When Contractor Relationships Go Wrong

When Contractor Relationships Go WrongYou put a lot of faith into relationships with those that come into your home. For many, a home becomes an additional child, because let’s be honest – you frequently put just as much work into a home as you do into one of your offspring. You care about it just as much and often; it costs just as much money. There’s nothing wrong with this. You should be incredibly excited to have a new home, and we’re sure that you want to give it the tender loving care that it deserves. To that point, you bring in the best. You [hopefully] do your research. You look into the contractors in the area that are going to do the best job and for the best price. It can be tough, but, hopefully, it’s worthwhile. That is… if you do it right.

Unfortunately, (and never if you work with the Restumping Melbourne team) there is always the possibility that the contractor that you work with simply won’t make the cut. It may not be a good fit personality-wise. It may be a question of the work costing far more than you anticipated. It also may be a question of the work taking far longer than you thought. Regardless, you should never feel bad about cutting a contractor loose if he or she is not living up to your expectations. There are just a few things that you need to know:

  • Do your homework in advance. We know, we know, we say it all of the time. But in this context, it’s extra important, because you’re letting someone into your home and honestly, being very trusting that they’ll live up to their word or their marketing. You’ll feel extra safe and comfortable if you have conversations with loved ones who can truly vouch for those that are helping you enhance your dream place-to-live.
  • Get everything in paper. We live in a digital age and believe us – we’re all about saving trees. But don’t take that as an excuse to not get everything in writing. Email, form online, printed copy… it doesn’t matter. You want your contract, the timeline, all costs associated and who to call if you’re not happy with the work being done. If any contractor pushes back on this, you should know that he or she is not the right person to work with.
  • Don’t feel bad about pushing back. Too many of us are shy or confused when it comes to the work being done on our houses. That’s why questions are so important. Believe us, they should expect questions about their work – the process, the materials, etc. If they get cagey about such thing, again – you’re not working with the right people and should reach out to the Restumping Melbourne team immediately.

As noted above, reach out. We have our customers’ interests at heart, and that’s why we share articles like this on our blog. If we can’t take care of the work for you, we can surely point you in the right direction.

Kicking off the New Year with Home News

Kicking off the New Year with Home NewsOh, 2020. We have a good feeling about you. We shared it in our previous post, but we have a feeling that the feeling of being excited about a new year will continue for weeks to come. Enough about feelings. We’re on to the facts. The fact that the Restumping Melbourne team is and will always be committed to sharing information about what’s important to us with you. It was in our New Year’s resolutions after all. The buck doesn’t stop with us doing a good job at reinforcing the foundation of your home. We like to go above and beyond and that means that once a month, we’ll always search the Web or search our memories for the best conversations that we’ve had about the work in the home renovation industry that really piques our interest. If it piques our interest, chances are good that it will pique yours. So, if you’re new – (first of all, peruse the previous articles on our site about home renovations) welcome! And if you’re a veteran, you know that you can read on for the best of the Web this month:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Plan to Repay Taxpayers for Home Renovation

We’d be fools if we weren’t gossiping in a slight way about Meghan and Harry. After all, they continue to make headlines about leaving their roles within the Royal Family and basically redefining what their lives will look like. A big question here was about the taxpayer dollar and how exactly they plan on making their money. Well, while many conversations and negotiations are still occurring, it’s important to read articles like this one. Meghan and Harry recently renovated their current home – Frogmore Cottage (Windsor), which was paid for by taxpayers’ dollars (pounds, if we’re being precise). While you might have seen a different outcome with different individuals, these two are dedicated to the people of their country and will be paying back the entire amount. You can read more information here.

Edible Landscaping

Edible landscaping? Sounds simply like the plants that you purposely add to your garden or your yard in order to supplement a healthy meal. Well, that’s no longer simply the case. In fact, more and more of landscaping schemes are becoming partially or fully edible. Flowers, plants, fruits, vegetables – you name it, it’s becoming the focus. There are many benefits associated. For one, you’re saving a lot of money at the grocers. For another, your landscaping’s aesthetic is even higher and more valuable. And finally, it’s a great habit and time well spent… either for you on your own, or for you and your children. Check out this link here.

15 Home Decor Trends

And as always, we must head to the inside of your humble abode. If for no other reason, then to remind you that teams like that of Restumping Melbourne make sure that your interiors are as comfortable as possible. Ah, the above-mentioned New Year. 2020 will bring a dozen or more great techniques and trends to up-level your home and put it ahead of its game. Check out this list – no spoilers here – from Good Housekeeping.

