Getting Creative With Your Garden

Getting Creative With Your GardenThere is something so zen, so relaxing about a garden space that’s been well-put together. Whether it’s yours to come home to at the end of the day, or one that you wishfully view as you’re taking your neighborhood walks, a well-put together garden is a beautiful thing.

You may be wondering, what on earth does this have to do with restumping, reblocking and underpinning? A lot more than you’d think! First of all, Restumping Melbourne is not just dedicated towards reinforcing the structure and foundation of your property. Our goal, our mission, our ethos, is to ensure that your home or business is one that you’re proud of. So this means that we’re creatively driven to share general architecture, interior design and landscaping information with our valued customers and blog readers.

Today’s post isn’t just waxing lyrical about the beautiful gardens out there in your neighborhoods, it’s about empowering you to make it yours! Let’s switch the narrative so that it’s all of the other street inhabitants who are a little green with envy, when they see the exterior of your property.

The key here, is that design is modular. It doesn’t need to be completed in one fell swoop. Rather, you can look forwards to smaller design projects which take up a Sunday afternoon, instead of a whole summer. One of the most popular DIY bodies of work that we’ve seen recently, relate to innovative ways to display your plants. Depending on the size and style of your home, gone are the days when a bed of soil was the only possible home for your gardenias. Instead, you can check out vertical flower and plant beds, like this one, to add some pizzazz to your property. These can be built from pretty much any material, you can even repurpose existing materials that have been sitting in your toolshed for far too long.

Some of you may be aiming to bring the greenery into the interior of your home. If so, you’ll want to check out project number two in this article. 3D installations of plants or flowers are gaining popularity, quickly. There is a growing body of science which supports a tranquil feeling, even if a small footprint of flora is nearby.

Finally, think about maximizing the utilitarian nature of your greenery. As you’re choosing what plants and flowers to integrate into your design, don’t write-off those that are edible. There is some beautiful inspiration on the Web for ways to design herb gardens, and even more recipes that you can leverage for your next big dinner. You’ll feel even better incurring any costs, since the rosemary, the thyme, the paprika, will be common ingredients in meals to come. You can even think about making these portions of your garden sustainable, a great way to provide additional power to your home and take costs off of your monthly bills.

Feeling inspired? What landscaping projects are you working on this season?

Asbestos- What You Need to Know (Part I)

AsbestosOh, asbestos. A bit of a four-letter word, isn’t it? Definitely not tea-time talk or fodder for a fancy dinner. But though the one thing we can all agree on, is that it’s not that much fun; there is still an immense gap in knowledge around it! What is it? What causes it? What should you do about it? These are all valid questions, and questions that Restumping Melbourne would like to help you answer. Today, we’ll do a general dive into the basics of asbestos, but we probably won’t answer every question that you have. It’s scenarios like this, when we want to remind our valued customers and blog readers to reach out! The Restumping Melbourne team is dedicated to answering any questions that you have.

So, asbestos! If you’ve dealt with it, you know that it’s not that much fun. If you haven’t dealt with it, you may need a refresher course as to what it is. Asbestos is the common name and it’s a little bit easier to pronounce. If you’re looking for the technical name, then six fibrous silicate minerals is your winner! Either way, there are several elements that characterize it. They include high tensile strengths, flexibility, an insulation ability against high and low temperatures and chemical resistance. None of these on their own are very dangerous, BUT the fibrousity of asbestos does make it dangerous.

How can you suss out if you’re dealing with asbestos? As far as physical look and feel, if you see small white flakes or fibres, those are most likely asbestos. You’ll want to make sure that you’re wearing protective gear. If you ingest it, it can lead to many health concerns—moderate to severe.

We just mentioned minerals. There are six that you want to look for. They are: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremoplite, actinolite and anthophyllite. A lot of buzzwords if you feel like doing a deeper dive into asbestos, but chrysotile is the only one in the silicate group we’ve talked about. It’s by far the most common property that will be present.

