<![CDATA[HY's Resources]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/ Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:51:23 GMT Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:51:23 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[When natural materials and water don’t mix, what is the solution for your bathroom?]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/when-natural-materials-and-water-dont-mix-what-is-the-solution-for-your-bathroom http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/when-natural-materials-and-water-dont-mix-what-is-the-solution-for-your-bathroom Wed, 07 Jan 2015 00:00:00 GMT Super - the look of Quartz

Natural materials like travertine, marble, timber, quartz, limestone and concrete add a distinctive and fashionable style to a bathroom or other wet area in the home, but maintaining their original look can be costly, and after a few years your bathroom may appear worn and tired.

Now there is a solution that will give you that distinctive style – without the maintenance – whilst preserving the original look for many years to come.

Our friends at ColorTile are importing a diverse collection of innovative tile technology products that are identical to their respective natural material. They look great, are low in maintenance, and offer superior performance.

Ambiance - the look of Timber

Natural materials versus tile technology

Travertine loses its shine very quickly, is very porous, is easily stained, and is intolerant to many chemicals. Marble needs special cleaning products and requires constant sealing. Timber warps, splits, fades and needs regular sealing. Concrete is very expensive, can crack and again 
needs sealing.

Innovative tile technology produced glazed porcelain tiles, identical to the natural look, overcome these difficulties and provide many more benefits including:

• very low maintenance
• low installation costs
• no sealing
• no fading
• easy to clean
• low installation costs
• hard wearing
• no staining
• and superior performance.

Rapolano – The look of Limestone

These natural-look tiles are designed to withstand the toughest – and wettest conditions – including heavy traffic. When choosing a range it is important to note the slip resistance associated with the tile chosen. Slip resistance ratings are performed in two categories: 
the pendulum rating and the ramp tests. The higher the rating the greater slip resistance of 
the pedestrian surface. Ask your tile consultant for the ratings attached to the range you 
have selected.

Stonehenge – The look of Concrete

There are many natural-look ranges in ColorTile’s collection which are designed to complement the diverse spectrum of styles including modern, traditional, minimalist, contemporary, rustic 
and industrial.

Tempo, Rustic Timber & Eco Alabaster

The look of Marble, the look of Timber & the look of Limestone

ColorTile, one of Australia’s leading tile retailers, has a complete series of natural-look ranges on view in each of its showrooms.

Posted in: Bathroom, Waterproofing & Tiling

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<![CDATA[We're hiring!]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/were-hiring http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/were-hiring Tue, 02 Sept 2014 00:00:00 GMT Jobs at HY’s Renovations & Maintenance

Are you looking for a role with a professional yet down-to-earth company, with a major focus on teamwork and delivering exceptional outcomes for clients?

Then take a look at our current vacancies...

Carpenter / Builder x 2

  • 7+ years’ experience 
  • Combination of 1st and 2nd fix carpentry 
  • White Card required
  • Dedicated hard worker
  • Willing to do whatever it takes to get the job finished
  • Able to get stuck into an array of jobs including labouring etc.
  • Own car and tools
  • 3-months’ probation
  • Willing to consider sponsorship for right candidate

Carpenter / Foreman

We’re looking for a dedicated Carpenter/Foreman to be employed by HY’s Renovations full time and have the skills and expertise to manage projects and teams with little supervision.

For this role the following is required:

  • A good knowledge of Work Health and Safety 
  • Knows how to read plans
  • 1st and 2nd fix carpentry skills or other trade with lots of experience under your belt
  • Has the ability to lead the team
  • Manage diverse work sites
  • Is ready to take on new challenges and is willing to learn
  • Has good work ethic
  • Is a team player
  • Is punctual
  • Takes responsibility
  • Is honest and acts with integrity
  • Has a White Card, own car and own tools

Hear what our team have to say about working with HY’s

“Working with HY’s Renovations & Maintenance has made me see building and renovation from a different perspective. The more relaxed atmosphere and good working conditions has really made me appreciate my career choice and has helped me further my experience in a diverse way” 

John Ellis, Foreman/Carpenter

“I helped with the content for the website and the HY’s team spirit always came across very well when I talked with the guys. Now that I’m involved day-to-day with the business, this strikes me more than ever. It sounds a bit naff but there really is a family feel and everyone cares about each other. There is always a good vibe on site and this in turn reflects well in our work.” 

Catherine McGowan, Business Manager

Meet Travis Simmons

See our apprentice, Travis Simmons, featured in the June 2014 issue of The Tradie Magazine

If you have what it takes, get in touch!

Please send your resume to info@hysrenovations.com.au

Or call Catherine on 0409 793 452 (no recruiters, thanks)

Posted in: Baby Nurseries, Bathroom, Carpentry, Extensions, Exteriors, Jobs, Outdoor Living, Repairs, Roof & Gutters, Shop Fitouts

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<![CDATA[The timber-look designed to last]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/the-timber-look-designed-to-last http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/the-timber-look-designed-to-last Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT Living with timber can be time-consuming. Now there is an alternative that will give you the beauty of wood without the hassles or the maintenance, and which will keep its original look for many years to come.

International research teams have created a new tile technology that produces porcelain tiles identical to the natural look of timber.

Our friends at ColorTile are importing these tiles as part of their signature collection.

Benefits

These natural-look timber tiles are designed for easy living which is perfect for our busy lifestyles. Made to withstand heavy traffic and the toughest of challenges from animals and children, these tiles maintain their look even under tests with stilettos.

Other benefits that make these natural-look tiles so appealing:

  • low maintenance
  • no ongoing upkeep costs
  • suitable for indoor, outdoor, bathrooms and kitchens
  • never requires sealing or sanding
  • easy cleaning
  • no fading or discolouration
  • no buckling or creaking
  • suitable for underfloor heating
  • superior performance

Bush-fire resistant

Many people want that wooden deck but are concerned with the flammable characteristics of timber. The natural-look timber tiles offer the solution for people living in bush-fire prone areas.