Short Term Fixes to Reinforce Your Foundation

Short Term Fixes to Reinforce Your Foundation
Source: Aquaguard Foundation Solutions

Home renovations can be a relative and objective term to all homeowners. You may have the greatest budget around and on a regular basis. On the flip side, you may have minimal amounts of cash that you can invest to up the quality of your life at home or minimal time to oversee projects. The latter is probably one of the biggest reasons that our prospective clients say, “no, I’ll wait to take care of this until a later day.” It’s completely understandable, but a challenge that the Restumping Melbourne team is here to circumvent.

We’re experts in the business of underpinning, reblocking and Restumping. If you’re unfamiliar as to what these entail, they’re tried and true methods to take a good hard look at the foundation under your home and provide whatever services you need so that that foundation stays sturdy and intact.

While our pricing is competitive and our service is unsurpassed, we are sensitive to the fact that not all of our customers will always need the full package. The key here is looking at the initial signs that something could be wrong. Don’t ignore these. Cracking in the walls? Something to keep an eye on. Doors that don’t properly open or close? Definitely something that you want to keep in the back of your mind. There are many other signs and catalysts – all of which you can learn more about on the Restumping Melbourne blog.

So, if you’re keeping an eye on the signs, you’re going to have early visibility into the likelihood that something wrong is going on. The next question is the scope of the work that needs to be done. You don’t always need to have the entirety of your foundation replaced. Instead, you can explore the crawl spaces underneath and see exactly where the problem areas are. Caveat – Band-Aid fixes are called such for a reason. If you don’t properly take care of small areas of your foundation, they can easily turn into greater and much more expensive needs – in fact, with great speed.

Here’s one great short-term fix that we wanted to profile today – the insertion of steel or wood “shims”. They go in between the wood structure and the concrete blocks. There is a hitch, however. They’ll have to be reinforced every few years. The repair requires some labour, as well as regular monitoring and minor maintenance in order to ensure that your home’s foundation is truly stable.

The second solution to highlight would be helical piles. These would replace the existing concrete blocks that are already in the foundation. They’re great because they allow the interior of the home to live on top of a load-bearing stratum which can withstand even the toughest of weather conditions. We’re talking about a solid, consistent base.

More to come on this topic. If you have questions in the meantime, please reach out to our team. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Why Do We Even Need Foundations?

Why Do We Even Need FoundationsHappy New Year to all of our valued community of customers. Happy New Year to our team and all of our family and friends. It creates a warm feeling in your stomach, doesn’t it? You accomplished hopefully everything that you wanted to, and now you’re on the hunt for your next set of goals. We know that we are. We aim to have the mindset each day, but when there’s a holiday involved, specifically geared to inspire, there’s even more reason to challenge ourselves. We challenge ourselves for you and also for ourselves so that we can grow as teammates, employees, a company and as a general service that we can offer you.

Sometimes that means going back to basics and answering the simplest questions that you need the answers to. One such? Why on earth do we even need foundations? We know what they are, and hopefully, you do too. If not, definitely make a point to peruse the entirety of the Restumping Melbourne blog. It’s a wealth of knowledge. It discusses what foundations are, how we build them, the different tools and materials that we take advantage of, how they’re maintained and the role that they play in the bigger picture of your dream home. It’s a lengthy list. We can’t reiterate enough the importance of painting the broader picture for you and your knowledge. Only then you can feel comfortable about making updates to your home.

So, back to our question. Why does a home need a foundation? It’s not like it’s going anywhere, right? Wrong. The land and soil on which our properties are built shift each and every day. When there’s a big rainstorm, the soil will compact and shift. Conversely, when there’s no rain, the soil can dry out and not cause the fortitude that you need to keep your home in place. She’s a fickle mistress, that Mother Nature. Either way, there’s a massive opportunity for your home to move one direction or the other – not something that you want to happen.

We’re sure that it must have been an interesting conversation back in the day – the process of determining exactly how to stake your home into the ground so that it was as permanent as possible. The mechanisms and processes have changed over hundreds of years, but the premise remains the same. We know that there will be a continued evolution of said processes over thousands of years to come, as companies like Restumping Melbourne think through the right materials that leave the smallest carbon footprint, but still make sure that you maintain yours.