The big thing that you want to avoid when it comes to asbestos is inhaling it. When you inhale it, the fibres that we’ve discussed, populate the lungs. They cause a lot of different physical ailments. Yes, they can be moderate, or even mild. They can also be serious, long term diseases, including but not limited to cancers and chronic conditions.

So why is Restumping Melbourne covering this on our blog? Asbestos can be commonly found during building projects, or by updating existing architectural elements like the foundation. We may sound like a broken record at this point, but Restumping Melbourne is truly dedicated to ensuring that our valued customers and blog readers are properly educated about all things home renovation. When you have the knowledge, like that around asbestos, you are 100% in the driver’s seat of every decision.

Stay tuned for more information about asbestos and how it relates to your home renovation.

Maximizing the Stability of Your Home

Maximizing the Stability of Your FoundationIt sounds assumed, right? The stability of your home, that is. Whether you’re moving into a brand-new home, or taking over from someone who has lived there many years, you want to feel comfortable walking into it and knowing that you’ll be safe and happy. Well the Restumping Melbourne team is sorry to burst any bubbles, but such things can’t always be assumed. In fact, the responsibility falls on you as the inhabitant to ensure that you’re regularly checking on the foundation of your home.

There are many factors that play a role in the destabilization of your foundation but the main factor is the soil. The soil under your property is constantly shifting. This can be because of the type of soil (reactive clay or otherwise), it can be due to seismic shifts in the earth, and it can be due to the natural settling, cracking and buckling that soil’s properties encourage.

You can’t stop any of these catalysts. You can however ensure that you’re keeping an eye on them, and also that you’re putting proactive measures in place so that the foundation under your home or business is fortified and stabilized.

Today’s post focuses on slab restabilizing. You may be thinking, how the heck does slab restabilizing take place? The most commonly used method is a piering system. The piers are made from steel. They’re driven directly into the ground under the foundation, using a hydraulic process. There are tiny holes, which a drill uses to hold these slabs in place, so that there is as little wiggle room for air as possible. The key here is to ensure that the posts are drilled down into the earth to a point where they can bear the entire weight of the property’s structure. Once they’re at this point, they can properly support the slab underneath the home’s foundation. Though there should be few gaps, those that exist are filled with grout.

Now, the piering system makes the most sense if you’re looking for a full job. But often, homes just need a little pick-me-up for their foundation, they need minor slab repairs. When it comes to minor slab repairs, you may look immediately towards concrete to fill cracks and holes. Restumping Melbourne recommends that you stay away from concrete. It will actually only perpetuate the issue, as you may deal with additional cracks and holes in this new concrete, further on down the line. Instead, look for resin-based crack filler or expoxy, solutions which are far stronger and will hold up under pressure.

Restumping Melbourne loves to support its customers in their endeavors, even the Do It Yourself projects. It doesn’t matter who you’re working with, as long as your foundation is being properly cared for. That being said, we’re always here as your process partners-in-crime to help find the foundation solution that makes the most sense for you. With our help, we’ll ensure that your foundation is one that will last a full lifetime.

Home Necessities for Every Australian Host

Home Necessities for Every Australian HostEvery Australian host? That sounds like a bold statement, doesn’t it? But if our generations in the industry and extensive experience have taught us anything, it’s that there are certain elements to a home, that will make your life easier. It doesn’t matter what area of Melbourne or the surrounding areas you live in. It doesn’t matter if it’s an old house, or if you’re in the early stages of buying the land and building from the ground up. Any way you look at it, Restumping Melbourne has recommendations for you and your home. Note- this is all a bit tongue and cheek. We’re focusing on the dream homes today, the homes that may be a bit out of your price range. But if we’re going to build a dream home, let’s hope that some or all of these are in some way involved.

