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The Home Improvement Blog

  • Forward planning before renovating goes a long way and can save you in the long run! Yvette Revised
    Forward planning before renovating goes a long way and can save you in the long run!

    When it comes to renovating a home the whole process can at first appear to be a bit of a daunting task. It is important to plan ahead before starting a home renovation project to ensure that your project stays on track. This can also save you time and money in the long run. Renovation work always costs more than you expect. The reason for this is that often extra costs are not known until you start the renovation work and you uncover unexpected problems. Thinking of renovating your house? Make sure you talk to the experts and do some careful planning. It will certainly pay off in the long run.  If your finances do not allow you to hire an expert, then do it yourself. However, we would not suggest doing skilled work yourself, such as electrical, plumbing and drywall, because a mistake could cost you thousands to fix and may be hazardous to your well being. Our checklist below will help you to ensure you have thought about all aspects before work commences. 1. Planning permission To you, it might be just adding a bit of extra space to the kitchen but depending on how much the property has been extended before, you may need planning permission. It is very important to establish early on in the design process whether your extension or renovation needs planning permission as mistakes cannot be rectified. 2. Keep to your budget It’s easy to get carried away committing money on bathroom and kitchen units and not put money aside for plumbing and/or electric changes as well as things such as flooring. Also, you may need to pay for specialist insurance to protect you and your home until the work is done. 3. Write your renovation wish list Identify all the things you want to achieve – from functional, structural and styling perspectives – and prioritise your list. 4. Decide whether to live-in during the renovation Depending on the scope of the renovation, you may need to move out during some or all of it. Plan for this early, you may need to rent somewhere and factor these costs into your budget. 5. Inform your home insurance company Now that you know you have a realistic project, a budget and an idea of timescales, you need to give your insurance company a ring, make sure you chat through the renovations and meet the insurance criteria. Thoroughly review your plans and ask friends and family to cast an eye over the plans to make sure you haven't missed anything vital before renovation starts. 

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  • Strong Life April 2014 newsletter

    Welcome to the April edition of the Strong Life Home Improvement Newsletter. This month is typically the month when the weather experiences significant changes, including a substantial increase in rainfall. Leaves and old branches also continue to fall from trees, resulting in a higher incidence of blocked gutters and drains. A blocked gutter or drain, if left unattained, can lead to flooding and substantial house damage. During the next few months of this wetter season, it is a good idea to do a quick clean of your gutters at least once every 2-3 weeks. This will prevent a build up of debris and any major blockages from occurring. This month we have also updated our website blog with some new topics that may be of interest to you. We are expanding our horizons and are pleased to say that we will be covering home improvement and renovation topics, as well as providing our regular news and discussion articles about guttering and roofing. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that you can keep up-to-date with all our latest news by following our Twitter, Google + and Facebook pages. In the meantime should you have any queries or concerns about your gutters or roofing, please do not hesitate to call us on (03) 9310 4455. Until next month, Todd Jordon Owner

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  • 10 ways to spruce up your home (part 2)
    10 ways to spruce up your home (part 2)

    Outdoor spaces can make a huge impact on people’s first impressions and regardless of whether you want to spend a little or a lot – you can polish up the appearance of your home and make it more appealing.  Strong Life is dedicated to offering expert advice on how to get the best out of your home – we don’t just do roofing and guttering installation. Beyond the house   Money to Burn Keep your Cash Driveway A gorgeous driveway sets the tone for your home and is a great way to make a good first impression. You can make a statement with beautiful slab paving stones, or opt for a cheap(er) and cheerful asphalt job – whatever you decide, make sure you use a reputable company. You do not want to fork out for a new driveway, only for it to look worse than the original within a few days or stormy weather. If your budget won’t stretch to a new driveway, then you can repair any problem areas – plus, using a powerful jet wash can really make a difference as it will lift off ground-in dirt. Finally, don’t forget to dig out any weeds that might have grown. Some companies will do repair work and this will generally cost less. Garden Opt for a professional landscape gardener to design, plan and manage a complete overhaul and transformation of your outdoor space.  Done properly, you could be adding real value to your home.   Mow the lawn and use a strimmer to define the edges to make it look really neat and tidy. If you don’t have defined flower beds/lawn, then you can use a trowel to create a border. Trim back overgrown shrubs, and prune trees (or hire a tree surgeon to do it for you). Put in more planting to add splashes of colour and to make it look more appealing. Garage door Installing a new garage door can make your home sparkle. With a huge range of designs to choose from, you are sure to find one that suits your home’s personality and style. And if you really want that extra “wow” factor – you could upgrade to a fancy remote controlled version, so you don’t have to get out of your car on those rainy days! Do a paint job (at least 2 coats). We’d recommend that you sand down the wood and frame to create a smooth finish first. If there are structural problems (like cracks, holes), you might be able to get away with adding filler prior to painting, but that depends on the size and depth of the problem. Outdoor areas With sufficient outdoor space, you could consider adding a decking or seating area, as well as a manageable lawn. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from installing your own pool – if that’s what you want, just make sure you have the room to also have a bit of greenery too. Can’t afford to do anything extra? Tidying up can still make an impact. Hide away toys, tools, and rubbish. Placing a couple of planters outside your front door or around the back can add warmth and colour, as well as tantalising fragrances to your outdoor spaces. Outdoor furniture You may already have decking, but is the furniture looking a bit tired and out of date? Replacing outdoor furniture can add an extra layer of luxury and style that will get your neighbours going green with envy. Instead of replacing, try redressing your outdoor furniture. Make or buy some new cushion covers (weatherproof), repaint any woodwork – or even go scouting around vintage/antique stores, you may find a bargain! Call Strong Life now on (33) 9310 4455 and see what they can do to improve your home.

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  • Strong Life Gutters and Roofing March Newsletter

    Welcome to the March edition of the Strong Life Home Improvement Newsletter. We are pleased to report that last month was a busy month for us. During the month we installed roller shutters on several new clients’ houses and continued to both replace and install new guttering and roofing on numerous properties across Melbourne. Our Patio and verandas side of the business has also been busy, despite the warm weather presenting harsher conditions for our trades people to complete jobs. March brings with it the start of Autumn, which means it’s time to start cleaning out those gutters again in anticipation of the wet and windy times ahead. It’s also a good time to check over your roofing and guttering for any leaks or cracks. Should you be in any doubt about the condition of your guttering or roofing please do not hesitate to give our team at Strong Life a call on (03) 9310 4455. We would also like to mention that we have recently added a ‘Gallery’ page to our website http://www.stronglifeguttersandroofing.com.au/ that displays ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of recent jobs we have completed. Be sure to check it out some time by click on this link here. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that you can keep up-to-date with all our latest news by following our Twitter and Facebook pages. Until next month, Todd Jordan

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