get after your dreams, your hopes, your wishes and your fears.

At least, that’s how the Restumping Melbourne team sees it. We cheer when the clock strikes midnight because we are so excited to greet 2018 and reach new heights.

If you’re newer to the Restumping Melbourne blog – welcome! We’re so thrilled that you’re starting the new year with us and we’re beyond enthused about what the months ahead hold. You can expect a lot here on the Restumping Melbourne blog. You can expect best-in-class expert advice on how to build, maintain and reinforce the foundation of your home. There’s a reason that the word foundation is used so frequently and so valuably across different industries. It’s the base of what’s important and holds everything together. That’s the reason why we’re so passionate about protecting it.

You’ll also learn even more about other topics that we’ve taken interest in. These include home renovations, landscaping, interior design and more. You’ll even be the first to learn about promotions and sales on our products and services. Basically, consider this your hub for all things restumping, underpinning and reblocking.

If you’re old hat on this blog, it should come as no surprise to you that there is no finish line for perfection in sight. There will always be one consistent resolution – keep pushing for the best possible customer experience. We’re nothing without our valued community of customers, and we want to take every possible opportunity to thank you and reward you.

So, what exactly can you expect in the twelve months ahead? You can expect us to do our research. We love reading the newest publication or attending the most recent expo show. We love conversing with competitors in the industry and uniting under one common goal.

You can expect even better products. We dash home from the aforementioned expos, full of ideas about new wood, innovative materials, and different ways to configure our work. You can expect us to do deep dives of research at expos, and synthesize everything that we’ve learned while turning the pages of recent publications.

Questions? Comments? Give us a shout. We’re excited for the year ahead and look forwards to turning your house into a home.

Building on Challenging Sites

Building on Challenging SitesSure, they’re some of the most beautiful, but challenging sites come with whole heap of roadblocks when it comes to building, then fortifying, your dream home. It’s important to see the whole picture when you’re building your home from scratch. Don’t just envision your dream end result; think through the entire process and any heartache that may come into play. Don’t see these as full deterrents, but rather factors to keep in mind so that you can bring the best plan possible, to the planning table. Luckily for you, when you work with Restumping Melbourne, we’re well-versed in challenging sites. In fact, they’re some of our most favourite experiences. Because we know that we bring the necessary experience and passion to the table, the rest is just problem solving. Read on for our best advice on building on challenging sites.

It’s important to note that it is always an option to choose an easier site. Challenging sites do come with a higher price tag and longer timeline to completion. There may also be environmental impacts in play, which mean additional conversations and approvals by local governmental organizations.

Still reading? Okay, it’s time to get imaginative, and it’s time to be flexible. Start with three very specific questions:

  • What kind of characteristics does this site boast?
  • What difficulties do we see right off of the bat?
  • What workarounds are we already aware of, that can mitigate these challenges?

Always keep these in your back pocket, and you’ll be set up for success. Bring them up early when in conversations with your contractors, so that your contractors know that you’d like a seat at the table, you want to play an important role in the planning process.

As answers to these questions, you’ll want to discuss the structure of the property, like the topography and any existing artificial structures. Next, you’ll want to dissect the environment. These are two very different things. Your environment conversation more focuses on the climate, like how much rainfall the area will get, if it’s in direct sunlight, or if you’re working with some major wind in different seasons. Space, location and ecology are also factors that you’ll want to discuss at length so that you truly have the full picture.

Restumping Melbourne is passionate about each and every part of this conversation, but site slope holds a special place in our hearts. If your site has a slope that exceeds 30 degrees, it can change what options you have for architectural styles. Look at flat land house types or hillside homes. Both can be customized to work well on your existing lot, no matter what site it takes.

Are you ready to pull the trigger on your next dream home? Maybe you’re looking to take your current home to the next level? Be sure to give the Restumping Melbourne team a shout. We’d love to help ensure that your house is a home, and that it’s fortified for generations of important memories to come.


Asbestos Alert- 7-point Checklist

Asbestos AlertIt can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare – you come home and find out that asbestos has been hidden deep between the walls of your house, probably for at least a decade. For those unfamiliar, asbestos is a particular fibre that’s small, but can be deadly. It’s durable and resistant to all sorts of extraneous factors including fire and chemical reactions. It’s prevalent in today’s society, because it was such a common building material in the 80s and 90s.

Even if your newer home wasn’t constructed with it, many of the other buildings around you may have been. The reason it’s such a four-letter word for many is that it plays a big role in mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a deadly and rare cancer which can root itself in your heart, in your abdomen or in your lungs. Even though we’ve discussed asbestos at length in posts in the past, it bears reminding how easy a multi-point checklist can be when you’re trying to eradicate this major problem.