As Many Skylights as Possible- Does your home have an abundance of dark and gloomy areas, marked by dim lighting and deep hues for your flooring? There is no better way to lighten up a space, than adding as many skylights as you can. Skylights are affordable and the payout is huge. When you add additional lighting to any space, you open it up and make it look far larger than it was to begin with.

A Backyard Barbecue- This should be center stage if you’re any sort of entertainer, no matter what the size of humble abode is. A barbecue can be small, or it can dominate your outdoor social areas, it’s entirely up to you. Bonus points if you integrate seating arrangements into the design, since you know once guests get close enough to the food, they’ll never want to leave.

Folding Walls- Folding walls are a huge game changer, especially during warmer months. With one easy push, you can unite your outside areas and your indoor social areas. These don’t need to be very expensive, and there are a whole range of materials that you can choose from.

A Personalized Letterbox- Since a letterbox is potentially the very first thing that visitors see, chances are that you want to dress and impress. This is an opportunity to get as creative as possible, even a little cheeky if you like. Australia is a land of talented artists so take advantage of this creative pool, the next time you’re at your local arts shop or gallery.

A Pool With a Swim-up Bar- Alright, alright, you can start with just a pool. It sure will make a difference on those hot summer days. But if you already have a pool, or feel like taking things to the next level, why not explore a swim-up bar? After all, why should you have to get out of the pool, just to serve your guests something new to eat or drink?

Although these are just the tip of the iceberg, hopefully they kick start the creative process, next time the inner host or hostess in you, is looking to enhance your current home or future home.

Avoid Big Costs at Home With These Small Life Hacks

Avoid Big Costs at Home With These Small Life HacksLet’s face it, homes of any size and style are a bit of a money and energy suck. They don’t particularly mean to be, it’s just the nature of the way that they work. As human beings, we’re constantly driven by the latest trend, no matter what it may be. We’re also frequently playing catch up, as we hurry to mitigate whatever latest problem that Mother Nature, or just life itself, has thrown at us. Between the two, we’re on a never ending quest to better our current home, or ensure that our next home is on that next level.

Thankfully, our brains are also evolving. Our brains tell us that we want to make things easier, better, faster, and stronger. We shirk away from processes and products that take too long, or are overcomplicated. In previous decades, many of these products and processes were related to home renovations or home repairs. But thanks to thought processes like “life hacks,” that’s no longer the case. If you’re new to life hacks, welcome to a game changer. A life hack can elude to anything in your life that you’re improving. Take forever to peel an orange, but you have a tool that will do it in one fell swoop? That’s a life hack! Pretty sure that you’re losing hours of your day due to your morning routine, but that’s all about to change, thanks to a switch-up of your breakfast choice? That’s also a life hack! In general, we’re huge fans. But today, the Restumping Melbourne team is focusing on life hacks as they relate to home repairs. With this list in hand, you’ll have a fuller wallet, and a bit more sanity.

Regularly inspect your roof. We’re talking every six months. If you do, and you know what to look for, then you can avoid costly repairs or replacements. Just one, single shingle or leak, can equate to hundreds of dollars. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you leave such a small problem unattended, it can quickly snowball into a much larger situation. So keep an eye out for any pieces of the roof that look they’re coming loose, as well as questionable cracks, mould, or bubbled paint.

Keep an eye on your drainage. Your drainage plays a huge role in the foundation of your home, which as you can assume, is something that Restumping Melbourne is very passionate about. A little bit of settlement is totally natural, after all- you’re forcing your home into a particular size of space, it may push back a little bit. But there’s an impressive difference in cost, once your foundation begins moving around a bit more. If caught early, foundation adjustments can cost hundreds or a few thousand dollars. But if you leave any drainage issues left unattended, you’re looking at a price tag much more in the $100,000 range. So if you see a clogged gutter, or know that heavy rainfall is expected in your area, make sure that you carve some time out on the schedule to clean out your gutters.

