Setting up Lights Outside a House (Part 2)

Setting up Lights Outside a House 2You know that if we’re doing more than one post on a topic, it’s something that we care about. Unfortunately, that’s an increasingly broad range of topics. As soon as the Restumping Melbourne team learned that our work plays such an important role in the puzzle of your home, we scampered in all sorts of different directions, learning as much as we possibly could.

We treat learning in a variety of different ways, but the first word that comes to mind is ‘comprehensive’. That’s why, many a time, we need to give topics at least a couple of posts on the Restumping Melbourne blog, so that you know that we’re so much more than underpinning, restumping and reblocking services. Recently, we talked about the fun and excitement of adding lights to the exterior of your home. Quick debrief – these are not just relevant during the holiday season (although we’re guessing that they’ll be even more fun and exciting this year), instead, they can be put up all year around. We covered off probably the most fun of the steps, the whole “brainstorming and planning” step. Now it’s on to the logistics:

Safety should always be a priority. Make sure that any extension cords you’re using are for outdoor use as well as indoor use – that could be a weather emergency before you realize it. All packaging should explain this. This is also why we recommended the gloves mentioned in the previous post.

Make sure that all of your purchases work. Hey, if those lights don’t turn on during a test inside or outside, they’re going straight back to the store and there are no issues there. Don’t try and pretend that it will be okay, lights that don’t work will just annoy you more over time. In the same vein, if you’ve bought multiple packages of lights, especially those that are supposed to look the same colour, give them a test by holding them side by side. Same thing goes for accessories like light clips. Some use things like clothespins or staples, but we recommend that this is an area in which you invest. Believe us, you’ll use them for other home renovation projects as well.

There are LED lights (which can hue one way) and incandescent light bulbs (which hue a totally different way). Have some fun as you organize which lights, you’d like to use on different parts of your home. Our biggest recommendation is that you keep like-typed lights together for a cohesive look. There are also different places on your home where styles of lights will look best – like icicle lights on your roof. But, insider knowledge… LED lights WILL save you money on your energy bills every month as they’re much better for the environment.

Once all of the work is complete, you’ll just want to ensure that it stays that way. That means choosing a timer or timing feature, so that you’re not hopping out of bed at hours far too early or late, wondering if your lights are still dazzling the street.

Setting Up Lights Outside a House (Part 1)

Setting Up Lights Outside a House 1There’s something so magical about driving down the street and seeing a particular house well lit up. You can tell that someone put a lot of thought and effort into their property if they’re investing that much time and creativity. Because setting up lights outside a house is hard! And the Restumping Melbourne team knows hard projects. Having been restumping, reblocking and underpinning homes as long as we have, we’ve pretty much seen it all. We wouldn’t call ourselves cynical, but we would say that there’s little that can phase or surprise us. Remember, that only benefits you. Especially because, as we get better and better at our craft, we learn more and more about homes at large. Full circle – let’s talk about a project that impacts your home at large!

SO; hanging lights outside on your home. It’s not just for the holidays, although we’ve seen some epic representations of festivity outside of different homes during the holiday season. We’ll touch on those in another month or so, giving you a chance to actually enjoy the current moment and season at hand. No, lights look great all year around and they can actually be a functional benefit too, especially if you’re coming or going when the sun isn’t out to guide you.

In order to properly prepare for this project, you’re going to need some tools and materials. Start with gloves, a tape measure (don’t take a chance on this one, best to have the correct measurements of your home as indicated on the tape measure), a ladder (unless you’re very, very tall), an extension cord and timer & lighting controls. Oh yes, and don’t forget about the lights themselves.

Perhaps the most fun part of the process is determining your design. Are you looking for a house that’s completely lit up and one that you can see from a mile away? Or are you looking for something that’s a bit more subtle? Either way, sketch out a general picture of your home or print a recent picture. Then you can plot exactly where you want the lights. Logistically it is important to think about surfaces and where outlets are, although the aforementioned extension cord will definitely come in handy if you’re planning on stretching your lights beyond a certain point.

You may have no idea where to start as far as where you want to hang the lights outside and that’s just fine. That’s where the Restumping Melbourne blog comes in – your one-stop-shop of information. Here are some popular locations:

  • Either inside or outside of your window boxes and planters
  • Hanging along the eves or lines of your roof
  • Decking any sort of landscaping you already have like trees or hedges
  • Wound around pillars, posts or deck railings, especially if you have a verandah or portico outside
  • Lining your windows, door frames, especially your front door and any other architectural features that you want to show off
  • Near driveways and pathways, perhaps lining the driveway all of the way to the home or garage

We know that we’ve probably opened a Pandora’s Box of curiosity and maybe even a sense of motivation, which means you’ll just have to come back for our next post!