These tiles have already reached temperatures of 1100 degrees making them perfect for this type of lifestyle.

Design

The natural-look timber ranges are designed to complement both modern and traditional styles.

For a minimalist or contemporary style, the natural-look timber tiles offer a continuous floor design from the living to the kitchen and bathroom areas, flowing through to the outdoor decks.

There are also different ranges designed specifically for different styles such as the Signum range which is fashioned for the industrial look.

Installation

The natural-look timber tiles are designed to be arranged in the same format as timber floors creating an identical appearance. 

ColorTile, one of Australia’s leading tile retailers, has a complete series of natural-look ranges on view in each of its showrooms.

Posted in: Bathroom, Extensions, Kitchen, Outdoor Living, Resources, Shop Fitouts, Waterproofing & Tiling

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<![CDATA[9 great reasons to use an interior designer for your renovation]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/9-great-reasons-to-use-an-interior-designer-for-your-renovation http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/9-great-reasons-to-use-an-interior-designer-for-your-renovation Mon, 30 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Not sure about whether to use an interior designer for your renovation?

9 reasons why you should… By Sarah Roach, Creative Director, Entrance Hall

  1. By engaging with a designer you get peace of mind through careful planning and a full set of drawings and schedule for the builder to work off, saving time (and therefore money) during the build
  2. Our planning and level of detail also means you get a more accurate price from the builder in the first place
  3. Too many people get stung without having the proper approvals and/or contracts in place and there can be quite a lot of approvals you will be required to go through before you build. We prepare this and coordinate it for you. Your job is to enjoy the process!
  4. You’ll have someone to reassure you during the build (it can be quite scary seeing your place gutted!)
  5. You’ll achieve a better outcome. We do this every day…We know what works and what doesn’t. A lot of things work in theory but not in practice!
  6. You may see elements you want to incorporate in your design - we can help achieve that
  7. Design is not about spending a lot of money - one or two elements make the design - everything else should complement those items
  8. You don’t have to pick the most expensive tile to get a nice outcome. It’s all about the tile set-out - that is why some drawings are essential!
  9. It’s not always about getting someone to design your space for you - it’s often more about having someone to bounce ideas off and collaborate with

Entrance Hall is an up-and-coming design house of youthful and exuberant designers, dedicated to producing timeless and alluring building design and interior atmospheres.

Their specialist team has already gained accolades and awards for a diverse range of projects, encompassing the design of residential homes, landscapes, restaurants and cafes. 

Posted in: Baby Nurseries, Bathroom, Extensions, Exteriors, Kitchen, Painting & Plastering, Resources, Shop Fitouts

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<![CDATA[Getting creative with concrete]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/getting-creative-with-concrete http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/getting-creative-with-concrete Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:00:00 GMT Getting creative with concrete

Concrete is the material of the moment. And for good reason!

Whether you are looking for that special piece for your kitchen, bathroom or outdoor space, here’s why you should be thinking about using concrete now...

            

Range and Design Options

Looking to include a benchtop, table, sink, bathtub, fireplace, BBQ/pizza oven top or even an outdoor kitchen in your renovation? Concrete can be used to produce a striking and durable piece.

Other range items you may like to consider include flooring, sills, steps, and firepits.

The sky really is the limit when it comes to what pieces can be crafted in concrete.
Adding in a design option is also a possibility. A popular design option is a customised benchtop with built-in sink, drainer and/or a compost chute.

Customisation

Pieces can be customised to suit your style, needs and budget.

You can choose from a wide range of colours, several aggregates (aggregate is the elements in the concrete: gravel and crushed stone - the 'decorative' part of the concrete) thicknesses as well as finishes. Aggregates provide different looks – by choosing a non-exposed aggregate, partially exposed aggregate or fully exposed aggregate, the individual look of your finished piece can be completed.

All concrete products are smooth to the touch and deliver an earthy natural warmth, particularly when used in combination with other materials.

Versatility and Style

Concrete is versatile, which means it can be used in a variety of styles – from ultra modern to classic chic and even country inspired installations.

If you dream of concrete but your budget is stretched, why not consider just one feature piece?

A concrete island top looks fantastic as a feature in kitchens with timber, stainless or engineered stone benchtops.

Maintenance

Extremely easy to maintain, the process used to clean a regular benchtop can also be used for a concrete one.

Pricing and Value 

As a guideline, the price of a Concreate benchtop sits between that of a re-engineered stone and natural stone top of equivalent thickness. 

Blog written by Nic Royal, Owner & Director of Concreate

          

 

Posted in: Bathroom, Extensions, Kitchen, Outdoor Living, Resources, Shop Fitouts

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<![CDATA[More tips on planning your new nursery]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/more-tips-on-planning-your-new-nursery http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/more-tips-on-planning-your-new-nursery Mon, 17 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT
  • It’s a great opportunity for a good clean out and it will satisfy ‘nesting’ instincts. Your life gets very full of things when babies come along. As well as planning for fantastic storage solutions, get rid of as much clutter as you can before baby arrives. You could even sell some of it on eBay and use that extra cash to treat yourself to a pregnancy massage!
  •  

    • It’s a good idea to measure your room and map out possible furniture positioning to get an idea of what will work. If you’re renovating with HY’s, we will do this for you as part of the process too, but it’s always useful to have a guide

     

    • There are some great apps that help too. You can mix and match products and experiment with ideas for your nursery, using the KLIPPBOK inspiration tool for tablet for example, from IKEA

     

    • Have you thought about the benefit and beauty of plants in your nursery? All indoor plants purify the air to some extent, but some are more beneficial than others in removing household toxins. Aloe vera, various palms, the Boston fern... there are in fact 19 houseplants that are wonderful at cleaning indoor air

     

    • Safety standards. Do you have a hand-me-down cot or antique/heirloom? If so, be sure to check that it complies with Australian safety standards. There should be a label or a sticker showing ‘AS/NZS 2172’. There are various things that need to comply such as the space between the cot bars needs to be between 50mm and 85mm.