Check on your HVAC every six months. Your HVAC system helps maintain your air conditioning, your ventilation and your heating. This is another piece of the puzzle that can be less costly if you catch early, but those costs rise drastically fast. We recommend checking on your HVAC system every six months, but cleaning the filter every 90 days. If you do so, you can avoid repairs that cost upwards of $1,000.

Tune back in for more life hacks around your foundation and home.

Building in a Bushfire Zone? Here’s What You Need to Know

Building in a Bushfire Zone? Here’s What You Need to KnowYou’ve done your research. You scoured the Web. You read every publication possible. You even went old school and actually talked to your family and friends. You’ve asked every question that you could think of, and you’ve finally dialed in on your dream home. Let the celebrations begin, right? Well if you’re building in an area that is susceptible to bushfires, then the answer is potentially- wrong.

You may be new to bushfires. If so, a general definition is a fire in a scrub or forest, specifically one that tends to spread very rapidly. These are especially common in the Adelaide Hills and other areas throughout South Australia. They can be completely unexpected, and arrive without warning. Thanks to Restumping Melbourne, you’ll be set up for success next time you determine a location for a new home.

There are six different levels of bushfires. These fall under the AS 3959 Construction of Building in Bushfire Prone Areas Standard. You can contact your CFS, or your Country Fire Service, if you’re concerned about a particular area. Alternatively, a local engineer or building surveyor can also help you out with this information.

Once you’ve determined the state of the soil, another area that you might want to explore is the different materials that your builder can use. Some materials are far more flammable than others. This does not mean that your vision can’t be brought to life. Rather, we recommend bringing your ideas to your local custom builder. They’ll be able to tell you what’s feasible, as well as walk through a variety of alternatives.

Of course at the base of any strong home, is a strong foundation. Here at Restumping Melbourne, we’re a bit biased about the importance of reinforcing your foundation. It’s the foundation (no pun intended) of our business. But the benefits here are multifold. You’re increasing your protection from bushfires when you add a steel frame to the foundation of your home. With a steel frame in place, you worry less about your roof, wall and floor frames, as they’re reinforced much more strongly.

Even if you do decide to move forward with a build in one of these areas, there are still precautions that you can take. Restumping Melbourne will help you analyze the soil and terrain of your property, no matter where it is located. It’s part of the service that you can come to expect from us. For brushfire-specific properties, we recommend that you move your home as far away from combustible vegetation as possible. We know that landscaping can be one of the most fun parts of designing a new home, but if you’re looking for trade-offs- this might be one of them. We also recommend that you ensure street access for any emergency vehicles, should their assistance be needed quickly.

As with any of the topics on this blog, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Restumping Melbourne team. For more information, check out this video:

Taking a Deeper Look at Stump Sub-floors

Taking a Deeper Look at Stump Sub-floorsRestumping Melbourne is lucky enough to work with a variety of clients. Your homes and businesses range in size, shape and type. They’ve been built with a variety of materials, which can help dictate how we help to reinforce your foundation. We ask a lot of questions, to determine the right process and materials for your property. Many times, the conclusion that we make, is that we want to move forward with a stump sub-floor.

You’re probably wondering, how do I know if I have a stump floor under my existing home or business? After all, if that’s what’s down there right now, then that’s what you’ll need to replace. Take a look around down there. Do you see many different columns or stumps as you glance around. If so, you have a stump sub-floor. These stumps or columns won’t always be the same height, especially if your home or business is built on a sloping block. In fact, they can be a large variety of heights. Their number one goal, is to ensure that your home remains level. These stumps need to properly support the building structure’s weight so their placement, their weight and their relation to the others, is all a bit strategic. Above the stumps, goes the floor frame, above the floor frame goes your chosen surface for the floor.

