Spotlight on Outdoor Deck and Verandah Services

We give a lot of real estate on this blog to restumping and underpinning. After all, they are the bread and the butter of what this company was founded upon. But it’s not the full extent of what Restumping Melbourne can offer you and your loved ones.

When the sun is shining, do you want to hang out inside, cooped up with none of the benefits of the sunshine? While that may have sounded like a rhetorical question, I assure you that that’s not the case. If the temperatures are comfortable, then most of us tend to gravitate outside. But comfortable tends to be a bit subjective. If you have no cover or structure to your outside areas, then you’re exponentially more susceptible to sunburns and other negative effects of the sun. There is a happy middle of the road here, and that’s the perfectly designed outside deck or verandah.

Spotlight-on-Outdoor-Deck-and-Verandah-ServicesLuckily for you, we count these areas as passions of our trade and have extensive experience designing and installing custom deck and verandah solutions for properties of all sizes. This is not an off-the-shelf solution, rather we’re happy to work through your individual needs and what will work best for you. There are a couple of specific questions to begin asking yourself-

  1. How do you want to use your outdoor deck or verandah?
  2. What look or finish are you looking for, for your verandah?
  3. Do you want this area covered? Not covered? Partially covered?

These are the tip of the iceberg but they’re great inspiration questions to guide the exact aesthetic and functionality of your next deck or verandah.

As far as the first question, there are a million different activities that you can take advantage of your deck or verandah for. It’s a great place to install a pool or a hot tub, either now, or down the line. We can work with partner contractors to make visions like this come true. It’s also a great property opportunity to build flower beds or set out pots of plants and herbs to bloom. This way they get the most sunshine. However, it’s very easy to give these plants and flowers too much sunshine, so our design will take some cover into account, if this is your function preference. Finally, it’s a great place to enjoy a cool beverage and barbecue with friends. If this is your ideal usage, then we’ll make sure that you have as much space as possible to invite over as many friends as possible.

The second question may open a Pandora’s box, but we’re not necessarily apologizing. Strategizing the look and feel of your deck or verandah is an activity that we take a lot of joy in, and we’re happy to brainstorm all day long. This also ties into the second question. There are a myriad of ways to design your outdoor space, covered or not. Explore your favorite online resources to your heart’s content. We’ll bring your dream to life.

So what are you waiting for? Give us a call to discuss your outdoor deck or verandah needs.

Playing Nice With Your Neighbors During Installation

Your relationship with your neighbors is of a particular variety. It doesn’t matter whether you’re thick as thieves or avoid each other at all costs, respect still needs to be present. It’s not just because your neighbors will come in handy when you need that egg or cup of sugar, it’s because your neighbors play a bigger role than you know when you’re undergoing home repairs or renovations.

Playing-Nice-With-Your-Neighbors-During-InstallationThere are two different ways that we can look at this. The first is that whole thick-as-thieves, best friends for life, best man or maid of honor in your wedding type relationship. We all aspire to have these relationships with everyone that we know, but when they work out with neighbors, the minimal distance and close proximity are extra handy. Yes you can borrow ingredients when you need. You can also ask them to keep an eye on your place when you’re out of town or walk the dog if you’re late at the office.

The other end of the spectrum can be difficult to navigate, and this plays a big role in home improvements or repairs. If you don’t get along well with your neighbors, not only have you lost out on all of the benefits detailed above, but they can also make your life very difficult if you’re trying to update your property. Fencing is one particular example that comes to mind. After all, it’s on their property as well. They need to sign off on its design, materials, price and schedule. While your neighbors don’t have to sign off on the update of your foundation or any of the Restumping Melbourne services, they will probably want to know about new strangers on the property, machinery and extra cars in the street.

So how does one go about creating the best relationship possible with your neighbors? There are a couple of main characteristics to focus on.