Renting Out Your Home – What You Should Know

Renting Out Your HomeHomes are, at their most basic definition, an investment if you own them. Everyone goes into investing in different ways, and none of the methods are wrong per se. Everyone has different priorities, different challenges, different timelines and different budgets. So, while some of our Restumping Melbourne customers are moving into homes and planning to be the only inhabitants, others get excited about adding to their individual or household portfolios with properties that they’re purchasing solely to rent out to others.

This can be a great money maker if you do it right and we’re here to ensure that we help with that. While being a landlord is definitely more hands-off, you still want to stay clued in on what sorts of behaviours are taking place on the property of which your name is attached to. Don’t let that deter you, however; you just need to follow some recommended guidelines that will save the sanity of everyone involved. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Set boundaries. There are boundaries that are commonplace, nothing out of the ordinary, items that should come as no surprise and are most likely listed in a rental agreement. These are things like, how long should it take you to move out? What can you hang up on the walls? Can you paint said-walls? But you should also have the conversation with your tenants about more humane additions – like, how will the two groups communicate with each other? Are you as landlord able to stop by whenever you please or will that create contention? There are no right or wrong answers as long as the conversations are had and that the answers are properly outlined.
  • Treat the property as, well, your property. You like to take care of the things that matter most to you, don’t you? We’re guessing that prized possessions like jewelry or family heirlooms probably aren’t on display to be easily stolen. If they are, that’s a different conversation that we’re more than happy to have with you. While we focus on reinforcing the foundation of your home, we care deeply about everything you care about – every square inch of the home. Back to today’s topic, take value in what you just invested in and monitor how it’s doing as an investment. There are dozens of sites and apps that can help you keep a keen eye as to how your decision is doing. In fact, it can help inform what you’d like to rent your property for.
  • Have everything written down on paper. Depending on what area you live in, renting and subletting guidelines can be totally different, but something that seems to be a common denominator is having all of the proper paperwork in place. Remember to take any emotions out of this process; the point is for everyone to protect themselves and ultimately for everyone to succeed.

It’s an exciting venture and we’d love to be along for the ride. Give us a call if you have any questions.

Condos vs. Apartments

Condos vs ApartmentsHere at Restumping Melbourne, we work from the ground up. In fact, we work from beneath the ground, so that we can ensure that the foundation of your house turns it into a home. This is no easy feat – it takes durability, respect, compassionate, creativity and more. Some of these traits apply to the materials and processes that we leverage. Others are simply a part of who we are. It’s a necessity if you’re going to join the team at Restumping Melbourne – we want to know that you’ll always have the backs of our most important assets – our customers.

A huge part of your home is deciding the type that you should have. Condo? Apartment? Semi-de-attached? A standalone home? Each has benefits and opportunities and luckily for you – the Restumping Melbourne team is on the case. Read on for more information:

First up – let’s talk about ownership. After all, that’s the end goal for most. When you’re looking at an apartment, chances are that you’re not the owner. When you’re looking at a condo, it’s most likely that you are, unless you find a really wonderful deal. Condos are managed by what’s called a Home Owner’s Association – or an HOA. You’ve probably heard this quoted on television or on the radio in commercials. Some have really terrible reputations, but more often than not, they’re your biggest supporter. You’re still the owner of a condo, but the HOA manages everything from landscaping to maintenance to special assessments and everything in between. If you’re renting, you need to abide completely by the rules of the landlord. Sometimes this is easy, but other times… not so much.

Next on the list are rules. Ugh – it’s a rough word, isn’t it? Even those of us that grew up loving structure and solidarity may not be pleased with many of the rules that are set in place by either a landlord or an HOA. Rent.com brings up a good point:

“Rules can be trickier with condos. Aside from guidelines set by the HOA for areas outside of the units, restrictions for condos may vary per unit, with owners setting their own regulations. The rules set by the HOA include fees – which help pay for maintenance of common areas and building exteriors. But in some cases, HOAs have restrictions on the number of units that can be rented. This is something to keep in mind when thinking about purchasing a condo with the intention of renting it.”

We’ve got you hooked, haven’t we? We’re not surprised, because every possible piece of information that you find on the Restumping Melbourne site should be one that bears long term value for any of our readers, prospective customers, current customers, or even past customers.

That’s why we want to keep the fun going. In our next post, we’ll talk about the difference in costs, services, the best ways to maintain – and ultimately, which is the best choice for you? As long as you’re clear that the common denominator is a foundation from Restumping Melbourne, we’re all on the right page.

Stay tuned for more information!