     

    • Carpet toxins. Did you know that carpet, and laminate, emit a huge amount of potentially harmful toxins? Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) is a chemical additive commonly found in paint, but also carpets. The RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) say that even though there has been no direct evidence of harm through chemical exposure, pregnant women should be informed of ways in which to reduce exposure. It’s something to be aware of and when dealing with HY’s you can be assured that we only use carpet made of wool, biodegradable, formaldehyde-free and flame retardant-free.

    The most common question we get regarding baby nurseries...

    Q.    Is it safe to paint when I’m pregnant and how far in advance should I paint the nursery?

    A.    There is a chemical additive in many paints called Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) which can emit a gas even long after the paint is dry.

    In fact, when we consulted a leading brand in Australia about using paint in a nursery which wasn’t zero VOC, they advised that “We do not recommend painting whilst pregnant. Paint in general takes anywhere up to 1 month to cure and harden which then is safe to be in the room whilst pregnant or with baby. Before then we suggest to keep the room ventilated when possible to maximise air flow in the room.”

    Because of this risk, HY’s only use a zero VOC paint for our nurseries. In fact we use the best in the market with a product that outperforms all organic paints and fully meets the zero VOC criteria. It has longevity, performance and an architectural finish – with a 10 year guarantee. And unlike other organic paints which offer limited colour palettes, this one can match 36,000 colours.

    There’s a lot to consider and it can be overwhelming – so call HY's and we’ll make it hassle-free for you.

    Posted in: Baby Nurseries, Painting & Plastering, Resources

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    <![CDATA[How to create a dream bathroom with resell value]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/how-to-create-a-dream-bathroom-with-resell-value http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/how-to-create-a-dream-bathroom-with-resell-value Wed, 15 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT Bathroom renovation considerations


    For bathrooms it pays to choose quality fittings.

    Go for high-end where possible (without going overboard as you don’t want to put people off by your gold tapware)


    Try to opt for sustainable options.

    Not only might you be eligible for rebates but ‘being green’ is what many buyers look for these days. And it’s no wonder that people look for smart alternatives that help the environment with the vast increase in price of electricity and water.


    Have you considered underfloor heating?

    This is particularly great in bathrooms and with fantastic heat conductors like concrete, matched with solar, it doesn’t pump up the electricity bills.

    Double up.

    If you’re going for that luxurious spa feel a big hit with buyers is a double vanity and double shower.

    Open up.

    Think about space and light…

    • Can you turn a window into a doorway? It will make for a more tranquil, spa-like feel and let the outdoors in, enhancing relaxation
    • Clever loo systems these days make for much more manageable, spacious bathrooms. There are even ones for small spaces that have a sink built onto the top of the cistern.
    • The right paint colour can provide the optical illusion of space
    • Clear shower screens or even no shower screen
    • There are some very clever storage ideas for bathrooms including hidden shelves that slide out behind the bath, attractive little nooks built into the walls, really great bathroom products offering deep drawers and special compartments and we can build any type of custom-shelf you dream up
    • Making it as uncluttered and simple as possible makes for more space to bathe and unwind and is more appealing to buyers.

    Tantalising tiling.

    Don’t stop at the walls, think about what you can do with the floor. We recently renovated a few bathrooms with patterned tiles underfoot which made for a striking, eye-catching end result.


    Paintwork.

    Choosing the correct paint is essential so that it can take the extra moisture as well as enhance feeling of space.

    Ventilation.

    Don’t forget to get the right extraction fans in place as bathrooms are a haven for mould (which can also be kept at bay with the right paint)


    For lots of inspiration for your bathroom renovation, visit our Bathroom and Tiling boards on Pinterest!

    Credits: Honey the dog in bath image courtesy of Concreate

     

    Posted in: Bathroom, Resources, Waterproofing & Tiling

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    <![CDATA[Top 8 Home Maintenance Tips for Summer]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/top-8-home-maintenance-tips-for-summer http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/top-8-home-maintenance-tips-for-summer Fri, 13 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT 1. Air conditioning

    One area that is often overlooked in a household is the air conditioning unit. If it’s not broken don't fix it right? Well, that's not always the case. An air conditioner that is not regularly maintained can not only cost you more to run, but will eventually break down and cost you more in the long run.

    Check filters monthly: Dirty filters make your air conditioner work harder increasing energy costs and possibly damaging your equipment. Check them monthly and replace as needed, or at least every 3 months.

    Check for algae: Air conditioners draw moisture from interior air called condensate, which must run outside. If sediment and algae clog the drains, water may back up making your home more humid or creating water damage. An aircon tradie can clean them out which can cost up to $100 dollars. You may however clean them yourself using a wet vacuum hooked up to your drain. Don't be surprised to find gobs of algae in the process!

    2. Painting of exterior

    The job most of us dread… Painting! Taking into consideration the treatment our bodies get from the sun, it's worth thinking of our homes and the necessary protection they require to go on providing shelter for us all year round. Contrary to popular believe, painting can be fun and very rewarding. Regular maintenance of all painted surfaces which are exposed to the elements, in our opinion, need more attention and repainting than internal paintwork. Leaving this job on the long finger may result in larger repair bills. Nowadays, paint and colour matching is easy. Simply take a sample piece of damaged paint work (approximately 30mm square) to your local hardware store and watch in amazement as the computer gives the closest or exact match!