We do this with your input and feedback and value it more than we can say. Especially as we move into 2020, please continue to provide us with your thoughts and opinions on your experience as we restump, reblock or underpin your property. We’re excited to connect and more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Setting a Foundation for the New Year

Setting a Foundation for the New YearWe hope that the pun wasn’t lost on the audience that normally checks out the Restumping Melbourne blog. We also hope that the pun wasn’t lost on the prospective audience of those that are newer to the Restumping Melbourne blog, and we furthermore want to welcome the prospective audiences of those that are newer to the Restumping Melbourne blog with open arms. Hi! We’re Restumping Melbourne and we are so excited that you’ve stopped by. As noted by the title of the blog post, we’re all about foundations. We’re all about foundations in the metaphorical and the literal sense of the word. But, given that it’s the end of the year and we’re headed into 2020 with a blank slate, there’s no better time to think through the more metaphorical sense of the word. Here are our thoughts on the best ways to set you up for success:

Best Ways to Create a Money Goal for 2020

Let’s first think through your budgets. We have all of the resources in the world to share (thanks to the Information Age), and the best ways to ensure that your money goes the longest and gives the biggest. We want you to donate, we want you to figure out your current finances and we want you to be cognizant of the best budgeting goals for the coming years. Here is one of our favourite articles.

5 Ways To Prepare For The New Year

We want to cater to audiences of all types and ages, and we know the age of home buyers and owners is becoming younger and younger. Thank you, millennials for purchasing homes, we’re excited to cater specifically to your needs. That means that we need to be prescriptive about the best ways to reach you all and the best advice that we can provide. The end of the year can be particularly important for this audience as they think about how to head into a fresh start. This can be tricky, but don’t worry, we have all of the right information that you need. Check out this link for more information.

How to Make the Most of the Fresh Start of a New Year

A big piece of the New Year is making sure that you have the best mindset and are ready to start fresh, coming January first. Sound daunting? No problem, there is an abundance of tools that the Restumping Melbourne team can share with you. But, it goes beyond that. Zen Habits can tell you all about it, but our favourite tip that they share is to simply ‘let go’. Per their Website, “  Many times we are held back by the tangled web of previous failures, commitments, emotions, barriers. We cannot change careers because we’re used to what we’re doing and it’s too hard to change. We cannot find time to get healthy and fit because we have all these other things to do. We cannot find time for our loved ones because we have too many commitments.” Wise words, right? You can learn even more about the art of Zen here.

It’s a lot to take in, we know. But if you want a partner-in-crime, please reach out to the Restumping Melbourne team.

House Budgeting Heading into 2020

House Budgeting Heading into 2020In the 1920s, the twenties were referred to as quite an age of decadence. Think about movies like The Great Gatsby. Those were parties for any decade, let alone one that was leading into the Great Depression for many different countries. We’ve come a long way since then, but that doesn’t mean that thinking tactfully about the ways that you’re spending your money are any less important. Some things never change, but some things do. Some things like having far better resources and information to ensure that you’re making the best decisions. The New Years’ season is most popularly the best time to start making goals, and the vast majority tend to have something to do with money. It doesn’t matter if it’s how you save it, how you spend it or how you donate it, the end of December is a gut-check to stop, think about it and determine exactly how where your wallet’s contents will go over the coming months.

It can be stressful! And that’s the purpose of today’s Restumping Melbourne message. We want you to be proud of the money that you’ve made and excited about the ways that you spend it. Here are some tips and tricks as we say farewell to the year that was 2019.

First of all, you need to look at your debt and the best ways to manage it. Easier said than done, right? Well not if you ask experts like Dave Ramsay, who knows exactly what he’s talking about. His tips include the following:

  • Start Emergency Fund
  • Pay off Debt
  • Build Emergency Fund
  • Invest
  • Save for College (if applicable)
  • Pay off Mortgage
  • Build Wealth and Give to Charity

Once these are in place, it’s far easier to think about where your money can go – be it to improve your current home or plan a whole new one!

Yes, this is where the math comes in. And sometimes, math is no fun. But, it’s unavoidable. Here’s where we tapped Investopedia:

  • “To determine if a home is affordable, calculate your entire debt-to-income ratio: all your monthly expenses divided by your gross income.
  • Homeownership involves a variety of ongoing costs, including homeowners’ insurance, property taxes, and repair/upkeep expenses.
  • Affording a home means being able to make at least a 20% down payment on it; otherwise, you’ll incur costly private mortgage insurance.”

The best part is that we live in a day and age where you have all of the tools possible right at your fingertips. You can take advantage of applications like mint or these shared from Nerd Wallet.

And while we may be a *wee* bit biased, and probably say that far too often on our blog posts, we truly believe that the best way to get your questions answered is when you work with a company that reinforces homes from the ground up – literally. From your foundation to your finances, the Restumping Melbourne team is not just there for you during the holidays, we’re here year-round.