The first is transparency. We always recommend letting your neighbors know at the beginning of the valuation process that you’re having work done to your property- no matter what it is. As stated above, it might be the smallest repair but it can have a domino effect of side repercussions including traffic and machinery.

The next is patience. Home repairs are stressful, even if they’re not your own. They can disrupt your life in the smallest of ways. A smile and brief conversation whenever you see your neighbors during the process will put you in your neighbor’s good graces in no time.

Finally, make sure that good humor is integrated into all of your interactions with your neighbors. Good moods are infectious. If you are perpetually in a good mood, the chances are much higher that those around you will be in good moods. Good moods are interesting, because they serve as immediate catalysts to ensure a good experience is had by all involved.

Follow these recommendations and your home repair or installation will speed right on by.

The Best Way to Stay Cool in the Heat

Mother Nature can be one tricky lady. One minute she’s scorching us all with her fiery rays of sun, the next she’s dumping down torrents of ice, cold rain. You simply never know. You may have noticed that the past couple of posts have touched on ways to keep you and your loved ones comfortable, looking at your home from the INSIDE. So it may surprise you to find that our suggestion to stay cool in the heat…enjoy it responsibly!

The services of Restumping Melbourne are robust and extensive. They’re not just for the underpinning and reblocking services that your home requires. They’re not just for your foundation- out of sight and out of mind. They’re also for the architectural elements of your house that you want to share with everyone and show off for all to see. And that includes beautiful decks and verandah spaces where you can rest your feet and enjoy an ice-cold beverage (adult-style or other).

The-Best-Way-to-Stay-Cool-in-the-HeatSo the first step is deciding if a deck or verandah space is right for you. Devil’s advocate– it might not be. Your home may need releveling services based on the terrain of the area. You’ll need to figure out the boundaries of your property and if you’d like to keep a portion of the outdoor area for grass, a pool or garden full of flowers. However if you’re comfortable with getting these extra pieces of work done, then you’re well on your way. Based on that information, you’ll be able to determine how many squares of land you have at your disposal to build a deck or verandah space. There is a noted difference between the two. A deck is open-air. A verandah space is covered and frequently wraps around the front of the house. Both have great benefits, best of all- that you’re able to enjoy the sunshine from the privacy of your own property.

Once you’ve determined if a deck or verandah is right for you, the Restumping Melbourne team can take it the rest of the way. We’ll do a valuation onsite and let you know exactly what you can expect. If there are extra services needed based on the terrain of the property, or the slope, we’ll keep you posted on the timeline and any additional costs associated. We’ll always be totally transparent about any changes along the way, keeping you looped in as much or as little as you would like.

Once we’ve installed your deck or verandah and ensured that it meets the vision and functional criteria that you expected, then it’s time for you to truly enjoy the great outdoors. At this point we just have a few wise words to pass on—sunscreen, cold beverages, music at an appropriate temperature or a good read for an afternoon, and the best people that you can find.

Questions? As always reach out to your Restumping Melbourne team. We’re pleased and honored to help with any of your reblocking, releveling and deck or verandah needs.

The Materials Used in Restumping

1If you didn’t understand how houses are painted, would you feel comfortable entrusting the service to someone you barely knew and who didn’t explain their work at all? If you didn’t know how taxes worked, would you be okay calling up the first CPA in the phone book or listed on the internet and saying, “hey, take my money.” If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, then we may have a larger problem on our hands.

The team at Restumping Melbourne knows our stuff inside and out. We have the decades of experience to prove it. But why should that be enough for you to choose us? It shouldn’t. You should feel comfortable asking us, “what on earth we’re doing and how,” at any point in the process.

Part of this is the materials that we use. The fact alone that restumping and reblocking are phrases used interchangeably depending on where you live, is probably confusing enough. Here’s a breakdown of the different materials used in the restumping process, all over the country.