    3. Hydration

    Keeping your garden hydrated via rainwater collection, if possible, will ensure your garden looks great during the warmer months.

    4. Prepare your lawn for the heat

    This will ensure it is in the best health and condition prior to the onset of the heat, as well as to avoid any sudden shock to the lawn. For a comprehensive list of how to look after your lawn, check out the Lawn Guide’s site

    5. Insects!!

    With more insects during summer it's worth bombing problem areas in your home to keep the critters at bay. Spray your home with insect repellent and invest in a high frequency plug-in adaptor.

    6. Wheelie bin clean out

    With the roll out of household wheelie bins how often do you clean yours? Using a pressure washer, spray away a year’s build-up of slime and garbage. By doing so you will reduce smells and unwanted pests in your wheelie bin.

    7. Decking maintenance

    Washing and sealing a wood deck is critical to keeping it both safe and usable. Once wood becomes rotten, water damaged or splintered, your deck is not only unattractive but dangerous. If neglected further the structure of the deck can become compromised to the point where it is hazardous. Your deck should be sealed every two years with a high quality penetrating oil sealer. Avoid sealers with acrylics or wax. Also avoid unmodified linseed oil that most manufacturers use. Linseed oil is food for mildew, which grows in the sealer as it feeds on the oil.

    8. Pool maintenance

    Depending on your lifestyle, it's probably been a good six months since your pool has been used for swimming. Start at least a week prior to swim season to ensure that the water and your new bathing suit are safe from chemical harm. Get it ready for summer by:

    • Cleaning it up
    • Levelling the water
    • Ensuring that your pumps are working
    • Balancing your chemicals

     

    (image source: OFTB.com.au)

    All seems too much? Relax in the hammock and have the HY’s Maintenance team do it all for you. That’s what life’s about hey!

    Enjoy your summer.

    Sincerely,
    John Ellis, HY's Foreman

    Posted in: Electrical, Exteriors, Outdoor Living, Painting & Plastering, Repairs, Resources

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    <![CDATA[Tips for maintenance on different roof types]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/tips-for-maintenance-on-different-roof-types http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/tips-for-maintenance-on-different-roof-types Tue, 29 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT Roof maintenance on different types of roofs

    Here are some questions to consider when thinking about roof maintenance:

    • Are there trees surrounding your property?
    • Is sap and other debris allowed to fall onto your roof?
    • Is there local wildlife nesting in your roof?
    • Does your area get a lot of high winds and driving rain?
    • Concrete cancer - are my roof tiles affected?

     Steel roof 

    • Using a ladder, check for rust spots. Rust is the corrosion of metal and the failure of an otherwise great material
    • Check for perished rubber seals on your screw heads as they will allow water through to your roof space
    • Replacing screws is an easy process, however it requires working at heights and is often better left to the professionals

    Concrete tile / terracotta tile roofs

    Concrete tile and terracotta roofs require maintenance usually every 4-6 years, or depending on where you live and things that surround your house.

    White marks running down your roof?

    • Don’t panic. The white marks are what is known as efflorescence and occur naturally in most concrete products
    • Efflorescence is basically salt deposits that moves through porous concrete or bricks, piggy-backed by water or moisture, also known as capillary action
    • This process occurs on all types of concrete and is often unavoidable
    • Unless the efflorescence is causing small craters in your roof there is nothing to worry about
    • As seasons change so too will the moisture levels in the atmosphere and this process will eventually clear up provided there is enough rain to wash the salts away over time

    Slate roofs

    Installed properly, slate roofs require relatively little maintenance and will last 60 to 125 years or longer depending on the type of slate employed, roof configuration, and the geographical location of the property. Some slates have been known to last over 200 years. 

    Potential problems & solutions:

    • Slates require no real maintenance, unless they are damaged or misplaced on your roof. More often than not your surrounding flashings may require replacement
    • Nail fatigue, resulting in slates slipping out of place. They may just need to be refitted to ensure water cannot find its way into your home
    • Weather - high winds and falling debris can also damage or break good slates and they may just need to be replaced. For all period properties we can use reclaimed slate to blend seamlessly
    • A slate roof will take on the appearance of its surroundings and can often highlight bird droppings and moss or other small vegetation. Simply hose down your roof or call in a professional to clean it for you

    Ashfelt roofs

    The main reason for failure of these traditional roofs is ignorance or lack of maintenance.

    The gravel can move or be removed from the tar or tarpaper waterproofing, thus exposing it to weather and sun - whereupon cracking and blistering occurs over time and eventually water gets in.

    Things to look out for:

    • Be sure to avoid traffic on your ashfelt roof. The less people or things placed there will greatly improve the life of your roof
    • Repair kits are readily available at your local hardware shop and don’t always require a professional to install.
    • If a leak does occur on a flat roof then damage often goes unnoticed for long periods of time, during which water penetrates and soaks the decking and any insulation and/or structure beneath it. This can lead to expensive damage from the rot which often develops, and if left can weaken the roof structure
    • There are also various health risks to people and animals breathing the mould spores - the severity of this health risk remains a debated point.

    If you are unsure of the state of your roof or how to take on any of these maintenance tips, be sure to call in a professional (us!) for advice.

    Posted in: Resources, Roof & Gutters

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    <![CDATA[How To Maintain Your Property]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/how-to-maintain-your-property http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/how-to-maintain-your-property Wed, 09 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT Owning your own home or investment property is the great Australian dream.

    The economist Satyajit Das, speaking at The Daily Reckoning’s ‘After America’ conference last year, says the topic of property is up there with religion in Australia.

