Many people are enamoured by the quirky designs seen in fantasy movies such as Harry Potter, with hidden passageways and secret doors. These whimsical features can be added to many homes and can help your house to feel more unique.
Here are some ideas to consider adding in a home renovation.
A vault hidden by a mirror or picture
Hidden vaults are a mainstay of many detective mysteries, but they can also be a great way to add some extra security to your home. By using an item such as a mirror, it can be hard for would-be thieves to locate your safe since it is not in plain sight. A mirror is also a more aesthetic choice than a bare safe in many cases and can help your bedroom or living areas to feel natural and homely rather than have it look like a security facility. There is always some added fun when you can swing the mirror or picture frame to reveal the safe behind as well.
A hidden room
If you have a large house with oddly shaped rooms, you can often create a small ‘hidden’ room by using a false wall. This is a great way to add extra storage as well as being a great place to hide during hide and seek! For extra whimsy try concealing the door behind a bookcase or other piece of furniture so only the people who live in the home know how to access it. A space under the stairs can be another good place to add some extra room for a ‘Harry Potter’ vibe.
Hidden passageways or doors
If you are renovating an older house, you may not have the option of organising the house layout in exactly the way that you might want. A fun way to get around this can be having a secret passageway or doors. For example, you might have two bedrooms separated by a study, and choose to create a passageway at the back of the study to connect the two bedrooms. While you might have to concede some space to the passageway it can be a fun way to connect kids’ bedrooms to a parents rooms, or have the children’s rooms connected so that they can make secret visits to each other. You can even conceal the entrance in the back of a built in wardrobe to have your own ‘Narnia’ adventures.
If you are looking to add some whimsy to your house with fantasy renovations, why not talk to a custom home renovator to see what might be possible.
Granite benchtops are a stylish investment for your kitchen. You may have chosen them for their fabulous user qualities, such as heat and scratch resistance and hygiene. If cared for properly, they can be a great durable asset that you’ll have for many years to come. Use this guide to get a long life out of your stone worktops.
Address Spills Immediately
Granite makes a robust and durable benchtop. However, it is a natural material and as such is porous and can be stained. Don’t leave spillages on the counter for too long.
Cleaning Solutions for Stone Benchtops
No chemical solutions are required for cleaning. Avoid bleach and cleaning agents high in chlorine or with high alkaline levels. Always avoid abrasive cleaning sponges.
Clean the benchtop with warm water and if a soap cleaner is needed, use one that’s pH neutral. Wash the surface then wipe with a clean, soft cloth. When it’s dry, you can polish the stone with a chamois leather to remove streaking and create a shine.
What Not to Do on Your Benchtop
Granite is hardwearing and unlikely to be marked by a knife, but sharp knives and acidic foods could cause scratches. Use a chopping board and don’t take a chance. Likewise, use a heat resistant stand for hot pots and pans. While granite is heat resistant, the combination of concentrated heat and food residue can potentially damage the stone surface. Additionally, the granite will absorb heat, making the area very hot to the touch. You should be careful with drinks — use coasters to avoid stains and dullness from acidic drinks and strong coloured fluids.
Reseal Your Granite Surfaces When Needed
Stone benchtops will need resealing during their lifetime. There is no definitive timescale for when this should be done — it will depend on factors like the type of stone and your usage. You can test when your granite needs resealing by performing the following simple test:
Drop a few droplets of water onto the benchtop and wait for five minutes.
If droplets remain on the surface, the sealant is still protecting the stone.
If the droplets have gone, it’s time to reseal your benchtop.
Sealing Your Benchtop Yourself
Many online tutorials can walk you through the sealing process if you feel unsure about tackling it yourself. However, the process is quite simple and done in the following way:
Clear the bench completely.
Wash with a mild soap cleaner.
Wipe the benchtop with acetone.
Apply the sealer — it may need spraying or simply spreading.
Allow the sealer to sink into the granite for the sealer’s recommended time.
Wipe away any remaining sealer with a clean cloth.
Wait 24 hours before using the benchtop.
The kitchen is a section of the home that can have diverse types of tiles, and installed in different applications, yet they will still enhance the beauty of your kitchen. However, before deciding to install any tiles, you need to choose the right application. Here are some tips that will help you get it right.
Where Will the Tiles Be Placed?
This is the first question that should come into your mind. Making a decision on where the tiles are going to be placed will help in narrowing down the material and size. Is the tile going to be used for the floor, counter, walls, or for a backsplash? In most cases, porcelain, ceramic, and stone are used for floors and counters. Glass is used for backsplashes and walls.
Choose a Tile That Can Withstand Your Family’s Habits and Lifestyle
Apart from being resilient in nature, kitchen tiles still need proper up-keep and every material has a different longevity. Ceramic tile is ideal for countertops because of its durable nature, and is easy to maintain and clean.
Before choosing floor tile, ensure you go for an option that is durable and can withstand cleaning supplies, heavy traffic, foods and pets. It is important to strictly go for tiles that are labeled as “floor tile”. It you go for wall tile, it could be very slippery for walking. For a safer kitchen floor, go for one that has a raised texture, or pattern, like limestone and clay based tiles. Quarry tile can be used if you want an elegant and more refined look.
It is important to determine if the lifestyle of your family matches what you choose.
Understand the Rules of Colour
It is obvious that only you can decide the colour that is right for your kitchen. However, it is crucial to observe these rules:
Most people think that tiles are identical from one piece to another. On the contrary, every tile has a shade and colour variation that gives it an overall character, depth and look. You need to lay out some pieces to understand the design you choose is the perfect one for your kitchen. In case of concerns or questions about your stone selection or tile, get clarification from a professional before installation.