Stumps is a bit of a general term, you’re probably wonder what they’re made from. As an industry standard, stumps have been built from hardwood. Unfortunately, experts have noticed that stumps made from hardwood rot over time. This means that they can’t properly support such a large weight, and render any Restumping jobs much less useful. In more recent years, you’ll notice an upswing in stumps that have been made from treated timber, galvanized steel and cast concrete. An expert engineer, like the teammates at Restumping Melbourne, need to help oversee the process of building a stump, so that it’s the right shape and size. If you’re looking for next level, you can find adjustable and prefabricated steel columns in the market. The one big difference here, is that these can be adjusted onsite, meaning that last-minute adjustments are possible.

Once you have the stumps built, the remaining question is around installation. There are a couple of steps that we need to take. We need to peg the building with string lines, this is absolutely crucial for proper measurement. Then post holes are dug. Once these two steps are complete, it’s time to install the beam and the joist flooring frame. Now it’s time for the stumps to be bolted to the floor. Fill the holes with concrete, and your home or business is reinforced and set up for success.

Looking for a visual to complement your new knowledge of stump floors? Look no further. Here is one of Restumping Melbourne’s favorite videos, for your viewing pleasure. Questions? Comments? Let us know. We look forward to ensuring that your home or business is safe and sound.

Happy Holidays from Restumping Melbourne!

Happy Holidays from Restumping Melbourne!Well, it’s that time of year again. We don’t know about you, but for the Restumping Melbourne team, it sure feels like 2016 flew by in the blink of an eye. We saw political upsets and pop culture phenomenons. We saw births and passings of loved ones, we saw technological advances that created improvements and evolutions in all sorts of different business industries. It was definitely one for the books.

The end of the year is always an important time. It’s a time for reflection, it’s a time for planning and it’s a time for gratitude. It’s when our team takes stock of what worked, what didn’t and what we’d like to do differently.

As far as reflection goes, we’re extremely happy with the past year. We’ve been able to hone our craft even more and present the best possible products that we can to our valued customers. We were able to learn, each and every day, whether that’s been through industry events, written and visual resources, or simply through conversations. We were able to listen, capitalizing on each and every piece of feedback that we received. As you know, we thrive on, and depend on feedback. It doesn’t matter if it was positive or negative, we integrated it directly into our processes. We are strong believers that there will never be a finish line or crux in our ability to provide you the best services, but we will sure keep chasing it.

As far as planning, we could not be more excited for the year ahead. We’re excited to provide Restumping services to more and more customers, in Melbourne and beyond. We’re excited to work with new and different terrains, stretching our creativity muscles and problem solving whenever we can. We’re excited to research and test ways to work faster, and with materials that are even more premium, and wherever possible- sustainable. We’re excited to minimize our carbon footprint, and remain dedicated to making the right decisions for our business model, for the industry and for the environment. Sensing a theme here? We’re just very, very excited, and hope that you are as well.

Saving the best for last—we cannot stress enough, how grateful we are. We are grateful for both the past year, and the year ahead. Above anything else, we are grateful for you- our extremely valuable customers. Restumping Melbourne doesn’t believe that our relationship with our customers ends with payment. We look at our customer base as lifelong friends. We want you to feel comfortable reaching out with questions or feedback, years after the work is complete. There is no such thing as a silly question, no such thing as an odd comment, no such thing as closing the door on our constant and consistent communication, even years after we’ve worked together.

The happiest of holidays to you, from the Restumping Melbourne team. Thank you for a wonderful year. We hope that you are able to relax and enjoy time with your family and loved ones. See you in 2017!

How to Take your Deck to the Next Level

How to Take your Deck to the Next LevelYou may be noticing a bit of a theme with posts on the Restumping Melbourne blog, this month. All of the posts have a common denominator, our desire to continually educate our valued customers. This month’s posts also tend to focus on our love of the great outdoors and our goal to ensure that you enjoy the summer as much as possible. While restumping services are our bread and butter, we’re also well educated in all things decks, verandahs and other outdoor entertaining spaces. We’ll make a point throughout the year, to dive into fun trends and happenings around all different sorts of home renovation projects. Today, we focus on decks and the small adjustments that you can make to take yours to the next level.