    And with another boom we see house prices soar:

    • Over the June quarter, Sydney posted a 2.7 per cent increase in house prices
    • The median price is now past $690,000
    • Most activity sits within the $1 million to $1.5 million mark
    • Sydney is tracking at its highest rate in 10 years (source: BRW July 29, 2013) 

    So, when you get there... when you finally own your own home... you want to look after it.

    Your home needs love and attention all year round

    Here are some seasonal Australian tips for making sure that it’s maintained – so that you are comfortable, happy and can enjoy your investment.

    Articles in this series

    Top 8 home maintenance tips for Spring

    Top 8 home maintenance tips for Summer

    Posted in: Resources

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    <![CDATA[Top 8 Home Maintenance Tips For Spring]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/top-8-home-maintenance-tips-for-spring http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/top-8-home-maintenance-tips-for-spring Wed, 09 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT 1. Inspection of windows and doors

    Just after winter has finished, it’s a good idea to check around your windows and doors for any cracks in the paintwork and caulking. Gaps should be no wider than a 10 cent coin. If they are, they need re-gapping with a suitable gap filler (available from Bunnings or Mitre 10 in a variety of colours).

    If your windows are older wooden frames/sashes it’s important to check the putty around the glazing which seals the glass to the wooden frame. If it’s cracked it needs to be removed and repaired using linseed putty available from your local hardware shop. It is a very easy job for first time DIY’ers - just follow instructions on the tub. Once the putty has set it will need to be painted to further protect it from the elements.

    2. Check gutters and downpipes

    A visual inspection is all that is sometimes required for gutters and downpipes. Check whether or not your gutters have leaves or debris restricting the flow of water as these can cause overflowing of gutters during downpours and a nasty drowning for anybody caught under them. Overflowing gutters can also cause unwanted flooding of the garden and areas surrounding the house, especially the foundations which are important to keep as dry as possible especially in older homes. Soaking of the exterior walls can cause dampness and coupled with condensation gives perfect breathing conditions for mould. 

    If your house has no sarking protection, overflowing gutters can also result in water rotting fascia and soffit boards. Using a hose to check for leaks through the gutters is also a good idea as you may simply need some silicone. While inspecting gutters check brackets and make sure nothing has come loose during stormy nights.

    A note on ladder safety
    With an average of around 900 ladder related incidents in Australia every year, 50% being very serious, it is a good idea to pay particular attention when using any type of ladder. 

    • When leaned against the wall or edge, ensure the ladder has a ratio of height to horizontal distance from wall of 4:1
    • Make sure it’s secured (devices are available to secure the ladder at the top and bottom)
    • Ensure you always have 3 points of contact while ascending /descending or working from the ladder
    • Always make sure you have the correct ladder for the job at hand and if possible try and have another person assist you while using a ladder or working at heights
    • Take a few minutes to inspect the ladder before use (check for perished fittings and damaged rungs)
    • Go to Work Safe BC for further information

    3. Roof coverings

    Whether your roof is protected by iron concrete or slate, they all need regular checks and maintenance to keep your house dry.

    • Iron roof coverings: Look out for rust or damage like damaged hex screws or lifting ridge capping. 
    • Concrete tiles: Look for dislodged tiles from heavy winds or broken tiles from flying debris.
    • Natural slate: Look for cracks and slipped slates these can cause a weak link in an otherwise very good roof.
    • All coverings: Check hips, valleys and ridges for broken cement pointing. If this perishes it needs repairing otherwise it will keep coming away until it causes real trouble.

    4. Fencing

    Fencing is an important necessary addition to any home. What would be the first impression that a visitor will get of you and your family when they arrive at your address? For most, a tidy clean fence is essential for many reasons. If you already have a fence and maintain it, skip to the next section. Still here? Well you might be interested to know the following tips to help you maintain and keep your fence looking great all year round...

    • Check for damaged paint work: Painted fences timber, or otherwise, need to be maintained more than natural wood or powder coated iron fences. Damaged paint needs to be removed, sanded, filled, sanded again and repainted.
    • Use a pressure washer: Using a pressure washer helps to quickly identify those damaged areas by quickly removing old paint, exposing raw edges that need attention. 
    • Look for rot: Use a pointed tool or finger push on suspicious looking areas. If the area is soft and crumbles away easily you have rot! If you act quickly you may be able to save the infected piece using sand paper. Sand the infected area and try to find the extent of the damage. As a rule of thumb we try to remove at least 600mm of timber around the problem areas and replace it with new wood. If this option is not viable you need to treat your fence with a wood preservative available at the local hardware store. Two coats should do the trick! 
    • Pay particular attention to posts: especially where the posts are set into the ground. The marriage of timber and cement is not a match made in heaven and rot usually starts here where water can lie for days on end. It’s the process of drying out which weakens the fibres in wood and causes rot.
    • Iron fences require much less maintenance: Having said that, everything has its weakness and with iron fences damaged paintwork, dings, bumps and coastal weather can take its toll on. 
    • Rust: Can spread very quickly and if untreated can ruin your beautiful fence. Be sure to eradicate all signs of rust using a wire brush and ‘rust stop’ spray or paint. Spending a little time now will save you a lot of time later. Also look around your fencing posts as they too are usually buried in concrete and can have the same problems as timber where they enter the ground.
    • Concrete slabs/footpaths: Have you noticed any cracks in your concrete lately? Or do you just pass them without caring every day? Fixing concrete is highly recommended for a number of reasons... Trip hazards; growth of unwanted weeds; nesting grounds for insects such as ants; further cracking and breaking down of surrounding concrete... the list goes on. Don't panic however as fixing this common problem is a breeze. For cracks up to 10mm wide use an epoxy concrete filler available from the local hardware store. If your cracks are bigger and are causing you problems call in the guys at HY's for help and advice. It is not always expensive to fix these small problems and will leave your walkways nice and tidy and hazard free so you can spend more time on things you want to!