Victoria:

  • Victoria chooses rot-resistant timber stumps. Victorian Red Gum is one of the most commonly used. There is an advantage with Victorian Red Gum– it’s 10% cheaper than concrete. However it does have the disadvantage of limited life expectancy. Many don’t care about this because they will still last upwards of 20 years and many assume that they won’t be in their homes that long. It’s still something to keep in mind, regardless.
  • In our opinion, an equally as impactful disadvantage with Victorian Red Gum timber stumps is that they won’t be nearly as well-secured to the the bearers as concrete stumps will be. This ultimately means that the home won’t be leveled as accurately.

Concrete:

  • Concrete stumps are used throughout Australia. They’re on the market in several different types. Those that cause the best connection have a 10mm diameter threaded rod at the top of the stump, which is then secured with a footing from a poured concrete pad. This threaded rod is what allows the stump to be bolted securely to the floor frame. Once you do this properly, you prevent both upward movement and downward movement. Then the concrete pad provides protection against the settlement of long term footing.
  • These concrete stumps last indefinitely– the longest shelf life by far. The only exception here is the most damp conditions because even the best concrete stumps are amenable to rust. If a stump rusts, it may expand and cause weakness.

Queensland

  • Life Victoria, Queensland has specialized stumps that they tend to use frequently when they enforce the foundation of their homes and businesses. In the past, the stumps that contractors used in the area were made from 300mm diameter ironbark or rot-resistant timber of a similar style.
  • These days, these choose CCA (Copper Chrome Arsenate) treated pine, or concrete stumps. In a lot of areas where the ground is particularly soft, a concrete footing is poured first.
  • High wind stresses are also particularly prevalent, so anchor bolts are required in each corner, around the perimeter every four meters and also under bracing walls.

We want to equip you to ask the right questions. If there is content that we don’t cover, feel free to reach out to any of our team members. We’ll be happy to help. 

 

Great Ways to Weatherproof Your Home

Whether we like it or not, there are four seasons each calendar year- each with specific weather patterns. Maybe you lucked out and you live in a more temperate area, but most endure the heat of the summer and the bitter cold of the winter, at least for a small amount of time.

1During the summer, you probably curse the insufferable heat. You feel like there’s never enough air in the room, and didn’t know that your body could produce that much sweat. During the winter months, you regret every negative thing that you had to say about good ‘ol summer. You picture the heat as an oasis in the bitter cold. Unfortunately, both of these extremes have great impacts on your comfort level at home. So today lets discuss a few easy and inexpensive ways to weatherproof your home for any day of the year:

  • Add plastic coverings to the inside of your windows. You can easily add plastic coverings to the interior of your windows to help insulate and fight the draft. Add plastic over wooden blinds, leaving a hole at the top to pull the cord through so that you can still open the blinds and allow the sun to shine through, when it comes out to play.
  • Purchase Draft Stoppers for your doors. There are tons of aesthetically pleasing models which serve their purpose to keep the right air in the room, and the wrong air out.
  • Get a Water Heater Insulating Blanket. When you Insulate your hot water heater you can create drastic energy savings because you reduce the heat that you lose through the sides of the water heater by 25-40%. Energy savings mean much more money back in your wallet, where it belongs.
  • Insulate all of the outlets in your home. This may not sound very intuitive, but it’s extremely important. The majority of the electrical outlets, especially if you have an older home, aren’t insulated. This is a surefire opportunity for the cold air to sneak in. Outlets are just a hole in wall, after all. Don’t worry, this is easy enough to remedy. All you need to do is purchase foam padding and line the outlets and light switches. Just make sure that you follow directions when working around electricity.
  • Look into both attic or basement insulation. Yes, this will be a bit more of an investment, but like any good investment, when done right, you will see the greatest return. Uninsulated spaces, just like your outlets, are the biggest opportunities to let in the cold air and let the hot air out. You can reach out to a professional or do it yourself, just by rolling extra insulation along the floor and walls of your attic or basement.  

