Financing Home Improvements

Financing Home ImprovementsIf you think about it, it’s odd the stigma that we put on the idea of money. You either have too much of it or not enough of it. You work really hard for it. Logic would infer that you should be able to enjoy it once it’s in the bank or wherever you squirrel it away. And yet, money and finances are continuously top of the list for the biggest stressors in the world. We could dig into the psychological thought processes behind this, but we think your time visiting the Restumping Melbourne blog would be better served learning about how to use and enjoy that money – as it relates to your home.

While it’s not January right now, calibrating your finances can take place any time of year. Many love doing it in advance of January 1, because it feels like a tidy way to say goodbye to the previous calendar year and hello to the impending one. Well, January is a long way off, so let’s pretend that we’re starting anew today and we’re looking at the right ways to finance home improvements this year.

We like to follow the 50-30-20 rule. The 50 is the per cent of your paycheck that goes towards bills and payments that you can’t live without. These include your mortgage or rent, power bills, etc. The 30 is for your “wants” – like shopping, hobbies and dining out. Home renovations would fall squarely in this budget. The 20 per cent is where your savings live, never an area where you’d want to skimp. Now, you can always dip from the other “buckets”, but it will muddy the waters very quickly. If you separate the three, you’ll feel confident that you’re set up for success – and be able to look forward to future projects.

One huge mistake that many make is not regularly checking accounts or where your spending is going. We recommend that you check your different streams of revenue at least once a week and taking notes where there are gaps.

Now, it’s time to decide which home improvements need to be completed and in what order. Anything to do with your roof, home’s foundation, or plumbing, needs to be taken care of ASAP, and don’t feel bad about investing money. We’re not just talking about your immediate comfort levels; we’re talking about heavily damaging the home if left neglected.

We recommend that you think six months ahead for anything that’s not absolutely vital… which actually means, our timing for 2021 budgets is perfect. Walk around your house, determine the 2021 projects you want to see completed. Rank them. Cost them. Make a list. Now compare it with your budget and think through exactly how much money each month you’ll want to allocate towards ensuring that your home is as safe and comfortable as possible when you ring in the next year.

Questions? We’re always here. The Restumping Melbourne team is continuously dedicated to being your support system when it comes to all aspects of your home.

Ways that Snow can Impact Your Foundation This Year

Ways that Snow can Impact Your Foundation This YearSnow can be polarizing, pun intended. It is quite literally found at the world’s two poles (North and South), but it can also isolate groups, based on their perception of it. It was probably all fun and games when you were younger. You couldn’t wait for school to be cancelled, to run and play in it, to start snowball fights and then hurry home for a warm snack or beverage. Conversely, your parents or grandparents may have made the historic comment, “I walked uphill in the snow to school, both ways.” Thanks to technology, keeping roads clear, ensuring that provisions are available to you, and keeping lights and heat on where possible is now the norm. That wasn’t always the case and as with anything we discuss on the Restumping Melbourne blog, the team is grateful for evolution.

Snow is a topic that hits home for the Restumping Melbourne team because it can easily – and greatly – impact the structure of your home. Some changes are noticed right away, and some damage is only noticeable over time. Let’s dive in.

While we pride ourselves on our expertise related to your homes’ foundations, the first place that snow or inclement weather will hit is your roof. If you know that your area or neighbourhood is one that will see heavy snow this season, make sure that you’re prepared. Both snow and ice can weaken or even make your roof collapse if you don’t keep an eye on it. That’s stressful because you don’t know exactly how much snow is too much snow, so our cheat number is 20 pounds per square foot. Note that packed snow weighs much more than fresh snow, giving you extra incentive to clean your roof and gutters in a timely manner.

Snow left untended around the base of your home can cause moisture to seep into crawl spaces, basements and even more frequently used social areas. Visitors and incoming traffic with bring snow and water into the home, potentially damaging the floors and causing them to warp. Moisture is one of the worst enemies of your home’s foundation because water causes soil to expand and contract. When the soil expands and contracts, the structure of the home, and especially the posts holding up the structure can buckle.

Finally, we need to touch on the interior of the home and its most important asset – the inhabitants. If you have younger family members or friends around, snow days can amplify accidents that are easy to avoid, so you’ll want to keep an eye on them. You’ll also want to be careful cooking or using anything powered by wood or fire. Remember the tips for cleaning the roof? These translate here as well. If you’re looking forward to a cosy fire, but haven’t swept the roof or cleaned the chimney, you’re looking at a much bigger fire than you bargained for.

Questions? Let us know! And stay safe out there.