    5. Gardening Equipment

    If your tools are as important to you as our tools are to us, then you need to regularly maintain and look after them! 

    • Make sure your storage area is dry and protected from the elements.
    • Ensure all of your gardening equipment is kept sharp
    • Inspection of your electric tools for any damage is a must!
    • Any tools with timber handles may be maintained by applying linseed oil all over.
    • Replace broken handles with new ones to avoid possible injury.
    • A physical and visual check of all wires must be carried out on a regular basis to avoid electric shock and or fire to your garden in the hot seasons. Just be smart about safety, spending a few minutes before doing a job could save your life.

    6. Raised garden beds

    Raised garden beds are great for budding green fingers, and add a really nice feature to your garden. They are also great for the kids to learn how things grow. To nurture a plant, fruit or vegetables is a wonderful experience for all, and reaping the rewards come harvest time saves you money and makes the taste a little sweeter.

    Constructing a raised garden bed is easy

    • For quick raised beds use eco-friendly treated timber
    • Mark the area you want to put your bed with rope or string - simply get some 40mm x 40mm timber pegs and using a hammer pound them in around your string line
    • When finished, line the pegs with some 100mm-200mm treated boards, joining and nailing the lengths on the centre of the pegs. Be sure to place pegs in all four corners.
    • Then simply back-fill your garden beds with nutrient rich top soil plant in some veggies or fruit and watch them grow!!
      For a thorough gardening resource check out www.ezyplant.com.au

    7. Spring into planning

    Spring at HY's has traditionally been one of our busier times. People are busy planning extensions and renovations for the coming summer and rightly so, as spring is the perfect time to forget those winter blues and get on with important projects and big plans for your home. Whether it’s planning your extension, renovation, dream deck, BBQ area, swimming pool, new footpaths, garden shed, sleep-out or raised garden beds, it’s worth planning thoroughly because if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right first time.

    8. Do your research

    If you are planning any project and need to hire a tradie it’s worth doing your homework. Look for references and referrals. Ask for photos and a possible visit to past jobs. Check credentials and insurances and most importantly ask the price for services rendered. As a rule it’s always good to get three prices just to compare. Of course with HY’s we have done the hard work for you, ensuring a top qualified and friendly team, at reasonable prices. Plus we guarantee a site visit and quote within 48 hours. Once you start shopping around you’ll realise that that is very rare! 

    We hope you have enjoyed reading our spring tips. It is our dream to make HY's your day-to-day, go-to building services provider. If you are unhappy with any of our advice please drop us a line and tell us why.

    We hope to see you soon!

    Sincerely,
    John Ellis, HY's Foreman

    Posted in: Carpentry, Exteriors, Repairs, Resources, Roof & Gutters

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    <![CDATA[Ten Best Value-Adding Renovations]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/ten-best-value-adding-renovations http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/ten-best-value-adding-renovations Tue, 08 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT The best way to gauge whether your renovation is worth doing, is to employ the services of a real estate agent or valuer. What is your property worth now? And where would it sit after the renovation? What is valued in your particular area? (as the financial return is usually linked to the property’s location) Also, are you renovating for a better resale value, better lifestyle or better rental return? All of these factors determine what adds value.

    Here is what HY’s broadly view as the top 10 renovations: 