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tips for keeping your home warm and cozy. You know how passionate the Restumping Melbourne team is about everything home renovation so feel free to reach out to us with any questions that you may have.

Keep a Cool Head During Your Renovations

It’s a scientific fact, home renovations are one of the most stressful situations that you can put yourself in. They can bring out all sorts of personality facets that you didn’t even know you had- rage, frustration, anxiety, sleeplessness, sadness, pain. It’s unfortunate, and not at all okay with us, but it makes sense. You lose control of your home or business, you’re giving the power to more or less perfect strangers, and you’re bargaining with your hard earned money on a vision that may or may not become a reality.

1With Restumping Melbourne on hand, you can dispel a few of these quandaries right off the bat. We never want to be perfect strangers. We’d rather skew towards friends and valued partners by the time our work together is complete. We accomplish this through constant and comprehensive communication, and maybe a joke or two along the way. Our thought process is simple– your home renovation shouldn’t be a headache, but rather a tool and a process to create wonderful, lasting memories.

Many home or business owners put off renovations that will had exponential value to their property, solely because they’re scared of the impending stress. But if you keep a cool head and follow our tips throughout the process, you’re much less likely to take out negative emotions on those around you, and more importantly, on yourself.

Plan Ahead- Organization and planning are the arch-rivals of stress. When you’ve done your homework and checked all of your boxes, there is less margin for error. When there’s less margin for error, you can rest easy because you’re an expert on the process. Restumping Melbourne can alleviate this burden even further by helping you plan ahead. We will provide all paperwork and information you could possibly need in order to make a well-informed decision.

Let Friends and Family Know- Don’t keep your upcoming home renovation a secret. If you share the news with those closest to you, then you’re sure to get heads bobbing in sympathy and acknowledgement. Most likely they’ve been through it themselves at some point. Not only can they potentially offer advice, they’re now aware that your blood pressure may steadily rise. They’re more likely to be a sounding board to vent to or even someone to provide a couch to sleep on, should you need it.

Schedule a Reward Post-Renovation- Sure, the renovation in itself is a reward. You’ve just upgraded your home or business, potentially adding thousands of dollars in value and definitely making it either more comfortable or more aesthetically pleasing. But let’s be honest, you deserve a reward on top on that. Book yourself a massage or take the family out to dinner at a fun restaurant. Coming home will be even more magical with the renovation complete.

Follow these tips and be sure to reach out to your Restumping Melbourne team to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. With these tools, you’re sure to have a much smoother ride when it comes to your home renovation. 

Our Home Renovation Services- Part II

The easiest way to set ourselves up for success as a company and a partner in your home renovation process, is to elevate you as a major stakeholder in every decision that we make. While we certainly consider ourselves experts in our skill-set, that doesn’t mean that we’re not open to conversations and questions about our ideas for your homes and businesses. That is how great collaborations are fostered, and we are all about great collaborations.

1So let’s talk through the remainder of the process, the services that you can expect (both tangible and not so) through the duration of your renovation.

So far we’ve walked through the pre-process, which is where most of the creative conversations will take place. After all, we won’t feel comfortable having you sign on the dotted line for our services with any project, if we can’t promise you alignment with the vision that has been in your head for so long.

But if we’re on the same page, then it’s time to get the home renovation party started. You now have in-hand contract with duration and costs. If we see these numbers changing once the work has begun (whether it will take longer or cost a different amount), then we will communicate that to you immediately. You won’t be put in positions to sign away your life based off of our updates, we’ll always give you options. For example, if it’s going to take two weeks longer to give you one product, but we can give you a secondary product in one week– it’s up to you which you prefer. We will give you our opinions– sure– but you make the final decisions.