July Home News

July Home NewsIn the same vein as our last post, we can’t believe that it’s already July! The Restumping Melbourne team has had a crazy year – we’re sure that 2020 has served up some surprises for you as well. Every year does – in fact, every month does. We’ve certainly noticed that doing our digging for home news this month. Some thought that there may be a slump, due to COVID and the other large-scale events going on around the globe. In fact, the opposite is true. We’re inspired by the creativity and commitment that different companies, and even different industries, are bringing to the table, in order to make this year a success. COVID can’t get our country down and it certainly won’t get Restumping Melbourne down. So, we’re packing an extra positivity punch into this month’s instalment of home news. Read on for more information:

If you visited the Restumping Melbourne site because you know the importance of reinforcing your homes’ structure… well, we’re so happy to have you! Emotions aside, there was no better article to start with than this one. Erosion is one of Mother Nature’s worst missiles. You never know when it’s going to happen at a grand scale, but it’s really happening at a slow rate all of the time. There are few areas more impacted than the coastline of any country, state or province. It’s a huge trade-off for a beautiful view and access to the great outdoors… erosion can damage entire communities. That’s certainly the case for Michigan, but don’t worry, contractors are on the case. Check out this link for more information.

There are numerous benefits to working with a professional, but if you have a particularly strong creative muscle, building your own home may be something that’s either strongly just piqued your interest or has been on your mind for a very long time. That’s wonderful – we support you and we’re there for you. But we can’t say the same for many in the industry – contractors that will take advantage of you in cost or timing or lead you astray on your vision. That’s why we love finding articles like this one, that chronicle the right ways to be your own champion and to protect yourself, both legally and financially. You want to be excited when your home is complete, not continuously thinking about the nuances of the process, or when something will go wrong. Read more here.

Fan of golf? Some of us are. (Some of us question it). It’s an interesting sport, but one thing that’s consistent around the globe is the pristine nature of golf courses when it comes to landscaping. The Restumping Melbourne team has seen some beautiful (and not so beautiful) yards, but we will acquiesce to golf pros, who have seen even better care of lawns. They weigh in on a simple seven keys to elevate your property. You can learn expert advice in this article.

Company Update

Company UpdateCan you believe that we’re MORE than halfway through the 2020 year? We say this every year. In fact, we say it more often than just once a year – whether time is moving at the speed of a snail or if it’s one of those years where you blink and have no idea where time has gone. So far, in summary, the Restumping Melbourne team will call this 365 a little bit of both. And honestly, one that we can’t wait to be done with.

That’s not to say that we haven’t loved every minute of working with our teammates, our vendor partners and our customers, but that whole pandemic thing has really impeded us in a way that we didn’t anticipate on any front.

We will never stop aiming to elevate our commitment to you and what successful relationship is successful without genuine, honest and frequent conversation? We know that a lot of companies (around the globe) have had to go dark, have had to take a break, or have even had to go out of business. Luckily, that’s not the case with us. But, there’s a weird domino effect here, in that when bad things happen to companies, customers easily lose trust in an industry at-large. We’re here to stop that as a general goal, but the objective today is to simply remind you where we are as a company right now and how we can help you.

Three words – (well, technically two words and a contraction) we’re still here. We’re still standing and we’re still your biggest allies when it comes to reinforcing the foundation of your home. Just because any sort of event happens, doesn’t mean that the foundation of your home decides to properly behave. That would be nice, but actually – exponentially more time spent at home means that you’re most likely contributing to the signs and symptoms of foundation movement and damage. Think about it – a family of four may be inclined to take four showers a day. They also may be inclined to be slightly less enthusiastic about airing out moist places or circulating air. This can quickly become both a catalyst and a symptom of foundation damage when you have excess moisture that gathers.

Don’t be scared – the Restumping Melbourne team has your back. We’re still offering many of the services, but we’re doing so in a way that keeps you and yours safe. It’s always been our commitment to have as little impact as possible to your household and daily routines when we complete any sort of work. That means that we work with you to determine when and who will be home if there are ways or a necessity to complete the work with you and yours out of the home and how quickly we can get you back to normal. Normal is actually a poor word – get you back to a home that is now structurally sound and more comfortable than ever.

Here we go, 2020 – let’s finish out strong!

Are There Styles of Homes Whose Foundations Suffer More?