If you have noticed signs of wear, rot, or other problem with your wood deck, it might be time to replace it. However, some issues only need repairs instead of completely building a new one, which can save you time and money. Here are some signs that it needs to be replaced instead of repaired.
There Are Structural Issues
While this might not be something you notice when you look at your deck every day, it is something you should look for. Stand at different angles to look at the overall structure of the deck. Does it seem to be leaning to one side when you stand on the grass? It is sagging in certain areas? If either of these things are happening, you have some structural damage. This could be from wear of the wood due to rot. It is best to have a decking contractor look at the structure first and determine if it can be repaired or should be replaced altogether.
The Wood Is Splitting, Cracking or Warping
Even if you seal the wood of your deck and continue maintaining it, wear from weather and natural events can still occur. No wood deck is impenetrable, though sealing definitely helps it to withstand many types of weather conditions. When you notice cracking or splitting of the wood, it is often a sign of wear. Since this is likely occurring with more than just one small area, it requires replacing the entire deck’s structure. Another sign of needing to replace it is when you have warped wood, as this is usually from water damage.
You Have a Termite Infestation
If you find signs of termites in your wood deck, you might be better off replacing it instead of repairing it. Termites can burrow into the wood and start rotting it from the inside out. You may be walking on the deck one day and notice a plank is loose or fall through the deck’s surface due to extreme wear you didn’t know was there. More subtle signs of termites include holes in the wood or tunnels in the grain of the wood.
The Deck Is Older
Even if you don’t yet see severe structural problems or signs of wear on the wood, a deck that starts aging is prone to these issues. It is safer to have it replaced before you notice rotting or wear of the wood, which could cause someone to fall through the deck into the surface beneath it. If you have had the deck for a while and aren’t sure how much longer you have with it in its current condition, contact a decking contractor. They will let you know if now is a good time to replace it.
For more information, contact a local decking company.
Laundry renovations can sometimes be the poor cousins of wet area renovations, getting much less attention and budget than the kitchen and bathroom renovations. However, if you have a young family, or household members who work in heavy trades you’ll probably spend a lot of time in the room. Here are some renovation ideas that can improve your attitude towards the laundry.
If you are regularly doing laundry for a number of household members, the kitchen table can often double as a clothes sorting and folding area when you have a cramped laundry. If you would prefer not be regularly sorting the family underwear in the kitchen, a laundry with folding table space can let you get this out of the way in situ and get those clean clothes straight back in the drawers where they belong. Even better, you can make sure the bench is at waist level so the job is as back-friendly as possible.
Washing machine and driers can be annoyingly noisy. If your laundry backs onto a living area, the noise can stop you from putting the appliances on while the area is being used. With a laundry renovation you can get some extra insulation placed on shared walls so you can keep the washer and drier running whenever you need and avoid running out of socks because you had dinner guests the night before.
The best laid plans can always go astray, so room for tubs where you can leave clothes to soak can also be a lifesaver. This can make the job of stain removal seem less arduous, when you also have time on your side.
Laundries can get very hot and steamy, particularly when the drier is running frequently. This can be a handy thing if you need to steam clothes but can make the laundry an unpleasant space to linger if you need to do piles of ironing or simply to clean the area. Making sure that you can open the area and get a good airflow through can make the space much more comfortable for those times you need to linger. ‘
If you are tired of viewing the laundry as a grueling and unpleasant task, changing the venue by doing a laundry renovation might be just the thing to give you a new perspective. Why not review your laundry renovation options with a remodeling contractor today?
Bathrooms that remain unattended to over a long time are usually disgusting and potential health hazards. Dirty tiles, mould damages, bad grouting, leaking pipes and taps, bad usage of bathroom space and damaged towel rails are some of the most common disgusting features of a bathroom in dire need of renovation. Fortunately, bathroom renovation need not be expensive. In this article, you will get tips that will help you save money with affordable bathroom renovations.
Be Clear on What You Want to Change in Your Bathroom
The guiding principle here is that the more issues you want to fix, the more expensive the bathroom renovation is likely to be. When operating on a tight budget, you can still renovate your bathroom by just making minor changes. You can fix a new mirror in your bathroom, replace taps and their handles, repaint the walls and change your towel rails. This will greatly improve your bathroom, and better still, you can do all this on your own.
Replacing your bathroom tiles can be a lot more expensive. However, you can directly put overlays on your old tiles and improve your bathroom appearance. This will greatly cut the cost of labour needed to remove the existing tiles and replacing them with new ones.
If the existing fittings are still nice, you can save money by resisting the urge to buy new ones. Retouching will do quite nicely in this circumstance. You can also consider using your creativity to change the style or theme of your bathroom. If you finally settle for new fittings, you can sell the old ones to recover some of the money spent on the new ones.
Do Some Bathroom Renovation Tasks on Your Own
You can save a lot on labour costs when you do some of the bathroom renovation tasks yourself. You will likely still have to contract professionals for renovations that require skill, but chipping in for manual tasks will save you money if the contractor is okay with such an arrangement. You can volunteer in demolishing the tiles, pulling off the taps and other tasks that need no particular skills.
Go for Affordable Contractors and Equipment
Doing background checks and comparing contractor charges will go a long way in making sure that you are contracting affordable but professional bathroom renovations. Compare the prices of equipment from a number of vendors in your locality. Renovators from further away may require additional costs due to logistics and transportation of products.