Our work should take up to ten days, dependent on customizations, size of the land and specific challenges. For 80% of instances you shouldn’t even have to leave your house. There’s a good chance, if we’re only working on the foundation of the home, that you won’t know that we’re there. During this time we will give you updates as frequently as you’d like. If you don’t want any updates, then we’ll be quiet as mice, unless we need cost/time/material approvals. If you want daily updates on exactly what is going on, then that is exactly what you will get. You will have one Team Lead from Restumping Melbourne, one consistent face to see each day and to ensure you that everything is always under control.

And when the work is done? Well then it’s time for an in-person walkthrough. We should have answers to any questions that you may come up with. We can explain the materials that we’ve used. We can explain exactly how long your restumped foundation will last and best practices to make sure that this duration is as long as it can be.

Only once we receive a seal of approval and firmly shake hands, will we settle all accounts. But the relationship doesn’t stop there. Our work with foundations traverses into a host of knowledge about the durability of walls, floors and homes in general. Feel free to reach out with questions at any time. Our friendship and commitment to you, is lifelong.

What Makes a Great Contractor?

I’m sure you’ve seen both good and bad contractors in your day. Hopefully more of the former, but too often we’ve received alls to help us eradicate situations where contractors have really made a mess of of it for our customers. This always hurts us to the core. In the mind of every team member at Restumping Melbourne, there is no reason out there why work shouldn’t be tip-top, done in a timely manner and with a smile on every team member’s face. The best way to circumvent a negative experience with your future work on your home or business? Call Restumping Melbourne. If that’s not an option, or you need a little time to realize that it’s the best option, here are some tips and tricks to look for in choosing your next contractor:

Make Sure That They, Or Their Company, Have a Vision- This should be a no-brainer, but too often, contractors decide to be solely logistical, with no creative drive. Your contractor or contracting company should be an equal balance of analytical, creative and logistical. It’s the trifecta of successful work. Your contractor should not only come to the table with ideas to upgrade your home or business, but when asked- a vision for their company or future. Emotion drives creativity, and you know that they’ll have a stake in the work that they do.

Discuss Leadership And What It Means To Them- When you choose a contractor, you’re giving them full reign over your home or business. You’re putting your trust in them, to manage this huge investment (probably emotionally, and financially), and you’re hoping against hope that they’re going to treat it with care and respect. You’re not going to get the same level of care and respect from someone who isn’t ready to lead his or her team. If your contractor can successfully lead a team, then your work will be done more quickly and more efficiently. You can read leadership from the initial conversation. They’re a listener, they’re thoughtful, they’ll deliver answers on every question that you come up with. And most of all? They have a plan.

1They Want To Learn And They Want To Teach- Here at Restumping Melbourne, we will never believe that there is a crux in the industry, or a pinnacle of when we’ll reach perfection. There are too many amazing vendors in the area, nipping at the backs of our heels. What sets us apart from them? And, what should set your next contractor apart from the pack? Both the drive to learn, AND the drive to teach. Do not think about them as two separate entities. Rather they should drive eachother, the chicken and the egg. If your contractor wants to learn, he or she will tend to be on the cutting edge of new methods and materials to integrate into their work. If they want to teach, you will feel far more looped into the project and up-to-speed on exactly what is happening.

When in doubt, give us a shout. We will cut through all the spin and help you achieve the quality of work that you deserve.

Our Home Renovation Services- Part I

We’ve been Melbourne’s number one option for re-stumping and underpinning for many years. We’ve gained our reputation and the trust of Melbourne’s community through our tireless efforts to elevate our offering of services to the next level. This may have started with underpinning and re-stumping but we quickly realized an opportunity to expand into general home renovations. After all, when you’re looking at the myriad of property styles, sizes and types that we are, you begin to see a lot of consistencies… Or sometimes, inconsistencies. When we’re leveling the foundation of your home, it gives us an up-close-and-personal view of what may have been wrong with the foundation to begin with. This quickly leads us to nit pick every other thing potentially improvable about your property.

