August 13th, 2014 by Bill Hutchison ·
Walking around Ikea today with my youngest son made me realise that I am eagerly anticipating the newest Ikea catalogue, which is due to come out in Australia starting on the 23rd of August, 2015.
There are some fun looking new items that you can see on the American Catalogue here. Of course, I can’t find a link to the new catalogue for us poor plebs in Australia, but the American catalogue at least gives us an idea about what to expect from our favourite home furnishing store.
August 12th, 2014 by Bill Hutchison ·
Podcast: Play in new window
Since moving into our house here in Adelaide in December 2012 we have been overwelmed by the amount of maintenance that we have needed to do on the house. The more I look around the place and live here, the more I am convinced that the previous owners never did anything to maintain the house.
I’m not just talking about big jobs, but even small things like replacing the batteries in the smoke detectors and cleaning the filter in the range hood. I even found two dead mice in the range hood that had pretty much mummified! That really had me wondering how long it had been since they cleaned it out.
Some day I hope that we finally get on top of all the maintenance jobs on the house so that maybe we can move on to making improvements on the place and personalized it to make it our own. Right now however, after 1.5 years in the house, I feel like we are still just trying to bring the place up a level that will give us a canvas to work with.
photo credit: hanaloftus via photopin cc
Tags: Podcast · Renovation Frustrations
January 14th, 2014 by Bill Hutchison ·
Doors Plus Zone Living (here) looks like a good solution for open plan living here in Australia. It allows you to still keep the open feel of a single large room, but with the economy of multiple zones for cooling or heating.
We have two areas in our house that we was to section off from the other areas of the house for both cooling reasons as well as sound isolation and privacy.
The first of these areas is our family / rumpus / play room at the back of the house.
This area looks pretty easy to separate off from the rest of the house. The door frame is already there, so you should only need the doors and hardware. Those building supplies would cost about $340 from Bunnings for a pair of doors with safety glass.
To use Zone Living in this space would cost about $1600!
I had also looked at using Door Plus’ Zone Living as an option for our office. Since there is no wall there at the moment there would be a lot more involved in this area to put a door in.
One of the features that they claim for Zone Living is:
… assists in shielding noise travelling throughout the home, eliminating one of the major concerns created by open plan living.
Since I record audio in my office, having some sound shielding for the room would be highly beneficial. When I was in their show room though I had a look at some Zone Living examples and wasn’t too impressed.
The gap that you see in the door is present in all examples at the show room. That doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in it’s ability to provide any noise isolation for the office.
Besides not providing good seals between rooms the cost was also rather high at about $1300!
Even though it will be a bit more work to put in the doors and wall myself, we will NOT be getting Doors Plus Zone Living.
Tags: Building Materials
September 26th, 2013 by Bill Hutchison ·
Podcast: Play in new window
Renovate Australia Podcast Episode 6
After weighing up for a long time whether to install residential solar power on our house here in South Australia we decided to go ahead and get some quotes on the costs associated with it. To start the process I visited a web-site called SolarQuotes.com.au that my brother in law recommended.
The guy who runs it is Finn Peacock and he seems to be a very up and up kind of guy, who even called my brother in law back on the phone to answer some of his questions!
His web-site will connect you with three different solar providers for quotes. After filling out the simple form I had two of the three companies contact me pretty quickly with quotes over the phone.
In addition to the three companies that I was connected to via the SolarQuotes site, I also contacted two companies that I had recently received flyers for. They were very low prices, for what looked like decent systems, so I thought I would give them a try.
SolarQuotes.com.au also has a Solar Installer Leaderboard on their site. I had a look at that page and contacted three other companies that had done a lot of work in South Australia, were either Platinum or Gold rated on SolarQuotes, and also had very few, or no negative comments on forums.
Following the advice on SolarQuotes.com.au I did the following while researching the companies:
- Checked out the reviews on SolarQuotes
- Searched for forum posts about the companies on Whirlpool
- Asked a lot of questions of the people giving the quotes (13 suggested questions from SolarQuotes)
In addition to those questions I also checked out reviews and forum posts on the inverters and panels I was quoted on.