    1. Extensions. Convert roof space for a parent’s bedroom or retreat; remodel a basement to create a playroom, cinema or bar; add a room to create an extra bedroom, extra bathroom or bigger kitchen. Build a granny flat. Having lots of square footage is what people want so extensions can add significant value. Adding an extra bedroom or bathroom is a sure fire way of attracting a whole new market to your home.
    2. Kitchen. Perhaps it’s to do with the raging success of TV shows like Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules, and the big focus on entertaining and family time in the hub of the home, but renovating your kitchen should be high up on your list. Think modern appliances, space-efficient storage, open-plan kitchen/dining areas. As a general rule, kitchens can cost from $9,000 for a revamp to $35,000-40,000 for a complete refit at the top end. And it’s worth it. Check out our kitchen section for how much to invest and how to tackle this zone.
    3. Bathroom. You could tackle a complete bathroom renovation or revamp an existing one. There is so much you can do to make the bathroom inviting to buyers and it’s high up on their hit list. Having an additional bathroom/s of course is a huge selling point, or perhaps you could add a second toilet or move the existing toilet to make your bathroom more spacious and spa-like. Open up your bathroom to an outside area, create a wet room, add a double vanity unit, plenty of storage, underfloor heating, quality tiles, showers and basins. A good amount of Google research by us shows that you should spend about 1-1.5% of the value of your home on the bathroom. And property guru Phil Spencer states that a new bathroom puts 2.88% onto the house value (albeit in the UK, it’s an interesting guide)
    4. Deck or terrace. Research shows that you can get up to 85-90% back on your investment, some even say dollar for dollar. It’s extremely sought after and doesn’t necessarily cost the earth. Whilst tempting to have a go yourself, HY’s recommend getting an experienced tradie with the right tools for decking (which can be expensive in themselves) and also to invest in quality timber to reduce maintenance. Go to our Outdoor Living section for more info including some creative ideas that add functionality and interest.
    5. Sustainability. Insulation, solar hot water, energy-efficient lights, water-efficient fittings, grey water system, drip irrigation, solar panels… Lots to consider and whilst the outlay may be fairly costly for some of these, there could well be rebates that you can factor into your budget (check with your local council)
    6. Façade. In the whirlwind 30 minutes or so that buyers have to view the biggest investment of their life, you’ve got to make a big first impression. Making sure the façade is in top shape is a huge value-add. A lot of this could be down to general maintenance – washing, painting, tidying, fencing, clearing gutters… or you may need to renovate with new fencing, landscaping, new roofing, concreting, repainting, new doors and windows and so on.
    7. Painting. Such a simple thing to do and it makes a huge difference to lift the look and appeal of your home. At HY’s we only use the highest quality non-VOC paint to ensure zero emissions. It’s so safe that it can be used when pregnant or with new babies around. It’s also of architectural quality and we can colour-match virtually anything. 
    8. Landscaping. Don’t underestimate how much value some decent landscaping can add to your home. Even if you think things look neat and tidy, it’s amazing what can be achieved by having a consultation with a professional landscaper and making some changes/enhancements. You can find landscapers that only charge a small fee for an hour’s consultation, followed by more detailed drawings/plans ranging from about $500 - $1500. You can even start out with a small budget and work up to spending more in this area. Get the basics right. Pare things back, neaten it all up and have the right plantings to suit your home’s style and climate. Make sure your fencing is in tip top condition. Then add water features, rock features, lighting, pergolas, cabanas… the options are endless and it really will complete your space, making it more liveable and more attractive for the next buyer. And if you own an apartment with an outdoor zone then spruce it up with a vertical garden. Landscaping is a lot of fun as well. Get inspired by using Pinterest and create a board for your own ideas!
    9. More space and light. Without doubt a great investment is to add more space and light. There are plenty of great window and door options and if bi-folds are too pricey for your budget, have you considered stacking doors? They are a fraction of the cost and actually more practical (easier to install fly screens, no ‘flapping’ doors in the breeze and no nasty trapped finger accidents with small children) Your property might benefit from adding a skylight, or by knocking down some non-load bearing walls to open things up. Internal sliding doors mean that you can open everything up when you need to, or hide that home office/study or additional bedroom when you need to. 
    10. Flooring. Last but not least, an effective renovation is to upgrade or update your flooring. Timber floors are always a winner and there are some great options for floating floorboards or the laying of solid timber floors which double up as good insulation. Polished concrete is also popular and offers fantastic underfloor heating options. Have existing floors sanded or polished. Whatever you do it’s a great investment because beautiful floors ups the standard of your interior and therefore the likelihood that someone is going to fall in love with your home, and pay plenty of money for it.

    Posted in: Bathroom, Extensions, Kitchen, Outdoor Living, Painting & Plastering, Repairs, Resources

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    <![CDATA[Outdoor Living Renovation Ideas]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/outdoor-living-renovation-ideas http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/outdoor-living-renovation-ideas Tue, 08 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT Creative ways to add functionality and interest to your outdoor living renovation
    • Outdoor kitchen – add one that merges with your indoor entertaining area with custom storage unit (perhaps even include a bar fridge); built-in BBQ; matching benchtop with sink and built-in ice bucket
    • Custom benches / seating with storage are handy for outdoor cushions, toys, tools and gas bottles
    • Built-in fire pit – a fantastic way to add warmth and atmosphere
    • Raised garden beds or built-in planters designed as little pockets within benches
    • Pergolas / gazebos look stunning and add shade
    • Different shapes such as curved deck stairs or an inlay – experiment with design
    • An extra solid/wide rail provides a useful resting spot for drinks etc.
    • Built-in day bed – these look so inviting and make potential buyers instantly envisage themselves lying there reading the Sunday papers
    • Built-in deck chair – we’ve even spotted a deck chair which is literally a chair built into the deck! Follow our ‘clever carpentry & decking’ Pinterest board to see it

    Posted in: Exteriors, Outdoor Living, Resources

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    <![CDATA[How To Go About Your Kitchen Renovation]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/how-to-go-about-your-kitchen-renovation http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/how-to-go-about-your-kitchen-renovation Tue, 08 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT Plan the job well

    Planning is everything and will help you avoid potential pitfalls and overspending. The first thing to do is to choose what gets demolished and plan the layout. Also, decide on the hardware, appliances, fittings and fixtures in advance so that you can have these ordered and delivered in time for installation.

    Here are some of the key inclusions for your planning:

    • Benchtops / countertops. Timber, concrete, laminate, reconstituted/engineered stone (quartz) stainless steel, synthetic, paper composite, natural stone (soapstone, granite, marble, lava stone) are your main options. Let the HY’s team talk you through the pros and cons of each so you choose the best for your kitchen.
    • Splashbacks. Is the ubiquitous glass splashback ever going to date? Have you considered tiles, laminate, stainless steel, concrete... You might even like the same material of your benchtop coved to continue up the wall. We can help you determine what is best for you and your lifestyle.
    • Flooring. Tiles (terracotta, ceramic, sandstone...) timber, concrete, slate, linoleum, vinyl, cork, bamboo, rubber... endless options here for you as well. And what about underfloor heating for when you pad into your new kitchen for a midnight feast?
    • Space efficient storage. Who doesn’t have cupboards full of weird and wonderful kitchen gizmos and gadgets, and tins of baked beans from 1998? Even when you have a clear-out it seems they find their way back. We can get you organised with awesome storage and space-saving solutions which mean you can find that jar of olives exactly when you want it.
    • Fixture and fitting choice. Don’t skimp on fittings and fixtures. Cheap options either look ugly from the outset, or break within a month. It really does pay to go for quality.