December Home News

December Home NewsJust because the holidays are right around the corner, doesn’t mean that home news rests. You’ll find that many companies are trying to cram in as much work and as many wins as possible. On the other end of the spectrum, different companies are trying to educate their employees and customers on how to rest as the year winds down. You see all of the above, and we’re here to capture it. We love our monthly home news round-ups. There’s always something that we learn that can support growth and change for the Restumping Melbourne team. Call us nerds, call us geeks, we tend to love what we do, and we tend to love each other. So, it’s no surprise that we get as excited as we do about the following articles. Read on for our best-of-the-Web as we wrap up 2019.

New-Home Construction Activity Continues to Rise

We focus on the foundation of your homes and that may mean that we’re working on a brand-new home or a home that has existed in your family for generations. Either way, it’s important for us to monitor trends in whether renovations or new home construction are the headlines for the coming months. As of right now, we’re looking at a huge upturn in new home construction. We have the summer’s drop in interest rates to thank for that – in part. There was more than 3 per cent increase just in the past couple of months and more than 10 per cent over this time last year. Permitting activity also saw a spike with similar numbers. We relish working on both new and previously owned properties but know that no matter what, you should be fully knowledgeable about what you’re getting into. You can learn more here.

How Landscaping Can Assist Crime Prevention

A big piece of our work is designing foundation reinforcements that keep everything looking pretty. As you can imagine, that includes landscaping and for good reason. Your landscaping is one of the first things that visitors see and it can make or break property values. But there are other benefits to taking care of it as well. One of them you may not think of right off the bat – security. There’s a new term floating around – hostile vegetation. Heard of it? If not, don’t worry. According to this article, “It includes trimming bushes to make sure nothing blocks windows, and there is nowhere for the crooks to hide. Implemented properly, it strengthens gates and limits the number of entryways, improving landscape lighting and upgrading camera systems. Maintenance is crucial once it’s all installed.” Check out this link for more information.

How to Stay Cool over Summer Without Spending a Fortune on Electricity

Finally, it’s time to head inside. And when the temperatures rise, you need to take extra steps to make sure that you’re safe and comfortable. Here’s a fun fact from this article: “The best advice you can give to anybody with an air conditioner is to set your air conditioner at the highest temperature that you can comfortably stand in your home,” he said. “The optimal temperature would be 24 or 25 degrees.” Read all about it here.

Questions? Reach out! We’d love to hear from you.

Why We’re Grateful at Restumping Melbourne

Why We're Grateful at Restumping MelbourneOnce a year, we have a legitimate reason to put together a post on the Restumping Melbourne blog about one of our favourite topics. We have a lot of them. It’s why we continue to be so successful in the business that we’re in – restumping, reblocking and underpinning your properties – because we’re so passionate. We have dozens of topics on which we can wax lyrical with each other and with our customers, and these continue to change and evolve. So, when the holidays come around, it’s great because we don’t have to be the ones out of the ordinary who really, really love our jobs. We like to do these posts once a year, but here are the reasons that we’re grateful this year:

We’re grateful that we continue to have the chance to grow

The needs to reblock, underpin or restump your property aren’t going to go away anytime soon. BUT! The ways in which we can do and have. We get to our sites earlier; we’re more flexible with our schedules – depending on your needs. We can stay later, and we can still be respectful of the needs of our employees.

We’re grateful that we can celebrate each other

We do it every day when we show up with a smile and see what we do as a hobby and passion – not just a paycheck. Our team is our family, and we hope that you can tell when you work with us. A family may not always get along, but they have each other’s backs. We answer each other’s questions, we push each other out of our comfort zones, and we’re there to support each other if there are any challenges that arrive along the way. It’s the best way for us to learn and if you haven’t figured it out already, we’re all about learning around here.

We’re grateful that we’ve been so successful

Don’t worry; it hasn’t gone to our heads. We can only hope that it will continue to be the case for years to come.  But, there’s something especially cathartic about the end of a calendar year, because you can’t help but think back on the last 365 days and everything that you’ve achieved. Sure, there were probably some pits along the way and lessons learned. But, overall at Restumping Melbourne, it has been one for the ages, and it is time to celebrate. The holidays can be stressful, but if you just let loose, eat delicious food, enjoy a beverage if you so desire and hug one that’s close to you, you know that you’ve done everything right.

We’re not quite done with the year yet, but we are raising a glass in celebration to all of the above and to you! Cheers to a wonderful year and a wonderful community of customers.

Questions? Let us know. You can tell that we’re in a jolly mood and can’t wait to hear from you.