Are There Styles of Homes Whose Foundations Suffer MoreWelcome back to the Restumping Melbourne blog. We’re thrilled you’ve stopped by, and hope that that you leave with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for not only the foundation of your home but your entire property. When a foundation fails, it not only brings down the value of your home, but it impacts your safety and comfort. And the Restumping Melbourne team simply can’t have that. We specialize in reinforcing your foundation, but we’re passionate about every part of your home. The underlying theme is education and we set up this blog specifically so that you can check back in on a regular basis. Today, we’re talking through different styles of homes. Does your home have more susceptibility to foundation damage than another style? Not necessarily, but read on for more information.

Spoiler alert… the short answer is no. But here are a couple of popular home architecture types that you should be aware of as you shop:

Cape Cod Homes date back to the late 1600s and had a spike in popularity during the 1930s. They’re normally one storey or split level and their highlights include wood siding, windows that are multi-planed and a steep roofline. This is a style of home that’s on the smaller side, so though you still need to check the foundation on a regular basis, you have fewer stumps to worry about. Stumps are what hold up your foundation, and need to be updated on a regular basis.

Country French-style homes were a big trend in the eighteenth century and still are today. Because France was occupying so many different areas around the globe, it was able to leave its legacy of architecture in a clean and classic way. These are again one storey, so they don’t bear much weight, and their other signature attributes include stucco walls and paired shutters. Looking for curb appeal? As long as you take care of your foundation, this is a great option for curb appeal.

Colonial style homes are timeless and probably always will be, no matter where you live. These are a little bit more intensive – two or three storeys, made with either brick or wood for the façade. The trick with homes that require more weight-bearing support is the materials used for the stumps in the foundation. Luckily for you, the Restumping Melbourne team uses the most innovative processes and sustainable materials, so that your foundation is one less thing that you need to worry about.

Each style and many more (believe us, we’ll share them in future posts) have pros and cons. It’s really a question of personal taste and style. It can be overwhelming, but you’ve got us to help you out. Questions? Comments? The Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out via phone, email, or make an appointment to see us. As you can tell, we love talking about successful, safe and comfortable homes – let’s make sure that your home fits in all three categories.

June Home News

June Home NewsThere are fewer styles of posts that the Restumping Melbourne team enjoys writing more than our home news round-ups. They’re akin to the historic rodeo tradition in name because, in the same way cowboys round-up cattle, we round up the best of what the internet and our industry have to offer. While reinforcing your foundation will always be our priority, so too will be sharing the information that guides you on any home-related topic. For those newer to the Restumping Melbourne site, first and foremost – welcome! We do these posts once a month and we hope that you’ll find the information entertaining, engaging and informative. Read on for our favourite finds of this month:

A Tax Credit for Home Improvements Is Vital in the Coronavirus Era

If you’re thinking about making home improvements and need an incentive, then this article is for you. In the time of the Coronavirus and a multitude of other things going on around the world, CNBC is quite accurate when it refers to your home as an anchor in your life. It may be a place where you’re spending much more time than usual, so you’re probably noticing the small things you’d like to change and thinking about the home renovations that you’ve been putting off for a while. While nothing is confirmed and everything is fluid, there’s great evidence here that offering home credits could be a great and timely reason to finally redo the kitchen or add a verandah out back. Visit this link for more information.

My Home Office: Olia Majd

If you’re thinking about your home office and need some inspiration, then this article is for you. We hear you; home offices can be tough. You want them to be unique and inspire creativity, but you also want them to be functional and dynamic so that you can use them for a variety of things. While this article isn’t an all-encompassing go-to guide, it is a kick of that inspiration and creativity we were just discussing. Enter Olia Majid, who normally specializes in beauty and lifestyle. Today, she’s decided to put on a different hat. Scroll through this link if you think it’s time that you elevate the space at home where you do some of your most important work.

Landscaping Industry Evolves, So Does Expectations for Applicants

Whether you work in landscaping, or you’re looking to have a future job completed, this article is for everyone. Landscaping has a new term – hardscaping. We’re talking about the jobs that require specific training or extra experience, like dealing with unique materials or heavy machinery. As consumer needs grow and become more intensive, this industry needs to rise to meet them. So, don’t be surprised if landscaping companies a) begin requiring a more extensive range of skills from applicants, but b) are able to offer significantly more services to consumers who are requesting them. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Read more information here.

While we generally work under the foundation of your home, you can tell that we have a deep appreciation for your entire property. Questions? Comments? Let us know! The Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

Creating the Best First Impression for Your Home

Creating the Best First Impression for your HomeFirst impressions are everything, right? And there are a lot of different ways that you can define what a first impression is for you. Raise your hand if the most recent (and important) first impression you can remember had to do with someone important. The team at Restumping Melbourne is guessing that a lot of you are raising your hands. Some first impressions go really, really well. If you’re smiling right now, we’re thinking that it must have worked out with a boss, a friend, a significant other or another paramount character in the story of your life. If you’re grimacing or slowly lowering your hand behind your back, there is NO shame in that, but we’re thinking that the last ‘first impression’ that you had may not have gone quite as you wanted it to.