    The demolition begins

    • Structural works. Window and door installations and structural alterations such as knocking down a load-bearing wall, adding a skylight... all need to be done by professionals. Permits will also be required so make sure you have allowed for that in your project timeline.
    • Lighting/electrical. Changing the light fittings, and going for something energy-efficient, is a simple way to update the look of your kitchen. Have you thought about under cabinet lighting for your renovation? And did you know that installing your own wiring is illegal and can be dangerous so make sure you have a qualified electrician.
    • Plumbing. Installing your own plumbing is also illegal and can be dangerous. Try and choose fillings that suit your taste but also suit your budget. You can pretty much pick from a range of fittings that spans 100 years. Old style fittings are always in vogue and considered trendy. Be prepared to pay heavily for stylish fittings.
    • Insulation, sound proofing and Gyprock™
    1. Cheaper bills
    2. Cosier home
    3. Reduction of use of heating and cooling systems

    Never before has insulation, sound proofing and Gyrock™ been so important to our homes and carbon footprints. Acheiving that energy star rating is so important, not just for ourselves and our bottom lines, but for our children and future generations. Sure, having any star rating is great but is it enough? 

    Insulation is a very important barrier for heat loss during winter and really helps to lower the tempeture durning summer, resulting in lower bills and a cosier home.

    Complacency is the enemy of progress. Taking lessons from European homes and home owners it is HY’s wish to teach Australian home owners about insulation and the importance of its use in our homes. We feel we have a duty of care to insist ón insulation installation in every renovation HY’s undertakes.

    There are many types of insulation available, just speak to the guys at HY’s for more information

    • Plastering comes in many finishes. At HY’s we can accomadate any taste whether it’s a traditional sand and cement render, or a complex cornice finish. We can acheive the finish you’re looking for.
    • Kitchen cabinet installation. Kitchen cabinets get installed over the chosen floor finish, depending on what the finish is. It’s worth choosing a kitchen that will stand the test of time. What with all of the punishment cabinets take on a daily basis, it’s worth asking for 18mm carcase panels with 2mm vinal edging. 

    Kitchen door choice is also very important in terms of aestethics

    You will look at these for at least the next 10-15 years and in some cases even longer. From solid wood shaker style to modern sleek poly sprayed panels, the variety and choice of our favourite room in the house is limitless.

    • Splashback installation. Coloured glass splashbacks are by far the prefered choice of 90 percent of our clients. Coloured glass is very easy to maintain and virtually timeless. With so many colour choices it would be hard not to find the perfect companion for your chosen kitchen style. Instalation takes only a few hours and is ready for use only 24 hours later. Stainless steel splash backs offer a more clincinal finish and tiles a more traditional look.
    • Finish carpentry Finishing or 2nd fix carpentry is all of the wood you see and use on a regular basis. It’s worth choosing nice panel doors or maybe something to suit the aesthetic of your home. Solid doors are more expensive but leave that feeling of quality and realibility. 
    • Archatraves and skirtings are the dressing our doors and floors get. Whether it’s federation style or a more contemporary look you go for, these pieces of decorative timber get mitered together to give a continuious and seemless feast for the eyes. The guys at HY’s have installed every type of skirting/archatrave on the market. 
    • Trimming around windows, door frames and floors; custom shelving and built-ins is all part of this final carpentry.

    Painting

    A simple yet dramatic part of your kitchen and home renovation comes from investing in new paintwork. Here are HY’s main tips when it comes to paint:

    1. It’s only worth doing if you prepare well (so let us do it for you!)
    2. We only use the best, safest paint on the market – VOC free, architectural finish and a 30,000 colour palette
    3. Keep it simple with white (or 5,000 shades of) or adopt a new colour trend. It can be very time consuming picking the right one so our expert colour consultant is available to help you with your decision.

    Posted in: Kitchen, Resources

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    <![CDATA[Nurseries: What I Wish I'd Known]]> http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/nurseries-what-i-wish-id-known http://www.hysrenovations.com.au/resources/post/nurseries-what-i-wish-id-known Fri, 04 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT Here are top five tips for planning your nursery, based on real research from Australian Mums!

    1. Power & lighting. When your baby is crawling and exploring their room, you don’t want wires everywhere. Babies are like little house rabbits... they hop around and are drawn to cables to nibble on! So plan properly for well-positioned power points and places for music systems and vaporisers to go so that they are out of reach. Another top tip was to have good lighting with LED’s on a dimmer switch.
    2. There is nothing better than a beautifully painted room and you’ll appreciate that you have done it. Freshly painted feature walls, themes and colour schemes were favourite elements with many respondents of the survey or highlighted as something they wish they had done.  You’ll never spend as much time at home as when you become new parents. You can spend a lot of time in the nursery feeding, and you start to notice things that you wish you’d done. Everything is easy before babies arrive!
    3. Built-in cupboards, better wardrobe, custom storage, more space, creative toy storage... all these were listed on the wish lists of these Australian Mums. You’ll need things within easy reach when you’re changing your baby, and out of their reach as they get older. You’ll likely be given a lot of presents and hand-me-downs from friends, which your baby will quickly outgrow. And it is more calming to have stuff out of sight than strewn all over the place. Things like a trundle drawer to go underneath the cot, or a blanket box, or a foot-rest which doubles up as storage make a huge difference – and HY’s can custom make these to your design specifications and colour scheme.
    4. Think about what lies ahead. It may seem a long way off, but if you are planning more than one baby then it pays to make more space for the future when you create your nursery for the first. You will save time and money in the long run and be thankful for it later.
    5. “It would be good to make the nursery more magical. You can have a lot of fun in this space... however I had no real time.”  The time factor kept popping up in our survey. It can be tricky to find time beforehand, and even harder to find time afterwards. Those that did their own nursery found that things lingered on the to-do list for ages. But that is why we’re here. It can be such a fantastic room, full of wonder for your growing child and for you to enjoy all the hours spent in there. Let us help you make this space work, for now and well into the future.

     

    Posted in: Baby Nurseries, Resources

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