Taking Care of Your Home During the Holidays

Taking Care of Your Home During the Holidays This YearThe holidays are almost here and they can be some of the most frustrating and stressful months for many different homeowners. Luckily we live in a country where the holidays are warm and sunny, but even so, there are things that we need to ensure are taken care of when the big holidays roll around. We do this on an annual basis, and this year is no different. It’s time for the Restumping Melbourne team to dive into the best ways to take care of your home during the holidays. Some are weather-related, some are holiday-related, all may seem stressful at first, but if you continue to check in on the Restumping Melbourne blog, all are easily kept under control. Read on for more information:

First up… guests. They’re great; they’re most likely family or friends (granted, they could easily be the type of visitors that drop by without any heads up…) There’s a reason that guests AND the holidays are both on the list of the most stressful life events. You’re dealing with a lot of different types of personalities, and needs, and schedules. We give the biggest kudos to those that host during the time of year when there are so many different expectations. So, how do you take care of your home during this stressful time of year? We recommend a few different things: Meals! Ask if there are any allergies or dietary needs. There’s nothing worse than learning about that when you’re sitting down. Next, plan ahead – especially when it comes to where your visitors are going to sleep. Don’t feel unnecessarily stressed. You’ve got this! Finally, reward yourself. Plan something fun for yourself the weeks after the holidays, so that you have something to look forward to.

Obviously, the Restumping Melbourne team is focused on your home, so our next priority should be the actual structure of your home. Again, luckily we don’t live in an area where snow and rain are going to impede on the holiday fun, but we still have to deal with the weather. This is where taking regular care of your home comes in to play. We’ll keep it short and sweet: Rake, sweep gutters if you think it’s going to be a rainy couple of weeks, make sure that you don’t see any warning signs about your foundation (creaky doors that don’t swing shut properly, weird feeling when you walk across the floors, any peeling paint that could be a sign of moisture damage). Just because it’s warm outside [hopefully], doesn’t mean that you won’t notice any of the above.

Luckily, you’re in partnership with the Restumping Melbourne team and we happen to be great experts at all of the above. So much so, that these articles will continue with many more pieces of advice. Questions in the interim? We’re here. Reach out with whatever you need to make sure that your home is safe and secure, not just during the holiday season, but through all of the seasons of the year.

Restoring Old Stone Foundations

Restoring Old Stone FoundationsThere is something so beautiful about an old home. We’ve talked about it at length before. We know that when you walk on to the property of a storied house, you’re walking into a nature of respect for generations of stories and memories from homeowners before you.

The Restumping Melbourne team is all about being the biggest proponent of your dream home. And we know that that can mean a few different things. It can mean that you’re building your first. It can mean that you’re updating your current. It can even mean that you’re saying goodbye to your current and that you need our help to pass it on to another family or group that will love it just as well as you do.

This all starts with the foundation, and we’ve worked with a variety of sorts over the years. Some materials are more difficult to work with than others, but they’re always very rewarding. One material that saw a lot of love, especially in the 1800s and early 1900s was stone, and we love to bring the historic beauty of these back to functional life so that they can continue being prolific types of foundations for generations to come. Here are some of our best practices:

First of all, don’t despair. There’s no reason to say goodbye to your stone foundation. The easiest way to circumvent substantial costs and the time investment is to add more stone, poured concrete or even a concrete block over the top of the existing foundation. That will allow you a perfectly square and flat new foundation.

Without giving away trade secrets, we do have to share that we’re partial to the concrete block. These allow you a couple of different hollow cores, which help you connect the old stone with the new stone. It doesn’t matter if the blocks don’t match up exactly. In fact, you can have concrete blocks re-sized in many different ways; you just need to work with experts in your area (like the Restumping Melbourne team). Feeling like you want to go about it the “DIY” way? Not a problem. You can easily use a gas-powered saw or even a hammer and cold chisel.

The next step is finding your hammer drill and creating holes that are about ½ inch. Put the bit into the centre of the hollow cores and you’ll want to drill down about 4 – 5 inches.

You may run into a situation where you’re adding multiple courses of concrete block. Don’t necessarily look at special bond-beam concrete – which is what many experts would recommend – it may not pay off in the long haul.

We can’t count the many ways that using concrete blocks on stone foundations can be the best way to go. Our favourite is that the job will be completed much more quickly, than if you spend the time trying to get creative with the cast or poured concrete.

While we’re all about inspiring enthusiasm to get the job done yourself, we also welcome questions. Reach out to the team if you’re thinking about updating your foundation. We’re here to help.