Why is Everyone Talking About Shiplap?

Why is Everyone Talking About ShiplapWe don’t know how many of you out there watch home renovation shows, but we’re betting that it’s a fair number of the Restumping Melbourne blog readers. There are fewer things better than a rare day off work when you wake up in a panic and quickly realize that you have absolutely nothing to do but relax and recharge. Recharging can mean a number of things for different people, but science shows (science, people) the psychological and physical benefits of taking a load off and relaxing on the couch when you have the chance.

We love all sorts of different shows, but home renovation shows definitely drive our creativity as the team pushes ourselves to out-best our best. So, while we’re definitely enjoying ourselves, we’re also learning.

One of the most famous shows around the globe is Fixer Upper. The stars – Chip and Joanna Gaines have become icons and built a giant empire around their lifestyle brands and their ability to turn all sorts of spaces into dream homes. And there’s one key word that’s frequently used… shiplap.

First of all, what a fun word, right? But what is it? If you’re talking about the genuine article, shiplap is a specific sort of plank of wood. It can be used in all sorts of applications, both for your home’s interior and it’s exterior. Before our time, it was used on ships that the Vikings sailed. Obviously, it worked out for them! In modern times, you’ve probably seen it most in relation to farms – sheds, barns and the most historic of houses. That sounds like a lot of different styles of planks of wood, right? Well here – we’re talking about the installation. The grooves are the key indicator that you’re looking at shiplap, because they allow the plans to fit together in all sorts of manners.

Why do people love it so much? It is great in all sorts of weather, that’s why you see it both inside and outside and on all sorts of different styles of homes – and why the Vikings liked it so much when they were out at sea! Complementing that, (again, thanks to the grooves) you’re not going to see any kind of buckling or movement in the planks of wood, even if it is a particularly moist season.

A fun fact to leave you with… chances are good that you actually have shiplap in your building if you didn’t build it yourself, even if you live in a more modern home. It creates a premium flat surface that can live between the frame of the home and its interior wall. We’re not recommending that you peel back any layers of plaster, but if you did, you may just find some shiplap. It’s a great reminder for the Restumping Melbourne team and our readers that all elements of our home designs and the foundational reinforcements that we help support are rooted in important history and driving future innovations.

How Paint Jobs Can Affect Your Home

How Paint Jobs Can Affect Your HomePainting your home is an experience that spans the spectrum for homeowners. It’s time-consuming – that’s for sure – and it really depends on how much value you’re going to get out of it. This article on the Restumping Melbourne blog covers both your internal and external paint jobs and while you’d think that external would take exponentially longer AND cost more – that’s not always the case. Don’t worry, the Restumping Melbourne team is here to provide all sorts of guidance related to every aspect of your home. It helps when you’re the premiere provider of underpinning, reblocking and restumping services (and have been for decades). Why does it help? Because you’re outside at very important points in the process, and you’re also inside – looking at the cracks in the floors, walls and ceilings. Over time, we’ve certainly built up a library of knowledge. Not only about what works and what doesn’t work – but how we can make what doesn’t work turn into what does work. And today, in this post, the key word is paint.

We started stockpiling this information when we started leveraging paint jobs as a good sign that some sort of foundation reinforcement was needed. There are always key signs for this – cracks, moisture, sloped floors, doors that don’t close, etc. But peeling paint jobs weren’t/aren’t necessarily a tip-off that something is wrong with the entire structural integrity of your property. We did start to see a pattern though, and we started to double-check whenever we saw some sort of issue with the paint or wallpaper on the wall.

We always have to give this caveat – it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong. After all, paint fades and peels, and wallpaper definitely have a lifecycle. But it’s become another check off the list to ensure that we’re doing our homework before the Restumping Melbourne team makes a recommendation about the work that needs to be done.

That’s foundations and that’s our business. But let’s look at it from your point of view, especially if you plan on living in your home as a short-term investment before selling it. You want that paint job to be top-notch – a project that you can easily take on with the help of family or a couple of friends. Just make sure that if you’re working on the exterior, you also factor in the time and money it takes to pressure wash any necessary areas and consult an expert (we’re here) if you have any questions.

We always like to end our blog posts on a happy note and that can certainly be the case if you do a paint job or wallpaper job correctly. If you’re living in the home for life, you’ll feel a certain emotion every time you walk into a room. You might feel a lot calmer; you might feel a pleasant sense of memories; it doesn’t matter – it’s a paint or wallpaper that you pick out and it has sentimental value to you and your household.

