How Should I Lock the Gate to my Yard?

If you want to safely and securely lock up your personal access gate to your back yard there are a few things that you need to consider in addition to security.

PadlockOne of the challenges that we have run into  in locking up our gate is making sure that the utility companies still have access to the meters. This includes:

  • Gas
  • Electrical
  • Water

One way to do this is to learn your billing cycle and unlock your gate during the weeks that the meter readers are set to to their reading. The challenge to this is that the meter readers are not always consistent with when they come by, and sometimes you miss them. If the meter reader is unable to do an actual reading then they do an estimate, which isn’t always accurate.

Another option is what is advised by SA Power Networks:

Customers often ask us how they can secure their meter box to avoid it being tampered with.

You can choose to install a utility lock on the electricity meter box or relevant access point (such as a gate). The best solution is to install a utility lock. Utility locks may only be purchased from a member of the Master Locksmiths Association. Once the lock is installed (we recommend you get this done by an accredited locksmith) you will need to let us know. We have a master key and will be able to undertake meter readings.

***  UPDATE  ***

The electricity meter box forms part of the home owner/occupiers private electrical equipment and as such not owned by SA Power Networks. We don’t require the meter box be locked this is entirely at the home owners discretion.

Alternatively you can install a private lock, here’s our fact sheet which provides more information about how you can secure your meter box if you wish.

We’ve had one electricity bill estimate, that was wildly inaccurate, so we are now on the hunt for a replacement lock that meets the SA Power Network requirements …

Waiting for the Ikea 2015 Catalogue

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.

Ikea 2015 Catalog

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.

Overrun by Maintenance Problems!

Broken HammerSince 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

How Much Does Doors Plus Zone Living Cost?

Doors Plus Zone Living

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.

Family Room Zone Living

Internal Glass DoorThis 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.

Gaps in Zone Living Doors

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.