The Restumping Melbourne team aren’t experts at relationships, but we are experts at your home, and both require a really solid foundation. Both can also really benefit from premium first impressions and those can be just as complicated with your current or future home as any friendship or relationship that you might run into. You’re lucky. You stumbled upon our blog and we have a wealth of knowledge to give out. Here are some of our favourite tips.

  1. Don’t spare the necessary expenses. We don’t want you to go crazy, but we also don’t want you to shirk the dollars that could pay off big in the long run. Homes are expensive, no doubt about it, but they can also be your greatest asset if you treat them right. If it’s the difference between a hundred dollars on a couple of different materials for your fence, go big. You’ll make that money back ten-fold not too far down the line.
  2. Have a vision. We’re guessing that when you moved into your current home, there were things that you were really passionate about. There were also probably things that you weren’t the biggest fan of. Both of these are totally fine, but it’s an opportunity to have a clear and personal vision. Favourite colours? Favourite flowers? A type of windows that you really can’t stand? You already paid the money for the home, make it your own and let your personality show!
  3. Take care of your home’s exterior. The Restumping Melbourne team are big fans of reinforcing not just the foundation of your home, but every other part of it as well. Sometimes that has to do with the premium materials we use, other times it really is all about advice – sweet, short and simple. You take care of the things that mean a lot to you, right? Your home’s exterior should fit squarely in this bucket. Regular maintenance, upkeep and chores will remind you why you’re so proud of the first impression your home creates for any visitors that you may have.

If you have questions, please reach out to the Restumping Melbourne team. We’d love to hear from you.

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.

The Things You’ll Want to do Before Any Move

The Things You'll Want to Do Before You MoveFor some, moving locations, homes, businesses, towns or even countries, can be a stressful and traumatic move. We assume that you’re leaving a little piece of your heart in wherever you live and it’s understandably hard to say goodbye to any chapter. Then, on the other hand, we have our friends who may have been racing out the door the second they knew that they had another place to live.

But, not so fast. We know that there are lots of exciting moments in your chapters ahead, but first, there is some work to be done. In order to not only do the right thing and leave your current homestead in its best state but also to maximize your return on investment, there is a little bit of a to-do list that you should follow. Restumping Melbourne has your one-stop guide to the things you’ll want to do before any move. Read on for more information:

  • Put together a plan. Moving is no joke and there’s no reason to create your own stressful situations if you don’t have to. Whether you live alone or with a big family, have a meeting and discuss who is packing what and when, who is responsible for what chores, etc. Also, just make sure that you’re on the same page emotionally. Remember that you’re all in this together and if one of you gets annoyed, all of you will most likely quickly become frustrated.
  • Book your removalist. Finding a moving company that you can trust and rely on is crucial to making sure your move goes smoothly. When you’re checking reviews, make sure you look at the bad ones, and the good ones. Even the best companies usually have a few bad reviews; look at how they responded and if they offered the customer anything as a resolution. If in doubt, trust your gut! There are plenty of great companies out there. Don’t risk it on someone who is cheap, you may end up paying more later on in damages to items.
  • The almighty packing adventure. We recommend that you tackle organization and packing before you deep clean your property for a multitude of reasons, some of which can be really satisfying. Here’s betting that you find a valued object that’s been missing for many years, hidden deep behind a bed or a chair. Packing also helps you immediately de-clutter. It’s a well-known fact that moving is stressful and so if you don’t have a surefire reason to pack something, you might prefer to put it in the pile for ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’
  • Figure out where the aforementioned items are going. There are tonnes of options around the area. We’ve written about them before and will continue to do so on a regular basis. This is a much better way to allow your items to move on without continuing to any landfills.
  • Finally, it’s time to deep clean. This is where the aforementioned plan comes in to play. When done right, you can rotate either through rooms, by person, or by task. There are no right or wrong answers, only what feels the most comfortable for you. All we ask is… don’t wing it. Checklists? Great. Tips in one common place? Yes. Communication at all times, including around which materials to use to clean? Bonus points.

All of these are just pieces of the puzzle in what truly should be one of the most exciting moves – no pun intended – of your life currently. While times may be unique right now, the Restumping Melbourne team will always be there for you and your loved ones, not just reinforcing the structure of your current or future home, but also always answering any questions you may have to make you feel safe and comfortable.

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.