How to Take Care of Home Additions

How to Take Care of Home AdditionsWhen you buy a home, there are a lot of considerations. You want to think through what works, what doesn’t, what’s worth it and what’s not. Sometimes, the price is just right and everything is in tip-top shape. Eternal optimists, but hey, it can happen. More often than not, it’s a question of deciding whether additional investment into your property to make it your dream home is worth it. We can’t make that decision for you, but having worked in this industry for decades, the Restumping Melbourne team knows that adding on rooms for specific purposes is generally a huge reason to improve homes after you sign on the dotted line.

Overview – what is an addition? It can be an attic (building up), a basement (building below your home) or an addition on any floor (most commonly your ground floor). Homebuyers add them generally either because they’re expanding their families or households, or there is a particularly promising piece of the property that would work well for passions or projects. We’re talking about gyms, spas, man caves, she shacks… you get the idea.

Now that you’re up-to-date on what an addition is, as well as what it would be used for, let’s talk about how to care for them. The Restumping Melbourne team has an elevated level of respect when it comes to preparing and caring for your home, because we reinforce the foundations of homes with every sort of design and style under the sun. We love it. It keeps us moving and, on our toes, and allows us to help share information like this.

Preparing for an addition – this is *maybe* something you want to plan for when you buy your home, but it can also be a thought after the fact as life happens. If you plan ahead, you’ll know how much space you have and what amenities it needs. Do you need a lot of natural light? Okay, you’ll want to build above ground and probably facing towards where the sun hits best during the day. Do you need it to be soundproof? Sounds like it doesn’t matter if it’s below ground, like a basement, maybe you’re about to embark on the epic journey of becoming a popstar. Or, is it more of a functional question? An additional bedroom knowing that you’re about to expand your family. Factor all of these things in as early as possible, so that you’re not disappointed or having to scramble and get creative when the time comes to build.

Caring for an addition – here’s a heads up… it might look a little bit different than the rest of your home and may require additional renovation when it comes to things like painting or staining the floor, painting or wallpapering the walls and ensuring that the insulation and heat and energy are in line with what you currently have.

With both of the above, don’t fret about the time or money investment. As long as you plan ahead and ask experts like the Restumping Melbourne team any questions that you may have, you’ll be not only good to go… but excited about this new addition to your home.

Home Improvements for Your Pets

If you have a pet of any sort, you get it. Your life tends to revolve around them. As some of us say, “it’s your world… we just pay for it.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s commendable. They’re another member of your household whose needs you need to keep in mind at all times. They can honestly be even higher maintenance than children sometimes. Children grow up and (hopefully) learn to take care of themselves. Pets, while very smart, will rely on you for their entire lives.

When you get a pet, no matter what kind, you need to make all sorts of sacrifices. You need to think about your schedule, you need to think about budgeting for what they need, and the focus of today’s post – you need to adjust your home a little bit. That can be overwhelming, but you know that the Restumping Melbourne team not only has your back but will help prepare you for every situation. In today’s case, let’s prepare your home for a pet. Read on for more information and always reach out to us with any questions and comments:

  • Do your homework about what you need to buy. The first thing that comes to mind is anything that’s going to protect your floor (potty pads, a cat litter box, etc.), but this article has a great comprehensive list. We should clarify that this article does tend to focus on your furry friends, especially because they are the most mobile.
  • Once you’ve done your homework and purchased what you think you need, again – focus on the floors first. It’s not like they can do their business on the walls or ceiling. (If they can, let us know – that’s just impressive). You don’t want to be constantly cleaning your carpet, where stains can sink in quickly and you won’t even know they’re there. You don’t want to be constantly wiping up your wooden floor – nobody’s back wants that. Training is obviously a solution, but so too are the products like we mentioned above. You might want to purchase a few in key rooms in the house, where you’re noticing that your pets are hanging out the most.
  • Gates are paramount, depending on the size of your pet and how well they’re trained. Especially when they’re babies and if they have explorative natures, you don’t want them wandering around the house. So, set up gates outside of key areas, (especially where there are valuables) and at the foot or top of the stairs if you have a multi-storey home.
  • Finally – and this can be the most cost-intensive, you might want to look into a mini door on your back door for your pet to go in and out. Of note, this should only be explored once they’re trained and you know they won’t escape, but can be a game-changer, especially if you have outdoor spaces that they can learn to access and then enjoy by themselves. Just make sure they’re fenced in!

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 timber 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!

How Long Should Different Parts of Your Home Last?