1We’re sorry, but this perfectionism is something that we’ll never apologize for. Although we sort of just did, but it will never happen again. And why would you want it to? You’re getting multiple services for the price of one when we survey your property because it opens the door to transparent and creative conversation about perfecting your dream property. You may have had your heart set on a certain style of verandah or deck. We’ll be able to tell you exactly how feasible this vision is, and what it will take to make it a reality. Conversely, sometimes we’ll need to be the bad guys to help you adjust your vision a little bit, so that it’s safe and comfortable for everyone who gets to experience it. 

So let’s talk through the process. It’s pretty similar to when you reach out to us with your underpinning and re-stumping needs. You know the different media you can reach out to us through– email, phone, in-person– all are options, and all make us very happy. We are so honored to chat with you about your needs, and outline how we can help.

We’ll start with a basic introductory conversation outlining who we are and what we do. We’ll get to know each other so that the working relationship becomes so comfortable that all stress outlining your project magically disappears. You can share sample pictures of what you’re looking for, and we’ll show sample pictures of our work. Again, with our storied history in Melbourne, there’s a pretty good shot that we’ve already worked on a project pretty similar to what you’re looking for. There should be so many questions during this process. Bring it! We’re looking forward to serving you with the perfect answer for every question that you have. In fact, we’ll be worried if you don’t ask us enough questions…

If you feel like we’re aligned– personally and professionally, then we’ll begin to put together a plan for you. The plan will be visual, it will be extensive, and it will always include a timeline and an estimate. We won’t cause you to incur any costs until you sign on the dotted line.

And then, the fun begins… Stay tuned for Part II of everything Re-Stumping Melbourne has to offer when it comes to your home

Reasons For Sub-floor Problems

Restumping at its most basic definition solves sub-floor problems, helping to maximize the value of your home or your business. It’s the process of updating the current stumps, helping to hold up your foundation, with concrete or steel stumps. It will be a necessity for any home or business throughout its life.

But what is a sub-floor problem?

There are many types of sub-floor problems that area common for homes and businesses. Three of the top most popular ones are sinking floors, creaking or popping and uneven floors.

1First up- sinking floors. If the floor is sinking it was probably not installed properly to begin with. The most common reason is an excess of water or moisture. The moisture will cause the joist to rot. When the joist rots, it makes the beams sag. Confirming that the floors are sinking is an exercise that you can do on your own. To determine, you’ll need to take a look at the floor from underneath, most popularly from whatever basement space you have. If a trampoline effect is occurring where the floor (ceiling) is bowing in the middle, you’re looking at one sinking floor.

Creaking and popping noises are a second sub-floor problem that you need to look out for. Both creaking and popping are noises that you hear frequently when visiting older homes or structures. You probably attribute them to ghost stories or horror movies. Well this is a different kind of horror that we’re talking about– the horror of ignoring these noises. Don’t overlook these noises, because they may mean that your sub-floor is not secured to the underlying joists. What is a joist? You may say. Here’s your restumping fun word for the day. A joist is what supports foundations, walls or beams with ceilings and floors. It runs horizontally and can be made of concrete, steel, or wood. Typically a joist has the cross section of a plank, while a beam is bigger than a joist. Joists are often supported by beams laid out in repetitive patterns.It may also mean that your plywood or OSB was the wrong thickness. The recommended width is ¾ inch.

And finally, uneven floors. Uneven floors are simply caused by a foundation or a structure that hasn’t settled correctly. This may be due to the terrain, to moisture, or to other issues that Mother Nature has sent your way. These most notably include floods or earthquakes. They’re no fun to begin with, but uneven floors frequently go unnoticed for years after a natural disaster, especially if the difference is very minimal. No matter how minimal the difference however, it’s a sign that your foundation is slowly buckling and that it’s time to do something about it.

 

Restumping Melbourne wants to ensure that the process of updating your home or business is painless and positive. By noticing these types of sub-floor issues early and often, we can ensure that your foundation is updated and truly supported so that you can get back to living your life.