Think about adding greenery to your deck. Planters are a great and easy way to add dynamic and color to your deck. You can find them in most any shape or size, so the style of your deck won’t be a roadblock. Keep an eye out for built-in versions. These are also a great way to separate the areas of your deck reserved for socializing, eating, and just relaxing. They’re low-maintenance, only requiring regular drainage. In fact, this is a double-edged opportunity. You can easily capture the rainwater collected and use to water your other plants around the house.

Explore siding options like cable railings. If you’ve invested in a deck, chances are that you want to spend as much time on it as possible. If its more than a few feet in the air, chances are that you want to experience and enjoy the vista, surrounding you. This means that you probably don’t want thick wooden or steel planks, separating you from the panoramic views. One of our favorite solutions is cable railings. These cost about $70 for each foot if you’re looking to have a professional install for you. You can save and only fork out about $25 a foot, if you’re feeling handy.

Take a look at the fasteners that you’re using. If you have a home or deck that hasn’t been updated in a while, you may still be working with nails. Nails pop out over time and can injure those who frequently use the deck, so many more modern assemblies and designs have decided not to use them. The mainstay for the past few decades has been the deck screw. They’re far more versatile, hold up well under pressure and don’t allow rust to build up. The problem with deck screws is that they will splinter the surrounding wood, when installed. This means that our recommendation today, is to explore hidden fasteners. Hidden fasteners are sleek and modern, securing the framing and wooden plank with barbs and a screw. Though they add about $4 a square foot in labor costs, we believe that these costs are easily recouped in the long run.

Excited to explore one of these options? Thinking about others to add to the list? Let us know, the Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

Designing the Perfect Deck This Summer

Designing the Perfect Deck This SummerThe warm weather is in full swing and the Restumping Melbourne team wants to ensure that you’re enjoying it in style. There shouldn’t be a necessity to travel to a far-off, tropical destination, when you can experience all that the sun has to offer, from the comfort of your home or business. In our last post, we talked about stepping up your design game and exploring verandahs with glass. Today, we’re heading back to basics. Today we’re talking through principles to keep in mind when designing a deck, no matter what the look or feel.

It can be a daunting process, designing any component of a new, or existing home. Luckily with partners like the Restumping Melbourne team, you know that you’re in great hands. We want you to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to creativity, so that you can truly feel like you owned bringing this element of your home or business, to life. With that said, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Take advantage of free, online, design tools. Free and online are the key terms here. Prospective designers and builders are frequently put off by the daunting process of visualizing what they want. But a brief online search can bring up a host of tools that can compare materials, size and shape. They’ll even provide you with drawings that you can then bring to your builder.
  • Keep the rest of your home in mind. We’re talking about size, layout and function. You don’t want to build a deck that will dwarf the size of the rest of your property. You also don’t want to build a deck so small, that it looks out of place. Think about what room inside, you want adjacent to the deck. Do you want it to be your kitchen, so that you can eat al fresco outside? Maybe you’re building a private deck, that you’d like adjacent to your bedroom?
  • Look at traffic flow. There are few things worse than retroactively realizing that you’ve designed the deck wrong, so that your parties are crowded and no one can move around when visiting. The design tools mentioned above are a great resource to help with this. Simply by looking at a bird’s eye view of your design, you can pin point the best areas where you see people visiting, relaxing or moving around.
  • Research all the materials that you plan to use. You’ll feel far more confident about the investment that you’re going to make, if you know that the materials you’re using to design your deck are easy to care for, and long lasting. There are a lot of trends in the construction industry. Sometimes the most beautiful materials or stains, can be far more expensive than you may think.

Keep each of these tips in mind, and the design process will be a breeze. Next up? Plan on sharing your vision with companies like Restumping Melbourne. We’re dedicated to bringing it to life.