How Long Should Different Parts of Your Home LastIt would be nice to assume that when you move into a new home, it’s good to go. That you can cross over the threshold, dust off your shoes and cross “moving into a new home” off of your list. Ah, that would be a nice life, wouldn’t it? And here’s the tricky part. It will seem that way for you for a while. There’s a reason that when any kind of structure is on the market to be sold that it most likely looks its best. You’re not going to spend an arm and a leg on a property that looks like it has seen better days unless the price tag matches the quality.

So, if you’re selling a home and trying to make as much money as possible, the Restumping Melbourne team is guessing that you invested a dime or two to maximize its value. And when prospective buyers see the home, it’s looking its shiniest and the most enticing to sign on the dotted line. You move in. All is well.

And then time passes. And slowly but surely, different parts of your home start to deteriorate. Sometimes, we’re going to be honest, it’s a hundred per cent on you. Whether you frequently take showers without ventilating your bathroom, it’s inevitable that you’re going to build up mould, which can be pesky to maintain or remedy. If you have a large or active household and the floors are scratched up on a regular basis, you can hardly blame that on anyone but you and your loved ones.

But there are also the general baselines that you can keep in mind (and somewhere in a reminder book) about how long parts of your home’s structure should last. Here are just a few:

Ceilings: Your ceilings should last between 20 and 25 years. This sounds like a long time if you’re just moving in, but think about (and ask about) the history of the home. One of the big variables that the lifespan depends on is whether the old roof was removed at any point. Others include questions around levels of shingles and proper ventilation.

Floors: The magic number for floors is 25 years or even more. This should come as no surprise if you think about how highly certain historic styles of flooring are prized in well-known buildings. The trick with floors is you need to take very good care of them, cleaning, buffing and polishing on a regular basis.

Windows: We’re rounding out this list with windows and perhaps you’ve started to notice a theme in numbers. Windows last 20-25 years. Windows don’t need a tonne of maintenance per se, but they’re not something that you can forget about either. The great thing about windows (and doors as well), is that they’ll start to show any signs of wear and tear early on. If they don’t swing shut properly, or stick when you try to open them, it’s time to call in the experts or embark on a home renovation project.

How to Handle Renovations When Times are Uncertain

How to Handle Renovations When Times are UncertainRaise your hands if you believe that home renovations are easy, simple, fast and cheap. If you’re raising your hands right now, the team at Restumping Melbourne wants to know what your secrets are and how you’re so enthusiastic. For the rest of us, there are different words that are associated with home renovations. Some that come to mind are stressful, long, expensive, complicated, ever-changing and more. There’s nothing wrong with these words, but they are realistic indicators of what you’re going to experience if you choose to change up your home or your business. We’re not saying it won’t be worth it – hopefully, it definitely will be! – but as with most good things, it will take hard work.

That’s all during normal times. But no matter where you live right now, what phase you’re at in your life, what challenges you’re coming up against or how things have had to change, the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly impacting many different industries and all of our lives in different ways. But pandemics don’t get the team at Restumping Melbourne down and they shouldn’t get you down either. That’s why, today, we’re talking about how to handle renovations – even when times are a bit uncertain.

First things first, is it necessary right now? If there are leaks in the roof, problems with the foundation, mould in the walls or other items of this calibre, there’s no time to waste and contractors will understand. They’ll rush to your defence in a timely manner, taking into consideration the different adjustments they’ll have to make while working in your home. These most likely include not being in the same space as you, wearing protective gear, and disinfecting everything around them.

Conversely, if it’s not necessary right now, it’s time to exercise some patience. This can be even more difficult, but if you’ve had your heart set on aesthetic updates to your home, you might just have to wait a little bit longer. There’s nothing wrong with this. You’re probably not socializing much or hosting giant get-togethers, this additional time just allows you to complete your project right… in fact, you might be able to do it better and more creatively.

We also recommend that you plan ahead. Even if you know that a project needs to be parked for a few months, still maintain ongoing contact with your contractors and consultants. You should do this for a few reasons. You’ll want to continue the conversation around what you’re looking for and in the loop about costs and plans. But you also want to do this for the benefit of those that you’re working with. Guesses are good that their calendars are going to fill up quickly in the back half of this year and you don’t want your project to be put on the bottom of the pile or on a large waiting list.

Questions? Projects you need completed? Reach out to the Restumping Melbourne team by phone or email.