  1. Know your environment. A surprising one in three homes in Australia is impacted by asbestos.
  2. Know when your home was built. The magic year is 1987, so if your home was built before that, there’s probably some abatement that needs to be done.
  3. Back away from the DIY. Though it might seem like the smart answer right off of the bat, chances are that the headache and the price tag attached, are not worth it.
  4. Prepare yourself. We’re talking gear, hats, masks that protect you from the asbestos. Make sure that you’re totally covered if you’re even in the vicinity of an impacted area.
  5. Budget accordingly. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. This is not one of those projects that you can afford to skimp on. Left unattended, asbestos can have serious effects on your health, and the price tag associated there can be much more devastating.
  6. Time to call in the experts. Now you know that you’re diving into an affected area, you want to ensure that you’re supported by someone who knows what they’re doing. Do your research and read up on referrals. The last thing you want to do is bring in the experts and find out that they don’t have quite as much knowledge as you may have thought.
  7. Watch them do their thing. It’s time to step back and leave this work to the professionals. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be educated in their process or the materials that they use. As you know, Restumping Melbourne and the team are firm believers that you should be properly equipped with the know-how and knowledge to take care of things on your own. Whether you want to or not, that’s another question. There are a couple of methods that they’ll leverage including frying.

None of this should scare you. We live in an age where these services are easy to render and professionals are easy to find. Questions? Comments? Give us a shout. The Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

Happy Holidays from Restumping Melbourne

While the weather may indicate otherwise, tis the holiday season. Even if the ground isn’t blanketed with snow, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get into the holiday spirit. It’s time to plan festive family get-togethers. It’s time to gather around tables filled with loved ones. It’s time to unbutton the top button of your pants and really get into the delicious treats that tend to make the rounds during the next month. (We’ll worry about that whole diet and exercise thing once the new year rolls around).

It’s a time of joy, a time of reflection and a time for planning ahead. So first, the joy! The best part of our jobs, each and every day. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing community for another wonderful year. We couldn’t do it without you, and we can’t thank you enough. It seems like we blinked and this year passed by in a flash. There were monumental political decisions and seismic shifts in the ways that society works together. But we only continued to see the values and the principles come to life that we’ve begun to expect from both our teammates and you, our customers. We feel so blessed to get to work with you, to add value to your houses and to turn your houses into homes.

Next up, the reflection. Again, the gratitude is a really big piece of this, but we also want to think about where we could have done better, what changes we can make to ensure that your homes are fortified at their best. As we look to the year ahead, we promise to only continue to grow and improve. As no doubt you’ve read on the blog in the past, we don’t believe in finish lines. We don’t believe in mountain peaks or cruxes. We believe that there is always room for improvements and enhancements. We take great pride in showcasing the feedback that we receive from you. Where other companies may have breakrooms littered with jokes and comic strips, ours is wallpapered with both the positive and the constructive. And it bears reminding that we appreciate the constructive just as much, if not more, than we do the positive. So keep it coming! We hope that our partnerships with our customers will continue into the new year and beyond, and we want to make sure that you’re set up for success.

Finally, the planning! What will we tackle in the coming months? A lot. No teasers yet, but just know that we have some good stuff coming. We will continue to research the best in materials and innovation. We will continue to think through process shifts that cut down on the time it takes to fortify your home. And we will continue to info-share, so that you feel properly educated about the work that’s being done on your home.

In summary, we will continue to seek feedback, we will continue to listen, and we will continue to share. Looking forwards to another awesome year, thank you team!

Does Building a Basement Make Sense for You?

Does Building a Basement make Sense for You?There’s something niggling you about the rental property you’ve just bought, or you’re worrying about why it’s not doing as well for you as you thought, but you can’t work out why. After all, you’ve ticked off most of the blocks on the list of requirements for a good ROI – like location, accessibility to amenities, and the rest. But there’s one thing that is missing, and maybe that’s space. Baxton Property Management in Hobart suggests digging deep in search of a solution, because giving your ROI a lift could lie in going up and under with a basement.

Adding usable space

When thinking of renovating to add space, going downwards may be the last idea that comes to mind. But it’s a very real option for Australian investors who own timber-framed structures, traditionally supported by stumps or concrete piers.

Restumping companies like Restumping Melbourne, through years of experience restumping Australian homes, have all the know-how needed to jack up your house, and create a whole new space underneath it. This allows for extending the space without the need for a new roof or changing the basic design and layout of the existing house.

The resulting new usable space in the basement will be larger than you would get adding on an extra room, allowing you various usage configurations. You could provide the extra storage area or secure parking tenants put high on their wish list for the perfect rental, or you could create a second self-contained rental area, or even decide to do all three. Ideas for using this space are limited only by your imagination.

Why choose going down rather than up or out?

The more common choices of going up or out both have their difficulties. One of the main ones is that you are losing space to gain some. Expanding your house’s footprint by adding rooms means sacrificing a large part of the garden, and perhaps getting a bit too close for comfort to the neighbours next door, if your plot is small. Going under and building a basement instead could also prevent infringement of local council restrictions on how much of your stand a house can occupy. Aesthetically, the up and under approach is also more likely to fit in well with the original structure, instead of revealing obviously that it is an add-on.

Adding a second storey? You will need to consider various issues, such as whether or not the walls and foundation will support another storey, how you will connect in the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and how you are going to fit the necessary staircase into the existing floor space. And what about the roof? You can’t always save the old roof, and even in those instances where you can, it will have to be off while new walls are built, and your house will be vulnerable to rain and storm damage in the interim.

The concept of making space down under is a fairly novel idea for Australian home or rental property owners, but is gaining popularity as a feasible alternative to building up or out when looking to add space. As property management specialist, Baxton knows how rental property owners are always looking for ways to increase their ROI, and Restumping Melbourne has all the expertise necessary to do so.

Guest Author: Baxton Property Management