How to Maximize the Space of Your Property

How to Maximize the Space of Your PropertyThere’s an interesting psychological aspect to choosing, renting and buying a new home. There’s euphoria about this next step or chapter in your life. And there are ultimately many different stressors that also come along. Too often, you just want to get the process over with, so you choose a property without asking the really important questions that can impact you in the long run. But, honestly – how are you supposed to know? We’re sure that you’re being inundated by multiple different opinions about what you really should be looking for and why. The Restumping Melbourne team is here as the single source of truth. We have no agenda, besides simply offering you the advice that can help you be as serene and happy throughout this process is the biggest win of all for us. Over the next few months, we’ll tackle those questions that you should be asking – as they relate to your foundation – and as they relate to your property at large. Today, we’re talking about maximizing space.

Many homes or properties are staged when you first see them. This is strategic because it helps you envision what furniture or décor would look like in the space when you finally move in. This is a double-edged sword because it can inspire that look and feel that you’re going for, but it can also be deceptive about what can be fit in the room. Some rooms look larger with furniture in them; some rooms look smaller. There’s an easy way to evade this. You can do so by taking your own measurements and trying to look at all spaces with a clean and basic eye. The same is true for your backyard and any landscaping that you might be pondering.

We’re just as partial to your backyard space, as we frequently help price out and install components like verandahs and decks. They’re a win-win, that’s for sure… but they can eat up a valuable chunk of the yard if you’re not aligned with others living in the home about how that space will be used.

That brings us to our most important question and call out for the day… know exactly how your space will be used. If you have a valid reason as to why you need to knock down a wall and create a larger hosting space for your friends and family, well, we think that’s wonderful. Conversely, if you’re in a rush to buy a place, and you see that certain areas aren’t conducive to your daily routine, we strongly recommend that you hold off. Yes, those that work in construction, real estate and home renovations can be passionate about making decisions quickly, depending on the market, but at the end of the day – your biggest investment should be in you.

Questions? Let us know! The Restumping Melbourne team is always here to start this very important conversation.

Pest Management During Renovation

pest management during renovationThere is nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done after renovation. Everything looks brand new, ready to begin its second life. Nothing can ruin this. Until you hear movement from inside the walls because it turns out you have a rat infestation.

So now you have to redo the whole thing. Is there anything you can do to avoid this not uncommon surprise?

Pest management is crucial during a renovation. In fact, it’s during construction or renovation when the building is most vulnerable to pest infestations. It may not be obvious right away, but this creates a very hospitable for many urban pests, including rodents, cockroaches, and termites.

But fret not! There’s plenty you can do in order to avoid it.

Before the Renovation

“If there is already an infestation in place, it’s probably going to get worse as the renovations proceed”, informs us Alexander Crawley from Fantastic Pest Control (Australia). This opens many new hiding spaces and breeding grounds for vermin. You can be sure they will make full use of it.

“The way to solve this is to perform a pest inspection before any other proceedings”, Crawley continues. “In case there is something, the pest controller can treat it without exacerbating the situation.” It seems like something unnecessary, but it’s extremely useful in the long run. It can potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in re-renovation.

During the Renovation

The pest controller has checked the premises and everything’s clear. Now what?

There are a number of procedures you would do well to follow:

  • Treat lumber and foundations for termites – termites are very prevalent pests, so you can never be too certain in preventing foundation damage. Treatment and pre-treatment should help protect your lumber from termites and other wood-eating or wood-carving pests;
  • Avoid using cellulose materials – the vast majority of buildings use wood or other cellulose-rich building materials, which makes them vulnerable to pests. Avoid, if possible.
  • Inspect materials before bringing them in – it’s a good idea to perform an inspection before bringing materials in. Stacks of building materials can be used by pests as breeding grounds. Proper inspection is paramount before bringing them in.
  • Place baits to keep pests away – your pest management expert can place baits and traps that will keep the pests away.
  • Keep water away – pests are often attracted by water. Make sure you keep it away from the renovation grounds. Don’t leave water puddles, buckets, or any other type of still water around. This is asking for an infestation.
  • Keep the place clean – renovations are a mess. Here at Restumping Melbourne we know that better than most. There’s no way around it. However, keeping the mess at a relatively low level and avoiding food waste is essential to avoid pests.
  • Work closely with a pest management technician – having someone perform regular inspections and making sure there aren’t any pests left sealed in the walls is a good idea. It can save a lot of money in the long run.

After Renovation

Perform another pest inspection before the project is finalized. Make sure everything is in order before the final sealing. If everything went smoothly, you should be pest-free for awhile and will get to marvel at the newly renovated building or room. Don’t let pests ruin your plans. For advice, tips and professional help, get in touch or ask for a quote.